tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC October 29, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
an hour. >> see you tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. happy birthday, ali. >> thank you very much. it's a tough birthday. katie picks up the coverage now. >> well said, guys and happy birthday. 11:00 a.m. out west and reporters will get a chance to ask sarah sanders questions in the first white house briefing in weeks. there is a ton to talk about. we will go there when it starts. let us begin with breaking news on two court appearances. the man who killed 11 people at sis a synagogue on saturday. robert bowers facing 29 federal charges. he is accused of killing 11 and wounding 6 during shabbat services at tree of life. in florida, the man suspected of sending pipe bombs to high profile democrats will be charged in a miami courtroom. this as another suspicious
package was discovered today in atlanta. more on that in a moment, but first in pittsburgh, the city and community are in mourning following the worst attack on a u.s. synagogue in nearly six decades. >> it's a mixture of anger and disbelief. am i really experiencing this? is this a horrific nightmare and i'm going to wake up? these are good, decent people. they didn't have an ounce of hate in any of them. to the leaders of our country, we have got to stop hate. >> the victims range in age from to 97 years old. among them, an accountant, teacher, a husband and wife and a man who had recently become a grandfather and two brothers described as inseparable.
savannah guthrie spoke with the sisters of 65-year-old richard g got freed who shared a dental practice with his wife. >> he touched a lot of people. in all areas of his life. that speaks to who he was. >> i want them to be who he is. and he was the kindest, most loving, caring person. >> joining me is ron mott in pittsburgh. tom winter. ron, i want to start with you in pittsburgh. it has to be god-awful being down there and talking to the community as they are going through this. what can you tell us it's like at the moment and where does the community stand in its process
of trying to come to terms with this and beginning to heal? >> pittsburgh is a great city. it's a blue collar and hardworking town. people take care of each other. to see this happen as people did early saturday morning, it's a crushing blow to the soul and the spirit of this sea. while there are a lot of media around me, a lot of folks who had short conversations with us want to remind all of our viewers that the real focus especially right now should be on the families of the 11 people who lost their lives. i must say there is fascination with the suspect in this case as you might imagine. there is a tendency to want to lay your eyes on a human being as to go into a house of worship and blow people away and shoot them and kill them want only.
several vehicles out of the courthouse, we don't know if that was robert bowers. it could have been and may not have been him at all. we started the day not knowing whether he was going to physically appear here. we know now and confirmed he was in fact in the courthouse today. he was wheeled in in a wheelchair. officers escorting him from the u.s. marshal service and unhooked his handcuff for him to sign paperwork and confer with his court-appointed attorney and the judge made sure he was aware of the charges against him. 29 federal criminal counts, including 11 for murder. he was also changed separately by the common wealth of pennsylvania by my count of 30 charges from the state and of course told if he understood these charges and he answered one word. yes. that was it and off he went into the custody of the marshal service and we think that might
have been his caravan that left the courthouse here a few minutes ago. the next appearance is this thursday, november 1st. we will have to see what that day brings. a town that is still heartbroken, heartbroken over what happened on saturday and this name robert bowers will be permanently seared into the minds and consciousness in this city for years to come. >> we just got video of a u.s. attorney with the department of justice talking about this case. let's listen to this. >> today robert bowers made his first appearance in federal court. the judge advised him of the charges. he is detained in jail without bond. the federal magistrate judge scheduled a hearing for thursday, november 1st, at 10:00 a.m. at that time we will have the opportunity to present evidence demonstrating that robert bowers murdered 11 people who were exercising their religious
beliefs and he shot or injured six others, including four of whom were police officers responding to the shooting. our investigation of these hate crimes continues. under the law, we must present this to a federal grand jury within 30 days of today. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims's families and with the community. rest assures, we have a team of prosecutors working hard to ensure that justice is done. >> tom winter, ron mentioned this a moment ago. the town is understandably in mourning, but obviously fascinated by who this man was and what compelled him to do this. the country is deeply interested as well. what can you tell us about the suspect, where his motivation came from and whether or not this was something that could have been flagged. could have been something that someone told the authorities about before something like this happened. >> that's a really good question. so often we hear about little
