tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC August 16, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
she was a lady of happiness. and great joy. and realized that all lives matter. >> heather heyer's grandfather elwood schrader gets tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight, donald trump isolated a day after that jaw-dropping press conference. the president abruptly shutters two business councils after ceos told him they were exiting. plus in the wakes of charlesville, "the new york times" reports trump's lawyer john dowd today forwarded an e-mail containing praise for robert e. lee. a status report on general kelly's new job. the white house chief of staff reportedly frustrated and dis y dismayed tonight just 17 days into his tenure as "the 11th hour" gets under way. good evening once again from
our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 208 of the trump administration. and on this day after, the president spoke his mind on white supremacists and nazis and their like, there was a palpable feeling among millions of citizens today that america took a step back this week. the office we normally look up to lift us up, provide moral leadership instead has given hate groups the validation and recognition they have craved ever since the very first men to don a hood and light a cross. the president today stayed out of sight. he managed to escape new york. he's back at his new jersey golf resort. we do have some new journalism to report on tonight, some of it coming out as we were coming on the air that speaks to his state of mind and the state of this white house. late tonight, ashley parker and robert costa of the "washington post" gave us this headline. trump's lack of discipline leaves new chief of staff frustrated and dismayed.
of course, some of that was visible in realtime yesterday as general kelly kept his head down and seemed to wince more than once what the boss was saying. politico reported the president was left in good spirits according to a white house adviser and felt the news conference went much better than his statement on monday. more from the "associated press" just tonight. "the president told associates he was pleased with how his press conference went saying he believed he had effectively stood up to the media according to three people familiar with the conversations who demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about them." business leaders felt differently. that brings us to the big blow, the president did suffer today. it was public. put simply, for the first time in memory, a republican president has been abandoned by leaders of big business. members of the president's manufacturing council this morning decided they could no longer support him. they called the white house to
dissolve the effort. the president took to twitter to create the appearance it was his idea. "rather than putting pressure on the business people of the manufacturing it council and strategy and policy forum, i am ending both. thank you all." just the previous day remember, he had written for every ceo that drops out of the manufacturing council, i have many to take their place. grandstanders should not have gone on. jobs. today appearing with nicolle wallace on our 4:00 p.m. eastern hour our 9:00 a.m. host stephanie rule, a veteran of the investment banking business, was having none of the trump claim that he decided to dismantle these business councils. >> first of all, president trump's tweet today that he dismantled the councils is a lie. so we're going to walk through the timeline. president trump made those comments on saturday. the ceos were furious about it. by monday they settled down because he restated and warmed
up a little bit and they stayed fine. but last night, they said enough is enough. not because they're calling him a racist or nazi sympathizer, because these men and women have businesses to run. they're pragmatists, risk managers and don't want to deal with this nonsense. >> many are now closely watching members of the cabinet and the trump white house staff to see if there will be any resignations to see if anyone will depart over principle from the president who equated the nazis and white supremacists with those who are gone to charlottesville to protest against them. no members of the president's evangelical council have announced their resignations and the military's top service chiefs, the heads of all the major branches have come out with statements condemn dg hate groups, underscoring inclusion in our armed forces. with increasing fear afoot that the president is pulling americans apart, longtime journalist and author jaunlt
alter today said it has given rise to a new dynamic in this country. >> you know, polarization has been a negative word but now we're in an era of patriotic polarization. a question of which side are you on, on the side of a toxic president who enables neo-nazis and white supremacists or on the side of traditional american values, real american values of tolerance and kindness. and respect. and so every politician ultimately is going to have to make a decision about whether they can support, continue to support their man. >> gets your attention. and just tonight, so did this. as one writer put it, blood and soil was met with amazing grace. the people in charlottesville held a candlelight vigil. there's not a lot of great pictures of it, not a lot of media coverage on the ground. because they didn't want it widely known about in advance in
case those same hate groups tried to enter their town and cause trouble on this night of remembrance. so with all that, we bring in our leadoff panel tonight. pulitzer price winning columnist for the post eugene robinson, msnbc's chief business correspondent and co-anchor with steph knew rule, ali velshi and "boston herald" chief washington reporter kimberly atkins. ali, i have to start with you. we'll start on the bis councils we have news about steve bannon, news on several fronts. we'll get to all of it. these councils are a visual usually. >> yeah. >> the president likes the visual because he likes being a member of that club. >> yeah. >> the ceos like the visual and sometimes they get real things out of proximity to the boss. >> right. >> but the lost visual to the president being one of them, being seen as one of them. >> these are his people.
