tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 14, 2018 1:00am-2:00am PST
it's also our first ever episode with two guests, maya sen and matthew blackwell. you can download it wherever you get your podcasts. don't forget to rate and review. that is "all in" for this evening. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight, the first lady's extraordinary call for a senior white house staff tore be fired saying she no longer deserves the honor of serving there. and tonight, reports of an even bigger shakeup sparked by a president described as furious and brooding in a cocoon of bitterness. on the russia investigation front, will written questions for this white house even matter in the end? plus the president dismissing reports that he's getting played by north korea. an update on those troops at our southern border guarding against that caravan. and trump on the defensive over his lonely weekend visit to france. as "the 11th hour" gets under way on a tuesday night.
well, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 663 of this trump administration, and talk of a power struggle amid an imminent white house shakeup is getting louder and more frequent now. now we're hearing about a new force behind the push for personnel changes and that would be her. first lady melania trump. today her office publicly called for the firing of deputy national security adviser mira ricardel seen here at the white house as recently as this afternoon at an event. stephanie grisham, first lady's communications director issued this statement about ricardel. "it is the position of the office of the first lady that she no longer deserves the honor
tonight the white house told our colleague, hallie jackson, that ricardel has never met the first lady and made no indication that ricardel has left the administration. nbc news also reports tonight chief of staff john kelly may soon leave the white house. you may have heard this before a time or two, but now this has changed. "questions about his future in the white house recently became more serious after his repeated clashes with national security adviser john bolton and his deputy, the aforementioned mira ricardel. kelly has also gotten on the wrong side of melania trump over staffing issues and travel requests. some of the disputes with the east wing have escalated to the president. seven people familiar with the clashes said. there have been instances where the east wing staff were not treated as equals to the male-dominated decisionmakers in chief of staff kelly's office" one white house official said.
just last month, melania trump spoke to abc news on the aforementioned africa trip about how she views some staffers working for her husband, the president. >> sources have told us, sources in the white house, that you are the gatekeeper. that you tell him who he can trust, and who he can't trust. is that true? >> yes, i give him honest advice. >> has he had people you didn't trust working for him? >> yes. >> did you let him know? >> i let him know. >> and what did he do? >> some people, they don't work there anymore. >> interesting. an update on the story we first reported here last night via the "washington post," that trump plans to soon replace his homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen. a close ally of general kelly's. early last week, the president started dropping hints that a shakeup was possible. >> administrations make changes usually after midterms, and
probably we'll be right in that category, too. i think it's very custom air. >> any timeline? >> no timeline. >> general kelly has been rumored to -- >> people leave. people leave. >> nancy cook of politico who's standing by tonight, a white house increasingly on the edge, we say, and a staff in turmoil. "bottled up hostility in president donald trump's administration flowed to the surface today during a remarkable 12-our period following an awkward detente and a trip to paris over which the president is still seething. it's like an episode of "m"maury one former trump aide observed to politico. the only thing that's missing is a paternity test." a dark and contentious mood in the white house over the past several days. john brennan, now a national security analyst for our network, told our colleague,
nicolle wallace, what these accounts may be signaling about this president. >> it may be that he is behind the scenes and really concerning about where things are going and that is a dangerous time because if he feels that he is being increasingly cornered, how is that going to manifest itself? it's a white house, administration, in disarray. this reflects this underlying tension that's just eating away at our government. >> with that, let's bring in our leadoff panel. peter baker, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times." aforementioned nancy cook, white house reporter for politico. jeremy peters, political reporter, also with "the new york times." peter baker, i have been looking forward to our conversation
tonight because there's no other way to put it, you and i are old enough to remember first lady nancy reagan getting sideways with reagan chief of staff don reagan. former ceo of merrill lynch. don reagan was soon former chief of staff. so there's precedent for this, but how unusual is this and why? >> don reagan was chief of staff during iran-contra. nancy reagan felt he ill served her husband. he hung up on her at one point in a testy fury. you don't hang up on the first lady. obviously, we have a situation where another first lady is pretty peeved at an aide to her husband. for her to make a statement the way she did today on the record out loud, that's something nancy reagan didn't do and nancy reagan chopped off don reagans he head. she didn't do it in a public statement issued by her press conference. it wasn't done in such an overt outward way. i've never seen -- i don't think either of us has ever seen any first lady openly say what melania trump did today about a person working for her husband. unprecedented situation. obviously means you have to imagine mira ricardel is on the
way out because how can a husband continue to employ somebody after a first lady says something like that in a public times to fully understand the gravity of what i was reading. nancy, there's some reporting out tonight this official under john bolton is very process bound and process oriented, that there might have been a dustup over the first lady's trip to africa, dispute over seats that could have gone to national security types instead of media types. seats are very finite on those trips, as you know. what else are the people inside the west wing saying to you? is. >> well, she has really been a contentious figure since she joined the white house. i'm always a little bit reluctant to report too much on women who are hard nosed and behave hard nosed in those situations. there's a ton of reporting to back that up. she's clashed repeatedly with defense secretary mattis and even during the transition, she
