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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  October 10, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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u.s. service members, and truly global war on terror. thank you both for being with me tonight. that is all in for this evening. >> tonight the president takes on a member of his own party, tennessee senator bob corker unafraid, not holding back, also not running for reelection. plus, if the mike pence walk out on an nfl game was a koryo graphed political stunt, what did taxpayers shell out for a trip like that? tonight what the white house is saying to the criticism and the cost. and the president weighs in on the pictures that have defined his visit and for some his response to puerto rico. the 11th hour on a monday night begins right now. and as we start a new week, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 263 of the trump administration brings us reports of white house staff members who want out, a trump loyalist who says this presidency could be doomed, and a republican senator saying trump has put us on a path to world war iii. and that was the big fight the president found himself in this weekend with tennessee
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republican senator bob corker, chairman of senate foreign relations, who is not notably running for reelection. in an interview with "the new york times," he said this about the president. he concerns me. he would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation. i know for a fact that every single day at the white house it's a situation of trying to contain him. except for a few people, the vast majority of our caucus understands what we're dealing with here. of course, they understand the volatility that we're dealing with and the tremendous amount of work that it takes by people around him to keep him in the middle of the road. all that came after corker responded to a trump twitter tirade against him by saying, quote, it's a shame the white house has become an adult day care center. someone obviously missed their shift this morning. where corker is concerned, this has been building for sometime, and we have watched him struggle when describing this president. >> i do think there need to be some radical changes. the president has not yet, has
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not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful. i chose the words i stand by those words. when i met with the president a week ago friday, i said, mr. president, i stand by what i've said. secretary tillerson, secretary mattis and chief of staff kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos. >> and about the fight with corker and similar battles the president has been in, the washington post spoke to 18 people in the white house, outside advisors included and other trump associates who said the president is increasingly isolated.
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quote, one trump loyalist noting that corker has many more friends in the senate than trump, said the rift could dash chances for tax reform and other meaningful legislation. his presidency could be doomed, said this person. here's another. one trump confidant likened the president to a whistling teapot, saying when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode. i think we are in pressure cooker territory, said this person, who, you know the rest, requested anonymity to speak candidly. and the axios news service saying the stress does not stop with the president at the white house. they write, quote, we cannot stress enough how many essential staff and officials want out. if not this quarter, then soon after the new year. we also got a glimpse tonight of something else, this rapidly escalating war on incumbents in the republican party, not all, but some. and it's under the banner of the trump movement. steve bannon appeared on sean hannity's show tonight on fox
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news. he warned establishment republicans nobody is safe. we're coming for you. and here was the exchange with the host. >> i've been told by people in the room, ben sass, john mccain, lindsey graham, corker, and even mcconnell. they trash the president, but yet they can't get any of their promises completed. they are the swamp. republicans are weak and pathetic and lacking in identity, and the forgotten men and women that voted this election are being let down. >> look, they have total contempt for the forgotten man. they have total contempt for the base. that's what you saw in alabama. in alabama where they came in with luther strange, with $32 million to destroy judge moore, you saw what the base thought of them. the base totally crushed them. these people have no respect for the working men and women in the united states. and i tell you what, senator corker is an absolute disgrace. if bob corker has any honor, any
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decency, he should resign immediately. he should not let those words stand what he said about the president of the united states. nobody is safe, we're coming after all of them and we're going to win. >> those were important words and they made news tonight. interesting exchange with that. let's turn to our lead off panel for this evening, peter baker chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," and an msnbc political analyst. kimberly atkins, chief washington reporter for the boston herald. and jeremy peters, "the new york times" political reporter and an msnbc contributor. peter, let's begin not with that last bit we heard. we'll get to mr. bannon. but based on your writing tonight, why is this fight with corker particularly bad timing for the president, not that any time is good, to take on the chairman of senate foreign relations, a member of your own party? >> bob corker is not just an average republican senator. he's not one of the ones who has been a renegade up until now on some of these health care votes.
