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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  February 15, 2018 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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we didn't have time to cover it, but it will be covered in the 11th hour and that starts now. >> steve bannon spending the day with house intel as nbc learned. tonight steve bannon spending the day behind closed doors with the house intel as nbc learned he spent some 20 hours with mueller this week. president trump addresses the school shooting tragedy without mentioning the word guns. as florida mourns and washington fails to act, are students going to be the one to push this issue where others have failed. "the 11th however -- hour" on a thursday night begins now. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarter here in new york day 392 of the trump administration. according to details today, we know this has been a busy week
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in the russia investigation. nbc news is reporting that steve bannon met with special counsel robert mueller over multiple days this week, according to two sources familiar with the proceedings. in all he spent some 20 hours in conversation with the team led by mueller. then today after an almost month long stand off, bannon returned to capitol hill to continue his interview with the house intelligence committee. he emerged after four hours reportedly answering 25 questions that the white house had negotiated with the house lead counsel on the republican side. after bannon's testimony, adam schiff, the california top democrat on the committee, told reporters bannon refused to answer questions that had not been scripted in advance. >> it went so far to refuse to answer questions about conversations he had after the administration and with people who played no role in the administration. had never been in the administration. there's no claim of privilege that could apply to those
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circumstances. what's more, the only questions he would answer were questions that had been literally scripted for him by the white house. a set of 25 questions that had been written out for him to which the answer to each must be no. whenever we sought to probe anything beyond the four corners of the specific wording of the question, he refused to answer. that's not how executive privilege works. >> schiff went on to say the next step would be initiating contempt proceedings against bannon. we're about to ask an expert about that. and "the washington post" reports, quote, house republican leaders are weighing further steps to force bannon to answer investigators' questions in their probe of russian meddling in the 2016 election, including potentially declaring him in contempt of congress after a thursday interview they call frustrating. all this as cnn is reporting former trump campaign adviser, rick gates is finalizing a plea
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deal with special counsel robert mueller's office. they cite their reporting to sources familiar with the case. gates is not among the better known members of this case. nbc news has not confirmed this report. if this plea deal happens, that would make gates the third person to flip and cooperate in the investigation joining michael flynn and george papadopoulos. there are also important developments tonight stemming from our own nbc news reporting that over 130 white house officials did not have permanent security clearances as of november of last year. today oversight committee chairman, trey gowdy, sent the white house a request for information on all officials for whom a security clearance was pending or had been adjudicated since january 21, 2017. the first day of the trump presidency. and our own ken dilanian has reporting on the process at the white house. according to an excerpt of a
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sup ple supplemental questionnaire obtained z by nbc news, white house officials are actually asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail. it reads in part, quote, with as much detail as possible, please provide any other information, including information about other members of your family, which could suggest a conflict of interest, be a possible source of embarrassment or be used to coerce or blackmail you. that's a change. let's bring in our lead off panel on a busy thursday night. meika, an attorney, matthew nusbuam, white house reporter and vivian solama political reporter for nbc news. meika, based on what we know of publically, what do you make of bannon's testimony before your
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old committee, house intel and what does contempt of congress mean? i understand there are several versions of that. >> that's right. it's very unusual for someone like bannon to appear before the committee and refuse to answer questions except those that are prescripted. i've never seen this happen before where they were negotiating down to a specific set of questions for a witness that are negotiated not by the witness and their lawyer, but negotiated by the white house and the committee. so it's very unusual here. obviously the committee is very frustrated with this. they're considering taking further action to hold bannon in contempt. what that would mean is they would have a vote at the committee to hold him in contempt. and if it's criminal contempt, they hold it to the full house of representatives. then they get in a bind because they have to turn it back to attorney general jeff sessions to see if he would prosecute bannon for criminal contempt. >> is there any standard under which the sergeant at arms is to go get the witness, bring them
