tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC April 11, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PDT
city he vis fritz birmingham to washington, d.c. and this has gotten thousands of views and is it it shows other to love also. right now, we'll show a little love for hallie jackson. >> thank you very much '. i'll tell you what, when it rains it pours this morning. a floofd news coming out of washington. that breaking news that the house speaker will not run for re-election. we're going to talk about that live here from this podium any minute. why is he leaving? who's snext in and what does it mean for the president's agenda. and speaking of president, he's setting out his strategy of surprise, instead previewing the strike on syria, calling out russia, telling the kremlin to get ready. and on russia, major headlines in the investigation on moscow's interference in our election
with the president makinga move related to mule pert another journalist behind "the new york times" scoop joining us. and mark zuckerberg is now in day two of his congressional contransition seat. i want to start with garrett. we've all been working on sources in the last 60 minutes or so. members have been walking out of the gop conference. what have you been hearing on the talk of paul ryan and his announcement than he's no longer going to serve as speaker after this term? >> the primary thing that we're hearing is this a decision made about his family, hang on a second here. we've got mark meadows coming around the corner, i'm going to try to grab him. what we're hearing is that this is a family decision. this is something ryan has said for quite a long time, that he would discuss this with his wife when he went home sometime in the spring, make a decision before the filing deadline in june. and he has now made that decision. several members said they
weren't surprised by it, that they knew that ryan was not a life, he was someone that was going to try to make this decision to get out of congress on his own terms at some point. and there's some speculation that they're accomplishing the tax bill had something do with that, the pressures of running in donald trump's republican party had something to do with that. but the official line out of folks has been focused on this idea that it has a family decision. let me see if we can grab mark meadows and bring him into the conversation. were you surprised by the speaker's announcemented it? >> i think anybody who suggested that they knew that this was coming would be disingeneruous. i fully support if, obviously he's going to be with his family and i support that. he's been a strong supporter of the cause for many years if not decades and his leaving the create a real vacuum. but also it's more important that we deliver on behalf of the
american people for the next nine months leading up to the midterms. >> speaker -- you heard that was essentially a lame duck speaker for next several months? >> here's the thing. this institution is more important than any one person. it's never been about a speaker are it's been about the american people. that's where the focus should be and that's where it should be well placed in being supportive of that mom and dad or aunt and uncle on main street. so i think we continue to work to that end. at times when some people are leaving, they became more bold, not less. so i don't see it affecting our agenda as much as it is we have to do what we said we would do for the american people. and if we do that, november will take care of it several. but i'm sure the speaker will have a very good career in whatever endeavor he chooses to take on after this. >> republicans are able to keep
control, would you like to see someone more conservative in that role? would you consider running for that position? >> leadership has never been on my bucket list and it's not on my bucket listed it in spite of this announcement. i can say that as we look to putting forth a new agenda in the months and weeks to come, i look forward to working with this speaker, this leader, this whip. and certainly other members of the freedom caucus to put forth a bold agenda to make sure that we accomplish that and show a real difference between what conservatives will do for those who have been forgotten by washington, d.c. and i fully expect that you will see a lot of great initiatives come out in the next few weeks. >> reporter: having the top man and fundraiser the face of the party in the house saying he's retiring, does that make it harder to hold on to the majority in november? >> i think if you put any focus on fundraising you're missing the whole point. this ask a representative body,
this is the people's house. we should be about the people's agenda. and if it's about money, it's misplaced. >> reporter: well are democrats are saying even paul ryan doesn't want to be there anymore? >> well, aerves going to have their narrative out there and you're going to see a whole lot of pundits say this is going to be better, this is going to be worse. if we deliver on behalf of the american people, the promises that we campaigned on, it will serve us well. >> reporter: do you think i'll stay on for the next nine months? >> i think he'll stay on. there's no talk of him not staying on as speaker at this point. i can tell you that the mood in the conference was one of being very supportive of him, as it should be. and certainly any time you put a priority on being with your family and a young family, that's to be applauded. and, you know, the speaker will be able to do a number of things that the whirlwind schedule that he has does not allow him do
now. >> do you think the leadership race will force him out of position or this will -- >> i don't think there will be any forcing out of position. i think there is a leadership race that probably started a few weeks ago and that will pick up steam. but to suggest that that's going to force anybody out of the position is not accurate. >> support for speaker in the race? v has anyone reached to you for your support in the leadership race coming up? >> it's way too early for any of that and any suggestions on who's going to be the next speaker would have had to have been preplanned at this point to ask for support. and i don't know that anybody was planning on this? >> reporter: hal hallie we're going to pop out for a little bit. >> you're of bn watching garrett headac headache standing there in front of the camera. garrett, i'm going to let you focus in the hallway. i want to bring in nbc chief
