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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 6, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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>> somebody tweeted us saying we had bad chemistry. we have to talk about this. we have a meeting after the show. that's it for "velshi & ruhle." i'm velshi. she's ruhle. connect with our show. right now, time for "andrea mitchell reports." >> speaking on my behalf, i'm ruhle. and right now, on "andrea mitchell reports," monster storm, one of the strongest hurricanes ever seen in the atlantic closing in on the virgin islands now with 185 miles an hour sustained winds. as it barrels toward the u.s., florida is bracing for impact. issuing mandatory evacuations and warning residents to prepare for the worst. >> look at the size and scope of this storm system. 420 miles in diameter. the tropical force winds extend out in diameter 300 miles. now, along the florida peninsula, it is only 140 miles across. and so theoretically we would be looking at a coast to coast threat. >> the "today" show's al roker joining us with the latest forecast straight ahead.
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funding fight, any moment the house is expected to vote on that multibillion dollar bill to provide relief for the victims of hurricane harvey. the question now, will there be strings attached? >> politics with a debt ceiling like schumer and pelosi apparently are doing i don't think is a good idea. >> i hope there are no legislative gains that are played here that the relief aid for texas is not tied to anything else. >> and dreams deferred. president trump creating more confusion with a late night tweet leading to questions about what will become of the nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants who are brought to the u.s. as children. >> first and only direct conversation which i had with president trump was the day of his inauguration. he looked me in the eye and said don't worry about those kids, we're going to take care of those dreamers. and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in
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washington, where president trump is about to leave the white house for a speech on his tax cut proposals in north dakota. adding to a laundry list of legislative actions he's now demanding from congress. front and center today, nearly $8 billion in emergency funding for harvey victims expected to pass the house of representatives and move to the senate where the must pass measure could act as the vehicle to drive a debt ceiling hike through congress. also today, more confusion about the president's intentions regarding the dreamers. after a late night tweet saying that if congress does not act to restore daca in six months, he will reconsider. what does that mean? joining me now, nbc's kristen welker at the white house, casey hunt on capitol hill. okay, kristen, you're the trump whisperer for today. what did he mean with the late night tweet? >> reporter: we're still trying to figure it out. i was able to speak with one of his top advisers, kellyanne conway, what he meant, that he might revisit the issue if
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congress doesn't act. conway told me the key to the sentence is if. she says the administration still wants to see some action on capitol hill. they think they can get something done on daca. they need to get something done on daca. but i pressed her, andrea, on the fact that congress rarely takes action when they're not under some type of deadline. so how will this moment be different? she seemed to suggest that congress is going to get such an earful from their constituents that they will in fact try to come up to some type of resolution on this very thorny issue. i also pressed her, andrea, on whether the president wants to actually see daca legalized. she punted on that question. wouldn't specifically say but, again, went back to that point, underscored that the president wants congress to take action. now, in terms of what we're hearing on capitol hill, in case you get moninto more detail, bu calling on the president to take the lead, they want him to give them guidelines on what he would sign. so far that hasn't happened, andrea, and in a -- the oval
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office, meeting with congressional leaders today, he was asked if he regrets that overnight tweet -- if he regrets his action on daca, if that was what the overnight tweet was saying, and he said he doesn't regret it. so a lot of questions still up in the air as this daca debate continues. >> and, kristen, thank you. casey hunt, we need to figure out where he stands on the dreamers, but let's talk, first, about that harvey funding bill, which is now about to actually have a vote. where do we stand on differences between democrats, republicans, house and senate, ato what gets attached to it when it gets out of the house? >> that's right. the house is here about to start voting on this harvey aid package, expected to be uncontested, they're passing it under suspension of the rules. needs two-thirds support. it will get it, head over to the senate. that is, as you say, where the questions begin. what republican leaders would like to do is attach a long term fix for the debt ceiling, they want to raise it so america can
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pay off its bills and not go into default. and they want to do it for quite a while. the suggestion has been that maybe even through the midterm elections, in november of 2018, this, of course, would save republicans quite a few headaches, none of them like to vote to raise the debt ceiling. it has been typically less of an issue for democrats, of course, in this particular case, democrats are looking for a point of leverage here and they have proposed, nancy pelosi and chuck schumer, raising the debt ceiling for just three months. that, of course, would push it off until december. the thinking goes that this may force a deal on the budget. so basically it would be a negotiating tool to help them get some of the other to do list items done. it would also cause more political headaches for republicans because they have to take another tough vote on the debt ceiling. the house speaker paul ryan, a little more worked up than normal in his press conference today, about this, supposing it saying this is playing politics, and, andrea, the one thing i also do want to note, this relates both to daca, the debt
