tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC August 29, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
give mr. desantis a mulligan in this circumstance. interesting. we will have more on that later. thank you very much. 2:00 p.m. in the east and 11:00 a.m. in phoenix where today family, friends, and arizona constituents have gathered to pay their final respects to the man they call the maverick. john mccain now lies in state at the arizona capitol. he is the only individual, only the third individual to be bestowed that honor in the past 40 years, and it is fitting that it would be today on what would have been the late senator's 82nd birthday. last hour a ceremony in phoenix marks the first of five days scheduled to honor the man who was a decorated war veteran and a prisoner of war and whose congressional career spanned well over three decades. i have a team of reporters and analysts with me to remember the life and legacy of john mccain, an american hero. let's get to them. kelly o'donnell is in phoenix.
nbc news presidential historian michael beshlos, jonathan alther, and author of the gatekeeper, chris whipple. both jonathan and chris are msnbc analysts and contributors. michael, let's start with you. john mccain's the third person to lie in state in arizona. obviously, a very big honor. he is going to go through the whole processional through the capitol and in washington he is going to be treated like he was a president. he wanted to be president. he never got that tight. just put this into performance for us. how big of a deal is it to give all of this pomp and circumstance to somebody like senator john mccain? >> well, it shows his place in american society and i think in american life for years to come because this is a figure whose legacy will live on. this whole thing about having
ceremonies that last virtually a week after the person passes, that's a pretty recent development in modern times. it goes back to ronald reagan, who died in june of 2004, and there were various ceremonies that took him to washington, then back to california, lasted a week. the benefit of it, from my point of view, is that during the course of that week a lot of people learn about a great figure in american politics and history who otherwise might not. >> it was a rough afternoon, and rough to watch at times, jonathan. when you watch meghan mccain saying good-bye to her father, she was inconsolable. >> yes, she was. but i think her tears reflected a lot of genuine sadness among not just, you know, his friends and family, but the politicians that he worked with, the reporters who covered him, because what was different about john mccain is that he generated
affection from people who knew him. that's not true of most of the people that we cover. and so it's very unusual to have somebody for whom, even if you disagree on all kinds of things, you just find them kind of a lovable guy on some level. >> what i always think about when i think about the way that politicians now treat the media, the president treats the media, john mccain, going on "meet the press" and talking to chuck todd and saying, i hate reporters, i hate you, but you are necessary, and i respect you. i mean, yeah, politicians don't like us, but john mccain was willing to say i understand that that's part of my job. >> and he didn't really hate us. he would sometimes, you know, call us a communist. he did that to me on "the today show" one time. we knew he was joking, and that he did have a fundamental respect for the role of the press in a society. but i also think that this affection that i'm talking about, this will help him live on because history has a way of
transmitting how people felt about somebody in their own life when the dust is settled. and so take somebody like theodore roosevelt, who was mccain's personal hero. he talked about life in the arena and the sweat, you know, of being in the arena. eventually, all of that fades. all of the slings and arrows, all of the various strcontrovers that surround somebody and what is left is a sense of their character and how they affect you. you don't have to be president to have that and to live on really for possibly many generations. >> what was unique about him in a lot of respects, more so than the vast majority of po politicians, he was willing to admit when he was wrong. when he made a mistake he would say, hey, listen, i should not have advocated for keeping confederate flags in place in order to win south carolina. that was a mistake.
