that the comedian's comments showed the disconnect with the american people, i actually think the reaction inside the belt way shows the disconnect. the american people have more mettle than what we're seeing in reaction to this. >> my thanks to joe, david, abby, heidi and all my colleagues who broke this unbelievable story at 4:00 p.m. we love you more than anybody else in the building right now. that does it for our hour, i'm nicole wallace. if it's monday, it's the chief of staff vs. the commander in chief. good evening, i'm ste.
it looks like what could be the beginning to the end of john kelly, the white house chief of staff. kelly has called the president multiple times, that he's cast himself as the savior of the country against the president and his erratic urges and he has eroded morale in the west wing, and he has told aides that women are more emotional than men. kelly criticized the president's knowledge on immigration, saying, quote, he doesn't even understand what daca is, he's an idiot, we've got to save him from himself. the president is aware of some, but not all of kelly's comments. and we should know that the president is pushing back on aspects of this reporting. we'll get to that in a moment. the biggest question is how long can kelly survive these kinds of revelations? you might remember that last
year, a report emerged that rex tillerson referred to trump as a moron, it was after that that tillerson was fired through a tweet. we bring in msnbc national political reporter carol lee. so carol, the white house chief of staff calling the president an idiot on a number of occasions? give us what we need to know here. >> reporter: there several aides inside the white house that general kelly has cast him as a principal of sorts, he kind of insults the president, he questions whether he understands the policies and says things like, he's the one, john kelly speaking, he's the one who understands these issues and that he's saving the country from at any minute some sort of catastrophe. and what we learned in our reporting is that that's really worn thin in the west wing, that white house officials are tired
of hearing this, particularly when they hear of john kelly's public image, as a disciplinary, who conducts business in the white house, when they see a portrait of a man who's quite undisciplined and indiscriminate by the way he talks during meetings and on capitol hill. how long he lasts is anyone's guess. we have seen this before where somebody is on the outs with the president, an they wind up sticking around for several months, so nobody was exactly sure whether to say if the president is going to get rid of kelly, but these two men have certainly grown a little tired of each other. >> you are pointing to a number of sources here, but as we said, the white house is officially pushing back on some of these things, what exactly are they taking issue with? what exactly are they pushing
back against? and what is the force you're laying out here? >> reporter: we spoke with members of the white house press office who said they don't believe kelly called the president on multiple occasions, that's not necessarily a word that he would use, so they're pushing back on that. they're saying that kelly still has the respect, generally of the white house staff and that he's still chief of staff and when he says an order, that the staff will carry out that order. you know, they're saying that we talked about some of the comments that kelly has made that have kind of shocked some women in the white house, particularly he'll say something like, women are more emotional than men, their white house press office said, you know, one of them said, frankly they believe women are more emotional than men, so they really didn't make much of that. and then there's -- there were these meetings about immigration that happened in recent months where kelly was questioning the
president's grasp on the issue of immigration and then after a bipartisan deal fell apart that kelly was not hard line enough. according to part parents in the meeting, he had saved trump from cutting a really bad deal. and the white house saying that didn't happen. so there are a number of things they are saying that he didn't necessarily say or a do, if he ever said something like i'm the one saving the country, perhaps he said it in jest, so there's push back on that as well. >> again, what we're hearing, is there's sort of a bill of goods being given to you from different sources, is part of their agenda here they want him gone, they have an ax to grind against him, is that part of the formula here? >> we spoke to a number of officials and any time you do a story like this, you always take into consideration what somebody's motivations are, so
you spend a lot of time and speak to a lot of people and get a very accurate portrait so you're not just taking one person's word for it. we spent weeks working on this reporting and we spoke with a number of officials who have independently have told the same story, so that is where our reporting comes from and we obviously have a very rigorous process and we feel confident in that process and we are confident in what we have been told by a number of officials. >> you say just the roots of this dissent within the white house there, when it comes to john kelly, you're pointing specifically to rob porter, the allegations there of domestic abuse, kelly's handling of that and the position he put folks inside the white house, you're saying that might be a big part of what's going on here? >> reporter: that seems like a turning point for many white house officials and i think that it basically became this