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when the president has been trying desperately to get the 51 votes for some of these big pieces of legislation, the ones he's been courting, the ones he's been losing has been john mccain, susan collins, lisa murkowski. now add bob corker to the people he can no longer count on, who are free agents. bob cork eras chairman of the foreign relations committee has a lot to do with the appointment power and the -- if there is a new secretary of state, if rex tillerson is put out, he has a lot to do with the iran nuclear deal if the president later this week dessert identifies it as we are told he's going to do. and he is a deficit hawk going way back and he can be very important. just next week when the senate is scheduled to take up a budget vote that is critical to their tax cut plan. >> kimberly, i have described
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senator corker on this broadcast as a work horse and not a show horse, a man not normally given to hyperbole. so, having, having said that, what do you think is in it for him? do you think he views this as a straight-up act of patriotism? >> well, what did janice joplin, freedom is another word for nothing left to lose. since he announced he is not running for reelection, he has a lot more freedom to speak very frankly about how he sees this white house. and you're right, this is somebody who doesn't spout off. this is somebody who chooses his words carefully. it is also someone who supported donald trump. he's not a never trump person. and, so, having this, he's expressing -- he's taking on the responsibility of expressing what he's hearing in the republican caucus, sort of giving cover to the other people who are running for reelection and who can't speak as freely about this president. so that's what makes it extraordinary. it is also -- he is also someone who is very well respected. i mean, you made the point he has a lot more friends in the
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republican caucus than the president does right now. and so taking that position, he's really, you know, using that freedom that he has now that he's not running for reelection to really speak on their behalf. >> nice job on bobby mcghee, by the way. jeremy, what's the ratio of republicans who agree with corker, yet refuse to say so? 100 to 1, 200 to 1, 300 to 1 and has there been any migration -- has courage broken out in any perceptible way in the last 36 hours? >> no, not among, brian, republicans who are running for reelection. i mean, there's a handful who have always kind of been willing to criticize the president. but for the most part, the ones that you've seen who have really come out hard against him are people like bob corker who are unencumbered by having to -- unencumbered by the bonds of reelection. and you have people like john mccain who has always been out there against him. it's not clear to me that anything short of a total implosion by president trump, a realization among republicans
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that he offers them no more political power, will cause them to break with him. they have to see among their base, among their voters, that president trump is no longer popular. and right now that's just not the case. among the trump supporters who were with trump in the primary, 95% of them still approve of the job that trump is doing, according to the latest nbc news/"wall street journal" poll. that is what republicans see in their home states when they take in consideration, okay, is it time for me to criticize the president yet. >> peter, let's go dr. phil on the relationship then we'll move on. we remember seeing pictures of corker at trump tower. we were led to believe it was an audition or interview loosely for a cabinet spot, not just any cabinet spot. what happened, why didn't that happen for senator corker? >> well, he did, in fact, interview for secretary of state and in a number of prom nebt republicans supported him for that job. president trump decided, as elect trump decided not to pick him. one of the reasons he supposedly told people senator corker was not tall enough, he didn't match his view of what a secretary of
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state should look like. >> well, he did, in fact, interview for secretary of state and in a number of prom nebt republicans supported him for that job. president trump decided, as elect trump decided not to pick him. one of the reasons he supposedly told people senator corker was not tall enough, he didn't match his view of what a secretary of state should look like. senator corker is 5'7" which is roughly my height, president-elect trump said repeatedly he wanted people from central casting. he liked john kelly as secretary of homeland security, secretary general mattis as secretary of defense because they looked like the roles that he was putting them in and he didn't think bob corker did. and i think bob corker was a little more independent than president-elect trump wanted at that point for the cabinet. senator corker told, actually told my wife susan glasser from politico during an interview a few months back when he interviewed with president-elect trump, they disagreed on most of the issues around the world in a lot of ways. so, i did not think they clicked
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at that time. they obviously -- that relationship has only deteriorated since then. >> peter baker who will not be the next secretary of state under president trump. kimberly, our friend gene robinson calls this the era of the dear leader. obviously a tip of the hat to the nomenclature of north korea. having said that, look at this tweet from lindsey graham today. and as we read it, really enjoyed a round of golf with president donald trump today. president trump shot a 73 in windy and wet conditions. and so on and so on. here's lindsey graham who has been critical of the president. lindsey graham, besty with john mccain. what's going on here? >> the president is clearly trying to elicit all the praise that he can. you have him likelihood that the president suggested that he praise him today, another president doesn't like to talk about his golfing. there was also a statement today put out by cabinet members
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praising the president's immigration plan that was laid out late last night. he thrives on praise and he really hates criticism. so, in the face where, for a week we've been discussing whether or not the secretary of state called him a moron and now we have bob corker saying it's like an adult day care center at the white house, he's seeking all the praise that he can everywhere he can. >> so, jeremy, now to mr. bannon, mr. bannon's words really got our attention tonight. tell us how real this is, how real the fear should be from mcconnell on down. everyone in the caucus and why senator barasso of wyoming is in the news today? >> well, as we reported over the weekend, brian, senator borasso is likely to get a challenge from the right from erik prince, the founder of black water, the military contracting service. that is steve bannon's doing, in large part, steve bannon recruited him. and races like that we are going to see replicated across the country.
