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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  September 25, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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last few weeks. we're staying on puerto rico and the virgin islands and all of those stories. >> i'm stephanie rhule. >> i'm ali velshi. connect with our show at velshi rhule. right now time for "andrea mitchell reports." >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," new threats. north korea says today the president's red hot rhetoric amounts to a declaration of war as the rogue regime threatens to shoot down u.s. bombers and detonate a hydrogen bomb over the pacific. >> this would be a shocking display of irresponsibility for global health, for stability, for its nonproliferation. >> offensive line. more than 100 nfl players kneel in defiance after president trump demands team owners punish athlete who's protest the national anthem. >> i would say he should apologize. they're not s.o.b.s.
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they're smart, thoughtful guys. they are. >> as an african man, as one of those sons of bitches, yeah, i take it personally. it's bigger than me, man. >> this has nothing to do with race. this has nothing to do with race or anything else. this has to do with respect for our country and respect for our. >> and deal sweetener. protests on capitol hill today as republicans add money for states whose senators are holding out on health carrie peel. >> i'm very excited about it. we finally found an alternative to obamacare that makes sense. take the money and power out of washington. >> it's very difficult for me to envision a scenario where i would end up voting for this bill. >> coming up, hear democratic leader nancy pelosi joining us live to talk about all of this right here on "andrea mitchell reports."
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good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. feeling reverberations from the president's threats all week to new york and taunts against kim jong-un, north korea's foreign minister saying that now that president trump has declared war on north korea, that's their interpretation, the regime will shoot down american bombers in international air space and all options are on the table. joining me is peter alexander at the white house. this tit-for-tat sounds like it's getting serious. >> reporter: i think that's exactly right. let's read more of what we just heard from the north korean foreign minister who said of the president last weekend, trump claimed our leadership won't be around much longer and he declared war on our country. even the fact that this comes from someone currently holding the seat of the u.s. presidency is clearly a declaration of war. we have reached out to the white
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house for any response to those latest comments from the north korean foreign minister. so far nothing from them. it's likely this will be a question that sarah huckabee sanders is questioned on during the briefing at 2:00 today. this is the latest in a fierce ratcheting up of the language that's gone on over the course of weeks now. most notably when the president made his comments before the u.n. last week in effect threatening to destroy north korea if forced to defend the u.s. or its allies. it was at that point that kim jong-un put out that statement that referred to the president as being mentally deranged. the north koreans in that language referred to the president as a dotard, as well. president trump pushing back on twitter over the weekend referring to kim jong-un as little rocket man. once again basically threatening to annihilate north korea if they keep this up. it comes with some significant military news, as well. the pentagon acknowledging this
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weekend that u.s. bombers and fighters have now gone further north past the dmz than they've gone at any point during the 21st century. so while the u.s. all analysts you speak to concede there are no good military options here, the u.s. has not said that they are erasing military options from their consideration right now. you played that important clip from the defense secretary james mattis a short time ago, traveling overseas. he was asked about north korea's threat to test a hydrogen bomb over the pacific. you heard how he described it saying it was a shocking display of irresponsibility. he was asked if he believed that north korea was declaring war. and he declined to answer. andrea? >> peter alexander late breaking news from north korea and the back and forth continues. peter, thanks so much. i know you'll stay on top of this at the white house. the president also setting off a storm friday night with his continuing crusade against nfl protests.
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firing off another tweet again this morning saying "the issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. it is about respect for our country, flag and national anthem. nfl must respect this." this comes after the president's tirade on friday night before a predominantly white crowd in alabama sparking resistance across the sports world. >> wouldn't you love to see one of these nfl owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a bitch off the field right now out. he's fired. he's fired! >> on sunday, owners and players were united in protest in an unprecedented collective action. as players took a knee, raised arms in some cases entire teams like the steelers stayed in the locker room during the national anthem. joining me is brian mitchell, retired nfl running back an analyst for "nbc sports." thank you so much for being with us. i've never seen anything like this. i go all the way back to what happened in 1968 in mexico city
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at the olympics and, of course, following muhammad ali for years. sports and politics have been mixed before. but never in such a collective way. against the president of the united states. brian? >> well, the president of the united states basically called all those people out. when you look at football teams, whether it's copes, owners and players alike, when you begin to attack them, they come together. as we look at this we've never seen a president act liking this president has. i think what he does is try to always divide and try and conquer. when you look what he did in alabama, he did it in front of a crowd that would accept that. i would love to see him going somewhere where it's black and say the exact same thing. he says it's not about race, but obviously it's about race because the people that are protesting the nfl are african-americans -- they're not protesting the flag. i keep hearing people say that. protesting the country, the flag, our national anthem. they're not doing that.