he's the businessman president. this is the stuff he said barack obama couldn't do because he was always at odds with corporate america and trying to overregulate and overtax them. he was going to fix it all. all of his friends left him. number two, he hasn't delivered on the stuff that they wanted anyway. number three, people have been asking me how does this affect the average american. probably doesn't because those companies wanted lower taxes and less regulation. they didn't get it and now not there. number four, if the president ever needs to speak to a ceo of a major corporation, they'll all find each other and continue to do the business they're there for but don't want to show up for the photo op. it made them much more uncomfortable after what happened on saturday monday and tuesday. >> just a finer point about president trump, candidate trump, the business guy. there's this. we'll continue our conversation. >> one of the magazines said, donald trump's a world class businessman. it is true. i happen to be. i get along with everybody. you can't have fights. you got to get along. i built this incredible company
and i built it i'm a dealmaker. i did great. really good. and i get along with everybody. i have the greatest dealmakers in the world, the richest men, the richest women. i know the best managers. i know the best deal makemakers. i know the best people. i have the best people. we're going to get the best people. i know the good ones, bad ones, overrated ones. they've been calling me by the dozen. i'm endorses by some of the greatest business people in the world. we're going to use our great business people to make these deals. >> so fast forward to today. we now nope what happened. and a distinction you have always made when you're here in this room with us, these ceos have boards. they have multinational companies, and tens of thousands of employees. >> and shareholders and customers. and the group of them together all came together and said, you can't be associated with this guy. today they were falling like flipz campbell's soup, 3m, this is the manufacturing council. they were falling off.
it is important to remember that while everybody doesn't feel great about the economy, unemployment is below 5%. and companies find it hard to hire people who will then move off and you know it, coughs money. these companies don't want their employees leaving. they don't want their customers leaving, not for donald trump and a cause they don't believe in. >> eugene, i want to show the title of your latest column. it's something you have reminded us about trump's response to charlottesville should surprise no one. he's fully baked. he's a 71-year-old man. with that in mind who, do we see about this? where does that leave the country those who feel wounded after this? >> that's a very good question. i try to figure it out every day. where are we? we're in territory we haven't been in. you know, you look back. somebody who seemed to want to turn back the clock on some of the social priors we've made. woodrow wilson resegregated the
federal workforce in washington. he showed the dw griffith racist film "birth of a nation" in the white house and praised it and contributed to its popularity and its influence in american culture. and it's crazy that i'm going back for that analogy. i'm trying to think of a more recent one and i can't think of anything else that's brought us to this sort of point. but donald trump is who he is. and if you look at his record going back over years, back to celebrated case here in new york at the central park five, back before that. >> birthism. >> the beginning of his career. the lawsuit against him and his father for not renting to african-americans. there's a recurring sort of pattern there and so maybe we shouldn't be surprised. >> kimberly, what do you think will damage donald trump more, party leaders, let's engage in
fantasy, who turn against him some day or business leaders who already have? >> look, there hurts if for nothing else than the optics. he has pegged himself as the ceo president who knows how to cut deals and bring business to the forefront. have a front seat at the white house and all these business leaders walked out on him although these boards weren't meant to really do much policy that, does hurt. and the fact that they are speaking out more strongly against the president than republican leaders right now is really remarkable. i think it will take republican leaders to stand up as you said. we can make believe a little bit. but to stand up and say look, we want to get infrastructure done, too. we want to get tax reform done, too. before you do that, before we come to the table on that, you issue an executive order condemning these groups. you devote more federal money to
investigate the rice of hate groups in the united states. they have the power to do that. we have to wait now to see if they have the courage to. >> eugene, another of the breaking stories as we come on. this one's from the "new york times" back john dowd. one of the president's personal lawyers. he will be memorialized forever giving a one-finger salute to cnbc cameras in a piece of tape that's aired so much it's now grainy along with the verbiage that goes was that salute. they're saying president trump's personal lawyer on wednesday forwarded an e-mail to conservative journalist government officials, and friends that echoed secessionist civil war propaganda and declared that the group black lives matter has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups. "you're sticking your nose in my personal e-mail, mr. dowd told the times in a brief telephone sbov." people send me things. i forward them. he then hung up. and i want to show you some of these are well worn things
you've seen if you get any e-mails at all. if you're in the political world, you've probably seen this list. robert e. lee and george washington, the comparison of the two. you see so on, so on, both owned slaves. the last one, you cannot be against general lee and be for general washington. there literally is no difference between the two men. >> this is what i mean, brian. this is what i mean by saying how is it that we're talking about this stuff? that's like crank stuff that you. >> they both had horses, too. >> they both had horses, of course, and white hair. you know, that doesn't rise to the level of being talked about on the show because it's not forwarded around by the president's lawyer. it's crazy. have we forgotten the difference between the father of our country and the man who tried to destroy the country, a traitor to the country?