political managing editor chuck todd who's joining us on the phone. chuck, racing back from the airport on what's a very busy news morning i want your overall takeaway from paul ryan the news that he won't run for re-election, he'll be gone come january. >> reporter: it's a piece of news that's not surprising, any of us that have been covering capitol hill over the last six months could sense conversations with him, could sense that he had made a decision. i at one time asked people close to him why is he letting this idea that he may not run stay out there? and somebody said to me, because he's seriously thinking about not running. and, you know there are r there are was a couple of scenarios they've been testing with different folks could have run and then resigned after the midterms because there is this concern that maybe in deciding not to run sends a message that other republicans that are on
the fence look at the say gee, the speaker's not running forget it, i'm out of here. but it seems to me that the speaker concluded, number one, most of the retirements have already happened, which is why he waited to pretty close to the very -- or this late in the psych to announce this. but he also thought about the aspect of him leaving was going to make that position vulnerable. the argument was no matter when he left that seat was going to be vulnerable for the democrats winning it. and the argument that ryan folks will make it's easier for republicans to attempt to hold the district in an overall midterm election which you have a guy like scott walker at the top of the ticket in wisconsin, than if you actually try to hold that district in the special election say in the spring of 2009 when frankly they probably would have lost a special election. much harder to motivate voters. so, i think this is a reminder that the speaker ryan has never loved the job, certainly does
not like donald trump's washington. he barely hides that. and if his desire isn't in the job itself, then it doesn't make sense to pretend you want something that you really don't. so it's probably not as hard the republicans holding the house as some going to try to make it simply because they were struggling -- they're going to struggle to hold the house whether he's running or not. >> i appreciate you talking to us on the phone and we'll see you later today on your show. chuck, thank you. kelly o'donnell is over at the white house. kelly is our white house correspondent with a lot of experience over on capitol hill. i know you know paul ryan well
and i want to you talk through the relationship between him and president trump. i was told by one administration official the two of them talked this morning. paul ryan filled the president in on his decision and now we're seeing, as expected, a donald trump tweet about this. we're waiting for paul ryan to show up that the podium anymore. >> reporter: and she just said interest duction tells you a lot about these two men. paul ryan's announcement did not come out via twitter and the president's first response is on twitter where he says that speaker ryan is a truly good man and he will not be seeking re-election, he will leave a legacy of achievement that nobody can question. we are with you, paul. so on the surface they have had a polite and cordial working relationship, but they are very, very different. and paul ryan was always much more comfortable with the powerpoint presentation than wielding the gavel. we've talked about was an
atmosphere there of what a new partnership that would be. for ryan it is really about accomplishments, that's something he's always talked about. and the past achievement that they have had so much is something that ryan want to do before his career is over and this is probably the best time to bow out with all the things you've been talking about. he lott his own father due to a heart ataik tack when tack when. he exercises constantly trying to make himself as healthy as possible to avoid leaving his children early. so in terms of the role of speaker what is so often not seen is how much road work there is to travel around the country, to raise funds to try to secure new candidates, to try to lift the party anywhere. that's true of every speaker, of every party, and for paul ryan that meant a lot of time not being able to be with his
children when he was one of those who had slept in his office for years and in order to go back and forth. >> and there we see him. yeah, paul ryan walking down the hallway here. we're listening in. he's waving, not saying too much as he passes by the cameras getting ready to head into that news conference where we expect ryan to explain why he is, in fact, deciding not to run for re-election. with me here to talk about all of this is jonathan swan. scoops swan, the guy who first reported paul ryan's exit this morning. tim alberta from politico, tim ran this program a couple months ago talking about ryan's departure. i want to check back on that shot. and as we take a look at this, jonathan, you broke the news this morning. i heard from somebody close to paul ryan that he was informed, ryan is informing allies told somebody last night about this. >> reporter: he told a very
small group of people he was going to tell colleaguesed it. -- colleagues today. and then announce it to the conference. and he do want to give credit to tim albert ar who ya who you hae because they gave aer to that foreshadowed all of this. >> it was speculation, not true, it never happened. >> i regret doing that. that was my fault. they were the ones than reported this in december on expert authority and we just had the day today. i want to give some credit to tim. >> what's your sense -- tim, pick it up there, pal. not to give a victory lap, but why is paul ryan doing this? we're hearing from our sources it's i personal decision. he's the father of teenagers, basically, he wants to be home with his kids. he doesn't want to be a weekend dad. his dad passed away when he was young. that was extremely difficult for the house speaker. clearly personal, but there's got to be one would imagine a political calculation, no? >> definitely a political
calculation and jonathan swan one of the classiest guys in washington and you see why. thanks, jonathan. i would say this. everything you're hearing about paul ryan and his devotion to his family is true. he misses his family, he miss his district, he wants to live back in jamesville, both his father and grandfather died before they were 55. paul ryan has felt that the clock is ticking for a long time, he needs to make sure he spends time with his kids before they go off to college and into the real world. but this is someone who has come to loath the modern congress. this is somebody who did not want the job of speaker of the house. think about that for a moment. this is someone who essentially felt like a martyr taking the most powerful position on capitol hill. he did not want to be the speaker of the house. in the last couple of years on the job have only reaffirmed why did he not want the job. last fall when i was talking to him about a piece i was writing open his predecessor john boehner, he said we have won a coalition government here.
