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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  April 16, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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position of power stood up and said no, this shouldn't happen. we're going to be optimists on the way out. let this be an opportunity to do better, certainly these men deserve a sincere apology or action out of this. we've got to get better. we must. >> thanks for watching. time to hand it of to andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> right now on "andrea mitchell reports," fighting back. former fbi director james comey tells his side of the story, calling donald trump unfit to occupy the oval office. >> a person who sees moral equivalence in charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the american people believe it. that person is not fit to be president of the united states on moral grounds. striking syria. the u.s. is set to slap russia with new sanctions for
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supporting the assad regime, as the trump white house vows to keep up the pressure after friday night air strikes targeting syrian chemical weapons facilities. >> we of course know that our work in syria is not done. we know that it's now up to bashar al assad on whether he's going to use chemical weapons again. should he use it again, the president has made it very clear that the united states is locked and loaded and ready to go. and care and comfort. the matriarch of a political dynasty decides to end her medical treatment. >> she's the best grandma anybody could have ever had -- or has. and barbara and i talked to her last night. she's in great spirits, and she's a fighter. she's an enforcer. ♪ >> good day, i'm casey hunt in
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washington. let's get to texas and the latest on barbara bush's health, with the host of this show, nbc's andrea mitchell. what have we heard from the family and their closest j advisers. >> reporter: you saw jenna speaking emotionally about her grandmother. she and her twin barbara spoke to her last night. we heard somebody in the neighborhood who saw barbara bush in her wheelchair with her dogs yesterday out in the front yard enjoying the very beautiful weather here in houston. so we know that she is doing as best she can, but she's been failing -- in failing health for quite some time. she's been in and out of the hospital, most recently on good friday weekend, and has made the decision to not have further medical treatment, or go back into the hospital. so she is having comfort care at home. the former president is with her, bush 41. he, by the way, had a sad
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mission to connecticut for a memorial service for his brother this past weekend. so he was in connecticut, then back in houston yesterday with his wife. they've been married for 73 years. it's the longest marriage in first family history. i just wanted to also point out that we have now a tweet from hillary clinton, another first lady. from both sides of the aisle there have been so many remembrances and thoughts and prayers about the legacy, the ongoing legacy of barbara bush and hillary clinton saying -- writing, thinking about barbara bush's legacy of service to our country and the extraordinary family she raised. thanks her for her many kindnesses to me and my family. wishing her the comfort she deserves surrounded by her loved ones. so this is a 92-year-old woman who is suffering from congestive heart disease, and pulmonary
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problems, as well. and she's obviously been struggling with these health issues. even more so in a critical sense than her husband. we know he's been fighting against the debilitating effects of parkinson's disease and he's also in a wheelchair. so this family is really going through these struggles. jenna on the "today" show as you saw was talking about it. >> we're grateful for her, for everybody's prayers and thoughts. and just know the world is better because she's in it. >> oh, we do know. how is your grandpa and your mom and dad and everybody, they doing all right? >> yeah. you know, she's with my grandpa, the man she's loved for over 73 years. and they are surrounded by family. but i think the fact that they're together in this, and he
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still says "i love you, barbie" every night, is pretty remarkable. >> one of the great love stories and great story of service. later in the show, we'll have a lot more from houston. >> of course, droandrea, we'll check back in with you. back here in washington, president trump began his morning by telling the country his former fbi director should be behind bars. responding to james comey's stunning primetime interview with this tweet -- >> comey's wide ranging discussion with george stephanopoulos included his take on alleged trump ties to russia. >> do you think the russians have something on donald trump? >> i think it's possible. i don't know.
