tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 28, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
>> it was a long night and early morning. >> i have to learn to get it right. it's our day job. tomorrow, it will be our day job again, 12:30 p.m. >> right now, it's time for andrea mitchell reports. andrea? right now on andrea mitchell records epic fail in a suspenseful all night drama. john mccain stands up to the vice president, huddles with the democrats and casts the deciding vote. ending the republican's seven year promise to repeal obamacare. audible gasps cheers from democrats has mccain gives the thumbs down to the bill, leaving obamacare the law of the land, at least for now. >> why did you vote no? >> i felt it was the right vote. >> i believe each of us stood up for the reasons that we felt
were right. x rated. a vulgar rant from the new white house communications director. sanctioned by the president, eviscerating reince priebus and steve bannon. >> we serve at the pleasure of the president. if it gets to a place where that isn't the case, he'll let you know. >> for goodness sakes, to have this kind of open warfare going on between the president, his staff, and his cabinet members is an absolute disgrace. >> tit for tat. m moscow shuts the doors after congress sanctioned the russia for hacking our election. >> i've gotten no indications that they're considering vetoing it. and, again, i mean they can count. they understand math. and i just can't imagine they're considering doing so.
and escalating threat, the pentagon confirms it has detected a launch of a ballistic missile from north korea, which landed in japanese sea lanes off the coast of japan after flying for about 45 minutes. we'll have a lot more details coming up next. and good day, everyone, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. a busy day where john mccain lived up to his maverick reputation, standing up to the president casting the deciding vote to save obamacare. now the challenge for both sides can they work together to repair what needs to be fixed in the healthcare system. or will the president deny subsidies to insurers and carry out his threat to let obamacare implode on its own. joining me now nbc's kasie hunt and kristen welker. an all nighter for all of us watching and for you guys tracking the floor. this is so extraordinary. the action overnight, and now the prospects of what the
president will do next. how is the capitol reassessing? >> just a stunning evening at the capitol, everybody, really, on tender hooks waiting to find out what john mccain was going to do here. and he lived up to every dramatic -- you know, he has had a flair for this kind of a moment in his political career and in his life more broadly. and of course, his actions here have taken on a new tenor in the wake of his diagnosis with brain cancer. and so to have him -- he walked out on to that floor, was cajoled by mike pence. he stepped out to take a phone call. the president says i really need your vote. it was not enough to sway him and he walked forward, gave that thumbs down, you could see mitch mcconnell standing with his arms
crossed. republicans shocked. and this, really, changes the debate in a way that, you know, we're still sorting through, even this morning. republicans are trying to regroup up here on capitol hill. we don't know what mcconnell's next move is going to be. senator schumer saying, look, let's get together and work on something bipartisan. the future of that very uncertain. >> and as you be been pointing out, it was extraordinary because they were voting for something with the promise from paul ryan it would never become law. which was sort of alice in wonderland, you know, legislative action. this is what chuck schumer had to say not too long ago this morning. >> i hope what john mccain will be regarded as a turning point. sometimes you need a spark that inspires the forces of coming together to outweight the forces of pulling apart. john mccain may have done that. >> and kristen welker, in the midst of the turmoil at the white house, you've got this
vulgar rant from the new communications director, sanctioned by the president. and now heading towards air force one that hasn't left for long island where he's going to give the speech on these gang and the latest killings. he is going to be out there on long island accompanied by a chief of staff, reince priebus as well as anthony scaramucci. how do they get along on one airplane? >> it's going to be an interesting one, that's for sure. look, let's just take this in the wake of this stunning healthcare defeat. they're regrouping here at the white house as well. officials still trying to figure out what the next steps are, how the president would like to proceed. whether he wants to just move on to tax reform. and the fact that you have this internal fighting, this war, if you will, anthony scaramucci, the new communications director lashing out in that yorker article with all sorts of obscenities aimed at the chief of staff and chief strategist, steve bannon as well.