i lost south carolina anyways. but looking at john mccain more in this particular moment, i think what we will see from him going forward is not just the memory of the legislation he was involved with, reaching across the aisle, not also the bad things that people will ding him for, decisions or the support for the iraq war or choosing sarah palin as a running mate, but also the foil that he ended up being in this particular moment to the president. listen to john mccain's farewell statement, just a portion of it. i know we have been talking about it a lot. we weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries, hatred and violence and all the corners of the globe. we weaken it when we hide behind walls rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been. there are few people who stand in starker contrast to this
president than john mccain. >> mccain never pulled his punches. it occurred to me this morning, i was thinking john mccain would have made one hell of a white house chief of staff. nobody was better at telling presidents what they did not want to hear, especially this president. of course, if you think of his legacy, the bookmarks of it are his time in the hanoi hilton when he endured the torture and then the final bookmark would be the moment when he walked on to the senate floor in the dead of night and cast that dramatic thumbs down vote fon repealing obamacare. donald trump hated that, and donald trump will hate the fact that for the next 72 hours at least the eyes of the world will be on john mccain and his legacy and not on him. >> beyond donald trump hating it, michael, i mean, there is the place that john mccain is going to take in history in this moment. i am wondering if you can expound on that a little more since you are the presidential historian among us. >> well, i think one thing is
that who in american politics the last 30 years really had from his biography the kind of moral stature that john mccain did from those five and a half years in the hanoi hilton and the way he dealt with it. i think what has been said before is absolutely right, which is that he will be remembered. he may be a force that's more powerful in death than he was in life because especially in these times of a lot of political leaders who are pretty small and some pretty nasty politics across this country, people may well say, you know, that's not john mccain type of leadership. and if someone says, you know, he is a mccain type leader, i think we have a pretty good idea what that is. modesty, honestness, that desire to put country above yourself whenever possible, to admit where you were wrong, to reach across the aisle. in normal times during the last 200 years, those qualities might not have been so unusual. nowadays, they are especially so unusual in washington.
i think also in the white house. to set john mccain as a foil not just to donald trump, but others in the future, he lives on. >> this is such an important point. i think he is going to become the patron saint of independence. and there are a lot of independents in this country. a lot of people who don't like having to always choose skins or shirts. they go in different directions depending on the election, depending on the issue. they are themselves mavericks as voters. and to have somebody who you can look to, i think that will be very helpful for certain candidates who have an independent turn of mind. >> i think that's an aspirational characteristic for all of us to be called a maverick. who doesn't want to be called a maverick? kelly o'donnell, you are there. we were able to get a glimpse of what it's like for the family, for lawmakers, and the other notables within that room. but tell us, what has it been
like on the street there in arizona? what are you seeing from regular arizonans? how is their senator being remembered? >> here on the capitol complex in phoenix there is, out of this particular camera shot, but i'm sure the images will be available as the day goes, there are a few hundred people who have been waiting to have the opportunity to go in and pay their respects since about 7:00 eastern time. i can see them at the end of this block. it's important to note the heat simply because that is a factor when you are asking members of the public to be out here in this very, very hot situation. it's more than 100 degrees expected to be up to 105, 107 today. so there are some tents, water stations. there are things that are different than the kind of line we might see at the u.s. capitol rotunda on friday just because of the conditions here. having said that, people are in line wanting to pay their
respects in different ways. we also saw very early this morning lots of veterans from the vietnam era. katy, as you well understand, when you are coming to do live television, you are here before the sun comes up, hours and hours ahead. so were some of the veterans before streets were closed in this area. so we are absolutely seeing people who want to claim senator mccain as their senator, their sort of national figure who made the state proud, as well as people who want, for all the different ways you have been talking about him, to acknowledge him. i would say that for all the independent spirit that we've discussed, he was always very clear about he is a republican and felt very strongly about sort of traditional republican orthodoxy, a willingness to be more outspoken and challenge his party, but he was not looking to shed the republican label in an era that spanned ronald reagan, who was a good friend of his, obviously, we have all
documented the trump era and how the party has changed. but he wasn't looking to have an eye next to his name. it was always going to be republican for john mccain. for him, though, that would also very much include the things you have been talking about. interacting with the press. if you were to read a transcript of john mccain's interactions with reporters, you might think he was terribly harsh and even rude. you needed to be there to see the twinkle in the eye, the smile, the mischievous nature when he would call us a jerks and tell us to get out. it was all playful and fun. now, there were a couple of times when i asked a couple too many questions and i'd get the grunt, you know he. that kind of thing. but, again, that was playful and fun. >> i can't imagine -- having covered donald trump on the campaign, i can't imagine what it must have been like to cover john mccain's campaign. >> reporter: he was a social creature. so included in that a love of
being around veterans, his constituents. to whatever little piece of the pie journalists were, and i don't want to enlarge it more than it should be. he enjoyed the company of reporters and the politics of the day. >> on this question of being an independent, there wasn't a time when he was truly a rhino, a republican in name only. if you go back to the 2002, 2003, 2004 period, he more often voted with the democrats than he did later and before. actually, john kerry wanted him to be his running mate in 2004 on the democratic ticket. so it's true he never actually left the republican party. he was an independent republican. for many years, with an emphasis on independent, and he was often very critical of republican presidents, not just donald trump. he was very critical of george w. bush through the early part
of the century. >> he wanted him to get waterboarding declared as torture and outlaw. >> that's correct. eventually, bush came around to mccain's perspective on this. his moral authority was so great on this question of torture that bush finally saw it mccain's way. >> can't question a prisoner of war like that. kelly o'donnell, michael, chris, guys, thank you very much. >> thanks. and ahead this hour, why is the president predicting violence if there is a blue wave in november? >> plus, you can't say that on tv, even on fox news. and the president confirmed that white house counsel don mcgahn is leaving. what does it mean for the russia probe? that's next. r the russia probe? that's next. ant the same tools and seamless experience across web and tablet? do you want $4.95 commissions for stocks, $0.50 options contracts? $1.50 futures contracts? what about a dedicated service team of trading specialists? did you say yes? good, then it's time for power e*trade.