was serving on the pentagon transition team and tried to block a number of mattis' picks after she, herself, could not get a job at the d.o.d. she's really been sort of an attack dog for national security adviser john bolton. sort of going after mattis, going after people in the white house. there are reports of her screaming at people. so she has, you know, really been aggressive and also created a lot of enemies in the white house. as we've seen, she's created an enemy in melania trump and i think that makes it untenable for her to stay long. the remarkable thing about today, there was so much personnel news coming out that it almost seems a matter of who's going to get fired first. will it be mira ricardel, will it be, you know, the department of homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen? it's almost like we're waiting to see what will happen over the next 12 hours. >> jeremy, to that exact point, one hopes there is a whiteboard
in the office of presidential personnel where there may be suggestions of people to fill all these jobs. let's just take homeland security, let's take chief of staff. cabinet-level appointments have to be -- have to go through the senate. that can be very tricky. >> that's exactly right, brian. and i think that if you were to look at some of the people who've been talked about as potentially being on a short list for, say, homeland security, like chris kobach who just lost the governor's race in kansas, it's difficult to imagine he gets easy senate approval. now, it would likely be easier
than in the current senate because there are now more conservative members who've been elected that have replaced moderates like in tennessee and missouri. but nonetheless, the president is not going to have carte blanche to get whoever he wants through the senate. there's likely to be a considerable degree of scrutiny that the senate continues to place on him even though it's more firmly in republican hands. >> peter baker, i wanted to read you a trip that -- a quote, rather, about the trip to france that is totally in line with the reporting from "the new york times." this happens to be from rucker and dawsey at the "washington post". "president was frustrated about the trip and itching to make some changes" said one white house official. "this is a week where things could get really dicey." i was thinking about the quote and thinking about what week of the trump presidency haven't we been worried that things are going to get dicey? >> we have a name for that at the white house, it's called tuesday. we've gone from dicey week to dicey week all along. there's no question in the days since the midterms, there's a feeling of even greater turmoil inside the white house. uncertainty about where things are headed. potential clashes and conflict in washington. more generally we have obviously now the ascendants of a new democratic majority in the house
that will take office in january. we have these fights over the recounts in florida, we have the firing of an attorney general and installation of an appointment that seems like minded with the president about the russia probe. so many things feel like on the edge right now. as nancy said, you know, at this point the personnel question isn't even so much who gets fired first. even maybe who gets to stay. we should probably be looking at the other direction around, it might be easier. even if these people don't leave and john kelly has been on the way out for a year, kirstjen nielsen has been on the way out for many months according to our reporting and everything else, is the question of, you know, how do you do your job if it seems like you might be out, any how do you approve process and policy if you're looking over the -- >> please tell siri we're trying to talk. >> hey, sorry. >> nancy, to your -- >> sorry, i used her name. now she's been engaged in the conversation. the west wing, to your previous point, has been always full of
people, both genders, sharp elbows, hard noses, people don't suffer fools, people don't scare easily. but you've written that this departure of a bolton deputy may have more weight than a departure of, say, a chief of staff. walk us through that flowchart and the reasoning. >> well, i just think the point i made earlier is just we have known that kelly has been on his way out for a long time. you know, his frustration level with both the white house and with president trump has been well known. i thought that the news today about mira ricardel and this clash she'd had with the first lady and the first lady's public statement which was so extraordinary really said so
much more because it really means that this is one of the first potential missteps for john bolton as national security adviser. he's going to lose basically his attack dog in the white house. someone who really helps him carry out the bureaucratic infighting that he's known for, and, you know, without having this right-hand person, that will be a huge blow to bolton. as there are a number of foreign policy questions coming up, you know, later this month, the president is supposed to go to argentina for the g20. that will be a key moment that bolton will want to be part of. president is supposed to meet with president putin and president xi at that meeting. >> jeremy, one is tempted to ask what could go wrong? argentina, meetings with both xi jinping and putin. also as the weather, the nip arrives in the winter air, one thinks of mar-a-lago where as you well know the president goes for kind of the advice and comfort of old friends and allies. often having the effect of hardening his views and narrowing his focus, if that's possible. >> that's exactly right. and bringing out what are often
his most self-destructive impulses. i think, you know, right now you're looking at a president who is not just struggling under the weight of the various geopolitical catastrophes facing this administration, but you also have the political considerations at home and that's that these midterm elections did not go as well as president trump thought they did when he went to bed last tuesday night and tweeted out what a wonderful evening it had been, good night, everybody, thank you very much. so here you have this situation in florida and that's where i am right now. covering this recount. and the president is personally aggrieved by this.