read between the lines on what he's saying. he's saying that the party is brokeren and that the congress is broken and that it's hopeful leslie broken probably. so this is somebody who has very deep concerns about the institution of congress. had is somebody who is not going to shed a singletary when he walks out the door. he's been in washington his entire ado entire difficult life. and while he wants to get back to congress, this is somebody who wants to get the heck out of congress. >> and we're taking another look here. paul ryan set to appear in front of that camera any minute. it's a little bit like the c-span of paul ryan taking a walk. he will be head into a room where he'll be speaking to reporters. the obvious question is who is next? who will succeed paul ryan? i can tell you based on my reporting that i know from donald trump, he would go for either one of those guys and it's probably the guy on the right.
jonathan. >> donald trump has an unusually close relationship with mim and kevin mccarthy. >> they're real close. they speak the same language. >> they do, and trump trusts him. he asks his advice on all sorts of things. most like the chief staff on the outside. if it came down to i don't think it will come down to a head to head necessarily, i think that kevin might get the first shot at the bite at the apple. but if it did, donald trump would weigh in heavily for kevin mccarthy. >> you're seeing some of the staffers for paul ryan filing that nao th snoo th into that room. we are obviously going to be listening in to what paul ryan has to say. >> morning. i wanted to share with you a little of what i just told my colleagues a few minutes ago. you realize something when you take this job, it's a big job with a lot riding on you and you feel it. but you also know this is a job that does not last forever put realize that you hold the office
for just a small part of our history. so you better make the most of it. it's fleeting. and that inspires you to do big things. and on that score, i think we have achieved a heck of a lot. you all know that i did not seek this job, i took it reluctantly. but i have given this job everything that i have. and i have no regrets whatsoever for having accepted this responsibility. this has been one of the two greatest honors of my life. the job provides incredible opportunities, but the truth is, it's easy for it to take over nef everything in your life, and you can't just let that happen, because there are other things that can be fitting as well. mainly your time as a husband and a dad, which is the other great honor of my life. that's whied it i am announcing that this year will be my last one as a member of the house.
to be clear, i am not resigning, i intend to full serve my term as i was elected to do the 'but i will be retiring in january leaving this majority in good hands with what i believe say very bright future. it's almost hard to believe, but i have been a member of congress for almost two decades. this is my 20th year in congress. my kids weren't even born when i was first elected. our oldest was 13 years old when i became speaker. now, all three of our kids are teenagers. and one thing i've learned about teenagers is their idea of an ideal weekend is not necessarily to spend all of their time with their parents. what i realize is if i am here for one more term, my kids will only have ever known me as a weekend dad. i just can't let that happen. so i will be setting new priorities in my life, but i
will also be leaving incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. some of you know my story. my dad died when i was 16. the age my daughter is. and i just don't want to be one of those people looking back at my life think ig spent more time with my kids when i know if i spend another term they will only know me as a weekend father. so i'm really proud of what we've been able to do. when i took this job, one of my conditions was that we aim high. that we do big things. that we fashion an agenda, that we run on that agenda, that we win an election and that we execute that agenda. i'm so proud that that is exactly what we have done and what we are doing right now. we've accomplished so much since then. probably the two biggest achievements for me, first, the major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years. which has already been a huge success for this country and that's something i've been working on my entire adult life.
second, something i got much, much more invested on since becoming speaker is to rebuild our nation's military. and after tax reform addressing our military readiness crisis, that was a top priority that we got done last month as well. these last victories that will make this country more prosperous and more secure for decades to come. there are so many other things that we have gotten done, and of course i'm going to look back proudly on my days at the budget committee and ways and means committee. but i don't want to be too sentimental here, i'm not done yet. i intend to run for the take, to finish the year. some of you wonder why i can't just do the normal politician thing, which is to run and then retire after the election. that's what i'm told is a political politically shrewd thing to do. just as my conscious is what got me to take this job in the first place, my conscious could not let me go out that way.
