tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC October 27, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
standing by to pick things up for here. >> thank you, you have a great weekend. it's 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in the east. up first this hour, what's the rush? mark this day on your calendar. next wednesday, that's the self-imposed deadline set by republicans to introduce a bill to overhaul the entire tax system. they've also set a goal of passing it in both of house and senate by thanksgiving. key questions remain. how will their plan impact and will it favor the wealthy and how will they pay for cuts? can they get all of this done despite the deep divisions currently plaguing their party? >> will they get this tax reform through saap. >> it all hands on deck and that's part of why you're seeing this stepped up timeline. >> there's great division within the party on this. it's not just about economic benefits, they are looking for political benefits, they need a
win. >> that budget vote yesterday is a little bit of foreshadowing of the problems republicans will have hashing this out amongst themselves. >> i think we're unified on a lot of issues but not unified how to approach those issues, if you're not unified on both, you won't get things done. >> there's a civil war in the gop. >> also this hour, face to face, the president met today with interior secretary ryan zinke even as questions mount about how and why a small company from zinke's hometown scored a $300 million contract to rebuild puerto rico's electrical grid. two house panels are investigating whether that company, white fish energy acted inappropriately in getting this deal.
earlier today, on this network, a whitefish spokesman defended the contract. >> the conspiracy theories, i get people's questions, they are very legitimate. you buy experience. that is why whitefish is there and white fish is getting work done. >> 38 days after hurricane maria, more than 73% of puerto rico remains in the dark. so, obviously lots of news to get to today. we want to get right to it with our team of reporters, kelly o'donnell is live at the white house. what do we know about that meeting that the president had with interior secretary ryan zinke this morning. >> i just came from the office where i was checking on that. no readout of that meeting yet. the president and his interior secretary did have a previously scheduled meeting today. that's not unusual for a cabinet secretary. the timing of course, makes it of high interest to us because we're wondering, did the president and secretary zinke talk about this issue. the white house is talking about it. saying this was not a federal level decision. and that the decision to let the contract to whitefish energy was
made by the puerto rican energy company that was handling this. now in terms of why this group and obviously there is this notable connection to montana, also notable, the company whitefish energy had only two employees and plussed up dramatically hiring roughly 300 contractors to execute the work. part of what they say made them attractive as a choice is they got there early and had specific expertise to deal with energy repair and infratrukt tour in a mountainous area. others are saying it needs to be examined more closely as do the terms of the contract itself based on things like a prohibition in the contract for oversight on the profit margin involved in the project. when the void is filled, there's a big question about is taxpayer money being use the most effectively, is the work being done in the most expedition way for those who are -- who are dealing with the issue on the
ground. so big questions still, did the president talk about this? that's what we'll continue to ask the white house, hoping to get some indication going forward. >> there's now an aggressive time line on the second topic for the republican's tax overhaul and questions whether they are rushing it. what do we know whether the president is on board 100%? >> the president wants to see this done quickly as we're told and he's urging lawmakers to get this going and to make kind of the leverage of time. we've seen this before with other fails attempts at big legislation trying to beat the clock. we have big issues on calendar in terms of holidays like the thanksgiving break, the christmas break then we're at the end of the year. legislative days are precious and diminishing resource. the president wants to get this done. having the vehicle a budget vehicle is the term of art used on capitol hill, a means to get the issue on the floor, a legislative sort of vessel that
holds whatever the details will be that get sorted out. what kind of rate levels and what kinds of changes to deductions if any, all of the specifics, that's what has to be put together. we still don't have a clear picture of that. what we have have had a lot of trial balloons floated on things that might offset the cost to the taxpayer and treasury of reducing tax rates for individuals as well as businesses. so the white house wants to see this move quickly. time is a wasting as they say. >> thanks kelly o'donnell at the white house. >> nicholas confess sorry, and susan page for usa today, hugh hewitt and msnbc political analyst. let's start with this deadline republicans have set for themselves, how realistic is it? >> well, it's only choice they have is trying to rush this through chris. but insanity is doing the same thing over and over again,