he feels like the recount is a personal attack on him, he's told people, because he thinks he helped drag rick scott and ron desantis, the republicans running for senate and governor, over the finish line. as he does with most things, he makes them about himself. so you have somebody who's already in a sour mood about the various other problems he's dealing with on the global stage, and you reinforce that with a very narrow majority he's going to have in the senate and a house of representatives that's flipped and talking about impeaching him. it's not a very happy place to be in. >> hey, peter, give me 30 seconds of your wisdom on the press corps. secret service is normally only supposed to pull a journalist's hard pass if you're determined to be a threat to the president. physically. jim acosta over at cnn, famously, has had his hard pass pulled. the network is suing a number of people, but the white house, the press secretary, and others. do you think this may have merit? >> well, look, you know, he's been effectively prevented from doing his job. at least doing his job as well as he had done it before. if you're not on the grounds, don't have the permission to go in and go as you need to go for hits and briefings and events, that is a substantial impediment to doing your job and they say, well, you can get a day pass and go in on any given day but don't
want to have to be subject to the whims of the white house staff and whether they'll put you in for a day pass. in fact, he tried to put in for one last week after the hard pass, permanent pass, was pulled. they wouldn't give it to him. you know, there's a real case to be made here. i mean, the 1st amendment, i get why people are upset at reporters who question the president sometimes in a way that might seem rude, but there's not a rudeness exception to the 1st amendment. and i think at this point, you know, you saw the white house shift its rationale today. it first said it was suspending his credential because he was placing his hands on an intern. now they dropped that, saying basically it was because he was trying to monopolize the questioning. if you don't want him to monopolize the questioning, don't call on him. they're the ones who called on him in the first place. we'll see where the lawsuit goes. it's got a lot of people watching it. >> a trio of mostly polite practitioners of the 1st amendment starting us off tonight. peter baker, nancy cook, jeremy peters, our thanks as always. really appreciate it. and coming up, if and when the president's legal team submits written answers to questions, will it really matter
like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. fevered speculations and predictions earlier this week that mueller indictments could be on the way. in the meantime, a source tells nbc news today that the president's legal team is almost finished with written answers to questions from the special counsel, and they could be
submitted as early as this week. the source added "the answers will pertain only to the matters related to russian interference in the election, not obstruction of justice. quote, the source says the president's legal team considers questions about bstruction to be related to the firing of fbi director james comey and, therefore, to infringe on the president's power to hire and fire under article 2 of the constitution." just yesterday, roger stone associate jerome corsi told nbc news he expects to be indicted by mueller's team for perjury in the near future. earlier today, corsi abruptly canceled an interview at this building with nbc news after his lawyer held a scheduled phone call with the mueller folks. corsi's lawyer, david gray, texted this to us. "on advice of counsel, dr. corsi is canceling today's interview." the message read, "no further comment, things have changed". gray told nbc news in a follow-up conversation, "i got to play this a certain way."