i pledged to serve the people of wisconsin in the first district honorably. and in order to serve them honorably i have to serve them honestly. and for them to ask them to vote to reelect me knowing that i wasn't going to stay is not being honest. so i simply cannot do that. so that's why i'm announcing thissed it -- this today. i'm proud of what this congress has achieved and the future is bright. the sec strong. we've given americans greater confidence in their lives and i have every confidence that i'll be handing this gavel on to the next republican speaker of the house next year. so just to close, i said earlier that i didn't want this job at first and most of you know this, i really actually didn't. but i have to thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity and this honor. i am really grateful for it. i also want to thank the people of southern wisconsin for placing their trust in me as their representative for the past 20 years. i try to bring as much wisconsin to washington as i can in that
time. it's been a wild ride. but it's been a journey well worth taking to be able to do my part to strengthen the american idea. that pursuit is never end, much work remains, but i like to think i have done my part, my little part in history to set us on a better course. thank you. sherman. >> [ inaudible question ] >> yes. >> [ inaudible question ] >> correct. i do. look, i know most speakers can't go out on their own terms. tip o'neil was probably the last one to do that. but harry reid senator leader just last session did this. he announced he wasn't going to run again and he stayed on as senate leader. that's what i'm going to do. >> you got your long, sought tax cut and tax reform legislation approved -- we're not sticking around for the point is it trillion dollar deficit --
>> yeah. >> what's your response to that? >> so entitle reform is the one other great thing that i've spent most of my career washing working on. i'm kpreelly proud of the fact that the house passed the biggest entitlement remorm form bill in the house of representatives. do i regret the fact that the senate did not pass this? yes. but i feel from all the budgets that i've passed, normalizing ebb title meant reform, pushing the cause of entitlement reform and the house passing that, i'm proud of that fact. but, of course, more work needs to be done and it is entitlements. that's where the work needs to be done and i'll keep fighting for that. over here. >> mr. speak, he are did the chance that you might not be speaker come november if democrats possibly take the house factor at all? >> no. none whatsoever. you all know me. i didn't take this job to get the gavel in the first place. i'm not a guy that thinks about it like that. this was two things. i have accomplished much of what i came here do. and my kids aren't getting any younger. and if i stay, they're only going to know me as a weekend
dad and that's something i consciously can't do and that's it right there. >> do you worry about the impact of your announcement on the 2018 midterms and perhaps sending a signal that the house has lost a republican? >> i gave it some consideration. but i do not believe whether i stay or go in 2019 is going to affect a person's individual race for congress. i really don't think a person's race for congress is going to hinge on whether paul ryan's speaker or not. i don't think it affects it. if we do our jobs, which we are, we'll be fine as a majority. i'm grateful for the president to give us this chance to get this stuff done. i'm grateful that we have unified government that the president with his victory gave us so we get all these big things done. we'll have a great record to run on. we have a great economy. great accomplishments, more do, and i don't think that the american people are going to want to have the grid lock that the democrats are promise s. i'm confident we can run to the table and get this done. >> on the president, he has been
openly talking about firing bob mueller, potentially firing deputy attorney general. what are your thoughts on that? >> my thoughts haven't changed. i think they should be allowed do their jobs. we have a rule of law in this country and that's a principle we all uphold. i have no reasons to believe that's going to happen and i have assurances. rachel. [ inaudible question ] >> i have great confidence in this leadership team. that's one thing that i'm really proud of. official obviously i gacame here with a g golf. we have a fantastic leadership team. had is not the right time to get into that and i'll share those thoughts later. that election's in norv so it's not something we have to sweat right now. . >> by the way president trump has changed the character of washington and -- >> not at all. like i said, i'm grateful to the president for giving us this opportunity to do big things to
get this country on the right track. the fact that he gafr us this ability to get all this stuff done makes me proud of the acommen acomplishments that i've been a contributor to. i'm grateful to him for that and that's how i see it. thank you very much, everybody. thank you. >> we have been watching house speaker paul ryan announcing he will not run for re-election putting it in very personal terms, acknowledging that part of the political calculation did factor into his thinking but was not the reason why he is deciding to leave congress early next year. i want to bring in garrett hake who is standing by in capitol hill along with the rest of our team onset. garrett, couple of takeaways from that paul ryan news conference in which he did not disparage president trump, unsurprisingly, and which he cast this as a way to reset his priorities, not as lawmaker, but as dad.
>> reporter: yeah. i mean, the most striking moment to me dpr all of that was paul ryan saying if he continued in this job his children would only know him as a weekend dad. and as paul ryan is someone who lost his father at a young age, i do believe this is -- that is an honest, genuine feeling that he wants to be there for his kids, his youngest daughter -- or his daughter's in high school now. he cast it as a very personal decision. and we heard that from some of the law make whords were leaving the meeting in which he gave a very similar message to them earliered it. second, he's not going to go off the rails here and start attacking president trump or all the sudden behaving in a ditch way politically, in part, because he intends to run through the tape. he needs to continue to keep control of his caucus. he needs to continue to try to keep the reins in his hands. because one way this that this could go sideways is if you see a leadership fight develop between now and november or you start seeing that fractious republican caucus break up more than it already has.
