tv MSNBC Live MSNBC February 28, 2017 11:00am-12:01pm PST
as much as it saddens me, that wraps up this hour of nbc live. here's something to look forward to. katy tur picking things up. >> ali, thank you so much. everyone at home, t minus seven hours until donald trump's first presidential address to congress. in grand trump tradition today has been everything but a traditional day. the president has been busy. a series of bills and executive orders are in the works. he will sign one this hour. but the big question heading into tonight, can the president calm the waters after a choppy 40 days in office? can he brown out the drama, reassure wary republicans, and
reach across the aisle? even the president says his administration could do better, at least when it comes to messaging. >> i think in terms of effort, which means something, i give myself an a plus, okay, effort. but that's -- you know, results are more important. in terms of messaging, i would give myself a c or a c plus. >> our teams are standing by at the white house, capitol hill, and outside the beltway with reaction. let's begin with halle jackson who is at the white house. halle, before we jump into tonight's address, it's been a busy day at the white house, which is fairly unusual for the afternoon before a joint address to congress. >> it is traditional to have this lunch with member of the media, top network anchors and others. president obama for example, did that on his state of the union days and his joint address days as well. speaking with some colleagues who covered president obama back during his tenure, during his
administration, they say he was incredibly involved in kind of of the contracting his speeches on those days for those moments. for president trump this is of course the first time he has done something like this. it's not clear if he is setting a precedent for how his days will unfold for when he delivers for example, next year's state of the union. we know he is doing two bill signings today. got executive orders he is signing as well. he has the lunch before he heads over to capitol hill for the joint address he will make his day down the aisle maybe shaking hands with some members of congress, maybe not, to deliver that speech. >> it's said this speech tonight is going to be on the miic. maw so? >> i will say this, we have heard that speeches would be optimistic in the past, most recently before his inauguration. and that was decried by critics as being overly dark. i think there is at least when you talk with administration officials here at the white
house they say he is going to talk about economic opportunity, how to solve problems for americans. we know he is going to go slew a tick list of hey, here's what i promised, what i did, how i followed through. i imagine this speech will be a run through of what he believes are his successes. after that, it looks like he will go heavy on national security. that's what we've been told. and we expect some foreign policy in that address as well. we will have to see after the speech how it's received not just by republican members of congress who will be watching closely to see what the president says about for example, health care and the new budget and tax reform but the rest of america. he is delivering this message to people in the room and one to the rest of the country. >> kelly o'connell you have been talking to lawmakers on both sides of the i will. what do republicans want to hear. and number two,cally, what do democrats -- how are they going to treat him? >> reporter: one of the
interesting things, katey, is that the president has very little relationship with members of congress compared to past presidents. he has been working on some of that with leadership since he has gone through the transition and these early days of his presidency. but part of it will be kind of the newness of it all. and so for republicans, expect to hear more about some of the big sweeping things they ran on, talking about tax reform, changes to the health care law, trying to straepgen defense. those are things they can get excited about, even if they disagree with some of the means. for democrats it will be very interesting to watch. for the past eight years, they have had a president who they loved and felt very much willing to embrace in every possible way with barack obama. now they are in a different position. many democrats haven't been in this place before. it's the first time for them. look for more quiet protests. we will see a couple of members who said they will not attend. others say they will not do the
traditional reach forth the handshake as the president is introduced and walks which has always been the pageantry of nights like this. otherwise wearing white as a symbol of quiet protest. what we will really be looking for tonight is what is the decorum of the room? is there a way that the president, who many democrats feel has not reached out, has not tried to extend his hand to them -- how will they respond? and will there be a moment for unity? normally in addresses like this -- and i've covered a lot of them -- when you talk about your men and women in uniform, both sides of the aisle stand. when you talk about america's place in the world, both sides of the aisle stand. america's children. there are notes the president could hit to get everyone on their feet. but we don't know if donald trump has a track record in that area. we reason is seen that. tonight is a chance to try to build a relationship with congress and by extension the american people in a new way. it is must-see because of that. >> a note for our viewers we
will be speaking with democrats elliot engle and maxine waters both of the house a little bit later on in this hour. stay tuned for that. let's bring in our panel right now. jennifer palmieri the former communications director for hillary for america and alex castellano, a strategist on romney's presidential campaign. donald trump talked with american carnage. they are saying this is going to be an optimistic speech tonight. whiplash? >> i have doubts because the have said whether or not the spee wl be optimistic because they have said this before, they have previewed speeches as optimistic. i think the staff trying to force the particular prism by custom the media may view the speech. and i see they put out ---is also because the white house director for ob president obama and been through state of the unions and i know you try to use that as your whole organizing principle for the whole year.