with us to talk about it, chuck rosenberg, lifelong veteran between the intersection of law and criminal justice. former u.s. attorney and former counsel to then-fbi director robert mueller. so, chuck, first things first here. help me understand why with a fevered pitch we report with a straight face on these written answers to questions from mueller? we know the president right now isn't on the second floor of the residence with a legal pad. we know these are being prepared by his lawyers. why do we care and will they be treated with any seriousness? >> i'm not sure we should care, brian. to paraphrase forest gump, life is not like a box of chocolates,
you know exactly what you're going to get. you're going to get a heavily lawyered useless pile of garbage. it's not helpful to mueller, it's not helpful to the investigation. you know exactly what you're going to get. >> why are we going through the motions? why would they ask for and accept with a straight face such a pile of paper? >> yeah. the only thing i can think of is the mueller team feels it has to give the president an opportunity to tell his side of the story in some way. maybe they decided they're not going to subpoena him, maybe they decided they can't subpoena him, so they're giving him this opportunity.
remember, too, all this reporting is coming from the white house side. not from the mueller side. so i'm not even sure we can trust it. >> now to this corsi fellow here in new york, his lawyer insists on calling him dr. corsi because dr. corsi has a harvard ph.d., we note. while also noting he's a conspiracy theorist. he has done work with and associated with alex jones from 9/11 conspiracies to birther conspiracies. what role do you think -- what do you think is going on in his life for him to have been almost outside this building in a parked car and canceled this interview? >> well, first, brian, very few people tell their friends that they expected to be indicted. i don't think i've ever woken up expecting to be indicted. i'm sure you haven't, either. so my guess is that his lawyer has been in contact with mueller's team and has conveyed to his client to dr. corsi that this is coming down the road. why did he cancel? well, there's a chance, i guess, that they've decided to cooperate. we've heard from a whole bunch of people, manafort, flynn, you know, others, who have said there's no -- cohen, of course, who said i'm not going to cooperate under any circumstance. cohen even said i'm going to take a bullet for the president. and they've all ended up cooperating. maybe dr. corsi is doing the same thing. >> i guess i can take away my modifier and call him a full-on birther.
he just posed with the cover of his book which was "where's the birth certificate after all?" hey, chuck, while i have you, because i hang on your every word, i saw you on television earlier today talking about the story the mueller team can often tell through these voluminous indictments that read differently to someone like you than they do a layperson like me. you cited off the top of your head paragraph 44 in the now-famous indictment of 12 russians. we scurried, went to work, of course, you were right. tell the folks watching what's interesting about paragraph 44? >> i remembered the number, brian, because that's the number hank aaron wore. >> there you go. >> paragraph 44 in the indictment of the russian military intelligence officials spoke about the fact that they had coordinated, conspired, with u.s. persons, plural, and so why that's important is because we know from the mueller team, from that indictment, that there are americans involved in this
conspiracy. we don't know who they are, but we have a good guess and my guess is that roger stone is one of them. >> and what will that do, what will that mean? >> well, it means other charges should be coming. it means that roger stone, if i'm right, should expect to be charged. or he should expect to have to plead guilty like others before him. this was a signal from the mueller team in an earlier indictment that russians had conspired with americans. that americans knew about the stolen and hacked e-mails and had participated in some way. does it go all the way to the president and to the white house? we don't know. but we know americans were involved. that's the import of paragraph 44. >> chuck rosenberg, if i didn't show you my autographed hank aaron baseball the last time you were in my office, then you're welcome to come back. i'm convinced you can get power by holding it in your hands. thank you so very much for coming on the broadcast with us, again tonight. and coming up -- >> my pleasure. >> -- the freshman class of lawmakers arrived on the hill today as the president calls on one candidate in a very big,
exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else. if you don't like a book, you can exchange it any time, no questions asked. automatically roll your credits over to the next month if you don't use them. with the free audible app, you can listen anytime, and anywhere. plus for the first time ever, you'll get access to exclusive fitness programs a $95 value free with membership. start a 30-day trial today and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever. audible. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. text "listen5" to 500500 to start your free trial today. it may seem like ten minutes, but it's been one week since the midterm elections. today the newest members of congress, more democrats than republicans, started arriving on capitol hill for freshman
orientation. no kidding, they were given tote bags and school supplies. even as the new comers got their briefing books, toured their new digs, several key races remain uncalled. and the political maneuvering is ratcheting up, especially in florida and georgia. for the latest on where things stand, our national political correspondent, steve kornacki, who volunteered to come in and explain all this tonight. we're not holding him against his will on the late shift. he's with us at the big board. hey, steve. >> hey, brian. i don't want to be anywhere else. we still got votes coming in. these races are changing as we speak. let's start in florida. the news in florida today that machine recount is under way across the state. and that includes critically in broward county. the margin statewide, of course, just over 12,000 votes for rick scott right now. this is the big question mark. they are now running the ballots through the machine. presumably we've been talking about those 26,000 ballots where they didn't register a vote in the senate race originally. the question there was that a
machine error, do these ballots actually have check marks on them? are they disproportionately for nelson? they're probably presumably being separated out in this machine recount and then on thursday, the manual recount would begin. there's a lawsuit from the nelson campaign trying to stretch out that deadline. that process now under way in broward county there. the governors race in georgia, new votes coming in just tonight. provisional ballots being reported. you can see here, brian kemp's lead. right now it's about 56,000
votes over stacey abrams. by tomorrow we expect more provisionals from around the state to be reported. also critically some court rulings tomorrow with the abrams campaign trying to get thousands of additional ballots added to the mix. basically, the bottom line for abrams, this 56,000-vote lead, she needs to get that down for kemp to probably about 38,000. if she can do that, she'd get him under 50%. she would get this into a runoff. the other development in georgia affects the outstanding house race in that state.
