tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 29, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PST
very much for all of that. i'm going to read more of your tweets tomorrow. thank you very much for all of that. i'm going to read more of your tweets tomorrow. that's tonight's "the last word." sh the 11th hour starts now. tonight the american president versus the british prime minister. as the leader of the u.k. points out the american president was wrong to distribute unverified anti-muslim videos on social media. tonight two reporters the describe trump as veering past the guardrails of presidential behavior. one of them will join us live to talk about it. and the news that nbc news was part of today. matt lauer sought as co-anchor of "today" after a co-anchor complaint of inappropriate sexual behavior. "the 11th hour" begins now. and good evening once again
from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 314 it was of the trump administration to put the president at odds of perhaps our greatest ally on the planet. and again it's because of his cellphone and twitter feed. tonight also brings reports about a meeting between trump's son-in-law turned senior advisor jared kushner and robert mueller's team of investigators. we'll get to all that in just a bit. but first we'll start with the news much of america woke up to this morning. a string of videos the president retweeted that are inflammatory anti-muslim and anti-immigrant. they have also not been verified to actually show what the messages claim to show. according to "the washington post," the videos were first shared by jada frantzen, deputy leader of britain first which builds itself as a political party but
has been widely condemned as an extremist group that targets mosques and muslims. the president was widely criticized for sharing the content including the prime minister theresa may. her spokesman released a statement saying in part, it was wrong from the president to have done this. it prompted this response from from trump tonight. theresa may, don't focus on me. focus on the radical islamic terrorism taking place within the united kingdom. we are doing just fine. he tagged the wrong theresa may, later corrected that. the president's twitter feed has been under more scrutiny of late. as in the last week alone he's gone after the british p.m., democrats, the nation's free press, nfl players, and the father of a college basketball player, which brings us to this headline from politico. john kelly's losing battle with trump's twitter feed. it says, quote, twitter has allowed the president to continue accessing fringe websites and viewing racist videos simply by scanning his
mentions, according to two former aides who have observed how he uses the site. he often looks at tweets that mentions his handle and picks up video from there. the conversation on twitter often then dictates his thinking. everybody's talking about this, he will tell his top aides in the west wing, referring to a clip or an article he saw circulating among the small group of twitter users he follows. it's become the president's mo to embrace controversy, eviscerate critics and flow conspiracy theories. anyone paying attention back during the campaign knows this. as "the washington post" puts it tonight, trump has internalized the belief he can largely operate with impunity. people close to him said. his political base cheers him on. fellow republican leaders largely standby him, his staff scrambles to explain away his misbehavior or even to laugh it off. and the white house disciplinarian chief of staff john f. kelly has said it's not his job to control him.
all of which somehow brings us to our lead-off panel tonight. philip bruecker, one of the authors of the piece we just quoted. tamara keith is back with us, white house correspondent for npr. jonathan swan back with us and john heilemann back with us, nbc national affairs analyst. john, home team advantage. i'm going to start here with you. our relationship with the u.k., this is all in love, actually. i'm not speaking out of school, requires you to wake up in the morning and have a pulse and just keep this relationship with our blood brothers and sisters going. the president went against that today. >> the special relationship is special in a lot of ways. and one of the ways it's special is both sides have a lot of tolerance for what the other does because of the bonds of history that are there. to get into a british prime minister's face, to cause a public rebuke of this kind is an extraordinary thing to have
done. and it's extraordinary in the sense that it's hard to do. you have to go pretty far. and this morning what donald trump retweeted ms. frantz citizen, the tweets, all three of them, he was retweeting a certifiable neo-fascist, an islamaphobe, a woman who has been convicted of harassing a muslim woman wearing a hijab, someone who advocates openly about harassing muslims. that is what the president of the united states retweeted. it's likely that some of the videos -- not that they've been verified, but they're fraudulent in some way. some have been debunked during the course of the day. they're inflammatory. they're not helpful to the relationship nor towards the planet. yet the president seems as you suggested in your lead in to view these kinds of things as things to lead to impunity. and i will just point out, when he made the comments in charlottesville, we saw the daily stormer and other neo-nazi groups cheer when donald trump
