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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  February 11, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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will he sign a new executive order, a look at his options in just a moment. this weekend we're also seeing more protests from coast-to-coast. many of them over the issue of abortion. national security advisor michael flynn at the center of another controversy where, this one over his communication with russian officials before donald trump took office. the possible fall-out from these conversations and much more later in the hour. but, first, the trump administration is weighing its options deciding what to do next with its executive order on immigration. the president assuring reporters that any new order would have one core tenant.
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>> we'll have very, very strong vetting. i call it extreme vetting, and we're going to have very strong security in our country. we are going to have people come into our country that want to be here for good reasons. >> all right. joining me now is ryan grim, washington bureau chief for the huffington post, and percilla alvarez from "the atlantic." we'll get to the legal issues in a minute, but let's talk about the politics of this. politically is trump admitting defeat here if he drafts a new order and not appeal the current one to the supreme court? >> i mean, yes and no. i mean, clearly on its face he is admitting defeat, but would he ever say the words "i admit defeat" or "okay, i made a mistake and now i'm going to go back and redo it?" i don't think so. i think we'll go the length of his presidency, however long that may be, without him ever admitting that. the irony being, of course, is
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the one thing that he ran on is that he hires the very best people. the very best people sat down and wrote an order ashld the issue that the president has expansive powers on and still got it struck down. >> speaking to that point priscilla about the staff that was involved in the writing of this, we know that there was some, at least, counsel from the legal counsel's office. will the white house streamline? are there lessons the white house will take away from this so that something like this doesn't happen again with another executive order? >> well, that's not clear. what we know is that there was limited input into the executive order. we saw that, for example, with reports that the department of homeland security secretary john kelly 1 was not clear on the details. that's what he would seem to suggest during the testimony on the hill. it's unclear how they would go about rewriting the executive order. at this point with john kelly and some others filling their
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posts now and the cabinet, we can perhaps expect that they would try to work through that process with them given the backlash after the executive order was rolled out. >> ryan, it's probably unlikely that any of the president's men -- given that they've been heavily criticized and now there's a legal setback with the ninth circuit court. >> you have twin tendencies of trump competing. one is the extreme loyalty to people who have been around him for a long time or who he feels has gotten him, you know, to where he needs to go. on the other hand, his propensity to publicly fire people. you know, he said he was going to fire his children if he came back to the trump organization and decide that they hadn't done a good job. this is part of his persona, and so, you know, i'm sure he is itching to pull the fired trigger finger, but first he needs to be able to find
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somebody that doesn't blow back on him. >> ryan, really quickly, have you gotten a sense that anybody within the administration may be in his sights over this particular issue from your reporting and sources? >> i mean, at this point michael flynn is the diceiest one. he is still claiming that he has trump's support, and trump is saying that he has his support, but with flynn operating behind the scenes and with so many people out to get him, you know, he may wind up being the first to fall. it's amazing. we're in four weeks, and we're already doing countdowns on people like this. >> yeah. we're going to be talking a lot about michael flynn and some of the phone calls with the russian ambassador later on in the show. let me bring you back in and ask you about do you think that there's any appetite right now inside the white house to appeal this decision to the supreme court? is that a legal battle they want to undertake right now, or do they think it might be easier to cut their losses and just begin anew with a new executive order? >> there's a few paths they could take, and one is that they take it to the supreme court. you have to remember, the supreme court is only at eight justices, so that's -- if it
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comes to a 4-4 tie, in that case the lower court's ruling would still stand. another avenue that they could take is to appeal to the ninth circuit and have them review the decision, but it's unlikely that that is a path that would look successful to them considering that some of those judges were appointed by democratic presidents it seems as though rewriting the executive order is the path that they are most likely to take given the circumstances with the courts. >> how much do you think that the white house is under political pressure from beyond the white house, but from within the republican party? are you getting a sense at all that maybe some notable republicans are perhaps saying to the president or those around him that, hey, you know, this one went really bad. i'm not sure if we can stand with you on this particular executive order and trying to apply some pressure from that direction? >> the input in the roll-out received so much backlash. simply looking at how this executive order was put together and that it was some hill