instance where all of what people describe as kelly's shortcomings kind of came together to make a bad situation worse. i think what white house officials told us is they were concerned that kelly was saying one thing publicly, and actually doing something differently privately. you know, he had access to rob porter's fbi file, we're told that he actually encouraged him to stay for at least 18 hours after the first report of these allegations, kelly later told staffers to say that he had moved to fire porter within an hour, there are some staffer who is stand by that and say kelly is correct. but more staffers said that that wasn't correct, that that wasn't how things happened in the west wing and that kelly was actually a really big advocate for rob porter and was telling people within the white house that based on the knowledge he had about rob porter's marriages, that these allegations were questionable and he knew more
than there was in news reports and in one instance he said how much more does rob porter have to endure before his honor can be restored? so that is a very different picture than the one that kelly tried to put forward publicly, and that is that he moved really quickly to remove rob porter because of the aelszs. -- allegations. we're going to break this down with tonight's panel, we have elise jordan, msnbc political analyst, former rand paul adviser. jonathan la mere, msnbc analyst, and before i get to all three of you, we were talking about the response from the white house, we now have this, this is from sarah huckabee sanders passing along this statement about john
kelly. these are john kelly's words, i spend more time with mr. kelly than anyone else and we have a very candid relationship. he and i both know this story is b.s., this is another pathetic attempt to smear someone close to president trump. that is a statement being given to us from the white house by the chief of jaf jostaff john ko this reporting. jonathan la mere, seeing this response from john kelly, the chief of staff saying, still, there's no distance between me and the president, is that likely what's going on behind the scenes there? >> it's an aggressive push back, no doubt about it. but you remember that kelly also went to bat for h.r. mcmaster, about a week before he was dismissed. that doesn't mean that john kelly is going to be chief of staff for a long time. but there is a divide between the chief of staff and the
president. we have reported, other outlets have reported similar stories that he's lost a lot of influence with the president in recent months, trump is tired of being told no. that he's tired of not being able to consult with who he wants. he likes the style he had before john kelly came into the office. he's chafing at the restrictions that kelly has put upon him. and he's told people close to him for some weeks now that he's cut kelly out of certain decisions, that he's not as visible as he used to be and certainly not as influential as he used to be. >> let me ask you this in that context, we know the president is sensitive to what his presentation is in the press, somebody calling him an idiot, he would take offense to. is there a way for somebody like kelly to talk his way out of this,or when he sees this in president, that south of turns him off?
>> it would be hard for kelly to -- the president certainly is often kind of scatter shot in his approach. i think scott pruitt is an example of that, as someone who has survived scandal after scandal after scandal. but pruitt also had a lot of real defenders among conservatives, among republicans on the hill. kelly certainly began this tenure with a lot of those, but he has lost some support, certainly within the building, when he was brought in and meant to sort of streamline the process, get a better handle on how the white house would run from day to day, there were a lot of staffers from a young age who said that kelly was trying to instill some discipline into this building. i think what we're seeing here is people inside the building
talking negatively about kelly, leaking information like this in an attempt to undermine him, because they don't have the confidence in him this they used to. >> it's interesting to read the comments being attributed to kelly here. a lot of people's public perception, in public, it's set off, people will say kelly is the stabilizing influence, kelly is the adult. we have heard all these public characterizations, but to hear the conversations that he himself is engaging in, and people are talking about in the white house there, i'm trying to think back in the past, do people talk this way in white houses at all? >> absolutely not and i think i would go back to the word you just used, discipline. from the white house from the top going down to low level aides, it was impressed on us if we had a complaint about that, we were never to utter it. we were not to talk to the press, we were not to talk in a negative way, and you also didn't want to because there was loyalty, that was the same way
in the obama white house, you didn't see all this constant back biting and just the insults of such a caliber that you wonder why these individuals would choose to work for someone under such conditions and dead dadead -- dedicate their career to this when they obviously have such little faith in them. and it's coming from so many people, so many leaks and you consider the proximity of a chief of staff to certain staffers, so this makes me feel like this is repeated, his commentary on donald trump. >> it does look like there's a list of grievances, sort of an airing of grievances that we're hearing here. the headline is calling the president an idiot. but we're also hearing staffers with a lot of different grievances here, it almost feels like there's a dare, there's bait being put out there for the president, this is something he can't resist responding to, if you want to get kelly out, this is what you lead to.
