tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC March 16, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
e president calling the ban from the bench unprecedented judicial overreach. >> we're going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the supreme court. this is a watered down version. and let me tell you something. i think we you had at to go back to the first one and go all the way. [ audio problems ] border wall but cut deep into popular programs here at home and around the world. >> a lot of those programs that we target they sound great, they always do. they don't work. a lot of them don't work. i can't justify them to the folks paying their taxes. >> the level of spending the state department has been taking in particularly this past year is simply not sustainable. >> and burr den of proof, 12 days after his claim that then president obama tapped the phones at trump tower president trump hints more will be revealed soon. >> wiretap covers a lot of
different things. i think you are going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. ♪ good day. i'm chris jansing in washington. there is no shortage here of big news the track this hour. we will get to it all and we expect to hear from the president as well this hour. speaking at the annual friends of ireland luncheon on capitol hill. this was him earlier with the prime minister of ireland there in the oval office. we'll go live when he starts with remarks. let's first go to our team. andrea mitchell is covering secretary tillerson. and peter alexander, pete williams, and casey hunt. andrea, a big emphasis as you know on hard power, the defense budget big in this. but one of the big losers, massive proposed cuts to the
state department. from what i just heard tough from secretary tillerson, he's putting a kind of positive spin on it during his press conference. what can you tell us. >> reporter: exactly. that was the press conference we covered in tokyo before flying here very late tonight my time. the bottom line is he is saying they can do this, that he welcomes thele change willingly to spend less. this is the first secretary of state ever in my memory to say he wants less money to spend for the state department. he says they can do this because there will be fewer military conflicts in the future, his words, under donald trump, and because he thinks that the rest of the world will willingly jump in to spend foreign aid and global document and make up for what the u.s. will no longer do. because he is basically saying america has done enough. and he says the state department can be more efficient. all of these things not very realistic according to most experts. and certainly according to the state department work force, already demoralized and battered
by the firings, the resignations, forced resignations of top diplomats. this is a terrible message to the work force. but he is right in line with what donald trump wants, with what the white house is a 29% cut overall between the state department and u.s. a.i.d., and it sends a different message to the world about the posture of america. >>ithout a doubt. >> one other thing. he wasn tokyo, just very qukly, he was in tokyo, of course, the first stop, talking to prime minister abe, talking to the foreign minister, and the main focus is north korea, the threat from the north trying to pull japan and south korea and put pressure on china to do more. he says that there has been a classal failure in 20 years, decades of both republican and democratic administrations in trying to turn north korea from going nuclear. he is certainly right about that.
they have gone nuclear, nothing has worked. he says they have a new strategy but didn't say what that strategy is. >> this budget proposal. 21 cuts to the labor and agriculture department. over 30% cuts to the epaa. bold move from the white house but it is, as we heard from mick mulvaney what the president wanted. already pushback from both democrats and republicans. how are the senior staff and the budget director going to sell this? how are they going to defend it. >> we will hear from the budget director two hours from now. already this morning in interviews he is making it clear that what he has been doing with this budget is trying to put into policy what the president campaigned on, the promises he made over the course of the 2016 campaign season. that's why you are seeing these big investments, additional spending. $54 billion in defense spending,
also a lot of investment in enforcing the immigration at the borders. the impact, and what you will see ultimately is the non-military work force something shrunk dramatically, they include after school programs that would be impacted. eliminating federal money, $1.2 billion over the course of the next years. that affects problems like the shine and york pennsylvania where they say this could have a dramatic quakt on the children. there are 1.6 million paper children who benefit from these programs. the white house says we can't justify some of the spending for the people across the country that are paying the tax dollars into it. >> we just saw the president arriving at the luncheon, the eye lish luncheon. the green tie. the wearing of the green, the day before stpds. katie, is this budget dee dead
on arrival in wrong? >> why a word, yes. it's not -- you have heard lindsey graham and other members of congress say it. mick mulvaney says if congress has a better idea feel free. but this is going to be a protracted negotiation. so many cuts, especially to the state department, which gotten up backs on capitol hill. i think republicans even acknowledge that there is a valuable role for them to play in the state department. mitch mcconnell has said no way. >> casey, so much going on across capitol hill today, including republicans on the house budget committee clearing another health care hurdle. we heard from speaker ryan who is right there now at that luncheon this morning. he really showed, i would say, a lot of love for the president. >> he did. he was talking about what the president is doing as he tries to push his health care bill, the health care bill that you know, the president publicly says he is on board with through
congress. but the reality is it has hit some hurdles here even in the house where we thought the path was going to be easier. i think we have some of what
ryan said earlier today about the state of play both in his conversations with the president and for this bill. take a look. >> i got tell you, i am very pleased and very excited, and i have got to tell you, it's something i haven't seen in a long time. this president is getting deeply involved. he is helping bridge gaps in our conference. he is making it easier and better for us to pass health care. the president, his involvement and thinks engagement, his listening d s negotiating skills are bringing people together. >> what ryan went on to say is that the goal here is to get a bill that can pass. he said that over and over again. he threw it out there like this was obvious of course this was their goal all along but the reality is that's not what they were saying last week. they started voting votes yesterday.