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in and compel their testimony? >> congress has that power, but they haven't used it in a very, very long time. >> we'll put that on the maybe category. vivian, remind us, especially when we look more broadly at the story we're behind that bannon has spent two hours, give or take, in front of the mueller team. remind us of the stories bannon has to tell. >> bannon obviously was a key player in the transition but also in the administration as a very close adviser to the president during his time at the white house. and so, he was in the room for a lot of those conversations. of course he also was involved in the campaign very heavily. and so, the question is, what did he see, who -- what meetings does he know about? and a lot of this really came to light in the last couple of weeks, especially with michael wolff's book "fire and
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fur furry" where bannon is quoted on multiple occasions in the book he called trump tower meetings with donald trump jr. treasonous and a number of other accusations against members of the campaign and close confidantes to president trump that are now obviously the subject of great interest for the house intel committee and also for special counsel robert mueller. so those are definitely some of the issues that they're going to want to grill bannon on to see to what extent, you know, he knew about these issues and whether or not they are treasonous as he alleges them to be. so those are the answers they're trying to get, but from what adam schiff said earlier, it doesn't sound like they got a lot of answers so far. >> matthew, as i said earlier, gates is one of the lesser known names in all of this, just by sheer lack of exposure. remind us, if you can, why he's an important player in all this. >> right. he was something of a deputy to
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paul manafort, who we know has not yet pleaded out and is facing indictment from mueller's team. but unlike manafort, gates did not leave during the campaign. he stayed on the campaign and was there during the transition. and we know a lot went down during that transition, including those famous calls between flynn and kislyak. so gates certainly had more visibility into the later stages of the campaign than manafort or papadopoulos had. and into the transition, which definitely makes him a compelling figure. and for him to strike a deal, i think that would be bad news for paul manafort more than anyone else. you don't want to be the one guy who hasn't struck a deal with the special counsel who's facing indictment. but it's certainly not good news for the white house. they're coming off a terrible week but to find out another former campaign official is ready to cut a deal with the special counsel, that's not a
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good way for them to finish what has really been one of their worst weeks so far. >> counselor, back up to you and the question is what does it mean to you as a lawyer to hear that gates is considering a deal? >> i think it means that mueller is closing in on witnesses and as matt said, i think that's bad news for manafort. what that suggests for manafort, the only way he can get a deal is by giving up someone bigger than himself in the organization, and question who that might be. but i think it's -- you know, given the kind of interviews that gates has already given mueller knows quite a bit about the manafort operation. >> matt, what do you make of this -- this addition of the language on potential blackmail in the kind of standard hiring form? this is separate and apart from the standard federal form people are asked to fill out. >> it's definitely sort of a head scratcher.
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and it just adds to more of these questions that are swirling around the white house with regard to their security clearance process. rob porter may have been the beginning of the story but he's certainly not the end of it. and the white house doesn't know how to grapple with this. i believe it was nbc's reporting that you have 130 staffers in the white house, as of november -- >> yep. >> -- who didn't have permanent security clearances, and those included really high level officials. and the white house is caught flat-footed. they haven't been able to explain, one, how mr. porter stayed on for so long but also why these others are having trouble getting clearances. with jared kushner we can make guesses based on the meetings he had during the campaign. but it's very troubling for a lot of people watching this white house that there's so many officials without a clearance, and it's more troubling that the white house can't seem to
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explain why that's the case. >> vivian, what's it like in the west wing, where, off the top of my head, here's what they're dealing with this week, security clearances, kelly, stormy, immigration, russia, florida, and let's not forget infrastructure. >> that's right. just the fact that, you know, president trump's lawyer came out this week and said that he paid $130,000 to an adult entertainment star and that is not the top story to cover up an affair was not the top story of the week, it just goes to show you that this white house is obviously so heavily burdened by all of this influx of news, scandals, controversy, and it's been a seemingly nonstop flow. so obviously the situation is very tense, a number of us were talking earlier about the west wing has seemed to be on lock down in the last couple of days, especially where a number of officials were trying to minimize their reactions with a the white house reporters and
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others just to minimize any kind of discussions that have taken place. we saw it with chief of staff john kelly essentially where stories were contradicting each other because of a number of people who were putting out their version of what happened with rob porter and the scandal that unfolded in the last ten days. and so, at this point they're just trying to minimize that story from blowing up even more and having any more comments that go out there that may be contradictory to these stories going out. >> we appreciate you guys starting us off on a thursday night. thank you all very much. coming up, the latest reporting on a west wing as we said, swimming in problems and big issues. later, a progress report on the effort to drain the swap, a flurry of bad headlines for this white house, brought on by people hired for this white house. that and more just getting under way. we will always remember