made those comments. we saw neo fascist groups in europe cheering again today when donald trump retweeted those tweets. >> say what you will between the president and cnn. but i looked up at the screen on cnn this evening and saw the graphic that was informing the conversation. and it read "is president trump fit to serve." i'll use a washington word. a good number of people have been troubled by the president's behavior in the past few days, and i'm sure you are picking that up. >> troubled, certainly. and you know what, brian, there are a number of lawmakers on capitol hill who are raising more questions. they were really bothered by these re-tweets today, felt like it was destructive with the relationship to u.k. but also destructive to america's national security. because we're trying to fight a war on terrorism. the united states needs as many muslim allies as it can find. and trump's tweets were effectively condemning an entire religion with the statements and the videos, which are unverified, by the way. but the president doesn't feel
like he has any consequences or repercussions for this kind of behavior. it's clearly not presidential behavior by any definition we've come to know through time. yet he still does this. he sees his tax bill as probably going to pass and his supporters cheering him on, and his aides aren't doing anything to try to stop him, so he feels he can do this and it's fine. >> jonathan, you went a step further. you wrote that this was the darkest day of trump's presidency. why? >> because he -- there is no way you can look at those tweets and not objectively come to the conclusion that if you were a muslim living in america you are less safe this afternoon than you were this morning. it is an incitement to violence. he was not calling out -- radical islamic terrorists. he was not calling on isis, all
of which are completely legitimate. there was not conversation to be had about naming the threat. all that is legitimate. this was a muslim apparently beating up a dutch guy on crutches. it was flat out objective. there is no way to dispute this, incontrovertible incitement against a religious group. >> tamara, how can members of the staff or can they still get away with saying that's his twitter feed, that's his deal, i don't get into that. i have no effect on that. >> let me go back to one of the videos the president tweeted of a muslim migrant beating up a dutch boy, well, it has been shown that was actually a dutch boy born and raised who was in a fight with another dutch boy and had nothing to do with muslims or migrants. so that video in particular has been shown to not be what it claimed to be. you know, the trump administration and people who speak for the president are
doing this dance where they sort of just take a step to the side and start talking about what they want to talk about because they can't really talk about the tweets. and i think that there is something telling in what happened today. which is that the president retweeted those things, and then later in the day he went to marine one and then flew off to give a speech about taxes. and then he came back and he walked from marine one back to the white house. frequently on a very regular basis president trump has stopped at the microphones and talked to reporters taking questions. today he didn't. typically on days when the president has tweeted something that he knows he can't really answer to, he won't stop at the camera, and today he didn't stop at the cameras. >> john, a mechanical question. i always like to point out -- >> i cannot fix your carburetor. >> when you get away from the coasts -- this is actually to
knowing how to fix a carburetor, or a two barrel from a four. 80% of americans are not on twitter, god bless them. for those who are not and don't know its ways, you're a twitter enthusiast, what does it mean to retweet something like this? does this -- he's seeing a video. he puts his name on it. does that also mean, especially with his job title he is attaching his imprimatur to it? >> there are many people who will say they're re-tweets does not equal endorsements. it's certainly the case in our business. people will retweet things the president has said. only because we believe it's our job to circulate that information more broadly. when you're the president of the united states and you're tweeting things that are as jonathan pointed out, open incitements to violence against a religious group. when you are engaged in this instance to something that forms a pattern, we can't run away from this notion. now donald trump has behaved throughout his campaign and his
presidency in repeated ways as a bigot. he has behaved in bigoted ways where we can't know his heart. when you do these things and they form a pattern. you don't look at that and say that's not an endorsement. that seems to speak to a set of core believes, things that rhyme with his ideology, to the extent he has a coherent ideology that are expressions of, and he does seem to tweet things that he endorses. he follows this, as people pointed out, a very small group of people on twitter. remarkably small, especially given the number of people who follow him. and he often sees tweets from like minded individuals and he puts those out because he wants to make a statement. he's noting them out for their news value. he is putting them out because he is essentially saying i agree with this. you should look at it, my 40 plus million twitter followers. >> philip, john just used the expression of like minded individuals. let's continue on that path. about mar-a-lago, it's been pointed out, and last night on the broadcast we described it as an echo terrarium of friends and