looking for a different result, this will be a second round of trying to do a huge and consequential bill and springing the details on members at the last minute. the problem with that, if you haven't built the med cat which is public support and buy-in and haven't given your members the ammunition to talk about it with their constituents and spring it on them, you leave open the chance of people freaking out the last second and not lying the risk and walking away from the bill. >> susan, you've been around washington for a long time. do you see this as basically congress saying if we don't get this done, we're dead in 2018 and they figure out a way to push it through who knows what it looks like or are they going to as nick just suggested, have a moment of panic or pressure from their constituents saying, you know what, we don't know what's in this bill maybe both
things are true, it's very hard to pass a huge bill like this in a hurry but it may be harder to do it slowly. if you let it go into next year, the election year, if you give time for the bill to be picked apart. we don't know what's in it. i think they may have made a calculation, while this is a long shot it is a better chance than if they take a more traditional path. they are worried if they end up going back to voters next year, having not achieved any of the major legislation they promised voters they would pass once they got unified control of the government, they'll have a very tough midterm election. >> i guess the question is, do we think voters so are disengaged or so uninformed if they pass anything at all, no matter what's in it, that in 2018 the republicans think they are off the hook? >> i think they better give tax relief to voters there and by doubling the standard deduction
they would do that. the real question becomes whether or not they get 50 votes. kevin brady, has to do a deal with his blue state members from california and new york and other high tax states that makes it pal atable to get rid of the state and federal tax deduction. he's one of the most respected members of the house, the question remains, do they get 50 votes in the senate and do they get some democrats especially democrats like john tester in montana and casey in pennsylvania, people who need to win states that were won by donald trump in 2018, joe donnelly in indiana, i think the chances are better than even they get this tax bill and if it delivers tax relief it's a winner next november. >> i wonder if you're jumping ahead about the democrats, they have to figure out the republican side of it first. they could barely pass the budget in the house, 20 republicans voted to vote against the resolution yesterday and i want to read what the weekly standard wrote today,
characterizing the gop civil war. has a hostile takeover of a historic institution been argued with less resistance. the gop is being transformed because incumbents are accommodating new masters before serious challengers are on the horizon. robert frost described a liberal as someone unwilling to take his own side in a fight. will that be what is said of conservatives and republicans that they stood on the sideline and watched as the part of lincoln and teddy roosevelt and reagan was destroyed. what do you make of that, hugh? >> it's overwrougt, they are in a constant stage offage tags over president trump. jeff flake was going to lose because he was part of the gang of eight two years ago before donald trump, mcsally will win that seat. orrin hatch is going to retire because he's 80 and had a great
career and mitt romney will win that seat. the republican party is hardly becoming a trumpian party. the president matter s a great deal, but maybe want to broaden their lens a little bit and look at the underlying facts of the stories, not just what they play in every day and every column. >> i'm reading a quiz cal look on your face. i'll let you say what you're thinking. >> we've seen this extraordinary thing happen maybe in the past week in the republican party. that is the eruption of the most significant civil war in decades since at least watergate. such senior republicans as george w. bush and john mccain and jeff flake and bob corker, raising fundamental questions about the president of their own party. but at the same time, no one else has followed in their path. that is a sign that president trump has gotten control of the party and it's a different -- there are big differences in the party from the party that you
would have described as the republican party a year ago, it's more america first, not that things were so bipartisan a year ago. it is extraordinary -- it was extraordinary to me not only the voices speaking out but also the voices in the republican party keeping silent. >> nick, in an interview this morning, gorka had a warning suggesting that the president of course is still in contact with steve bannon. here's what he said. >> if you're doubling down, you have no idea who steve bannon is. i've worked with steve bannon for years and worked together in the white house, he's the most strategic mind in d.c. and you better watch out, mitch. i'll let the president talk for himself but i know the relations between the president and steve are very, very good right now. >> i don't know if you're able to really separate what the
