tv MSNBC Live With Ayman Mohyeldin MSNBC April 1, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california. hi, everybody. msnbc news news world headquarters. thanks for staying with me. ayman mohyeldin is off. and isolating president trump. the president more and more doing things his way and new evidence of that today that we want to break down, and russian policy whiplash on russia. tough, new public actions from the administration when it comes
to vladimir putin. from the president himself, not a peep of knelltinegativity abo russian strongman, plus this month, former fbi james comey. and a tweet storm that snowballed. president trump saying mexico is allowing caravans from central america to pour into america and take advantage of the daca program, vowing there will be no daca deal and calls once again for his border wall. not hard to pinpoint the source of the president's frustration. a banner on his favorite morning show. on a trip to eastern mass, the president wasn't done with the issue making these remarks. >> mexico has got to help us at the border. and a lot of people are coming in, because they want to take advantage of daca.
and we're going to have to really see. they had a great chance. the democrats blue it. -- blew it. mex kei has got to help us at the border. they blow right through mexico. they said to the united states. can't happen that way anymore. >> we want to break down several angles of the story and how it fits into the president's recent behavior of the trump doctrine on mexico. is there some concrete action that will follow these tweets? the president increasingly ignoring his closest aides and taking control of his message. what will that mean for policy going forward? and the recent staff and cabinet shake-ups. is he done yet? and if not, who could be next? joining me to discuss all this, nbc news white house corners jeff bennett, and lauren zelt and make mcabe.
jeff, start with you. is there anything new in the president's tweets on mexico and what's the reaction from congress so far from what you've been hearing? >> hey there. i think there is something. look, previously the president threatened to shut down the government over the daca issue, but now he's suggesting that prospects for a deal are done. of course, the big consequence of that, if the white house and congress aren't able to work together to enshrine daca protections into law, it means the fate of the so-called dreamers remains unresolved and they continue to live in limbo, as they say, in the shadows. two things account for this. one, the negotiations over on capitol hill about daca have stalled and the president, people close to him tell us, is trying to head democrats off at the pass here. trying to pin tblame on them before democrats are able to pin the blame on him in the 2018 midterms if months go by, and
there's still no daca deal in place. yasmin? >> so we're hearing jeff say the fate of the dreamers unresolved, obviously, with the president's new tweets on this, this easter sunday, and we mentioned also the fox news banner. this idea of caravans of illegal immigrants heading to the border. it's actually been all over conservative media. when john kelly first came in, reporting about him limiting what stories end up in front of the president. do you think that sort of john kelly has lost his ability or is this the type of story that kelly wants president trump to read? >> well, chief of staff kelly has never been able to stop, nor ever tried to stop, what the president watches on his tv on his own time. and that is largely saturated by fox news and one of his favorite programs if not trump's favorite program, is "fox & friends," where he solicits a lot of his
political and policy advice. not just through the tv but also picks up the phone and calls several these "fox & friends" personalities and hosts for advice and counsel, including pete hexa. so when you see something like the caravan banner on "fox & friends," and how it immediately trig ares the president to send the kind of deal is dead tweet storm on daca and immigration as he did this morning, you kind of see no matter how many people in his inner circle who may be more centrist leaning than he on immigration, no matter how many times they tell him this is a deal you should make or something like it, something as easy as talking to a "fox & friends" host or sian banter on the tv screen can easily push limb back or revert to his own instinct on this issue, be a total hard-liner and immigration hawk. >> and kelly and others not onboard with him during that