so to the degree possible, he needs to try to not appear like a lame duck speaker in any way, to try to keep those folks under control. that will be a challenge for him for sure, but saw him continue to make that efforted it. even when he said ooif got other thoughts about my leadership team but i'm not going to discuss that now. that's how this gets out from under him and becomes an electoral problem which he's trying to avoid. >> garrett, i want to you stand by because we expect more developments on this in the next couple of minutes. i want to see if tim alberta is with us over alt politico. tim, over the last few moments paul ryan was asked whether he thought this sends a message to others come 2018, this is something chuck todd earlier in the show brought up. speaker ryan dismissing that publicly. is it your sense that he's doing the same privately? >> no, it's not my sense that he's doing the same privately. i think speaker ryan is well aware and has been informed by his top political advisers that
this is going to be seen by some folks as a white flag of surrender, that the house is already in jeopardy, that the house majority is all ready in jeopardy and that my stepping aside the speaker is conceding the fact the democrats will take over the house in november. so it's interesting because do already have something of a leadership race happening behind the scenes. there's been sort of this shadow war between scalise and mccarthy. what's going to be fascinating, is mccarthy's relationship with the president. i think probably the best case scenario for kevin mccarthy if he wants to lead the republican conference is if, in fact, democrats do take back the house. because if democrats only within 17 or 18 seats and republicans have a barebones four or five-seat majority in the house, that means that kevin mccarthy is going to need an outright majority on the house floor to become the speaker and there are more than four or five members of the house republican conference who are going to make that impossible for kevin mccarthy. i think the likely scenarios are either the two have a house minority leader kevin mccarthy
or a house speaker steve scalise. >> speak of steve scalise we want to play a little bit of what he had to say a couple minutes ago about the departure eventually of paul ryan. watch. >> we want to make sure that we keep the house majority so that nancy pelosi is not speaker again. >> speaking to the 2018 battle. jonathan. >> i think paul ryan, look, we shouldn't expect him to transform overnight in a jet like -- >> right. right. >> here's what i think about trump. it's not going to happen because he needs to raise money, he needs to hold this caucus together, he needs to give them the best shot that they can have of keeping the majority. and that would be seen as part of his legacy if had is a complete route. he can say all he likes oh, i had nothing to do with this, it's not about paul ryan. but this is a complete demolition of the republicans in the house and it sticks to democrats, that will be attached to paul ryan whether he likes it or not. >> yeah. you make i think the smart and
accurate point, job than, that paul ryan's not going to come out and turn this to the white house, which is where we find kelly o'donnell the do want to come back to you because you covered paul ryan for a long time the you know him and his family. again, he was -- i wouldn't say emotional, but very personal when he was speaking with reporters just a couple moments ago. and from our understanding, had the same demeanor, the same composure in that republican conference. >> reporter: i've heard him saying the same things about not wanting to be a weekend father years ago long before he even rose to the speakership. that seems very consistent in who he has been. when you look at kevin mccarthy, let's remember when john boehner left avenue had brought the pope to washington and knew at the time running that conference was over, kevin mccarthy stepped forward and offered himself to be speaker and then stepped in it by talking about benghazi committee and hillary clinton and that tanked his chance at
that time. and paul ryan came in. now you've got a situation where he has forged this good relationship with the president but he knows the conference well because he had he been in charge of recruitment of candidates around the country for years. so meeting people in their home neighborhoods trying to pick out potential office seekers in the community, going to businessmen, going to people who were in local government trying to get them to run. he has a deep reservoir of good will among the conference. then you have steve scalise who is more conservative and went through that national nightmare of being shot, recovering from that, and having that personal narrative of overcoming his injuries and being supported in a way that both his personal story and his political story come together as a time when the more conservative side could be what carries the moment. but paul ryan in these remaining months can also try to manage his successorship as he can, try
to hold that group together. it will be organic. ryan will have no control over who succeeds him. but i think tim made a smart point that it might be better for kevin mccarthy if democrats were to win, although wouldn't be speaker, his ability to remain as a top leader of the party, the majority leader of the republicans in the house might be easier under those circumstances although no one would ever concede they want their party to lose control. hallie. >> thanks. nbc's kasie hunt is inside that news conference with speaker ryan. casey bring us into the room. what was it like? s had staffers are lining the hallway there are are the door when he was walking in. >> reporter: yeah. hallie, many of the staff that are not normally at the capitol on a business day are here. there was a big staff meeting -- >> i'm sorry to trupt you, case, i want to bring mitch mcconnell here with his message to paul ryan. >> about the true leader paul
stepped up to the plate he answered his colleagues call with exactly the earnest, selfless, and focused approach that has defined his entire career in congress. the results have been beyond impressive. capping off a remarkable 20-year career in congress spaul's speakership has yielded one significant accomplishment after another for his conference. his constit wentz in wisconsin, first congressional district as well as the american people. true to his career-long reputation as a champion for pro growth economics, paul helped lead the way on last year's once in a generation rewrite of the nation's tax code. thanks in large part to his personal passion and expertise, tax reform became a reality and our economy is charting a new course towards greater prosperity and opportunity. on its own, this generational