paying guests. that likely to have an effect after a prolonged visit there? are we likely to see what we're seeing now? >> i think so. and my colleague ashley parker and i both talked to a number of am president's advisers and friends today and you have to remember, look, he just spent a last week at mar-a-lago. this is sort of a free-for-all environment for him. he's at the clubhouse, at the golf course, at the dining room having dinner and club members and friends of his can come and go, can approach him at will, can put things in his ear, can flag things for him, present an issue. and a lot of these points will stick in the president's mind. and when he's down at mar-a-lago, has a tradition of sort of stewing over this stuff. he wanted to try to find ways to sort of regain control of the narrative, if you will, this week when he was back in washington. and so his advisers said, look,
being at mar-a-lago for extended periods of time can sometimes lead him to be a bit more pugnacious on twitter. >> jonathan, to prove i do see everything you guys write and say, you guys have also written about the lack of a political shop in the west wing. it's one of the basic places you set up when you move in. it's kind of the engine room. they do the work of deciding your agenda, what the next big thing is going to be. it's usually full of coffee and white boards and political veterans. why the absence of said in this administration, do you think? and tell the folks watching how its absence is felt most. >> well, it's quite extraordinary. we're on the doorstep of 2018. next year will be a definitional year for the future of the trump presidency. if the republicans lose the house, not only will his legislative agenda be logjamed, but there will potentially be impeachment, things of that nature democrats will push.
politically motivated investigations. this will not be pretty. and yet there is no coherent, well organized political function inside the white house to the extent that it exists, there is a shop run by bill stepien who literally if you talk to conservative leaders around the country, leaders of outside groups, most of them couldn't identify him in a lineup. many of them haven't met him. one had to google him when i got in touch with him, and there is a recognition within the white house at the most senior level of the west wing that this has been a completely dysfunctional and not very effective shop. i expected there will be some structural changes to fix it, but really they've let the freshman year go without any serious preparation for the mid-terms. >> mr. stepien, we should note is a graduate of the chris christie political operation in
the state of new jersey. >> though they hate each other with a venomous passion. venomous passion. >> i'm just trying to be nice. just trying to point out his résume. hey, tamara, the freshman year is a great way to put it. are we still going to reach the end? in your view end judgment of this freshman year, still pulling out the name gorsuch out of the bag to brandish in front of hometown groups to talk about what they have achieved? >> well, certainly the president is going to mention neil gorsuch early and often. today in his tax speech he also -- he said not in a braggadocious way as if to say i'm about to be braggadocious, as if he's accomplished more in ten months than any president ever. but the reality is that the tax legislation moved in the senate. there was real progress today from the white house's perspective. it's not a done deal, but they are closer than they've been in
a very long time to having, like, a major legislative accomplishment. there are many hurdles to come before that becomes, you know, something the president can sign. but, you know, don't discount that republicans in congress are highly motivated on that. >> let's ask the members of our panel to stay with us as we go over into our first break. still ahead, later on in this hour we're going to talk about another major media figure fired after sexual misconduct allegations. this one hitting home for a lot of here at 30 rockefeller plaza in new york. and up next the new reports that jared kushner has talked to mueller's russia investigators. that and much more as we move along. on the wednesday edition of "the 11th hour" tonight.
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even as president trump travelled to missouri today to build support for this tax bill making its way through congress the ongoing russia investigation made the flight with him and continues to loom over his administration. just tonight "the new york times" reports, "president trump's son-in-law and advisor jared kushner met this month with investigators working for robert mueller, the special counsel and answered questions about a meeting with the russian ambassador during the presidential transition, according to a person briefed on the investigation." "the times" reports it focused on a meeting between kushner and the russian ambassador and michael flynn, then of course the incoming national security adviser.