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ceiling, everything we're talking about, nbc news confirmed that the president met privately with mitch mcconnell yesterday at the white house before that tax reform meeting with the big six. that is significant because the two men had been back and forth in a pretty nasty way over the august break and their relationship, of course, is critical to any of this getting done. >> that's a lot of reporting. casey hunt, thank you so much. senate minority whip dick durbin joins me. on tuesday, he reintroduced dream act legislation, a bill to protect dreamers from deportation while this is being resolved. thank you very much. i guess it is interesting to note that senator mcconnell met face to face with the president after they had what was described as a very contentious phone call when the president was on the golf course in new jersey over the break. maybe they patched things up. maybe that will move things along. let me ask you first about differences over what to do with
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the hurricane relief bill, when it gets to the senate, is there going to be a short-term three-month debt ceiling attached, a long-term bill, nothing. a clean bill, what do democrats want to see? >> let's get to the bottom line here, when it comes to relief for the victims of harvey, i can tell you the democrats are solid. we're going to help these people. i believe and i've always believed that i should be ready to step up and help victims of a natural disaster even if it isn't my own state. there are some republicans who are eating their words who voted against hurricane relief for sandy, other instances. they're going to come around and we should make that a priority. the question is whether this will be a vehicle to do something else. i'm for a debt ceiling extension, i voted for them. at least i have in recent times. and i believe that we should. but it doesn't have to be a year and a half, that is clearly political, it is a decision to try to get this beyond the next election so the republicans don't have to face another vote. it makes sense for us to take the debt ceiling on a short-term
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basis to ask what is the actual cost going to be of harvey? we have a down payment here what is the total cost? are we facing additional costs from the fires that are ravaging the western part of the united states from the threat of hurricane irma. how much will the tax reform package add to our deficit. all of these things are critical and important questions, is not unfair to raise those at the end of the year when we know more. >> and let me ask you about the dreamers as well. you had a news conference with lindsey graham, you differ on what the president did was the right thing to do or wrong thing to do because of legal and constitutional issues. but you agree that these young people, now young adults, in fact, should be protected. here is a conversation that savannah guthrie had this morning on "today" with lindsey graham about whether the president should have the wall and other border security attached to any fix for the dreamers. >> there is an idea that perhaps this dream act could get passed
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if congress provides funding for the president's border wall. first of all, mexico is supposed to pay for this border wall, but do you think that's a nonstarter? >> jayeah, i don't think mexicos going to pay for the wall. what i would look at is john kelly, former department of homeland security, he's an expert on border security. >> is there a way to get the dreamers protected, stand alone, and not have this wrapped up into what has alluded congress for at least 16 years, which is comprehensive immigration reform? >> look at the numbers. 76% of the american people believe that we should pass the dream act. they believe we should help these young people who are here, through no fault of their own, who want to be part of america's future. and now we hear from republican side, let's see if we can bargain something for this widely accepted approach. that's just unfair. what the president did yesterday after telling america we love the dreamers, remember that quote? now he's saying, and we're going to deport the dreamers.
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that is just unfair. we have got to take care of this issue and to bottle this up into some larger debate over more contentious, political issues, it is unfair to 780,000 young people. >> at the briefing yesterday, sarah sanders, sarah huckabee sanders, was very tough on congress. clear that this was the line of the day out of the white house. let me play a short clip. >> congress' job to legislate. it is not the president's job to create law. it is not -- it is congress' job to create legislation. if congress doesn't want to do the job that they were elected to do, then maybe they should get out of the way and let someone else do it. >> president trump clearly running against congress in his phoenix speech and every public appearance and from the white house podium. does he have a point? is it congress' job to get together and work on these problems or does he have a leadership role? >> well, of course it is congress' job, but the president has a responsibility as well. he needs to lead.
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most of the important legislation passed in this country's history has been with presidential leadership. it wouldn't hurt if he stepped in and said, let's get this job done. in september. but we're asking for a clean dream act bill to come to the floor, solve this problem, for almost 800,000 young people in our country, and give them what they deserve. a chance to be future. i understand what she's saying, but i hasten to remind her, it is a republican-controlled congress. house and senate. so if it is going to be leadership from the top, the republicans need to get their act together. >> and do you think there will be a bipartisan solution for these young people? nearly a million strong? >> i do. i do. lindsey graham, republican, south carolina, durbin, democrat of illinois, quite an odd couple, politically. but we happen to agree on this. and we're working on it.