accomplishment when show this as him as a conservative leader but it's far from the only fruit of his speakership. his leadership is vital from securing everything from the year on year off increase in 15 years to the remaking of the way we treat and find cures for rare diseases. what's more, paul as pulled that ambitious agenda with an infectious good cheer and unflagging commitment to serve all americans. amid all the stresses and pressures of leadership, paul's optimism and energy never faded. it's been a sincere pleasure and a real inspiration to work alongside this humble servant and happy warrior. i'm glad we can count on his continued leadership through the rest of the year because our work together is far from finished. i look forward to corroborating closely these next months to implement more of the opportunity agenda. the american people are counting
on us to keep advancing. now, another matter. yesterday the senate confirmed the first of six nominees slated for -- >> you have been listening to senator mip mcconnell making remarks about that bricking news this morning, house speaker paul ryan announcing he will be run for re-election. kasie hunt is still with us on capitol hill. after graciously allowing us to interrupt her to go to senator mcconnell. case, you said something interesting, our work together is far from over. really? >> reporter: well, it may be over without them being in control of it, being over just because i think they both are facing great tests in november, both the represent house and republican senate increasingly the senate seems to be in a little bitmore of a strong position just because there are a lot of vulnerable democrats who are running up forever re-electi -- for re-election this year. and there's very little expectation that the house and senate were going to do anything
major legislatively for the rest of this year because the focus was going to turn to the midterm elections. obviously they have to confirm a couple major cabinet nominees now. but aside from that, it's not really clear that there are any big legislative projects left after they -- after they push tax reform through. but i want to come back to this press conference you had asked me about the mood in the room. and the staffers who lined the walls had been meeting privately with the speaker this morning ahead of him talking to the broader conference of republicans and you could hear clapping behind the scenes. it is completely fair to say that by and large the people who work for paul ryan very much enjoy working for him. they are oftentimes very loyal, he has many staffers who have worked for him for many years. it may be obvious to stay that, but it's not always the case in politics. and i think it says it can give you the measure of a person on
either side of the aisle, democrat, republican, independent, really any political side that they have people who like and enjoy and are proud of working for them. and the speaker definitely has that and you saw that a little bit in the room hered it. t -- here today. he was not visibly emotional but he was kind of the most relaxed version of himself here. he talked personally about his family and why he wants to go home and see his kids grow up the last two years that they are living at home. >> yeah. >> reporter: i remember covering them when they were young when he was running for vice president so they've always known him to be in the public eye. but, we can't escape the political calculations that president trump's republican party is not paul ryan's republican party any end of the day and that's a very important reality not to forget. hallie. >> thank you. >> i think paul ryan tried to thread the needle when it comes to trump's washington because he wanted the president's signature on some of the priorities he mentioned, like tax reform.
but what you see with this wave of retirements there is no winning for republicans, you're either with trump or you're not and that's what will be the credible challenge from democrats in washington who argued paul ryan is not a sufficient check and balance as well as from the right and argue that he's not been sufficiently supportive of the president. >> in that sense, paul ryan are kind of on the same boat in they felt like the trump republican party is moving away from them. their own republican party that ryan has tried to represent for two decades in congress and lead in the trump era is shifting underneath their feet and there's not a home for these guys here in washington anymore. >> i'd like to ask you two to stick around. i want to thank jonathan swan and tim alberta for being here. we're lucky to have you on the show. thank you, sir. i appreciate it, jonathan. thank you, tim. up next, we want to talk
about president trump sounding off off on twitter not just about paul ryan but the possible strike on syria. telling the kremlin to be ready. there's a lot more news to break down on what this all means, critical geopolitical headlines when we come back. s for stocks, $0.50 options contracts? $1.50 futures contracts? what about a dedicated service team of trading specialists? did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade. the platform, price and service that gives you the edge you need. looks like we have a couple seconds left. let's do some card twirling twirling cards e*trade. the original place to invest online. we know that when you're spending time with the grandkids every minute counts. and you don't have time for a cracked windshield. that's why we show you exactly when we'll be there. saving you time, so you can keep saving the world. >> kids: ♪ safelite repair, safelite replace ♪ ...nausea, heartburn, when indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea! nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea!
so allstate is giving us money back on our bill. well, that seems fair. we didn't use it. wish we got money back on gym memberships. get money back hilarious. with claim-free rewards. switching to allstate is worth it. so, president trump is tweeting not just about paul ryan's latest move but also about something else. this plan for a strike on syria. and he's putting the kremlin on notice. i want to bring back in nb's kelly o'donnell.