republicans want to get done for what's going on internally certain establishment leaders and the white house. how do you interpret all of that? >> well, look, i think it's the case the president always keeps close the aides pushed out of the white house and kept out of the white house in first place, corey liewandowski and steve bannon, steve bannon is still in regular contact with the president. it's not really clear to me yet, chris, kind of where the president himself stands on this civil war. obviously bannon is running candidates against people that the president has technically endorsed or backing. on the other hand, the slated candidates in the bannon group right now, if you can call it that, are not exactly kind of a homo geneis group, remember, the
establishment is basically a conservative establishment and a lot feels like anger or transmitted anger over mitch mcconnell for not being able to pass legislation that most of the country actually opposes like repealing obamacare. >> all right, i want to go around really quickly once to each of you because it's friday and we not. give me a percentage, what are the chances that we see tax reform passed by thanksgiving? >> better than 50%. >> really? >> susan? >> one in ten. >> nick? >> deficit neutral, kind of one in ten. some kind of tax thing called a tax reform 50%. >> okay, we're going to have you all back and see where we are in those progress nosty indications, have a good weekend. >> thanks chris. >> if you're waiting for all of the files on jfk's assassination, sit back and get comfortable, why it will take another six months for the full
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>> boy, those of us alive remember that moment very well, it's a moment seared in the minds of millions of americans. historians and journalists and yes conspiracy theorists are poring through documents. the national archives released thousands of pages much records last night but blocked the release of some documents for six months because of national security concerns. so what did we learn? a memo written by then fbi director j. edgar hoover after lee harvey oswald was killed, says there's nothing further on the oswald case except he's dead. he appeared to be concerned that the public would need to be compelled he acted alone not part of a larger conspiracy. in 1964 that oswald was not a fbi informant and never paid for information and the document include the fbi's file on the search for a stripper named kitty. they talked with a stripper
named candy cane saying kitty had been an associate of jack ruby's who killed oswald. chuck grassley tweeted this morning, thanks for the kennedy files release. ridiculous that the cia wants to review to redact. you had 50 years. now cia wants further cover-up, potus, stop. >> joining us to talk about this from dallas, alexandra, the granddaughter -- a personal history of the sabrudder film. lee harvey oswald and assassination of jfk. this deadline has been known for 25 years, kennedy died 54 years ago. why don't we have all the files? >> because the fbi and cia especially intelligence agencies are very good at playing this game of knowing how to hold back
documents. it drives me crazy. as a journalist who tries to get freedom of information files, they insist they are always looking for the loophole. they saw it here. this was the deep state against donald trump and the deep state won in this sense. they knew if they came in on the last day of the 25 years and made their objections and said by the way we need a few more names still redacted because these were intelligence sources maybe they are still alive or whatever the causes were, trump had to make a decision, either wave the wand and say they are all, if there was a nugget that should be confidential, it would come back on his doorstep and he would be blamed or otherwise hold them for six months of review with lawyers to look at them. we'll get to them, even later, it's why nobody believes that there's a lone assassin, they think it's a conspiracy -- >> this is why the conspiracy theorists kept getting fueled, 2800 released gerald, as you know, about 300 were still waiting for. let's start with what we got, okay?
>> i was going to say one thing, those released were files released before and redactions were taken out. many of the files released for first time were i will lelgible, why are they holding for 54 years illledgible documents, it's maddening. >> do you have a headline out of what we saw? >> my expectations are low eaan lower after seeing them. this is a nothing burger. the memo about hoover, this was the mindset inside the fbi. >> was he saying we have to convince them of something that's not true or we have to convince them of something that's true? which is that it was a single assassin. >> he was saying it was in the wake of jack ruby killing oswald, two days after the assassination and what hoover was smart enough to understand, he may be an authoritarian figure but he was smart. we knew the moment oswald was dead, no public trial and presentation of evidence and
people would immediately think of conspiracy. hoover was convinced oswald was the shooter and we have to make sure people knew he did it. >> alexandra, if anybody knows about conspiracy theorists it has to be your family. your great grandfather shot this film that we're looking at now. we just want to let people know that we're going to show the film, not the point of impact but this extraordinary footage that has become both the source of so much information as well as so many conspiracies. i wonder what you made of what did and didn't come out yesterday and if you're sort of having these flash backs to all of the conspiracies that grew out of what your great granddad did? >> i wouldn't say i'm having flash backs but i do think that really the release of these files kind of confirms what our experience has been which is that it almost doesn't matter what comes out.
