tv MSNBC Live With Ayman Mohyeldin MSNBC August 12, 2018 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT
ayman has the night off. we want to get to what is happening in washington, d.c., at this very moment. within the last few hours white nationalists kicked off their rally in lafayette park. directly across from the white house. it's the same group from last year's rally in charlottesville. they are actually celebrating that event that left one young woman dead. a small group is being met with a much larger crowd of counterprotesters. with police in washington out in force to try to keep the peace there. n nbc's garrick hake is on the ground. >> reporter: yeah, david, gathe the past tense. in part because it started raining, thundering and like out here. in part, you mentioned the fact this rally wasn't much of a rally to speak about.
there was about maybe two dozen, maybe 20 attendees at this unite the right rally version two. this had been the endeavor in charlottesville last year. this time around, what we saw was a group that was largely leaderless, largely disorganized. lot of these folks coming in on the metro didn't even have metro cards in advance. they didn't have a coherent message. they were met when they got here by a huge counterprotest of folks who had all of those things. they had a message, a united voice and have big-time numbers. if you look around here, this is the scene that will meet those folks from the unite the right group, if and when they start to leave, this will not be a welcoming crowd. you see black lives matter flags, also a large antifa contingent here. they've been essentially patrolling this street over the last two hours waiting for these rallyi goe rallygoers to come back out at the end of the rally. the words have not been kind, david, and the hope among police, organizers here, is all
of this stays with words here as those maybe two dozen protesters will be escorted by a much larger group of police. like we saw when they arrived here earlier today. so, again, in summation of what we saw today, an overwhelming messaging victory by the counterprotesters so who said we don't stand for hate, don't want you on the streets of walk, d.c. concluding earlier than many people expected and in the daylight hours, still, it will conclude without violence, without confrontation, without anything that might mar at least from the counterprotester perspective what was an effective day making clear that this kind of language, this kind of hate, from the rallygoers, simply won't be tolerated here. >> garrett haake, right outside the old executive office building next to the white house in washington, d.c. where that protest was taking place. he's using the past tense. let me go to mike viqueira also in lafayette plaza. mike, let me ask you to play off
of that, if you would. garrett saying this is a small group, it's begun to dissipate. what are you seeing from your vantage point? >> reporter: david, appears it's all over but the shouting here. this group that was supposed to really start this rally in earnest as garrett was saying at 5:30, they got here early, they're leaving early. perhaps, it's got something to do with the skies that are starting to open up in washington, perhaps it's because they had their say. as we've been talking about over the course of the last several hours and there you see some of the police leaving. appears they have an escort. they did no the have an escort when they came in. an escort such as the one that we're seeing now. but this does appear to be breaking up. and, again, well ahead of schedule. if it stands as it stands right now, no confrontation. as garrett and jeff and i have been talking about over the course of the an, an incredibly large turnout, at least compared to the two dozen or so of the kessler group, the so-called white nationalists. many times, i'm going to call the crowd maybe 2,000, gathered
at the north side of lafayette park. they were shouting consistently protesting the presence of these people. meanwhile, on the other side of the park, jason kessler and some of his colleagues in adherence held before the cameras. there were many press here than there were those followers of jason kessler. we talked to a couple of the individuals who came here with kessler. part of the so-called white nationalist group. i asked why, in fact, the group was so small. because they're afraid, they said, because of the backlash they experienced after charlottesville. many of them here had their faces covered. they obviously think that they were in some kind of danger. so as you can see, a police presence, it appears they've been escorted off the grounds, the white house grounds, to the west start 17th street here. it appears this may be over without incident. an incredible turnout by the counterprotesters here. shouting across the park. almost drowning out kessler and some of his fellow speakers who had amplified sound -- were
speaking through loud speakers. so a day that is perhaps anti-climactic in its ending. david? >> my colleague, mike viqueira on lafayette plaza. we're seeing pictures from pennsylvania avenue. a bunch of protesters getting into what looks like a small conflict with some of the law enforcement who gathered in washington, d.c. i should say this was an effort not unlike what you see in washington when there are events like these. local law enforcement joining forces with federal law enforcement as well. we sbee members of the secret service alongside members of the washington, d.c., police. garrett haake is close by to where this is happening, i believe. garrett, what are we seeing here? looks like counterprotesters there with signs. getting into some small scuffle there with law enforcement. >> reporter: yeah, david, this is. what everyone here was hoping to avoid. you'relooking atrk the access t the locked portion of the white