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staffers and not the leadership that knew about this executive order, it kind of speaks to the chaotic mess that was put into drafting it, and at this point given the protests and the legal challenges it's not clear whether it would be to the benefit of the administration to prove out the leadership that will eventually be there to support hem and give them -- give the defense of the executive order. >> priscilla alvarez, great to have you with us. great perspectives. protests today across the country over funding for planned parenthood are taking place. in denver protesters on both sides of the issue face off and hated their voices heard. take a listen. >> many, many reasons that rally will support to show that we have a collective voice, we have a collective power in representing those bho are marginalized. planned parenthood is more than abortions. it's sexual education. it's coverage. it's cancer screenings. it's more than that, but also
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recognizing that we have a choice. >> we can make a stand and remind those elected representtives on the national, state, and local level that we are here, we want to defund planned parenthood. we stand for women's rights, and women's health care. we want the funds to be redirected to other federally qualified health centers. >> we would like women to know across the nation that we are there for them to support them to give them other options, to care for them, to care for their babies. we are not against women. we are pro-women. >> protests were also held in minneapolis, indianapolis, as well as los angeles. in a different protest in raleigh, north carolina, thousands turned out for the 11th annual moral march that advocated for voting rights. the march was led by the state naacp and included voices in opposition to the current immigration. they want the repeal of the lgbt
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bathroom bill and other things including gerrymandering and redistricting. still ahead, the latest on the alsos against national security advisor michael flynn. what he told white house officials about his conversations with russia's ambassador which took place before donald trump took office. plus, sources are telling nbc news that russia may hand over edward snowden to the united states as a gift to president trump. we're going to talk about the implications of that potential deal when we come back. stay with us.
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russian sanctions at the heart of another controversy inside the whougs today. u.s. intelligence official tells nbc news that national security advisor michael flynn discussed hacking related sanctions with the russian ambassador before president trump took office, something the trump administration has repeatedly denied.
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now, the reported communications came the same day president obama announced the sanctions, including the expulsion of 35 russian diplomats. russian president vladimir putin gave a somewhat muted response at the time. officials were baffled as to why. this raises the stakes about what was inside in those phone calls. investigative reporter ken delanie has been covering the story for us and joins us now from our washington bureau. ken, flynn obviously taking the heat for those phone calls. we've known about those calls for some time, but also for what he told white house officials, including the vice president mike pence. what's the latest on this ongoing saga? >> he is getting lambasted over the phone calls that he had with russia's envoy to the united states before the trump administration took office. that's the issue here.
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another one is was that appropriate for him to do and then secondly did he lie about it? he said through the vice president of the united states and through the white house spokesman that, no, this didn't come up. he didn't discuss the sanctions. the reason that's important is because democrats and others were concerned that the trump administration was cooking up some kind of deal. after all, these were sanctions put on the russians because they hacked and interfered, allegedly, with the american election. now we have fbi intercepts of the conversations. they were listening to the russian ambassador, and they picked up that flynn did, indeed, discuss the sanctions. he is being criticized for was that appropriate and then apparently not telling the truth about it. the "new york times" in a brutal editorial today basically concluded by saying no one can believe what he says, which is -- which is a really rough thing to have three weeks into an administration.
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>> i understand that individual was denied security clearance effectively ruling him out from that position. what do we know more about that particular decision who was behind it, what possible reasons might have been given? >> well, the details are hazy about this. nbc news has confirmed that flynn's pick to run africa policy for the national security council rob townsley has been excluded because he couldn't obtain a top level security clearance. we're not sure why. we believe -- our sources are telling us that flynn, though, believes that the cia was behind it. flynn has been in a long-running feud with the cia. you know, there are a lot of reasons people can be denied security clearance, and this could be routine and run of the mill, but it's a setback for flynn early in the administration.
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>> great to have both of you with us. matt, let me begin with you. obviously a lot of questions as to who told flynn to call the russian ambassador. that's going to be a central question in all of this. do you think that general flynn acted alone at the time when he was reaching out to the russian ambassador in his capacity as incoming national security advisor, or was it on the direction of then president-elect donald trump? >> well, obviously i don't know the answer to that question. i think we can tell something about the way that donald trump behaved in that period and also in the last 24 hours because this thing has been royaling washington since then. the only comment that donald trump has made was one that didn't really pass the smell test. >> yeah. he said he didn't know anything about it apparently. >> what newspaper was that? i'll be checking that out? that was something like 16 hours after it first dropped.