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steve bannon hopes to have candidates in states from maine to montana who will run kind of as republican insurgents in the mold of donald trump. that should scare republicans, not because the candidates themselves are such great figures, such fearsome political figures or really all that talented. look at roy moore, right, a guy who had just won in alabama and was thrown out of his job as supreme court justice twice. and it's the anger that voters have, republican voters especially, it's different from 2014, different from 2016. the climate right now, republicans will tell you, is ripe for the kind of disruption that we saw in 2010 when a lot of incumbents ended up losing their seats to renegade challengers from the right. >> and it's the need for a
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working majority, which i'm reminded they have now, but they haven't been able to convert. peter, just for fun, tell our viewers who the president is having lunch with tomorrow at the white house. >> well, none other than rex tillerson, secretary of state who did or did not call him a moron in the past. and who said he's not resigning. a lot of people will be watching it this lunch to see what comes of it. there is a real feeling that secretary of state tillerson is not long for this job even if he stays for a few months. his position is obviously diminished. people do not assume that he speaks for the president. he speaks for the administration. and, therefore, that takes away the biggest calling card that any secretary of state has, which is the idea that he represents the united states of america around the world. so, that's at lunch.
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all eyes will be on it. unfortunately we're not in the room. maybe somebody will tell us afterwards what happens. >> thanks to our free returning friends starting us off. peter baker, kimberly atkins. jeremy. first break ahead, the president's new legal team has a strategy when it comes to dealing with mueller. the secretary of defense talks about readiness. should the president order military action against north korea. more on that tonight. and up next, now the vice-president is in the fight over kneeling before football games, apparently acting on orders from the boss. the 11th hour just getting started on a monday night.
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it was a big weekend in indianapolis, a big day for the colts as they retired the jersey of the great peyton manning. sadly, for fans of the consensus hall of fame quarterback, the day may instead be remembered for what was instantly branded a political stunt. mike pence, remember, former governor of indiana, was there for the game with the 49ers and when about 20 members of the 49ers kneeled during the anthem, pence and his wife left the stadium. remember, it was a 49er colin kaepernick formerly who invented kneeling. then our own producer reported the motorcade had been warned in advance about an early exit. then a carefully composed statement from pence landed on social media, already in beautiful graphic form. then we heard from the president on twitter. quote, i asked vp pence to leave stadium.
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if any players kneeled disrespecting our country. i am proud of him and second lady karen. all of it led philip bump of the washington post to write that it reinforced, quote, the obvious conclusion that pence's appearance at the game and his well coordinated exit from it was staged. trump added vp pence was long planned. he is receiving great praise after players showed disrespect for the country. members of the staff played offense today. >> it takes a lot to get that man's blood boiling and to refer to somebody who is standing up for the flag and all it represents to hundreds of millions of americans and all it signals to the world, our veterans, our unity, the founding of our great nation, to call that a political stunt is truly outrageous, egregious and offensive. >> well, let's talk about it tonight. we are joined by philip bump, national correspondent for the washington post and andy
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martino, a veteran reporter and columnist in both news and society and sports currently a contributor with huffington post. gentlemen, welcome. so, philip, you instantly had no doubt and how, if your conclusion and the evidence we've seen is correct, how angry should taxpayers be? because wild spending on aircraft flights has been in the news of late. >> it has. we don't know exactly how much this cost and there's been a lot of attention paid to the cost of the flights in part because we can calculate that. we know how much it costs to fly air force 2. the ancillary costs, added security, the cost of getting mike pence from the airport to the stadium, all these things are expensive. they are also things intrusions into pipe l's daily lives which is expensive in other ways. i think the thing, and the piece i wrote today, the thing i think is worth reinforcing is the fact that this was something that was planned in advance, clearly planned in advance, a joke i