things that may pop up before this occurs. people that knew him and maybe neighbors or relatives could have said something. at this point there is no indication in this case so far in the investigation that that happened at all. the only thing that did come up and it appears to be prominent are his social media posts. that definitely had strains of anti-semitism and advocated towards violence. they were very disturbed. we are showing you only a portion of them because there is no really reason to further propagate the things he was advocating and advertising. they were all deeply against people of the jewish faith and extreme i think is kind of an easy way to put it. free speech is protected even if it makes us want to feel sick. this is protect and where does
it go to snag law enforcement can act upon? there is so much of it. there is a lot of volume that is out there on the internet. it's difficult to figure out who is for real and who is throwing this stuff around online. this is one of the cases where we don't see that. just to take a queue, this case is going to be indicted at some point. it is possible if we figure out whether or not anybody may have known about if or anything else popped up in his history. >> he was injured in the shootout between police and himself on saturday. there were as ron was saying, questions about whether or not he would show up for the court appearance. we have color from inside the courtroom from our producer, scott newel. bowers entered at 1:31 eastern time in a wheelchair and wearing handcuf handcuffs. he was wearing a blue long sleeve sweatshirt. at least four security members from the marshals were present.
u.s. magistrate judge robert c. mitchell of the concern district of pennsylvania asked bowers to identify himself. after doing so, the judge asked if he understood the charges against him and bowers relied, yes, sir, in a clear voice. it's bone chilling to hear somebody even say yes, sir, somebody accused of doing something so horrific. it's bone chilling that the neighbors didn't seem to know much about him beyond a friendly hello or i saw your garage door open, you should close it. to have somebody have a completely different life on a social media platform that the vast majority of americans have not heard about. >> we have covered incident where is somebody has done something horrific. this is kind of on a grand scale. somebody has done something horrific and the neighbors can tell you something about somebody. give you some information. this person appeared to live off
the grid except for the extreme platforms. this first appearance as it's called, we didn't get a plea. that's not how it works. not surprised about that. i was curious that he did only respond in the affirmative. listening to the radio broadcast, personally on saturday, he was making a number of statements to police that are now referenced in these charging complaints. he was repeatedly saying in the process of shooting at police and in the process of getting arrested, he wanted to kill jews and said a number of other offensive and inflammatory statements. it was interesting to see that he was quiet in court. >> he was clear about his motivation. >> very, very clear. >> ron mott, thank you as well. joining me from pittsburgh, the rabbi at temple sinai in the squirrel hill neighborhood. james gibb and ceo and publisher
of the pittsburgh jewish chronicle. our hearts go out to you and your community for everything you guys have gone through. first off, rabbi, you knew a lot of the victims. i believe you knew the families and the victims and a good friend of yours is in the hospital. can you tell me how he's doing and how his family is doing? >> well, the word that daniel who is a beloved chaplain in the upmc system had gone through three surgeries already and we were afraid after each one that we might lose him. i am told that he is stable and we are hopeful and praying for his recovery. he is essential to the fabric of the community and we are heart sick that he was shot. >> he was supposed to be delivering services saturday at the synagogue, correct? >> yes. this particular synagogue is the home of three different
congregations. tree of life and new generation and new light. three services were going on. they were fatalities and injuries in each of the three synagogues. >> the age ranges of the victims, rabbi. the youngest was 54 and others in their 70s and 80s and 90s. in talking to people in the community and the family members of these victims, how were they describing the moments and how are the family members trying to come to terms with such horrific violence happening at such a sacred place in what presumably was a safe space. a safe place. a synagogue in pittsburgh in the united states of america. >> i think that you are right about that. taking your last point first, sa