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february 14th, 2018, at 2:35 p.m. what happened at that moment will forever be in our hearts. we will not forget it. we will always remember it. but let me make this clear. our kids are amazing. our eagles with soar and we are parkland proud. >> over 400 people have been shot in 200 school shootings just since newtown, according to the "new york times." so earlier this evening the town
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of parkland, florida gathered to honor the 17 people killed in yesterday's mass shooting on valentine's day at the marjory stoneman douglas high school. nikolas cruz, the 19-year-old accused of carrying out the attack with a semiautomatic rifle, which police say he got legally, appeared before the judge today. he now faces 17 counts of murder. a 19-year-old cannot by a handgun or a beer by the laws now, but a 19-year-old in florida can buy an ar-15. a deputy said he confessed to the shooting and he carried extra ammunition in his backpack. today president trump spoke to the nation, first on twitter, writing, quote, so many signs that the florida shooter was mentally disturbed even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. must always report such instances to authorities again and again.
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he then addressed the nation from the white house. >> to every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you, whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain. we are all joined together as one american family. and your suffering is our burden also. no child, no teacher should ever be in danger in an american school. i want to speak now directly to america's children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused, or even scared. i want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. you have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.
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if you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer or a faith leader. >> the president did not mention guns in his remarks, but he did say he was committed to making schools safer and to, quote, tackling the difficult issue of mental health. he added he's making plans of visiting parkland, florida. about 40 miles south of mar-a-lago. so far no specific date has been announced. donald trump has been forced to deal with this as we mentioned just as a growing number of controversies consume his administration. there's still questions about rob porter, the staff secretary who resigned amid allegations of domestic abuse. john kelly and don mcgahn still have yet to explain what they knew about the allegations, what they knew and when. and that raises questions about their future in the white house. there are reports about a payment from the president's
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lawyer to stormy daniels, the adult film actress who claims to have had an affair with the president a decade ago. and it is clear that robert mueller's investigation isn't going away soon. it appears to be ramping up. joining us we have phil rucker and tamara keith. tamara, it was said today that speeches containing these words don't come naturally to this president, certainly the way they came to his predecessor. politico put it this way, president donald trump offered a deliberate but emotionless reading of a carefully written speech that lacked any of the typical flourishes of words he's written himself. after first tweeting what some took as kind of community shaming. for a nation some combination of sad and angry, what's the net take away from their president
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on a day like this in your view? >> this president has struggled at times to say the words that are supposed to be the right words at the right moment. going back to early in his administration, there were some attacks on jewish cemeteries and he struggled to find the right words. and then ultimately vice president pence went to one of the jewish cemeteries and stood there and delivered the right words in a manner where there was ease. president trump often doesn't have ease in these circumstances, but clearly he felt that he needed to come out and say something to the nation that tweets weren't enough. and he used language that he has used in the past. very similar language. the binding of wounds or the things that bind americans together. he often sort of evokes this we are one america, and he did so again today. >> phil rucker, all those
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assurances to school children and others, what happens? what comes out of this white house on guns? >> i don't think anything, brian. and that's why i think so many americans are disappointed right now. we've seen on television all day today the mothers of victims, survivors, teenage survivors of the school saying, will the adults in washington please do something. please have a discussion, at a minimum, but at least have some consideration of changing the laws so this doesn't happen in the future. we not only see no plan for any kind of legal change coming out of the white house, but you don't even hear the word gun being echoed by the president or by his staff. i talked to some of the white house officials this afternoon to say is the president listening to these pleas today? is he going to be engaging, showing some leadership on the gun issue? and was given a response that was echoing what the president said in his remarks, which has nothing to do with guns.
