tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC February 15, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
a couple of stunners from the president alongside the israel prime minister. and he accused the president of turning the election into a freak show. tonight what could be a -- >> good evening once again from our head quarters in new york. in the course of a few minutes earlier today, president trump called the media fake, changed the story his press secretary laid out just yesterday on why his national security adviser was fired. changed the narrative of decades of u.s. policy toward israel, and answered a question about the rise of anti semitism in the u.s. by talking about his electoral college victory. more an all of it in a moment. also today another personnel
loss in the administration. the president's nominee for secretary of labor pulled himself out of consideration for the cabinet when it became clear he did not have the votes in the senate. he's the head of the fast food chain behind hardee's and karls junior. it was a haunting tape of his ex-wife appearing on oprah 27 years ago and in disguise back then to talk act spouse abuse. charges she later recanted and he has always denied. either way the president now has to nominate someone else to run the department of labor. back to the president's comments. the media came under fire as trump seemed to divert from the story line that mike flynn was fired for lack of trust. the president seemed to be saying today it was because of leaks. >> michael flynn j general
flynn, is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very unfairly by the media. as i call it, the fake media in many cases. and i think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. and people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the democrats had under hillary clinton. i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally, i stress that, illegally leaked. very, very unfair. >> another question during that session from an israeli journalist had to do with the disturbing anti semitism trend in this country, though the president's answer was mostly about the electoral college. >> mr. president, since your election, campaign, and even after your victory, we've seen a sharp rise in anti semitic incidents across the united states, and i wonder what you say to those jewish members
around the world who believe and feel that your administration is playing with xenophobia and maybe racist tones. >> we are honored by the victory we had, we were not supposed to crack 220 electoral votes. you know that, right? there was no way to 221, but then they said there's no way to 270, and there's enthusiasm out there as far as people, jewish people, so many friends, a daughter who happens to be here right now, a son-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren. i think that you're going to see a lot different united states of america over the next three, four, or eight years. i think a lot of good things are
happening, and you're going to see a lot of love. you're going to see a lot of love. okay? thank you. >> netanyahu actually finished the answer for the president on the rise of anti semitism, and for the third straight appearance, the president called only on questioners from right-leaning organizations. that meant questions about subjects like russia just weren't asked. so they were asked without permission and went unanswered. >> mr. president, are you going to answer any questions about your associate contacts with the russians during the campaign? >> do you have any comments on the reports of the suspected russian operatives during the presidential campaign? no comment on that? >> and after another day of fake
news allegations from the president, there's another story in the real news tonight. "the wall street journal" says members of the u.s. intelligence community just aren't sharing details with the president out of concern it could be leaked or compromised. the article cites deep mistrust of the president, mostly over the russia allegations. earlier today the president took another swing at the intel community saying on twitter, the real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by in quotes, intelligence, like candy. very un-american. let's bring in our guest, members of our starting pam tonight here in new york. allie velshi. ashley parker, and michael crowley back with us. welcome to you all. ashley, having sat in the front row and covered the white house, you usually go into an event
like today with two or three questions in your back pocket in case they come to you. they have not come to mainstream media outlets as we laid out. what would your questions have been today if asked? >> i think my questions, and the questions a lot of the reporters wanted asked for some that you just played earlier in your show, but were sort of more pointed questions about what donald trump knew about his associates' contacts with senior russian intelligence officials. when he knew them, i personally have been very curious why he left his vice president in the dark for two weeks about the fact that general flynn had misled him. sort of anything really pointed on flynn in russia is what everyone was kind of dying to know. >> and ashley, what is -- when people ask you what's going on there, what's going on there? we had on this very network this
morning, charges that kellyanne conway is booking herself on television shows for her own agenda and bailiwick, we have excitement some days for all the wrong reasons surrounding sawn spicer's press conference. you mentioned the vice president in the dark in his own west wing. does it feel like as many power centers as we're reading about? >> it certainly does. as you know, donald trump's management style which we saw in the campaign and now in the west wing, are the sort of competing factions vying for attention. the other intangible is president trump is obsessed with television. and so if some of his aides and advisers want to get a message to him, whether it's kellyanne conway, the quickest way to do is not to walk into his office but appear on a show he watches and get the message to him that way. and that is also what his press secretary is dealing with. donald trump is watching the briefings more intently than any other in modern history has