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i want to salute lindsay. senator dick durbin, a pleasure, thank you for being with us. now to the breaking newses, hurricane irma. the strongest storm ever recorded in the atlantic ocean. right now, a category 5 hurricane closing in on the u.s. virgin islands, maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. irma is expected to hit puerto rico later this afternoon, threatening widespread devastation and destruction in that u.s. territory. forecasters say irma will likely pose a serious threat to millions in southeast florida this weekend. the "today" show's al roker is tracking irma and joins me now. what is the latest path, al? what can you tell us? >> andrea, it has been interesting. since yesterday, we have been seeing a little bit of a shift to the right on this thing. and so we continue to track it. as you can see, again, a powerful storm. it ramped up to a 5 yesterday and shows no signs of slowing down. right now it just 55 miles east of st. thomas. 185-mile-per-hour winds, moving
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west/northwest at 16 miles per hour. now, the path of this, the good news for puerto rico is it is going to stay to the north, so the strongest -- the strongest effects for this for puerto rico going to be up to the north of the storm. so they'll get a lot of wind, probably up to 60, 70-mile-per-hour winds, a decent amount of rain as well. but the storm surge won't be quite so bad for them. hispaniola, turks and caicos, it is going to be really, really dangerous for the turks and caicos, also for the bahamas, we get into friday morning, 160-mile-per-hour winds. cuba, looks like right now, if this path holds true, it stays to the north of cuba. they'll have heavy rain, they'll have the winds, the seas. but they will not bear the brunt of it. however, by early sunday morning, it is looking more like miami is in the cross hairs, but, again, we have to wait and see when this makes its turn and then comes offshore, by daytona beach, by monday morning at 8:00 a.m. as a category 3 storm.
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the advisories right now, we got hurricane warnings from antigua, anguilla, virgin islands, northern shore of hispaniola, watches for cuba and the bahamas. here is what we talk about, this turn. the american ensemble models, they run all these, by the time we get into saturday evening, we're starting to see that turn happen. yesterday a lot of these strands were out here into the gulf. a lot of them coming up over florida. look what happens now as we move into sunday, into monday, we have a fair number coming over florida, but we have more offshore and making a b line for the carolina coastline. south carolina, north carolina, georgia as well. we have to watch this. storm surge right now, that push of water where general situation you're going to have your most damage and death from the storm surge, about 7 to 11 feet from anguilla into the virgin islands, about 3 to 5 feet, hispaniola. look at the bahamas and turks
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and caicos, 15 to 20 foot storm surge. if it comes in at high tide, on top of that, that could be devastating. we talk about categories. category 1 storm, between 74 and 95 miles per hour. goes up to what we have now, a 5, which is 157 miles plus. you might think, well, al, that's not much of a difference between 95 and 157. that's not even double. but when you put in the kinetic force of a hurricane, it ramps up exponentially. so you've got a cat 1 storm, but to a 2, it is ten times a cat 1. a 3 is 50 times, all the way up to a cat 5 storm. 500 times more powerful than that category 1 storm. that's why we are so concerned and we're telling people, especially from florida up into the east coast, we have to be very vigilant. there are some out there saying that you should ignore this, that it is hype, that it is fake news, part of a climate change
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kind of conspiracy. it is not. this is life threatening, it could be devastating. and if anybody tells you otherwise, it is almost criminal. >> and when you -- that is the most emphatic i've heard you, al. i've been watching you for years. we have been working together a long time now. you're talking about also the east coast, the southeast of the united states and beyond and as you point out, north carolina and mid-atlantic potentially. >> could be even the mid-atlantic as well. let's not forget, if it comes on shore, say, south carolina, or on into north carolina, it is going to continue up into a landmass. we saw what happened with harvey. harvey came in, and, again, it sat there. i'm not saying this is going to do that. but even once it became a tropical storm and depression still dumped a lot of rain. even if it is not technically a tropical storm or system, it can still cause a lot of devastation. >> it is an old saying, it is a
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cliche, better safe than sorry, never more true than this one. al roker, thank you so much. you had a long night, a long day, a long day ahead. thank you for being with us. coming up, a live report from the florida keys, where evacuations are under way. soon we'll get an update on hurricane irma from florida governor rick scott, we're expecting a live briefing. he had this dire warning for his state earlier this morning. >> the storm is bigger, faster and stronger than hurricane andrew. we are being very aggressive in our preparation for this storm and every floridian should take this seriously and be aggressive to protect their family. 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.