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he's talking about school safety and convening the governors. we'll see if he'll step up to the plate and be part of the discussion or not. >> candlelight vigils used to be a rare sight in this country. tamara, another question, what is john kelly's immediate or long term future, as far as you've been able to gather? >> that one is hard to tell and a little bit hazy. going back to vice president pence, he said he looks forward to working with kelly for many, many months to come. he didn't say years. he said many, many months. it's often hard to tell with president trump when he is venting, when, you know, you start hearing from people that he's talking about looking for replacements, whether that's a real thing, whether it's an imminent thing, or it's not. either way, kelly is damaged by -- has been damaged by this
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this porter -- rob porter scandal and the fact that it has dragged on for so long that he's involved in it. and that's not a place you want to be as chief of staff. you do not want to be the story. in particular, in this white house, with a president of the united states who does not like other people getting attention in his white house, especially if it is casting a negative light on him. >> phil rucker, in the meantime, the folks who work for the american taxpayers and communicate for this white house and administration have been nowhere to be seen. we've had no briefing in two days, tomorrow's schedule is posted. it has the president flying to florida. an event scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. an infrastructure speech in florida. we don't know about parkland, florida, though he's getting briefed on it tomorrow. and still no public briefing to the news media.
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>> there's been no press briefing since tuesday, probably won't be one until next tuesday because we're going to a holiday weekend. when you opened the segment, you ticked through a number of scandals that the white house is dealing with, but you left off a couple. there's the v.a. secretary, who was the subject of a damning inspector general report, and there's the epa administrator under fire for his first class and luxury travel being billed to the taxpayer. these are additional questions the white house has not faced. and they're probably trying to avoid it tonight. >> when we get to the topics later this hour you're going to think it's in reaction to you, and you're not going to believe we had it plan. but i swear to you, they're on our list and we're getting to them later in the hour. thanks you guys for coming on tonight. our next guest, a
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republican has some advice for what democrats can do, need to do, to make common sense gun control a reality in this country. that's when we come right back.
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i can tell you this, as your sheriff, i will implement the full powers of the office -- of the broward sheriff's office, my friends who came with me tonight, elected officials, and they have no choice but we will
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introduce common sense gun laws that make our streets safer. if you're an elected official and you want to keep things the way they are and not do things differently, if you want to keep the gun laws as they are now, you will not get re-elected in broward county. >> that was a powerful moment at tonight's vigil. that was scott israel, the sheriff of broward county florida calling for, demanding common sense gun laws and threatening elected officials that they would cease to be elected officials if they didn't go along. here was another powerful moment in this aftermath. this happened today, on live television, over at cnn. this is a mom who lost her 14-year-old daughter. >> how do we allow a gunman to come into our children's school? how do they get through security? what security is there?