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they're protesting the things happening to minorities all around this country. and no one wants to have that discussion but obviously, it's getting to the point because we're talking about it right now. >> and his initial reaction was against kapernick. now it is so much broader. it's across as you point out, across the nfl. he clearly thinks according to all of our reporting that this is good politics. the white house really welcomed the change of conversation. they were no longer on the talk shows on sunday talking so much about possible failure of his health carrie peel or talking about his problems was north korea. but focused on what he sees as something that can appeals to i guess his white base. brian? >> that's it. it's what he wants. it's not about the country. it's not being about the country when he began to run for president. it's about what he feels, what he thinks and wants to display. like you just said, it's good politics for him to get
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everybody not talking about all the bad things going on with his presidency but to talk about something to try and make people of color and white america go against each other. that's n.o.w. not how you build this country. he talks about guys kneeling down, disrespecting the flag and country. when you look at our constitution, everything he's done has been disrespectful for the presidency, the office he's in and this country. people always tell athletes just stick to sports or stay in your place. i'm a human being first. all these players are human beings. they're no longer dumb jocks. they're intelligent people that understand how had to start conversation. i feel you don't understand what someone's plight is until you sit there and have a conversation with them. just talking about the outside looking in, you don't have a clue. i don't think many people that are against these guys doing what they're doing which is their constitutional right. many military guys i've heard state this is their right. i fight for them to have that
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right and fight for people to disagree with them. you can't try to make them enemies of the state just because they don't do something you agree with. >> one of the things so surprising to a lot of us watching is the owners taking a stand. not only roger goodell, the nfl commissioner who usually is very cautious but robert kraft, a friend of the president saying i am deeply disappointed by the own of the comments made by the president.. i'm proud to be associated with so many player who's make such positive contributions in possibly impacting our communities." you've got the nfl, the league owners for the most part joining in with the players. >> well, i think when you look at the thing about it, he can attack these players personally. when we begins to talk about the nfl, he's talking about the owner's money. it's dollars and cents. those owners have a right they're going to stad up. whenever you affect their money, he's telling people don't support the nfl, walk out on the nfl. that's going to affect the bottom line.
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those owners will not allow that to happen. he tried to start something thinking he could go after a certain group of players. but he involved the whole nfl into it. when you get the owners involved, we'll see. let's get one thing straight. these players have to be cautious. these are a lot of owners that put money into his campaign. i understand they're standing next to him now but they're standing next to him but it's affecting their money. they're not standing next to them because they support the common cause these players are trying to support out there. this is a touchy situation for players to also keep their head up and eyes open. >> brian mitchell, thanks so much. thanks so much for your perspective today. one star athlete leading the charge in player protests is philadelphia eagles safety malcolm jenkins who has taken his fight to capitol hill urging lawmakers to take action on improving relations between police and communities of color. >> we all would agree that we need our law enforcement. they have important jobs. they have tough jobs.
