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a very good morning to all of you. i'm alex witt here in washington d.c. here's what's happening on this saturday morning. march for our lives half a million strong expected here in the nation's capital. sends quite a message on gun control. >> it's a red, white, and blue problem. it's an american issue. it's a public issue that we need to get that through everyone's mind. >> it's not about how you go down or what happens to you. it's about what you do afterwards. >> in the next hours throughout this day, you're going to hear
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from the young marchers as they rally not just here in d.c. but from sea to shining sea. a week of wild sprawl at the white house from a congratulatory russia call to lawsuits. new wrinkles this morning and expected reveal sunday night in a spill-all interview from stormy daniels, those details ahead. but we begin in the nation's capital. just a few more hours from now, all of this just over a month from the valentine's day massacre that sparked this protest. today's so-called march for our lives are planned for some 800 cities across this country being led by students from everywhere. but most notably, parkland, florida. where a school shooter killed 17 people on a horrific february afternoon. and today's rally carrying a message focusing on gun reform
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looking to affect change and prevent future attacks after a string of such incidents at schools across this country. >> i think that it's really good that this is something that's finally being discussed and it's not just kids from parkland but people from baltimore, d.c., you know, like, detroit, los angeles, and every other city in the united states. >> for more on what to expect on this extraordinary day, we're going to head to tammy leitner. tammy's just a few blocks from here me along with everybody will be marching and gathering. sop security, i know that's going to be a challenge for both those folks getting into the march but also anybody trying to get around d.c. today. >> reporter: yeah. that's right, alex. heavy security out here. they've already done a sweep of the area. most of the roads in downtown d.c. are closed. they're actually encouraging everybody to leave your cars at home, take public transportation, walk. and that's because there's going to be about a half million
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people out here walking down pennsylvania avenue eventually ending up where we are today at the stage. there's going to be a rock star lineup out here. lynn manuel miranda, miley cy s cyrus, ariana grande. i can tell you out here where i am, there are already about a hundred people out here. i'm actually out here with fletcher williams and you came out here from north carolina with your dad. i have to ask you, why the heck are you out here so early? >> well, i'm here because i'm standing with all the people who are involved in the never again movement who desperately want to see common sense gun legislation passed and this is a movement that will not stop until we see change and we will not go away until we get that to happen. in terms of why i'm out here so early is because i think this is an experience i'm going to remember for the rest of my life. i want to be as close to the
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action as i can get. you know, i want to make sure i'm not going to be far away. >> reporter: you drove out here with your dad. this is something that you and him are doing together. this is important to you. >> it's actually my whole family. we're all involved in this together. gun violence has been an issue that's been -- that i've felt very strongly about and my whole family for a really long time. with this movement going on, we wanted to be involved in a nationwide event like this where we could get out there and have our voices heard. so that's basically why we're all here right now. >> reporter: and you've managed to get a lot of students at your school excited about this. there are about 50, 60, 70 students from your school that are going to be out here? >> i think so, yeah. with the help of some other students at our school in wilmington, i organized a 17-minute walkout where we went outside and had 17 speakers. each one for the deceased victims at the parkland shooting.
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and i think that event that we had really got people mote sated and involved. and we sent a message of unity. there's also now in the city where i live, there's a sister march going on where i think they got a permit for a thousand-some people. i know i have some classmates that are going to be here. but yeah. so. >> reporter: thank you, fletcher, so much. alex, as he mentioned, sister marches. there are going to be about 800 of them around the world. some as far away as africa, as ireland, all around. and certainly there are going to be kids here from all around the u.s. showing their support for something that they certainly believe in. alex? >> yeah. all right. tammy leitner. all extraordinary because it's reaching globally. we'll have more on the march in a few minutes. meantime, thank you to you, tammy leitner there. we have new insight from "the wall street journal" on how white house aides reacted to
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trump's reaction to veto the spending bill which he eventually signed before leei lg last night. white house aides huddled with mr. trump and warned him he might catch blame for shutting down the government on a weekend he planned to go spend at palm beach. "f" that, you can fill in the blanks there. aides said there was no grand strategy to the president's actions and that he got up each morning this week not knowing what he would do. adding to this, president trump last night following through on a promise to reverse an obama-era rule allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military. the order he signed would ban most transgender individuals except under limited circumstances. but this morning the white house bracing itself for that long-awaited interview with stormy daniels airing tomorrow night. her lawyer describing the nature of threats she's been getting since speaking out.