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hurricane irma hitting the caribbean island of st. martin overnight, as mandatory evacuations are under way in the florida keys. gabe gutierrez is there. you're right in the path. what are people doing there? >> reporter: hi there, andrea. good afternoon. we're here in the northern keys, and behind me is the exodus, something we have seen throughout the last several hours. it was a few minutes ago at a stand still, now moving just a little bit, as you mentioned, the evacuations are starting here on the keys today. they're evacuating tourists now and mandatory evacuations are expected to start later on today. schools are closed here. also to our north, miami-dade county, more heavily populated area, officials there have said
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that evacuations could start as early as today. andrea, this is something that residents here are taking very seriously. many of those we have talked to said this storm is reminding them of hurricane andrew, which made landfall in florida 25 years ago, killed dozens of people. it caused more than $26 billion in damages. and, you know, a lot of people are worried this storm could be that strong. it isn't just florida, though. this is now people are looking at this, georgia, in the carolinas, millions of people along the east coast. but here in florida, we expect these evacuations to continue throughout the day. governor rick scott has said this storm is bigger, faster and stronger than hurricane andrew. and as you can see, this line doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. >> gabe gutierrez, thank you so much. in florida, governor rick scott is giving an update on operations for his state. let's listen. >> lake okeechobee, water levels
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in lake okeechobee are being lowered as well as surrounding canals. routine inspections to the dike are taking place and initial inspections will begin once the lake approaches 17 feet. the lake level currently is 13.68 feet. based on current rainfall forecasts at this time, we have no major concerns with the dike, but we will remain in constant contact with the south florida water management district to monitor the dike. shelters. if you're evacuating from the keys, you can shelter at florida international university. shelters are available for other communities who may need to evacuate. there is absolutely no reason for anyone not to evacuate if you're ordered to do so. shelters will be available and you should follow the directions of local officials to go to the shelter that fits your needs. families can go to to learn where shelters are in your area. comcast will be open more than
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137 free hot spots throughout the state for individuals in need, including noncomcast customers. visit the state is stating supplies like meals, shelter support trailers and water in central florida for deployment as needed. we will be positioning these goods once we have a better understanding of the path of the storm. last night i spoke to u.s. health and human services secretary tom price, who told me that hhs has disaster medical assistance teams en route to florida. these rapid response teams aid in the provision of medical care to those who need it after the storm. we have also have reports on the news of grocery stores being out of water. retailers are working as quickly as possible to restock shelves with water and other emergency sources. all weight and driver restrictions have been waived, so this is helping. we have been in touch with
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retailers where more supplies are on the way. if you visited a store yesterday and found a shortage, go back today and get supplies once everything has been replenished. what we need now is volunteers. we need more volunteers. i encourage all floridians that can volunteer to do to help prepare and respond to the storm. volunteer florida has 33 community response -- emergency response teams on stand by to deploy to areas of need. american red cross teams are arriving for staging with 26 tractor trailers, and state logistics resource center. 150 trailers at state farmers market and 150 emergency response vehicles staged in north florida. the red cross is also sending 1,000 volunteers to florida. the salvation army is on stand by with 32 cooking units in florida, and additional supplies staged and awaiting deployment in neighboring states. floridians can go to
9:26 am to sign up for opportunities. volunteers help with shelter, food distribution and response efforts. your efforts can make the difference a family needs to get through a storm. please volunteer. regarding school closures, to find out if your local school district is closing, please visit the florida department of education website, or call your superintendent. state offices of monroe county are closed today until further notice. state office closures in all other counties follow the direction of county officials and will be announced as they are determined. i've directed state offices in all 67 counties to be closed on friday. every family needs to have a plan. have a disaster preparedness kit and be ready today. do not sit and wait, prepare right now. for details on how to create a personalized plan, visit .