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but accountability is not here as an indictment but more here as a tool for you to do your job easier, make your job easier and do it better. >> malcolm jenkins joins me now. first of all, congratulations on the eagles' win yesterday. you were on the field raising a fist. tell me what the conversation was like among the players and the feeling on the field. >> well, i think you know, leaguewide you saw a desire for you know, teammates, for staff members, coaches and ownership to really stand in support of the players who have come under attack not only this past weekend but you know, all year from starting last august when colin kaepernick first took a knee and all the players that demonstrated during the national anthem since then have really been isolated and have been misrepresented for an entire
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year. i think this is an opportunity for everyone from a fan base to ownership down to the players to really stand together to stay we are a league that brings people together and we will not change that. we will stand together and regardless of what you believe in and what you come from, we can support each other and be unified. i thought that was a big statement, a huge statement that the nfl was able to make this weekend to our country. >> of cris collinsworth and others have called for conversation. if you were in the white house, what would you say to president trump? >> you know, i would continue to highlight the issues that are happening around our country. i would continue to push for the betterment of our relationship between our communities and law enforcement. accountability for our law enforcement. changing in policies to our criminal justice system that has been you know pushing for mass
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incarceration and really decimating households. decimating communities. and keeping people locked up. and has been making public safety worse especially when it comes to communities of color. i think that those, these players who have taken this stance over the last year to draw attention to these issues have really been out doing the work. we'd encourage you know, those who want to make america great who want to be the reason and part of the solutions of making our communities safer and thriving to really hold that responsibility and get to work. >> now, you have met with paul ryan. you've been in washington trying to work on these very issues. so you've reached out. but at the same time, the president says this isn't about race. now you're dealing with the nfl is three-quarter black players. the initial issue has been with
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kapernick is the way police are treating people of color. what would you say to the president about his claim that this isn't about race and we can't judge his motivations but a lot of people think this is about race and about trying to appeal to the white base. >> yeah, well i would just look at the facts and the facts are that the players over the last year who decided to demonstrate through the national anthem have all pointed back to issues of race, whether it's police encounters and killings of black men and women, whether it's how our communities of color have been impacted by our criminal justice system. all these things have been about race. racial inequality. that's the reason for these demonstrations. you've seen his response to different demonstrations, we saw what happened in charlottesville, he was reluctant to use very harsh language when talking about people with the confederate flag and these neo-nazis. all of those were white men.
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he chose to be very careful in the way he used his words. when you talk about these demonstrations, the majority of guys taking a stand are black plen. all of a sudden, he wants to use very, very direct and disrespectful language and making a point to that they need to be fired. we're just looking for that same passion when you're dealing with people that don't look like or people that look like him, white males and so i think this is about race. although he can say that for us, i know as an nfl player, as an african-american to be doing the work i've been doing to see my peers go out on their own time daily to better their communities and be told they're unpatriotic and un-american because they want to make their communities safer, they want to make america great, they want to be part of the solution to be told that's unpatriotic was very, very disappointing. >> now, i also was wondering how you feel about players like
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pittsburgh steelers player alejandro villanueva who is the lone steeler who appeared coming out on the track, at least not out on the field itself. he appeared because he's a former army ranger, served three tours of afghanistan. he is one steeler to wanted to come out during the anthem. do players like him feel isolated from their teammates? >> i don't think he should. he was actually a teammate of mine. at one point, he was with the philadelphia eagles. we have a lot of respect for him and how he serve this had country. i can understand why that would be very, very personal to him to want to be able to go out and demonstrate. none of these things are mandatory. whether you want to the sal suit the flag or demonstrate and draw attention to awareness, i don't think they're mutually exclusive. he shouldn't feel isolate the at all. he has every right to do that just like every player has a right to peacefully protest.
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i think where we need to work on is being able to understand one another, being able to talk about our perspectives, what's going on in the communities. he's made that clear he's still willing to work on injustices around the country. he just doesn't choose to do it during the national anthem. >> and the white players like chris long on the eagles, chris long was one of the first, maybe the first to come out in support of you. how does that is bond you together with your teammates? white and black. you. >> i think it is -- i know for me it's one of those things i'm very, very grateful for that you know, chris can as a white male still see some of the issues that are going on even though he doesn't experience it. more importantly, is willing to listen and so when he first showed his support for me by putting his arm around me as i raised my fist, i think it showed people regardless of how you feel about the demonstration or when it's happening, when you
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can still stand by somebody who may be struggling or fighting for something else, that support goes a long way. then he followed that up with action and allowed me to take him throughout the city of philadelphia and learn what was going on in the communities. we sat and talked with the police. we went to a neighborhood community group and talked to community leaders about the struggles of men and women coming in and out of our justice system. we went to bail hearings, talked to public defenders. he volunteered for that and gave up time to listen to the issues. i think that's where we need to point our attention to. that's what we need to uplift that these type of conversations and this work is happening in nfl cities across the country. and players are really you know, doing the work that they're fighting for. >> malcolm, as a former philadelphiian and american, thank you for your service and what you're doing for our city of brotherly love. and thanks for joining us today.