i am told that, look, this is creating an even more complicated backdrop to what is already an incredible defeat here for this president. as you point out, the attack sanctioned president today thinks it's okay. the big but is, it's one thing to have a lot of discord behind the scenes. it's another thing when you aren't getting legislative wins. and so i think there is deep concern starting to set in here within the administration that this discord has to be dealt with, it has to be essentially knocked out or else it's going to really serve as a barrier for this president, for his domestic agenda. of course, it raises the question, andrea, will we see some departures at the white house. you had anthony scaramucci saying he's going to fire leakers, pointing the finger who he thinks the leakers are. sean spicer resigned. he is a reince priebus ally.
another reince priebus ally resigned. all eyes are on reince priebus. he is on that trip today. he has been a big part of the healthcare fight. so there's no doubt the political intrigue will continue to deepen. but no sign at this hour that we are seeing any departures in the imminent future. >> and as if they needed concentrating of the mind, now you've got the renewed threat from north korea. we don't know yet whether this was a long range or short range missile. that analysis is yet to come. but the fact that north korea is still flexing its muscles, and that we reported this week that the timeframe for them to achieve the weaponization of a long range missile that can hit the u.s. mainland has been shortened by two years, by next year according to all of my sources. they could be ready with a
nuclear warhead on top of one of these icbms. >> it adds to the urgency, andrea. i think it underscores the fact that the stakes are so incredibly high for any white house for this white house and so for there to be this internal discord could be problematic as they face those type of challenges domestically and on the foreign policy front. in terms of north korea we've reached out to our sources, we're waiting for a reaction from the white house as they assess what happened. this is, obviously, something the president has been increasingly concerned about. he has spent a lot of time trying to reach out to the leader of china to try to get china to ramp up the pressure on north korea. the administration wants to see a diplomatic resolution to this. at the same time, this is a leader of north korea who has launched 11 missile tests since february. so this is at the forefront of concerns here at the white house. it's something that former president obama warned incoming president trump about.
it's something that continues to really roil this administration. they haven't figured it out yet. >> thanks so much, chuck todd, of course, is nbc news political director, moderator of "meet the press." host of msnbc's mtp daily. we also have new information that russia has been propping up north korea as much as china is. russia has greatly increased its economic support for north korea just since february. which means that at the same time that this president is trying to reset relations with vladmir putin and having a cozy conversation at the g-20. russia is behind his back taking steps to undermine his efforts against north korea. >> you know, i go back to something i thought it was missed a little bit. i think i was speaking with ambassador chris hill a little while ago, trying to understand
why is it in china's interest to continue to prop up north korea and russia a little bit. and i thought the best analysis that i heard had to do with the fact that china in particular, russia less so, but they both studied german reunification. the great fear, the great fear with china is that the korean peninsula unites, becomes this giant economic power that is aligned with the united states. that's why it's in their interest to continue to keep this south korea/north korea spl split. prop north korea up just a bit because it causes a problem for the united states. you have to say, the actions of both china and russia seem to at least underscore that that is the long term both fear and goal here. because no other -- if that isn't it, then what is the other
motivation here? nothing else makes sense other than that. it's the fear of the eventual economic power a united korean peninsula could be. just like what happened when germany came together and look what germany is today. >> bottomline is they are more afraid of the u.s. being dominant on the korean peninsula than they are afraid of -- >> north korea. >> unpredictable leader with nuclear weapons. let's talk about healthcare, because being the junky that i am, i couldn't turn it off. so up until 3:00 this morning watching msnbc and, of course, brian williams and just the drama of what was happening. and the grainy cspan pictures, because that's all we're allowed to watch. watch john mccain put his arm around dianne feinstein after standing up against mike pence with mitch mcconnell's body language slumping and then finally seated as they all sat