i see the white house press office putting out a lot of people today to shape the speech but i think the press is right to be skeptical that what you see coming out from the staff is what he is actually going to talk about. it could be very pessimistic. i imagine what is on most paper's minds is what his answer is on obamacare. it doesn't sound like he is going to have something specific. >> that's a reminder, the reality is you never know who donald trump is going the say until it comes out of his mouth. we learned that on the campaign. alex, it's been an interesting 40 days since donald trump was inaugurated. in that time, republicans have had quite a bit of explaining to do about president trump's presidency? >> well, the good news for republicans is that we elected an outsider. the only candidate we could to change washington. the bad news is he's on outsider unfamiliar to washington. but i think what we are seeing is a president who is beginning to settle in. and i think we are going to see the long awaited pivot tonight.
>> why do you think that, alex? i ask you that because we talked about pivots so much on the campaign during the transition and a pivot just never came. >> this is not - this is a different one. this is not a pivot on positions or issues. this is a pivot to becoming a president. this is a pivot to the future of the country. he is growing comfortable in the office now. and this -- tonight is i think the opportunity to say, look, lift your eyes over the horizon. we don't have to settle for the way things are now. there's something better for us. and that is the opportunity i think that he is going to take advantage of tonight. i think you will see dark and light. i think you will see problem and solution. but i think you are going to see a president who is growing comfort number office. he is going to have a little fun tonight. and is going to leave with us an optimistic view of what this country could achieve again. >> and jen, is there anything that donald trump could say tonight that would be an olive branch to the left? >> he hasn't tried. you know, he really has not
said -- he really has not said anything that -- >> could you say something tonight specifically? >> sure, he could. i refuse to believe in pivot. it's ridiculous. we've been talking about this since march of 2015, that he was going to pivot. donald trump is donald trump. he is who he is. and he was very clear when he ran for president what he was going to do as president. and i will say this, he has followed through on the things that he said that he was going to do. i think -- i am thinking in particular of the muslim ban, of a plan to deport 11 million people who are here as undocumented. he has followed through on these things. i think that -- there is a -- you know, there is a part of america -- not a majority, but a part of america that put him there to do those things. and i'm sure they are quite pleased with him. but he has shown no ability in the campaign or even -- and each less ability as president to do anything to reach out to people. >> well that's not --
>> or to actually address any economic problems. and the idea that he is going to come forward with a plan to replace obamacare, i just think -- it's ridiculous at this point. it's clear they have no idea how they are going to do that. i don't believe they ever will. >> alex i want to press you on this idea of a pivot. it's surprising to hear that people believe this is going to happen, especially from our past experience. but in the past 40 days donald trump has forced republicans to answer questions about the muslim ban, the travel ban, angry town halls, white house contacts with russia and from the fbi and cia. trump citing easily debunked numbers. calls with allies that didn't go well. trump not allowing cabinet members to hire their own staff and staff that still has not been hired. these are all things republicans have been asked about day in and
day out. is there any sense this is going to be something that's going to be so easyo wipe away with justne address? >> i don't think donald trump uniteshe country with a speech in one evening. you think donald trump unites the country by bringing change to washington. i mean, he is not pivoting at all on what he was elected to do. he brings change to washington. that change works, opens up the economy, we begin to grow again. and that success unites the country. that's going to take a while. but that -- it's going to be done with action, not words. but on the i do think you are going to see a more optimistic and generous president comfortable in his role as president moving the country forward. and by the way, you know, i guess he hasn't done much except appoint a very solid republican cabinet to fulfill his campaign promises. executive orders to fulfill his campaign promises. put forward tax reform and regulatory relief. that is the thing we need the
most to open up this competent economy. let's remember that this economy has been stag unanimous under barack obama. let's remember that we've never seen the heart this country cut out the way it has, suicide rates going up. let's remember that washington's economy was growing but america's economy wasn't. and this president was elected to bring that country together and do something about that. and yes, he's still out here to disrupt an establishment, a privileged self indulgent establish men in washington that makes government work for itself but not for the rest of us. yes, he is still a disruptive force for change. but i think you are going the see him again lift our eyes over the horizon a little bit this evening and say don we all deserve something a little better than the way washington has been working? and the answer to that for most americans is yes, we do. >> we will see what happens later on tonight. thank you for joining me. and what expectations do trump voters have for tonight's
speech? michigan is one of those states that trump flipped from blue to red. we have ron mott who is in bay city to tell me what vote remembers hopeful for there. ron, have they seen any indication that trump will be improving their lives? >> reporter: the one thing that a lot of people here want to talk about today, being fat tuesday are these. i have to show you this real quickly. we are at push kyis. they have stoled 12,000 of these danishs in the last 24 hours. i have not eaten mine yet. we have talked to a thb of voters, both trump supporters and hillary clinton supporters. i think what they want to hear from the president tonight, substance over antics. here's a sample of what we got this morning. take a listen. >> he has promised a lot. and i don't know if he can cover it all tonight. but he's got a lot of subjects to cover tonight. >> if he is going to say something and promise something,