back with us to talk about all of it, philip rucker, tamara keith, jonathan swan, john heileman. john, what do you infer from this? i have come to believe largely two things about the mueller effort. number one, we never know more than 5% to 10% and they never they do at times telegraph their next moves. >> oh, those are both entirely true. i agree with that 100%. again, to focus on your first point, we don't really know what it means. and they are letting us know what they want us to know about this. and to extent they want us to know anything, they're letting us know michael flynn is important to this investigation. not exactly breaking news. most defense attorneys would not have their client go in for such a meeting if they were the target of the investigation. that doesn't mean jared kushner is not a target in the future, but this meeting seems to have revolved around flynn. and it's been clear for a while, but it's increasingly clear
every day but even more so just the degree to which how important michael flynn is to robert mueller. and how although ty cobb and others around the president say we have nothing to fear from flynn, the closeness of flynn to trump, the overlap between the campaign and the administration, the overlap with russia, all of the things that flynn touches on, how much time he spent with trump, the things he's been involved in and his degree of legal peril, his own and his son's make him -- you think about the two big fish so far. paul manafort and michael flynn. manafort is small guppy compared to michael flynn in terms of what he can do for this investigation, and this interview with kushner just amplifies and clarifies to the extent that's true. >> so, philip, we heard the big fish theory put another way thrown down here. does flynn in effect the way headline writers like to view it
get you the closest to the oval office to date? >> i think certainly if you're comparing flynn to manafort and rick gates and papadopoulos, the three figures we had the indictments for last month. flynn was actually in the oval office working. he was the national security advisor at the white house, the most important national security job in this government. and was at the president's side throughout the ansition period. i think it's important to note this meeting jared kushner had with the special counsel team this does not indicate this is going to be only meeting he's going to have. his lawyer has indicated they're going to be participating fully and meeting the demands of the special counsel and requests going forward to be cooperative. so there could be future meetings of course on other topics. but flynn's a big deal. and there are many indications we've had over the last few weeks that mueller is closing in on flynn and really trying to get to the bottom of his own entanglements.
>> and tamara, let's not forget this has so many audiences. the folks on the hill, republicans, you kind of have to politically marry the guy if you're going run down ballot. it has to be the idea of an administration gop effort. and secondly, the west wing, what must nerves be like right about now u? >> well, jared kushner is not the only white house aide who is talking to mueller's team. as we've been told, there are a number of white house aides who either have already or will in the next several days speak with mueller's team, and there's plenty that mueller might want to talk to them about. this cannot be easy. i mean when people are getting their own private attorneys, when people don't know who to believe or what to trust, that can be a really frightening thing, which might be why the white house keeps saying why they expect this thing to be done sometimes around the first
of the year, whether that is reality based is unclear, but it certainly might be hopeful for those who are under this cloud or haze as i've heard it described. >> and johnathan, let's pick up on that challenge and let me ask you how far along do you think this effort is? what are the tangents and tributaries this could yet take us down? >> i have no idea. and i think you'll point to the 5% to 10%, i might even reduce that to 3% to 4%. we really don't know. and frankly, the leaks that we've seen so far have either been from my assessment, from the congressional committees, which leak like an absolute sieve, especially from the democratic side. so much so we've been told when people release information to them they time it knowing if they send it to them at 2:00 it'll lead the 4:00 jake tapper.
and also the defense attorneys who strategically leak to manipulate the stories. so the mueller team, yes, i think there has been some telegraphing. we certainly know they're looking at flynn very closely. and just to pick up on something john heilemann said which i think is important, look at mueller's team. they have a history. some were on the enron task force of putting intense pressure on family members as a way of getting people to cooperate. so just based on history of this team i think and the telegraphing we're seeing i think we can assume there is a substantial amount of pressure being applied to michael flynn. >> philip? >> i may not know much, but i would tell you one thing i know. even though we maybe know 2% or 3% of what mueller is doing, i would bet you two front row tickets to bruce springsteen on broadway that this will not be
concluded by the first of the year. >> okay, but i agree with you. i i thought it might be easy picks there. >> yeah, someone from jersey, you're just not going to get me sbo to enter too that. thank you, the four of the you so much for being part of this lead off conversation here tonight. coming up after our second break, the tough story around these parts today, matt lauer, long-time anchor of the "today" show, fired by nbc news today. we'll talk about it, the larger issue when "the 11th hour" continues.