house. police came up to move the bicycle racks that had been blocking this off, antifa protesters surged into that space. some are holding shields. some are using sticks they used for their flags. some are throwing things at police officers. the plan here, not publicly disclo disclosed, had been for the police to escort these rallygoers back out to the metro station. these antifa folks won't let that happen. they completely blocked off the exit on the side. and even as i'm speaking i'm seeing more things being thrown at the police officers. from my vantage point, david, i can't actually see any of the unite the right rallygoers back there. they're probably at least 20,30r feet behind the cops if they're that close. not in range of anything being thrown by these protesters. this is exactly the scene organizers hoped to avoid. i don't know how police are
going to move these folks back other than by physically doing it the old-fashioned way or finding another way out of this complex. >> garrett, explain what's going to happen here next. you rode the metro into washington, d.c., from northern virginia with a number of these white supremacist protesters. they got to foggy bottom a little bit west of where you are now, they made their way on foot to lafayette plaza. just explain what has to happen next, maybe tell us about that police presence. we're taking about a pretty small place in washington, d.c., lafayette plaz a is not a huge park by any measures. >> reporter: lafayette park is only a few a acres and surrounding part of the white house campus they locked down, adds another acre or two to it. you should be looking at pictures i think of some of the antifa protesters. seeing a guy in a black motorcycle helmet shooting off a roman candle over the line of cops here. it's impossible for me to say, david, what, if anything, that accomplishes for what had been a nonviolent counterprotest here and a message they've been
trying to get across. behind me, i'm seeing more and more of these antifa protesters lined up. david, the bottom line is the folks who came in, these two dozen or so unite the right protesters, they've got to get out of here somehow. they're not sleeping at the white house tonight. and if you're the antifa protesters decided to make that as hard as humanly possible. now, washington, d.c., police, i will say now as this begins to get weird, have a reputation of being essentially the best in the world at this. nobody deals with more protests. bigger protests. more often than d.c. police. but most of the time, those protests are pretty well organized. they're put together by established groups. they're put together by groups who want to move a million people through the city and they want to do it in a nonviolent fashion. that's not -- this is essentially the exact opposite here. we have 20 people who need to get moved through the city in a nonviolent fashion and where i'm standing now, perhaps a few hundred people who seem pretty well committed to make bing sure that doesn't happen. david? >> garrett, keep tabs on this
for us if you would. garrett haake standing outside the white house, the old executive office building near to where the protest took place. it wrapped up in the last few minutes. those couple dozen protesters, couple dozen white supremacists as garrett says have to make their way back to northern virginia, leaving the washington, d.c., area. we're going to continue to monitor what's going on there in downtown d.c. i want to turn to my panel now. a black lives matter activist and the author of the forthcoming book, "on the other side of freedom: the case for hope" christina greer joins us as well. nyu institute fellow. sir michael shingleton. and a daily beast columnist who won his libel lawsuit. i want to get your perspective on what's happened here today. as garrett was talking about a moment ago, it's unclear how many people were going to show up. you look at the application that this white nationalist group put
forward to the park service. they expected 400 people to come. we saw a fraction of that today in washington, d.c. >> it's great we did not see a massive turnout of the white nationalist, white supremacist. i wish that would indicate they are receiving this country and not emboldened by donald trump. that's not the reality. this a microcosm, a little incident, in the rain, scared their superior race away. i wish it was that simple to get rid of racism. it's not. every president, as you mentioned -- you mentioned to me, white supremacy has been very personal. i wrote an article last year denouncing white supremacists and calling out donald trump to use the term white supremacist terrorism. we had two white supremacist terrorist attacks. the result was the neo nazi website fabricated tweeting saying i was involved with it because i'm muslim and to their supporters, come get me. i got death threats from them and had to sue them. a handful of people might be there but their numbers are bigger and sadly 85% of the