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made on twitter, no one wants to see the colts play the 49ers. the two worst teams in the nfl. he went there to specifically have this reaction happen. this is something, you only have so much time as vice-president. this is something he spent a day of his time carving out because that is a priority. that is what we should judge on its merits. >> andy, i'm going to ask you to take on a headline of phil's piece. why pence and trump keep framing the nfl protests as being about the military. why? >> it's an excellent question because it's not actually at all about the military. >> that's right. >> colin kaepernick, people say that kaepernick, we don't know what he's protesting for. we don't know why he's kneeling. it is a strange thing for the right to claim because kaepernick himself has been very clear this is about perceived
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police brutality. this is about social justice. this is about systemic racism. this is not about the military, this is not about soldiers, it's been co-opted by the right into one of these divisive breitbart red meat issues and that is what clearly what the president is vice-president are doing. this has nothing to do with disrespecting soldiers. plenty of the players who have engaged in this action have military in the family, have no issue -- the word war has never come up to my knowledge in this even. muhammad alley waged a protest against the military. this is not that. this is a protest against police brutality and the crisis black men and boys are facing all over the country every day dealing with law enforcement. that's what this is about. >> now, let me raise a separate crisis. the nfl, the nfl is going through a rough time and it could get rougher. from cte to issues like this, this comes at a terrible time for professional football. >> it does, brian. but i think this is a winner. it's a political winner at least for football. it depends how the question is asked. it depends on the poll. but kaepernick's action and those who have followed him have always polled poorly. the majority of americans are against what kaepernick and his fellow players have done in demonstrating against the anthem. this is something that's common in racial protests and sports racial protests.
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ali was not popular in his time. 23% of the american public was in favor of martin luther king's march on washington the day before it happened. it's a winner in the moment. people judges people like keeper nick well. if i come out after all this happened with vice-president pence, jones came out today and said he would punish a player who kneeled. i want to talk about this instead of the fact my sport is killing people, causing brain injuries, causing suicides. that is a loser. this unfortunately is a political winner. >> saying nothing of the 0-5 new york giants. hey, philip. >> another topic. >> the president tweeted tonight a big salute to jerry jones, owner of the dallas cowboys who will bench players who disrespect our flag. quote, stand for anthem or sit for game. again, a little political co-opting there. and if we had a legal eagle on this panel, they would remind us the first amendment we are waiving around protects -- it is about the government.
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independent private companies can be private companies. and if you're the employee, they can lay down the law. >> that's exactly right. jerry jones has every right to do what he wants to do with their team. there are contract stipulations and so on, generally speaking that's true. the point that was just made about the significance of the flag and how this is being co-opted is an important one. the fact this is being made about the flag, the fact it is being made about the military is because those are political winners. the military is a political winner itself. donald trump is extremely unpopular. vice-president pence is not terribly popular because in part because he serves for president trump. by saying it is against the military it is gathering people around donald trump at a time he needs people around him. he sees this, he spends more time dealing with this than he has, for example, the aftermath maria in puerto rico. this is what his base gets excited about and republicans get excited about. he's seizing on what jones did because it is another win in his column on this issue which he thinks is important. >> gentlemen, i can't thank you enough.
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terrific discussion on a monday night of all things in the life of the sport of football. philip bump, andy martino, thank you both. coming up after another break there has been enough trashing of robert mueller by the white house lately. that is a calculated plan. we'll run through the latest on the russia investigation, what it means for the president when the 11th hour continues.