this a democratic target. you can see here the margin on this screen says about 800, 900 votes for rob woodall, the republican incumbent. again, in the last hour from a key county in here, they reported out provisional ballots and this margin has shrunk to about 500 for rob woodall. we are expecting about 300 more absentee ballots to be counted here. this is getting very close. the prospect of a recount now looms there as well. and some developments very quickly in house races in california, the biggest one in this tonight. where the vote continues to come in. mimi walters, republican incumbent, has now fallen behind her challenger, katie porter. walters had been leading until just a few hours ago and in the 10th district, republican incumbent jeff denham, he's fallen further behind. our decision desk has not called this race but i can tell you tonight the associated press has now called this race for the democrat for josh harder, that would be a democratic pickup. again, right now we have the democrats picking up 31 seats but in these outstanding seats here, they lead in a lot of them, the prospect of democrats getting upwards of 40 seats looms very large right now, brian. >> it's unbelievable how much of this still rolls on. steve, i can't thank you enough for walking us through it. >> thanks. president trump made another attempt to discredit this electoral process today. he wrote on twitter, and we quote, "when will bill nelson concede in florida? the characters running broward and palm beach voting will not be able to "find" enough votes. too much spotlight on them now." it's important to note there is no evidence of fraud. no proof of sabotage of any kind, though it's not the first time the president has made this allegation. so, joining our conversation tonight, ron klain, former chief of staff to v.p.s biden and gore. former chief counsel senate judiciary. he also had a front-row seat to the 2000 florida recount as the lead attorney for then-vice president al gore.
you say that all democrats start to twitch. also with us, jeremy peters who remains in florida covering the recount tonight. ron, serious question, why is this happening again? what is it about florida? >> you know, brian, i think the most important thing is it isn't just about florida. that is, a lot of what we're seeing in florida is really true all over the country. you have some very close elections. you have electoral systems that aren't well funded and aren't well run. and then you have partisans stepping into these systems trying to muck up their orderly process. in georgia all year long we've seen this spectacle of brian kemp who's both a candidate and the state's chief election officer trying to muck with the outcomes. and over the past couple days
we've seen governor scott, the chief law enforcement officer in florida and also the republican nominee for senate trying to intervene in the recount. so what i do think will happen in florida, though, i think this process will play its way out. they'll finish the machine recount. they'll have a hand recount if need if and ultimately the candidate with the most votes will be the winner of the senate race there. >> jeremy, your headline got attention. this one especially. "who gets a last word in a disputed senate race? the senate." please explain. >> so, brian, you don't need to look much farther than the united states constitution to find the answer to that question. it says right there in article 1 the senate is the sole judge of its members and their elections. so let's play this out in a scenario that i don't think is unlikely given the tenor of the conversation around voter fraud and irregularity and alleged malfeasance by the democrats, which, of course, as you pointed out, are totally unfounded and there's no proof of any of that. let's say bill nelson pulls ahead in the recount and he wins. the republicans in in the senate could then decide not to seat nelson and vote instead to seat rick scott because the constitution allows them to do just that. and they would likely do so
using the argument of widespread voter fraud, which you have seen president trump and rick scott, himself, lay the groundwork for as they have claimed over and over again that the ballots are infected and that the forgery is rampant. no proof whatsoever, not offering any evidence, but they're just saying this and i think you have to contemplate for a minute what that does to the integrity of the process in the minds of voters end what it does looking forward to 2020 when there's a presidential race in florida and the outcome probably assuredly is going to be very, very close because, hey, it's florida, florida's always fought on a knife's edge and you have a republican party right now that is willing to discredit the electoral process for political gain. >> so, ron, that dynamic right