public who support donald trump, s despite the fact we see objectively him supporting racism. >> as we're looking at pictures outside the renrick gallery in northwest d.c., across the street from the old executive office building, where a number of trump administration offices are. footsteps away from the white house, itself. help us understand what we're seeing here if you could, and give us your view on the size, the might of the counterprotest we saw in washington, d.c., today. >> we think about protests as the idea of telling the truth in public. it's important about people telling the truth, what they see racism and what the country should be. what the counterprotesters note today, there's no nonracist version of white nationalism. when people talk about white nationalism, as if it's like a valid policy position, we know that that is a wild statement. that what they're trying to do is normalize white nationalism to provide cover for this part of the base of the party. that just can't be -- i think what you see is it's tense right now in so many ways. but the police have a history of managing these with mixed
response. i do think in d.c., it's been better than some other places. i'm hopeful that it will be a simple day. it started raining so you see a lot of the energy even dissipating at this moment. again, we can't feed into normalizing white nationalism as anything other than a racist thing. i think you see the counterprotesters out to make that really clear for people. >> chris betwetrina greer, i'll to you. what the group is calling this protest. unite the right. there's annest just in naming this to try to normalize what's happening here. speak to that if you would, the effort to normalize this extremist hate that we saw in washington, d.c., today. >> right, indeed. we even see this in, you know, with npr and "the new york times" constantly trying to set up a false equivalency between white supremacist groups -- >> what you're referring to there, npr interviewed the organizer of the rally earlier this week, received add lot of criticism for that. a lot of people think they shouldn't have done that or should have pushed back harder
against the organizers of this group. >> right. there's nothing wrong with necessarily interviewing the organizer of these groups but need to make sure these are not the white equivalent of black lives matter leaders. you need to make sure these are people who are called out as white supremacists who have a specific vision of what they want this country to look like. and who they want in and outside of this country. so i don't think we need to. be a lot more vigilant in how we talk about these groups. these are groups that are built on hate, these are groups that are marching through the streets of america, carrying a confederate flag and nazi paraphernalia. they're talking about jewish americans, they're talking about black americans, they're talking about all immigrants and they have no place in our discourse. unfortunately, the media, that goes for left wing media and right wing media, and everyone else twho tries to be neutral, has not done enough to make sure these groups are not normalized. these people are in oun cur tr . many of them have been the founders of our country.
we cannot accept them anymore in our nation and it's unfortunate we have a president who's essentially tweeting his feelings that they have a right to be here and say very hateful things and do very hateful things to the vast majority of americans. >> sirmichael singleton, i want to get your read on that. the president did not come out and deliver a statement on the occasion of this anniversary. released a written statement. there was a tweet, a fewer than 280 characters in which he nodded to this anniversary. he said that he rejected ra racism to all kinds. peace to all americans is how he closed that tweet. you're a republican political strategist. how are you processing that, the reaction we've seen from the president of the united states? >> well, look, david, i mean, at this point i think it would be naive for anyone to have the expectation that the president is going to speaks out forcefully against these things. for the republican party it means trouble. the fact of the matter is the country is becoming more diverse. you have one of the major
political parties in this country that has shown an inability and not even a willingness to want to target and mobilize and properly address some of the critiques, legitimate critiques, of those communities. so i don't think this is a good thing for the president, the party or the country. as it relates specifically to these individuals, think that the fight for freedom, for equality your justice, et cetera, goes beyond protesting and if i could really quickly, anyone who runs the daily storm website, the premier white supremacist website, wrote a column today, and i read it. he wrote in his column, i quote, "while many people do support whites maintaining a society in america, no one supports neo nazi street fighting." he continued "neonaziism isn't going to be popular in america." he talked about how they have to change their focus. my concern is infiltrating our law enforcement, putting those individuals in our school systems. those individuals running for
public office that we don't even know what their actual beliefs are. i think being diligent has to go beyond protesting. we have to also make sure that the right people are running for public office, are becoming law enforcement, are educating our kids, so that we can combat this in more than one measure. >> on that note, where is normalizing of this, this i ideolo ideology, this twisted ideology, i think what you were talking about there is this group to here i cohering. david duke was expected to be there. i don't know if he was. he was on the application by the group to the national park service. what's your sense of the cohesiveness of this right wing, this hate movement? >> i don't know how cohesive they are. sirmichael mentioned a man i sued, the man who fabricated tweets saying i committed a terrorist attack. a man that wrote articles that dylann roof red and ral call add to kill african-americans.