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if you need to fill your prescriptions, do it today. fill them early at your local pharmacy so you're prepared. we're working closely with our federal and local partners to make sure our communities have all the resources they need. we're 100% focused on making sure floridians and visitors have timely information on this storm and we will continue to closely monitor hurricane irma and issue updates throughout the next few days. but i cannot stress this enough, get prepared, know your evacuation zone, listen to your locals, this storm has the potential to hit our great state and you have to take this seriously. remember, we can rebuild your home, we cannot rebuild your life. this is a life threatening storm and protecting life is a top priority. let's remember andrew. i had hospitals in andrew, we evacuated two hospitals and moved patients south and at the end, andrew moved south and we had to -- for hours. this can be a devastating form, a storm more storm surge than andrew, bigger than andrew, more wind than andrew, so everybody
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take this seriously. >> thank you, governor. and now we have our two great senators from the state of florida, bill nelson, and marco rubio. >> go ahead. >> the federal government is ready. it is not going to be a repeat of what happened with the federal government 25 years ago in andrew. senator rubio and i have contacted all the elements of the federal government. we have spoken directly to brock long, the fema director. he is prepositioning people as well as supplies, although fema is quite stretched as you can imagine, with all that has gone on in texas. >> and as you've been listening to governor scott and senator nelson from florida, and talking
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about the response to irma, the house of representatives has just passed more than $8 billion in aid for harvey that now goes to the senate and more than 400 votes in favor, still finalizing that vote or they were moments ago. but joining me now is the president and ceo of the aspen institute, walter isaacson who helped the city of new orleans rebuild after katrina. as a new orleans resident and born and raised there, you have seen the worst that can happen to an american city in the flood zone. tell me about what we have learned, what we have seen in harvey, and what we're now bracing for in irma. >> two things that helped the rebuild of new orleans we have to look at here. one, we just heard governor scott ask for service, ask for volunteers. new orleans was rebuilt by an entire wave of national service people coming down, some of whom are still there 12 years later, whether it be teach for america types or whatever. i think we have to reinstill as general mcchrystal has often said the idea that we do
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service -- i don't quite feel that happening. secondly, this is far more complicated, most of the gutting of drywall and taking out of moldy insulation were done by undocumented workers, or the daca. with the daca and the undocumented worker issue here, and unemployment so low in the construction industry in texas and florida, you may have a problem sort of balancing the needs for workers with this new push to push, you know, out people who are dreamers. >> and, in fact, the dreamer legislation or the proposal from the president to put it on congress to act, what we have seen now is a dysfunction in washington that actually didn't exist at the time. >> i know. and washington, there was a little bit of criticism of george w. bush for taking a day or two and they had a bad fema director. but washington kicked in very
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well between margaret spellings and al hubbard and others at the white house -- >> george w. bush -- >> and president bush's own personal commitment and laura bush's commitment, things got done on a nonpartisan and bipartisan basis. i think you have a bottleneck coming along with everything from debt ceilings to hurricane relief to tax reform, whatever. and then with irma coming up to florida, we have to wait a minute and see, you know if it really hits miami and how do you do this in a comprehensive way. >> the $8 billion that has just been approved within the last few minutes by the house, it is just a down payment. >> that's a very small down payment. we're talking about 70 to $100 billion. but the question is, how much is insured? what happens to people uninshirteuninshirt do you make everybody whole again? and so the other thing too is i think we have to have a debate
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on urban growth. there are two i was of looking at cities and they're both valid. houston had unrestrained suburban and sprawl, concrete. i don't mean to make it sound bad. other cities in new orleans after the hurricane, we said, let's shrink the footprint, not sprawl out into low lying areas but have a denser city. those are the type of debates we should be having, but giving this political climb, i think it is difficult for us to have reasonable discussions about urban design. >> and with -- as you pointed out, houston, years ago, when i was traveling there and covering politics down there there is no zoning. >> no zoning. a lot of asphalt parking lots and rebuilding. you don't have the ways for the water to seep back in.
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i think that, you know, there are people who really love a no zoning build as much as you want and pave as much as you want. and that is a certain freedom we have, certain cities do it that way. other cities, you know, causes problems in san francisco, when perhaps you go too far in the other direction. have too much regulation. but when you're now looking at storms coming in, the way they're going to be coming in, having some water flow management issues, probably makes a lot more sense, especially in places like houston that have been sort of an urban sprawl zone by design, by concept, by people preferring it that way. >> a lot of questions to be resolved. walter isaacson, thank you. great to see you. and we'll be back with more coverage of hurricane irma and, of course, the politics around all of this. stay with us on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! polo! marco...! sì? polo! marco...! polo! scusa?