>> if you're trying to get yourself fired in donald trump's white house, you can have your boss, put some words in his mouth speaking ill of the president, that's the way to do it. it seems to be the kiss of death. but from an outsider's perspective, when you're not in washington, for ordinary americans, they're looking at the game of survivor. and it's fun to get caught up in that. but some of the accusations, to the extent they're true, about rob porter, the way john kelly handled that, some of the ones that are coming out today, hymn discussing that females, women are more emotional and that's upsetting to staff. those are things that are actually beyond the politics of it are really of concern, and you know, to anyone who cares about who is in the white house, and what kind of people are running the country. and i think that cuts beyond politics. it's just, i think, part of the frustration with politics sometimes with folks i speak to
who aren't in the center of it and who aren't insiders, it's just that kelly comes out with this statementare -- pushing back, trying to make it seem like he's loyal to the president. >> what do you think his a appetite to continue? maybe the president, not having the confidence he used to have and does he want to. >> the people we have talked to closing to kelly that he had grown somewhat disenchanted with this position, when he took the job last july, he said publicly and privately, it was the hardest job he had ever taken, that he felt like it was important, that he was not just helping the president, but helping the country. i think people that we talked to in recent weeks, he no longer thinks he can make that.
this certainly doesn't help him make that goal. he certainly could throw up his hands and say i don't need this, i have had a distinguished military career, but he's still thought of very highly in many places outside of the building, but at this point anyway, he has said he values -- his patriotism leads him to go to day after day in this job, he won't quit, he would probably have to be fired. and a story like this, almost does seem like a dare to the president to make that happen. >> how do you feel, elise, about the potential post john kelly white house. we know the promise that he was brought in, with sort of bring in order, be the adult, that we have heard many times, if it ends in a moment in the near future, a post john kelley white house, how long do you think that would run? >> john kelly's role seems to
have been a demotion to fill that staff secretary role. see it seems like he's playing more of a role pushing paper somewhat, than playing the chief of staff role, someone like john pruitt, someone like john kelley saying, he's got to go. you also have read reports that donald trump thinks that, hey, maybe i don't even need a chief of staff, i like it to be decentralized and then i'm really deciding everything on my own. i do this this statement from john kelly has to be an absolute first in terms of the white house releasing the statement, with the terms b.s., that's really how far we have sunk in the trump era if the official white house press shop is releasing press releases with expletives. >> in a traditional sense, if donald trump was the president, you would have a traditional chief of staff, and it can't work with john kelly, it seems
like that model won't work here. >> usually you issue a press statement for the public, but really it seems like they're just talking to each other. so i'm not quite sure what that's about, but i think that it just look, really petty and it looks like children are in control in washington. >> all right, panel stay with us, at least jonathan mayer, more with you guys ahead. and also the president making his case for meeting kim jong-un in the demilitarized zone, it is tricky though. w soo every chip will crack. these friends were on a trip when their windshield got chipped. so they scheduled at safelite.com. they didn't have to change their plans or worry about a thing. i'll see you all in a little bit. and i fixed it right away with a strong repair they can trust. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> tech: being there whenever you need us that's another safelite advantage. >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace.
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of staff, privajohn kelly, in pe calling the president an idiot. aides have said that john kelly has eroded morale in the white house. a statement from john kelly himself, he calls the story b.s., nbc news had been trying to get an on the record comment for five days before publishing this story. andy card was the chief of staff to george w. bush in the early 2000s, he joins us now by phone. andy, thank you for taking a few minutes, i just wanted to get your reaction to our reporting that we're being told that the white house chief of staff on multiple occasions has been riv referring to the president in meetings as an idiot.
>> i don't put much stock in those stories because there's always people on the staff that think they can undermine the chief of staff, and he serves at the pleasure of the president, not anybody else. so he's got an audience of one, maybe twoi ivf you count the fit lady, if john kelly's serving as chief of staff, until the president says he's not, he's the chief of staff. a -- and i don't think an effort to undermine him through gossip is -- the chief of staff always serves at the pleasure of the president for the time being, that's the reality. if the time being shows up, then it's gone. if the chief of staff tries to determined that, he may try to make that displeasure happen, but it's usually the president that resists other people forcing him to do something. so i think john kelly is the chief of staff until he's not
and he understands that. the rules of the road are aprpry well understood when you're chief of staff. i know there's infighting, it's not the first time there's infighting in the white house. and i don't think that morale has been as adversely impacted over the recent six weeks h s a other people are saying. i think that john kelly is keeping his head down and making sure the trains are on time and maybe some other people are jealous of that. so i don't take that story as literally as it's been portrayed. >> i think one of the themes, it seems in covering this administration for the last year and a half, is that a lot of the rules of the road in the past don't necessarily apply to how things have been running here. take me through that pittsburgh, if you woupittsburgh, -- first, if you would, what were the rules of the road when
it came to house a chief of staff would speak about the president in the meeting, the president is not present in the meeting, but it's a meeting with staffers, a meeting with members of congress, what traditionally have been the rules of the road there? >> first of all, i tend not to believe when other people say the chief of staff said there and he says it's b.s. i tend to go with the chief of staff's comments rather than others that may or may not have been in meetings and sometimes rumors of a meeting become perceived to be reality to people who weren't in the meeting and they repeat it. so i don't know who was claiming this and, hey, maybe he disagreed with the president on one or two things. i certainly disagreed with george w. bush on one or two things, and we would speak candidly about it. and if people want to cite that, that's the chief of staff. you don't serve to solicit bless from tbless -- pleasure from the president,
you're there to serve the president. if he has the pleasure of the president, he's serving the president well, if the president loses confidence in john kelly, then he's not serving at the pleasure of the president. he's here to make sure that the president is well served by his staff, which means there has to be policy discipline, structural respect and respect for the oval office. i bet john kelly respects the oval office and the job the president has to do. >> you're skeptical about this reporting, i could say there are multiple sources that are cited here from this team report, but certainly it's your right to that review. but the question i'm asking you there is a more specific one, just based on your experience. you say you've had disagreements yourself with george w. bush as his chief of staff. i'm asking you traditionally, what the protocol would be for where and how you would express that with the president?