tom nick cals is standing by at the pentagon because we have been talking about how it seems like a matter of not if but when donald trump would launch some kind of strike on syria. he all but confirmed it this morning on that twitter tear. >> marchedly twitter diplomacy, it's twitter saber rattlinged it and for a president who said he would not forecast military moves and criticized his pred sayser in saying that he said too much. he said even if the scheme of trump tweets where he says russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at syria, get ready, russia, because they will be coming nice and new and smart. you shouldn't be partners with a gas-killing animal who kills his people and enjoys it. gas-killing animal is his apparently new nickname nor bashar al assad. and so the president is suggesting that this action will come, he has said publicly on camera that there was a final decision making process taking place.
there is a connection being made by his cancellation of the trip for the summit of the americas to peru and then another stop in bogota, columbia, kans thaelgcat to remain in russia. so he's signaling its role in russia and signaling there will be military action without giving aus i time and place but he defines the missiles as nice and new and smart. and the president who has a meeting with his most senior military advisers and who has now moved from the residence to the oval office, one of our colleagues happened to spot him and he'll be in the oval office, there may be an opportunity for the pool, our colleagues who are gathered off to my right behind me to see the president and perhaps ask for any update on this on camera. >> kelly o'donnell in the briefing room. i think you are done for the next 15 minutes at least pit appreciate. 'nbc tom nichols is over at the pentagon. we expect to see the president
in the next ten minutes. it's likely or at least possible that he might talk syria, he might talk paul ryan, but let me talk to you about what you're hearing. do we have a time or place on any of this? >> no. they're still waiting on the official assessment from these agencies that go to the ground to try to figure out just what kind of gas was used. there's a group that's an international group that have been invited in. we theft yesterday. we don't have an update about their whereabouts thank you ber in the country looking at potential, the sites trying to gather evidence. these are the forensics. here's what's happening in pentagon this morning. they say discussions are ongoing. now that is short of saying that the president hasn't made a decision. perhaps the president has made a decision, it hasn't been filtered down to us yet here at this level. and i have to say that in the past we've gotten more indication when a strike is eminent around the couple hours before hand we will get indication dollars.
we a -- indications. we are not getting those as of this morning. we also hear from secretary mattis, he's hosting his danish counterpart here at the pentagon. we might get an update on him. if they've received an assessment of just what was used by the assad regime. >> sabrina and amber are back with me. here's the thing on the president's tweets about syria. the white house has talked, his press secretary as talked for months for the years that i've been cup together white house and the campaign for that about the importance of the strategy of surprise. that has been part of the trump foreign policy doctrine and to prove it, watch. >> my administration will not telegraph exactly military plans and what they are. no, no, you're telling the enemy everything you want to do. >> no we're not. >> you're telling the enemy everything you want to do. one of the things i think you've noticed about me is militarily i
don't like to say where i'm going and what i'm doing. >> but he's doing that now, so why? >> well, his critics when he was saying those things like i'm not going to tell them what i'm doing, argued that he didn't have a plan. and that was why during the campaign and even while he was tweeting even before announced he was going to run for president he criticized president obama for telegraphicing what he was going to do do. >> and he was testify graphing in syria. >> yeah. so his critics said then and said during the campaign, you know, how you can say you have a better plan than all of the generals? and not give your people who might want to vote four any indication of what that is? it's clear to us and people defense intelligence officials in the military said this is clear to us that you don't have a plan. this shows like a totally different president now. i don't know if he, like, got into the office and then decided, oh, you know what?