down to take their votes. i mean, all the milling around and arm twisting stopped. it was one of those moments we've seen. a moment unlike any other in that it was a seven year effort and it was asking them to vote for something that they were promised would never become law. >> what did you expect? what i find interesting, and i think a couple of less covered parts of this, john mccain is not getting criticized by many -- any senate republicans as far as i could tell today, publicly or privately. you know, there had been a running assumption if this went down in the senate it wasn't going to go down by one vote, it was going to go down by ten. the surprise was that somebody was willing to be the deciding vote, in this case, john mccain. if you think the position he is in right now -- >> let me point out we have new pictures just moments ago, john mccain with cindy mccain, he's
pausing in the hallway leaving. just -- what he did last night, standing up to the president of his party, standing up to his party leaders in the senate to save a healthcare program, put through by the president who defeated him in '08. >> let me -- look, john mccain was consistent here. john mccain was john mccain. he cares about the united states' senate as an institution more man his party. pure and simple. this wasn't about saving obamacare in his mind either. everybody is trying to say john mccain has picked sides, he's with the democrats. no john mccain is an institutionalist. pure and simple. he's not been happy how the senate has been run over the last decade. he's made that known multiple times. it might be a snarky aside at a press conference or sometimes directly and bluntly. he gave mcconnell some benefit
of the doubt by saying, look, i'll give you your vote to get this bill on the floor. but he made it clear he likely -- that was all he was going to give him. and so there you have it. that's what he did. this was about john mccain, senate institutionalist. >> and, chuck, i can't leave you without talking about the disarray, i don't even know what to call it. >> i've run out of adjectives, too. >> scaramucci. i don't know how long reince priebus is for the white house, but how does any self-respecting chief of staff who has not been exerting power, whose aides have been fired keep -- hold on to the job after being excoriated in a sanctioned vulgar rant, the likes of which has been printed by the newspapers, but we can't mention on television. >> i would say this, i don't
think this is a reflection of reince priebus or anthony scaramucci. who runs any organization like this? for those of us who have spent a lot of time studying donald trump and watching him over decades, this is how he does manage his business. you know, he's not a ceo, not that mentality. he's more of a, you know, it's a family business. he runs it that way. he expects people to fight for his affection a little bit. so i think he's very comfortable with this idea. but he has a west wing that is totally paralyzed right now. you have folks that are, you know, not in any camp, whether bannon camp or priebus camp or scaramucci camp who are looking around. they don't know who they report to. this is a west wing that is totally unprepared for an unforeseen crisis. and i think the president this weekend, this can't stand if he expects to be able to be nimble and run this and run a -- put it
this way, if this is true, that he's considering a secretary kelly to be his chief of staff, well, that would tell you he wants to run a tighter ship. you can't run a tight ship if you have people, a sifiring squ. if scar meeamucci is his guy, h got to man up and fire priebus and bannon. >> this is a west wing that even aaron sorkin could not have managed. >> it wouldn't have been believed. oh, that's too crazy to happen. >> reality tv come to washington. thank you so much, and, of course, much more about all of this on mtp daily and every sunday "meet the press." check your local listings. coming up, russia retaliating after congress passes new sanctions now awaiting the president's signature. a live report from moscow. we'll have richard engel. stay with us on andrea mitchell reports on msnbc. this is crabfest at red lobster.
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the sanctioned were put in place because the united states -- >> it's illegal action, look, it's illegal action -- >> punish -- >> you don't punish anybody. anybody. that is not your right. your rights and the rights of your congress and the rights of the white house, only inside america and that's it. >> well, supporters of the sanctions would argue that russia had no right to try and interfere with the u.s.
political process. >> that's nonsense because we have no reason to do that and it is not possible to change american political system. >> and that was a russian senator talking to richard engel. we'll bring you richard in a moment. he's got a big program tonight at 9:00 on the russian cyber war against the u.s. joining me now william cohen the former secretary of defense in bill clinton's administration and served in the senate and the house with a lot of drama there. first i want to ask you about our breaking news on north korea. it looks according to some sources, both u.s. and japanese, as though this could be another icbm, another long range missile after their successful launch of july 3rd and 4. the fact is according to my reporting, they are now two years ahead, closer to the timeline of militarizing a warhead if they get the reentry fixed and they seem to be making a lot of progress.