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keep in mind, this timeline is really tight. obama levies the sanctions on december 28th. this conversation happens on december 28th. vladimir putin on december 30th, i think, decides no, i'm not going to retaliate, and i'm going to invite the ambassadors and their families to come and hang out with me on new year's eve, and donald trump then engages in a celebration tweet saying, see, i told you putin was a smart guy. the russian ambassador or embassy then retweet that is. clearly donald trump was very pleased about the way that those events took place in late december. it's going to say a lot about the trump presidency and who holds the power, particularly visa vi michael flynn and mike pence because pence is left hanging out to dry. he vouched for flynn. pence and flynn talked twice yesterday. it will be really interesting to see what those conversations were about. >> speaking of the vice president, white house officials have been adamant really even in the last few weeks that flynn did not talk about sanctions.
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we know the vice president defended that on cbs. take a listen to this. >> the subject matter of sanctions or the actions taken by the obama administration did not come up in the conversation. >> they did not discuss anything having to do with the united states' decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against russia. those elements were not part of that discussion. >> i mean, those guys are not mincing any words there. i mean, they're very clear about the fact that they do not believe that general flynn violated anything or even discussed the issue of sanctions. should flynn be fired for the phone calls or possibly even lying to the vice president about the nature of those phone calls, drew? >> i think -- yes, michael flynn should be fired but so should kellyanne conway and betsy devos. the administration is not particularly in competence or honesty. they're interested to people that say yes to the facility and facilitate his extreme agenda.
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if there's one thing we've seen from michael flynn, he is eager to do that. he is has been donald trump's most loyal supporters. he introduced him at rallies during the campaign. when you think about that and what that job description is, you know, he is fulfilling that pretty soundly. as for throwing mike pence under the bus, i mean, this is not the first time donald trump has thrown mike pence under the bus, but that's the deal that pence has decided to make because he has a perch to be pushing a really extreme pro-corporate, pro-religious right policy from his position as vice president, and he has decided that he is willing to do that no matter how many times he has to defend the indefensible on television. >> to his defense, we don't know what vice president mike pence knew at the time when he came out and made that defense, if he had been lied to or if he knew the truth, but ultimately decided to defend general flynn. also we don't know the exact language that was used in the discussion of those sanctions. does this have the possibility
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of reaching a massive dissention in the white house? >> i don't know about a massive one. this is a conflict in the intelligence community and the trump administration. keep in mind earlier that flynn has a long-running dispute, feud, with these people. there's a lot of -- widespread concern among the intelligence community that donald trump is running a weird ship. if there is a deep state here, we're seeing a deep state revolt against mike flynn, against potential relationships between the trump administration and russia. they feel weird about that, and so it remains to be seen especially also in seeing who gets nominated for the number two spot of the state department as well. there's been a lot of fights over elliott abrams and a lot of people that have since been moved aside. knees are the battles that are going to sort of determine what type of washington person is in there. there aren't a lot of trump-ites. there aren't enough bodies. flynn is one of them, and the intelligence community does not like those types. >> drew, there's been some calls
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from within the democratic party for an investigation into flynn. others demanding the president fire him immediately. a, how far should democrats go on this, and what actual ways or methods can they demand or force an investigation when, you know, obviously you have a republican-led congress, republican-controlled senate. investigations would probably have to go through either one of those channels if not independently? >> i do think that republican have an ability to block accountability for this white house, as we've seen repeatedly from republicans in congress who want to enable this agenda. i think that's really the issue. the problem is the trump administration has been stocking itself with yes men, people who want to smile and nod for president trump's unconstitutional extreme agenda, and that goes for mike flynn to
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neil gorsuch all the way across the board, and the question for republicans in congress is whether they're willing to stand up for that. are they willing to stand up to these abuses, or do they want to become a party that's actually going to have some independence, says show some spine, defend the law and the constitution? if there's any question that we're facing largely in washington over these next couple of months and years, i think that's it. >> and obviously we can't let you guys go without asking this question about edward snowden, matt. nbc news reporting that russia considering handing over edward snowden to the u.s. to kind of curry favor with president trump. that's certainly going to even complicate things a little bit more. what impact do you think it would have? >> it would be a huge deal. it's one of the reasons why i don't really think it's going to happen or is true. the russians are already denying this. i believe it's sourced to one administration person who said this, and it's not the first time that we've heard this rumor. it would blow up everything. it would be a very big, big story and would attract a lot of
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attention in certainly the bilateral relationship. this has everything to do with all the surveillance that's been done secretly against us for the last ten years. it would be a bombshell. i just don't think that it's going to happen. >> all right. matt welch, drew corning. thanks for your perspectives. >> thanks for having us. were the risks of that mission in yemen properly weighed, and what does the operation say about how the trump administration will deal with iraq? will your business be ready when growth presents itself?