i think the public deserves him to follow through with that. and i'm hoping that's what he is going to do with his speech tonight, tell somebody what he was going to do, and follow through with it. >> reporter: i spoke to a democratic voter who did vote for secretary clinton here who was a retired auto worker for gm here in bay city -- in saginaw, he says he wants to hear substance and wants him to talk about entitlement programs. he want to hear there are going to be protections for medicare and social security because he and his wife are dependent upon those programs. he does support the president's initiative to spend more on e military but not at the expense of thoserograms that mean a lot to him and other seniors. >> thank you ron mott, please bring me back one of those jelly donuts, i am a sucker for jelly donuts. ahead, george bush does something he rarely does, we will talk about his tough words
for donald trump with his former press secretary ari fleischer next. nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. >> president trump saying health care is complicated echoing many who say health care is broken. is it too complicated to fix? that's our pulse question of the day, weigh in at pulse.msnbc.com. we want to hear what you have to say. remember you are watching msnbc's special coverage ahead of president trump's address later tonight. their experience is coveted. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of - researchers of technologies that one day, you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team.
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i'm optimistic about where we'll end up. i mean, yes, i don't like the racism and i don't like the name calling, and i don't like the people feeling alienated. nobody likes that. on the other hand we've been through these periods before, and we've always had a way to come out of it. i'm more optimistic than some. >> a remarkable statement from george w. bush in an interview would "people" magazine. the former president who said it undermines a presidency by having one president speak about the other breaks his own rule. of ai fleischer joins me now. your former boss says he is optimistic. as somebody that knows him, are those criticisms that he makes done so lightly? >> you know, katie, i have not spoken to him since he did those interviews so i'm not speaking
for him. my guess is he is answering questions about the times we are living in right now. when he says it, he is going to be defined as, you are criticizing. with mat lawyer we talked about premature withdrawals from iraq and the middle east. was that a shot at obama? you can always say these things. on the other hand he gives direct answers to the questions he gets. >> tonight, donald trump's speech, it's not a state of the union, but it is a look at where this country stand right now. he is going to have to address it. how does donald trump thread the needle of feeding his base and reaching out to the rest of the country that may not be so excited about him? >> a big speech like this is not your base. it's to all the american people.there are three words i hope are his objective tonight. it's give people confidence. there is a persuadable group this this country who want the
president to be successful. many are skeptics, have doubts but they want him to be successful. if they see he can get his policies enacted into law, that can give people confidence that he is the right person, he doesn't need to be the chief entertainer, he needs to be thoughtful and give people confidence. >> which trump will we see isn't, the inauguration trump or the trump we see at rallies? or is it going to be a mixture of both? >> if you said the inauguration trump, i have long made the case about his convention speech and his inauguration speech were fine speechers. most viewers agreed with that. the press labelled them as negative and dower. but the fact is 750 million people on election day thought we werette heading in the wrong direction. that's been turned around. most people think we are going in the right direction now that donald trump is president. if he is smart, and he is smart, he will give them more reasons to think he can take the country in the right direction. if he gives a convention speech and a inauguration speech
pointing out what's wrong with america, it won't work. the window is up on his presidency. it's his time now. he needs to be optimistic. that's what his staff said he would do. >> part of his success, ari, i don't need to tell you this, was this whole idea that his advisors would let trump be trump. that's work for him. but approximate white house is obviously a different animal. there is a report in politicoout out right now talking about how his national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster is pushing back on one tmhat donald trump used over and over again on the campaign trail. radical islamic terror. mcmaster doesn't believe it is a useful term. he is somebody who has been successful in counter-insurgency while not alienating local muslim populations. if we hear donald trump say wrath radical islamic terror tonight what does that mean? >> i'm less interested in what he calls them, rather than what
he does to them. i want them to be the former radical islamic terrorists. >> his national security advi r adviser, if he says so after pleading with the president in and steven miller and steven bannon not to include it in tonight's address, if he is still saying it who does that mean that he is listening too? >> it means mcmaster works for donald trump, donald trump doesn't work for his security adviser. >> that will -- >> katie, the staff works for the president. the staff's job, my jab at the time was to give the president unvarnished advice. tell him what you think, recognize people have different opinions and they are going clash with you. you give the opinion and the president makes the call. when he does, you salute and do what the president is doing. i'm less concerned about the rhetoric. i'm more concerned about the policies. on that stand he has a strong national security adviser and defense secretary.