i think it became evident that the votes were not there. now it's like okay how do we get there before next week. it went flew the budget committee hurdle. still has to go through the rules committee. we'll see if it gets to the floor. >> pete, let's tornado to the revised travel ban. two federal judges throwing up a big judicial roadblock. what was their explanation? lay of the out for us? what reaction are we expecting from the justice department. >> they both agree on one point. they think the challenges are likely to succeed when the courts finally rule on the constitutionality of the revised executive order. the challengers say it violates the ban on religious discrimination. what both judges say is we can't just go by what's in the four corners of the document itself. these are the two judges that issued rulings last night in hawaii and maryland. the hawaii ruling came less than six hours. it was first, before the executive order was to take effect. and they both say we have to look beyond the document itself
at what the intent was of the president. and they cite repeatedly what donald trump said on the campaign about how he wanted a muslim ban, how during the campaign that became a regional instead of muslim ban but that the president kept saying that the muslim ban was in essence the guiding principle here and that his subordinates and surrogates have delivered much the same message. they said that the argument in the executive order, that it's necessary to protect national security by limiting the issue of visas from these countries. that's the pretext, the window dressing to justify what they say is fundamentally, looks like to be a muslim ban n. answer to your second question, the justice department is saying the government will fight this. they will go to go to two courts of appeal. the hawaii ruling will go to the 9th circuit court of appeals in san francisco which upheld the ban on the first executive order. and then to the 1th circuit
court of appeals in maryland. undoubtedly the government will ask for that to happen on an expedited basis. then they will have to decide whether the government loses whether they go to the supreme court. and then an interesting question, who gets to the supreme court first, the government's appeal or if he's confirmed neil gorsuch. >> assuming there is a chance we might hear again or you would ask some questions of secretary erson, what's on your radar in terms of the budget and other issues that you are wating? >> first of all on the budget, let's just be clear. this budget cuts deeply into the discretionary spending. that's only 30% of the federal budget. it doesn't cut into entitlements and leaves defense and homeland security sacrosanct. it's not cutting into what is driving the federal definite simpson. it's areally dealing with just a sliver of it. not making the tough decisions and cutting to the bone by
zeroing out many programs, public broadcasting, arts and humanities, way down. and programs like meals on wheels and programs that really hit people where they are hurting. >> andrea, i know we will see and hear from you later. thank you for that. pete, peter, casey, thanks to you guys. i want to break this down with "new york times" political reporter nick comp story. big picture, you have a budget that is dead on arrival. in the last 24 hours we have two federal judges blocking president trump on immigration. you have republican lawmakers saying they won't support the health care bill he endorsed of the the republican chairman of the house committee says the president's tweet on wiretapping is wrong if taken literally. this morning on morning joe his u.n. ambassador had a hard time defending him. i guess maybe the overarching question is when you listen to him as we did last night in front of a rally, he was pretty defiant.