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it meant a lot to me. >> thank you for having me. and coming up, war of words overseas, north korea saying the president trump's tough talk is a declaration of war and issues new threats against the u.s. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us. which is why we're helping to replenish the mighty rio grande as well as over 30 watersheds across the country. we're also leading water projects in more than 100 communities. and for every drop we use... we're working to give one back. because our products rely on the same thing as we all do... clean water. and we care about it like our business depends on it. ...from godaddy! in fact, 68% of people who have built their... ...website using gocentral, did it in under an hour, and you can too. build a better website - in under an hour. with gocentral from godaddy.
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in new york for u.n. meetings, north korea's foreign minister said today that president trump's words are a
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declaration of war against north korea. he told reporters in new york since the u.s. has declared war, his country now has the right to take counter measures including shooting down u.s. bombers even if not inside north korean air space. this after for the first time this century u.s. warplanes flew beyond the dmz. joining me is political and lisa lease jordan, a former white house aide in the george w. bush administration and ned price a ser advisener president obama's national security council and an nbc national security analyst. welcome both. ned, first to you. this war of words is getting really scary. i don't care easily but when now the pentagon is saying that there are new options going to be presented for the president. both sides talking about military options. north korea talking about al atmospheric nuclear test. potentially hydrogen test. which would be the first
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atmospheric test in decades and decades. now the president still with his tweets and taunts going after kim and taunting him and rebuking him. >> it would be the first atmospheric test since 1980 when the chinese conducted their first and only featuric test with a nuclear weapon. the thing to remember is the north koreans are notorious for lodging threats they don't intend to follow through on. remember last august when north korean officials threatened to launch ballistic missiles toward the u.s. territory of guam, a threat that was ultimately retracted. i think there is something we have to pay close attention to here. that is every analyst who looked at kim jong-un has come to the same conclusion. this is a person whose ego is sacrosanct who responds poorly to perceived personal slights. it does our national security no good while it might play well to president trump's base, it does our national security no gooded to continue down this wrote of
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little rocket man, the invective we saw in the u.n. general assembly during the president's speech last tuesday despite warnings from some of his fellow administration officials he shouldn't go down that path. president trump decided to do so regardless. >> elise,he is well-known, according to analysts, that north korea wants to isolate this as a u.s. versus pyongyang issue. and as a threat from the u.s. to take down north korea to justify their reactions. and to also get china and south korea out of the picture to make it one-on-one. and get that kind of respect. so doesn't the president's taunts against kim jong-un just feed in to that strategy, that tactic from the north? >> no, andrea. you're completely right. it is baffling why the president wants tons continue escalating his rhetoric when all it's done be made a situation where we have no diplomatic ties with north korea right now. he's turned it into a war of words and really angered a lot
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of our key allies in the process. starting from this summer with his far and fury rhetoric which upped the a florida te and last week to his presentation at the u.n. that really brought on another outburst from kim jong-un, this president has shown he actually is reveling quite a bit in upping the ante and making things more unstable when it comes to an already precarious situation. >> this sunday in plains, georgia, was jimmy carter's sunday school lesson. speaking about north korea a place he negotiated with during the bill clinton administration. >> i think we ought to be talking to them and in a kind way instead of hurling insults back and forth between the two leaders. as i say i have not met kim jong-un, the grandson. but we need to be talking to all of our potential enemies whenever we can to see what their problems are and see if we
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can't work out some deal with them instead of aggravating them. i'm afraid if we aggravate him too much, he might use nuclear weapons. >> and north korea also released a propaganda video, ned, typical of their propaganda videos but this is a video showing a u.s. bomber, a super carrier under attack. looks like a video game. makes it clear that this is you know, the north ratcheting it up in response to what president trump has done. >> we have a lot to learn from jimmy carter and to learn from president john f. kennedy who in the days after the cuban missile crisis offered this conclusion. nuclear states must avoid confrontations in which they pose their adversary the of complete an highlation or nuclear war. the trump administration has not offered this off-ramp. they have ratcheted up the war
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of words but they have not offered an off-ramp to say how we can did he escalate this crisis and bring this back into normal channels where we can resume diplomatic negotiations whether in a bilateral format or the usual six-party format. >> i want to tap into your knowledge also going back to the nsc when president obama was in office. at a summit in peru, he pulled jeff zuckerberg and warned him about the russia buys on facebooking. > president obama and mark wering in peru for events associated with the apec sum is mit. the obama administration worked with facebook and other tech giants in silicon valley like twitter, apple on this challenge of fake news but also isil propaganda terrorist propaganda. there's been a lot of chatter about russian propaganda and how it may have affected the election in this country and how it played out in france.