when in 1992 when the jfk act was passed, a huge part of that was ultimately the film of the making it available to the american people but that didn't resolve in the public mind what happened to the president. and somehow there is this way in which no matter what is released and it's important to be released. i'm not against that. but it seems that it -- people see in these documents or people see in this film what they already believe. >> there was a fascinating poll, i'm sure you saw it, that 56% of americans believe that more than one person -- somebody besides lee harvey oswald was involved in the assassination. also interesting, only white college graduates believe that just one person a lone person lee harvey oswald was the shooter and large majority of both, clinton and trump voters believe there were other people involved. so geb again here we are nearly
54 years later. why can't we set this? why is there such an ongoing fascination with this alexandra? >> well, i mean, it seems that the fascination with the kennedys is insatible and will never end. but in terms of why we can't come to a consensus, i don't think the question is in the documents or in the film. i think it's in who we are. i think we've become more and more of course since the kennedy assassination, such an agenda driven society and people come to -- i've seen it for myself, people come to this material with a set of beliefs and because we don't have a relationship unfortunately, to the facts, that perhaps we once did, a sort of reverence, people can manipulate and use it to support any number much different believes and i don't put people like mr. posener in this category, plenty of very
serious assassination researchers who are doing the work of trying to understand the inconsistencies and understand what happened. but there are also a world of people on the internet who are not experts and who are already believe either that that this is a deep cover-up or that there was a conspiracy and the more information that comes out, the more there will be to support that. >> let's look at these conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination, because there are many. i'll just name a few, that it was an inside job and cia and vice president johnson were involved and oswald got his orders from the cubans or soviets two months before the assassination and those are a lot of documents we want to see and it was the mafia and claim perpetuated by trump during the campaign that ted cruz's father mafds had something to do with it.
in our lifetime will this ever be put to rest? i don't mean to rest because there are people who don't believe in conspiracies, but will we get real facts to lead us to an intelligent conclusion. >> there are real facts available and as a society we'll never draw that consensus. there's too much information out there that's been repeated so many times, it's false information and accepted as being true and that's unfor nat. that shot can never be mad, there's a magic bullet, things like this. and over time serious scholars are looking at this and when you mention the poll down to 50% who think it's a conspiracy, that's rather arcable, 28, to 29% think it's a lone assassin and in '91, over 90% thought it was a conspiracy. you're right about the plots, we believe there's a conspiracy in some ways because the cia and mafia had been in a partnership together to kill a head of
state. . it was castro. the kgb had met with oswald seven months before him but nothing to do with the murder and castro did want kennedy out of the way because he was trying to kill -- the cuban leader but wasn't the one behind oswald. one of the things that i think her great grandfather's book or film, he was just a ordinary citizen in an era before there were cell phones and everybody had a individuals toshvideo cam of what took place that day. his secretary how about the new camera they gave you as a gift for the holidays. he wient back to get it. set up on a pedestal to see it and stayed with the motorcade through the shooting. it's the film that rif ets us about the assassination, to his credible he was able to give it to us for history. >> thank you. >> it is extraordinary. your great grandfather, i'll
tell you, he has an extraordinary plasz in history but that history is still being written. alexandra -- >> i will just say. >> go ahead. >> it's so interesting because so much i've been hearing more and more, there are these people out there who deeply believe that the film was altered. the weekend of the assassination by the cia, which is an absolute ludicrous claim with no evidence and when mr. posner says there are things that hang around and debunked and debunked but people don't believe it, that is the state of the world we're living in and i think really serious researchers and historians have an uphill climb to tackle those things. >> i could talk to both of you for the rest of the hour. fascinating, thanks to both of you. >> thanks so much. >> we're in the meantime keeping an eye on the briefing room at the white house. that's where we're expecting to see sara huckabee sanders.
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big developments and two of the growing number of sexual harassment allegation cases, harvey weinstein has sued his former company to gain access to his phone records and personnel file. his lawyer said he needs them to defend himself against dozens of women of the he was fired days after a new york times report on those claims. he has acknowledged bad behavior but spokesperson says he denies allegations of nonconsensual sex. nbc news has reached out for comment. >> row mcgowan speaking in detroit and delivered a very forceful remark earlier today. >> i have been silenced for 20 years. i have been slut shamed. i have been harassed.