i'm going to get to you on the other side of the president. we are going to see what he has to say right now at that luncheon that includes the prime minister of ireland. obviously, we saw speaker paul ryan. this is an annual event there on capitol hill. there was a meeting earlier in the oval office between the president and prime minister. let's take a listen. >> thank you speaker ryan for that wonderful toast. although i've heard better jokes. [ laughter ] and thank you to all of our friends and distinguished members of congress for joining us here today. great honor. and a really great honor to be with you, vice president pence. you have been terrific. [ applause ] and all of our friends welcoming t shook, that's my new friend.
my new friend. great guy. and fiola. you know, you are something very special. we sat, we talked, and i think we'll -- we're friends now too, right? it's really an honor. thank you. thank you. [ applause ] thanks finola, appreciate. also the delegation members. very, very special. we've spent some time together. and we are going to have a very, very great long term relationship, as we would with ireland anyway. but this is a very special group, so i very much appreciate it. we're here today to celebrate america's commitment to ireland, and the tremendous contributions -- and i know it well -- the irish immigrants and their descendants have made right here in the united states and throughout the world.
the very first st. patrick's day parade was held in my home town, new york city on march 17th, 1762. with each subsequent year the irish people marched, passed another accomplishment, and celebrated another very hard earned success. and they have had tremendous success all over the world. but in this country they have had tremendous success. over the years they marched past the beautiful st. patrick's cathedral, now an immortal monument to the faith of irish catholics in america. they celebrated their shared success in american society with the election of john f. kennedy. [ applause ] they fought for america in war
and combat. and their battlefield courage has earned admiration and acclaim throughout the world. they have great courage. the proud tradition that started in 1762 has flourished and is now celebrated by americans of all faiths and backgrounds, all across our very beautiful and very special land. as we stand together with our irish friends, i'm reminded of that proverb -- and this is a good one. this is one i like. i have heard it for many many years and i love it. always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you. we know that. politically speaking, a lot of us know that. we know it well. that's a great phrase. the people of ireland and the
people of the united states have stuck together through good times and bad times over many centuries. we have built a bond that thri inpire, and endures. with us it's goin to be closer than ever before. i can tell you that. [ applause ] so as we celebrate our shared history and our enduring friendship, let us commit ourselves to working together, as we will, to build on that bond to the benefit of our citizens for many more generations to come. thank you. god bless you. and may god always bless our deep and lasting friendship and relationship. we love ireland, and we love the people of ireland. thank you very much for being here. [ applause ] >> very short remarks by the
president at that luncheon, touching on the history and the long standing relationship between the u.s. and ireland. nick, very different than what we heard last night. there was the president sticking to script, very tightly scripted remarks. yesterday, he was going after every single thing that you and i touched on at the beginning. and i guess the question is, when you have the federal judges blocking immigration, when you have him constantly having to defend his unsubstantiated claims, when you have republicans coming out and saying inside nothing to prove what he id -- when you have them really scrambling to find a way to back up this president, where does thatly him? >> you know, it's been a hard week for the president, i think. and the tell for that, i think, is the trip to michigan which was a real shift in focus. right? when the president is having a bad time his aides want to get him in front of a crowd to get him pumped and juiced up and the
things he wants to talk about and kind of win on is jobs and job creation and bringing factories back. that subject change i think is a bit of a tale tell that they are looking for a way to get ho joe back for the president. i will point out, chris, two of those problems that you mentioned are problems with twitter basically. if twitter wasn't invented it's not clear he would be in the hole he is receipt now, with the immigration order and the wiretapping. what you see is those judges actually tracking what the administration has said publicly to push back against the ban and say it's actually a muslim ban. >> i mean, it's judges. it's members of congress. it's members of his cabinet who seem to be trying to hold him to account for what he says, and especially what he tweets. having said that, if you listened to his interview last night he basically said i'm not
going to get it right all of the time. >> well, look, it's important to get the important things right. if you are going the talk about accusing the former president of a felony, the worst scandal since watergate you should have some evidence in hand and be on top of the facts. he quoted a times story. you see him fuzzing in the carlson interview to talk about there is wiretapping here and there and different kinds of wiretapping. you see an he have to fuzz out the topic and get away from the fact that he made a claim for which there is no evidence. >> you mentioned, nick, that michigan appearance yesterday. there was a moment in a photoon with the president, secretary chou, gary schneider. take a look and different. >> come on governor. even though you didn't endorse me, come on in. >> not forgotten.