followed them. >> and the narrative that sean spicer laid out wasn't because of any wrong doing that he is no longer the national security adviser, the former three star general. it was because of this erosion of trust over time. the president comes out today, says leaks and the blame goes to the media. >> it was very strange, and you know, flynn was let go shortly after i think it was kellyanne conway who said the president has full confidence in general flynn. and so it's really been whiplash back and forth in each direction a couple of times oh on this. and donald trump's statement today was a different tone than we got from spicer. he blamed the media and made no mention of spicer's depiction of flynn as a dishonest guy that they had had several problems with. actually, an interesting unanswered question, brian, is what these other incidents were that spicer alluded to yesterday in a vague way, and when a reporter asked him to follow up and say what were the other
cases where they had a lack of trust, spicer didn't engage with the question. so yesterday flynn is this kind of untrustworthy dishonest guy, and flynn's own statement in his resignation statement was sort of contrite and admitting mistakes, and then today trump comes out guns blazing. it feels schizophrenic and shoot from the hip and made up as you into. for people who are used to an extremely different style in the american presidency, it's unnerving. >> and allie, on the subject of russia, there is this thesis statement that sounds unbelievable, but russia has penetrated american politics. having said that, i want to show you an exchange that happened today. casey hunt and john mccain who let's remember, was a cold warrior, a hot warrior, gave
five and a half years of his life as a prisoner of war. she asked him today about the foreign policy shop in the white house. >> are the trump administration competent to handle our national security? >> well, the president, you have to assume that since the president was elected by majority electoral votes. >> but you said in your statement that there was troubling dysfunction. >> i think there is significant dysfunction in the national security apparatus of the trump administration. when you see that you don't know who's in charge, this flynn situation, the whole environment is one of dysfunction in the trump administration as far as national security is concerned. >> that's what the chair of the senate foreign relations committee sounds like. we've had the russians buzz one of our vessels at low altitude, high risk over the last 24 hours and a russian surveillance ship somewhere near long island sound off the coast of connecticut painfully close to our sub base, a ship i last saw tied up in the
harbor in cuba is now, what, 30 miles off our coast. both of these things would normally be reacted to by the united states. >> and the idea that russia may have done something with the nuclear arsenal that are in violation of treaties. very serious. nicole wallace has often pointed out you don't want to get into scraps with john mccain. at times when the republican is suffering, john mccain is a guy you want on your side. you have to scratch little to get him to do this, and he talked a lot more after that. he even said that his daughter meghan with whom he is not usually on the same political side even threw him some respect given what's going on. he also made reference to the 31-year-old steven miller.
we've passed that this weekend. he did that series of television interviews where he said the president's authority will not be questioned. so we have two problems. a narrative over here which is what's russia's involvement not just in the election which we believe they were involved in, but in this administration, and the second narrative about the president not being questioned, not answering questions, and creating this misdirection campaign as this russian story gets closer and closer to the president who we know knew about michael flynn's situation as early as january the 31st. he doesn't want to take any questions. push it to the media. push it to leaks. push it to everywhere else, and i think he's not going to be able to resist the storm that's coming toward him. >> and michael crowley, to ask you about a competitor, this new york times story, "the wall street journal" story, excuse me, about the intelligence community not sharing tactics, methods, details. you can make the case they've been weaponized, oddly, by a commander in chief. >> yeah.
brian, it's almost hard to know how to grapple with something like this. we're deep in science fiction territory. the paperback on the plane that you never finish because it's too ridiculous. we're so out there in unchartered territory. it's extremely serious, and i think that what you'll hear from the trump white house is that this is sort of an anti-democratic effort by obama loyalists to bring down the president because they don't accept the results of the election, but i think more likely, these are a lot of these people are really serious professionals who literally put
their lives on the line or work with people on the field risking their lives every day, and they genuinely are afraid that information they give to the white house might fall into the wrong hands or become public in a dangerous way that risks the people in the field. i think that speaks volumes. i don't think you can write it off as politically motivated even though i think there is definitely personal resentment toward trump in the intelligence community which is largely his own fault. he compared the intelligence community to -- he was talking about nazi germany tactics when he first came into office. it really didn't do himself any favors. i just think this is an extremely loud and troubling statement about what the people again who really have skin in the game, and they're risking their livings or working with people who are doing so, what they think this white house is capable of. i think that should give every american a lot of pause. >> ashley, michael, and alley. tonight's members of the brady bunch. stay with us. coming up on the other side of a break, one state, two states. what may be a justified state of confusion where the jewish state is concerned when we continue.