his destroy to do what barack obama said, which is destroy isis, i think he is going to do that now. i think we are going to have a change on the ground. >> talking about policy, there are still a lot of open questions regarding many of president obama -- or trump president trump's key policy issues. is he going to be able to fill those holes tonight? >> he should pill partial holes tonight. tonight is not a negotiating with congress night. it's not a specifics night. not a night you introduce legislation. you want to set the tone for the country going forward. that requires some level of detail but not a lot of devil of detail. no speech like thistate of the union address to a joint session is a detailed policy oriented speech. i think his success will be if he convinces people that he is thoughtful, that he understands there are two sides to every issue. if he walks people through the advantages and disadvantages of the two sides and then says here's why i reached by conclusion. a little dose of that thoughtfulness would surprise a
lot of viewers. and that's why i think it would be helpful for donald trump and recognize this important who has been characterurized who many people think is not capable of being president, is polarizing and controversial, he needs to give people a reason to think yes he can actually get it done, he is the right person. that should be his objective tonight. this speech is about him more so than his policies. >> let's see if he strikes that tone tonight. ari fleischer, thank you for joining us tonight. next up, is president trump passing the buck to president obama for that botched rate in yemen? the main target was missed, a navy s.e.a.l. died, and now nbc news reports we didn't gain any significant intelligence? so was it worth it? i'll ask the ranking member of the senatel intel committee, maryland's ben cartin, next. let me talk to you about retirement. a 401(k) is the most sound way to go. let's talk asset allocation. -sure. you seem knowledgeable, professional. would you trust me as your financial advisor? -i would. -i would indeed.
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as we mentioned at the top of the show, it is a busy day at the house. donald trump, you see him right there, signing two bipartisan bills aimed at promoting emwomen's participation in science and engineering and encouraging women entrepreneurship. and two executive orders. one a realback on the waters of the united states executive order and the historical black colleges executive order. let's listen in. >> i also want to thank everyone else who is with us today. ive some names. i'll read some of them off because not everybody knows everybody. but we have leader mccarthy, representative barbara come stock. lamar smith, thank you lamar, very much, i appreciate it. joanie ernst, how has been a terrific, terrific senator, very talented woman. >> mr. president, thank you.
>> deb fischer, thank you very much. thanks. >> thank you. >> we also have senator about rosso and senator bozeman, joanie, we said hello, deb, we said hello. heidi heitkamp. thank you, heighty. senator pat roberts, dan sullivan, joe gibbs, bill sustr and lamar smith. we appreciate you being here. of course we have our new sba director linda mcmahon and secretary decross-voss. we have a lot of great talent. today i'm signing two bills that promote women entering and leading the stem field, science technology, engineering and math. currently only one in four women who gets a stem degree is work in a stem job, which is not
fair. and it's not even smart for the people that aren't taking advantage of it. it's unacceptable that we have so many americanwoman women who have these degrees but yet are not being employed in these fields. i think that's going to change. it's going to change very rapidly. protecting women with stem degrees and all americans with stem degrees, very important. but it also means you have to crackdown on offshoring because the off shoring is a -- it's a tremendous problem. that displaces many of our best american workers. and brains. the brain power. so i just want to thank you all for being here, vice president pence, always felt very, very strongly about this issue, and many others. and i appreciate -- mike, i appreciate that very much. and i'm going to sign this right now. and i want to congratulate everybody in the room. and we have to sign it today. i know we have a lot of things coming on later on, but if we don't sign this one and the next one today we have to start the process all over again, joanie, right. >> yes. >> and that's not good.