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something more important than myself. of being a big player in the extraordinary story of america, and i am so grateful. >> white house counsel don mcgahn is on his way out. president trump announced on twitter today that mcgahn, who is also a key witness in the obstruction case against the president, will leave the white house this fall. quote, shortly after the confirmation, hopefully, of judge brett kavanaugh to the u.s. supreme court. so is mcgahn being pushed out? as of now, that's unclear. mcgahn's departure was widely expected. still the timing of the president's twitter announcement did catch some off guard, including mcgahn himself. "the washington post" reports that mcgahn was not aware that trump planned to send the tweet before it posted, and that according to a person close to mcgahn, his general attitude after 18 months in this white
house was, of course, it happened this way. this, of course, comes less than two weeks after "the new york times" reported he has cooperated extensive will i with robert mueller's russia investigation, sitting down with investigators for more than 30 hours. our big question today is what does mcgahn's exit from the white house mean for the russia probe? joining me from the white house, nbc's hans nichols and former federal prosecutor for the southern district of new york john flannery. gentlemen, welcome. hans, it seems like nobody at the white house knew this was coming. this morning when sarah huckabee sanders was asked about it, she said there is nothing imminent on the table. it kind of feels like no one in the white house knows what's happening besides donald trump. maybe, i don't know, sean hannity, who is not technically in the white house. >> watch the twitter feed, right? the president accelerated what was widely believed to be the case, that don mcgahn would be leaving if and when brett kavanaugh gets to be the next
supreme court justice. the challenge for the white house is going to be to find an attorney willing to take this job given some of the challenges they may have. if the democrats do take over the house, that is a much more difficult job because, instead of planning on how to reshape the federal judiciary, which don mcgahn had a crucial role in doing, the white house counsel's office is playing defense. they are providing documents. they are constantly, if again the democrats win the house, they are dealing with inquiries from capitol hill. that's an entirely different job. emmett flood, who has been suggested as a potential replacement, he is already here, it's unclear he is at the end of his career. he has done this job earlier. unclear whether or not he would want to do that job in the intensity. sarah huckabee sanders says he is well liked, well regarded, but to decisions have been made. i would expect we see a decision after the midterm election because the job changes depending on the outcome that have election. >> we will see. i think it's important to note
and reiterate what we said at the top of this segment, which is don mcgahn is a witness for the robert mueller investigation. he is a witness at the very least for obstruction. could potentially be a witness for much more since after he started with the trump campaign back in 2015 in june, and he has been there the whole time. in terms of obstruction, he was there when donald trump decided to fire james comey. he has been privy to conversations where donald trump wanted to fire jeff sessions. he has been privy to conversations where donald trump has wanted to fire robert mueller. he potentially will know anything about what happened with michael flynn. maybe he knows how the trump tower statement was drafted aboard air force one. there is so much there that he could have already told investigators in those 30 hours of interviews, john. what does it mean for the president to be announcing on twitter that don mcgahn is out? how might robert mueller look at that? >> well, i think robert mueller will look at it as he is looking
for a person who would do obstruction when mcgahn will not. the reports are rife that he was beside himself when he found out that mcgahn had spent 30 hours in the chair describing the enumerated events that you discussed, which hold donald up to a bad light. and i think what we're seeing here is they are clearing the field. they are trying to convince mueller to keep his powder dry through the midterms. then i think they are going to open their guns and anything is possible in that period. when i say open their guns, i mean they are going to get rid of mcgahn and they are going to give the cover story that it's because they are going to wait until they finish reviewing the supreme court nominee. but i don't think it's that at all. i think it is what we believe it to be, a part of a plot of obstruction. the question is will they fire the attorney general and will lindsey graham become the a.g.? and i don't see how that's going to solve their problems.