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there's no metal detectors. a gunman, crazy person just walks right into the school, knocks down the window of my child's door and starts shooting! shooting her and killing her! president trump, you say what can you do? you can stop the guns from getting into these children's hands! we are bringing on our next guest tonight for a reason. david jolly, former republican congressman from the state of florida. congressman, i wanted to talk to you because i have heard you recommend a way for democrats especially to proceed on the issue of guns and gun legislation. >> listen, those two voices define this issue for the american people. and both political parties, republicans and democrats, would be wise to listen to them. in their voices is an opportunity to move the country forward when it comes to
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responsible gun control issues. we can protect the second amendment but still responsibly regulate beyond the current regulatory state we have right now. and my point has been this. law enforcement officials, law enforcement community is largely a pro-second amendment group, most of them are conservatives, many republicans, and they believe in expanded background checks and additional restrictions on assault weapons. one of the two parties, republicans are failing to do it, democrats have the opportunity, should run an end around to the national rifle association got to the sheriff's association, go to the international association of police chiefs and say, let's fix this together. let's lead the american people forward on this, and let's enact the will of the american people. leave the nra behind and whatever incumbents don't want to come along, hopefully they'll see defeat in the next election. >> to that end, i want to show you the cover of the "new york
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post" maggie haberman put this out, with a reminder, this is donald trump's favorite newspaper, this is owned by rupert murdoch it says mr. president please act we need sensible gun control to help stop the slaughter. i'm going to use a political term of art you will know immediately, and that's nixon to china. only dick nixon could reach out to china and not be judged. by that reasoning, isn't it also true that only donald trump could rise up tomorrow and say you know what, i've thought about it, this is madness, this could have been barren trump or any one of any of our children, it's time to restrict the ar-15s. restrict these 223 rounds and how we handle them and -- finish the sentence for me. >> this is infrastructure week, right? we laugh about that. but earlier this week he reportedly offered to provide political cover to politicians
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on capitol hill for offering a 25 cent gallon tax raise. imagine if the president said, i'll give you political cover on this. let's do this and get it done. an encouraging moment happened to me on capitol hill. it arose out of a strong contest. i slept in my office, and there was a gun control group that would come around every night and put posters on my wall suggesting that somehow i was culpable for the deaths of innocent people across the country. so i called them and i said why are you targeting me? they said it's simple. you haven't cosponsored universal background checks. i said i support that, come meet with me. we had a rather controversi tco meeting, but at the end of the meeting i said i'll co-sponsor that. what happened we removed the tribalism of the issue, the far right and far left. we sat down and talked and there was a way forward. i suggest to my colleagues tonight, take that risk, be willing to lose your job because
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if you're willing to lose your job, you just might find your voice and the american people are going to support you for doing so. >> i have 30 seconds. are you comfortable with this generation of students, if what i'm reading today on social media and elsewhere, is any guide, they have plainly had it. the generation that gave birth to you and me, and the generation before us, they cannot understand why things are this way. >> brian, this one feels different. the leadership we're seeing come out of parkland is remarkable. my concern is this, from donald trump to rick scott, they're going to turn the issue into how do we harden and protect the infrastructure of the schools. they'll ignore the gun issues. and what i'm seeing with these students. they're not going to let people like donald trump and rick scott get away with that. >> thank you for coming on with us. >> thank you. coming up an update on how much the swamp drainage program
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has progressed.
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i said to somebody the other day, and even today, drain the swamp. we put it in about two days ago, i said, drain the swamp. i didn't like it, the expression, drain the swamp in washington. so i said it three days ago, the place went crazy. i said, you know what, i'm starting to like that expression. and now it's a hot -- it's like trending all over the world, drain the swamp in washington. we like that expression. >> we remember that phrase from the campaign, problem is making good on that claim. of late today the "new york times" reports president trumps inaugural committee paid almost $25 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to the first lady milania trump. and the inspector general found
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that veterans affairs chief of staff altered an e-mail and make an official statement so his wife could join him on an official trip to europe at taxpayer expense. he was an obama holdover, he also accepted gifts of tickets to a wimbledon's tennis match. quote, valued at thousands of dollars on the secondary commercial market. a day earlier epa administrator scott pruitt revealed concerns forced him to fly first class or on military jets at taxpayer events. taxpayer funded travel for pruitt and his top aides cost at least $90,000 during a stretch in early june, according to "the washington post." let's talk about this, with us is our national political correspondent and a former undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and affairs. former managing editor of time magazine. he is a distinguished fellow
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with the atlanta council's digital forensic research lab. gentlemen, welcome to you both. steve, tom price lost his job over, shall we call it, a transportation issue. are these people any different? >> you look at -- superficially this is pretty much the same thing. in both cases you look at that issue of perks of very expensive travel in the case of the veterans affairs secretary, bringing along his wife at taxpayer expense. if you believe there was a precedent set with tom price, and it took a while before the tom price thing came to a head, you have to wonder is there a similar example made of shulkin, made of pruitt? there's not an indication that's going to be the case but the thing with trump we've learned he's with you until he's not with you. so that could change at any moment. it's interesting, too, you have a member of congress, a
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republican members of congress, mike kaufman, who's out there saying shulkin should go. saying look this is what trump ran on, what you just played from the clip in 2016. this is what he ran on and if it means anything, he has to go. >> rick, it's nice to sit in the pointy end of the plane, the seats are wider, the service is better. it's great up there. government travel, however, as you know, having served in government, is fraught with restrictions. >> yes, it's incredibly detailed driven but i went and did old fashioned reporting -- >> i just read you were the former ed former editing manager, you know. >> yes. and i went to the travel policy, it is the general policy of the u.s. government that less than premium class accommodations must be used for all modes of passenger transportation. i travelled back and forth on that shuttle we've all been on hundreds of times and saw obama cabinet officers in coach.