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hillary clinton. >> i think what is really important about this testimony is enabling us to follow the money. that is the life blood of an investigation like this one. there are penalties if he lies. and he presumably is aware that he is testifying with very severe penalties if he fails to tell the truth. >> this is the nbc investigative unit has uncovered exclusive new details about the meeting from the russian lawyer at the center of the controversy. joining me now is ken delany, nbc news intelligence and national security reporter. thank you very much. you have met, interviewed with this russian lawyer, the woman who was attending that meeting. and what are the main headlines, the fact that no one has contacted her from robert mueller of the fbi? >> that's right. she tells us through a translator from moscow she has not been contacted by mueller or by any u.s. official. and that's particularly curious because her partner at the
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meeting, the russian american lobbyist, has testified before mueller's d.c. grand jury. nbc news reported. as you said, this trump tower meeting in june 2016 emerged as a key focus of the investigation. we can be sure that donald jr. will be asked in detail about it at this senate judiciary committee meeting tomorrow. the reason it is a key focus, everyone knows by now, don jr. took the meeting after an explicit promise of help from the russian government. now, natalia tells us she was not bringing any specific and incriminating information about hillary clinton from the russian government, she was there to talk about a set of sanctions known as the magnitsky act. she did mention donations to hillary clinton. but as she tells it, it is a nothing burger. she's a russian lawyer with ties to the kremlin it is fair to take what she's saying with a grain of salt. intelligence experts say even if her story is true, it doesn't mean this wasn't an attempt by the russian government to see how the trump campaign would
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respond to this overture. >> let's play a short clip from that interview which you did through a translator. >> translator: once again, i have never handed to mr. trump any briefs, not during the meeting, not afterwards. >> so that's going to be very interesting. he, don jr., has to say about that tomorrow. susan rice has been testifying today, she's on the hill, at house intelligence and the house intelligence committee has gone off on a tangent to adam schiff and democrats are not happy about. they have subpoenaed records from the fbi, that's extraordinary as well. >> it is. and schiff is complaining that they didn't even ask first. they went right for the subpoena and this appears to be an attempt by republicans to seek to discredit that -- the fbi's work with the british intelligence officer who completed that dossier that in many ways got the whole investigation started, andrea. >> ken delaney, thank you for breaking all of that down for
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us, exclusive reporting today, thank you very much indeed. vladimir putin continuing to weigh in on the escalating tensions between the u.s. and north korea. at an economic forum today, in vladivostok, a city bordering china and north korea, president putin calling on all sides to not give in to emotions and remain calm as kim jong-un continues to push his nuclear program to dangerous new levels. joining me is former defense secretary bill cohen and washington post columnist david ignacious, both experts on all of this. first of all, experts, how do we figure out what kim jong-un is going to do next? and what should the u.s. response be? we know the president has been briefed, he had a meeting with his military advisers on sunday, very sharp words with the defense secretary, one of your successors, secretary mattis coming out and saying we're in the talking about the annihilation of north korea, but we could do that if we had to. >> you could read that in
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multiple i wways. with respect to russia, we know we have to follow the money. with respect to dealing with north korea, i think we have to stop the money. that will be one thing that i think president trump might discuss with president xi jinping about shutting down the flow of oil going through, shutting down the flow of money going through, and really taking away the economic cushion on which kim jong-un has been sitting along with his missiles. i think that is an approach to take. president putin said the sanctions won't work. i disagree with that. said they'll eat grass. i don't think so. i think today them eating grass with the notion we're waging an information campaign against them, sewing discord in north korea, i think there will be a different reaction. but i think the combination of economic really tough financial sanctions against north korea and combine that with a strategy we develop with china. that is the only solution i think that works. >> we see the president now heading to air force one from
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marine one, heading to north dakota to talk about tax cuts. but as he was leaving the white house and asked about it, a conversation he just had with president xi in china and david ignacio ignacious, he said when asked about military options, what to do next. clearly talking about this oil embargo that secretary cohen was saying is the main push right now with the u.n. what are thechance of not having china and rush stresia t that? >> it will be a tough move, north koreans are hardy people, but you can't run a war machine without any fuel. it is interesting and i think disturbing that president putin in russia is seeking in effect to get between the u.s. and china. as the u.s. seeks to move the economic pressure campaign forward, as an alternative to war, of vladimir putin is saying, sanctions won't work, don't try that, they'll eat
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grass. china is going to face an even more difficult decision, i think, chinese are furious at north korea. they think that kim jong-un is embarrassed, stepped all over his summit this weekend. >> this is a time in which xi jinping wants calm and quiet. we should all be watching and waiting for what happens next weekend. a lot of u.s. intelligence analysts believe that north koreans may seek to launch another missile, this weekend, another defiant gesture. if that happens, i think this goes into even more of an intense period. >> if they seek to launch another missile in the most recent one was so provocative because it was a flat trajectory and went over hokkaido, japan, so going over japanese territory instead of out to sea was such an aggressive measure. what do we do? do we do something preemptively? >> i don't think we talk about preemption at this point. it will be very last thing we want to talk about if at all.