there that jeremy's mentioning, he just looked into the camera and told our viewers what i told them a few minutes ago, that allegation the president is making, there's no proof of that whatsoever. welcome to our new era, but for you, ron, and the business you're in, the president is kind of a public litigant in this. he is trying to diminish public confidence in the vote count in florida on top of the man trying to get to the senate who's doing the same thing. that's new. >> it is new, brian, and it is unfortunate. i mean, it is really demeaning of our democracy. in fact, we have the spectacle on veterans day yesterday, a time when overseas ballots from military servicemen and women who have the right under federal law to submit their ballots, mail them on election day, and have them count if they arrive late because they're in iraq, in afghanistan, and the president on veterans day said, hey, those votes shouldn't count. the vote count should be over. so we have a president who has no respect for our democracy, no respect for its voters, and will do anything to take and seize power. that said, i do think that the
process in florida is playing out in an orderly way. president trump's trying to create a lot of smoke and noise around it. steve kornacki raised this question, 30,000 mysterious ballots in broward county, if, in fact, there was a machine error and there are votes for bill nelson and nelson wins, think ultimately the senate will accept and that if nelson has the most votes, i think nelson will be seated. >> two of the very best guests on this topic. ron klain, jeremy peters, gentlemen, can't thank you enough for coming on our program tonight. >> thanks, brian. another break for us. coming up, the latest reporting that president trump is calling fake news, when we come back. ew. get stronger... get closer. start listening today to the world's largest selection of audiobooks on audible. and now, get more. for just $14.95 a month, you'll get a credit a month good for any audiobook, plus two audible originals exclusive titles you can't find anywhere else.
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korea's nuclear program. it gets a big response at his rallies, but yesterday "the new york times" reported north korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at more than a dozen hidden bases. today, trump called the report inaccurate, saying, "we fully know about the sites being discussed. nothing new and nothing happening out of the normal. just more fake news. i will be the first to let you know if things go bad." well, with us tonight is retired u.s. army four-star general barry mccaffrey, decorated combat veteran of vietnam, a former battlefield commander in the gulf. a man who has served presidents of both parties and served all over this world. general, is there something the president may not get about north korea, and what's the danger of this "i'll let you know when you need to worry about it"? >> it's a preposterous situation.
by the way, secretary mike pompeo is smart enough to know what's going on. he's the one who's really in trouble. he's a front man in the whole effort. the north koreans have not stopped developing fissile material for nuclear weapons. they've not stopped manufacturing missiles that we believe are capable of hitting the united states. what they have given is sort of an assurance that some future date there will be a discussion on whether or not they'll disarm. step number one of nuclear disarmament is to declare your program so that an outside inspector can go in and discover the extent of it. they haven't done that. they're not going to do it. they're lying. so, but they know what the background optics, mr. trump talking about he fell in love with kim jong-un. i mean, i followed the north koreans for a long time. this fellow is a monster. he's killed a couple hundred thousand of his own people. he's executed hundreds of his own senior officials of government. >> he writes a beautiful letter apparently. >> i mean, it's hard to imagine what's going on. so we've got some optics of a charade going on, but no serious
discussion. worse, the japanese are now scared. what are we up to? and the south korea ya koreans h reason not to open up economic cooperation with the north as well as chinese and the russians. we're in trouble. >> let's talk about world war i. let's take us back beyond both of us. luckily the lessons of the conflict are still taught at the place so dear to you, that's west point. we saw the president's behavior over in france this past weekend. has our image abroad suffered, do you think, as a result? >> i think the europeans are aghast at almost everything we're doing. the president went there for one reason. world war i in many arguments is the most consequential war in our history. it changed everything, and we took 300,000 casualties, essentially in a six-month campaign.