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how it didn't play out in germany where the russians did not intervene. the fact of the matter is that the challenge we faced with taking down isil propaganda is in many ways analogous to what we face with russian fake news. what the obama administration learned has to be a partnership between the public sector, between the u.s. government and entities in the private sector like facebook. the challenge this administration faces is there are still prominent voices including the voice in the oval office who continues to cast doubt on the fact that the russians were behind this. until this administration can say with a single voice that this was a russian operation and we need to work together with the private sector, both the public and private sector will continue to struggle to take on this challenge. >> ned and elise, thanks so much. we're going to have to leave it there for you now. meanwhile, last gasp. republicans sweetening their health care plan for three holdout senators. nancy pelosi joins me to talk about the republicans' latest move coming up next.
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remember that accident i got in with the pole, and i had to make a claim and all that? is that whole thing still dragging on? no, i took some pics with the app and... filed a claim, but... you know how they send you money to cover repairs and... they took forever to pay you, right? no, i got paid right away, but... at the very end of it all, my agent... wouldn't even call you back, right? no, she called to see if i was happy. but if i wasn't happy with my claim experience for any reason, they'd give me my money back, no questions asked. can you believe that? no. the claim satisfaction guarantee, only from allstate. switching to allstate is worth it. >> ned and elise, thanks so but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember.
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what time did you get here this morning. >> well, we left our hotel at 4:30 in the morning and we
quote
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marched down here and we've been here since the doors opened. we are here to tell our personal stories. how it's going to affect us. how medicaid if it gets cut, we're going to die. people are going to die in nursing homes in we don't have the home and based community services that we need. and their optional. so if they get cut, we won't be around. >> a huge turnout for this arf's hearing on the graham/cassidy bill to repeal obamacare. it's the main event today on capitol hill. hundreds of people lining up, many in wheelchairs hoping to get a spot in that hearing room and to be in clear sight of the senators weighing the merits of an evolving health care bill with no cbo score from the nonpartisan congressional budget office. house democratic leader nancy pelosi joins me now here. madam leader, this is extraordinary. the turnout. quickly and overnight, the
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changes, as well in the bill aimed at several key states. alaska, kentucky, several others where clearly the white house thinks they can try to turn some votes. >> well, it is interesting to see how people have turned out. but they've been turning out through the whole debate on overturning the affordable care act. you see people with disabilities all of whom have a pre-existing medical condition. we have the little lobbyist here, the children with pre-existing conditions. if you had one subject of the bill that you would address, pre-existing conditions, what is in jeopardy here and the republicans have made it worse with these further tweaks of last night. >> the white house was trying to say on the sunday talk shows that pre-existing conditions are protected. yet, when you look at the language, it gives the states the right to have the intention to protect but there's no guarantee to protect pre-existing conditions. and it penalizes many of the states that did the medicaid plus, the medicaid advantage.
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>> the expansion of medicaid. the fact is is that what they've done in this bill as bad as the other bill was, they've made it worse in terms of pre-existing conditions. in terms of medicaid which affects many people with pre-existing conditions, it makes matters worse. but it's interesting to note the following. when they say people are covered with pre-existing, you can get insurance for pre-existing conditions if you happen to have advanced cancer, it will cost you nearly $150,000. >> so it prices them out. >> the insurance company won't sell it to you. under the affordable care act they couldn't discriminate on the basis of price. whatever your pre-existing condition, you qualify for insurance. you get insurance. it has nothing to do with pre -- that's the horror of it all. yeah, it doesn't prevent people from selling it to you if you have $150,000 or a heart condition, $50,000. i don't know who they're talking to, but that isn't a guarantee
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of access to pre -- if you have pre-existing conditions. >> if it passes the senate, if they get those 50 votes this week and the deadline is saturday september 30th after which they need 60 votes. that is the effective deadline. if they get the votes somehow persuade people to do it without having a real score from the cbo, what is the outlook in the house? >> well, let's fight one fight at a time. i think it's really important as people are weighing in and again, the outside advocacy groups of patient groups and the rest, moms telling the stories about their children, children telling their own stories, that is what persuaded the senate, the last time. we hope that that will have an impact that the people's voices will be heard. as we do our inside maneuvering, that outside mobilization is essential. so i'm confident that it will be -- but it's not over yet because as you say, they're proffering things and so