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these are more words i never thought i would utter about a president of the united states, but it's possible. it always struck me and still strikes me as unlikely and i would have been able to say with high confidence with any other president i dealt with. but i can't. it's possible. >> joining me now to talk about all of this, kristen welker, and msnbc political analyst phil rucker, the white house bureau chief at "the washington post." kristen welker, can we start with a fact check here of this tweet that the president leveled at comey about committing crimes? is it true? >> reporter: there's no indication of that. one of the things the president points to, he says that comey leaked classified information and comey was asked about that last night by george stephanopoulos. he said look, it's just not true, nothing he has put out has been leaked. he says everything that he has dispensed to the press was done in a wholly appropriate way. and there's been no finding or no judgment to that end by
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members of congress or anyone else who has been looking at this. so at this point in time, there's no indication that comey did break the law. but look, we are seeing this war of words escalate. over the weekend, as you and i talked about, president trump unfurled a number of tweets, kind of prebutting comey in that interview that he delivered last night. that one tweet today, i asked a white house official if he could expect to hear more from president trump about this today. he's heading to florida as we speak, holding a tax event. the official wasn't clear, making the case that is up to the president. they would certainly hike to hift t shift the narrative away from comey. there's been a coordinated effort to undercut comey and cast him as a disgruntled former employee that was fired. still, what we heard from comey last night was this moral judgment on some of the president's alleged actions. comey making it very cheer hele
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not going to be silent. >> phil rucker, what does your reporting tell you about how the white house is responding behind the scenes? we heard they're more concerned with what is going on with michael cohen than they are with comey. how legitimately stressed is the president for what has gone on with comey? >> he likes the fight. he likes any an enemy, and today that enemy is james comey and probably will be for a while. there's some relief that there aren't more damning allegations in this book. there was a fear that comey may have more news frankly in this book than he has. but i expect the assault on comey will continue as long as comey is on this book tour. he has remainders for this week and next week. and the president is in the national spotlight is what's bothering president trump at the moment. kellyanne conway was on television this morning saying
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that the president is frustrated that he's getting all of this attention, that comey is sucking up so much media attention. so we'll see if that continues. it probably will. >> for the first time in a while he has something of an equal opponent in the media presence. kristen welker, let's talk more about michael cohen. they have filed a motion essentially to not allow the material that was seized from cohen's office to be viewed or used in this investigation because they say that there may be a partisan motivation. they're raising a potentially dangerous question about this investigation, no? >> reporter: oh, absolutely. and they're also arguing that some of these documents should be protected by attorney/client privilege. this is going to be a dramatic kay in court. michael cohen will be there. stormy daniels is also expected to make an appearance. at the root of this is a
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$130,000 payment. that's one of the things that investigators wanted documents about. so the optics could be quite powerful. we'll have to wait and see what the judge decides. but if you talk to allies close to the president, they say this poses a real legal challenge potentially for the president, and it also is getting under his skin. they're concerned quite frankly that it could push him over the edge. remember, it was after the raid of michael cohen's offices and residences that those sensitive talks between his legal team and the special counsel's team fell apart about an interview. not clear that those talks have been revived. we know that the two sides continue to be in touch. but those familiar with those negotiations tell me it's very unlikely that there's going to be a presidential interview. >> and sarah sanders just in,
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gaggling on the plane on air force one heading down to florida, saying the president did watch bits and pieces of the comey interview last night. but phil rucker, in the brief amount of time we have left, stormy daniels attending these proceedings, she doesn't need to be there. is that something that's gotten on to the white house's radar? is that a pr strategy essentially or designed to kind of get inside their heads a little bit? >> it seems like it. she doesn't need to be there legally speaking, but i think there's going to be a lot of media attention and probably now more media attention because of her presence. it seems to be a pr strategy by stormy daniels and her attorney. there's no doubt that president trump is aware of it. >> thank you both so much for your time today. coming up, the xfx fi"the , what james comey says about the
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possibility of his former colleagues being fired. that's next on "andrea mitchell reports," only on msnbc. life in. when i built my ancestry family tree, i found your story... then, my dna test helped me reclaim the portuguese citizenship you lost. i'm joshua berry, and this is my ancestry story. combine the most detailed dna test with historical records for a deeper family story. get started for free at ancestry.com historical records for a deeper family story. and i recently had hi, ia heart attack. it changed my life. but i'm a survivor. after my heart attack, my doctor prescribed brilinta. it's for people who have been hospitalized for a heart attack. brilinta is taken with a low-dose aspirin. no more than 100 milligrams
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there are no indispensable people. firing me didn't change the nature of the fbi. those folk also pursue the truth. if that were to happen, it should be a wakeup call, a blaring alarm for everybody, that that is something the american people and their representatives should care deeply about, because that is an attack on who we are.