so that's why we are here. okay. well, thank you very much. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. >> -- your speech tonight? >> we look forward to it. looking forward to it. okay, i think we all know what this is even though somebody took my notes. it makes no difference. it rlly makes no difference. but this is the second bill that we are signing. and that's the hr 321, the inspire women act. ensures that existing nasa programs recruit women to
stem-related jobs and aerospace careers. really we are going to go very heavy into the nasa situation. so women will be a big, big part of it. hr 3 255, the promoting women in entrepreneurship act enables the national science foundation to support women inventors, of which there are many, researchers and scientists in bringing their discoveries to the business world, championing science and entrepreneurship and creating new ways to improve people's lives. so important. we need policies that help support women in the work force, and that's really very much going to be addressed by my administration over the years. going to get more and more of these bills coming out. and address the barriers faced by female entrepreneurs and those in stem fields. we want american women who graduate from college with stem degrees to be able to get stem jobs that can support their
families and help these american women to live out the american dream, which they are so qualified to live out. so, again, i want to thank you all for being here. fantastic. this is so important. thank you all for being here very much. thank you all very much. i appreciate it. [ applause ] >> donald trump signing two bills, two bipartisan bills,
both of which aimed at intend couraging women entrepreneurship. the first one was the inspire act, inspiring the next pioneers innovators and explorers act. the second one, promoting women entrepreneurship act. donald trump also talking a little bit, very briefly about his speech tonight telling reporters who shouted out questions that he is looking forward to it. joining me now to talk this over is eli stokels of politico. and dplen tlush of the "new york times." these are two bills that are not going cause much controversy, correct? eli, start with you. >> yeah, i don't think. i think what is interesting is that donald trump would like to sort of set the table with this, highlights some bipartisan legislation and give a message to congress tonight that, you ow, urge both parties come together and do big thing. the problem is that the first 39 days in office haven't really set the table towards doing much of that. congress and the country are incredibly divide and it is a
difficult bridge to cross for donald trump tonight trying to come out with a message that is unifying after such a divisive first five and a half weeks. >> speaking the bridge donald trump has to cross tonight we have halle jackson who received new information on what this speech is going to contain a little bit later. halle, i want to bring you in. guys hold on a second. >> yeah. >> halle, reporting the president may issue a call for an immigration bill in his speech tonight? >> reporter: really interesting. according to a senior white house official, the quote is this, the time is right for an immigration bill if both sides are willing to compromise. this is particularly interesting in light of a lot of the discussion about immigration that has happened so far inside the administration and inside this trump white house. it is possible that this is something that the president will call for tonight when he addresses both chambers, when he addresses the members of the congress with the speech we have been talking about all day. here's more about what this speech may entail. expect the first part to focus
on jobs, focus on the economy. except it to be -- there has been hints about a powerful opening line, something that's described as i am a paraphrasing something that's quotable that you may hear again and again tomorrow morning after the speech. after the focus on the economy, watch for the president to turn to national security, according to officials briefed on the speech. the phrase was used, radical islamic terrorism in this description, it's clear clear whether he will use that phrase. he will talk about the nomination of judge neil gorsuch to replace apartment anyone scalia. we expect the president to talk about what he inherited. remember, the president has said he believes he inherited a mess. that's something we could hear tonight. he will hit his america first agenda, talking about trade,
infrastructure. on health care it is a nothing we haven't heard before. at least that is the expecting a. expect the discussion of the replacement of the affordable care act act to be high level to sound familiar to republicans and others in the room if you follow this kind of thing. he will talk of space education. he'll touch more on education, more on nato. this is towards the end of the speech, he will make a call for an immigration bill. and then at the end of the speech he will set an optimistic tone, a tone that will be saying what the president wants to get across in this speech tonight. a speech that is expected to go over an hour at least with applause breaks. >> the bill on immigration, what could that look like? is he talking about something bipartisan, both sides are willing to compromise on? what could that be? >> it's hard to say. look, that is where he has been
towing the hardestline. he has a group of people who are his most influential advisers. bannon and miller who are going to push him on a hard line. he is going to be working on an executive order tightening the work requirements. i think there is not a ton of wiggle room. he talked explicitly in terms of what he wants to do in terms of hiring new i.c.e. agents. the other thing i would say, the optics. we make fun of the pool sprays he doe with these leaders, how silly they are, how insignificant it is for him to be seen signing niece executive orders. this i think is trump's brilliance. i think you are going the see some of this on the. he is really using the office to show people that he is working on the job for them. that, i think, more than the things that we tend to look for in these events, the gran eloquence, the sense he is occupying this grand stage --