ba shabbat is when people come to find peace. people gather because they know each other for years and years and years. newcomers are always welcome. the idea that that would be destroyed by the attack of a man with an ar 15 is stunning and unbelievable. i have not spoken with the families. we are trying to give them the space and dignity they need. they have not yet buried their dead. we asked the media to understand that the families need to grieve and pray for the recovery of those who are injured first before we try to embrace them and figure out how they are feeling. >> naturally. you have to give somebody their space first in a way they can deal with it. jim, there have been a lot of suggestions from a lot of prominent people, including the president of the united states about how to keep synagogues and places of worship safe. this is the same idea after
there was a massacre at a school of adding armed guards to a synagogue or church. is that the solution to something like this? >> well, firstly, we know that our country has been grappling with this problem for at least two decades since columbine. we have been unable to come up with a solution. there are really two problems with putting armed guards in every synagogue and church and mosque. the first is, when you look at europe today, at the levels of anti-semitism and violent anti-semitism is much higher than here, every synagogue in europe is a mini fortress, locked down with barriers and armed guards. that's not the way we want to live as americans. that's not our way. the second problem is, there are a lot more synagogues and
churches and mosques in this country than in europe. it's just not practical to have them all armed. we have to find another solution. >> where do we go from here? >> i think we started to point the way last night when thousands of people overflowed the seats and the aisles and the lobby and the outdoor grounds of sailor's memorial hall to show solidarity. the hippedu, the sikh, and the muslim and christians came to say that a blow to the jewish community is a blow to all of us. just as they stood by our muslim and hindu and sikh friends, they feel almost honored to return that to us, that we in fact stand together. it does not excuse or justify an act of senseless violence. it did open a lot of people's eyes to the fact that anti-semitism is very, very
real. many people thought it was dissipated, but we got a rude awakening and a terrifying moment when 11 people died. >> gentlemen, our hearts go out to you from here in new york and go out to the family members of the vehicles and those who are still fighting for their lives in hospitals. rabbi james gibson, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> now to miami where pipe bomb suspect cesar sayoc is appearing in court, facing five federal charges after sending 14 potential explosive devices to prominent democrats and critics of president trump. cesar sayoc could face up to 58 years in prison for those charges. there no cameras in today's court appearance. after all, it is federal court, but we have a team in place in the courtroom covering the proceedings. this as authorities say they intercepted a 15th suspicious package. this one addressed to cnn.
it was found in an atlanta post office. the fbi confirmed that it is consistent with the other packages sent by sayoc. pete williams is following the investigation from our newsroom. what is the latest on the investigation? they just recovered a 15th package. is there any indication there could be many more out there? >> yes. that is the indication. the fact that one was found today, more than 72 hours after the last one was discovered. the ones on friday. the problem here is, they don't know for certain when the last of these packages were mailed. as we understand it, sayoc has not been cooperating with authorities and hasn't said whether he sent packages or sent any others that might still be out there. they believe he made these in his van. they don't know when they were mailed and they are working on
that he didn't mail them all at once. they were mailed a little at a time and the last could come as recently as thursday. there may be others out there. there was one addressed to cnn's new york office to john brennan, the former cia director in care of cnn and new york. this one according to the way it has been described just said cnn in atlanta. it was addressed explicitly to cnn. he meat anti-cnn comment and had that sticker among the other hundreds on his van. that's one aspect. another is that authorities had they gone through his personal records, he had done research about people and their addresses on well over 100 people. now the fbi and members of the joint terrorism task forces are
today contacting all of those people to say look, cesar sayoc was doing research about you. for two reasons. the fbi always does this when they find specific information when someone was potentially targeted, but secondly, there was a much more practical reason. if they can't be certain, they want people to know and to be on the look out for them. odds are even if they out there, they would never be delivered. the postal service is well aware of the existence of these packages and they are much more likely to be found in postal processing places like the one that was discovered on friday addressed to james clapper, like some of the ones found in california and like this one today. much more likely to be found by postal employees. >> could he have sent the packages after the initial round was discovered, after authorities were on the look out for him?