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>> former fbi director james comey in an exclusive new interview with "usa today" issuing a stark warning that if president trump tries to fire special counsel robert mueller or deputy attorney general rod rosenstein. the latest in a stunning public assault on a sitting president by a former top law enforcement official. joining me now is susan page, "usa today" washington bureau chief who got that interview with james comey. matt miller, msnbc justice analyst. and chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney and former senior fbi official. thank you all for being here this afternoon. susan, what stood out to you the most in interviewing james comey? >> the thing that i thought was most striking, most shocking, he said it was possible that the president of the united states has been compromised by the russians, and that they are holding something over his head, something about his personal behavior, his finances, what he called the moscow hotel room incident, or something that is compromised the commander in
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chief. that's what i thought was most surprising, shocking, and stunning. >> we have that. let's take a look. >> do you think president trump has been compromised by the russians? >> i don't know. and these are words i never thought would come out of my mouth about an american president, but it's possible. i'm not saying it's likely. i don't know, and the honest answer is, it's possible. he won't criticize vladamir putin, even in private. even in a meeting with three people in the oval office. sitting with the person in charge of countering the russia threat in the united states, privately not being willing to do that? >> what are the potential implications oh of that in the course of the mueller investigation? james comey alleging or raising the possibility that the president could be blackmailed. is that a problem that you've done investigations before? >> i have.
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it's not a problem. ideally you don't want your witnesses talking or writing books or doing any of those things. and as prosecutors we would tell witnesses not to do that. all the time. but jim comey isn't your average witness. so while it's not ideal that any witness would be speaking so publicly and so often, i can assure you that bob mueller and his team have talked to jim many times. they know what he knows. and he's going to be completely consistent in what he says. >> can you weigh in on that? what is your of -- it's incredible serious charge. >> i athink that's right. you saw this washington post story this morning about trump's actions and his arguments with his aides every time it comes to sanctioning russians or expelling russian agents ohher the way the administration staff has to do it is almost trick the president into doing. so why is he not open to doing
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this? when jim comey testified last june a month after he was fired, in the buildup to that testimony, there was a lot of question whether he would agree to appear in public for this reason, would he want to shed in public light on a question that was very much under investigation, especially whether the president obstructed justice, and we know that he got clearance from special counsel bob mueller before agreeing to that testimony, and for all that he said publicly in this hearing, in this book tour, there aren't a lot of new facts about his interactions with the president and the president's potential being compromised by the russian government. >> susan, what was his posture like in the interview? it does seem he had a very specific set of things that he wanted to say and he was going to be careful not to go beyond them. >> he was incredibly disciplined about what he wanted to say. he had in mind what he wanted to say. he had the demeanor of a g-man,
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right? except at one moment, that was wen we asked him about the death of his infant son 20 years ago, something he wrote about for the first time in his book. i asked him why did you put it in the book? he said that it has informed his view of the obligations of a leader. and your obligations of what you need to do when something bad happens. and that was a lesson he and his wife learned and a lesson he took now once he got fired by the president as director of the fbi job he loved. >> chuck, you know this man well. >> i know him very well. a couple of things, i read the entire book cover to cover. and i'm glad susan mentioned that very painful chapter in their lives. while i knew about the passing of their son, colin, there were facts that i didn't know. and that's why i would urge everyone to take a deep breath and read the book.