it's ridiculous it's crazy. >> ali velshi, since you are on duty all day and we rely on you for news during the day, you'll note as you already have the president has no public events tomorrow. >> right. >> the mayor of phoenix tonight said mr. president, please postpone the rally you're supposed to have in our town next tuesday. the president tweeted can't wait to see you all in feech at the arena next tuesday. >> where some people think he might pardon former sheriff joe arpaio because he retweeted a report he might do that. that again plays to the base, right? joe arpaio is an anti-immigrant believer in imposing it federal law and immigration law in a county in arizona. and arizona's been the forefront of this. so donald trump when we were talking about the defeats he faces, he doesn't act like any of them are defeated. he tweeted out he's disbanding these two councils even though one was falling apart and the other one all the ceos agreed to
leave. donald trump will find some corner of america in which he gets a lot of applause until the end because it doesn't take that many people to fill stadiums. i don't find that surprising. he needs to feel the love and that's where he'll go to get it. >> kimberly, we have a terrific des pond that has settled in over they have country and i brought a piece of your writing out tonight. the last sentence in your last piece is, "yesterday, trump told us exactly who he is. will republicans have the courage to do the same?" >> i know the the capitol dome behind you. i lost note they're out of town. do you see an outbreak of courage enough to report on tonight? >> i don't see a lot yet. in all of the statements that we've seen from leaders from mitch mcconnell to house speaker paul ryan, they condemned racism as is easy to do. but they did not condemn the
president. they usually didn't even mention his name. a couple lindsey graham, senator lindsey graham did and said the president's words were dividing the nation. we will see. i think unfortunately it might take some other crisis, some other outbreak, i hope it doesn't happen in phoenix but some other clash that could lead to people getting hurt. to sort of force the hand of these lawmakers and to wake them up and get them to understand that the president's words are having real consequences on the ground and really damaging not only putting people in danger but really putting the principals of this country in danger. >> your last piece has made that point vet very clearly. our great thanks to our leadoff panel here tonight. eugene robinson, ali velshi, kimberly atkins. coming up after our first break, the crushing reality setting in for a former marine general who doesn't scare easily. the education of general john kelley as white house chief of
staff. plus, two revealing new interviews tonight with steve bannon in the wake of charlottesville. that's ahead. a whole lot ahead as "the 11th hour" just now getting underway. jack be nimble, jack be quick, jack knocked over a candlestick onto the shag carpeting... ...and his pants ignited into flames, causing him to stop, drop and roll. luckily jack recently had geico help him with renters insurance. because all his belongings went up in flames. jack got full replacement and now has new pants he ordered from banana republic. visit geico.com and see how affordable renters insurance can be. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is
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welcome back to our broadcast. the president's comments in the aftermath of charlottesville have left his aides and allies in a tough spot. and have given comfort and validation to the so-called alt-right, including white nationalists as they heard some of their own wording, imagine that, coming out of the
president's mouth in trump tower yesterday. the american prospect tonight has published an interview the first of two interviews we have to tell you about this evening, with steve bannon. this one was conducted by robert cutter in who writes "i asked bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violences in charlottesville and trump's reluctance to condemn it. he dismissed the far right as irrelevant and side stepped his own role in cultivating it. eth-nationalism, it's losers. it's a fringe element. i think the media plays it up too much. and we got to help crush it, you know, help crush it more. those guys, these guys rather are a collection of clowns, he added. the democrat, he said, the longer they talk about identity politics, i got 'em. i want them to talk about racism every day. if the left is focussed on race
and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the democrats. let's talk about this tonight. jonathan swan is with us, national political reporter for the axios news service who has two new pieces out this evening. what steve bannon thinks about charlottesville and bannon's colleagues disturbed by interview with left wing publication. a currently laughing eugene robinson is back with us, as well. so jonathan, we're going to take these interviews in order. i mentioned there is another one with the "new york times." jeremy peters "the new york times" is tanding by to talk to us. but in this first one, tell the folks who haven't had the benefit of reading it, that quote was the tip of the iceberg. what else is in here about the military and north korea? >> so i should tell you that piece that you quoted that i wrote has just been updated