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transparent. i have a great deal of respect for lindsey graham and had more respect when he said we don't want any of these side deals. he named a few he didn't like. in past history and now they're doing exactly that. he's a great person. i don't think they understand the complexity of what is it to deliver to deliver insurance so that people can have access to quality health care. so i think it will lose in the senate but it's not over yet. so all of the advocacy is essentialing. > you and chuck schumer obviously had that chinese dinner at the white house and chuck and nancy are now more in favor than mitch mcconnell and paul ryan perhaps. but at the same time, you're fighting for a resolution for the dreamers. >> yes. >> the president's come out with a new executive order. it takes sudan out of the mix, adds north korea and venezuela so does this make it a cleaner approach legally because it's less of a muslim ban, if you're
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including north korea. >> it's worse than the previous muslim ban. it's unfortunate. it's really important to note i've been in congress since president reagan. i'll speak to that. president reagan when congress acted on immigration he said you aren't good enough. i'm going to do more with family fairness. he protected more people. president george herbert walker bush continued that. president clinton. president george w. bush, one of the best presidents in respecting immigrants in the revitalization of america they provide. president obama following in that tradition. this is the first preds in 30 years or longer but just in modern time who has been anti-immigrant and it's really a very sad thing. hopefully, he'll be pro dreamer and that will take him down a path to comprehensive immigration reform and understanding that the optimism and hope and courage of newcomers to our country are what make america more american. >> now, the north korean
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rhetoric from both sides but now today the north korean foreign minister saying president trump's tweets and his speech why were a declaration of war against north korea and they are going to respond against our bombers. >> the president of the united states is we've always said the leader of the free world. the president of the united states. i hate to see him giving a platform to kim jong-un. it's really -- he's so beneath the dignity, he kim jong-un of this discussion about the safety of the world. you've been to be north korea. i have. i'm one of the few people in congress who has been to pyongyang. what i'm concerned about is the following. i think kim jong-un is a bully. i don't think he's going to ever do any of these things. anything he does has a return address. he must know that it's bad news for his people. should he do anything. but what i'm concerned about when i was there what they told
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me is we talked to them about stopping their missile production. they said we just make them to sell them. you want to buy them? we'll sell them to you. i'm concerned about kim as a prolifera proliferator. this is his dog and pony show showing people i have the technology, i have the scientific no how. i have the launch capacity. you want to buy some from me. that makes the world an even more dangerous place. in addition to his tests which are harmful to the environment. so he's a bad actor. the president is so far, president of the united states shouldn't be engaged in that kind of tit-for-tat with the somebody as dreadful as he is. we always have to speak to our opponents and the rest but to give him to elevate him to a place that he has i think was not the right path for the president of the united states to take. >> nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, thank you so much. thanks for being with us today. and coming up, calling foul. president trump says his attacks
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against athletes who sit out the national anthem are about patriotism and respect. is he disrespecting players' most basic rights of free speech. you're watching andree mitchell reports. was for langoustine ravioli. a langoustine is a tiny kind of lobster. a slight shellfish allergy rules that out, plus my wife ordered the langoustine. i will have chicken tenders and tater tots. if you're a ref, you way over-explain things. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance you switch to geico. sir, we don't have tater tots. it's what you do. i will have nachos!
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i supported donald trump. you know, i sat back and when he asked me to introduce him at a rally, you know, in buffalo, did i that. but i'm reading these comments
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and it's appalling to me. and i'm sure it's appalling to almost any citizen in our country. it should be. i mean, you know, calling our players s.o.b.s and all that kind of stuff, that's not the men that i know. >> former buffalo bills and new york jets coach rex ryan breaking from president trump hours before we witnessed the leaguewide response to the president's disparaging comments. those comments from alabama. let's get the inside scoop from bill rhoden from espn's the undefeated and ruth marcus. bill, first to you. the president, the white house seems to feel that they are on political solid ground here. appealing to their base. but mixing politics and sports the way they did on nfl sunday, what's your take as to how this is going to play out? >> this is all very bizarre. i've been around nfl locker rooms period for more than 40
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years. and we've had bits and pieces of activism. you mentioned ali and smith and carlos and you know, but this is quite -- this is really kind of unpress debbed. first of all, what i really am proud of, you had a great interview with malcolm jenkins. what i think is really great is how you've had a lot of athletes, black and white, realizing that there's something larger here at stake. it's not just sort of a black issue. it's a freedom of speech issue. and so you have a president essentially sort of playing the dozens with them. you know, and this is wrong group of guys and athletes, period, to do that with. you called them s.o.b.s. i heard the conversation with nancy pelosi. and she was saying well, you know, this is below the dignity of the office. well, that's the problem. it's not. this president has basically redefined the office.