they could reach the american mainland. >> we have to assume that is the case. >> if you were secretary of defense what would you be doing? >> intensifying the sanctions that's being done. i would build up the defense capability on the south korean peninsula. i'd be doing the same thing with japan and perhaps even talking about giving them offensive capability in the region in order to have a really strong deterrent in addition to ours. a number of other things, but i would intensify the sanctions to say to the north korean regime we're going to try to bring about a collapse of your economy. so that you can't keep doing this. it may not be possible. we won't have the support of the chinese or russians so it will have to be unilateral or as many friends as we can get to shut down their ability to generate the revenue. >> you travel all over the world and speak to world looereaders. this worked with iran when we
applies sanctions and stopped iran from dealing in dollars in the banking system that dominates the world. we can do that to chinese banks and russian entities as well. we've done it because of ukraine to russia already. why can't we ramp it up? >> i think we have to. that is one of the major goals right now is to ramp up the sanctions to say we're not going to sit back and allow him to continue to test and test and 2018, a short year from now or less, say that we can hit san francisco or hawaii or california. southern california. >> we have had successful tests recently of missile defenses based in the kodiak region in alaska off the coast of alaska. but they can't be 100% certain. we keep hearing reports from the white house about a preemptive strike. all of our reporting is their facilities are underground. they have mobile launchers now.
we don't know if this was a mobile launcher. maybe solid state fuelling which gives us less time to spot them overhead from satellites. we don't know where their stuff is. >> a preemptive strike doesn't make sense, it's not rational. it would precipitate a situation where thousands would die. our posture is reactive, defensive. it's not designed to initiate a preemptive strike. could we do so, but at great cost. our choice is to squeeze until the regime says let's make a deal. they're not there yet. by increasing the defensive capability of japan and south korea, and possibly considering offensive capability there because the south koreans in the past have asked for permission to have a greater capability of striking the north. we have restrained that for fear we might be aggravating the
situation. i think now it may be a different situation. we have a new president who has been trying to say let's do it diplomatically. the north is not interested in doing something diplomatically. they want to have nuclear weapons capability which can threaten the united states. >> does it make any sense with north korea having nuclear weapons, they have an arsenal, icbms, does it make any sense for the president to be picking a fight with the rest of the world by canceling the iran agreement and undermining his secretary of state 90 days from now? >> what's going on in the white house is shameful. that we are seeing the kind of disarray take place in public that the president appears to be tv tough. not really tough. in other words, if i'm the president, saying i don't like this, get fired. get out. i want people who will respond to me in the way i want. he's unwilling to do that. that serves as a sign of
weakness. don't be tv tough. if you really don't want these people be saying the things or representing you in the way they are, get rid of them. >> speaking of tough, your freshman republican house member from maine, you were on the nixon committee. you cast the deciding vote. how tough was that? can you imagine given this house and how loyal the republicans on the house side have been to this president, any similar scenario to what you saw with richard x nixon. >> what i want the american people to know, especially the trump supporters, he has many. people like bob dole who lost half of his body -- >> john mccain. >> who spent six years as a prisoner of war who is suffering from disabilities or take tammy duckworth, senator from illinois who lost both legs.
they fought to say we're a democracy, i don't want to see the president or anyone else in any way diminish that by saying president putin, it's okay you can launch a sneak attack at the heart of our democracy and not pay a penalty for it. john mccain believes in the rule of law. he's my hero, he will always be my hero. i think the nation owed him a debt of gratitude. the institution is really the -- has to remain strong and cannot be politicized. everything today is being politicized in a way that's paralyzing us. other countries are looking at us saying you can't make a decision. the president shouldn't be dealing with these minor issues sending out tweets. he knows more than the generals according to what he said during the campaign. yet, by-passed the generals, sends out a tweet saying transgender people can't serve. he's doing those things while north korea is testing missiles. so we've got to get serious and
disciplined. we have to have some sentiment the president is acting presidentially, making decisions in the best interest of our country and not engage setting people one against the other so he can enjoy the spectacle. because it looks like we're sending in the clowns. i want more from him. i want the country to succeed. i want the president to be strong. i don't see that right now. >> bill cohen. thank you very much. >> appreciate it. nbc's richard engel is in moscow outside the country house used by u.s. diplomatic personnel which may be shuttered and diplomats sent home as a retaliation for the new sanctions. richard? >> reporter: so the gate is closed. i am in what's called the silver forest just outside of moscow. and this is one of the country residences that has been shuttered. the foreign ministry of russia said this location, which has long been used by american
embassy staff for barbecues, to relax, to get away from the pressures of every day life in moscow, that this facility will be closed. no longer accessible to american personnel at the end of this month. and a storage facility in moscow. but perhaps the more severe restriction is that hundreds of american personnel, according to russian media, will have to be sent home. because, according to the russian foreign ministry, only 455 american diplomats and staff are going to be allowed to serve in this country. and that number is quite significant. that's the exact number of russians who are serving in technical capacities or diplomatic facilities in the united states. so russia says this is a response to the sanctions, but it is also clearly a response to the one of the final acts of president obama when he closed
two diplomat facilities, seized two russian diplomat facilities and expelled dozens of russian diplomats. >> richard, tonight in another installment of on assignment, you have a really deep look at russian spying, at the cyberwars and what we can expect from moscow. richard? >> reporter: well, a lot of people seem to be surprised that this -- your former guest just said -- the sneak attack by russia took place. the cold war spy games are not over. >> we'll all be watching 9:00 eastern on msnbc. richard, thanks so much for your reporting from moscow today and always. coming up next, sessions speaks. the attorney general responding to his boss's bullying, stay with us on msnbc. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that.