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the white house seems to have a new strategy as you may have noted when it comes to dealing with this ongoing russia investigation. "the new york times" reports that it basically goes like this. respond to all of robert mueller's requests, then ask him to publicly clear the president when it's all over. the times writes, quote, once mr. mueller has combed through the evidence, mr. trump's lawyers plan to ask him to affirm that mr. trump is not under investigation either for colluding with russian operatives or for trying to obstruct justice. let's talk about it tonight. and with us to do that, jill wine-banks is back with us, former assistant watergate special counsel and an msnbc legal analyst. jill, you are fond of finding all the statements that are aimed at an audience of one. is this the president with an idea, goes to his legal team and says, let's offer this? >> it's a very good legal
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strategy for several reasons. one, it's always better to get out even bad news yourself rather than waiting for the other side to find it and then you have to explain it. it's much better to be able to get it out and talk it away before it's found. and the other thing is it's a good strategy not to be antagonistic to the prosecutor and to hopefully cooperate with him. on the other hand, i did give advice at one point over the air to donald trump, jr. saying that he should reveal everything and do it fast. and then i saw the chain of e-mails and thought, well, that wasn't such good advice because that e-mail chain was so incriminating that it was very hard to explain it away no matter how hard you tried. so, sometimes full cooperation may backfire on you. >> well, speaking of ways it
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could backfire, there's no law against working the refs in public. sometimes different sides in a case are prohibited or prevented, and other lawyers come out and work the refs through the media. is mueller likely to react negatively to these kinds of advance instructions? >> i don't think so. i think that mueller is looking at facts and evidence, and he will view the facts and the evidence from whatever source when he gets them, and he will analyze them fairly and without any bias. so, i think this really doesn't affect the prosecutor so much. it does make his job easier if they will cooperate than if they keep stonewalling. certainly in watergate, we had a very long time of stonewalling by the president, and it took public reaction and horror at the saturday night massacre that forced him to say, okay, i will give you the white house tapes
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and i will appoint a new special prosecutor after he had fired the special prosecutor. so, public reaction can matter more than the special prosecutors. and this may be done for his own base to say to them, look, i have nothing to hide and so i'm really cooperating. and that may help him with his base more than with the people who are already suspicious of what will be found. >> jill, if we all agree that robert mueller has hired an all-star legal team, and if we all agree he is a tas turn close to the vest guy who will never get caught leaking, based on all publicly available cues and clues, on a percentage basis, how far along do you think the mueller effort is? >> i think in terms of manafort and flynn, they're probably pretty far along. in terms of russian collusion and obstruction of justice,
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maybe not as far along. in terms of certain clues to obstruction, the firing of comey, the actions in connection with that, do indicate to me some potential for the president to have been involved in obstruction of justice. but we need a lot more evidence, and i am sure that mueller has it and that his team is doing a wonderful job on it. the search warrant for manafort's home would indicate they're a lot further along with that. and i wonder about how quiet it's been about flynn as to whether he is cooperating, and that's why it's so quiet. but we aren't going to ever hear anything from flynn -- i'm sorry, from mueller until there are indictments. then we will know what he thinks the crimes that have been committed are and who committed them. and other than that, he's not going to come out and say, i clear the president.
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all he will say is, i've indicted a, b and c. and that's all he will say. now, he may also turn over a report to congress rather than indict because we don't know whether he accepts the leon jaworski who is the watergate special prosecutor's point of view, impeachment, not indictment, is how you deal with criminality of a president who is sitting in office, or he believes the ken starr memo who says you can indict a sitting president. if he accepts that we may see indictments of the president. >> our thanks as always to chicago's best, one of our analysts, jill wine-banks, thank you for coming on tonight. another break for us, and up next, the threat of north korea and the u.s. response when the 11th hour continues. most american homeowners would be shocked if they knew just how rich they were. the average american home value has increased $40,000 over the last 5 years. but many don't know you can access that money
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we don't know if he's a rational actor. it's all assumptions. there is no world leader that we know less about. there is no regime we know less about with regard to their intentions. and the ability for a miscalculation to occur that causes a tragedy for the ages is a real thing. >> one of the moments from today's programming that got our attention, as he often does, republican strategist steve schmidt earlier this afternoon with nicole wallace reminding us of the stakes. also today, secretary of defense james mattis said that although diplomacy is, of course, the preferred course of action right now, the role of the u.s. army must be preparedness. >> now, what does the future hold? neither you nor i can say. so, there's one thing the u.s. army can do, and that is you have got to be ready to ensure that we have military options that our president can employ if needed.
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we currently -- we currently are in a diplomatically led effort. >> well, with us tonight sue mi terry, former analyst at the cia and former national security council director for korea, japan and oceanic affairs. and retired four-star u.s. general barry mccaffery, battle field commander in the persian gulf, now a msnbc analyst. general, i'll start with you. where will our current policy, if nothing changes, where will our current policy with the north lead us? >> i think, brian, inescapably, we are sliding toward war. i think part of the problem is going to be the north koreans over the last 50 years have learned they can provoke, talk, gain compensation and provoke again.