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yeah, i'm going to waddle in the mud whether it's north korea, whether it's the war on the health care bill. whether it's the extension of the ban, the travel ban. he is declaring war on so many fronts that it's overwhelming. fortunately, when he takes on the nfl, now for a lot of people, okay, that crystallizes the issue. that crystallized the issue and pushing a lot of people, a lot of athletes within this locker room, this locker room talk, he's pushing a lot of people into unity. i think that's a good starting point to see a lot of athletes who heretofore had just really been focused on football, realize you know what? we'd better expand our vision because this is not just about football or the nfl. >> and including of course, the way he took on steph curry and the nba and the golden state warrio
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warriors. visits to the white house have always been ceremonial. he never criticized tom brady who took a knee yesterday. never criticized tom brady for come together white house. yet, steph curry was demonized in the president's comments. >> what's the difference between those two? it is remarkable. we've seen the politization of entertainment and now i guess we've got the politization of sports because politics is in part, thanks to president trump in part thanks to forces that predate him, affecting all our lives. the interesting question to me is whether this is a smart move for him politically. and i think for him and his base, a lot of people looked at colin kaepernick and originally had a little bit of a bad reaction to his refusing to stand for the anthem. but there's a lot of people including myself who are
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offended by the president telling you how you can exercise your first anticipate rights but there's a lot of people when he talks about our heritage and when he talks about our flag really rally to that. so to that. it might be offensive and also might be smart politically. >> bill, finally, and i just stand to be corrected that tom brady linked arms, which was another symbol of unity in protest, not taking a knee. but the fact that the owners are now involved, and roger goodell, who is not some wild-eyed activist. >> here's the problem with this industry that we're involved in, sports industry, he's put -- he's asked the owners to do something they know they can't do. they absolutely can't do it. he's talking about firing people. even jerry jones, who -- the owner of the cowboys, who sort of said the same thing, but they realize they can't do that. they're in a league that's almost 70% young, black men.
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they know they can't fire these people because they'd have no product. they would have no product at all if they do that. they're in bed with these guys. also, you know, it's funny, he's in huntsville, alabama. i guarantee you, although they're cheering, half of them are auburn football fans and half of the team is alabama fans, 80% black. if those two schools, if the players on that school said they weren't playing, the state of alabama and most in the crowd would declare a state of national mourning. it's one thing to say these kind of things but this is a very unique industry that runs on young, black muscle. the owners see that. it all sounds very good, but i think he did -- the president did a service. he pushed everybody together. you said you've -- you know, he's talked about steph curry and talked about how he can't come to the white house in february. curry says, guess what, you may
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not be in the white house in february. it's a fascinating thing, but it's good to see the athletic industry coming together like this. >> to be continued. bill, please come back and visit us again. ruth marcus as well. we'll be right back. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell. order your kit now at ancestrydna.com.
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welcome back. nbc's tammy leitner joins me from san juan, puerto rico, with an update on the crisis there. >> reporter: this is still very much an island in crisis. everywhere you look, there is debris. people are starting to clean up their homes, businesses. this is a process that will take weeks, if not months. there are a handful of gas stations open across the island. we have a line here that stretches about a mile long. and that is very typical. people are only being allowed to buy about $20 worth of gas. the basic necessities are impossible to come by. the biggest one is water. people everywhere we're gone are making desperate pleas for water. andrea? >> tammy leitner, thanks so much. just walk right in and pay zero dollars with most insurance. plus, when you get a flu shot at walgreens, you help provide a lifesaving vaccine to a child in need
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thanks for being with us. chris jansing takes over right here on nbc. >> hi, andrea. i'm chris jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york. declaration of war. north korea's foreign minister today says president trump has declared war on his country and he's threatening to retaliate. how will the leader who trump calls the little rocket man and his rogue nation respond? political football. president trump ignites a racially charged firestorm of controversy with the nfl. owners speak out. 100 players

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