the daily storm -- i don't care what games andrew england playing. he's a nazi, he's a terrorist. a president who uses the terms radical islam all day will not use the terms white supremacist terrorism. for a president who will demonize black people by name, se maxine waters, lebron james. he will not talk about david duke by name. we need leadership. we're not getting -- we're getting a president objectively who's emboldening these white supremacists. i believe -- i know their vision of america does not include me, does not include anyone on this panel, does not include jews, blacks, muslims or immigrants. donald trump, terms like chain migration and low i.q., which i wrote back about last week, comes from white supremacists, that's where they get the term from. the president has gone beyond words into policy and one voice, this country including good
republican the, don't denounce it. >> rhelet me go back to garrett haake standing with this group outside the white house by the executive office building nearby to where this protest took place a few moments ago, we saw folks firing off roman candles as garrett said. we saw small scuffles with law enforcement. garrett, it looks pretty static to me right now. looks like there's a bit of a detente. i assume this group of a couple dozen white nationalists has not yet made its way out of that area, out of lafayette plaza, pennsylvania avenue in front of the white house to the way to the metro station. >> reporter: david, the bottom line is we don't know that at this point. this whole day might have an underwhelming end to an underwhelming realitiy isnation first place. about two dozen of them might have been able to get pout out e park complex to another entrance. these are antifa protesters who as soon as the police took their
position here to prepare to open this gate, surged into the way here to make sure that that was not going to be an easy task, barricades of bamboo, chicken wire, signage, flag poles that you'll note and general attitude that they don't like to be filmed, talked about, looked at our discussed while they're doing what they're doing. they prevented us from moving through the area, too, when we were trying to get a little picture, seeing what was going on with these folks trying to leave. again, as the rain falls here, david, we just don't know -- the location of those 22, 24 or so protesters, or rallygoers who were originally out here. we know the counterprotest groups remaining clearly spoiling for some kind of confrontation. apparently not particularly concerned about who that's with. whether it's the white nationalists groups or whether it's the police. but, again, this may sort of sputter out on the back end. as it does appear anecdotally it looks like we may be done with
this rally all together. >> garrett haake, my colleague in washington, d.c. lafayette plaza is square shaped about two blocks wide, maybe one block tall. garrett is standing with those protesters there. at the southwestern corner of that park. as garrett was indicating, perhaps those protesters, those white nationalist protesters, could have left from any of the other corners. anybody who's been in d.c. recently knows that port of pennsylvania avenue is not one that cars customarily go on. it's closed a up to public traffic. let me turn again to derama if i could. you have been at protests where we've seen antifa protesters in concert with black lives matter and other groups. you're looking at the quantity of folks who turned out today. in the thousands to supremacist that we're seeing. one wonders how you carry this message going forward, the message of the show of force, real policy changes that need to happen. you want what's being shown here today to carry out, carry on here in the days and weeks and
months to come. talk if you would just about the role of antifa in concert with or in complement to other protest groups. >> yes, i don't have much to say besides i will speculate about what people might do, if they haven't indicated that that is certainly going to happen. you look at, i heard the other -- the other anchor talk about people are itching for a fight and things like that. the reality is the situation is tense. i've been at protests all across the country and they're tense everywhere. it's probably tense right now out there. and remember that we didn't -- none of the protesters brought the tension. they're responding to tension. so i just want to put that out there. the second is i don't know how these people got a permit. we know that when we think about free speech, speech that insights violence actually isn't covered under the free speech clause in a year ago, this same group of people incited violence and resulted in the death of one person. white nationalism, kkk, neo nazis inspired and incited
violence throughout the country's history and the history of lynching isn't too far removed. the last point you asked about with regard to the changes, we know the outcoming s indicate racial disparity is at an all-time high. 90% of arrests in new york city, black and brown people, definitely a function of race. 1 in 11 people killed. third of all the people killed by strangers in this country is actually killed by police officers. there are so many h disparities, more people for weed than all violent crimes combined, they function around the line of race. rallies like today aim to do it, to normalize and to allow to enter into the public conversation, into the civics sphere, white nationalism as a legitimate policy point. and we can't let that happen. we know there are disparities and have to fight the disparities so it's not just in the street that we fight. we come to the streets so we can make people know at home that we will not be silent in the face of the hate.
>> black lives matter activists, author of the forthcoming book "on the other side of freedom." and sirmichael singleton. we're going to continue monitoring what's going on outside of the white house. in washington, d.c., at this very moment. again, adthat protest organizedy white supremacists ended, it appears in law enforcement in washington, d.c., trying to get them to the metro station to get them out of washington, d.c. our ca our coverage on msnbc continues.