i think that they are a team in search of a plan that would save the president from what's going to come down not just from mueller, but we are going to see more in new york, more from the state attorney general, more from the bronx, the manhattan d.a.'s office. but i think it's all about obstruction. you have to ask yourself, what kind of person would take that job either as the white house counsel or the a.g. or anything else for that matter since it's so transparent. >> you are talking about a a.g. sessions. there is reports that donald trump is considering of firing him. this is reporting that we have been gathering from senators across capitol hill. we wish him the best, but cabinet members seldom last the entire administration said senator roy blount. this is a dysfunctional relationship, senator graham. my sense is the fix is in, senator bob corker. then again, senators like ben
sasse, john cornyn have said, no, you can't do this. so it's tistill unclear if the president would have enough votes to confirm a new attorney general if he decided to fire jeff sessions. let's also be clear about jeff sessions. he is also a witness in the mueller investigation. jeff sessions had to recreuse himself because of the role that he played in the campaign and when he was caught lying about or misleading at the very least about having a meeting with the russian ambassador. and he would be a witness to obstruction. is anyone concerned about that in the white house, hans? >> look, that's a lot you laid out there. i think on the first part of it, especially with don mcgahn, he has done his 30 hours. the way you enumerated it, they could need more than 30 hours to get all the information from the special counsel's office from don mcgahn. on this sort of sessions replacement thing, i think the
lindsey graham comment where he said whoever comes before the senate will have to pledge to continue to go through with the russia investigation, the mueller investigation, and not short circuit that, that to me is laying down a red line for the president. and that is, whoever the next a.g. is has to give bob mueller unfettered access. that throws it back to the white house. are they willing to terminate jeff sessions even if mueller hasn't completed his investigation? because they have got to get the next a.g. through the senate. that gives senate democrats an opportunity to tip the president and to drag out these conversations in very public forl forums. >> hans nichols, appreciate it. john flannery, appreciate it as well. >> things you probably shouldn't say about the first african-american nominee for governor in the state of florida. the state of florida.
>> he is an articulate spokesman for the far left views. the last thing we need to do is to "monkey this up" by trying to embrace a socialists agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state. >> critics of desantis take issue with his use of the words articulate and monkey. in a statement, the florida democratic party said, quote, it's disgusting that ron desantis is launching his campaign with racist dog whistles. in part, quote, ron desantis was talking about florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialists policies that andrew gillum he espouses. we should note that nbc news asked desantis to come on air and explain his comments. he has declined all interview requests. joining me from florida, nbc news political reporter alley
vitale, democratic strategist and host jamaal adams. fox news, guys, came out with their own statement after ron desantis did that interview. it's rare to get fox news to come out and say they don't condone certain language. doesn't happen all that often. >> a little while ago we had ron desantis, the republican nominee for governor in florida, on for an interview to discuss the florida election. during the interview he made what some are calling an inappropriate comment about his democratic opponent, andrew gillum. we do not condone this language and wanted to make our viewers aware he has clarified his statement. >> it's interesting when fox says they don't condone that language. jamal, what is your take on this? do you think it's a slip of the tongue or is it a dog whistle? >> in about august of 2006, there was a united states senator from virginia named
george allen who used the phrase macaca when he was referring to a south asian gentleman at one of his campaign events. this smells an awful lot like that same moment where we get the monkey business that he is referring to, that desantis is referring to today. you know, he also used -- he said articulate, charismatic and called him a performer. what he is trying to do is situate andrew gillum as someone who talks a lot but you can't trust him to govern, and rile up his base using this coded racist language. >> explain where articulate is a problematic word. >> it's not a word you hear people ever say about white people. it's sort of like the assumption is he would not be articulate. so we have to acknowledge the fact that he is. it's not just articulate. he called him in the same paragraph articulate, car iz matic and a good performer on the debate stage. they are trying to characterize andrew gillum as someone who talks a lot, speaks well, but