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what mr. pruitt doesn't understand is that the people who may actually be talk ing to him in coach are voters. and what so many of these people who work for donald trump don't understand, they don't understand the meaning of being a public servant. they think they are coming to feed at the trough in washington. they are the swamp creatures in washington. >> pruitt has cited threats to his security, either real or perceived that led him to have a security detail which the size and scope of also put him in the news. this is the nagging thing. we listed the issues the white house has. this is the nagging issue that stays in the news and rolling out. >> absolutely. again, the fact you had price earlier, you have two more now. so you have sort of three instances of this. i think it does raise the question -- it can happen in any administration. go back to george w. bush, his
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chief of staff was going to stamp shows and he was forced out. so we've seen things like this before. but when you have three and you have guidelines like rick just read, it does beg the question, are they really emphasizing this to folks? are they saying it's a point that matters to this administration, or is this something -- certainly you have three cases like this, you get the add this is not a point of emphasis. >> that reference to stamp shows, that's a deep reach for steve. we're old enough to remember the first reference. >> we're going to sneak in a break. these guys will remain. we'll continue our conversation on the other side. olay regenerist shatters the competition. hydrating skin better than prestige creams costing over $100, $200, and even $400. for skin that looks younger than it should.
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i feel having the democrats in with us is absolutely vital because this should be a bipartisan bill. this should be a bill of love. truly, it should be a bill of love, and we can do that. what i approve is going to be reliant on what the people in this room come to me with. i have great confidence.
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if they come to me with things i'm not in love with, i'm going to do it because i respect them. >> that was less than one month ago. and now the u.s. senate remains incapable of passing a fix to daca, republicans and the white house blame democrats, that won't surprise you. in a statement late tonight, sarah huckabee-sanders said, in part, quote, today the schumer democrats and the senate demonstrated again that they are not serious about daca, they are not serious about immigration reform and homeland security. today moments before a vote on the a bipartisan deal in the senate, the president wrote, on twitter, quote, the schumer rounds collins immigration bill would be a total catastrophe. that came, we should tell you, just minutes after fox news aired an interview with two of that bill's co-sponsors. still with us to talk about this tonight, steve and rick.