trip. the president seems frustrated he didn't get more money for his border wall in the omnibus bill and also that the military should pay for it. how big a deal is this for him personally? and also for his base? >> i think it's a big deal first and foremost for his base. that was one of his key campaign promises in 2016, and i think that a lot of people who consist, his base consists are, are looking for something on this. but on the daca issue in particular, this is a missed opportunity not only for the president. it is also a missed opportunity for both republicans and democrats and congress. if you look at polling consistently, even 80% in some polls of republicans support finding a solution for dreamers. as for this notion that anyone would come across the border from mexico to take advantage of daca, that's unfortunately just a misinformed tweet. all daca recipients have passed strict background checks and by
ending the programs it means i'm fairly certain no one can sign up from daca from here on out. all they're doing is renewals. those tweets this morning were full of a couple different topics that shouldn't be lumped together. one of the biggest takeaways i believe, it's a missed opportunity to act to protect the dreamers for everyone in government right now. >> you heard jeff jake say that the president want to head dems off at the pass here. he wants to sort of get ahead of this narrative, blaming the democrats before they can actually turn around and blame him for the daca situation. is there a concern that this could actually stick? that the president's narrative could stick and that the democrats could be on the losing side of this battle? >> the problem here is the president turned down repeated opportunities to actually make a deal here. democrats came to president trump with a deal back in september to try to get him to extend the dreamer program and have come up with a series of deals since then and he's turned them all down. including one by which they
offered $21 billion for a border wall and he turned that down, too. he's been unable to get out of his own way on this and seemed interested in kicking the can down the road and finding someone to blame. unfortunately, it looks any deal that gets made, democrats will keep trying it will happen in spite of the president not because of him. >> seems, lauren, the president is actually taking more control? from the "washington post." 14 months into the job, trump is increasingly defiant and singularly directing his administration with a rapid and brutal style he honed leading his real estate and branding empire. the president is replacing aides who tended towards caution and consensus with figures far more likely to encourage his rash instincts and act upon them. john walton obviously being one of those individuals. is trump taking more control? is this a good thing, lauren, for republicans? >> i think what we're seeing ultimately is that the president is running his white house in a similar fashion to the way he
ran his campaign. look, most traditional presidential campaigns don't have more than one campaign manager. donald trump had three. so i think the idea that anyone was expecting a white house that didn't have a lot of turnover just wasn't reality. it's abnormal for politics, certainly. haven't seen anything like it before. to your point, ambassador bolton, mike pompeo and other recent staff changes, what the president is doing, bringing people into his administration that are more in line with his views. he had a lot of conflicts with secretary of state tillerson. obviously, we saw that play out in the media. to the extent that the people that voted for president trump in 2016 are looking for him to deliver on the agenda he promised, i actually think some of the folks he's bringing in, whether you agree or not, will be more on the same page as the president. >> and the interesting thing in all this, all the chaos in the last couple weeks including, of course, stormy daniels. the president's poll numbers are actually up, if you look at this
here. poll numbers right here. should that worry democrats? >> well, look, i'm a democrat and everything worries me. but i think the reality is, polls go up and go down. look around the country at the energy you're seeing among democrats. you're seeing special elections across the country, democrats are pulling out wins. wins in alabama, virginia, in pennsylvania. you're seeing across the country. you have 40 republicans who decided no the to run again for congress and record numbers of democrats, record numbers of women running. i think the democrat party is fired up. people across the country are ready to -- ready to pounce. ready to solve real problems for the american people. >> also a controversy over shulkin, fired, resigned? different messages from both shull kirn akin and the white h. take a listen and then your reactions. >> i would not resign, because i'm committed to making sure this job was seen through to the very end. >> so you were fired? >> i did not resign.