doesn't do very well as a governor. >> is this going to be that same moment that, the moment, the macaca moment from years back? >> no, i don't think this candidate has any shame. he will embrace it to some level. when you are supported by donald trump that the level that this man was, it's easy to believe that was his intent. and even if it wasn't, he should know better and not to use that language. he should be aware it could be insensitive. either way, it's a lose-lose situation. let's not forget, we are going to look at the republican turnout and the democratic turnout in the primaries, but there is 3 1/2 million independents who didn't cast a vote yesterday. this is their first look at the republican nominee for governor. >> katy, in 2007-ish, 2008, barack obama's staff put out an email sand used kind of a bad
reference to indian americans. barack obama himself went on television and apologized for that note from his staff, said it won't happen again and sent a lightning bolt through his staff for it not to happen again. if mr. desantis didn't mean this he should say so. >> we have invited him on air to do that and he has denied those requests. ali, this isn't happening in a vacuum. it's happening with a president who has said a number of racist dog whistles himself, many would say are outright racist. a president who has never shied away from saying something controversial or something blatantly offensive. ron desantis has been modeling himself in donald trump's image. do you think given that, that this is something that's likely to stick from your reporting, and what you have seen out there from voters and what they think of all this? >> look, i don't actually think
that ron desantis is going to come out and say, yes, i meant it as a racial dog whistle and i apologize for that. if there were a clarification, it would probably happen on a fox news. he is known for his fox news appearances in the frequency which he does them. his campaign said to me that he didn't mean it as a racial term. the gillum campaign saying they don't buy that. something susan said is what we should be paying attention to. we are 12 hours into the race. yes, republicans and democrats voted already, but moderates are looking at who their candidate could be in the general election. they have a choice to make. i spoke to am some folks here. what they had to say about why they voted for ron desantis and andrew gillum give us a little bit of insight into what the campaign's bases look like. take a look. >> i love what trump has done for the country and i think that a lot of things, it's been twisted out of context. just another angle to divide the
krooe country. it's awesome. >> so desantis was a vote? >> for trump. >> i was a bernie supporter, and the fact that he was backing gillum, i thought that was a great idea, that he would be good. if he thought he was good, then i thought he was good. >> so i sort of feel like when you look at these comments, democrats are obviously calling them a racist dog whistle. folks voting for andrew gillum will see what they are. i don't think this is going to impact anyone who voted for ron desantis. most of them voted for him just because of the trump factor. it's going to be a matter of how this breaks down in a general. a state like florida that has, you know, it's a great swing state. it has very few swing voters looking which candidate are they going to go with come november. if this is the way the race is starting, i think they will have a stark contrast.
>> let's play the representative political ads for desantis and gillum. >> what's impossible? the son of a bus driver becoming mayor of the capital city or ma mayor standing up against the nra so guns couldn't be fired in city parks and winning. how about running for governor and being the most progressive democrat? >> build the wall. then mr. trump said, you're fired. i love that part. make america great again. >> big league. so good. >> let's not forget, susan, we have a trump apostle in desantis and a bernie sanders apostle in gillum. you see gillum's populous message in the ad he is put og out. i don't know if you see the poppothat in desantis's ad. >> the question is how do they move to the center and how much -- >> do we move to the center? i don't know. >> i don't know. who in the center they will appeal most to.
>> yeah. >> i'll rephrase it that way. if you look at what happened with desantis, he had a primary. it was a -- he had a huge win. i won't take that away. it was a 56-36 win. there is a segment of republicans that did not like his message. that puts those voters in play. does it force them to stay home? i'm not sure. i think it puts desantis in a hard situation. it also affects the u.s. senate race down there, which is going to be very important for republicans. >> it comes down to one thing. turnout, turnout, turnout. >> that's right. >> susan, ali and jamal, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> a quick programming note. andrew gillum will join chuck "today" only on msnbc. >> there will be violence and the system is rigged, coming up, according to the president who is back in peak 2016 form.