donald trump's eye is on a very specific prize. that is to prove to people that he doesn't just talk, that he doesn't just tweet. that he is a man of action. >> glen, you nailed it. at least give the appearance that's working on something or he is trying to get things done while congress may be stalled. we want to go to president trump, who is speaking right now in the roosevelt room. let's take a listen. >> i will tell you that, but create millions of jobs. so many jobs are delayed for so many years and it is a unfair to everybody. i want to congratulate scott. i want to thank everyone for being here today. we have a great group of farmers, home buildsers and county commissioners. they are all represented. they are standing alongside of me. i'd also like to thank jim inhof who has been terrific in so many different ways. beyond even this. so i want to thank jim and there is leadership in this senate on issue. a friend of mine -- a great friend of mine, john about
rosso, epa, so-called waters of the united states rule s one of the worst examples of federal regulation. and it has truly run amuck and is one of the rules most strongly oppose by farmers, ranchers, and agricultural workers all across our land. it's prohibiting them from being allowed to do what they are supposed to be doing. it's been a disaster. the clean wers act says that the epa can regulate navigable waters, meaning waters that truly affect interstate commerce. but a few years ago the epa decided that navigable waters can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer's land or any place else that they decide, right? >> yes, sir. >> it was a massive power grab. the epa's regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands, and regulations and permits started treating our wonderful small
farmers and small businesses as if they were a major industrial polluter. they treated them horribly. horribly. if you want to build a new home, for example, you have to worry about getting hit with a huge fine if you fill in asmuch as a puddle, just a puddle on your lot. i've seen it. when it was first shown the me, i said no, you are kidding, around you? were you they weren't kidding. in wim wim a -- wyoming a rancher was fined every day for digging a small watering hole for his cattle. opposition from hundreds of organizations took place in all 50 states. it is a horrible, horrible rule. has sort of a nice name, but everything else is bad. i've been hearing about it for years and years. i didn't know i'd necessarily be in this position to do something
about it. but we've been hearing about it for years. with today's executive order i'm directing the epa to take action, paving the way for the elimination this very destru destructive and horrible rule. so i want to thank everybody for being here. and i will sign wherever i'm supposed to sign. there we are. thank you very much. >> thank you mr. president. [ applause ] >> go start hiring those people, fellows, going to be a big difference. how important is this? >> huge. >> huge. >> the farmers, the ranchers, the people that make their living on the land. >> all of rural america thanks you. >> putting people back to work. >> going the help the economy. >> and i tell you, too, you have the right man with scott pruitt. you watch the job he does. congratulations.
>> appreciate it. thank, mr. president. [ applause ] >> that was donald trump right there signing an executive order on the waters of the united states. basically rolling back obama era regulations, environmental regulations on waterways. and this will allow trump's new epa director scott pruitt to begin the legal process of rewriting the sweeping 2015 rule known as the waters of the united states. this shouldn't come as a surprise. donald trump campaigned on going after the environmental protection agency. he said it blocked progress. it blocked construction. and notably, it would have been an impediment to building donald trump's wall, epa reviews and the like. joining me to talk more about this from championship is senator ben bard cardin, a ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee. senator i want to get your take first on what exactly we are seeing with donald trump signing
executive orders, signing a bipartisan bill. this has been a busy day in the white house ahead this joint address to congress later. >> well, we are not surprised by the executive order on the waters of the u.s. a very disappointed. clean water used to be a bipartisan issue to make sure americans can safe, clean water. what the president has done by repealing this rule is put 100 million people at risk in regards to their drinking water. this is a public safety issue. the rule was based upon best science. now the president is substituting politics for what is in the best interest of the health of the americans. >> let's talk about what happened in the raid in yemen back when donald trump first took the white house, five days into his administration. nbc has new spluf reporting on it.first let's hear what donald trump said this morning to fox news about the success of that raid and to the father who wants more answers about his son's
death. >> this was a mission that was started before i got here. this was something that was just -- they wanted to do. they came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very rchted. my generals are the most respected than we have in many decades, i believe. and they lost ryan. >> his generals lost ryan. he is referring to ryan owens, a navy s.e.a.l. who was killed in a 50-minute firefight with al qaeda militants. the white house calls this a success, it was intended to gather information. it did gather intelligence but two senior intelligence officials sell nbc news so far the raid has yielded no significant intelligence. going against what the white house says. is this commander in chief passing the buck not only onto his generals and also to the obama administration.