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we have been reporting over these past several weeks on allegations of sexual misconduct involving mostly powerful figures in government and media, and this was a tough day around here because of the man who became the story today. our long time colleague matt lauer was fired today over allegations made by another of our colleagues of inappropriate sexual behavior. tonight a new report from variety alleges what it calls a pattern of sexual misconduct, while "the new york times" reports that nbc has received at least two new complaints since the news broke this morning. "the times" reports, quote, one complaint came from a former who said mr. lauer had summoned to his office and sexually assaulted her. she provided her account to "the new york times," computer but declined to let her name be used.
she told "the times" that she passed out, had to be taken to a nurse. hear how this story was reported to nbc nightly news tonight where it was the lead story. here's the report from nbc news correspondent stephanie gas:00. >> reporter: the allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct was made monday night, roughly 24 hours later matt lauer anchor of nbc's "today" show for 20 years was fired. in a statement nbc news chairman andy lack shared few specifics about the accusation, but wrote it represented after serious review a clear violation of our company's standards. while it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he's been at nbc news, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. >> this is a sad morning hered a "today" and on nbc news. >> on the "today" show, his co-anchors reacted to the news. >> for the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. i'm heartbroken for matt. he is my dear, dear friend and partner. and he is beloved by many, many people here. and i'm heartbroken for the
brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell. >> i'm matt lauer in olympic park in sochi. >> reporter: the alleged misconduct began at the 2014 games in sochi and continued after, according to an nbc spokesperson. the lawyer for the accuser had this to say, in part i am in awe of the courage my client showed to be the first to raise a complaint, and to do so without making any demands other than the company do the right thing. today variety magazine published a report laying out a pattern of alleged sexual misconduct by lauer, including exposing himself to a woman in his office and inviting women employed anb late at night to his hotel room while covering the olympics. three unnamed women tell variety they were sexually harassed, their accounts variety says corroborated by friends or colleagues. it also reports several women made complaints to executives at
which were ignored. tonight an nbc spokesperson responded to that claim. we can say unequivocally prior to monday night, current nbc news management was never made aware of any complaints about matt lauer's conduct. in september matt lauer interviewed bill o'reilly who had just been fired from fox news over allegations of sexual misconduct. >> doesn't it seem safe to assume that the people at fox news were given a piece of information or given some evidence that simply made it impossible for you to stay on at fox news? >> that's a false assumption. >> but you don't let your number one guy go unless you have information you think makes him -- >> that's not true. >> reporter: for nbc news the star anchor's departure is an enormous loss. lauer has been the face of the network during pivotal news events interviewing the world's most influential people. >> stephanie gosk covering the story tonight for nbc news, which has now by the way confirmed that these two more accusers have come forward. nbc news has reached out to matt
lauer tonight, so far has not heard back to talk about this. our own stephanie ruhle is with us. host of the 9:00 a.m. hour on nbc. she's back at 11:00 a.m. every day at co-host of velshi and ruhle. she is a veteran of the investment banking world, who has been covering this harassment issue extensively on the air. and jim warren is back with us, a veteran print journalist, chief media writer for point institute. we want to point you to a piece he wrote on this topic tonight in the opinion section of u.s. news and world report. stephanie you get to go first. your reaction to today's news, and it's a lot. it's a lot in context. >> i'm proud that our nightly news led with that story, but it's hard to watch that story. it's hard to watch that story to savannah's point because matt is someone we're friends with, it's someone we look up to. it's hard to watch that story because you think about the women who come forward, ask it's hard because think about other people in that business unit. that happened, that one incident in sochi.