it's a lot difference on the inside than the outside i see an argument that i didn't see before for saying what i want to do. >> this is a different tactic from the president, it's also a different tone toward russia. the president really forceful, warning russia that they should be on notice. and that's not necessarily something we've seen. there are some real unanswered questions here. what does that mean? how is russia taking that? what is the long-term strategy for dealing with russia and syria? >> the fact of the matter is there has not been a long term or consistent strategy when it comes to this administration in syria in its response to russia. just last week the president was talking about withdrawing u.s. troops in the region. now he is weighing another military action. i think that this is going to be a challenge for him because now he's sort of boxed himself in by saying there's going to be a big price to pay for this chemical weapons attack. also if you look at the action he took last year in the wake of that chemical weapons attack,
the obvious question would be why did that necessitate a response and why has there not yet been a response in the same manner to this particular attack? we'll see where it goes, but so far they've not acted as >> syria and the strike is at the top of what we're watching this afternoon. as we talk about russia, we're talking about the whirlwind this hours for the special counsel and the investigation into the interference into the election. today you've got a bipartisan group of senators making another push to try to protect the special counsel. they're trying to back a bill that makes sure mueller is not fired inappropriately. new reporting on all that hush money that's out there, the fbi looking at payments to women who say they had affairs with donald trump. affairs the white house denies. that's one of the reasons, by the way, for the raid at the office of this guy, the president's long-time lawyer, and we've also confirmed here at nbc news stormy daniels is now
cooperating with the feds. she said she received that payment. with us now michael schmidt here onset joining sabrina and amber, and also robert driscoll. the president called you out this morning, michael, as he was railing against fake news, even though your article is not fake. right? what happened? >> yeah. the president criticized our story for not saying who had set up this meeting, saying that this -- someone this long time person he's known had actually arranged it. but the story actually does say that. i'm not sure whether the president had not read to that part in the story or simply ignored it. >> back up two seconds for people who may not have read your story and explain this meeting and why it's significant here. >> okay. we reported that donald trump had received $150,000 donation to his foundation during the
campaign. it was actually in september of 2015. it was in exchange for a speech he had given via skype to a conference in ukraine. it was about a 20-minute speech, and the trump organization which has documents on this, has handed over information on it to the special counsel's office in response to a subpoena. so we were writing about the fact that this donation had come in which was publicly known, but the new part being that mueller was investigating it. >> michael, you're not a pundit. i'm not going to ask you to look at a crystal ball and predict something. based on your conversations with sources, do you believe that rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who overseas the special counsel investigation should be real concerned today we might get fired? >> look, the idea of trump firing people has been something on trump's mind since mueller was appointed back in may. that day trump pushed sessions
to resign and sessions actually ultimately sent a resignation to the white house and president ultimately backed down. the president has been thinking act doing this. we know in june he pushed on mcgahn to fire mueller. we know he's spoken openly about getting rid of rod rosenstein. rosenstein is interesting because comey when he came in told one of his friends he thought rosenstein was the ultimate survivor. he'd been a long-time u.s. attorney. he'd figured out how to be in the justice department for a long period of time. i guess this is another test of the survivorness. >> now there's the effort from capitol hill to pry to protect mueller and rosenstein. you have senate republicans saying the president is never going to do this. it's a crazy thought. donald trump is not actually going to try to make a move to get rid of the special counsel. watch. >> i haven't seen clear indication yet that we needed to
pass something to keep him from being removed, because i don't think that's going to happen. >> removing mueller creates more problems than it solves. he's been advised against it by a lot of members of congress, and frankly, i think probably a lot of people on his staff. >> but this is a nonpredictable president. and so far the senate has not passed. congress has not passed something that would protect robert mueller. should they? >> it's hard to say whether they should or not. the reality is under this new special counsel regime we have, the special counsel does report to the justice department. it's part of the executive branch. the president will have that authority. i think there's a risk of a constitutional battle if they pass a law like that. i don't know if the administration has the guts to challenge it. i mean, i think probably if they really wanted to keep him around, they should make clear they'll appoint another special counsel or pass a law appointing a special counsel if mueller were fired. that's the thing. i don't see what the end game
is. you get rid of rod, but you get somebody else there. you get rid of mueller and somebody else can be reappointed. >> there's an avalanche of headlines related to russia over the past 24 hours. what do you see as the most significant topic we'll be talking act tomorrow and beyond. >> i think the raid on cohen's office is going to be a big deal. >> because it agitated the president so much? >> yeah. the fear is i don't think he understands that part of it, and i think it has him angry. i think the lawyers are probably trying to explain the process to him. >> bob, pleasure to have you onset. amber and sabrina, thank you. michael schmidt, always a pleasure to have you. we'll be right back with today's big picture.
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uh huh, sure. still yes! xfinity delivers gig speed to more homes than anyone. now you can get it, too. welcome to the party. so today's big picture comes from israel. i want you to check it out. this is 82 years young getting her hair done for a beauty pageant. this is a cool shot. this isn't just any old pageant. she's a holocaust survivor and this pageant is exclusively for other survivors just like her. they call it beauty heroins. from the smile on her face, it seems to be working. the photographer here from the associated press. it does it for us this hour. we'd love to hear your thoughts on twitter, facebook, instagram. what is yet another very busy
day here in the nation's capital, ali, you have no shortage of things to discuss. >> this is going to be a busy day. we'll rely on you for your analysis of developments both in the mueller investigation and at the white house and in syria. good morning, everyone. i'm ali velshi. it is wednesday, april 11th. let's get started. president trump just telegraphed exactly what the u.s. military is poised to do in syria and he did it in a tweet. here's how it reads. russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles in syria. get e ready, russia. they'll be coming nice, new, and smart. you shouldn't be partners with a gas killing animal to kills his people and enjoyed. >> reporter: an extraordinary tweet from president trump. not just signaling his intent but signaling weapons and directly threatening russia. >> president trump seething over the fbi raids on his