i've been maligned and you know what, i'm just like you. because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society and that cannot stand and it will not stand. >> wow, and the "washington post" reports that more women have come forward with sexual harass. allegations against political journalist mark halperin, former abc news researcher who claims halperin repeatedly harassed her. the consequences have been swift, penguin press canceled plans to publish the latest book and hbo dropped plans to make a movie on the book and leaving his role for msnbc and nbc news for the time being. nbc news has not verified the claims against him and abc told cnn inno complaints were filed during his tenure which ended in 2007. he denies the aels in a statement writing during this period i did pursue relationships with women 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'm deeply sorry and apologize, under the circumstances i'm going to step back from my day to day work while i properly deal with this situation. joining us to talk about this in the newsroom, clair at kinson senior editor with nbc news digital and alexis, a civil rights and whistle blower attorney with the firm katz marshall and jenkz. we heard that powerful statement from rose mcgowan and ashley judd spoke to nbc news last night before a women's media awards and said this. >> part of the toxic they use is to deny attack and then reverse the victim offender order. so to be weary of that, and also that no one is alone in this. we really can speak up.
even nor those whose paycheck is dependent on somebody abusive to them. we still have your back and creating that moment for you. >> she's standing next to gloria steinen, things appear to be shifting but there are a lot of women who don't feel they can name names, even if they are doing the hash tag me too. are we witnessing a sea change or something incremental that can be stopped? >> i think this is the most unbelievable sea change i've seen in my career writing about entertainment. rose today, she's talking about the brave come out and name and shame and she's a prime example. if you don't get justice from the police department from the legal system, you can get it from social media and sheer numbers involved have already come out against powerful people show that women are being less afraid and safety in numbers. >> you know, the sheer number of
allegations is just almost overwhelming when you look at all of the men accused over the last couple of months, but alexis, if we're looking for laws to protect women, you also have to look at what congress is doing because it seems almost like it's a little bit of the fox guarding the hen house. if you are harassed by somebody in congress, lawmakers and congressional aides are not required to undergo sexual harassment training and victims have to agree to go through counseling and mediation before they can file any kind of federal lawsuit. tell me how it's different and should we depend on our lawmakers to do something about this? what's your experience? >> my experience is that for congressional staffers on the hill, the power -- the power dynamic is stacked against them. in a place where really -- where
you're stature and career depend on your loyalty and relationships coming forward is career suicide and you're viewed as being willing to put yourself up against the party and policies that you are there to support as someone who represented multiple congressional staffers as a staffer once in my prior life, the atmosphere on the hill is it that political officials feel like they can get away with it and in one survey, 40% of female hill staffers said they were sexually harassed but according to the office of compliance, there were eight staff members who came forward from the house and senate. you're looking at the body that has regulated and checked itself. are they going to step forward and do it for other people? i think they are starting to be
part of this ground swell we're seeing that i have to say i represented hundreds of women in sexual harass. claims over the past ten years and i do think this is a defining moment and seeing a sea change and women are coming forward and we see it and people coming forward to us. >> so i guess my question is if there's a sea change in society at large and women are feeling empowered to come forward, jackie spierer, a congresswoman from california who previously was concerned about this issue, just today took to twitter to tell her story about being forcibly kissed by a high ranking congressional staff member and she wants to change how sexual abuse reports are handled on capitol hill. could that sea change include not just people in the entaint. industry, not just people in media, but can it go to congress and can it go to i guess some of the more traditional mail
dominated bastions all across. we know it doesn't matter what business you're in. sexual harass. and abuse happens. >> absolutely. what representative spierers is doing is a profound first step and going to lead the vanguard, this is something that all of us who have worked on this for years and women who stayed silent for years can come forward, not just in entertainment but on the hill and finance and other industries where it's male dominated that there's power concentrated in the few at the top who feel they have immunity. and that we can really make this time change the laws and change the culture around this kind of abuse. >> alexis, clair, thanks to both of you, a conversation to be continued and maybe we'll get questions at the white house press briefing. sander has just taken to the podium. >> they'll love trick or treating in the executive office building and look forward to
taking questions maybe even from some of the kids today. couple of quick things to note before we get into that, as you all saw yesterday, an important moment for our fight against the drug addiction and opioid epidemic that hurt so many wonderful families by directing the public health emergency to address the opioid crisis, the president is mobilizing his entire administration to confront this issue. the president's stirring remarks which included a powerful story how addiction impacted his family set the stage for the country to unite behind this fight to save lives. in the wake of the announcement several cabinet members and agency heads are traveling around the country to events related to the opioid crisis. among those participating in events are attorney general sessions, secretary shul kin and carson, acting secretary hargen and adams. these events illustrate the president truly has made thissish why an administrationwide priority.