>> i never forget. >> just to repeat that, the governor, who didn't endorse him gets a clear message from the president, i never forget. what did you make of that moment? i'm told -- i wasn't there but there was some reporting by people who were around that it was let's say an uncomfortable moment for some of the people who witnessed it. >> the president is not a guy who forgets. he is a guy who bears grudges. he recalls his climb to the nomination who was with him or against him. he is it rankels him and so he is going to get digs in sometimes if he can. >> nick, thank you so much. it's going to be a huge day on capitol hill on monday. judge neil gore such will be there. and james comey facing tough post potentially even hostile questions. the long awaited appearance by the fbi director who may finally provide clarity on two topics, alleged russia ties by the trump
campaign and the wiretapping claims. we are joined boy a congressman. you are going to be in the hearing with director comey. are you confident that the american people are going to be getting answers to the questions we have been asking for weeks. or will we hear the word classified early and often? >> i think you are going to hear the word classified early and often. what i hope happens is that i hope director comey takes this moment to clear up the question of whether barack obama wiretapped donald trump. he clearly, if news reports are to be believed wants to clear that up. this is of course a pretty good opportunity. now to the larger issue that you were talking about, all of the very many connections between trump's people, whether it's manafort or lewandowski or flynn, the many connections to russia, the president's behavior to russia, the wiretap, almost by definition all of the things that are associated with the investigation into whether there is anything there remain
classified. people who are looking for an answer in those areas, i suspect are going to be disappointed. >> but the basic answer to the basic question that people have been waiting for, something that would back up his claim about the wiretapping, you can think of no reason why you can't get that answer on monday? >> well, it's certainly no problem at all for director comey to say no, there was no wiretapping, which i suspect is actually the answer. now where it could get more interesting would be -- remember the white house has been sort of backing away from the claim of wiretapping and trying to walk back that clear statement and accusation against president obama. but you know -- if it were true for example, that as has been reported in the media that maybe there is a server in trump tower that somebody had an interest in -- who knows? maybe something other than wiretapping. the interesting thing there, though, and i'm not sure the director would talk about that. secondly, if that is true,
meaning the wiretapping issue wasn't made up out of whole cloth it would only be true because some federal judge decided there was probable cause decided that was a target in trump tower such that that target to be awarded. now, the very next question is wait a second who was the target and what was the probable cause that allowed a judge to allow that warrant? >> let me get your reaction to the things in the news today. first of all, repeated set backs on the immigration executive orders for the trump administration. where do you see this going? >> i'm not surprised that the court in hawaii put a restraining order on the order. on this topic this is the gang that couldn't shoot straight. i'm glad they can't shoot straight because the travel ban is a terrible idea. take it from the department of homeland security that says your origin is not a good predictor of the looklihood that you will commit terrorism.
the gang that couldn't shoot straight has taken every opportunity to say this is just like the other executive order. the president is on record as saying we are going to do a muslim ban. facts matter. perhaps not in the oval office but facts matter to judges. the judge in hawaii said this looks too much like an unconstitutional religious identification here. apart from the national security issues, this ban was never going to keep the american people safer. it was going to make us less safe. >> i have got only a brief period of time but i want to ask you about bumming. nancy pelosi says the budget is a slap in the face to the future. the white house says this is the president giving the american what he said he would, what they voted on. what's your take on the budget? >> i was puzzled that this is what the american people asked for. gutting the epa so that air and water is much more dirty around the country including long island sound i'm not sure american people want the kind of
pollution we had 60 years ago. gutting medical research, gutting efforts to combat homelessness -- if this budget were to go through, and it won't, what we would have is we would have a country that is even more heavily armed than it is today. those arms would be protecting a country full of homelessness, dirty water, dirty air. so this is just a budget that should concern any american. >> congressman hines good to see you. thank you so much. coming up, sneak peek. members of congress say they haven't seen any wiretapping evidence. but the president promises he will have more to reveal, soon. more on that next on "andrea mitchell reports." internet dial up sound hi, i'm the internet. you've got mail! what did you think i'd look like? i'm wire-y.