>> yes. it's possible. they think he could have been mailing these as recently as thursday. the first of the devices was found last monday and then the round of them tuesday, wednesday. it's possible as the nation was coping with this, he was mailing them out. >> interestingly and i'm not making a connection, but after the president started commenting on this and again since it went to cnn, the president again blaming the media for the divicive nature. >> it takes a long time to make the devices. he probably had a lot of this already lined up in his head well before the rest of us started talking about it. >> very good point. pete, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> again, when the court hearing concludes, we will go back out to florida are in the latest of what happened there. we are waiting on the first press briefing in weeks. what's going to happen inside
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different. 15 bombs sent to political opponents of the president and one news organization and saturday, 7 people killed at a synagogue. like every other post tragedy moment, the president's response has been the same. read off a teleprompter and then say how he really feels on twitter or at rallies. given that, what should americans look to for comfort and solace in times like this. the circus and l.a. times white house reporter, eli, first to you. what is the president's plan for pittsburgh? i know there had been discussion of whether he would go there. >> i think that discussion continues. they are trying to figure out if the president can get there this week. you juxtapose that with the other plans the president had for this week that included make a speech about immigration and continuing to drive that on that issue. a wedge that a lot of people
believe had a lot to do with the events that have taken place. at the white house, there are a lot of difficult conversations taking place. given how this is playing out, the president can get on twitter and tweet his feelings, but that under cuts his efforts to do the right thing and act presidential. when he goes to pittsburgh, he's going to have a tough time. you saw the letter from 11 jewish leaders that was an open letter to the president published last night and they said the blame lies at the president's feet and he is not welcome in pittsburgh until he does more to condemn anti-semitism and white nationalists, etc. this is a tough call for the white house in terms of trying to figure out his schedule. >> we're got an alert for the press briefing so we might have to go to that, but we know how the president is going to react.
nobody should expect him to suddenly turn presidential. who do americans look to now and how should americans look within themselves? >> that's a great point. we lost a vocabulary to even talk about it. the reason it's important for the president to rise up is he is the only who can rise above. the problem is when you campaign as a divider and not a uniter and have obligations to do that and then he readings off a teleprompter, you don't have a lot of credibility on the issue of unifying. i just have this sense that i'm asking myself, what can i do to lower the heat? i hope that we're all asking the question. >> maybe can't even expect it from our politicians. >> we have to look to ourselves first. am i contributing to the partisanship or the heat?
>> let's see what they have to say. >> in pittsburgh, pennsylvania on saturday, the shooter is in custody and the fbi is leading the investigation with the support of state and local law enforcement. this atrocity was a chilling act of mass murder and hatred and evil. anti-semitism is a plague to humanity and responsible for the worst horrors in human history. we have a duty to confront anti-semitism in all forms and everywhere and anywhere it appears. the american people reject hatred and violence. we are a nation that believes in religious liberty, tolerance, and respect. we are a people who cherish the dignity of every human life. today america grieves for the precious lives that were cruelly stolen. our hearts ache for every person who lost a loved one. the 11 jewish americans
represented the very best of our nation. they were brothers and sister who is looked out for each other. doctors who cared for citizens in need. they were proud grandparents who taught their grandchildren to value faith, family and country and the religious heart of the tree of life community. our nation mourns the loss of these extraordinary americans and we also pray for those who were wounded. our hearts are with the four brave police officers who were shot and injured while trying to stop the attack. we thank got for the officers and every member of law enforcement who responded swiftly and bravely. in the wake of the attack, we witnessed americans of every faith and tradition come together to mourn to support one another and stand in solidarity with america's jewish community. the president cherishes the american jewish community for everything it stands for and contributes to our country. he adores jewish americans as part of his family. the president is the grandfather
of jewish grandchildren and his daughter is a jewish citizen and his son-in-law a decent end of holocaust survivors. tomorrow he will grieve with the pittsburgh community. with that i will take your questions. >> sarah, the president said over the weekend that he could tone up his rhetoric. what does he mean by that. does he have any concern that his words could inspire or provoke troubled team to do awful things? >> certainly. the president wants in moments where our country is hurting like we have seen in the last several days, find ways to bring our country together and we have seen him do exactly that. the president is going to continue to draw contrast, particularly as we go into the final days of an election. the differences between the two parties, particularly on policy