we are back. president trump sure looked and sounded poised to make a significant shift in u.s. policy on a possible peace deal between israel and palestine. trump and benjamin netanyahu stood at twin podiums in the white house today to talk about the relationship between our two countries and when you look at how our last three presidents have approached a potential agreement, it's safe to say trump has exhibited a different approach. >> it is the homeland of two peoples. and, therefore, there is no choice but to create two states. >> my vision is two states. living side by side in peace and
security. >> a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. israel as a jewish state and the homeland for the jewish people and the state of palestine for the homeland for the palestinian people. >> i'm looking at two state and one state, and i like the one that both parties like. i'm very happy with the one that both parties like. i can live with either one. i thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two. but honestly, if the palestinians, if israel and the palestinians are happy, i'm happy with the one they like the best. >> we are back with our panel here tonight, alley, ashley, and michael and allie, if you're watching that what the middle east, what's your reaction? >> that was about the weirdest
thing there is. there's a lot of support for one state solution. therare hard line iselis who want that. part of them are allied with benjamin netanyahu to keep him in power, and there are a lot of arabs who would like the one state solution because it means the end of a jewish state. most reasonable people have believed in a two state solution for decades. and if it's easier, none of it is easy. the two-state solution problem is that in israel there are arabs, their birthrate is higher than the jews in israel. they're worried if the arabs stay, they could outnumber the jews in israel. on the other side there are people who don't want to compromise and they've carved out settlements in a way that makes it hard for a two-state solution because palestine looked like a piece of swiss cheese. it's hard. but it's been to support a peaceful negotiated two-state solution including the resolution of jerusalem.
the cavalier attitude of donald trump could be a setback and trigger violence. >> ashley, i've heard experts say some version of this, charitably, it seemed like the president came in unbriefed or underbriefed today. is that possible? >> that's certainly possible. donald trump sort of operating style is a little bit he likes to shoot from the hip, he sort of makes gut judgments as we've read and as we know. he doesn't love briefing books. aides are told to keep things very short to just one page. not too much policy details. so that is possible. i also think one thing is that you sort of saw donald trump the negotiator, the businessman in action which is to say he
doesn't come to this with a set of clearly, ideology or preconceived views. so you sort of see him kind of trying to gauge reaction and saying i'll do whatever is easier. i'll do whatever deal we can get, which is not how you go about peace in the middle east, but that's how donald trump approaches deals. as he said, he thinks this is sort of the ultimate deal. >> michael for a minute he seemed to de niro benjamin netanyahu. he said i'd like you to hold back on settlements a little bit, and he turned to him and nodded to him like that is a new thing. >> yeah. i mean, ashley is right. it's a little bit shoot from the hip. it's hard to figure out what strategy here is or not. i think trump is giving netanyahu almost everything he wants.
there is a little bit of a brushback on the settlements. trump put out a statement saying the settlements weren't necessarily going to be helpful for the peace process. i think that surprised a lot of people. trump's picked to be ambassador to israel, i believe said that israel could have annexed the west bank and gotten away with it. a zigzag to put it on settlements. the overall tone was such an incredible reversal from all the visits netanyahu paid to the obama white house where he was seen as a kind of political adversary. the u.s. israel relationship is strong overall, but obama and netanyahu saw each other as almost partisan rivals. there was a famous quote in a newspaper in late 2014 calling netanyahu a chicken bleep. saying he talked a big game but wouldn't act. now he's got the red carpet. he's known jared kushner's family for 10 years at least. trump's got the red carpet there, and it really showed.
the labeling and some of it stuck to great effect, labels like low energy and crooked and little. rubio was famously the target of that last one. and lest we forget, a look back at what these two dinner partners shared during this past campaign. >> you all have friends thinking about voting for donald trump. friends don't like friends vote for con artists. >> i watched this little mouth on him. >> the guy with the worst spray tan in america is attacking me for putting on makeup. donald trump likes to sue people. he should sue whoever did that to his face. >> when they put marco onto refute president obama's speech, do you remember that catastrophe? and he's like this. and we will [ breathing ] i need water. it's rubio.
>> donald is not going to make america great. he's going to make america orange. he's like 6'2" which is why i don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 52. have you seen his hands? they're like this. and you know what they say about men with small hands? you can't trust them. >> little, liddle. liddle marco. you have to brand people a certain way when they're opponents. >> who has time for dessert? we ought to get going. that does it for us. thank you for being with us. "hardball" begins right now. russian roulette, this is "" -- "hardball".
>> good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. it's getting whacky. two days ago president trump sacked his national security adviser michael flynn saying he didn't trust him. today he said it was the media who booted him. or does it the intel community? >> michael flynn, general flynn is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. as i call it, the fake media in many cases. and i think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. >> again, donald trump is the man that fired flynn, not the media. that's not fake news. it's just news. just yesterday his press secretary sean spicer said flynn