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continuing to cover the aftermath of the protest led by by really just a couple of dozen white supremacists. white nationalists in washington, d.c. covering the aftermath of that and the ongoing counterprotest in washington, d.c. you're seeing a group gathered outside the white house. and near to lafayette plaza where that protest took place. garrett haak, my colleague who usually covers the capital, is there for us. what's the latest hearing from those standing century right to the entrance of the old executive office building in washington, d.c.? >> reporter: yeah, david, look, the rally, itself, is over here, but the anger that it has unleashed is still rippling around washington, d.c.,right now, surrounding this exit to lafayette park are no fewer than at least three that i can tell d dissparate groups here. the antifa group with shields, helmet and projectiles apparently. they were throwing bottles a while ago at the police, who
appear to be spoiling for a fight here, rushing into the breach when we thought this fence was opening and the rallyi goers might be coming out. there are black live matters protesters on the far side of them. the counterprotests here, without a doubt, have essentially won the messaging day. right? this was an anti-hate, anti-raci anti-racist, effort here, and the counterprotest seen now with nose who brought the message into d.c. in the first place apparently gone. i cannot confirm they are gone, but i do not see them and don't, frankly, see any evidence they would be coming this direction. the steps npd do when they clear streets bringing out horses and the like. that suggests to me that they're gone. what you have leftover is the lingering anger and folks who came out to make a point that goes a little bit beyond what this particular message was about today and the hope, at least by police, the city, is this kind of crowd can be dispersed as nonviolently as they got here. i can tell you, david, as i'm
standing here in the rain, most fe those folks look like they're not going anywhere. >> quickly here, your day began 10, 20 miles out from where you are in view yanna. earlier in the day when i spoke to you said this was not a well-oiled machine, not well organized, not a sizable group. looking at the application the group filed with the national park service, there was the expectation early on there would be a group numbering in the hundreds. help us understand what exactly occurred in the plaza, what was they were saying audible? who turned up? you describe how there are more journalists trying to cover what was happening than actually participants in that protest. >> reporter: no, david, if the white supremacists group or the white nationalists who were putting this on wanted to send a message today, i couldn't honestly tell you what message they wanted to send. i can tell you the message that was sent, they're disorganized, functionally leaderless and can't agree amongst themselves who message they want to present
to the world. jason kessler is the person who got the permit for this event. he listed size of his event maybe between 100 and 400 people. he listed david duke, the former leader of the kkk, as one of the speakers here. well, 100 people didn't show up. 30 people didn't show up. david duke did not show up. neither did several of the other speakers who were supposed to be on that list. and while kessler told me earlier in the day he sees his effort here as one about protecting the 1st amendment and about protecting free speech and is not a racist message, several of the people who were in his group on that metro train told me they felt that white people were the founding -- forget the exact word he used, founding race, founding culture of the united states and anyone who wasn't a white america was somehow less american. this is a wholly inconsistent message delivered by an incredibly divisive leader who doesn't appear to be speaking for the folks in his group. and the question of what could be heard of their group, having circled this park a couple of
times over the course of the day, i can tell you the answer to that question is nothing. the counterprotesters absolutely dwarfed this message, drowneded it out. it was impossible for these white nationalists to communicate anything except that they were overwhelmed, frankly, b here, today, by an opposing message. >> all right, garrett haake, we're going to check in with you later here. i want to dig into what is behind the hate, what motivates people to march against others they've never met. joining us a man who can give us insight, because he's been there, a former white supremacist who's dedicated his life to reforming others. he's the subject of tonight's msnbc special, "breaking hate" which will air at 9:00 p.m. eastern time. and in that documentary, christian brings a young man who marched with white nationalists in charlottesville face-to-face with the mother of slained activist heather heyer. >> i'm sorry you lost your daughter. >> thank you. i appreciate that. but i don't hold you accountable.