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impacted by the cuts in the president' new budget proposa. it eliminates funding for arts sciences and programs that help the poor to member pay for a $54 billion defense increase and over $1 billion for the border wall next year. top republicans say it's dead on arrival but mick mulvaney defended the proposal on morning joe. >> can you talk about where you are concerned that perhaps some of these cuts may hurt american's lives, if anywhere? >> no. i think that we're actually doing exactly what we said to do to protect americans. but we don't balance the budge, but we do reprioritize spending. that's the message to congress. >> joining me now, douglas holty, former kong budget correct director, mccain 2008 budget adviser. now commissioner on the financial crisis inquiry commission. it's good to see you. give me your take on this budget as you see it. >> thank chris. i think you are going to see a lot of support for increasing fundsing for the department of
defense, our men and bem in the armed services. the cuts that finance that are going to meet a mixed reception. there are things like the national institutes of health that have strong by part san support and i don't see a great appetite for cutting $6 billion out of that. i think you are going the hear calls for more. this is not a complete budget. so there is going to be a thirst for more information about exactly what the administration wants. >> as you know, this budget, as it is right now, hits a lot of people who actually voted for donald trump, their rural voters, their low income voters. if you take a look it abolished a $3 billion program that provides food assistance programs, housing assistance, community improvements and development. homelessness programs. the white house says that some of these either don't work or are duplicative. but do you think that's something that you will be able to sell, that they will be able
to sell in individual congressional districts that get hurt? >> i think the big issue here is that the annual spending by congress, the things congress votes on every year are the places where we do national security, basic research, education, infrastructure, where you invest as the federal government and what the founders saw in federal government. the real money is in the entitlement programs. social security, medicare, medicaid. and any strategy that wants to make a significant cut for some other priority and leaves those off the table makes going past inefficiencies past duplication, and ending programs they actually favor. >> the box they find themselves in you think is the president's promise not to touch the entitlements. >> absolutely. that is where more than two
thirds of the spending is. those programs will cause the deficits to rise. at some point you have to respect the fact that that's where the money is we need get more for our money. we need to have a social security system that doesn't threaten to go bankrupt in 20 years. we need a medicare program that delivers high qualitcare to our seniors. we need a medicaid program that doesn't leave individuals having an insurance policy but unable to par services. >> some of these cuts seem to be numbers that frankly don't have a big impact overall on the budget. pbs, public broadcasting put out a state said the cost of public broadcasting is small and the benefits are tangible. increasing education for grades 2 to 8, it eliminates funding for programs like the national
endowment for the arts. national endowment for the humanities. are these things to your mine more of a message than having an impact on the bottom line? >> i think three thing. number one, they are a message. number two, in some cases they are a recognition that while it's not a lot of money it's not money well spent and you shouldn't spend taxpayers money poorly in any event. number three, they are an acknowledgement you have taken off the table the places where you can go and get substantial money to fund an increase in defense spending. everyone knows we need more defense spend. that's bipartisan. that needs to get done. the question is how do you do it. >> douglas holticen good to see you. the didn't over makingme montenegro a memberof the
united nations sparked this comment from john mccain on the senate floor. >> i have no idea why anyone would object to this except that i will say if they object they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of vladimir putin and i do to say that lightly. >> what's your reaction to senator mccain's character a's igs of your objection. >> i think he makes a really, really strong case, you know, for term limits. i think maybe he's past his prime. i think maybe he's gotten a little bit unhinged. >> unhinged. their relationship wasn't great during the campaign. seems to be deteriorating. meantime, new strategy. rex tillerson today attacking the two decades of by part san attempts to deter north korea's nuclear program. more from andrea mitchell, who is in seoul, south korea, following the secretary on his asia trip. that's next right here on "andrea mitchell reports." you will only see it on msnbc.