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he is determined to move this country in the direction he believes it needs to go to make us great again. >> joining me now is cathy rumler, the former chief counsel in the obama white house. you know the justice department well. how is the department holding up in the face of this, you know, barrage of criticism of the attorney general by the commander in chief? >> i can't imagine. i think it has to be unbelievably demoralizing to the men and women of the justice department who are, you know, working tirelessly every day. for them, the change in administration, you know, is not that big of a deal. which is probably -- would be a shock to president trump, but it's not. they're working their cases. they're following, you know, the evidence, the facts and the law. and so i think it's got to be very, very disheartening to have their leader of the justice department, you know, be publicly debased in the way that the president has been doing. >> and the irony of this is of all the cabinet secretaries with
the possible exception of energy and epa, jeff sessions is actually carrying out donald trump's agenda, a very conservative agenda in terms of the substance of what he's doing. everything except the recusal which is required under legal ethics. he had to recuse himself. >> that's exactly right. that's what astonishing about this. it's not as if this came from out of the blue. the regulations didn't change you know, when the administration changed. and so any investigation involving the presidential campaign would have required any attorney general who worked on the campaign to recuse. so, you know, this was completely foreseeable. my guess is that it, in facte e foreseeable to certain people. it would have been foreseeable i assume to the white house counsel at the time. it shouldn't really have been a major surprise to anybody that that was what he was required to
do. it was clearly the appropriate thing to do. >> ironically rudy guiliani and newt gingrich, others who he might put in would also have to recuse. >> i don't see why there would be a distinction there. you know, they worked personally on the campaign, they were campaign surrogates. and if the investigation, as, you know, we now know it does, involves then candidate trump's campaign, i think they would be under the ethics rules required to recuse. >> what if he tries to get rid of mueller or fire sessions, put in an appointee who doesn't require confirmation as a recess appointee? there are ways that he can get more direct control of this investigation. >> i think the system is being stretched and strained to its absolute limit. >> in fact, we know that lindsey graham went to see him at the white house today. he was one of those warning
don't do this because you will blow up his presidency. >> it would break the system. we haven't seen this kind of political interference from a white house to a justice department you know, since watergate. and everyone i think believed the lessons were learned from watergate. there has to be a very strong line, a very strong wall, almost, between the justice department and the white house. and, you know, the president doesn't seem to have any respect or regard for that. one of the things you hear people talking about are the norms, and this is all about norms and traditions of washington, d.c. and president trump was here, was brought, you know, into office largely to blow up these norms. when people are talking about norms, they're not talking about etiquette. it's not like knowing the difference between the dessert spoon and teaspoon. this is really about the fundamental tenants of our democracy. the rule of law and the principle this country is founded on, that when you are
subject to the great weight and power of the justice department or the fbi, that's being done without regard to political considerations and without regard to partisan considerations. >> thank you so much. appreciate your experience as a former white house counsel. coming up after the late night drama, what's next in the healthcare fight? one of the architects of the affordable care act zeke, emmanuel joining me next on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. 6- broke into a house owned by three bears. she ate some porridge, broke the baby bear's chair, and stole some jewelry, a flat-screen tv, and a laptop. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped the bears with homeowners insurance. they were able to replace all their items... ...including a new chair from crate and barrel. call geico and see how easy it is to switch and save on homeowners insurance. ♪ backpack, check. that's the family taking care of business. awesome notebook! check.