on the economic front, the u.s. economy grew at 3% for the second quarter in a row despite the damage from this year's hurricane season. unemployment is at a 16-year low and stock market continues to climb to record levels and economic confidence is soaring. the engine of the american economy is reving up and the president is ready to pour in the rocket fuel through massive tax cuts and reforms, it's fitting we have kids with us here today because this tax plan is empowering hard working american families to build a better life for themselves and brighter futd you'ure for their children. with that i'll take your questions. >> the $300 million contract whitefish to rebuild the electrical grid in puerto rico. does the white house have any concerns about the way the contract came down and fact this company has apparently no experience of doing anything on this magnitude? >> this is a contract that was
determined by the local authorities in puerto rico. not something that the federal government played a role in. but as we understand, there's an ongoing audit. >> red flag raised by this and can you say definitively the fact that the primary -- one of the primary investors in the company was a major donor to the trump campaign and had nothing to do with the fact this contract was awarded. >> the federal government has nothing to do with the contractor process. this was something solely determined by the puerto rican government and as i said, we'll look forward to the audit to see if there are any other issues beyond that. >> question on those russia sanctions that the president signed in august. so the recipients of those sanctions were supposed to be named on october 1st and that just came out today. i'm wondering if you can explain the delay and how soon the administration will act. >> there was an inner agency review now been completed. that was the cause for the
delay. the guidance was issued by the state department and it's now being carried out for any further details, i'd refer you to the state department. president tweeted out regarding the russia investigation, after months of costly looking, is the president suggesting that the mueller special investigation is a waste of money? >> i think that the president has been clear about what his position throughout this process, that's not the only investigation taking place. congressmen spend a great deal of time on this, better part of a year. all of your news organizations have probably spent a lot of money on this as well, which we would consider a pretty big waste. our position hasn't changed since day one and i think we are seeing now if there's any collusion with russia, it was between the dnc and clintons and certainly not our campaign. >> i'm going to move around. >> this is an important one in
401(k)s. >> maybe one of your colleagues will ask it. >> do you have any comment on the situation in catalonia and spain where they put out a sharp statement, united states wants a unified spain. >> i'm not aware of any phone calls today but we certainly echo the state department and again reiterate our support for awe unified spain. >> i'm going to jump around, trying to cover up. >> the president met with interior secretary zinke, did the president ask directly whether he had any knowledge of this deal? the primary purpose for this meeting on the schedule for several weeks was to discuss secretary's monument's report coming out shortly. that was the reason for the meeting but he did ask secretary zinke just for clarification purposes and he reiterated once again that we have no role, the
federal government in specifically he had no role in that contract. john. >> on whitefish energy and another question on this company, prior to hurricane maria, it just had two employees. and then after hurricane maria, it's awarded a $300 million plus contract. i realize you said this was a contract that was awarded by officials in puerto rico. but would you acknowledge that doesn't look right just on the surface of things? >> i'm not going to comment before the audit is conducted but we certainly look forward to seeing the results of that and once again this was a state and local decision made by the puerto rican authorities and not the federal government but we will look into the audit once it's published. >> the president said there's a lot of corruption in puke reert rico -- >> i'm not going to get ahead of the audit. once we have that we'll make a determination. >> you mentioned the opioid crisis and how the president yesterday declared it a national
public health emergency. is that declaration did not come with a request for money from congress. how much does the president want congress to put towards this crisis and when will he put in a formal request for the money? >> there was $45 billion originally in the health care plan that the president supported that no democrat in the country supported. ideally that would have been done through that but since it wasn't, we're hoping congress will come together and there will be a lot of bipartisan support to put behind the opioid crisis and join in the president in dealing with this effort. >> major? >> can we say then based on your answer just now the 45 billion is what you would like to see as an initial approach to the opioid crisis and done during the budget deal that you hope to negotiate in december? >> i'm not going to negotiate with you from the podium but that was the number we outlined in that initial health care bill. there's a billion dollars that's been spent to date since the president came into office. we do feel like that $45 billion