because steve bannon told associates that he actually didn't know he was being interviewed. he was calling up this person who wrote the piece about china thinking that he was talking to a china ally. and for whatever reason did not say that it was off the record and looks pretty bad now. it's actually an extraordinary interview. when i read it, i had a very strong feeling that steve bannon didn't know he was being interviewed because he did a few things that he wouldn't normally do even when he's in his blustery i want to show you, you know, how big my muscles are mode. at the spoke like he was the president, and that is a really big sin in trump world. he talked about things that he would do, people and staff that he would remove from the state department. he talked -- he undercut the president's policy on north korea. he said there is no military option, that there was no way to solve this militarily, which is directly contradictory to donald
trump's fairly bombastic rhetoric. then he starred trashing colleague and said he was in a war with gary cohn and the goldman sachs crew. we all of this stuff but for him to say it to someone he's never spoken to before, you're going to hear some people say he's playing some kind of, i called it five dimensional chess. this is part of a devious strategy. i guarantee you it's not. it's just plain sloppiness. >> i should point out, cutter n inity the writer appeared on television tonight and said, his word, this is not bambi he said about steve bannon and indicated this is a guy who ran breitbart. he comes from our world. knows the lay of the land, would have known the import of a by line like cutter in. so eugene, it gets better. on the record, our friend jeremy peters of the work times among the guests waiting to come on later in the broadcast also got
bannon on the phone. here are his quotes. president trump by asking where does this all end connects with the american people about their history, culture and society, he said. the race identity politics of the left wants to say it's all racist, mr. bannon added. just give me more. tear down more statues. say the revolution is coming. i can't get enough of it. that's. >> this is extraordinary. just about those quotes. he's obviously playing race identity politics with white america and saying you're under threat. you're under attack. your statues are being torn down and you know, you ought to have some feeling about robert e. lee that you may not even have. but you ought to have it because he's a white guy and the statue was coming down. so i think he's projecting there when he accuses others of playing race identity politics. but also, so far, we've had the
former now white house communications can director and the guy who ran breitbart both getting on the phone with reporters. >> shocked that journalists are recording them. >> shocked that they get quoted without saying you know, can we talk off the record. this is just extraordinary. it does speak to how eager people close to the president are to leak their version of events and their version of the trump presidency to anybody who will listen. >> jonathan, if the stories are true that the president is feeling pressure to fire steve bannon, two points there. a, this will certainly give them air cover. but the second point is, the president's reported reluctance because of what bannon knows, his mouthpiece, and how dangerous he can be outside the white house is also contained in these quotes. when speaking, he speaks his mind. >> yes, but i think there's
another were in arinkle with al this. you see blind quos, anonymous quotes in publications. there was one in reuters i think it was today where it quoted a white house official saying that the president was scared and anxious to get rid of steve bannon because of the damage he could do on the outside. i don't know who gave that quote but i'd be willing to bet my life savings it was one of bannon's enemies because they know the surest way to get fired up in firing steve bannon is for someone top question his mass masculinity, saying he's scared, it's something he wouldn't want to do. i suspect that was a mischievious quote. people are concerned what bannon would do when he returns to the killing machine of breitbart. it is a killing machine. they pick their targets. you see what they're doing at the moment to mcmaster, the national security adviser. i guarantee you if he gets fired from the white house, breitbart will go thermknow nuclear on
this administration and go after people like gary cohn. they're already going after him. you ain't seen nothing yet. >> jonathan, think of general kelly. the least of his day yesterday and by all accounts, he has instituted so many new systems and discipline in the west wing, closing the door of the oval office during the day. so drop byes can't visit. but maybe the smallest decision he had to make yesterday was telling the boss, okay, this is infrastructure. you're going to be joined by your treasury secretary, your economic director. and your transportation secretary. we're going to talk about infrastructure. we have these twos colorful charts that really don't mean much to the naked eye. and we're going to take no questions. get in that gold plated elevator and go back upstairs. we saw what happened on his face. imagine that writ large on a daily basis. >> this is the -- look, he can control the staff, but i don't
foresee any future in which he can control this president. i just donald trump has never been managed before in his life. i don't imagine he can be managed now. we said when kelly got appointed, he has been given all the ingredients for success. he is a four-star general, someone who donald trump inherently respects. he has the full respect of the staff. he's not aligned with any faction in there. he has complete authority and power which he demonstrated on day one with scaramucci. but the fact is if he can't control donald trump and put guardrails around donald trump, what does all of that mean? he can have all the systems in the world but it doesn't mean a lot. >> jonathan, thank you so much. eugene robinson, of course, coming up. donald trump's decision to generate anger and not healing. and now the consequences as "the 11th hour" continues.