>> okay. >> and also, what is the point of the white house saying that he resigned when, in fact, he says that he was fired? why put this out there when they knew he was going to go on a major media blitz there and correct them or say that, no. he actually was fired and not resigned? >> well, i think the white house is trying to camp down the idea that with all of these firings and ousters there is a sense that there is extreme chaos within the top ranks of this administration which anybody who covers the white house or the administration can tell you there is. when it comes to someone like david shulkin, a big reason he was pushed out wasn't just because of allegations of spending abuse. there are certainly other cabinet officials and cabinet-level members in the trump administration who have been accused of similar things, if not worse, who are still there. david shulkin was pushed out against the backdrop of sort of ideological warfare at tv.a. ovr
what he calls privatization efforts. the "daily beast" acted paranoid enough to the point he thought there were a lot of people in his ranks at the v.a. out to get him to the point he stationed and armed guard outside of his office door. so this was -- an era for the v.a. plagued by palace backfighting, ideological warfare and second guessing to the point where whoever this guy was, it was made untenable for him to be kept in that position. >> so, jeff, final question. you here, obviously no firings or resignations over the weekend. because that does sometimes happen in these two days or so. however, there is word scott pruitt can feasibly be the next person on the chopping block. what are you hearing? >> look, scott pruitt is certainly keeping ethics officials at the epa fairly busy. it's not just a question about that apartment lease he got last
year. also questions about his over reliance on pricey first-class air tickets and his use of a 24/7 security detail, which is fairly unusual for someone in his position, but scott pruitt has a bit more job security for two reasons according to people close to the president. one, given all of the volatility and personnel changes going on right now, the president apparently is reluctant to add one more opening. the other reason, scott pruitt is seen as being one of the more effective members of the trump cabinet, overseeing the rollback of a host of obama era environmental regulations and protections. supported the president's decision to ditch the paris climate agreement. so scott pruitt apparently at the moment has a bit more job security. the big caveat, though, that everything i just said is true until it isn't. it could be completely upended by a tweet. >> until we see scott pruitt walking into the white house around noon and suddenly
everything changes. thank you all for joining us. coming up, everybody, former fbi director james comey is ready to tell his side of the story. could his upcoming book release hurt bob mueller's investigation, plus russian diplomats back in their own country after being expelled from the u.s. is this leading to a new cold war? (vo) more "doing chores for mom" per roll more "doing chores for dad" per roll more "earning something you love" per roll bounty is more absorbent, so the roll can last 50% longer than the leading ordinary brand. so you get more "life" per roll. bounty the quicker picker upper.
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former fbi director jim comey as he prepares for a book blitz this month. this book "a higher loyalty: truths, lies and leadership" number two on amazon more than two weeks before its release, and tickets to some events going for as much as $850 online. everyone eager to see what he writes and says about what went down with president trump. could this complicate his role in bob mueller's investigation? joining me now, harry litman, former u.s. attorney and former deputy assistant general under bill clinton and and msnbc contributor and former fbi agent and back with me. harry, start with you on this one. is there a risk of jim comey being so public with the story before bob mueller concludes the russia investigation? >> it's pretty small. two ways it could potentially affect things. one a whole book to worth with that's impeachment material for
a defense attorney, but comey's pretty smart. he won't be tripped up. the second is, anybody who has an account that comey heard would be able to scull p thept testimony, but mueller would have been able to talk with everyone except jared kushner. he was the last person to leave the room in the famous meet where he asks him to go easy on flynn and he hasn't been heard of several months, is lying very low. i'm sure he'll read that with interest, but generally comey is smart enough not to leave much opening. i think the overall publicity doesn't really hurt mueller. >> do you think, harry, comey would have shared with mueller -- we know they have a relationship, a friendship, that comey served under mueller. do you think he would have shared the contents of the book with mueller or at least the
release date and talked to him whether or not that was going to be an issue or not? >> yes. that's interesting. first of all, he would have shared the main points. it's largely a book about ethical leadership and obviously we know from his schoolboy tweet to trump, there will be some of the juicy parts that people will read. that -- mueller already knows about -- because comey has spoken to them in a formal way, but i think, yasmin, probably, yes. he cleared the notion of the book generally and if asked to provide a look at the manuscript in advance, he would have done it and probably did do it. >> and on the hill today former fbi special agent james gagliano wrote -- comey's book tour may settle an old score but undloutly diminish what's left of his once bullet-proof reputation. do you agree with your former fbi colleague? could this book tour basically
further politicize jim comey especially since he's skipping the south entirely and barely skirting the midwest in his tour? >> it's possible. just to go back to one quick point harry brought up. i think i'm pretty sure he's going to -- would have had a manuscript review. it's likely before it went to print it was reviewed by the fbi for some point. >> wait, wait. saying that, do you think -- even though it was reviewed by the fbi higher up it doesn't mean it was reviewed by mueller? >> exactly right. obviously, they'll go through it, see if anything is classified, anything that can't be released for legal reasons. there will be a process. anyone who's held a top secret clearance generally has this provision. >> good point. >> some review process. not heavy handed because of the political nature. you're right. this whole thing is political. i don't know if this hurts comey for what his career aspirations