did protocol dictate that you express to it the staff? did the rules of the road dictate how you expressed it to the staff? >> i don't think there's any rules of the road. to me, how is john kelly working with the president? if the president loses confidence in kelly, that's different than the staff hoping the president loses confidence. i would suspect that john kelly has a pretty candid relationship with the president and walk in and say hey this is what they're saying, i think it's this or that or whatever, and the president would say, keep doing your job, i like what you're doing for me, that means he's the chief of staff. other people might not like it, that's the whiay it goes, if there's proof to the story that impacts the ability of john kelley to work with the president or the president to
work with john kelley, that's up to the president and john kelly, it's not up to the staff. >> thank you very much for your time. ahead, the party split, why do both democrats and republicans believe in one thing, that their side is always losing, no matter which side they're on? we'll get to that ahead. as a control enthusiast, i'm all-business when i travel... even when i travel... for leisure. so i go national, where i can choose any available upgrade in the aisle - without starting any conversations- -or paying any upcharges. what can i say? control suits me. go national. go like a pro.
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and we got to win the senate, and i think we're going to do great in the senate and i think beer going we're going to do great in the house because the kbeconomy is good. the economy is so good. >> that's president trump in michigan over the weekend, holding one of those campaign style rallies, winning, that's been one of the themes of donald trump in his campaign life, remember he said, you're going to get tired of winning to his supporters. guess what, a year into his presidency, on the poll of winning in the political dwiivi, asked folk, asked all americans, do you think your side has been doing more winning or more losing? the country's kind of united. 2/3 say my side is on the losing side. we're supposed to be a 50/50%
divided, here's when you start to break down that divide by party. this one not so surprising. democrats say my side's doing more losing than winning lately. of course democrats are going to say that, republicans have to the senate, republicans have the house, republicans have all those state legislative chambers and governor ships. but ask republicans, they got everything i just put out there in terms of political power, yet a majority of republicans say their side is losing more than it's winning. why is that? well, maybe that's just sort of a natural condition, maybe as humans we like to think negatively. maybe there's something more, maybe there's something that's bigger with politics, it has gotten more liberal in the last few years, maybe not congress, but culture has. maybe republicans, maybe conservatives, look at that and say i don't care, we got a
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welcome back. we're joined by republican congressman charlie dent. he's leaving congress in the coming wreakeeks. he's made no secret of his political plans. we knew you were going to run. but you're leaving imminently now. your seat's going to be vacant for a while, do you feel you're leaving your seat a little early? >> i announced in september that
i wouldn't be seeking re-election, and i have reached the point in time that i need to start making decisions and so sometime before memorial day i will exit retirement. >> we have more republican retirements than democratic retirements, more republican retirements than we usually see for the controlling party at this point. is there a sense there among your republican colleagues on capitol hill, that a democratic wave is coming this fall? >> steve, i don't think there's any question that my republican colleagues know they're going to be running into some very heavy head winds, they know just based on historical patterns, to obviously we have president donald trump, the anger and the energy on the democratic side is palpable, you can see it, you can feel it. so there are very few republicans who are operating on under any illusions here, they know they're going to be running in a tough cycle, no question about it. >> do they feel that it's