you understand? where do we go from here, how do we fix this? >> honestly, susan, i don't know how. >> i don't, either. think we're all trying to figure it out. >> helping us figure it out is christian, who joins us from washington, d.c. christian, i was talking with garrett a moment ago about this small two dozen large group of protesters who showed up today. and we're talking about the lack of cohesiveness there. help us understand the motivating factors, what are they? >> well, you know, what i saw today were several thousand counterprotesters and only a few dozen white nationalists. toipt i want to be clear so many of the organizers from last year distanced themselveses from the rally. their strategy is to go mainstream. what they saw happen last year hurt their numbers a little bit. kessler had gone off, he'd done this rally under and it underperformed. the rest of the leaders are going more underground. what's more dangerous is somebody like jason kessler with
a suit, viersus what i used to e 30 years ago. even though they may have lost because they had less numbers, it's still a win for him because there were thousands of counterprotesters and hundreds of police officers who had to come out and still showed that they had a platform right on the front lawn of the white house. >> you have talked to, debated with jason kessler. let's take a listen, if we could, to the conversation, if you can call it that, that the two of you had. >> do you hold yourself responsible for the violence? you were the organizers of this rally. >> those protesters put themselves in a very dangerous, risky situation because they were defying the state of emergency order. >> it was an alt-right person who came to that rally who ultimately drove h iz c h his co a group of people. >> that's true. he has not been found guilty and -- >> he still -- >> i would say there is a lot of reasonable doubt in that. >> christian, what can you tell us about jason kessler? we were talking about at the top of the show, he sat down for an
interview with npr this week, an interview if which he ranked the races. npr receiving a significant amount of blow-back for airing that earlier this week. who is he? he's the one who filed this application, was the de facto organizer of what we saw today. >> you know, david, 30 years ago, we had a strategy that would take it and make us undercover to mainstream so we traded in our boots for suits and jason kessler embodies this new strategy of leaderless resistance or lone wolf strategy, they want to look like neighbors, our doctors, lawyers, our teachers and, in fact, many of them are. the whole idea is to make share message forpalatable. we realized our look was too edgy. they've gone underground. mainstreamed them. i suspect we're not going to see the last of them. >> christian, thank you very much for your perspective today. i appreciate it. see more of christian's story tonight when msnbc presents "breaking hate" at 9:00 p.m. eastern time.
for more, i want to bring in a journalist a isist aw isist and book "everything you love will burn: inside the rebirth of white nationalism in america ."p sirmichael singleton with me as well. struck me earlier today, we're talking about david duke once again, somebody who had been part of the political currents some decades ago. he's back now as garrett said, he was on that application for this protest ted. today. no indication he showed up for it. give us an overarching sense of the status of the group. i use the word, cohesive. how organized is it, how big is it? >> i mean, that's hard to say. we say david duke is back now. he never went away. that's a problem with using the term, alt right, it implies what year seeing today is something brand-new and something different whereas it isn't. it's part of a candidaontinue c
on for decades and generations in the country. like christian said, the relative side of today's rally indicates no one likes jason kessler anymore. for the relative size of the movement, itself. it's really hard to say. >> jane, i'll turn to you. christian using the phrase, boots to suits. and when you looked at jason kessler arriving in lafayette plaza today, he was wearing a suit and tie as stood in front of the american flag, behind the american flag. the white house where the president of the united states lives. how effective has that insidious transformation been for these groups? >> well, i think that it's something they discuss amongst themselves. there's a big concern among these groups about the issue of optics and whether or not they want to appear racist and anti-semitic while being racist and anti-semitic. i think kessler very much has attempted to really, you know, strike a difference between himself and who he sees as the neo nazi and outright white supremacist groups. i think in some ways that's been successful. i want people to remember that last year's unite the right rally began with a
torch-literally on uva's campus in which people were wearing, you know, polo shirts and khakis and yet were still chanting jews will not replace us. so no matter how much you change the look of the messenger, the message is still much the same. >> i want to ask you about the semantics involves here. the president of the university of virginia presided over a memorial service today. he apologized for what happened last year. and he began to generic. he didn't use this overarching term of alt right. how important is it to call it like it is? were you surprised in the aftermath of charlottesville how that wasn't happening as much as it should have been? >> i thicnk it's tremendously important. what we call them has significan significance. when we call them alt right, we give them the power to define themselves. we need to call it is, it's white sprem sie supremacy, racism.