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what about the alt left? they came charging with clubs in their hands swinging clubs. they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists. there is a great hatred toward americans by large segments of the muslim population. >> i'm asking for the vote of every single african-american. you're living in poverty. your schools are no good. have you no jobs. what the hell do you have to
lose? >> donald trump's inflamed rhetoric has made headlines during his candidacy, during his presidency showing yet again the unprecedented nature of the trump era. politico journalist michael crowley is back with us tonight. his column today "some trump chooses fighting over healing." in it he quotes a former aide to senator john mccain, veteran speechwriter mark salter who after yesterday's press conference said, "i team of the country's most behavioral psychologists cultural historians, statesmen and clergy could have been asked to design the worst leader imaginable for this moment and trump would have exceeded their imaginations." michael is with us from d.c. tonight. we've asked gene to stick around for a little while longer. michael, explain how different donald trump is in the classic role we've become used to as citizens of steward to our
country. >> brian, i feel like different is almost the wrong way to think about it. it's something we've never seen before. he's completely shattered the paradigm that we've known for you know at least a couple of generations now. probably longer. and in particular, if you look back at recent history, the last several american presidents, he's shown absolutely no interest in or sense of continuity with the way these presidents have approached these moments of national crisis or tragedy. and in particular, i was, you know, it's amazing to compare him to barack obama. now, these men are obviously almost complete polar opposites. it's not surprising. that said, think back to barack obama at the memorial service for the pastor who was among the nine african-americans massacred in charleston, south carolina in
2015. barack obama actually sang amazing grace". it's playing right now. an astounding moment. i opened the piece that i wrote going back a little fort, brian, almost exactly the same point in obama's first term in july of 2009, people might remember, there was an incident not nearly as tragic and with no violence where a cambridge, massachusetts white police officer arrested a black harvard professor who was on the doorstep of his own house. obama initially in a press conference impromptu said the officer acted stupidly. there was anup uproar about this and it ends up with obama inviting the harvard professor and police officer to have a beer in the garden of the white house. obama said he misspoke in his initialra. got out ahead of the story and called the whole thing a teachable moment. compare that to trump coming out yesterday with boxing gloves showing no interest in healing
or reconciliation, basically demonstrating anger and infla inflaming these wounds. it's totally unprecedented. >> eugene, i want to talk about religion. michael just brought up the topic. i want to talk about something specific. people who aren't familiar with the language of neo-nazis, white extremists, are going to be shocked by this. this is a clip from a vic "e! news" hang on one go. we can talk about it until they are. vic "e! news" was embedded with the bad guys in charlottesville. they have put together a 20-minute or so kind of crash together documentary. there is an interview segment where they get personal about the president who they're largely positive about, they get
personal about him. we'll play that. we'll talk about it right afterwards. >> i think a lot more people are going to die before we're done here. >> i carry a pistol going to the gym. i'm trying to make myself more capable of violence. i'm here to spread ideas, talk in the hopes somebody more capable will come along and do that, somebody like donald trump who does not give his daughter to a jew. >> so donald trump but like more racist. >> a lot more racist than donald trump. i don't think that you could feel about race the way i do and watch that kushner bastard walk around with that beautiful girl. >> that will get your attention. what have about jush members of the white house staff, gary cohn has been mentioned as being so disappointed by the president's words. and what about jewish members of the president's family? his daughter who converted, his jewish grandchildren, this is. >> yeah, i don't understand it. i understand there was a
statement i believe this evening from the long-time rabbi of jared kushner and ivanka trump who oversaw her conversion to judaism condemning racism, condemning the remarks, i believe. so it has to be enormously upsetting to them. and there are reports that it is just that. you know, so the question is, what's your red line? what's your -- you know, how much of this do you take? how much do you stand? i imagine they're asking themselves do they stay? those who work in the administration, do they stay in hopes of being a positive influence? or at least preventing awful things from happening or do they leave as a statement. or just not being able to take it anymore and we shall see. no one has left yet. >> and michael crowley to,