we put 2 million soldiers and marines into europe. more than the french army. we had 2 million more coming. their sacrifice saved civilization in europe. that's what the president was there to acknowledge. and to be honest, i think he just wanted to stay out of the rain, eat cheeseburger, watch tv and tweet angry denunciations of his many enemies. i think that's what was happening. it's insulting. i don't think it has any impact on the morality of the armed forces. they basically understand the legal obligations of the commander in chief. they fight for each other. their units, their service pride. i don't thing it's any downside to the armed forces but astonishing behavior. >> general is going to stay with us. please do the same. we'll continue our conversation right after this. is
do you plan to visit the border soon, and if so, what would you seek to learn there? at what point do you think a cost estimate for this operation will be available? >> we'll update you on costs upd they become known. they have to report but we are capturing the costs. i'll visit the border tomorrow. >> that's our defense secretary announcing he is going to the border more than two weeks after the president deannounced that troops to defend from that migrant invasion. he was referring to the caravan of refugees from central america, said to contain sporadic middle easterners. still weeks away at the time. critics called it a way before the elections. mattis now famously said, we don't do stunts. meanwhile "the new york times" described a life with little electricity no, combat pay and holidays away from hole.
sleeping on cots, eating only mres. they spent veterans day weekend laying barbed wire and will likely be there for thanksgiving, among other things. what do you make of this? >> i don't think, i think it was a political stunt. i spent a lot of time in central america and mexico. those poor people in central america in particular are living in poverty, violence, injustice, corruption. it is hopeless. it is a disaster. they're fleeing for a better life. and by the way, arguably, the 11 million illegals we have in the country, who grow our food, do the construction, have lower crime rates by far than americans, we have a problem.
both political parties have made no attempt to resolve it. when you come to the actual border, now we have 20,000 some odd border patrolmen. the troops deployed, this is totally legal. both obama and bush before him did the same thing with modest size deployments. they're helpful. it is a waste of military energy. >> thank you for that. >> because i'm smart enough to follow out social media, i'll share with our viewers a photo you posted and read the caption you gave it. today, 11 november veterans day. reunion with my vietnam '68, '69 infantry company and their families. been meeting for 30 plus years. teenagers, intense combat. heavy casualties. such brave soldiers. they love each other. me and first sergeant on third combat tour. both wounded third time. >> they still have a hard time calling me by my first name.
i was an old guy of 25. they were all 18, 19, 20. >> what was your radio call sign? >> outlaw six. >> oh, boy. >> the first sergeant was 35. a badly wound in the korean war. these soldiers are in great physical shape. irrepressible energy and funny in combat. and large, it was close range, hand grenades, automatic weapons. eventually you got killed or wounded. great medical care. they came home. they start finding each other. they put together an organization and they love each other.
>> and they enjoyed for the most part good and productive life. >> spectacular. one is a multimillionaire in new york. a developer. one of them died in prison. but by and large, as they stood up, the families, one after the other, most had been married to the same woman for over 50 years which was very interesting to see. they're bringing their children, their grandchildren, they're just great soldiers. >> you might be outlaw six for the rest of the time. general, thank you. outlaw six tonight. general barry mccaffrey. stopping by to spend time with us. when we come back, we'll have a late upgreat the west coast for you.
the fight. and think for a moment about what it is like to be a first responder out there. some of them have lost their own homes in fires. many of their own families are living in shelters and under evacuation. some police departments are standing guard over smold ever smoldering streets of ash and debris. knowing that people's valuables may still be in. there in some places, they're searching burned out cars for skeletons. as they search and make horrible discoveries, tonight the death toll rises. it has reached 50. two more number, 7600 structures destroyed so far in the largerest of these fires. 8,000 firefighters on the job. just as firefighters get the
upper hand on some of them, we learn that the winds down in the southern part of the state tonight, in san diego county, those santa ana winds that blow from land out to sea, they have gusted to 86 miles an hour tonight. so the power company in san diego county has gone ahead and cut the power to some areas. even though it means 25,000 customers in the dark tonight. and classes cancel in the five different school districts because cutting the power means this. the only things worse would be a sparring or arcing wires from a do you understand power line because of the high winds which is already suspected of starting one of the northern fires. this long ago went from a news story to a human tragedy. and now dozens of frams mourning the loss of loved ones. for thousands more, home will never be the same again. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you so very much for being with us. good night from our nbc news headquarters in new york. nbc nes headquarters in new york
is john kelly on his way out? there's new reporting the president's chief of staff may be exiting the white house. plus a stunning move from the first lady. milania trump calls for the firing off a top security aid. said he no longer deserves the honor of serving in the white house. and the death toll rising as teams continue to search for survivors. ♪ it good morning everyone.