difference. you will see him make that contrast and he has certainly found those moments to bring our country together and focus on the things that all of us can support and all of us can condemn as well. >> has harshly attacked the people who received the pipe bombs and suggesting that the news media is responsible for the anger in the country. how does he do that in when the in the case of the pipe bombers, this is someone who went to trauchl r trump rallies and attacked the media and praised the president. the shooter in pittsburgh is someone who provoked by the caravan that the president has been talking about. why is he out there when you say he is trying to unite the country. why is he out there? >> the very first thing the president did was condemn the attacks in pittsburgh and in the pipe bombs. the first thing the media did was blame the president and make
him responsible for these ridiculous acts. that is outrageous that that is the first reaction of so many people across this country. i'm not finished. the only person responsible for carrying out either of these acts were the individuals who carried them out. it's not the president no more than it was bernie sanders's fault for the individual who shot up a baseball field of republicans. you can't put the responsible on anybody but the who carries out the crime. the president is the one placing blame here. >> the president is not placing blame. the president is not responsible for these acts. the very first action that the president did was condemn these heinous acts. the very first thing that the media did was condemn the president and place blame not just on the president, but everybody that works in this administration. the major news network's first public statement was to blame the president and myself included. that is outrageous that anybody other than the visit would hold
that responsibility. steve? >> what's it going to take to stop these killings from happening over and over again? >> i think if we had a good answer to that, everybody in the country would support it. if anybody knows the answer, i think certainly this administration would be all ears. the president spends every minute of every day looking for the best ways to protect the safety and security of americans and we are going continue to do that. >> is the president going to give a speech on immigration this week and what is he thinking about options in terms of closing the border? >> we will keep you posted if there is a scheduling announcement on that topic. i'm not aware of that. >> 11 jewish leaders in the pittsburgh area said that the president's visit is not welcome unless and until he denounces fully and forthrightly, wight nationalism. does the white house believe this president has done enough? >> the president has denounced
racism, hatred, and bigotry in all forms on a number of occasions and will continue to do that. i'm doing it here today. i would also say at the same time that some individuals are grieving. they are hurting. the president wants to be there to show the support of this administration for the jewish community. the rabbi said that he is bec e welcome as well. >> i don't know if there is another meeting about what to do about the border. he is thinking about executive action. is one of the options making it impossible for anyone to claim asylum unless they enter through a port of entry so anybody who crosses illegally would not be able to make a valid claim of asylum? >> there are a lot of options being discussed. the number one priority is looking for ways to secure our borders. we would love for democrats in congress to help step up and do their job and help us do that.
if they don't and they are unwilling as they have shown in the past, we are looking at administrative actions that allow us to do so. >> sarah, thank you very much. with the state department the commitment to promote human rights and democracy, we will continue to guide the relationship with brazil, however the braziliant president-elect made very controversial comments about the minority position and defended the military in brazil. if the white house plans to ask assurances from the government in brazil, they will protect human rights and democracy in brazil. another question. what do you think about the comparisons -- >> let me address the first thing. we promote human rights all over the world and value the long standing relationship with brazil and want to continue to work with them and we will see what happens from there. >> so what do you think about
this comparison. a lot of people are calling him the trump of the tropics. he plans to invite him to the white house or if he has plans to go to brazil to attend his inauguration. >> there is only one donald trump in my opinion. >> as for the caravan, the president used the word invasion. that's the same word that was mentioned in the constitution three times with respect to the powers of the federal government to repel the invasion. my question is, are there discussions here with respect to that, about the fact that the constitution provides for the suspension of habeas corpus if the public safety requires it. is the president talking about ignoring them by having the military going down there that allows for constitutional exception? >> we are looking at a number of different options.
the department of defense is holding a press conference at 4:00 to talk about some of the actions that they will be taking. i would encourage to you tune into that. >> it has not been ruled out? those are options on the table? >> pair won't get into specific policies. there is a number of actions we are looking at taking. we are ready to make an announcement on that front. >> thanks a lot, sarah. the mid-terms are eight days from today. we often get from both parties, what the mid-terms actually mean the day after the election. i wanted to ask you what the mid-terms mean before the election. the president on october 18th in mississippi said i'm not on the ticket, but i am on the ticket. this is also a referendum on me. is that right? is this mid-term election a referendum on the president? >> i can't get into specifics that will impact the election. i can tell you that the president wants to see more people that support his policies elected than not.