are. does it hurt the fbi? look, this whole thing has been politicized. i don't think it hurts the fbi to show the professionalism, the duty and loyalty one has. in that regard, it can be beneficial, but clearly it's going to be used in a political, the ongoing political war and i don't think that's going to change whether he comes out publicly or doesn't. >> speaking of the ongoing political war the question now is, does the white house have the defense for this ongoing political war, also throw this to you, after the president called out comey once again in the wake of firing andrew mccabe, comey tweeted, mr. president, the american people will hear my story very soon and they can judge for themselves who was honorable and who is not. any sort of sense how the white house is preparing to respond to comey's book? >> well, from people i speak to in the white house, they're response to whatever comes out or whatever new potentially bombshell revelations there are in this book or that come out on
the book tour, their response as a whole and as a white house apparatus will be shaped very much around how the president of the united states responds in realtime after a book comes out and it starts -- comey starts making the media rounds even more than he is now to promote it and the details in it, and you can certainly expect the president to continue trash talking and rage tweeting at james comey more so than he's already done. people we speak to at the "daily beast" who speak to the president frequently if not daily tell us behind the scenes he bashes comey as an attention-seeker, someone out to get him and lumps him in with deep state rhetoric, whether on his twitter feed or within the west wing. so the more comb sy in the neey news, you can expect the president to hate tweet him more
or whatever. >> will this book chip away at comey's reputation? >> so that's interesting. his reputation, by the way, as of a few years ago was just impeccable, but we've had this onslaught from trump. when trump fired mccabe a few weeks ago and totally trashed him, he said something about how much worse comey is. it's going to be open warfare. you've seen comey before congress. he can really handle himself well and i think his credibility comes through. but there's no doubt about it. fbi chiefs are used to being unopposed in their integrity and this is going to be a he said lsaid/he said trash talk back and forth. he'll take hits i assume especially among the 30% or so trump partisans who feel that the fbi under comey was part of a deep state conspiracy to bring down the president.
>> i guarantee we'll all read that book intentionally when it is released, for darn sure. all right. thank you all. coming up, a top republican senator says russia is running wild, and the white house is not pushing back hard enough. why the president remains unusually quiet when it comes to matters concerning the kremlin. ♪ ♪
welcome back, everybody. time now for "we said they said." the u.s. sends russian diplomats packing as relations between washington and moscow hit an all-time low. >> russia has now ordered 60 u.s. diplomats out of the country. >> as promised russia responded. tit for tat. >> diplomatic temperature between russia and the west appears to be at an all-time high. >> so russia's ambassador to the u.s. posting a message on twitter just hours before his colleagues arrived back home on russian soil. >> the united states authorities have expelled american friends. this choice is unfortunate. we are destined to become friends again.
>> the russians, however, did not leave quietly. our team reporting even though u.s. authorities shut down the con lit in seattle, the staff decided not to take down the russian flag leaving it for the americans to deal with, and russia's sputnik international thumbing its nose at america and western allies for expelling the country's top diplomatic brass. this cartoon, salisbury, england. another satirist. this time based oun bangkok. thailand shows kgb spy adding a toxic substance to a drink and accusing the west of overreacting. now with much of the world's attention on the russia poisoning scandal, one analyst thought he'd try to deflect to one playing out in the united states. playing out on china's english language network. >> the "new york times" is
making stormy daniels, the porn star, making her into a -- >> we don't want to go into a porn star. not a show we are doing right now. >> but it will take more than a distraction for this cold war. tensions between the u.s. and russia continue to escalate. what will a furious kremlin do next? the expulsions may just be the tip of the iceberg. >> should we expect more reaction from russia, and will it end here? >> if the u.s. goes for more, russia will have to go to response to that as well. >> delve deeper into the russian dip marry spat and joined by former georgia's president ca cashvili. >> a tougher stance on russia
with expulsions but president trump seeming reluctant to say anything against vladimir putin publicly. a point lindsey graham brought up his morning on "fox news sunday." watch? >> the problem is russia's running wild. whatever we're doing is not working and the president snore reason has a hard time pushing back against putin directly. >> so, molly, what do you think is behind sort of this reluctance to speak ill of vladimir putin? even though he'sic kicking out russian diplomats? >> if you focus on what dodd .o is doing, the military is going, an approach how to contain the russian threat and how to develop our own resilience to that threat, but comes out of white house, a lot less certainty. around of gestures, nice headlines, expelling diplomats
but allowing more to come back in. also the dap mats are not necessarily the thing we should be focused on. the missile tests, diplomatic spul expulsions, russia has other things to project their reach into the united states and other factors that we're not addressing now. >> and msnbc reported just yesterday that trump was actually telling aides not to talk about a decision to supply u.s. weapons to the ukraine in the fight against russian-backed separatists because it could agitate vladimir putin. what do you think? >> it's odd. the fact he insults everyone except for vladimir putin is distressing and, again, for anyone who's a parent, your child comes in, said i didn't do anything, you automatically think they did something. that seems to be happening. we know something is there.