we need to be better at calling that out. >> help us understand the perspective of the republican party here, bearing in mind the republican party, itself, is a big tent. and we're looking at the extreme right here. but we saw the president all but praising david duke during the campaign. not rejecting what he said, not rejecting the groups here today, of course, and the tweet that he sent out, at least not explicitly. what are republicans to do? what's your counsel to them as all of this continues to happen if we're in a position y twhere the president is is not going to do thisexplicitly? >> david, you have to ask yourself why are so many of these individuals who belong to said groups feel welcome and comfortable in the republican party? as a minority, i have been arguing and advocating for a very, very long time about the importance of the republican party outreaching and, again, reaching out to communities of color. because the country is becoming diverse. it's important to have two competitive parties going after
those votes. and as we have seen the republican party hasn't done much of anything about it. after the 2012 election with president obama and mitt romney, whom i worked for, the rnc produced the growth and opportunity project. and they went through this lengthy document talking about the importance of reaching out and spending money and going to those communities and listening. and talking about the issues that impact those communities and here we are several years later with the presidency of donald trump and they essentially ripped that document to shreds and forgot all about it. look, again, as i said before the break, i think the republican party is in a very tough position. and if they do not meaning leadership, mcconnell, ryan, others, if they do not speak out loudly against these things, despite donald trump's unwillingness to do so, then at some point, i'm not certain the republican party will be a party that can possibly even exist in a diverse america. >> jane, i'll turn to you. are politics in this country, a
spectrum between left and right. we were talking about normalizing of language here just a moment ago. the name of this rally, as white supremacists deemed it, was unite the right. republicans could reject this. are you surprised that we haven't heard more republicans speaking out vociferously against what we're seeing here? the co-opting of that term, even? >> well, i think it's an interesting challenge that's facie ining republicans. i'm glad my co-panelists brought up the 2012 autopsy that talked about outreach. i'd like to point out mitt romney put out a statement yesterday on the anniversary of charlottesville and very much calling out ray civil and ant anti-semiti anti-semitism. you're seeing multiple candidates including at least one who was invited to speak at today's event, paul naylen, of wisconsin, who are embracing alt right, more specifically, anti-semitic and white nationalist language. you got an actual nazi, granted
through kind of an accident of the illinois political process, a nazi running for congress in illinois. you know, it's interesting, i think, the question that's, you know, befuddled a lot of conservatives and lot of republicans is how to best deal with these, you know, deal with these groups and deal with these people who believe that this message is a part of the republican party. and, you know, that's not the way many republicans, most republicans, feel. >> last question to you, we are seeing this come from cyber space into real life as we saw last week in charlottesville. i think that was a wake-up call to many americans to see the turnout there in charlottesville. it's maybe a slightly diminished wake-up call that only two dozen people showed up today. that's still two dozen people who are doing that. what difference does that make, when you look back on charlottesville, as you describe it, there is a conversation happening in cyber space to bring it into the real world. with why is that so important? what does that say to you about these groups? >> i think as you said last year in charlottesville was a coming out party, right? they needed -- they spent that
year trying to figure out how we'd go from the online into the real world. richard spencer told me right after the election that that was their big challenge going forward. i don't think they really figured out how to do it yet. i still think they're very much trying to find their place within the larger movement. they've retreated online, sure, but there's still a really healthy debate going on online. their podcast neck is hutwork i. the far right movement wasn't the end, itself. the far right movement was a vehicle to bring these ideas into the mainstream. as i think my co-panelists pointed out, you have a slew of basically white nationalists, white supremacists, candidates for office this year. steve west, i believe, his name, was just won the republican primary in missouri, and he's holding basically white supremacist opinions. so i think that is the real effect of the movement we're seeing today. >> vegas, great to speak with you. thank you very much. vegas tenold joining me in new
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welcome back. i'm david gura. on the record, concerns now over white house security after former white house staffer and one-time reality show villain omarosa manigault newman revealed recordings of her firing from the white house. audio of the meeting with chief of staff john kelly, what she says is audio of that, aired in an exclusive interview with nbc's "meet the press" with chuck todd. take a listen. >> i think it's important to understand if we make this a friendly departure, we can all be, you know, you can look at your time here in the white house as a year of service to the nation. and then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation. >> can i ask you a couple questions? does the president -- is the president aware of what's going on? >> let's not go down that road. this is a nonnegotiable discussion. >> i don't want to negotiate. i never had a chance to talk to you, general kelly. this is my departure, i would like to have an opportunity to