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after casting the deciding vote to kill the senate's last ditch obamacare repeal, senator john mccain said in a new statement today, it's time for a fresh bipartisan start. joining me now is dr. zeke emmanuel, one of the architects of obamacare chair of the health policy at the university of pennsylvania and author of prescription for the future. according to your book and the proposals you outline, a lot needs to be fixed in obamacare. do you think now there's a chance, a chance that in a bipartisan way they could try to do what they -- some would argue should have been doing for the past couple of years? >> well, there are some things that need to be done to shore up the exchanges. i don't know a radical fix is the right description. the real attention needs to be to focus on affordability. the american public has said pretty clearly that high insurance premiums and high deductibles and co-pays are the things that are burdening them the most. and they want relief from that. and to get long term relief from
high healthcare costs requires that we transform how we deliver care so it's more efficient, unnecessary care is eliminated. some of the high prices for drugs are brought down. i've been saying for a long time now that's where we should focus. as you point out, my book is all about places that have successfully transformed themselves and have brought the quality up and the costs down. that's the direction we need to go. and there are some clear policy levers that can get us there and these policy levers, they're not liberal, they're not conservative. when i talk with my conservative health policy people, we agree 60%, 70% of the time on them. >> i remember back during the 70s before this law was sunsetted out in 1984. there were government rules state by state, but federal rules to eliminate redundancies. you couldn't have ten hospitals in one city all getting some, you know, very, very fancy, very
expensive piece of equipment. >> organ transplants. >> you could decide and ration, not the access but ration how many of these -- medical systems could multiply. why not return to something like that? >> certificates of need were used 40, 50 years ago. they may not be the best or efficient way. if you provide nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, the right incentives they are positioned best to think through how to redesign the care. they're still largely paid for fee for service, doing more is how they make money. that does not encourage them to think in terms of efficiency and in terms of eliminating waste. and that change in attitude is what we need to do. to get there, we do need the government to lead on changing payment and to encourage, maybe
even force insurance companies, also, to significantly change how they pay doctors and hospitals. >> dr. zeke emmanuel the book is prescription for the future. it's a must read, especially now. thanks for being with us. >> thank you, andrea, really appreciate it. coming up, the director of the national terrorism center joining us right here on "andrea mitchell reports," stay with us. for your heart... your joints... or your digestion... so why wouldn't you take something for the most important part of you... your brain. with an ingredient originally found in jellyfish, prevagen is now the number one selling brain health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. it's my decision to make it's nbeauty last.ix.
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and while the president is clearly wrestling with a lot of domestic setbacks like health care, where do we stand on the campaign against isis and other terror groups, along with other global threats? joining me now rasmussen, spent his entire year in national security issues. and welcome, it's great to have you here. so what keeps you up at night? >> thank you, andrea of t. well, first of all, i guess what keeps me up athe night is a wide array of very diverse and challenging terrorism threats. emanating from a whole host of conflict zones around the world. the tendency is to focus on iraq and syria, where the main battle is being fought against isis
every day. and there is no doubt that that tremendous progress is being made in that battle against isis. at the same time, the threat continue that has emerged from the growth of isis is something we're going to be dealing with for a considerable period of time. >> because of the way it's spread, metastasized or imitated? >> i would say both. one of the things we worried about over the past couple of years and tracked very closely in the intelligence community is the magnetic attraction to the conflict iraq and syria had for extremists around the world. the so-called flow of foreign fighters from all over the world. and of particular concern from europe into iraq and syria to join the fight. as the government of iraq and as coalition forces squeeze isis in iraq and syria, some of those fighters will come back, will go back, perhaps, to their countries of origin, and they will have new skills, new experiences, new rolodexs full of contacts.