would have been a good number that was in the health care bill. that was what we supported. we're going to continue looking at that and determine future numbers as we work on negotiating. >> is that a good place to start with congress though? >> in the meeting that the president had with secretary zinke, did he agree with the recommendation to shrink the size of the monument in utah? >> i won't get ahead on the president's announcement on the specifics on that. but he will be going to utah in first part of early december and we'll release more details at that point if not some before he spoke with senators hatch and lee during the course of the meeting. >> obviously sexual harassment has been in the news, 16 women accuse the president of sexually harassing them through the course of the campaign. the president called these accusations fake news. is the official white house position that all of these women are lying? >> we've been clear on that from
the beginning and the president has spoken on it. >> thank you, sarah. former president jimmy carter offered his availability as a go between to the north korean regime in the hopes of resolve thing the differences between this country and pyongyang. he has a history with family of the current leader in north korea of meeting with his grandfather in 1994. administration in contact with president carter and does it have plans to use him as a go between or envoy to pyongyang. >> i don't think that's part of our process at that time. if that changes we'll let you know but that's not part of our current plan or thinking how to deal with north korea. >> i'll ask the 401(k) question. >> see, you've got friends helping you out and you didn't think anybody here liked you, john. >> i've got john's back. is the president considering dropping the amount of pretax
contributions that americans can put into their 401(k), currently that's at $18,000. it seems as if this whole issue is up for negotiation. does the president support taking that $18,000 or so level and potentially lowering loweri >> i said earlier in the week the president wants to continue to fight and push for protection of americans' retirement and that hasn't change but i won't negotiate deals beyond that, that's the president's position and same today as it was earlier in the week. >> thank you, sarah. a number of politicians over the past week including chris christie here at the white house yesterday who said mueller should step aside from certain investigations within the special council. does the president share those views? >> the president wants to see it completed. we're continuing to see day in, day out, as the investigation moves to completion, same as it started, no evidence of collusion between the president
and anyone. if any collusion took place it's between the dnc and clintons and we're now starting to see all the things the democrats had accused this president of doing they were actually guilty of themselves, and that's a really big problem that should certainly be looked at. >> sarah, the -- >> sure. >> the lawmakers in egypt are preparing a measure that would criminalize homosexuality with up to five years in prison. will you condemn the measure? >> i'm not aware of the specifics but i have to look into that before i make a response but we'd be happy to look into it. >> i want to ask you, since the last time you were up here there have been a couple of reports, one that the president's been making an announcement next week, can you confirm he'll make an announcement, can you give us a little timing and that chairman yellen is out of the running and jerome powell at the
top of the list. can you confirm any of that? >> i can't confirm the president plans to make an announcement on that next week. beyond that, i don't have any other things to add. >> and i want to ask you about a comment that sebastian gorka made on fox news. i know he doesn't work for the white house but claims to be very involved knowing what's going on here. he was talking about the uranium deal and hillary clinton and said, if this happened in the 19 450 50s, people would be up on treason charged. does the president agree with that statement? >> i hadn't even seen those comments and won't comment on sebastian gorka or validate that. we think there's a lot of cause for concern regarding that deal and certainly think it should be looked into but i can't comment beyond that on somebody outside the administration's comments. >> question on the president's upcoming asia trip. can you talk about the criteria
used to decide which of the menny multilateral meetings he attended and confirm he's not going to be at the east asia summit and why? >> he is participating in, i know at least the opening ceremony and some of the other parts of that event. in terms of the specifics we'll do a full and more detailed briefing on that next week so i'll wait for next week, because the final details of those are still being worked out. >> and the president said on twitter he congratulated xi on extraordinary elevation. does the president have misgivings the way that occurred or financial impact on america's interests and asia? >> not that i'm aware of. >> what did the president, why did he involve himself in the uranium one investigation? are you trying to gin up your own investigation up on capitol hill and where is the president's evidence that hillary clinton colluded with the russians as he tweeted this morning? >> in terms of the president being involved, i'm not aware of
specific involvement. the president pushed for transparency, if that's what you're referring to when dealing with congress. that's probably something new for a president to actually push for transparency, but that's what he's done, and that was the purpose of what he was trying to do in that process. >> how about evidence of collusion with -- sarah, no. the president made a charge that hillary clinton -- >> i think i've addressed that thoroughly. mike, go ahead. >> you're saying that -- >> saying that i'm calling on your colleague. >> okay, then will you address that question? >> affiliated with senate majority leader and steve bannon, wondered if the white house has an opinion. is mr. bannon fair game? still viewed as helpful to the president's cause and has the president had any success talking to steve out of some of the, backing off of incumbents as he suggested in the rose garden? >> in terms of how a pack spends their money i direct you to them. i won't answer to them anymore i can answer for the president's