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>> the president right now is announcing a grant for drug-free communities for their support program. we are going to keep an eye ton this and let you know if nug newsworthy cops o newsworthy comes out of it. meantime, president trump had a dire warning for evangelical leaders in a closed door meeting earlier this week. if the gop loses, he said, they
will overturn everything that we have done and they will likely do it quickly and violently. there is violence. when you look at antifa and some of these groups, these are violent people. the president's increasingly desperate rhetoric in the face of a potential blue wave in november come from an old argument from the campaign trail. the system is rigged against him from the media and now to google. with me white house reporter for the "los angeles times" eli stokols. also one of my campaign friends. chief washington reporter for the "boston herald" kimberly atkins. eli, this does to me feel very much like 2016. donald trump started going on off about a rigged election in 2016 at the end because he believed he was going to lose. in fact, we have some of that sound. let's play it. >> it's a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its
wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities. >> these people are rigged. they are part of the rigged system. the media is almost the biggest part of the rigged system. >> this election will decide whether we're ruled by a interrupt political class or whether we are ruled by your selves, the people. it is time to reject a veiled political elite that has bled this country dry. >> eli, i know you remember that well, and then this week when i saw that donald trump was tweeting about google, saying that the google search results for trump news shows only the reporting of fake news media. in other words, they have to rigged for me and others so almost all stories are bad.
fair media is shut out. illegal? et cetera, et cetera. when i saw that, i thought to myself and i wondered if he is doing what he did in 2016 when he was trying to place the blame elsewhere when he believed he was going to lose. midterms don't look so great for him. does he feel like he needs to start placing the blame elsewhere if republicans lose the house or senate? >> yes. you know as well as anybody that he has always been a conspiracy theorist. he has always felt there were dark forces out to get him, and he has always had this disdain for the media. so those things are genuine. yes, it's heightened and he expresses it more, he seeds this narrative ahead of an election when he doesn't know how it's going to go. that was the case, as you pointed out in 2016, and that's the case now as i think the white house political shop understands and has conveyed to the president that the chances of republicans holding on to the
house are very small at this point, and they are already starting to look ahead and see. you know, there is a way, i mean, both parties have used the politics of fear to animate their voters to turn out. you think of democrats saying if republicans win, they are going to take away obamacare. but those were policy-based arguments. the difference here, when the president is standing in a room talking to evangelicals and talking about violence, he is making something up. he is going further and going past the bounds of reality to scare them about something that's just not true. say what you will about antifa, but they, you know, the idea it's going to be blood in the streets -- >> it was white supremacist, a white supremacist who killed heather higher. i think that's an important point to make. this violence, this alleges of violence or this threat of violence is not new either. he talked about this in june of
2016 before he was -- had a secure hold on the convention when he thought he might lose that nomination. there might be a revolt at the convention against him. he said i think you will have riots. and then in august of 2017, donald trump's political ally, roger stone, predicted a violent insurrection if donald trump is impeached. in august of 2016 rudy giuliani is saying the -- 2018, rudy giuliani is saying the american people would revote if donald trump impeached. this threat of violence, kimberly, where does it come from with trump? and not just him, but stone and now we're seeing it from rudy giuliani. >> yeah. i mean, i think that, too, has been a fairly consistent element of president trump's particularly his campaign
messaging. violence and fear. i mean, i think it was best demonstrated in his immigration policies, fear of muslim people coming into the country, the fear of mexicans, the reason why we need this border because they are rapists and criminals and compounded with this idea of violence that either the threat that other people, you know, threats that inaccurate that other people are threatening violence against president trump or his supporters. all the cases you mentioned, even maxine waters when she very controversially encouraged people to confront members of the administration. she didn't encourage people to commit violence on them, but donald trump painted it as such. we have seen this consistently since 2016. >> and i will remind everyone, eli, you know this, too, the violence we saw at rallies were often inside the rally when donald trump supporters would throw a punch and landed often.