whipsaw back to foreign affairs, briefly, you get the last word. it's on north korea. it's about mr. bannon say eg doesn't see a military option, which puts to rest a half century of american policy, think of the americans in uniform we have there in the korean peninsula. think of those on standby in the region all the way to guam. >> yeah, it's loose talk that it goes to the problem that we have with this administration, again, it's a departure from american traditions wherever white houses and administrations calibrate their messages so carefully towards our adversaries and now bannon is saying something tonally completely different from the president. il say to some degree although you don't want senior advisers popping off on national security strategy this way, this is i think one of those -- it's a michael kinsley gap, kinsley defined the gap as when somebody
in washington actually speaks the truth. i think bannon has somewhat punctured the veil of trump's bombastic rhetoric here and said what people privately understand which is that north korea has a hostage and it's seoul, south korea. it severely limits and possibly prohibits our military option there. but he's not supposed to say it to the american prospect in an unplanned interview he thought was off the record without anyone at the national security council or state department knowing he was going to do it. that's a for. >> a lot of news tonight. great thanks to michael crowley, eugene robinson, as well. another break. coming up, republican lawmakers are quick to condemn trump on twitter. where talk may be the cheapest. what about in front of cameras and in person? we're back right after this. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together.
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good, reached out to republicans of all stripes across the country today. let's be honest. republicans often don't really mind coming on fox news channel. we couldn't get anyone to come and defend him here because we thought in balance, someone should do that. we worked very hard at it throughout the day and we were unsuccessful. >> we invited every single republican senator on this program tonight, all 52 and asked roughly a bunch of house republicans and half a dozen former republican elected officials and none agreed to discuss this issue with us today. who is going to step up? the president has lost his moral authority for now and in the process tried to discredit or destroy everyone else's. have all the elites lost their moral authority or are they afraid the answer might be yes. >> republicans today reluctant to speak out publicly against the president. many have issued statements or gone on twitter to denounce racism and hatred. few have gone so far as to criticize the president directly
and at last count, just nine members of it congress have mentioned the president by name including no one. gop leadership. joining us tonight,airemy peters political reporter for the "new york times" whose latest piece is entitled "trump's embrace of racially charged past puts republicans in crisis," and for this piece, he has spoken to steve bannon. long-time radio talk show host charlie sykes with us from his hope state of wisconsin. we have two jobs in this segment to answer twos questions. a, the republicans were the heros of watergate. where are the republicans and b, what is steve bannon up to. so i'm going to start with jeremy and question b, what does it sound like to you, steve bannon is up to? >> well, steve bannon identifies on a very personal level with the cultural fights that trump is speaking out with the left right now. i mean, this whole notion that
the leftist protesters are going around tearing down, spitting on kicking monuments is just delightful for somebody like bannon who rebels in the idea that they can portray the left as violent and thuggish and unhinged and anarc kickal. this plays right into trump's playbook. when you heard trump say the other day, brian, that you know the left is violent, the left was to blame in part for what happened in charlottesville, that's really what a lot of the right believe. they believe that there is a moral equivalence here. this is something we've seen from republican politicians going back to nixon when you had him running ads about violent anti-vietnam war protesters. there's a long history here and a very resonant chord that it strikes with voters. >> mr. sykes, where are the republicans? >> well, the worst are full of passionate intensity and the best lack all conviction. you know, jeremy is absolutely
right. you know, this has been a theme we've seen for a long time. look, how many times have we sat and asked, have we crossed a line. think about how many times you have had republican leaders rationalize, enable, look the other way whether it's "access hollywood," whether it's the birther conspiracy, whether it's the attacks on the mexican-american judge and the reality is that for a lot of them, this is an insoluble problem. a year and a half ago, some of us were warning the republican party, if you embrace donald trump, you're going to embrace every slur, every gaffe. you're going to embrace all of this character. i know the people like paul ryan are hope forth time when they'll be able to come back to women, minorities, young people say that wasn't us. that's not who we are. but the reality is, if you support donald trump, if you do not denounce donald trump, in fact, that is who you are. you own it. and this is the real crisis for the republican party right now. it is an existential crisis for