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so i anticipate at some point kim jong-un's young untested probably rational -- by the way, rational governments do stupid things all the time. the japanese attacking the united states, kennedy and johnson getting us into vietnam. so, you know, i think a provocation from the north koreans in the coming year is very likely to result in us striking them in a major way with conventional air and sea power to destroy the nuclear capability, which by the way, will mostly work. but then we could anticipate high intensity warfare in the korean peninsula which would be a disaster for the region. >> wow. next time i see you i'd add to your list, by the way, bay of pigs and gulf of tunkin, but that's for a later discussion. so, sue, i know you know and respect the opinion of the general. i want to add to what he just said.
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chilling as it was, the last tweets on the subject from the president of the united states over the weekend. presidents and their administrations have been talking to north korea for 25 years. agreements made and massive amounts of money paid. hasn't worked. agreements violated by the ink was dry. making fools of u.s. negotiators. sorry, but only one thing will work. how chilling is that and what's he talking about? >> well, he's making it sound like only military option is available when he says only one thing is going to work. and, but it is true we have been talking to them for 25 years. and it's also true engagement did not workout. but you still have to give north koreans off ramp. you can do pressure, you can do sanctions, you can do secondary
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sanctions, but you still have to give them an exit. otherwise what will they do? they will only think that provocation is coming or war is coming so it will lead to miscalculation on the north korean regime's part and that could lead to an he is sclags and a conflict just like the general just talked about. >> i have to ask you, kim jong-un's younger sister that has just been elevated, given a little more responsibility, what do we know about her? and is that considered good news for the west? >> well, i don't know if it's necessarily good news or bad news. kim jong-un's aunt served that role for his father. so, it is very -- it's normal that kim jong-un is reaching out to his family members, the one person he can truly trust. and what he's doing right now is filling key posts with only people that he can truly trust because obviously, you know, that's what he wants. but this is not unusual that he's, you know, reaching out to his sister or family member. >> general, as no one needs to remind you, the members of the
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u.s. army who are stationed there do so under the banner, under the phrase ready to fight tonight. and they stay battle ready 24/7. and that is terrific. however, what if they don't start it? what if it's something we're reacting to started by the north because of a threat or a faint or a comment on our side? >> well, i think, again, that's a problem. look, secretary mattis is almost wore shipped by the armed forces and his message today was clearly one of let's use diplomacy first. but when you look at the -- sort of a modest military u.s. presence in south korea, so substantial naval and air presence in the region, when you look at this capability, where is the diplomatic leverage? if you know the secretary of state is being undercut, is calling his own president a moron which there is a serious argument about that, if you look at senator corker, this is the key person in the senate dealing with this issue. so, how could there be magic that we don't know about that will take us off the paths of
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war? i think at the end of the day we are headed inescape aably without a people out of congress to using a military option to solve a genuine threat to the american people, which i think is going to be a sad outcome. >> wow, that's breath taking. sue, last word, how much western media does kim jong-un consume, do we think? >> a lot. i'm sure he's pouring over -- he's watching this right now. he's at least watching. they're pouring over every word that comes out of trump administration and coming out of the united states. >> very chilling stuff. two of the very best in the business whose opinions we'll continue to count on. sue mi terry, general mccaffery, thank you both. when we come back, senator krystal weighs in on mike pence and more when we come back. is s ah... the irresistible scent of gain flings laundry detergent.