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it's not just about the color of the president's hair or skin. there's a whole bunch of interesting, well-told, thoughtful chapters in that book. from the time that he was a brand new prosecutor to a horrific incident that happened in his house when he was a child. he and his brother were held at gunpoint. it's a well-told story. there are many lessons. before people pass judgment, i ask them to at least read the book. >> god piece of advice. the people who are passing judgment do not just work for president trump. many of them work for hillary clinton, because they view him as a villain. you talked about hillary clinton's reaction to this book. let's take a look. >> take a step back and stair at the two cases and the posture they were in, the hillary clinton e-mail case was public, and the intelligence investigation trying to figure out whether a small group of people not donald trump, we were not investigating donald trump, whether this small group of
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americans was coordinating anything with the russians. we had just started the investigation. so it would have been unfair to those people to talk about it and jeopardized the investigation. my hope is, i even hope hillary clinton at least reads those parts of the book. because i think she will walk away saying you know what? i still think the guy is an idiot, but he's an honest idiot and trying to do the right thing here, and i kind of get what he was faced with. >> kind of an honest idiot. we should note the first of the sound bites with from the abc interview. but she says she was shived by jim comey in her own book. do you get the sense that comey feels like it's personal here? >> i interviewed hillary clinton when her book came out and she said she felt shived by him. he's unlikely to take that view, of jim comey. but i think it's important to
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say this, he does not say he would do anything different with the hillary clinton e-mail investigation with the benefit of hindsight. i know a lot of democrats are very critical of him for how he handled that, and he acknowledges it was a really tough situation. but he does not apologize for it and does not express regrets. >> do you think comey made a mistake in how he handled the clinton e-mails? >> yes. the dichotomy of not disclosing one investigation, which he shouldn't have done. he shouldn't have made the trump investigation public, and the way he handled the clinton investigation by talking about it, testifying to congress, turning over the records and disclosing it ghen late departed from department policies. >> thank you all so much for your time today. this thursday, don't miss james comey's live interview with rachel maddow only on msnbc. coming up, outpouring of
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support. well wishes from around the world for barbara bush after the former first lady announces she won't seek further care for her failing health. more with andrea mitchell in houston next on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night. hold on dad... liberty did what? yeah, liberty mutual 24-hour roadside assistance helped him to fix his flat so he could get home safely. my dad says our insurance doesn't have that. don't worry - i know what a lug wrench is, dad. is this a lug wrench? maybe? you can leave worry behind when liberty stands with you™. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance.
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> we turn now back to andrea mitchell, who is in houston, covering former first lady barbara bush. andrea? >> reporter: thank you. as we have been reporting, former first lady barbara bush is in failing health and will not seek additional medical treatment. she's been in and out of the hospital for quite some time. instead now remaining at home with her loved ones. at aged 92, she's one of the most beloved first ladies in american history. she's known for her humor and whit and devotion to family. the matriarch, the wife of one president -- >> the president of the united states. >> reporter: and the moth tore a second, marrying george h.w. bush. they are the longest married couple in presidential history,
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writing, i am still old and still in love with the man i married 72 years ago. >> i love you. >> i love you, too. >> a fierce defender of her family, she was a popular first lady. >> i want to thank my entire family with a special emphasis on a woman named barbara. [ applause ] >> reporter: creating a foundation to promote family literacy. her love for her own family always on display, appearing several times with her granddaughter jenna. >> why do you think we call you the enforceer? >> because i enforce. if you do something bad, i point it out to you. >> reporter: her whit and wisdom in full force here at wellesley college as first lady. >> at the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. you will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent. >> reporter: an important life