something they can manage, there's a way to run their campaign, structure their campaign, i also spoke to ryan k costello. he basically said trying to reconcile the demands of a pro trump republican base, with a swing voter general election audience is basically impossible. >> well, i tend to agree with ryan costello, he's made a very fair point. but i would also say the way you run in this environmentali, i h run in wave years too, you got out there and you raise your money and then you have to go out there and define your opponent, for anything else. even in a year like this, it's tough to move the needle on your opponent company the need is against you, define your opponent early, and you're going to have to go negative, very hard, very early and throughout the whole campaign. a lot of people aren't going to like hearing that, but that's
what they need to do. >> there's a fear about this midterm election, if one party controls everything, it almost doesn't matter what the other party says or does, because voters are going to look for a check. if you're going to define voters in a climate like this where they're offering the power of a check. >> i think you do good opposition research and then you try to disqualify your opponent. this is just hard, brass nknuc e knuckles politics. that's what you have to do, you have to discredit the messenger, that's what has to be done in this kind of a cycle. of course it's going to be a referendum of the party in power and the party of the president of the united states. so you have to go out there and define your opponent, it's not always easy and it's a rough game. >> the republican party on capitol hill, the house republican conference that you're leaving behind has and it really has right now a vacuum,
paul ryan is leaving too, he's not running for re-election, he's stepping down, whether the next republican leader is the speaker or the minority leader, that's to be decided. but you republicans have a big choice about your future. you have scalise out there, you have kevin mccarthy out there, you should be able to say who should be leaving things on the republican side post 2018? >> kevin mccarthy ask a very skillful political operator. i do have a lot of confidence in his political abilities so i think if paul were to vacate, that kevin would step up. i think scalise is ready for it too. but i think kevin is ready for that assignment if called. >> republicans went through this in 1994, back then it was a 40-year democratic reign when they got control of the house in
'94. but i remember republicans say being in the minority party, it gave them a further sense of what they needed to do when they got the majority. is there a sense that a minority might do the republican party some good there in the house? >> if you have ever served in the minority, i tell you one thing, you learn how to become unified quicker. and it's easy to become unified. one of the problems we have had as house republicans is this, a lot of us haven't served in the republican minority. and you don't realize the honor and privilege of being the controlling party. you know, the basics of budgeting, appropriations bills, or the government debt ceiling, that lack of discipline is the
fact that many members never served in the minority, and how awful it is to be told what you're going to do every day and how you're going to do it and when you're going to do it. when you're in the majority party you decide when things are going to get brought up and you have more input. and that wonderful responsibility hasn't been fully appreciated and you won't appreciate it until you're on the other side. >> charlie dent, republican from pennsylvania, at least for the next few weeks. and they had the drama over the white house correspondents dinner. are politicos right to complain about the comedy routine?
[ding] [boxing bell ding] [applause] welcome back. it's time to heat the midterms. minnesota's democratic senator tena smith who was appointed to replace al franken is now going to face a primary challenge in her quest for a full term this fall. it's going to come from richard painter, you may recognize him as a major critic of the trump administration, he was a chief white house ethics lawyer under george w. bush. yes, he was a republican, but he is changing hiss parties to run against smith as a democrat. i was with painter right after he announced his candidacy and asked him if it was -- painter was clear he would have wanted
to wait for any investigation to play out before saying. >> i don't know the facts. i think we should find out the facts, not just when powerful men are accused of sexual harassment and sexual assault, the most famous men, but other men. >> and it is definitely going to be quite a political year in minnesota. this was weactually just one of two democrats on the ballot this year. we'll be back after this very quick break. playing a little hide-n-seek. cold... warmer... warmer... ah boiling. jackpot. and if you've got cut-rate car insurance, you could be picking up these charges yourself. so get allstate, where agents help keep you protected from mayhem... ...like me. mayhem is everywhere. are you in good hands?