>> it's been four weeks since jamal khashoggi was murdered in the consulate. the president said if the saudis are found responsible there would be severe punishment. that's his words. it's obvious that jamal khashoggi was murder and it was premed tate and it was by the saudis. why has there been no action? >> the president met to get additional intelligence on the overseas trip and the administration is weighing different options and we will make an announcement about the decision of that action. >> sorry he considering any action? >> the administration is considering what action they will take moving forward based on that information and the briefing that the president received last week. >> i want to go back to the question that the president said he was willing to calm down his rhetoric, but in his rallies since the packages have been mailed he has called out maxine
waters and stood there as a chant lock her up in reference to hillary clinton and continues to call her crooked hillary clinton. will he stop using that language? >> the president is going to continue to draw contrast. the same democrats repeatedly attacked the president. hillary clinton said you can't be civil until democrats have control of congress and maxine waters encouraged her supporters to get up into their faces. those actions are from the democrats and the president will fight back when individuals attack him and members of his administration and supporters of his administration. >> about something else. why does the president send like it's are in to send active troops to the border when national guard is doing the same job as the active duty troops? >> the president's number one
job and priority is to protect the safety and security of americans and he will do what he deems are in to do that for specifics regarding that, i encourage you to tune into the press conference this afternoon. >> thank you, sarah. two brief questions. the first is a follow-up about the question on brazil. up until a few months ago, you gave us read outs of the president's calls with world leaders including congratulations calls to newly elected leaders such as president ma'am rcron and chanc merkel. does the president plan to make a call to the president-elect? >> he did and i sent a note to the press pool. if you didn't receive that, i will make sure you do after the briefings. >> with the election eight days away, some republicans such as the nominee for the senate in new jersey do not mention the
president at all. do not invoke his name and image. others running for governor of ohio have him in brochures and pictures. is the president aware that some candidates run against him and is this going to enter into his decision where to go in the final days? >> that's a decision for individual candidates to make. the president has an incredible story to tell. he had a historic first two years and a number of successes that any republican running should be proud of. pafr the spokesperson under general kelly at the went gon, i dealt with the news media and i know quite a bit about it. they are not the enemy of the people. shouldn't you reserve the term enemy for people who are actually the enemy of the united
states rather than journalists? >> the president is not referencing all media. he is talking about the growing amount of fake news that exists in the country. the president is calling that out. >> may i ask a follow-up, please. since you mentioned that, the president said the fake news media, the true enemy of the people must stop. they have a responsibility to report the news accurately and fairly. can you state for the record, which outlets that you and the president regard as the enemy of the people? >> i'm not going to walk through a list, but i think those individuals probably know who they are. >> would that include my outlet which received the bomb threats? >> i don't think it's specific to a generalization of a full outlet. at times there are individual that is the president would be referencing. >> so you are not going to state
for the record? the president is going to say the fake news media are the enemy and if you are going to continue to say that some news outlets in this country that meet that characterization, shouldn't you have the guts, sarah, to state which outlets and which journalists are the enemy of the people? >> i think it's irresponsible of a news organization like yours to blame responsibility of a pipe bomb that was not sent by the president and not just blame the president, but members his his administration for those heinous acts. i think that is outrageous and irresponsible. i've given you three questions. >> the president has talked about how lawmakers have precondition fist they keep control of congress. the administration is supporting a law that would under cut the protections and taken a couple of actions as well.