>> first off, our heart goes out to the fallen soldier. it is a tragic circumstance. we need to have an investigation into what went wrong and why it went wrong. as to responsibility, we have one president, one commander in chief. he's the one that gives the order, the one responsible for the mission. >> how does the military operate under a commander in chief who makes statements like that? >> well, i think it's clear that the constitutional authority rests with the president of the united states. he exercised that constitutional responsibility of he must take the responsibility to the action and to find out what went wrong. i think everybody understands that. and the president is the commander in chief, he's the one responsible. >> let's pivot the other big thing that has been dogging this administration, the other big topic. that is russia. what could donald trump or his white house say that would answer any lingering questions
that you and the democrats have about the campaign's relations with russia? >> there is a few things he should do. first support an independent commission investigati exactly what russia was up to when they attacked our country and our free election system so we can have the confidence of full-time people, experts in the area, that look at the entire circumstance and find out why russia tried to influence our election and try to influence in favor of donald trump. secondly, he could -- the president should be transparent. he should release his tax returns. and he should divest himself of his business interests so that we know that he is representing america's interests not his own personal interests. that's either divest or set up a blind trust. those would be things he could do that would give more confidence to the american people that we are taking russia's attack seriously, protect ourselves. >> on an independent investigation, paul ryan today
was on the "today" show saying there is no evidence there to support that. the white house is saying that this is -- russia has been talked about now for months and nobody has come out with any evidence to support this idea of the campaign talking to senior russian officials or russian intelligence. is there no there there? considering that it has been this long and so far there has been no concrete evidence of any sort of what could be considered collusion? >> i think speaker ryan was referring to perhaps criminal responsibility. first and foremost we need to know what happened. we have to understand why russia was able to did what they did, why they were willing to do what they did, what connection does they have with the campaign, how they were able to penetrate. so we have got to get that first before we know whether we need a special prosecutor or whether there are americans involved. first and foremost we have to have a full investigation of what russia was doing. >> senator, hold on one second. donald trump is right now signing his otherrd and of the day. that's on historical black
colleges. let's listen in. >> developed something really special. thank you. thank you all for being here. thank you vice president, also, micro, for being here. this is a very important moment and moment that means a gr great deal to me. this month has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate african-american history and to begin working together to create a better future for americans and universities and colleges and everything that is african-american. today we are taking action to help make that future happen and that future better. historically black colleges and universities are incredibly important institutions woven into the fabric of our history. just about like no other. church is very important. right? colleges and universities. come here. my defender. education has the power to
uplift, it has the power to transform, and perhaps most important, education has the power to create greater equality and justice in our lives. that's why i'm thrilled to be signing an executive order to recognize the importance of historically black college and universities. very important. they have played such an important role in achieving progress for african-americans and in our nation's march for justice. hbcus have been pillars of the african-american community for more than 150 years. amazing job. and a grand and enduring symbol of america at its absolute st. and i congratulate you all in saying that. >> thank you so much. >> thank you mr. president. >> with this executive order we will make hbcus a priority in the white house. an absolute priority. >>. [ applause ]
>> a lot of people are going to be angry that they are not a priority. but that's okay. and we will pledge our support to you, your mission, and our shared mission of bringing education and opportunity to all of our people. and so i just want to congratulate -- these are very, very special people surrounding me. you have done an amazing job. it's not easy. >> no. >> nothing's easy. with you you have done an amazing job. and i just want to congratulate you all and i want to thank you on behalf of our country. and i'm going to sign this. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> and this is really fantastic. [ applause ] >> congratulations. thank you all very much.
>> really appreciate it. >> come in again tomorrow. >> donald trumpight there signing an executive order on historical black colleges and universities saying they will now be a priority. joining me now to talk about this is congressman elliot engle democrat of new york and congresswoman maxine waters, a democrat of california. congresswoman, let me start with you. president trump just signed that executive order and now leaders of those schools that you saw in that image are going to be meeting with the vice president, they are going to be meeting with republicans on capitol hill. this doesn't seem like it should be a partisan executive order. why are they only meeting with republicans and not democrats? >> well, i don't know what the executive order means. i just heard about it for the first time. i didn't hear about any money, any new resources. and so the devil is in the details. and of course whenever you are talking about increasing the
budget, the republicans are very selective. they increase it for what they want. but oftentimes they will not support increases for, you know, black efforts, for poor efforts, et cetera. as a matter of fact, i'm so worried in a the president is prepareding a $54 billion budget for the defense department. and he is talking about taking it out of the hides of all of these other programs that need money so desperately. so i don't know what this executive order is. i certainly will berying to dissect it and see what it really means. >> so far, what we do know about it is that it's going to move an initiative to assist hbcus from the education department into the white house basically giving the white house more oversight to that. also allowing hbcu officials to serve as advisors to donald trump on his urban agenda. what do you think that means? >> i don't know what it means. matter of fact, i don't know what it means to move it to the
white house. who will be overseeing it? i'm looking for the resources. these are black colleges and yufrtsz that need money. they have old buildings. they have facilities that need upgrading. they need to upgrade their technology. i want to see, again, what the details are to understand what this means. >> congresswoman, you are not going to be going to the joint address tonight. and back in 2009, back when joe wilson screamed out you lied to president obama you said that all of you in congress felt embarrassed after that. what do you say to those critics who say that you not showing up to this joint address, which is about the country more so than it's about the president is the same sort of disrespect? >> no, it is not. it is absolutely not. you cannot compare the two. this is ceremonial. and in this ceremony people lie. they smile. they shake hands. they hug each other. they honor the president.