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encouragement to take a different pathway. that encouragement has been met with further development of nuclear capabilities, more missile launches, including those of the recent february 11th and march the 5th. >> that was secretary of state rex tillerson in tokyo overnight. andrea mitchell was there covering the seth's trip to asia. e joins us again from seoul, south korea. and as i listened to hat, andrea, i think of all the trips you took with secretary of state kerry. before that, with secretary of state clinton. how the approach of the former administration was about diplomacy first. that sounds from rex tillerson saying clearly this is a whole new ball game. >> it is. he is not wrong about the fact that the fact that the past programs have failed. the past strategy toward north korea was failed. i want to bring in our guest because of course i was. treeing before that with
madeleine albright to north korea, and christopher, and collin powell and condi rice. joining me now is michael green, and now the senior vice president for asia at the center for strategic and international studies. and ann gearrin from the "washington post." mike green, first to you. his new strategy is unclear. it is a continuation, we understand, of what the prior administration's have all tried to do is get china more engaged. get china to press north korea. and also now use the missile defense, the thaad missile defense which was started under previous administrations. about you they are accelerating the deployment. that of course is something that china is very resistant to. >> you said it right. knew because you were there and i was there for a good part of that time as well with president
bush. north korean diplomacy is like groundhog day. we are not getting anywhere and they continue to move closer to the ability to threaten the u.s. with a nuclear head on a missile. secretary tillerson is right. i don't think the administration has an actual strategy yet but i think it's important he said what he said because the chinese attitude right now is this is a problem between the u.s. and dprk. the foreign minister said it's like they are two trains heading towards each other. that's wrong. it's the dprk that's a speeding train and we have to get tougher. there are going to be calls in seoul to be softer on the north too with the new presidential elections. i don't think they have a new playbook ready but i thought it was important he said that. >> i mean, there is talk of a military option, but apparently they have abandoned that talk for now.
that, most people believe, would be a candidate because the initial reaction would be of course devastating strike against the neighbor south korea right across the dmz and japan. >> well, with kim jong-un brazenly developing these capabilities on public television in north korea showing attack plans on washington and with the danger that he will think he can attack south korea on the margins or use force against south korea now that he has this nuclear threat at his disposal. with all that happening secretary of defense mattis and others are right to say all of our options are on the table. we don't want the north to think we are intimidated. but if we actually struck north korea and they struck back, in the end their countries could be destroyed but they could unleash hundreds of missiles on japan and thousands on south korea, probably armed with chemical, being or possibly nuclear war
heads. it is a very ugly option but they are right to keep it on the table. the more likely military action would be to try to shoot down a north korean missile test with the agis missile defense system. i don't know if that's the administration's plan, but that one is a strong response that doesn't have the same risk. but they are going to have to look at those tougher stances given how kim jong-un is just racing towards this nuclear capability. >> i was actually out looking at the 7th fleet when we were in tokyo yesterday, the day before, which ever day we are now in. you could see the agis destroyers and they are in joint military exercises right now with south koreans. which is an irritant to north korea. ic moo, you have a new book out. -- mike, you have a new book out. you go back a long way with that history. i want to bring in ann gearrin.
this is a different kind of diplomacy. important first steps with prime minister abe in tokyo just yesterday, or earlier today actually your time. laying down the market that we want to work closely with japan, our strongest ally. but also there is a need to bring japan and south korea together. he has problems here in seoul. the president has been impeached and the new leader is likely to be more leftist and more interesting in engaging with north korea and talking with north korea rather that taking a firm stand. >> yeah, the south korean government has gone back and forth, run a little hot and cold over the last decade in terms of how much it wants to be welcoming and try for at least better relations if not reunification with the north. there is a lot of domestic pressure still within south
korea from separated families who want to see a friendlier attitude toward the north if for no other reason that it would make travel between the two koreas easier. s that all bubbling up again as you point out. at the same time there remain long standing historical diplomatic problems between south korea and japan. actually came up at the press conference you attended early this morning in tokyo involving the use of the term comfort women, basically sex slaves and what the u.s. position is on that. it is a huge issue in south korea remaining still today. and that's another thing that tillerson is going to walk into at the same time as he's trying to get these two important u.s. allies all on the same page against not only north korea but making a unified front with china telling china that they have to use diplomatic and economic leverage against the
north on behalf of the entire region but particular these those two u.s. allies. >> briey, ann, the budget. just briefly, just a fe moments ago we saw that the spokesman for the u.n., secretary general, in diplomatic terms objecting to the cuts that the state department is proposing in the u.n. funding saying that you can conquer terrorism with military spending alone. deep cuts in the u.n. budget saying they know they have to reform but these kind of cuts, abrupt abruptly, can't be managed. >> yeah. it's -- the u.n. knew they were in for some bad news today, but they didn't know exactly how bad. and that -- that statement is part of a response i think that we are starting to hear from humanitarian groups and others around the world saying that this budget even if it doesn't come true in exact terms when
it's eventually passed shows that the united states has less ambition and is stepping back from a leadership role in the world. >> ann gearrin, thanks to you. mike green thanks to you. now, from seoul, south korea, back to you chris jansing, in washingt washington. still the come, still no evidence. the white house gets pressed for information to support the president's claim that president obama tapped trump tower. the former acting director of the cia joins us right here on "andrea mitchell reports," only on msnbc.