about the mentality on capitol hill is that there's something that may be coming that they may not be too egg'ager about this year. >> i think the question is how bad is it going to be for the republican. i think the democrats have been so far pretty smart is about not trying to overplay their hand and they need their voters to come out. i think the republicans are, you're beginning to see the spin and to kind of stem the losses. these seats, he, tave been redr so that you can only lose so many republican seats. so we'll see if that holds. >> from a republican standpoint, how do you fire up the base this year? they seem to want democrats to shout for impeachment. if you don't do that, how do you get republicans fired up for this. >> republicans had hoped that they were going to be able to
rely on the tax cuts and tax reform as really driving out their base to vote. so far, unfortunately, the donald trump reality show really overshadows any actual accomplishments because they're forced to defend the indefensible. at the beginning of the year, i kind of thought that republicans would lose the house, i thought there was no way they would lose the senate. they only have eight seats to defend, compared to the democrats i think have to defend 24 seats. now i think there's actually a possibility that even the senate could flip. and you look at the motivation of the house at this point, we have over 43 republicans who are retiring and compare that to obama in 2012, at a similar time, 17. >> it's fascinating, too, at any other conceivable moment, the democrats would be on the verge of getting routed in the senate this year because they're looking at indiana, missouri,
montana, but when you get an unpopular president, and you're the opposition party, that's a formula that's worked before. >> yeah, it has. and the white house is wanting to figure out how to put president trump out there. he does want to remain popular with the base in a lot of these districts. we have seen the white house saying, the president is getting out on the road, well he hasn't really. they say he'll be out on the campaign trail in the fall, that he likes to do that. but people around the president, the president himself thinks, look, he doesn't believe that the house majority is in danger. or at the very least, he recognizes that might lose some seats, but he thinks they're going to hang on to it. much like in 2016, the polls were wrong, nobody saw it coming, he thinks that will happen again, his sheer
personality will reach out to republicans and they'll find a way to hang on. >> republicans could present him, his folks with all this you got to do this, you got to do this, and he could say i did ignore every single one of those and here i am as president. i thought this was fascinating, the new numbers from pugh. both sides seem to agree, they both think they're losing. >> that's interesting, isn't it? it's like we're living in two different worlds, we're sitting here in new york, so the folks that are in cities, i think in general, seem to think that this was a donald trump nightmare for them. and i think some of trump's base seems to feel like they are trying to, you know, catch up, because they have lost so much ground. and i'm not quite sure, you know, what you do about that. when people are so far apart. some of the polarization, certainly politically is in the way that districts have been drawn in recent years and that's
intensified things because you've lost so many moderates on both sides. but i think culturally, we couldn't be farther apart and that goes beyond politics. >> when you look at republicans governmentally control so much right now, and yet majorities say they're losing. is it culture? is that what they're feeling? >> i think it's a sense of somewhat crossing party lines of government just having so many problems and not actually delivering for its people. on the republican side, you have trump supporters who in focus groups tell you how they aren't necessarily concerned with donald trump, they're frustrated with congress that they see is not getting anything done. and then on the other side, you hear from democrats that they feel hopeless that any elected official is actually out for them, so they don't really feel that it even matters necessarily politically who they put in power, because nothing is going to change in today's washington. so the depression of all of this
is what i think is reflected in these numbers. >> first of all, if both sides think they're losing, that's a cause for more polarization, because if you don't think you're getting anything. if you think your site is losing, your idea of strategy is going to change, your approach to politics is going to change. >> remember when donald trump said that there would be so much winning that we would be tired or winning? this poll shows that most people don't feel that. most trump supporters don't blame the president, they blame those around him, they blame congress, they blame the obstructionist democrats. it's anger and disappointment across the board. i think that leads to more fwhegtivitfwhe negativity, i don't have any faith in government right now, there's no attempt for bipartisan bipartisanship, people have just polarized into their tribes, and
tannen. >> why don't you make like a tree and get out of here. >> thank you, biff. remember this last week, the trumps and macrons planting this oak tree sapling on the white house lawn as a symbol of unity and rebirth. but today, it's gone. it's now just a sad pitch of yellowish grass is all that's left, so what happened? the french ambassador to the u.s. tweeting the sapling was quarantined which is mandatory in any living organism to the u.s. that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. what exactly is the tree quarantine and where do you put the big face mask, trunk or branches. it will be replanted at some point later. it's like taking the sapling back to the future, if only there were a way. sorry, folks, we were just looking for a way to get that movie in there and i think mission accomplished. that's going to do it for
tonight. chuck will be back tomorrow with more "mtp daily" and "the beat" starts right now. aman h maman -- ayman mohyeldin for ari. breaking news this evening. john kelly calling president trump an idiot. nbc news exclusively reporting trump's chief of staff called him an idiot multiple times. four officials say they have seen john kelly refer to trump as an idiot with a shaky grasp on policy issues. in one meeting, kelly reportedly saying trump doesn't understand what daca is, and staffers need to save him from himself. in a statement late today, kelly pushed back saying he and trump both know this story is total bs. with me now, carol lee who broke that story, e.j. dionne and donna