pack and we don't comment on political situations or contributions from the podium. >> sarah, on sunday it's going to be the one-month anniversary of the las vegas shooting. four weeks. enhanced the speed of this, about using bump stock. at first you didn't want to comment on that, but i'm curious to know. does the president think the atfs should prohibit they're sale? will he ask them to and does he think only congress can do it or that bump stocks are not the problem and there's no need -- >> he asked that process be reviewed and we're waiting on details about to take place, but is decision hasn't been finalized on that, but we are looking at that and it's certainly under review. i'll cut us a little short today and one last announce that i wanted to make. the president asked moo e eed you know, those with your kids here for trick or treating before they go to the executive office bidding for trick or
treating he's invited them to come into the oval. if you want your kids to participate, please, meet us here and we'll walk them over shortly, and then give them back to you so that -- you can sugar them up and take them home to your house to run wild. thanks so much, and have a good friday. and a wide-ranging press conference. at times combative. one of the key questions was about the president's meeting today with ryan zinke, interior secretary, and about a company named whitefish brought in on a $300 million no-bid contract with relationships with the interior secretary to fix the massive problems in puerto rico. 73% of people there still without power. here to talk to us, democratic new jersey congressman frank pallone, ranking member of the energy and commerce committee and new york city council speaker melissa mark viverito. thanks to you both. you heard sarah sanders who
said -- federal government had absolutely no relationship to this. he kwempled that with ryan zinke today pshgs conficonfirmed that. your reaction? >> absurd. the federal government has an obligation to help puerto rico. for them to suggest they have nothing to do with it or want to wipe their hands of it, what fema is doing now, makes no sense. they have the responsibility and should have reviewed this contract. they should review it now. this is a sweetheart deal. puerto rico is suffering so much. 75% of people still have no power and the federal government has to step up and look at this sweetheart deal. 9 trump administration never wants oversight over anything, only what obama and the democrats do but no oversight over themselves. we need oversight. a lot of hypocrisy and i'm very concerned whether this company has the ability to actually do the job in puerto rico. >> you heard what sarah sanders also said. the president is waiting for the
audit, results of the audit. do you trust this audit? >> i don't and obviously the white house has proven lies are coming out of it every day. end of it, a company with two people on staff before the hurricane hit and they've been relying on subcontracts. puerto rico has a lot of accountability in terms of a lot of information to get out of it. end of the day people are still without power, without electricity. 75,000 people in florida. people coming to new york obviously and we're welcoming them, but this is a serious issue, and also the unreported deaths. there's a lot still going on on the ground. this is egregious obviously, this $300 million contract and there are many people that will have to answer for this. >> i wish we had more time but i thank you you both for beak hin here to react to the press briefing. quickly into the press room where hallie jackson is standing by. >> reporter: plug it in, chris. talking about the whitefish, ryan zinke, donald trump situation.
another headline that relates, the president apparently heading to utah next week according to sarah sanders, likely to announce he will be shrinking the monument, a controversial move according to senator orrin hatch's office during the briefing sent a release indicating the president told senator hatch he would do that. and headlines to the las vegas shooting, bump stock. sarah sanders indicating a review happening. talked about it before. the president is still open to that and what it comes to taxes and tax reforms on 401(k)s, a discussion today and something else the press secretary talked about. noisy here. kids here, members of the press corps, heading back to the oval office and president trump, they might get some questions in over there. >> hallie jackson, thanks. that wraps it up for this hour and this week. i'm chris jansing in for katy
tur. ali velshi picks things up now. >> have a great afternoon. i'm ali velshi, the white house on a mission for a legislative victory and all eyes on tax reform. the questions at today's white house press briefing mostly about puerto rico and controversy surrounding that contract to help restore power there. we're awaiting a press conference on san juan's mayor and senator bernie sanders and will bring that to you when it happens. we begin at the white house briefing. hallie jackson, just talking to chris jansing. she'll be back with us in a few moments. let's talk about some of the things that the white house is trying to get done with respect to tax reform. they were hoping to have tax reform done. i want to walk to the board here and show you what we're talking about in terms of the goals for tax reform. the goal is to have tax reform introduced on november 1st in the senate, and then in the week of november 6th, to have the ways and means committee mark it up.