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what i think, read into secretary of defense mattis' comments. we don't see the total annihilation of north korea. does that mean you seek something less? there was some ambiguity in his comment of whether or not they're considering some form of military action which would not necessarily be a, quote, attack upon north korea, so whether that means trying to take out a missile as it lifts off -- >> the launch site. >> that remains to be seen. >> one brief addition to the comment about secretary mattis. i thought the most interesting thing that mattis said was that the u.s. will respond if the united states, its territories, guam, or our allies, japan, south korea, are attacked. in other words, we will not respond to a threat, which had been implied in earlier comments by president trump and others, we will respond in the event of an attack, with devastating
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force. so it is a clearer messaging than we have seen before, it is tough, but it says it is an attack not a threat, that is going to trigger our response. >> is that your reading also, you didn't hear from a white house spokesperson, didn't hear from general kelly or the president. >> it is really -- almost impossible to predict what the president is going to say at any given day. the notion that you would perfect the art of the insult to your ally is astonishing to me. >> accusing south korea of appeasement. >> call him an appeaser. you're threatening to tear up the free trade agreement, and then asking them to be on our side whatever we do, the south korean people, you know, they have a lot at stake here and they are nervous and they are seeking a peaceful reconciliation of this. so is secretary mattis. so the question is what is our
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policy? it has been very unclear except to say it just pointed out, secretary mattis made it clear, not threats, it is if you take action. i think that's the calming aspect of it, whether the president overrules that or thinks he has a better option remains to be seen. >> secretary cohen, thank you so much. david ignacious as always, thank you as well. coming up, hurricane irma slamming the virgin islands with 185-mile-an-hour winds. a live report from the bahamas with the largest evacuation to date is under way. that's right here on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us. ♪ hey grandpa. hey, kid. really good to see you.
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and now turning back to hurricane irma. of course, in the bahamas. the largest evacuation to date in that island's history is under way. 1,000 people from six islands are being transported to nassau, the capital of the northeast island of the bahamas. nbc's rehema ellis is in nassau, where these people are arrivin . rehema, i can only imagine the fear people have as this is approaching. >> reporter: yeah, it is a lot of fear, a lot of caution. and people are getting themselves prepared. they've got 26 evacuation shelters that are going to be open for some people who are coming up from the southeastern bahamas. also for people here in nassau, who might need them. because while we might not get pounded like southeastern section of the country, they're still expecting tropical storm-force winds here, and nassau, the storm surge could be 20 to 25 feet.
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and for a coastal island like this, could be a lot of flooding. so they're preparing by people are boarding up their homes and shuttering their buildings. they're also stocking up on supplies at grocery stores. and we've seen long lines of people lining up to get water from big water trucks filling up five-gallon containers of water. because if that storm hits like they expect, that's going to bring downed power lines, and it could mean massive flooding in the area. so while the south is going to get hammered, they're expecting people to get hit here, too, and they're calling for everybody to be prepared. andrea? >> rehema ellis, thank you so much. meanwhile, raising eyebrows is a 2015 interview found by the of then senator jeff sessions with steve bannon on breitbart radio. this was played by rachel maddow last night in which sessions praises the immigration act of 1924. that is a law that was explicitly race-based, designed to permanently restrict people from southern and eastern
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europe, including italians, jews, africans and middle easterners, barring asian immigration entirely. albert johnson saying, quote, the day of indiscriminate acceptance of all races has definitely ended. listen to jeff sessions only two years ago. >> in seven years, we'll have the highest percentage of americans non-native born, since the founding of the republic. and some people think, well, we've always had these numbers. but it's not so. this is very unusual. it's a radical change. and, in fact, when the numbers reach about this high in 1924, the president and congress changed the policy. and it slowed down immigration significantly. and we then assimilated through the 1965 and created really the solid middle class of america, with assimilated immigrants.