think about all the people who wanted to be assigned to sochi and maybe they didn't get that opportunity. and it reminds you when someone is in a powerful position and they can influence the fate of other people in that organization, and now inject sexual relationships in there, it's complicated. it doesn't just impact that one person that you're harassing or even having a consensual relationship with. it affects the entire organization. and across any verticals, any business, medicine, academia, politics, banking, media, this is a massive issue that we must address if we want to truly thrive and be an equal environment. >> jim warren, what are the outstanding issues to you? >> well, i think a first question is is it just coincidence we're seeing these multiple incidents in media and journalism? is there something in the culture, something more macro, or is it just a reflection of our proclivity to sometimes disproportionately cover
ourselves? is there something in the water at that place that should be looked at? i mean the only thing for sure is that clearly you have a disproportionate number of males running that place as is the case in many media organizations. and the only other thing that's clear is too many of us viewers make the mistake of not differentiating between those images we see on tv of people we really, really like have an intimate relationship in a sense of what be a more complex reality. i think your mention or that clip of savannah guthrie this morning is really important. it raises the question, twice in the last week we've seen prominent coanchors, last week with charlie rose it was norah o'donnell, voicing their absolute stunning surprise at these events. is it possible that people with such an intimate daily working relationship with these two
guys, rose and lauer did not hear a thing, did not know a thing? so if there is going to be an internal organization, you've got to realize you've got to talk to everybody in your organization. not just famous anchors and stephanie ruhle, but bookers and producers and other people. and the fact that you didn't speak out earlier is not necessarily an excuse and does not absolve you of any responsibility. and finally we've got to watch out about personalizing this too much. making this all about bill o o'reilly or making it all about matt lauer or in the entertainment business harvey weinstein. to use a word you used with john heilemann at the top of this show, donald trump tweets are there patterns here to be discerned? and i think ultimately that's more important than the fact that a prominent person will no longer be employed tomorrow. >> it's all about leadership. and i don't mean to sound prudish here. there's a difference between consensual relationships and sexual harassment. but if you are privileged enough to have a leadership position
and be getting paid the biggest of the big bucks, in plain terms, tighten up your game. no need to do this in your place of business. >> retell the story you told chris hayes tonight about your old employer, deutsche bank when you were an investment banker. >> when i was at deutsche bank, they held their first senior women's managing director conference. and they were so proud they were doing it, bringing together the most senior women of the organization. and let me tell you, we were proud to be there. that we had made it that far. and josef ackermann, the chairman of the firm came and gave a speech. and he was speaking from his heart, he had no idea how inappropriate it was. and he said you know it's very difficult with senior women. i travel around the world. and if i were to take a woman as my lieutenant and we were in a place like i don't know, brazil, what would we do at night? go dancing? what would people think? and we all sat their astonished, like dancing you joker? do you know how much it took it
got to achieve this kind of success and you're worried what people are going to think we're salsa dancing at night? and these thoughts are in the backs of peoples minds. and there's risks these things could go too far again. and you could see men in senior positions and say i don't want to get in trouble for this. if i look at women cross-eyed i could get caught. so we need to redraw the lines and not just have harassment training where we check the box at the end of the year. or the people in charge have their assistants fill out their sexual harassment training. we need to redraw these lines, make it clear and enforce them to protect us all. >> it's that reverse chilling effect on women's careers i worry about this. jim, we weave se've seen a lot media companies react with a swift sword. congress not so much. >> no. you even find out now all these
settlements for these years and correct me if i'm wrong, newt gingrich was in charge, but settlements of pay outs when it comes to congressman are secretive. we don't know much about that. although the past can be prologued too. we forget there was a california congressman 1989 who was outed as an harasser by role call. he was replaced by duke cunningham. cunningham wound up in prison. so it's not as if this is new stuff. we all know it, and ultimately i'm in some ways less concerned about the toppling of these famous guys and the victimization of these -- all the women who are working each day dutifully in banks, hotels, in restaurants all around this country and nobody cares a darn, no reporter is going to spend much time looking into the reality of what they go through with a jerk, often male bosses. that's a larger cultural women.