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wiretap covers a lot of different thichlks i think you are going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. >> president trump not backing down there was some sort of surveillance at twump tower. joining me now, john mclove lin. >> hi chris. >> what do you think heould be referring to that something was going to come to ligh overhe next two weeks? >> i have no idea. because he said so many things that haven't come to light after that prediction. the only thing i can imagine
here is that -- and i'm reaching -- would be that in the course of monitoring some foreign individual, as often happens, an american was picked up talking to that person. that's conceivable, but i'm really speculating. we don't know. >> and you are not alone in your speculation or concern. several lawmakers, including top republicans have been skeptical or said outright as we heard yesterday, there is nothing if you look at wiretapping per se. that's flat out wrong. if you broaden it we still don't have any proof. where does this go from here? >> i think we have to see how these congressional investigations go with director comey going up there and speaking on a classified basis. if we start to see leaks out of that, i think then we will now know at that point -- we will know at that point that these committees can't get this done. increasingly i think this is only going to get done by some sort of independent commission that looks at it objectively
with the politics taken out. >> but there is no question you could think of asking that would at least clear this up in the mind of the american people? i'm not talking about classified. because i think there are a lot of people who think that's what we are going to hear a lot of. >> actually, there is a question. i think many people have asked it. the question would be was there a warrant sought and obtained from the foreign intelligence surveillance court to do something that we would call wiretapping and i don't think it would be classified to say yes or no on that question without going into the substance of the warrant itself. >> why haven't we gotten that answer because you can see frustration on the faces of even some republicans in congress. >> there is something bizarre. with the president talking about newspaper articles he has read, with people like me who actually signed these warrants, knowing it takes only a phone call to find out -- that literally, chris is all it takes. we are in a big charade here, a
parlor game, almost. i think the longer it goes on -- one of my concerns that i've written about just today is that when foreign countries look at this and they imagine the america they have always known, this is not the american they have always known. they are puzzled. they say to me things like america used to be able to inspire us. now it's just confusing us. i think there is some damage being done by all this internationally. >> we only have 30 seconds but i don't want you to leave without talking about this. you were one of the 134 foreign policy experts who denounced the president's travel ban. now we have two more judges coming out and putting a stay on the original or enforcing the stay on the original executive order. where do you see that going? >> here's the thing, i think the president, in all of these issues, health care, travel ban the wiretap thing ought to be learning the lesson that words matter. if you at the judge's opinions they are looking back an awful lot by what was said by the president and some of his advisors on the way to this ban.
where does it go from here. >> i think it will go to the 9th circuit for' review. who knows what their decision will be. but the problem here is that you can't justify a ban that rules out segments of people based solely on nationality. the single most biggest problem we have when it comes to terrorism is we need a warning system for detecting domestic radicalization here. that's where we have failed. we are pretty good at catching people coming into the country though you always want to say one can get there. >> john mclaughlin, thank you for coming in. appreciate it. we'll be right back. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage.
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before we wrap up this edition of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea, big day ahead for secretary tillerson when he arrives in south korea. >> south korea, which doesn't have a government, and according to david sanger of the "new york times" five days ago it is a good bet he will try to get a close up look of the 28,000 troops facing down south korea from north korea. andrea, thank to you. ari melber is up next on msnbc. >> i'm ari, in for craig melvin. we have major developments this hour. a new financial blueprint, president trump's first budget proposes slashing diplomacy and environmental programs as well as boosting military sp