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lesson for all of us. joining me now, ron coughman, former white house political director. thank you very much to both of you. ron, first of all, to you, what are you hearing from the family? obviously a very difficult time, but she is surrounded by those who she loves most. >> she is, andrea. and she is doing what she wants to do her way. which is no surprise to anyone who loves her. she's very much at peace with herself. she'll do it her way. >> and john, you wrote the biography of george herbert walker bush. you spent so much time over the decades with this family. her influence should not be
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underestimated. known as the enforcer. we know bush 43 called her the silver fox. >> right. you know, i think without barbara bush, there is no president george h.w. bush, and therefore no president george w. bush. when i said that around her, she squirreled her eyes. but she's the first lady of the greatest generation. they met three weeks after pearl harbor, not even thee weeks at the greenwich country club at a dance. she was wearing a red and green dress that caught poppy bush's eye. he asked to be introduced, and that's it. that was the whole thing. she married the only man she ever kissed as she likes to put it. cher childr her children want to throw up when they hear that. her legacy is wonderful. one side of that is in those
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dark days in 1992, when things were going politically so poorly for the president, people started wearing buttons re-elect barbara's husband. a lot of people were thinking of it in just those terms. >> i remember in a news conference in june of '92, when a very tough time in the campaign, ross perot was winning in a three-way race against bill clinton and george bush. one correspondent asked president bush why he wanted re-election. he said, bar and i were talking about that this morning. i guess it's because my mother always told me you finish what you start. it was that some said lack of a vision that hurt him politically, baa that was so classically george bush and
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barbara bush and their obligation to the country. >> i have to agree with john on his thoughts about without barbara bush if there would have been a president bush. i remember one of the first times i ever heard her talk, she's talking to a group, and at the end, someone got up and said you've done so many great things in your life with your husband and your travel all over the world. what to you is the best part of it? she looked at him and said look, that's a softball question as they say in the press. i married a man with a love that will never man and i have five happy, content, wonderful kids. after that, it's all secondary. she's just the best to be around.
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in 1977, i remember a conversation. i walked out and i said, i'm scared to death of barbara bush, and i was with her a couple of weeks ago down in houston, and i was given some brilliant political advice, and she said to me, ron, that's the dumbest thing i ever heard, and i realized that 20 years later, i still fear barbara bush. but she's the best. >> i think we all are afraid of that shortstarp tongue. john, this family has such ties. imagine, and you're the
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historian. abigail adams, the only other woman -- that's extraordinary. >> they married in january of 1945, when there was every expectation that lieutenant junior grade george herbert walker bush was going back to the pacific to be part of the invasion of the home islands of japan. she, like so many other women in the second world war, went to work on an assembly line. she waited in the watches of the night, wondering if her fiance, her husband would make it home. they moved to odessa, texas, any a great adventure. her mother, pauline pierce, sent boxes of soap and detergent to the bushes in odessa, because she didn't think they had those things in texas. they went to midland, california, back to midland, they went to houston, they went
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to beijing, new york, washington, back and forth. and they went to war. they ended a cold war. she was one of the first public figures to publicly embrace hiv-infected both infants and adults in public. her call to work for literacy went on and on and on unto this day. you know, you showed the wellesley clip, the wellesley undergraduates started protesting with the certitude of youth that they were honoring her because of who she married, not because of who she was. and she graciously just said, there's not one path in life, there are many paths and we have to honor them. i think she believed in the country, she believed in george bush.
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my god, does she believe in george bush. and she believes in the possibilities of the country. i think she deserves a place in the history of the nation, not only for who she married and gave birth to but because of who she was. >> she certainly earned that indeed. thanks so much to both of you, as we continue to think about barbara bush and wishing her and her family well. and back to my colleague in washington. >> a fitting tribute there. right now, president trump is in florida outside of miami attending a roundtable discussion on tax cuts. our white house correspondent jeff bennett is cover president trump's trip to florida. jeff? >> we're so thrilled. >> reporter: i'm using my golf voice, considering the event here that is happening behind me. yes, the president is ostensibly going to talk about the benefits of the republican tax cuts.