how do you square those two and the republican plan? >> the plan that he laid out covers preexisting conditions. nobody will be charged higher premium fist they keep their coverage and nobody will be denied coverage under the president. >> thank you, sarah. on chancellor merkel's announcement that she will not seek to rerun as chancellor, what is the reaction from the administration and how this affected the relationship going forward. >> we are aware of the announcement and this is an internal matter for the chancell chancellor. we will work with the chancellor and continue to development the relationship. >> how are they dealing and why did the president call andrew >>. >> before you walked out, there was a report that said, should the meeting between president
trump and president xi of china not go well in terms of easing the trade war and tensions, at that point the u.s. would go forth with the $257 billion in tariffs. is that indeed the time table that the administration is working with? >> i won't get ahead of the president's meeting and i hope it goes well. >> how important is that meeting? you heard larry kudlow say maybe there may not be a lot of detail that comes from it in terms of the trade going back and forth. >> as the president likes to say, we will see what happens. i'm not getting ahead of the conversation. two of the most powerful leaders in the world is consequential no matter how you look at it. >> in one tweet, he called andrew gillum a thief. what is the definition of that statement and want to ask you about issues of voter is you prigz. . >> under fbi investigation, i
would refer you to that. i'm not going to get into specifics on that matter because it involves two candidates running office. i will leave that to the president to make those types of statements. your second question. >> second question, the president talks about voter fraud at a time when there are allegations and proof of voter suppression where stacy abrams is ahead of the republican contender and also in north dakota where native american who is don't have a street address, but have a po box on reservations are not able to vote. what's going on with that? is the president talking about that? >> we don't support voter suppressi suppression. we support voter integrity. i'm not going to weigh into specifics on his election. we will leave it to the president to lay out that case. >> thanks, sarah. could you tell us, does the
white house believe they have a legal authority to close the southern boarder and is it an option being explored? >> we have a number of options on the table and we are exploring each of those. when we have a decision, we will let you know. >> two questions, please. last week we asked the president when he called president obama or others that the bombs were addressed to and he said if they want me to, but we will probably pass. >> the president spoke with governor cuomo last week and there are no plans for further calls. if there are, we will let you know. >> one more about jamal khashoggi. can you tell us if the cia director haskell heard the tape that they have proving that he was killed? >> i can't confirm or deny the specifics of the intelligence that she saw while she was there. >> throughout the course of this briefing you defended the president's attacks on political
opponents as valid because the mid-terms of coming up. >> not because of the mid-terms. i defended the president fighting back when he is regularly attacked. there is a difference. it doesn't matter if there is a mid-term or not, he is going to defend himself and fight back. >> from a political perspective? >> any point. >> why does a national tragedy take precedence? >> the president did exactly that? the wake of a national tragedy and every time our country experienced the heartache and pain we have over the last week. this is a president who has risen to the occasion and worked to bring our country together in a number of occasions whether it's the hurricanes or whether it's the las vegas shooting or the pittsburgh shooting. all horrible, horrible tragedies that this country has experience and this president has come out and condemned the attacks when it is caused by an individual and tried to look for ways to
provide and bring the country together when it was a natural disaster. >> both he and you have acknowledged in the next breath after he called for unity, he calls for division. is he incapable of toning it down? >> again, i think the president had a number of moments of bringing the country together. i will remind you that the very first thing the president did was condemn the attacker and the first thing the media did was blame the president. you guys have a huge responsibility to play in the divicive nate are of this country when 90% of the coverage of everything this president does is negative despite the fact that the country is doing extremely well. despite the fact that the president is delivering on exactly what he said he was going to do. he got elected by an overwhelming majority of 63 million americans who supported him and wanted to see his policies enacted. he delivered on the promises he made and if anything, i think it
is sad and divicive the way that every single thing that comes out of the media, 90% of what comes out of the media's mouths is negative about the president. despite the fact that the economy is booming and he said he he would fix the trade deals and he's done that. he said he would defeat isis. he has. the president has been delivering day in and day out. i think it would be nice if every once in a while we could focus on a few of the positives the president has done instead of just attacking him. thank you very much, guys. >> that right there, the first white house press briefing in a number of weeks. the first thing the president said after the bombings and after the horrible attack at the synagogue was to condemn the violence. hallie jackson rightly saying and reminding sarah huckabee sanders what he would do after that is blame the media or go back and attack people who had