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>> you lose a $75 million airplane and more importantly american -- a life is lost and wounded, i don't believe that you can call it a success. president trump fired back about those comments from john mccain tweeting "senator mccain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. only emboldens the enemy. he has been losing so long, he doesn't know how to win
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anymore." the white house press secretary sean spicer had this to say. >> anybody who undermines the success of that raid, owes an apology and a disservice to the life of chief owens. >> the yellen raid was the first military operation authorized by president trump. he called it a victory, but questions are being raised, including some criticism that the operation recovered outdated intelligence and that it was doomed from the very start. the navy seal team took heavy enemy fire, and chief petty officer ryan owens was killed along with a nof civilians, including women and children. for more on this, i'm joined by retired army general general mccaffrey. it's always great to have you with us. let me first ask you about this political division. i know you, sir, have sat in on many high level operations. how do you measure success? how does the military measure success? is it by senator john mccain's measure, or is it by the president's measure? >> well, part of the problem is it's idiotic to attack senator
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mccain, a republican chairman of the senate armed services committee just reelected, a national hero. that doesn't make any sense at all. having said that, i have to admit i think it's an odd controversy. some unknown senior defense official saying everything went wrong from the start. the navy seals get in there, kill 14 bad guys, have three wounded, one killed, lose one aircraft, get a bunch of intel. it's hard to -- and, by the way, the most important thing they did was they put the fear of -- into every jihadist group that we will go after you regardless of the risk. i think this is part of warfare, and we should be pretty proud that these special operations command people are willing to carry out these risky missions. >> it's no question that michael
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flynn has had somewhat of a hawkish view on iran in particular. it's -- he believes that iran is playing an active role with helping the rebels in yemen civil war. what role do you think that played in authorizing this operation in terms of the world view of this administration towards iran? >> well, there's no question. it's a tragedy going on in yemen. 10,000 dead, three million refugees, a humanitarian disaster. it's a proxy war. saudi arabian coalition versus iranian backing. having said that, look, there's no way general tony thomas or the centcom commander would recommend we carry out an operation unless they thought it was well thought out and likely to result in an outcome that defended american interests. i don't think flynn, the
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president -- i don't think that those are the important questions. it's are these -- are we aggressively pursuing terrorist organizations, air, ground, sea operations? is it i think mr. trump is going to amp it up. we're going to take greater risk. that may be a darn good thing. >> in doing so, though, do we risk the fact that we may be opening the united states to a more confrontational approach with iran in the theater of operation where iran is allegedly heavily involved? i know that the u.s. in this particular raid was going after al qaeda which it's obviously considered a terrorist organization. could this be the beginning of wider u.s. involvement in iran? not just in yemen -- not just in going after al qaeda but also supporting the saudi campaign gebs rebels? >> well, certainly that's a possibility. i think your point is an
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important one. i think there is a likelihood of increased confrontation with iran in the persian gulf. we just had a suicide bomber boat target a saudi vessel. they probably thought it was a u.s. vessel. the iranian revolutionary guard naval element in international water seizing ships, harassing navy ships of war. i do think there's a confrontation coming. it's going to be risky, but we clearly have toaintain some kind of opposition to iranian miss chief. they just got $150 billion in their coffers. iraq, syria, as you know better than most people, lebanon. i think the confrontation coming toward us and it's going to be unfortunate if it enhances a likelihood of all-out war. >> sir, you brought up the issue of -- the issue with the saudi frigget and iran's expanded role, but is the united states, when you have president trump
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who had campaigned on less international confrontation certainly withdrawing from some of the wars that the u.s. has been involved in in the middle east, is this different, though, from the rhetoric weed been hearing on the campaign that the u.s. was not coming to the defense of its allies? he wanted -- president trump wanted countries like saudi arabia and others in the gulf to pay more of their fair share of that fight, but now we're seeing a tough tone coming out towards iran. >> i think a lot of this is very poorly thought out. mr. trump, again, pausing on the issue. shouldn't we go into syria, establish refugee camps with the u.s. armed forces and protect them? this is likely to be a 30,000 to 150,000 troops u.s. operation. who says we ought to do that? i don't think there's a lot of thoughtful, you know, ideas coming out of the white house. it's going to get better because secretary jim mattis, the pentagon is going to try and get in there and say, look, here's