>> and who are those women going to go to if they work at a small business? >> we've been speaking about the restaurant industry for weeks. >> and they don't have the freedom to quit their jobs. so if we don't make it clear what's acceptable behavior, and the fact there is this double standard. think about it. matt lauer fired. charlie rose fired. conyers is going to work tomorrow. roy moore is still rung. people are doubting his accusers. and president trump has over 12 accusers out there, and he was the man who on the "access hollywood" tape said, and i quote, when you're a star, you can do anything. >> stephanie and brian, ask can i just say one thing? stephanie mentioned deutsche bank and that great sobering, depressing tale. i had a couple of hours to kill this morning after third graders potluck. and i went to a mecca for bright and elite kids from all over the
world. multinational group of kids, all looking for their mbas. and i looked at a lot of those students rambling about the atrium, mostly men. and those are the future leaders of government, philanthropies, leaders of government. somewhere in there is probably the head of deutsche bank. and i would love to know if they get it because they'll have to if they know anything about tomorrow. >> don't need to be an assignment editor to see you have your assignment for tomorrow. thank you so much for being with us as we thank our colleague stephanie ruhle. a tough topic, terrific conversation, though, tonight. coming up for us, while the president spends his day making headlines with his tweets, the very real, very sobering threat from north korea hanging over this administration, and for that matter, the western world. that and more when we continue. attention: are you eligible for medicare?
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rocket fuel -- little rocket man, rocket fuel for the american economy. he is a sick puppy. >> couldn't help himself there. that was mr. trump resurrecting his favorite nickname or too for the north korean dictator in the middle of a tax policy address this afternoon. earlier in the day donald trump vowed swift action following yesterday's successful launch of a new type and newly named intercontinental ballistic missile. trump wrote on twitter today, quote, just spoke to president xi jinping of china concerning the provocative actions of north korea. additional major sanctions will be imposed on north korea today. this situation will be handled. a north korean newspaper posted these images said to be of the missile and the missile launcher and the launch itself. u.s. experts believe the icbm has the capability to reach the u.s. mainland possibly even population centers as far away as the east coast.
here to talk about it with us tonight, retired four star general barry mccaffrey, a man who knows the korean peninsula and the pacific rim very well. he is also an msnbc military analyst. general, what worried you about this launch specifically? >> it's another notch forward. i don't think they've yet got a usable icbm capability, maybe a year to five. but they've now clearly demonstrated they've got the range. this thing went up 2,800 miles. it was unlofted for 53 minutes. probably it may as well have had a mock warhead in it. it probably didn't survive reentry. so they got more work to do, but they're going to get there. but they're in the engineering phase. not theoretical physics. and now apparently it looks as if they're building a submarine launch ballistic missile capability.
that may take them five years to ten years. though we're going to be under threat from the north koreans, and the president of the united states is publicly ridiculing and confronting someone that just told the chinese envoy who president xi sent down there to get out of the country. so we're -- senator graham said today if we can't stop this, we're going to go to war to do it. we are inching toward war by next summer. >> and i'll quickly add that most of the military veterans i know especially those like you, multiple times wounded and multiple battlefields served are virulently against even voicing the option of warfare because it's a terrible option. but we're still down to those two options, military action and diplomacy. >> well, i think we've got more than that. i think, you know, by the way the military action with conventional air and naval power, we could go in there and
wreck most of his missile systems and probably get many of his nukes. but we never get all of them. so we'd end up with a conventional massive high intensity war on the peninsula. so if you choose the united states preemptive conventional attack, you've got to get the south koreans and the japanese to go along with it. they're never going to do that. so i think basically, we're in a situation now in the coming ten years, how do we mitigate a nuclear armed north korea. a painful choice, but probably better than choosing war. >> and in 30 seconds or less, how do you do that using diplomacy and the neighbors? >> well, i think one of the things you do is you put significant investments into boosting missile defense systems to send another deterrent signal to the north koreans, look, if you launch ten missiles, we'll get nine of them. and by the way, we'll respond
with a nuclear counterstrike. and i think you also got to try and get the chinese -- the chinese interests are not serve bade war on the korean peninsula, particularly one that goes nuclear toward the end of it. the chinese have got to step up to the bar here and do something, or it looks as if we're going to end up in a war with north korea here in the fairly near future. >> hard to believe this is in the american conversation as 2017 draws to a close. but that's where we are. general barry mccaffrey, it's always such a pleasure. thank you, sir. >> good to be with you, brian. coming up for us, as we continue, one hurdle down, and a big one. but many to go for this gop tax plan on capitol hill. "the 11th hour" back with that after this.