been sent polbombs by name. the question is can the president, and it's an open question by all of us, can the president distinguish themselves from the opponents just on policy instead of going after them in a personal way, calling them nicknames like crooked hillary, or saying that they're evil as he's called democrats, or going after the media. that, i guess, is an open question. i am joined by hallie jackson. mark, we sat that entire news conference. what was your first take? >> well, my first take was that i thought sarah huckabee sanders in her opening statement seemed heart felt about what was going on. it's a human deal. it's nice to see human reaction. but we have to think about this in human terms and what can we do about it? i was struck by that. >> hallie, the president himself
is going to try and, i guess, according to the white house, bring the country together. how was he going to do that this week? how are they hoping that he's going to be able to do that after what happened at the synagogue? >> reporter: i think you can look at how precedent. we know based on what the press secretary said the president will travel to pittsburgh and try to push this message of healing and unity. the question is how long it is going to last. and that's a point i think several folks tried to get to at the briefing. there's a message of unity and healing the divisions in this country. in the next breath his actions and his words often portray the opposite when it comes to his political opponents. that's central to the point that we tried to get to at the end. at what point does a moment of national crisis take precedence of the president needing to punch back at his political opponents? so far we've seen the president rarely if ever in my memory
covering him since the campaign, he's not done that. to any length or degree, over the course of his role in public life and in public office. that is a question. sanders is correct in that the president has denounced anti semitism. he came out after charlottesville, a couple days after and denounced white supremacy after a couple of days of criticism that he was not being forceful enough. the question is what happens after the denunciation. how long does it last? how long does the message of unity last? i think based on the history of president trump, we know the answer, and what it will likely be. the optics of tomorrow will likely be the president and the first lady communicating, trying to be with people who have been impacted and affected by what we saw in pittsburgh. perhaps, for example, first responders. people inside the community. we know a couple members of the white house have traveled there in their official capacity to remember the victims of the
pittsburgh shooting and now tomorrow we understand the president and first lady will also go. >> there's this line from the washington post, from patty davis at "the washington post." the president will never offer comfort, compassion or empathy to a grieving nation. it's not in him. he will always be glib and inappropriate. i have a wild suggestion. let's stop asking him. his words are only salt in our wounds. that quote right there was retweeted by none other than kellyanne conway's husband, george conway. >> well, i'm struck by something i saw today. when you think about donald trump and attacking the press as enemy of the people the day after the bottomings, i was struck today. let's net it out for what's going on, the strategy. i went back to his comment to leslie stall when he said i do it to discredit you and demean you so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you. >> i think that's clear.
that's always been his strategy. he wants to immunize himself from any negative coverage. sarah huckabee sanders was talking about how 80% of the coverage is negative. as mark asked earlier, i'd be interested to find out the percentages for past presidents. it's not the media's job to praise the president or the president's policies. >> they love george bush. >> that's not what we do. what we do is contextualize and fact check. we poke holes where there are holes to be poked. our job is not to praise a president. our job is to uncover the facts and give the people enough information so they can make the best decision they can. it seems like this administration clouds that, and i guess, i don't know, why are we still talking about any of this in terms of the president? i wonder that. >> because he continues to attack the media and portray himself as a victim of negative media coverage.
you put the 11 victims of the shooting up on the screen earlier, the ones we have pictures of. you put those images up earlier this hour. these are the victims here, and yet you listen to the briefing and listen to the diatribe from sarah huckabee sanders, and what you hear is a point of view that the president is the victim here. he's the one who is victimized by negative media coverage. it's stunning. she said the president didn't apply negativity to the media for the climate. he did. saying the media is blaming the president for the actual events themselves when what the people and the media are talking about are the president's comments and actions that seem to have contributed to the dangerous political climate. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. and nice hat. options chains? ones that make it fast and easy to analyze and take action?
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