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>> chris, here's what i'll tell you. the threat was delivered in person. my client's going to describe it in detail on sunday. the american people are going to hear from her. they're going to judge her credibility. it was very frightening to her. >> was the threat part of the reason she signed? >> i think absolutely. when the president's fixer exerts pressure on you to sign a document, you don't ask a lot of questions. you do as you're told. >> let's bring in pema leavy and shawn sullivan. all right, guys. 36 hours in counting to that interview. a lot of people are counting do to this one. i want to start with you, shawn, and ask whether or not there's a sense the white house knows what will come from this interview and if they're making plans on how to deal with it. >> you know, it's not clear they do have a concrete plan for how to deal with it. when you look at the way the situation has unfolded over the past few weeks, there's been an
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effort to sort of distance this from the president himself. we've seen a lot of back and forth from lawyers on both sides. from the president's lawyer, from daniels' lawyer. when you have a details television interview like this, you'll have a lot of americans tuning in. you'll have a detailed account from her perspective what happened. that's going to elevate the story to a new level. a lot of americans have been looking at the story saying, i kind of know what's going on with this case. i've heard different things. but this is a chance to kind of elevate the story in terms of, you know, what the public is looking at. and the reality is the white house is going to face a lot of questions about this on monday morning. and if they're not prepared to deal with this, this could become an even bigger story and more of a distraction. >> you know, pema, there's going to be a period of time there between 8:00 p.m. eastern and monday morning when the white house gets back in for official duty. and that's a lot of time for this president to ponder what has been said. do you.
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th -- do you expect that he will react? he can tweet at any time. are we just waiting to see what he does? >> i think what he does in that critical time is anyone's guess. i am sure there are people that don't want him to watch that interview that are going to be trying to take his phone away, distract him, talk about other things. but ultimately, yeah. i mean, this is -- he's the president of the united states. if he wants to respond, he can. certainly he's already being sued by another woman for defamation. you know, what he says is important. what he tweets can come back and bite him legally. he has to be really careful and the people around him, i'm sure, are coming up with all sorts of ways to make sure he doesn't hurt himself further in terms of a lawsuit. >> with regard to another woman karen mcdougal, the playboy playmate, we heard from her a couple nights ago. let's take a listen to part of what she said. >> did he ever ask you to hide it? >> no, he didn't.
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never. >> so there was no conversation of -- >> never. in fact, i think once he asked does your sister know, i said yeah she knows. he wasn't afraid to hide it at all. i'm not a liar. i'm perceived as a liar or this or that, all these bad names. i did what i did. i'm not proud of it. i feel terrible about it. but i'm a new woman, new creation. i'm standing up for myself. >> how did her revelations feel to you? they feel different certainly from stormy daniels and what she has put forward thus far. this seemed like a comfortable conversation, a recollection. and let me add the white house and the president deny all sexual allegations from these women. >> it did feel like a conversation she was sort of telling her story. one thing that stuck out to me that was sort of notable was that she was not hostile toward the president at all. she didn't make it sound like she had any ill will toward him.
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and she said she voted for him and she's a republican. it seemed that what she was trying to communicate was her dissatisfaction was with the process, some of the attorneys she worked with when she was trying to tell her story or in some cases not tell her story. you know, as you point out, the white house has certainly been consistent in trying to discredit her story. but, you know, it'll be interesting to see how people react to this. again, this is not somebody who's coming out there and trashing the president and trying to attack him or make it look like she's launching some sort of political attack. >> okay. i want to switch gears here and talk about what "the new york times" is giving us in terms of insight into the white house aides and how they dealt with the president and his threat to veto the spending bill. here's the quote. in the frantic hours before the signing, two senior officials said they were uncertain whether the president would veto the measure and prompt a shutdown or ultimately relent. white house officials raced to schedule an afternoon briefing for the news media although they had no idea what they would end up telling reporters.