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the way to think through these issues, but right now it's a very poorly organized national security effort. >> i'll ask you to pivot with me and talk about some of the alleged discussions that have been taken place between the russian ambassadors and with the russians in general, particularly with general flynn prior to the election. how would you characterize these actions? >> well, first of all, i think general flynn sounds like he is in trouble. >> there are people that get out there and say there was no conversation. then he is in trouble. they're likely to fire him. on the other hand, you know, the logan act, as you know, nobody has ever been prosecuted under this act, and if they prosecuted anybody, it would have to be mr. trump, who across the board interfered in ongoing discussions before he took office. i don't think that part is too important. i do think although it would be
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politically harmful to the administration, if it came out that they were secretly telling the russians just wait. that would be politically harmful, but not an illegality, i don't think. >> now with snowden being handed over, that would can complicate things. probability of general flynn being pushed out of the white house so early on, how do you rate it? >> well, it's impossible to know. there's a tremendous amount of divisiveness inside that white house. people are stabbing each other in the back and struggling for more power. some of that is normal washington malignant behavior, but more so than usual. the fact is deputy just didn't get the security clearance by the cia. strange things are going in there and a struggle forpower. listening to vice president pence, if he said well, we're going to look into it, it doesn't sound good for longevity on general flynn. >> all right, jerry barry
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mccaffrey, always great to have you. >> good to be with you. a live look at baltimore where the candidates for dnc chair are making their case to their fellow democrats. what some of those potential party leaders are saying. we're going to have that and much more when we come back.
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zblunchts here's what we're watching at the bottom of the hour for you. anher raucus town hall for a member of congress. several hundred people attde the event with republican congressman gus -- some might say they were angry over the prospect of a repeal of the affordable care act. in fact, similar scenes have been playing out at other lawmakers' town halls in recent days. national security advisor michael flynn's top aide has been denied key security clearances. that essentially forces the deputy, robert townley off of the national security council. president trump hosting japanese prime minister shinzo abe at his mar-a-lago club this weekend. the meeting comes as we await the president's next move on immigration and refugees in the
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wake of an appeals court upholding the suspension of his executive order that temporarily banned refugees where, if the trump administration decides not to draft the new executive order, here are just some of their legal options. the white house could ask the supreme court for an emergency stay, or a full review of the decision. they could ask the ninth circuit court of appeals to reconsider their ruling or they could relitigate it in lower courts. joining me now to discuss all of this is immigration attorney stacy tolchant who chairs the national immigration project for the national lawyers guild. stacy, it's great to have you with us. let's look at this a little bit from a legal perspective if we can. is drafting a new executive order you think the best option for the white house going forward? >> i think the white house needs to cool its jets a bit and really take stock of how the public has reacted to the executive order and to really think closely about trying to ban muslim immigrants and refugees from coming to the
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united states and to also really look at the court's ruling because the court was very concerned that the national security justification that the president used really wasn't backed up in facts. >> i'm not a lawyer here, but let me just give you the counter point to that, which is the argument made that the court did not decide the merits of the travel ban. they had to do more with the procedures of it and whether or not the president had that authority. there is still a debate to be had on the merits of the executive order, or do you see it differently? >>. >> they ordered on a temporary restraining order, and then it was also a preliminary injunction. the ruling essentially says that the government is not likely to prevail in its claim, and that's significant. it's not the final decision, but that is very -- the cards are already sort of laid in this case. we know what the ninth circuit thinks about the legal justification for the order, and it doesn't believe him. >> let me ask you this, though. the msnbc legal unit outlined