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and it was good for america. >> well, let's get the inside scoop on all of this. joining me now is allen gomez, "usa today" immigration reporter, and "new york times" reporter. and msnbc contributor and jonathan capehart, "washington post" opinion writer and msnbc contributor. jonathan, it's a stunning revelation to hear jeff sessions only two years ago, he was a u.s. senator, and now is, of course, the attorney general of our land, talking about what was basically one of the most racist laws ever passed by the united states senate, in congress, i should say. >> yes. and it's chilling to listen to then senator jeff sessions basically say that the united states is a white nation, and this law from 1924 helped keep it that way, but oh, my god, if we don't do something, that's all going to change. because black and brown people, demographically, are taking over. and now that jeff sessions is attorney general of the united states, he is now in a position to do anything and everything in
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his power to limit immigration, to hold, as maxine waters said to me in an interview from my podcast, cape up, a few months ago, she said she believes that it is jeff sessions -- he believes that it's his right to hold minorities down. and when you look at some of the pictures from yesterday, when he announced the recision of daca, before he got to the microphone, the face that he had, this very smiling face that he had won yet another victory in the trump administration of first being, you know, the recision of the transgender bathroom issue and the department of education staring down betsy devos. and now this staring down a conflicted -- well, we assume, conflicted president on daca. you know, jeff sessions, from that clip to his actions yesterday, is a very -- i'll say it. a very dangerous man. >> i think that for me, this goes to the core of all the reporting i've done, that i was doing, when donald trump was running for office. people were so terrified of the
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president. it wasn't like jeb bush or marco rubio where people said i don't agree with them politically. were scared and crying when prurp was elected. and they did that because they really feared he was going to enact racist laws. and i just interviewed a young girl crying in the u.s. capitol today, a daca recipient saying america has a racist strain in it. and the moment where we actually acknowledge that and say we're coming from this place where there are actual racist agendas at work when we think about the policies being passed, then we can have a conversation. and i think in some ways she was right. >> depends, of course, on what the president now does when he tweeted late last night, well, maybe we should revisit this. whether he really believes that or not. we still are waiting for any kind of explanation from the white house, allen gomez. just wanted to share with you some information that has now come out of that meeting that the president had with the leaders today. which is our reporting that president trump said let's find something we can agree on. he said he would be okay with a three-month continuing
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resolution and a three-month debt limit to be added to the house-passed harvey bill, which is what is being considered in the senate by some. so there is some flexibility coming from the white house. at least some signalling of what he would sign. allen? >> yeah. and it's -- and it gives us -- you know, because it's tough. because what he did when -- when attorney general sessions rescinded daca is pretty much handed the issue over to congress and put the blame, the pressure, the advocacy, the screaming, the anger, squarely on paul ryan and mitch mcconnell in congress to deal with that. and so when you see things like that, them kind of pushing this along, the three-month resolution, when they're kind of pushing this further along, it's clear that they're going to do the same thing with the d.r.e.a.m. act. they have already indicated very clearly that they have a lot of more pressing things that they have to get to right now. and so they're just going to keep pushing it further and further. and so we might end up in a situation come january and february where we just have a month or two for them to suddenly pass what has been such an incredibly difficult issue
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for this congress for the 16 years that they have considered the d.r.e.a.m. act. so it's going to be a very small amount of time for them to try to cram that in. >> and allen, one of the things that's so confusing is from jeff sessions' comments yesterday to homeland security, it's not clear what they're going to do with the data. with the family information that these young people voluntarily turned over under the understanding that they were going to be protected. >> yeah. and i go back all the way to 2012 when president obama first created daca and talking to these d.r.e.a.m.ers as they were signing up for the program. and that was their main concern. that was what was terrifying them. what would happen if a future president may use that information against them. and, you know, andrea, we were on that call yesterday with dhs. and after we pressed them, we all pressed them quite a bit, they said that, yes, in extreme cases when they have determined that a particular former daca recipient has become either a criminal or some sort of threat to public safety, that they can access all the information that they provided to the federal
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government to try to track them down. that's been their concern from day one. and in my eyes, i.c.e. pretty much confirmed yesterday that they will do that. they said they're only going to do it in extreme cases. but they gave us zero guidance on what that process is like. when they're allowed to do it, or if it's just completely open and they can access those records whenever they want. >> and we just have a few seconds here left. i apologize to all, such a complicated subject. but what allen also raised on that call, jonathan capehart, was what about the members of the military who are d.r.e.a.m.ers. >> right. >> and the people at homeland didn't even know. they referred it to the pentagon. they didn't even know that there were any military personnel who were d.r.e.a.m.ers. and this gets to the whole other issue here is that this wasn't even well thought out. a functioning, governing white house would have run all the traps so that a question like that -- a simple question like that would be answered. >> we're going to have to leave it there. to be continued. and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." stay tuned to all of your hurricane warnings.
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remember, this is a big deal. al roker told us so today. craig melvin is up next. >> al roker is standing by. good afternoon to you. craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. we are watching very closely hurricane irma. the most powerful atlantic storm in recorded history. miami bracing for a direct blow. irma showing her fury as she made her first landfall overnight on the island of st. maarten. >> there's a new and seems to be record-breaking hurricane heading right toward florida and puerto rico. and other places. we'll see what happens. we'll know in a very short period of time. but it looks like it could be something that will be not good, believe me. not good. >> a powerful category 5 storm with winds of 185 miles per hour continues to move east. it is


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