molly said, talking about the legal part of this and when it comes to the mueller investigation. one con tastant here. for russia, the cold war didn't end. they view the united states as their main adversary. even if president trump leaves office tomorrow or in six years that will stay in view. russia views the united states their main enemy and aligned in attacking us. going after us. until the united states has a policy that very strongly says we'll seek to destroy, deter russia's efforts to undermine us, we're at a disadvantage here. simple as that. >> and you're right that 60 diplomats the u.s. is expelling is more than any other country, and twice the number even the uk is doing. how close was the u.s. consultation with other nations over the expelling of these diploma diplomats? >> right. that story was written after talking to a european diplomat talking about the conversations
going back and forth, how many are you going to expel? how many are you? the brits actually went to the trump administration and said we think europe is going to kick out around 60 in total, and ultimately that was the number the trump administration decided on. decided to match all of europe with this, but they didn't tell their european allies how many they were going to kick out ahead of time. so they were waiting just like we were to find out what the final steps were, but it was about the maximum response that our allies were expecting in terms of 60 and closing down the consulate in seattle as well. molly, playing you sound from senator ron johnson a sitdown with nbc chuck todd and then we'll talk. >> we need to work with russia. they have some thousand nuclear weapons. i understand the president's desire to try and improve relations with russia, but you have to look at the reality of the situation and actwell. >> as we know, they test fired a
nuclear missile. two by nate other, obvious provocation. yes president trump says he plans to meet with vladimir putin in the near future. is this the right time for a summit between the two leaders? >> i think that the missile test was not unlet related to the summit of trump. two things that missile influenced. the mind-set's president trump. in his recent call, he congratulated president putin about his electoral victory and his new term as russia's president, one of the things he mentioned were the new tests that russia has been doing on nuclear missiles and other things, and the threats that he has been directing at the united states. it's clearly something that makes the president, the american president nervous. and i think the other audience for this is the russian people. this has very little to do with us, although we all sort of jump through the hoops that are put in front of us by pooten and talk about the missile tests. reminding the russian people of this imaginary greatness putin
is constructing because he doesn't want anyone to realize he is killing russians abroad. russian children are being burned at home, poisoned by toxic fumes from unsafe living conditions in the russian republic. russian soldiers are killed and thrown in anonymous graves overseas. he doesn't want the russian people to see that but he want them to see his missile tests and what is putin's russia. >> don't the russian people understand the reality of their leader? are not naive to putin the actions, are they? >> for me or -- >> for you. i think molly's absolutely right. look at rt or sputnik, earlier pieces. what is played back to the russian people is very different from our interpretation. as americans i don't think we realize in russia they don't -- they haven't stopped looking at the united states as their main enemy. the cold war is very much -- very much in it, as the
ambassador aptly termed it, it's a hot piece. we -- they have not abated sort of their intent to do us harm. i think, again -- look, i was operating against the russians 2005-2009. actual russian spy it didn't change anything. until we actually have a policy that really strongly condemns russia, says we're going to confront them, this is going to continue happening. all the rhetoric in the world isn't going to change that. >> does the expulsion of the diplomats sort of hurt russian intelligence -- u.s. intelligence gathering in russia? >> no it does not. exactly at molly said. the people are here two to three years. their tour. set to go home. they're -- it's going to maybe impact intelligence collections in a small effort here in seattle. overall, at large, not impacted and russia at large not impacted. it's mianimal at best. >> thank you all. coming up, veterans affairs,
dave shulkin, the latest to get the boot from trump. we'll look at that coming up. from any one else. so why accept it from your allergy pills? most pills don't finish the job because they don't relieve nasal congestion. flonase allergy relief is different. flonase relieves sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose, plus nasal congestion, which pills don't. flonase helps block 6 key inflammatory substances. most pills only block one. and 6 is greater than 1. start your day with flonase for more complete allergy relief. flonase. this changes everything.