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you'll remember just a couple of weeks ago at a previous tax cut roundtable he held up his prepared remarks, threw them aside and said they were boring. this is an establishment crowd -- >> forgive me, jeff. i think we're going to listen to president trump for a moment. >> it will be simple and easy to do, and very importantly, you're going any a lot of money left over from what you have. and we didn't get one democrat to vote for us. and senator nelson was hostile to it. and let me tell you, if nor any reason they get in, meaning the democrats, they're going to raise your taxes, they're going to terminate this. of course i'll veto it. but eventually they want to terminate and raise your taxes. and we cannot let that happen, because this country is starting to rock with our businesses coming in. it's starting to really rock. [ applause ]
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so we've had massive tax cuts. and i mean massive. we've had tremendous success from the company standpoint and from the people's stand point. they have a lot more money to spend. something happened that we didn't expect, when we first started this, it started with at&t, that they give $1,000 bonuses to their employees. then all of a sudden other companies came along, and now you have -- so many of the big companies have given bonuses to the people that work for the companies. that was unexpected. nobody thought that was going to happen. and you see what's happened to your wallet. you're getting a lot more money in your weekly or monthly checks that you ever thought possible. so people are really liking it.
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it's great for the country. our taxes were among the highest, i would say the highest in the world from the business stand point. that's why businesses were leaving. now they're not the lowest but they're on the low side, but businesses are pouring back into the united states. and that means jobs. that means jobs. [ applause ] so we've created since election day, that beautiful, beautiful day. was that a great day? [ cheers and applause ] that was a beautiful day. we got a big, big percentage vote over here, didn't we? we got a big percentage vote. but since election day, we've created 3 million new jobs. 3 million. [ applause ] and people, if i would have said
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that prior to the election, 3 million jobs, they would have said that's ridiculous. that's an exaggeration. how would it be possible? we would have take an lot of heat. but we've created 3 million new jobs, and now the number is higher. since election day, 3 million new jobs. unemployment rates for hispanics, are there any hispanics in the room? [ cheers and applause ] for hispanics, we have the lowest level ever recorded. in other words, you have more employment, think of it, lowest level unemployment rates. for african-americans, the lowest level ever recorded. and i'm really proud of that. [ applause ] unemployment for women, for women, lowest level in 18 years. women out there? [ cheers and applause ] so that means if you're a woman
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and hispanic, or a woman and african-american, you are really doing well, right? i used to take heat for it, what do you have to lose? every once in a while, i would say if it was a rambunctious stadium or something, i would say what the hell do you have to lose, and i would get criticized by those people, the fake media back there. [ cheers and applause ] i would get criticized for using the word "hell." there's a heck of a lot worse than that. but the economy, larry kudlow is here someplace. where is larry? larry, stand up. [ applause ] he said the economy is at the
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early phase of the earliest -- this would be one of the greatest booms ever. i think it will be, because the companies are so strong and ready to rock. what do you think, larry? good, i thought you would have said that. would you imagine if he said i disagree with that. [ inaudible ] everybody's going to benefit he said. [ applause ] that's right. and very importantly, and by the way, john bolton is here. we just had a big -- [ applause ] john. so i think -- [ cheers and applause continues ]
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john, that's pretty good. i didn't expect that. i'm a little jealous. are you giving him all the credit? you know that means the end of his job. [ laughter ] did our generals do a great job? did our military do a great job? [ cheers and applause ] and you know, we're way over 100 missiles shot in, they didn't shoot one down. their equipment didn't work too well. and they didn't shoot one -- you heard, oh, they shot 40 down, then 50. every single one hit its target. think of that. so we have the biggest tax cut in history, bigger than the reagan tax cut. bigger than any tax cut. but what else? the individual mandate is gone.