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is this the type of, i guess, justification, this reasoning, is this why we're seeing leaks out of the white house? they're trying to make sense of things. they're trying to put this white house on track in some way? >> i mean, i think we see leaks for all sorts of reasons. people are trying to get the message to the president. maybe the best way of getting it to him is the media. that's one option. you know, there are people who are disgruntled. there's more leaking when people don't feel they're on a cohesive team. and clearly there's a lot of confusion here. and beyond that, i feel like these reports reinforce what we already know. that it's chaos. that his handlers are combatting what he's saying on tv. that he's saying criticism on fox news and threatening to veto. they're trying to stabilize the ship. >> okay. before i let you guys go, i want to talk about john bolton. the appointment there to national security adviser. is there any sense of what this relationship will look like?
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john bolton with john kelly and other top white house aides? sean, do you get a read on that? >> what's interesting to me is what you have when you look at john kelly, john bolton, and the president are three very big personalities. it'll be interesting to see whether or not they're going to come together or clash with one another. there have been similarities to trump. he's gone out on social media. he's gone out on cable television and he's said sometimes controversial things. so he has a style that sort of plays with the president's style. but the question is, again, you know, when you have three men with, you know, three very big profiles, it doesn't work out as super neatly as we've seen especially in this white house. we'll see how this works out. has the potential to maybe work. also has the potential to really potentially blow up. >> is there potential for fear with this appointment? what do you think, pema? >> oh, absolutely. this is a really critical
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national security post. so i think that there are a lot of people out there that are thinking, what does this mean for north korea? the iran deal? what does this mean for our position in the world? this is minute who doesn't believe in sort of these international organizations that we use to diffuse situations. so i absolutely think that. again, this is not someone who feels the call to serve and sort of shows up. this is someone who comes with an agenda. this is someone who believes things, pushes things, wants to be in the action. i think he brings his own agenda to the table. >> and is not afraid to say it. all right. good to see you both here in studio. thank you for joining me this early morning. and ready to march. you'll hear from a student today protesting in washington. he'll tell us what made him decide why to make his voice heard. but first, long distance support. a march for our lives rally was held in sydney, australia, friday. a moment of silence was observed
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washington, d.c., the epicenter of today's nationwide march for our lives protests. a turnout of half a million people expected here in the nation's capital. organizers say it's one of more than 800 demonstrations around the world. now because of the sheer size of this d.c. protest, an actual march will not occur, rather a rally along pennsylvania avenue. joining me now is a maryland high school senior who is marching today. daniel glio. i want to tell you all the pictures we see behind us are pictures that were taken from a
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march that you started. so you've got to be pretty proud of seeing what all has come of this. you're here marching, daniel. and the inspiration is what for you? >> i'm just tired of seeing people my age being slaughtered in classrooms. we shouldn't have to go to school in fear of being killed. we should be going to school to learn and to, like, be kids. you know? we shouldn't be concerned about how am i going to escape a class if a shooter comes in? i can only imagine what the parkland kids are going through right now. i would not want that on even my worst enemies. >> so what constitutes success for you from today's march? i mean, is it change in gun laws? i mean, that's going to take a bit as we have seen. for years we've been dealing with this on capitol hill. is it just awareness and having more and more and more voices join this chorus? >> absolutely. we need to get people ready for the elections in 2020 to vote
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out politicians who are bought and owned by the nra and are obstructing the change that needs to happen to keep not just students but everyone in the country safe. we need to get people energized to stay involved and keep this movement going. like, we can't let this die after today. it has to keep going after this. today just has to be the start. >> look, i'm going to date myself. i've been at this network since the columbine shooting in 1999 and i have watched countless lawmakers appear before cameras and say thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this. while not an illegitimate concept, not much has happened. how is this going to change things? >> i think this is going to be a tipping point. people are completely fed up. we don't want to live in fear of a gunman anymore. we want to live our lives, you know? so i think that politicians who are just giving thoughts and prayers and not giving us some
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legislative change are going have a rude awakening at the ballot box in 2018 and 2020. i don't think they have a place in our lay -- law making system anymore. >> when you go to school, do you see changes? do you see upticks in security just because of the nature of the potential for violence? >> yeah. but there's only so much that can do when weapons like ar-15 are in the hands of who knows, you know? we can't -- we can beef up security all we want, but when a gunman comes in and starts firing, there's only so much all that security can do. >> i want to look at a new poll. it shows only 63% of students feel safe when they go to school. that's less than two out of three. >> i feel like that's even a little bit high. ever since sandy hook happened when i was in seventh grade, i've been terrified to go to school. like, i'm -- it's always something in the back of my mind. like, is this going to happen?