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three potential fixes that could be seen in a new executive order. the ban does not apply to legal residents with green cards. outlined specific due process protections and refine the language on religion so it doesn't create what some are saying is an impression of a ban by focussing on minority religions being given a preference. >> i don't think it could change the impact on sploumz because we know what the president and vice president had said before the election, and that was cited by the ninth circuits in its ruling, and so the intent to be anti-muslim is already present, and the other thing i want to point out is that there's nothing urgent here going on. if there's nothing urgent going on, there's really no justification for this ban. the basis for the ban was national security, and as the
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ninth circuit said, he haven't seen anything that's happened recently to justify this. all these folks coming in have already been vetted. they've already gone through significant background checks. security has already been done. >> do you think they would rather have the route of a new executive order? >> i think it's very significant. they certainly could at this point. the ninth circuit also has issued what we call an -- call, which is asked for briefing for next week, and it will be deciding whether or not the case goes full on to the 11 members of the ninth circuit court of appeals, so at this point i think the administration is probably taking stock and really seeing their writing on the wall. we obviously have heard that they are looking into drafting a new executive order, but the intent behind the order to be anti-muslim is always going to be present, and they can't fix
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that at this point. >> we know that the president said or at least tweeted out see you in court, so at least we assume it's still playing out at some point in the judiciary. stacy, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you so much. >> right now the candidate vying to become the democratic nominee are speaking to their colleagues in baltimore, maryland, about why they should lead the democratic party during the trump pridency. just a few hours ago dn chair candidate and former obama labor secretary tom perez gave his thoughts on how to rebuild the democratic party speaking with my colleague stephanie gosk. >> the organizing for america operation from the -- from president obama, and that helped him win the two elections, but one of the impacts of that was it was a parallel structure to the party, and so that hurt the party as a result. what we got to do is learn from that and go to school on that, and i think what we have to do is get back to basics. we need to organize, organize, organize. >> joining me now via phone is nbc news political reporter
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alex -- who is at the democratic retreat in baltimore following this and much more. all the intrigue behind the scenes as well. alex, walk us through what the very latest is. we know the pitches have been made by some of the candidates. what's next? >> yeah. well, this is the last four forums before the party members vote in about two weeks in atlanta, and we're getting into the phase where there are those behind, as you just mentioned. a lot of the actual conversation that's really going to matter to the vote is not happening on the stage right now. there are individual dnc members that have a lot of power, and usually there are 447 of them. they're keeping their powder dry and not saying what they're going to do. this is a big decision for the party, but it's also happening very small scale and all these small rooms. it's tied just about right now between keith and tom perez, but i think in the next two weeks
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there's going to be some movement to try to shake some of the smaller candidates out and get some of those voters behind one of those two big ones. >> if you can really quickly, alex, give us a sense of the idealogical differences or perhaps even the practical differences between some of the frontrunners. you mentioned tom perez, keith ellison. what do they represent in terms of the different wings of the party? what are they articulating in terms of how to get it done for the democratic party? >> the plans frommeth bo of the candidates are very similar from all the candidates, but they represent very different things, and that's, you know -- tom perez was a big hillary clinton backer. he was in president obama's cabinet. president obama is loved by democrats, except for his ability to run the party. he was really seen as neglectful, and you even heard top perez remarkably criticizing organizing for action. that was the group that grew out of obama's campaign. >> right. >> keith eliston was the second
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congressman that comes from that wing, and those tensions are investment still alive. >> and he is also with the endorsement, i understand, of at least bernie sanders, is that correct? >> that's right. bernie sanders has been a very aggressive -- it's one of those things where whether tom perez wants to be obama's candidate or not, he is. whether keith ellison wants to be sanders' candidate, he is. both of those have to carry that for better or worse with them. >> it's going to have an impact for the midterm elections. nbc alex seitz wald monitoring things for us where, thank you very much. >> as we've been reporting anti-abortion protesters making their voices heard today with demonstrations and marchlz nationwide. their message? protest planned parenthood. they want to galvanize their cause. we're going to get reaction from a it planned parenthood representative on the other side of this break. stay with us.