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not so happy with me, but that's okay. >> tonight the u.s. senate passed the first version of their tax bill. party line vote, 52-48. even though republicans saw a small sign of progress in today's victory, public perception will be tough to change here. the congressional budget office says people making under $30,000 seeing tax hikes while the individuals making over $100,000 will see the biggest tax breaks starting in 2019. today's "washington post" has found a way to be more succinct about it. deeply unpopular congress aims to pass deeply unpopular bill for deeply unpopular president to sign. it's a lot to talk about. here with us to do so, florida republican david jolly, a former member of congress. congressman, who is helped by this? what about the folks -- take your home state. folks in florida. >> sure. >> folks in florida who made up donald trump's home base. are they going to be happy with
the final version of this? >> no. this bill is for the donor base of the republican party, not for the movement that made donald trump president of the united states. and listen, there is economic peril in this bill, particularly when we're looking at an increase in the national debt. but i think there is significant political peril for republicans as well. and here is what i mean by that for the last three decades or more, tax policy has been used to reward certain social policies. you can argue it's right or wrong. a lot of conservatives say we shouldn't be doing that. but american families have learned over the past 30 years if you play by the rules, if you get married, you have children you buy a house, you put your kids through school you save for retirement, that tax incentives are going to reward you and encourage that behavior along the way. all of that is going to change now. people who have been playing by the rules are saying why are you changing the rules on me now? and they're going to look at big business who many whom have not been playing by the bills, offshore income, offshoring jobs, paying zero marginal tax
rates, perhaps, contributing to economic crisis. the rules are going to change for big business, and they're going to change for the better for big business. the republican party has never sold this tax bill to the american people. and i think they're not aware right now that they're holding very tightly to a stick of dynamite that might blow up on them. >> you die a death of a thousand cuts. does it get loaded up like a christmas tree? what's about to happen here? >> we could see a bill where they have to pass it to find out what's in it. one of the reasons they can't sell it is because it keeps changing every day. but where it's going get very complicated in the next two weeks, brian, is this. as they begin to put the individual mandate into play, you're going to see an unraveling of health care policy. >> yep. that is going to revisit some of the lost debates of a few months ago. and just within the next two week, the roy moore election in alabama is going to become very critical to. this right now mccain, collins, kansas are all on the fence. if they begin to lose the vote, the republican party needs roy
moore. this is very complicated. it's not going to get done by christmas. >> david jolly just promised to keep coming on and explain it for us. >> you got it. >> former congressman from the state of florida. thanks for joining us tonight. now for the last thing before we go, it has to do with american airlines. they suffered a computer glitch that allowed all of their pilots the take time off during the busy holiday, just for the asking. put another way, if you're an american airlines pilot watching this, and you kind of couldn't believe how quickly your request for time off over christmas went through, there has been a problem. and the company is now offering you time and a half to show up at work and fly all those nice paying passengers during that period, which runs from december 17 to december 31st. we're talking about 15,000 flights that the airline has discovered don't have anyone scheduled to be sitting in that left front seat or the right front seat. that's where the bulk of your piloting is done. american is scrambling to find pilots and first officers for all those flights.
and unlike so many of us who show up for work and put in for vacations every year, the airlines know they're in a special line of work. they fly people safely and at high speeds strapped inside an aluminum tube. and especially at christmas season, all those people, those living breathing people bring their hopes and dreams on board. the gifts stowed in the cargo hold, the surprise engagement ring buried deep in somebody's luggage. the baby gifts, the happy people, the sad people, and everybody in between. those passengers don't want to hear about a computer glitch. they just want to get there and when they do, they want to hear those magic words, prepare doors for arrival and cross-check. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york, or wherever your final destination may be.
♪ tonight on >> new reporting on a president losing his grip on reality as he spreads conspiracy theories and racist propaganda. >> whether it's a real video, the threat is real. >> tonight, senator chris murphy on the growing concerns over president trump as the north korean threat escalates. plus new reporting on the firing of "today" show anchor matt lauer or inappropriate sexual behavior. why roy moore is apparently rebounding in alabama and the desperate rush for the trump tax bill. >> the big day will be either tomorrow or the next day. >> senator bernie sanders on why republicans are racing towards a vote. >> this is going to cost me a fortune. >> when "all in" starts right now.