love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. (avo) get 0% apr financing on all new 2018 subaru forester models. now through april 2nd. welcome back, everybody. it is time for our global checkup and a look at what's making headlines around the world. start in south korea where u.s. and south korean troops began their annual joint military exercises today. this year's training period has been shortened by a month amid
thawing relations isn't the korean peninsula ahead of president trump's potential summit with north korea. and israel is threatening to take military action inside the gaza strip. 16 palestinians were killed in recent demonstrations along it's israel/gaza border and hundreds more injured in deadly clashes with israeli police. israel blames hamas for the uprising. the governor of russia's siberian province is stepping down. his resignation in the wake of a fatal shopping mall fire that killed 64 people including 41 children. investigators found laxed safety standards. and finally, christians around the world are celebrating easter today. pope francis celebrated mass in saint peters square with tens of thousands of people watching. his message called for peace and an end to the conflicts in syria and africa. and that's our global checkup. s of america, and we may not know much about medicine, but we know a lot about drama. from scandalous romance,
with esurance photo claims, you could have money for repairs within a day. wow! that was really fast. so it doesn't have to hurt for long. that's insurance for the modern world. esurance, an allstate company. click or call. welcome back. fired secretary of veterans affairs david shulkin is fought going quietly writing an op- op-edsies his dismissal a a plan to privatize the v.a. and making clear today he was not forced
out. watch this. >> i had no intention of giving up. there would be no reason for me to resign. i made a commitment. i took an oath, and i was here to fight for our veterans. i received the information the way that you talked about it and general kelly gave me a call shortly before the tweet came out. >> so in his place, president trump is appointing dr. ronny jackson, a former navy member turned white house physician who served under presidents bush, obama and trump. look at several questions raised in this story. did shulkin deserved to be fired or was he making progress for veterans? is there an effort under way to privatize the v.a. and will that help or hurt veterans and is dr. ronny jackson qualified to lead the v.a. into the pufuture? joining me, my panel. will, start with you on this one. we have wait times for services
for veterans averaging around 22 days. actually down significantly from when shulkin first took over, but still pretty high. to say the least. do you think the v.a. was moving in the right direction under secretary shulkin? >> i do think some progress was being made. i mean, if you look about what that wait time number is today and compare that to what that number was a few months ago or a couple years ago, you will see drastic improvements were being made. and donald trump was tired of the way david shulkin was doing things, not being aggressive enough in making moves to destroy and privatize our v.a. health system which is what donald trump and groups like the concerned veterans for america and others what they want to see happen. >> here's the thing. some of the headlines in all this, and david shulkin leaving veterans affairs, he was actually the subject of an ethics investigation to misusing
taxpayer funds. accusations, of course, he denied, but do you think that sort of clouded -- made it difficult for him to perform in his making excuses or defending david shulkin but what i'll say his removal from being the secretary of the department of veterans affairs has been the result of a coordinated effort led by those who like to see wrecking balls and bulldozers taken to va facilities and he wasn't playing along and pushed out. now we have admiral jackson when's been nominated. where is he on these issues? we don't know. you know, all i know about dr. jackson is came out and gave the president a clean bill of health and said he'll live 200 years old. we'll work through our membership to raise up the voices of veterans to demand answers from dr. jackson on
where he is on these issues. where is he on privatization? what management experience does he have to lead the second largest agency in the federal government? >> let's talk here, lisa, about shulkin's replacement dr. ronny jackson. you wrote in an article, jackson taken aback by the nomination said senior white house officials. after aides gauged his interest in recent days, he hesitated to take on such a big job. but the president continued to push and told his senior staff monday that the doctor was his top choice. you say, lisa, this is more about perm chemistry for the president. >> that's right. so it was really clear to us from administration officials that the president was really enamored of dr. jackson who by all accounts is a very nice and