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so much to talk about tonight with bill krystal. obviously a veteran of the reagan and bush administrations, editor at large of the weekly standard and a guy we turn to whenever we can. okay, bill, the comments tonight by bannon to members of the republican establishment who might dream of not being with the trump agenda, quote, no one is safe. we are coming for you. how worried are you about this movement to burn down the house and while they're at it, the senate? and what will it mean to have an r after your name? >> you know, i think there is a real civil war in the republican party. you and i have discussed before. people have been underestimating this. they tend to interpret the different fights as psycho dramas, trump and mcconnell don't like each other. now trump and corker. there's a lot of psycho drama when donald trump is involved. fundamentally, there is a genuine fight for the future of the republican party. trump and bannon have one vision and they are -- bannon is now out recruiting candidates. some of them are spontaneously appearing, too. they saw stewart coming close to
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beating gillespie for governor this year and thought if stewart can come close to beating gillespie, why don't i take a shot. there's money behind this had from rebecca mercer and others. we have not ever seen this in modern american politics. primaries in almost against almost every incumbent republican senator where republicans where they hope to pick up districts and serious fights with money on both sides and a real battle over the future of the party. this is not in a party that's out of power. we've seen this before where the party out of power has a lot of angst and they fight. this is a party that controls the presidency and congress. we're going to have a civil war with the president on one side and the majority leader of the senate and the speaker of the house on the other. we haven't seen this before. >> listening to bannon on
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hannity tonight the common denominator was senator who's report to mcconnell. does mcconnell realize his amount of exposure? is there any part of him who would take himself out of the game because there could be incalculatable damage to the conference he leads now? >> that's possible. i think if you listen to bannon and other trump supporters and trump, they think republican senators should work for donald trump. bob corker they think, i don't know what they think, they think he won the state that trump won so he's even supposed to be more loyal to trump than he has been. he's voted for every single one of trump's nomination pnlz he's not one that bowled on a couple of things. he's criticized trump moderately till recently. even for that he's supposed to resign and people like john barrasso and wyoming who voted with trump on everything it, he's supposed to be primaried. it's a free country. the notion you can apiece trump or bannon should be put aside. this may be abe moment where republican senators and congress wake up and say if we're in a
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fight for the future, let's fight for something we believe in and stop trying to bend over backwards for trump and not offend any of his supporters. let's see. we haven't seen that much courage in standing up to trump in public yet. maybe there will be more now. >> that would be a story to cover. about that building with the obama on it behind you, what's the chance that we cop to the end of 2017 without a successful major legislative initiative? >> i think pretty good chance. i don't think tax reform will make it this year and doubtful it will make it early next year. if roy moore shows up in december that, makes it harder for mcconnell. again it's not even a well developed bill. you have an administration not interested in ladies and gentlemen latetive details. you have to be fair to the populace an establishment
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republican group who are operating on pretty stale ideas in many kays and aren't good at explaining them. they haven't made a case for the tax reform bill. speaker ryan is probably the most knowledgeable about it when you hear him make the case, i'm not convinces. i wonder if the american people are. then the populace who want to burn everything down. so not a recipe for legislative success. >> bill, will you keep coming on and explaining everything to us to us? >> right. i'll keep coming on but my -- i hope i can explain a little bit. i can't predict much. it's a big moment. your focus on bannon and what's happening, this is not the normal snipe package. we're in a real moment for the republican party and maybe for american politics. >> it felt like a moment we witnessed tonight on television. bill kristol, walk home by way of that dome behind you and fix what's going on under there. thank you as always for coming on the broadcast with us. another break and up next, what donald trump wants us to know about what may be the lasting image from his trip to storm ravaged puerto rico when "the 11th hour" continues.
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last thing before we go here tonight, president trump sat down for an interview with former arkansas governor fellow 016 presidential campaign opponent mike huckabee, also happens to be the father of press secretary sarah huck bier sanders. the two men talked about a number of topics over 27 minutes but what's getting a lot of attention was that moment in
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puerto rico. destined to be one of the lasting images of the trump presidency when he starred throwing rolls of off brand paper towels top puerto ricans in the crowd at an event to hand out relief supplies. it was instantly criticized as disrespectful. and criticism of that moment and trump administration's overall response to the storm damage has clearly bothered the president. >> we did a great job. and we weren't treated fairly by the media because we really did a good job. i mean, one example, they had these beautiful soft towels, very good towels. i came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. and they were screaming and they were loving everything. and i was having fun. they were having fun. they said throw them to me, mr. president. so i'm doing some of the -- so the next day they said, oh, it was so disrespectful to the people. it was just a madeup thing. also when i walked in, the
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cheering was incredible. >> a reminder fully 85% of puerto ricans tax paying american citizens all remain in the dark tonight with no power, 19 days after the storm. just over half have clean drinking water now. there are still communities that have received no assistance. the president said on twitter this weekend, "nobody could have done what i've done for puerto rico with so little appreciation, so much work." on that last line, make no mistake for those who are there as part of this monumental relief effort, it is work. it's relentless and it is exhausting. and we salute all of them from members of the military to regular citizen who have flown down there to be part of that relief effort. that is, as we start a new week our broadcast for tonight. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york.
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thoefrng this morning deadly wildfires rage across california, flames destroying hundreds of homes. plus a new crucial detail in the time line of events leading up to the las vegas shooting. we're following new developments. and the president's public feud with bob corker escalates, republicans on the hill are divided and wondering whether attacking his own party could hurt the president's agenda. good morning. it's tuesday, october 10.

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