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>> you mean you think about that when you go to school in the mornings or your mother or father says good-bye to you as your ride on your bike to get to school? you think about that? >> i think every single kid in this country probably does. if not before parkland, definitely after. >> and so this thought process has inspired you for change. what has been the most challenging part of this trying to organize these rallies and getting hash tags out on social media, on twitter. and how much has that helped you? has social media really been what's changing for this new generation? >> i think that keeping a movement together is what's going to be our biggest challenge. keeping it sustained. but i believe that we will be able to do that and social media has played a tremendous part in it in being able to mobilize quickly. the march that i did after the -- just a week after the shooting, that just was like four days of planning. and we were on the capitol
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protesting. it was a quick turnaround. this one on the backdrop, that was me and 50 other students. we put our heads together and over a two and a half week period we put that together. >> but still. and then you look at what's happening after five short weeks since the tragedy in parkland and look at half a million people that are coming here. 800 demonstrations around the world with this. i do want to ask you about the shooting that was at a high school near home state of maryland in which a school resource officer was the one that ultimately stopped the shooter killing that student. what is your reaction to that? i mean, the thought of armed officers in schools. >> i mean, it's something that i'm kind of struggling with right now. because i'd like to think that guns don't have a place in school. but just because of the state of things it seems we do need school resource officers. but ultimately that girl died just yesterday. >> yeah. she was taken off life support.
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>> i think that one's too many and it shouldn't have happened. it was access to guns that caused her death and caused the deaths of 17 people in parkland, florida. it's the overwhelming and easy access to guns in this country that is putting so many people at risk and hurting so many people. and i think that that's what a lot of this problem is about. >> well, daniel, well done and congratulations on all of your efforts and all it's bringing to today which is quite significant today. let's hope there's real positive change. and i overheard you got into college this week. so congratulations on that. >> thank you. >> you're on your way, young man. >> thank you so much. coming up, another curve ball from this president. he sets up a reality show style cliff-hanger just hours before a bill signing ceremony. was there strategy behind this? we've got answers ahead. (vo) dogs have evolved,
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it is 28 past the hour.
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washington is preparing for today's historic march for our lives rally. there you see the stage on which many celebrated performers will be addressing the crowd. expecting up to at least a half a million people to take part here. we're going to check in with kerry sanders who's on location in just a moment. but first let's go to nbc white house correspondent kelly o'donnell. kelly is joining us from west palm beach near the president's mar-a-lago resort. good saturday morning to you, my friend. we have the president wrapping up yet another wild week. how many times have i tossed to you on a saturday morning using those words lately, i tell you. >> reporter: it's always been fitting, alex. and this time as well. late friday night, the president issued a new policy related to transgender persons serving in the military. this has been controversial. it has been much anticipated. what it basically does is puts big restrictions, even a ban on future transgender personnel serving in the military in an open fashion in the gender of
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their identification. so this is a big, big change. what it will do is allow the secretary of defense to evaluate those persons who want to serve case by case. so this will be litigated. already democrats are outraged about it saying this is unfair, even unconstitutional. that happened late friday night capping a week where there was a lot of drama in washington. back in palm beach for the weekend. but no spring break from a turbulent ride in washington. >> i will never sign another bill like this again. >> reporter: friday the president set up a reality show cliff-hanger that put a government shutdown on the table. with a tweeted surprise. i am considering a veto of the omnibus spending bill. a veto? a shock to his own team and party. >> let's cut to the chase. is the president going to sign the bill? the answer is

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