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steve, you are the keeper of the numbers. in a country where we can't agree on this being thursday, what are the poll numbers on daca? >> it cuts across party lines, 81% overall in the most recent poll on this say they think permanent status, legal status should be given to the daca recipients. so the basic core issue there, very popular. the one note of caution i would add. we saw this with the government shutdown a few weeks ago. when you took a poll and asked people to prioritize during the shutdown, should daca be done if it means not keeping the government open, the answer was no. they said, the government -- keeping the government open was much more important than daca. that's what gave democrats a a a little bit of pause. and i think it's a little bit unresolved when you ask voters to prioritize it. they like the goal, but there's a question of prioritizing it and what should be or shouldn't
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be done in combination with it. >> rick stengel, because we have the luxury of a senate that gives us at least two weeks of funding at the time, now we can look at daca in the clear. what happened to the bill of love, what happened to whatever you bring me, even if i have problems with it, i'll sign it? >> i think his instincts on daca are pretty good, pretty bipartisan and moderate, let's do something for these kids. as laughable as it is for him to say bill of love, it shows he understands american people on this. something hardened his resolve on this that he said i need to get something back for it. i think also what we saw in the senate, we saw the senate, the world's greatest deliberative body working. there were four bills, they voted on them, the bipartisan bill came close to passing. i think they'll eventually get there, though they're not going to do it right away now. >> imagine being one of the daca families in this country and this is what you watch rolling towards you. >> trump has set that early march deadline. a court now has stepped in, so
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that march deadline may not mean what we think it means. the statement you had from the white house from sarah huckabee-sanders saying the democrats showed they're not serious today, i think it's worth noting, the trump amendment, the four pillars were in that grassley amendment today. that only got 39 votes. that means there were 13 republicans who were not on board with what the president was proposes. if the white house wants to say, the democrats aren't serious, they missed a big chunk of their own party. >> and the point i raised earlier, donald trump on the issue of guns would give all the republicans in congress air cover. he's virtually the only person who could rise up and do it. >> i want to see if steve has any gray hair. >> no. he's way too young. >> i think he could do it. he could do it in part because he isn't a partisan figure. he represents somebody who could take the heat on it. it shows where his instincts
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are. and we can say to the american people, we're doing something they support. come with me. >> gentlemen, it's always a pleasure. thank you both. gray hair, brown hair, it takes a village around here, really support it. coming up, the distinction between thoughts and prayers and campaign donations, as our elected officials respond to another mass casualty event in our country. that when "the 11th hour" continues.
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the last thing before we go here tonight brings us back
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around to this florida tragedy. as so many people before us have said, this phrase, thoughts and prayers, even if said in all sincerity, is falling short as a comfort mechanism after these repeated mass shootings, these mass casualty events. so many of the sentiments posted on social media by our elected officials now read differently in light of the facts provided that we're about to share with you by the non-partisan center for responsive politics and put together by our morning team on the broadcast, velshi and ruhle. for example, louisiana senator bill cassidy tweeted his sympathy and prayers saying his heart goes out to the victims and their families. the nra spent $2.8 million over his political career including attack ads against his opponents. ohio republican rob portman tweeted about the heartbreaking
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news and sent prayers while he has received $3 million in support from the nra. joni ernst asked her fellow supporters to respond in prayers, she received $3.1 million. florida republican marco rubio tweeted updates and called it a terrible day you hope never comes. his campaign has benefitted from $3.3 million from the nra. and colorado republican cory gardner asked for prayers for the first responders as well, he's benefited from almost $4 million in nra money for him and to attack his opponents. and arizona republican john mccain tweeted his prayers, "the nra has laid out $7.7 million, the most of any lawmaker. florida governor tweeted out it was a senseless tragedy, he
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enjoys an a plus nra rating. and vice president mike pence tweeted about heart aches and prayers. he has an a rating from the nra. president trump first tweeted and then today spoke about this tragedy. he said "no child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an american school." the nra, we should point out, spent over $21 million supporting donald trump in the 2016 election, almost 10 million on ads and other pro-trump material and 12 million attacking hillary clinton. so you see the distinction there between thoughts and prayers and campaign donations and attack ads. that is our broadcast for you on this thursday night. thank you so very much for being here with us. good night for all of us here at nbc news headquarters in new york.
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>> this is not the time to jump to some conclusion. >> republicans rediscover their refrain on mass shootings as the list of white house scandals grows. >> who knew what, when, and to what extent. >> tonight, exclusive nbc news reporting on the fallout from the white house domestic abuse scandal. plus, new questions about trump's lawyer's payment to a porn actress. democrats want steve bannon held in contempt as we learn about his marathon meeting with robert mueller. and the epa administrator says he only flies first class because people in coach aren't nice to him. >> you've encountered near confrontations in coach. >> i don't want to get into the specs. >> when all in starts right now.

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