and they will present a threat. a greater threat than to us, the united states, but it's something very, very concerned about. >> as mosul has been retaken and now we go on to talafur and raqqah and syria, these fighters are mounting into the desert. how do we track them? there was an alert last week about the possibility of 100, 200 suicide isis fighters who could be part of a suicide squad in europe. >> now, we do think, and we assess inside the intelligence community that the vast majority of fighters who have gone to iraq and syria are destined to stay there. they're going to fight on behalf of the isis california afate, and they're likely ready to die. what you say about europe projections and others is something to be concerned about. our antidote to that is good intelligence work, good law enforcement work, trying to do everything we can to piece together information that tells us who is coming, where are they trying to get to, and what tools do we have to disrupt their
travel or make sure they don't get involved in some terrorist activity. but it ends up being something that is a constant effort to exchange information with our partners in europe, our partners in the middle east, our partners around the world. and it's a much more challenging away game in terms of counterterrorism than it perhaps was ten years ago. >> and just recently we know from john kelly that it's okay, the laptop threat has been -- has been dealt with in terms of finding out what kind of explosives they were, and figuring out the defenses. so it's constantly a cat and mouse game, where they come up with a new kind of bomb or a new kind of attack, and you all have to come up with a way of overcoming it. >> that's exactly right. one of the things that makes the counterterrorism business so challenging is that it requires flexibility and agility. the bad guys are constantly adapting what they do. they're constantly adapting the different kinds of techniques they might use to try to carry out attacks against us. and as a result, we have to be one step, two steps or three steps ahead of them.
secretary kelly, i think, did a terrific job over the spring months in leveraging the concern we had about explosives aboard air crafts. leveraging that to obtain a much higher level of cooperation around the world from countries and partners to enhance our aviation security. he wanted to raise the bar around the globe, and i think we have done that. but it's, as you suggested with your question, something we are constantly trying to stay one step ahead. >> and i know it's not in your area of terror, but now we have confirmation from two officials that it was an icbm, a long-range missile. and is that the global threat we now face from king jong union. y . you do have to penetrate this very secret society and find out what he's up to. >> you can imagine the intelligence community has been focused very, very intently on north korea to try and determine what capabilities they have, whether it's in ballistic missiles or anything else. and to determine leadership intentions. >> one of the hardest targets we've got? >> of course. and that work continues. and the intelligence community
owes it to the president and to our policymakers to provide the best possible picture of north korean capabilities and intentions that we can. >> we owe it to you all, the men and women of our intelligence agencies who are sometimes not properly understood or appreciated. >> thank you for saying that. >> we'll leave it there. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, nick rasmussen. and more ahead. we'll be right back. so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing)
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kate billman, who after four years with our show and more than ten with nbc news, is embarking on a great new adventure. kate has been an integral part of our team, brilliant producer, tireless leader and wonderful friend. she's always kept me in on task. kate, we are so excited for you and your family. we're going to miss you dearly. your home is also here, always, with "amr." and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." chris jansing is up next right here on msnbc. >> you got me a little verklempt here about kate. we wish her the best. i'm chris jansing here for craig melvin on yet another busy friday. we start with the white house plan to try to come back from a devastating defeat. after senator john mccain delivered the final blow to the latest gop plan to repeal obamacare, this question. is there any way republicans can deliver on what promise they and
president trump made so many times? and will he or won't he? the president is scheduled to speak in new york this hour about gang violence. will he stick to script? or go after senators he's already slammed on twitter for their health care votes? and the west wing war. the new white house communications director high-profile debut with that profanity-laced diatribe, slamming and threatening other top oval office officials. is the president's agenda at risk with the white house war only escalating? okay. let's start with president trump en route to long island, new york, scheduled later this hour to do something, well, quite normal for presidents of the united states to do. talk to law enforcement officials. but he leaves behind a capitol that is shell-shocked after a stunning defeat in the dead of night on the signature issue of his campaign, obamacare repeal. the president is blaming john mccain, lisa murkowski, the rules of congress. everyone and everything but