i'm not about any of that. i'm prepared to interact with the president only when he puts up his budget and his agenda that i'm going to have to fight. so let's not talk about the ceremony in relationship to, you know, public policy, real public policy. i don't choose to go. i don't choose to go. i don't choose to honor him. i've said that. and i won't be a part of the ceremony. and that's that. >> speaking of -- >> let me say that. >> go ahead, congressman. >> let me say that i will go. i will be there. i just will not be standing on the aisle to shake the president's hand. i believe that this is a celebration of democracy. and so i will be there. i will listen to what the president has to say. but i feel in light of all the things he has done in these first 30 or 35 days from banning immigrants to building a wall to trying to dismember the affordable care act -- i can go on and on and on -- the ties with russia, the glances at
anti-semitism without really coming out strongly against it, and all the things that he has done this authoritarian attitude, barring the press, not letting certain press come into his press conferences. i didn't think you could do that in america. i thought we had freedom of speech and freedom of the press. and i didn't know you could just simply close the door and say this newspaper and this network we are not going to allow in. so i am very worried about what that says. but having said that, i will listen. i will hear what he has to say. but i won't be at the aisle shaking his hand. by the way, this is the first time in 29 years -- i did it every year with both democratic and republican presidents, with george w. bush eight times and george h.w. bush four times. and barack obama and bill clinton eight times each. so i don't do this lightly. but i feel in light of the policies, now his budget wants to decimate the state department
and foreign aid and all kinds of other things, i just can't sit idly by and pretend that every is hunky-dory and it's business as usual. there has to be a way of protesting. and this is my way of protesting. >> and congressman, we are just -- in case you can't see, showing video of you standing on the aisle and shaking a number of president's hands over the years, beth republicans and democrats. so my final question congress, congressman epgel. >> no, you have not, excuse me -- >> she is talking to me. >> i'm sorry, i thought you had been talking to me about standing on the aisle and shaking hands. >> no, maxine waters, i'm talking to congressman engle over the last years. i'm sorry, congresswoman waters. >> okay. >> who what could he say tonight that could lift your spirits for this presidency or have you start believing that this presidency is going to go
forward in a way that all americans and democrats at least on some level can get behind. >> i want him to respect the american people, even those of us who didn't vote for him. i want him to respect the congress. we are a coequal branch of government. it's not a matter of whether the president cracks the whip and we all march. and i want him to show sensitivity on issues where he hasn't shown sensitivity. immigrants built this country. i am a granson of immigrants who came to this country more unanimothan a hundred years ago. he talks about building walls. i want to hear him talk about building bridges tonight. not just walls. >> congressman elliot engle, and congresswoman maxine waters. good job speaking over those ai assume protesters speaking on loud speakers. >> you can hear it? >> i can hear it. as well as thank you to senator ben cardin to joined me earlie
to catch a special midnight edition of hard ball with chris matthews. he is going to be breaking down all the highlights from the president's speech. for now, sadly, that wraps things up for me this hour. i am katy tur. our all day coverage of trump's first presidential address to congress continues now with my colleague kate snow. >> katy, nice to see you. hello, everyone. here are the top three stories we are following right now on a very busy day. we are just under six hours aafrom trump's joint address to congress. we are getting new details this hour about what to expect tonight. we just learned moments ago that president trump may call for a new immigration bill tonight. we are also expecting to hear from the president on his obamacare replacement plan, on the economy, on national security it will be his biggest address since the inaugural address. we'll bring you a full preview of the president's first speech and house speaker paul ryan's thoughts on tonight's address coming up. also as president trump puts the fin