them. >> we're just going to pause our conversation. we're going to come back after a break and continue and also tell the good folks how it is u.s. today has made news tonight, as well. much more to come. here's to the safety first... i think i might burst... totally immersed weekenders. whatever kind of weekender you are, there's a hilton for you. book your weekend break direct with hilton.com and join the summer weekenders. ♪ music
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. welcome back to our broadcast, let's get right back into our conversation with jeremy peters and charlie sykes, we mentioned this before the break. "usa today" is on the board, after charlottesville, it's time to censure president trump. they make an elaborate plea when they get back in town. so jeremy, it's cheap, it doesn't even require opposable thumbs. it requires a pulse and the ability to fog up a mirror.
standing up and speaking out requires guts. do you see any profiles and courage emerging? >> not really, brian, and i hate to be so cynical about it, but where is the line? if there was one, president trump crossed that long ago you would think in terms of the moral culpability, and the moral responsibility that republicans and congress have to denounce what they view to be egregious behavior. so i think there is going to have to come a point when they no longer just fear the president but when they no longer believe they derive political power from him. and that will come when politicians see their based is no longer revved up by president trump, and when they can see that president trump can no longer get things like tax cuts passed through congress.
i don't know if that time will ever come. but it's really going to come down to a transaction, a calculation in their mind. is donald trump really worth it politically and policy-wise, and right now they're just not there yet. >> charlie that time could be coming, though, you look at the agenda and the success on infrastructure, that time could be coming. >> no, it could, i agree with everything that jeremy said. we asked this question, when are republicans going to break with donald trump? when will they cross the line? but maybe what happened today, you opened your show with it. maybe the break with the business communicate with t consequential move. maybe when you have republicans perhaps even divorce themselves. when you think about the impact of this, we've all been looking to the politicians for the profiles in courage. and it's very ironic to me to see of course that apparently
american -- the business community has more conscience about this than the christian right or the republican party in congress. but you know with the business community, they continue to distance themselves and denounce donald trump in these very strong terms that is going to provide cover for republicans but also put some pressure on them. >> our great thanks to our guests tonight, one of only two journalists that we know of on the planet to talk to steve bannon today. our friend back on capitol hill, and charlie sykes in wisconsin, where he prefers and i don't blame him. thank you very much, coming up, a loyal member of team trump has been rewarded for staying with the boss since day one. it also makes a first in the west wing history. that story when "the 11th hour" continues. gn. award winning engine.
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tonight, a bit of news that got lost in all the other news in the white house these last 36 hours or so. the white house has appointed a new interim communications director. hope hicks is 28 years old, a native of connecticut, a graduate of smu, and to our knowledge she is first communications director, who happens to be a former model, including fashions for ralph lauren, and the ivanka trump line. and fans may not know she was the it girl in the spinoff series, she has to last ten days, more than her predecessor. others are betting on hope hicks, more importantly she is the longest serving political aide to donald trump, after working briefly in pr she was hired on as the press secretary
for the campaign at the age of 26, she had zero political experience back then, not any more. she has been by the president's side every day from the first campaign event. her status in the inner circle solid now with today's announcement. that is our broadcast on a busy wednesday night. and thank you for joining us. good night for all of us at nbc headquarters in new york. it is a weird time in the news right now. it's a weird time in american life honestly. we're keeping an eye on a few different stories that have been cooking today and stories that are still continuing to develop tonight. there is a story that has just broken in the last few minutes that i need to tell you about. just moments ago, we learned from "the new york times" that the president's lead lawyer on the russia investigation has just done something you would not expect from a person who has that particular job.