good doctor at the white house as a presidential physician for 12 years and wanted him to do the job because hi felt they had a good bond, in part because of how dr. jackson handled himself on the podium in front of the press after giving the president a physical in which he said in very, very glowing terms that the president, you know, would live for a very long time and despite his lack of exercise, high cholesterol levels and overweight, that he would -- he ease in fabulous health. so that's clearly a comfort level that the president felt with dr. jackson. our sources have told us that dr. jackson was really conflicted about taking this job. and he has not run a large organization. nearly as large as va and that he remains conflicted and we have to seen how it works out. >> lisa, is there any sort of
evidence to suggest that the president spoke with ronny jackson about the views on where he wants the va to go? >> so we don't really know that. this is not an area where a presidential physician who is probably more used to, you know, fixing broken toes and handing out ambien to white house staff on long international trips, this is really not a policy area where a presidential physician is likely to have dipped his own toe so it is not really clear to any of us, you know, what's been discussed. we do know that trump said to dr. jackson, hey, ronny, you would be great at this job and you can imagine the president doing that so we don't know what his views are on the key issues that will talked about before of, you know, veterans access to private care and probably the biggest issue at va right now.
>> i can we can imagine that conversation between the president. may have happened on an examination table. hey, you want this guy? will, you heard him say he's obviously a good doctor and being a nice guy being a good doctor, having personal chemistry with the president doesn't necessarily make you a good candidate to be a secretary of veterans affairs. does that concern you? >> of course it does. i mean, look. people need to remember that the va consists for more pieces than the health care piece and that's a lot of focus but saying that somebody should lead the veterans affairs because they're a doctor is equivalent saying a mortician to lead the va because the va oversees all the federally managed cemeteries. this is a humongous agency. it involves labor relations. it involves over 330,000 employees. it involves a budget of well over $200 billion.
there are over 1,000 facilities across this country. and yeah, it is a big job. there are a lot of mayors of mid-sized cities with fewer constituents than the va does employees and there is a lot going on and debate over privatization. and veterans, look, we are, you know, in chorus opposing those efforts to see our va health care system privatized. what we want to see, though, is a va system that's strong, fully funded, that's fully staffed and that is equipped through infrastructure investment to make sure that we all have access to the health care we earned. >> the republicans taken aback by dr. jackson's nomination. do you think he's going to have a difficult time at confirmation hearing? >> he very well could have a difficult time. something that you will start hearing from white house officials and top trump allies on the outside very soon about jackson is contention that if you look at the bureaucratic
bungling and allegations that plagued the va for years now it was all under the watch of professionals, managers and people with years upon years upon years of experience and perhaps we need someone not a manager to get in there and shake things up and fix things. put as much credence in the va didty of that argument as you want but we'll hearing it from team trump and allies soon. >> will, lisa, asuan, thank you for joining me. happy easter if that's what you celebrate. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that does it for me this weekend. tune in to "kasie d.c." but first up next it's "meet the press." finding themselves in a chevrolet for the first time. trying something new can be exciting. empowering. downright exhilarating. see for yourself why chevrolet is the most awarded and fastest growing brand,
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this sunday, growing tensions with russia. the u.s. and russia trade expulsions of diplomats. the russians test a new missile. many worry about renewed moscow/washington tensions. >> there's a great mistrust between the united states and russia. >> this morning my interview with senator ron johnson of wisconsin of the foreign relations committee. plus, the president and the special counsel. what are the limits to what bob mueller can investigate? should president trump testify under oath? i will talk to former harvard law professor alan dershowitz and bob bauer. also, presidential reset