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that's called obamacare, which is about the end of obamacare. so we had obamacare, and one senator decided to go thumbs down. do you remember that? no, nobody remembers. thumbs down. it's all right, because alex acosta has come up and this is the plan that a lot of people have wanted for a long time. we're going any tremendous sign-ups. alex, when is that going to be ready where people can start signing and doing it in groups and through cooperatives, et cetera? >> that's right, mr. president. we hope any that by this summer. >> it's going to be incredible. you're going to get tremendous insurance at a very low cost. so the individual mandate is dead. anwr is up, that's the big energy -- and a person called up from the energy business. he said, is it true that you're
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going to get anwr as part of your tax cut plan? so we have the individual mandate, anwr. i said yeah, that's true. he said, it's amazing. he didn't benefit by it. he said they've been trying to get this passed since ronald reagan. nobody could get it done. it's perhaps the biggest, the best in the world in terms of energy, in terms of a field. he said nobody has been able to get it done. as soon as i heard that, i called up and i said put that back in the bill quickly. [ laughter ] and we got it done. marco, we got it done. that was a big deal. that's a lot of jobs in alaska. that's a lot of jobs. [ applause ] so this is another thing, the tax cut is massive. and not since reagan, but this is -- you look at this, it's
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bigger than anything ever past. very importantly, that's a tremendous asset to our country, but we did another thing that people don't talk about much, we cut regulations at a level that nobody has seen in the history of our country. more than any other president. so i'm here 15, 16 months, and we've cut more regulations than any president, whether it's four years, eight years, or 16 years. nobody is even close. and we're not finished yet. [ applause ] roads and highways would take 17, 18 years to get a permit, or even worse, it goes out 17 years and voted down. we're looking to get it down to two years, maybe one year, and maybe get rejected. but if it does, it will get rejected quickly. you're not going to take an entire lifetime to get something approved, and then you find out -- and i've had projects where it took years and years
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and you go, fortunately they got approved. but i've had projects that took four, five years to get approved. and i said to myself going into the final approval, i say if these people don't approve this, i've wasted millions and millions of dollars and wasted five or six years of my life trying to get this approved. it's not right. you know if something is good and if it's going to get approved. so we have the biggest regulation cut. and i'm not so sure that the regulation cut suspeisn't even important than this massive tax cut. so things that would take two decades to get approved can be done in two years, even one year. and again, if they're not safe, or environmentally good, if it's not great for our water and air and all the things that are so important, we're not going to approve it.
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but we have many jobs started now that would never start if the other administration came in. that's why you see the job numbers the way they are. the numbers are through the roof and the training numbers are through the roof. they don't talk about regulation much. i think it's as important as the big massive tax cuts. so i just want to let you know that. a business and consumer confidence in our country is at an all-time high. and the tax cuts for a family, let's talk about just families now. because number one, the jobs, you have choice. we're creating choice for our great veterans. this is a different kind of choice. [ cheers and applause ] so this is a different kind of choice. this is choice for a job. in the past, jobs weren't doing great and you would have one job, we have choice. people are hiring and wages for
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the first time in 18 years are going up, because i used to make the speeches. i came down here and made one. wages were stagnant. and even going down, people made more money 18 years ago and today they're working up. congratulations. enjoy your money. congratulations. so today, we're joined by florida business owners and workers who are experiencing the incredible results of the tax cuts, and i'd like to invite each of you to share some of your stories, if we can start. let's start right at the end of the table. >> thank you, mr. president. >> look like a prosperous guy. i have to say. >> trying to be. my name is alberto, a cuban-american descent born and raised in florida and very proud of that. >> we have been watching president trump at a business roundtable event in hialeah, florida. ? our jeff bennett has been watching. your takeaways from today? >> -- in 1992. >> reporter: the president really did stick to the script.
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talked about his track record and cutting regulations. he talked about the benefits of the gop tax cut package. that's in large part because, kasie, this crowd is a republican establishment crowd. hialeah, florida, is a gop stronghold. it's home to a lot of cub cuban-americans who support president trump. so in that way you didn't hear him sort of return to the familiar territory he so often does in these settings. repeats to unfounded claims about illegal immigration and voter fraud, although he got in a dig against the fake news media. unfortunately for us seems to be a crowd pleaser in settings like these. seeing a far more disciplined president on the stump here. doing frankly what members of the republican establishment want him to do ahead of the midterm elections. to focus on what they see as their successful track record. kasie? >> certainly. quite a few other controversies are unfolding that seem to have captured the president's attention, as you point out.
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and great he is on tax reform today. much more ahead on "andrea mitchell reports." stay with us. to stay successful in business you have to navigate a lot of moving parts. on "your business" we have your back with expert advice on topics from getting funding to create eye-catching marketing. each week we focus on ideas for growing your business. bringing all the moving parts together. join me weekend mornings on msnbc or connectny time on all your devices. ♪ ♪ don't work your way upfront without it. ♪ ♪ and don't watch her dance, like nobody's watching without it. ♪ ♪ early ticket access... another way we have your back. the powerful backing of american express. don't live life without it.