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. >> they're not bad people, and there's no perfect person in the world, but this is a slaughter
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house. >> this is part of women's health. we have to protect women's health, and abortion is a women's health issue, and it has to be defended. >> another weekend of nationwide protests here in the united states as both supporters and opponents of planned parenthood make their voices heard. more than 200 so-called protest planned parenthood rallies were scheduled for today. participants asking the government to strip federal funding from the nonprofit organization, but some of those events have been met with counter protests held by supporters of planned parenthood. joining me now is dawn legan, chief experience officer of planned parenthood, fedderation of america, and the planned parenthood angz fund. it's great to have you with us. thanks for joining us. >> hi, amman. >> a video from one of the planned protest drg said the women's march was a wakeup call to the anti-abortion movement. now we are seeing these rallies to defund planned parenthood. are you concerned about these events given that you at least looking on the political
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landscape have a republican controlled congress and a white house that have been very critical of planned parenthood? >> well, amman, if they thought the wakeup call went off, the alarm must not have rung because when you look across the country today, there were very tiny, tiny protests and huge outpourings of support for planned parenthood in safe hall, minnesota, fewer than 100 protesters and 6,000 people rallied through a facebook post to turn out and say all of the great things that they support about planned parenthood, which is not surprising given that one in five american women go to planned parenthood during their lifetime, and 2.5 million people a year count on us for their care. >> there's always this issue of abortion when it comes to planned parenthood and certainly those who oppose planned parenthood often do so because of this position of being
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anti-abortion, but i want you to clarify for us because it is important to note that federal tax dollars don't pay for abortions. walk us through what those funds actually are used for. >> that's exactly right, amman. what we're talking about when people say defunding, you know, planned parenthood doesn't get a big check from the federal government. planned parenthood is like any other health care provider. we get reimbursed for the services we provide to medicaid patients in the arena of preventive health services. that's birth control, cancer screenings, sti test and treatment, hiv testing. all of those amazing, important preventive health services that, by the way, today we have in this country the lowest unintended pregnancy rate in history, and we have the lowest abortion rate in 30 years. all because women are getting better access to higher quality birth control and health care.
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>> do you think that planned parenthood has an image crisis with the fact that so many people, particularly as i was mentioning those that are anti-abortion are associating planned patienthood with just abortion making it an issue about abortion? >> well, i actually don't think that is what most americans think planned parenthood is all about, abortion, although we do provide, proudly, the full range of women's reproductive health, and abortion is a legal right in this country that most people support. the reality of planned parenthood is that we provide 97% of our services are preventive health care, 3% are abortion -- those are the facts -- and the vast majority of americans, they know planned parenthood because our care is central to their community's health. >> let's talk a little bit about the counter protests that are being held. are you at all concerned about any momentum they may have in creating some of the defunding that could possibly take place?
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i guess what needs to happen to make sure planned parenthood continues to receive federal funds? >> one thing that has to happen is that politicians need to try to stop bullying women and saying which doctors women can or can't see based on their own choices about their health care. they need to stop bullying women about seeking out and getting care and exercising their legal rights, and politicians should not be in the business of our health care, and that's what planned parenthood believes. that's what you saw people standing up for today. thousands and thousands. again, dwarfing any of the protests, and that actually matches with what you see in america. 70% of people say please, fund planned parenthood to do this important work. 70% of americans saying make sure that abortion is safe and legal and we don't go back to what used to happen 40, 50, 60
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years ago in this country. >> all right. it's great to have you with us. thank you for joining us with your perspective. >> thank you. >> we're going to be right back. stay with us. ients are safe... to knowing they are. going beyond expectations... because our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food.
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>> that's it for this hour. my colleague steffi gosk piksz up our coverage at the top of the hour. i will see you right back here at 6:00 a.m. eastern.
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hello. i'm stephanie gosk at nbc headquarters in new york. here's the stories we're following right now. par for the course. donald trump golfing with japanese prime minister shinzo abe, but not before taking to twitter to again slam the court decision to uphold the suspension of his immigration ba while the predent signalled he may be open to rewriting it, the white house sa nothing is off the table, including the supreme court. plus, civil engagement. more protests across the country today, including dualing rallies over planned paren


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