understand. >> we can talk another time. this has to do with pretty serious integrity violations. so i'll let it go at that. so the staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the president. >> that's just one bombshell dropped in the sbrinterview, sh defended her claims president trump is racist and and accused him of conning the american people. i want to bring in christina greer. sirmichael singleton, republican, political strategist joins me as well. christina, let me turn to you. get your reaction to this. we heard about the specter of there being tapes. she's saying this is a tape that was recorded in what's supposed to be one of the most secure parts of the white house complex. ha what do you make of that? certainly sounds like john kelly having a conversation with o omarosa about her termination. >> right, i'm of two minds. on the one hand, i'm mad we're even talking about her. she's a hustler. she's been with the president well over ten years. she's living out this villain persona and trying to sell a
book. and the "n" word versus not the "n word, donald trump uses that word every day in his tweets and communications with the american public. there's that piece. the other piece is is of concern because level of laziness and incompetence in this particular administration is astounding. you all remember when, you know, we had pranksters e-mailing skr upper level administrators in the cabinet essentially setting up meetings and talking to jared and these are people who had access to individuals. we know the president still uses his cell phone that has no security. there is this very real concern, not just about omarosa, but about the fact that a cell phone could get into the situation room, we don't know what else has gotten into the white house. especially since the president is very empathetic to russia, to iran, to north korea, to individuals and institutions and nations that have not always
been our allies. >> i want to get your reaction to that. before i do that, let me play a little more of that interview that chuck todd did with omarosa manigalut newman. he where everybody lies. the president lies to the american people. sarah huckabee stands in front of the country and lies every single day. you have to have your own back because otherwise you'll look back and you will see 17 knives in your back. >> do you know -- >> it's not disloyalty. because let me tell you if i didn't have this recording listen, people would still think that i was trying to set off alarms. so yes, i had to protect myself. i have no regret about it. >> shermichael, i would venture to say a lot of people wouldn't be thinking about omarosa. your reaction to what she said there about this whole business here of having the tapes she claims to have. >> it's interesting, because i wonder as i have watched and read about this why did general kelly bring her into the situation room? that seems to be a bit odd to
me. i would imagine if you're going to fire someone you would just merely bring them into your office and say, hey, thanks for your time. you're no longer wanted. so i do raise a lot of questions about that. look, it's funny, you talked about the integrity, i'm not here to debate if people like omarosa or not. but a lot of people have integrity issues including general kelly who attacked the florida congresswoman and did not apologize for a lie he told. he defended a guy who abused his wife and said this guy was great and should remain in his position. i could go on and on and on. so regardless of omarosa's issues that people may perceive publicly, i think this is much bigger than her. perhaps they should clean house all together. >> it's interesting to see the way that the white house has reacted to the book which is not yet available on store shelves. the president addressed it yesterday.
maggie haberman shouted out a question, he called omarosa a low life from his estate in new jersey. kellyanne conway was on fox news this morning and she was asked about it. >> i have never heard the president of the united states use a racial slur about anyone. and i never heard omarosa complain that she had heard the president say it about anyone either when she was there. she's contradicted her own accounts. >> i want to ask you about that defense because kellyanne conway said it, i saw a quote from senator graham from south carolina as well. the defense being i have not heard the president use a racial term. how do you react to that? >> well, like i never -- you know, i touched the moon but i know it exists. i think that that's just -- it's a low level hanging defense. i think if you go back to what shermichael says, what happens if this administration cleans house? no one is left. i think that's the genius of trump. he surrounds himself with
characters is of such low regard, low vocabularies, everything. once they're exposed to -- as to who they really are trump can say, well, you know, she was a low life anyway. but then we have to ask that follow-up question which is then why was she able to be in your administration for a year representing you and the american public? >> his low life for the better part of 15 years. christine grier, thank you. thanks to shermichael singleton as well. we'll be right back. continuing to month door what's going on in washington, d.c. -right away, i could tell his priorities were a little unorthodox. -keep going. stop. a little bit down. stop. back up again. is this adequate sunlight for a komodo dragon? -yeah. -sure, i want that discount on car insurance just for owning a home, but i'm not compromising. -you're taking a shower? -water pressure's crucial, scott! it's like they say -- location, location, koi pond. -they don't say that. experience the versatility location,of utility,koi pond.
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welcome back. i'm david gura. our coverage will continue of what's going on in washington, d.c. you're looking at live images now of those protesters, white nationalist protesters making their way to the washington metro. their event took place this afternoon. they were dwarfed by counterprotesters. our coverage continues here on msnbc. alice is living with metastatic breast cancer, which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. she's also taking prescription ibrance with an aromatase inhibitor, which is for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive her2- metastatic breast cancer as the first hormonal based therapy. ibrance plus letrozole was significantly more effective at delaying disease progression versus letrozole. patients taking ibrance can develop low white blood cell counts, which may cause serious infections that can lead to death. before taking ibrance,
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