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turning now to the fallout from the bombing in syria. today chemical weapons inspector saying denied access by russia and syria to inspect the site of the poison gas attack in duma which killed dozens prompting missile strike over the weekend. all three coalition leaders defending the strikes. president trump saying the raid
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was perfectly carried out. let's go back to andrea mitchell in houston and we have john mclaughlin and msnbc national security analyst joining me here on-set. start with you to answer this big question. what is the strategy in syria right now? and what are the big strategic questions facing the united states? >> kasie, i think there really is no strategy we can put or finger on here. there are at least three messages that come out of the administration. one from the president. one from the executive branch, largely the agencies. people like john bolton. and another from the congress. so i think we are left really without a coherent strategy, and the big decision looming for the united states here strategically is -- do we go small or do we go big? by small i mean, focus as the president has said on finishing off the isis problem. or do we take a larger look here and realize that all of the problems of the middle east converge in syria, and to have
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an impact we have to really up the game diplomatically, and militarily, in order to have an impact on the outcome of this -- this vast syria problem. >> andrea, we're learning there's going to be an all-senators briefing tomorrow. reuters reporting that's that got to be dunford and mattis briefing them. as john alludes to, my sense, a lot more support in congress for the limited version of this mission. already a lot of noise about a potential use of military force. certainly if the strategy is broader than just an isis fighting strategy? seems it might get more traction. your thoughts? >> reporter: i think it is getting more traction. in fact, foreign relations chairman corker is ready to bring it up, and is agreeing now with tim kaine and other of the democrats that they need to at least address this. give it some debate. look, you had the french president, macron, coming here for a state visit in a matter of another week. contradicting the president.
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saying he persuaded the president for a broader investment in syria, and the white house very strongly pushing back against that. you still have a contradiction coming from the white house as to what the president's strategy is, and the disconnect between him wanting to get out of syria the week before and then after the chemical attack, wanting to be all-in and having to be dialed back by mattis and dunford from the pentagon, who gave him a much more limited option. he chose that action because they are in conflict between a broader strategy that would necessarily engage russia, and the syrian regime, and lead to a deeper involvement militarily than the president has been willing to contemplate. i think there is right now a real concern at the pentagon that this president is not ready to be commander in chief over a real investment. not ready to follow through on what he talked about after the chemical attack.
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>> john mcglauf lynclaughlin, we implication? >> they're clear. at this.iran, russia, turkey to a degree really have the strongest position in syria. getting out too soon means basically you're turning syria over to russia and iran with great danger posed to our allies. israel and jordan. and fundamentally, you're sending a message in the middle east and beyond that the u.s. is no longer a leader in this part of the world and by implication, globally. i think it's a big, big deal. syria. >> of course, probably why mattis and others are trying to talk him away from doing that. thank you for your time today. appreciate it. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember, follow the show online, on facebook and twitter @mitchellreports. craig melvin is up next right here on msnbc. craig? >> kasie, good to see you. craig melvin at msnbc he headquarters in new york city. presidential privilege. should president trump decide
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what evidences for michael cohen is covered under attorney/client privilege? the president and his team think so. and storming the court. stormy daniels, the woman who started it all trolling the president's attorney when he appears in court in less than an hour. why she's there, and what she plans to say. plus, war of words. the president done leashing a tirade against former fbi director james comey after comey says the president is morally unfit to serve and possibly obstructing justice. why doesn't the white house end this, by saying nothing, instead of helping comey sell books? plus, starbucks outrage. another day of protest in philadelphia after police escorted two black men who allegedly refused to leave is starbucks apology too little, too late? to those stories in a moment. we start at u.s. district court in low are manhattan this afternoon. president trump's personal attorney michael cohen will walk into that courtroom there very soon. cohen will be asking

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