>> he said he'd pay their legal fees. >> yeah, pay the legal fees of anybody who punched a protester inside his rallies. >> he is always trying to scare people and the rhetoric is over the top. think about how he talks about ms-13, describing blood-stained killing fields when he talks about these communities. it's an intentional thing he is doing to try to gin up fear. >> guys, thank you very much. >> and next up, is hurricane maria president trump's katrina? another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair® works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula available. it's clinically proven to work on fine lines and wrinkles. one week? that definitely works! rapid wrinkle repair®. and for dark spots, rapid tone repair. neutrogena®. see what's possible.
new analysis finds a number of lives lost because of hurricane maria in puerto rico has far exceeded the official count and now some are wondering if maria is trump's katrina. the original government estimate was 64 people. back in may a harvard study found 4,645 deaths could be attributed to the hurricane. researchers used data taken between september to december of last year. now a new george washington university report is estimating an actual death toll of 2,975. it's all kind of confusing. this one was conducted from september 2017 to february of this year. this study was commissioned b e the government of puerto rico. what's behind the discrepancy between all of these estimates? nbc's gabe gutierrez is in puerto rico with more. >> reporter: katy, this new independent study from george
washington university seems to confirm what many people here on the island already knew, that the death toll here in puerto rico was much, much higher than what the government initially let on. the initial official count was 64. that stayed current for so many months and now george washington university estimates that almost 3,000 people, 2,975 people died in the aftermath of hurricane maria. the report also found that there was a communications breakdown here in the island among government officials and that there were no proper protocols in place for this emergency response in many cases. so why the discrepancy in the numbers? for a long time the puerto rican government insisted that it was counting direct deaths for the storm and that it was relying on cdc protocols. but the report found that new cdc protocols weren't communicated to many physicians here on the island or people that were in a position to decide whether these deaths were connected to hurricane maria. so this report actually counts
indirect deaths as well and not just people that died in the middle of the storm, structural collapses or drowned in the flooding. these are people that were without power for many months, many times with lack of adequate medical care. we spoke with one woman who said she lost her mother just a few days after the storm. she was heartbroken as her mother went to a local e.r. overcome with heat and stress. take a listen. >> she had asked me to send her one of those battery fans, if i could get it to her from here. and i said, okay, i will, i promise. she died two days later. and i wanted an autopsy, because i knew that she died because of the neglect. >> now, the white house continues to maintain that it is proud of the federal effort here. san juan's mayor, carmen yulin cruz says that president trump
deserves puerto rico an apology. she's been an outspoken critic of the federal response. we've heard from people on the ground that say on the one hand they want people to come to puerto rico, the tourism industry needs it, the economy here needs it, but many are outraged that the government withheld these numbers for so long and couldn't admit that the death toll was so much higher. we're here in front of puerto rico's main morgue. it has been overflowing much of this year. the government bringing in refrigerated containers to hold the unclaimed bodies. really indicative of the overwhelming nature of how many people died here. just imagine, 3,000 americans, more than 1,000 that died during hurricane katrina. the deadliest u.s. natural disaster in more than a century. katy. >> holy cow. nbc's gabe gutierrez reporting from san juan. as we head to break, we wanted to show you one more time a live look at the arizona capitol where public viewing of john mccain's casket has started. we'll be right back. we'll be right back.
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private sector and he'll do very well. but he's done an excellent job. >> any concern about what he said to the mueller team? >> no, none at all. none at all. >> back to that developing news we had at the top of the hour, the president saying that he thinks don mcgahn is a great guy. he will be gone, though, after brett kavanaugh is confirmed, hopefully. one more thing before we go and this one is unbelievable or should i say stay unbelievable, my book is out in paperback now. if you wonder how we got here, i'll argue you'll best find answers in the pages of this book. so go buy it and help me get my publishers off my back. that will wrap things up for this hour. ali velshi has it. you were scrolling intently through the book. >> there was a passage i wanted to read but i had forgotten since having read this in its early publication there's a fair amount of cursing in here. not because you're a sailor but because you're talking about things in which there was swearing. i was trying to find one of the passages that i liked that didn't have