tv Morning Joe MSNBC January 16, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PST
you're a failing pile of garbage. you want to know why? i took your quiz yesterday and i'll tell you right now, i'm not a joey, i'm a dr. ben carson's maegs hearing this week is characterized at shanky. are you sure he is qualified for this cabinet position? >> if it helps i appointed somebody yesterday to help him out. steve harvey. >> it's me, steve harvey. yeah, i do government now. does this bode well for our country? survey say! good morning. it's monday, january 16th. martin luther king jr. day. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set pulitzer prize winning historian john meacham and "the new york times" reporter jeremy peters and professor at the university of michigan school of public policy, former republican congressman harold ford jr. and associate editor of "the
washington post" and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. good to have you all on board. >> harold, talk about today and the importance of today, and just put it in proper perspective for our viewers this morning. >> i think, undeniably, when you think of americans who make contribution to advancing and making the space fairer and more open to people and in the 20th century a tower figure no more than martin luther king jr. a day on, instead of a day off, for people. people decided to give back in some way. i think it's important to try to help the space but i think it's also important to help young people understand who this man was, what he represented, and not only for african-americans, what he represented to the country and even to the world. >> gene, as you look back, the thing that is always so remarkable as you look back and read history, it's just how young this man was. this was such a young man that
shook the world, that changed the world, that changed everything. >> yeah. they were all young at the time. >> all young. >> but dr. king especially when you read his writings, when you listen to his speeches, there's a maturity and a wisdom that is natural, that is just -- that came from somewhere else. he was a towering figure as harold said and i think his reputation and his stature in american history only grows with time. >> jon meacham, talking about the last year of martin luther king's life, he was is not on the mountain top when with he died. we always hear him talking about right before -- talking about going to the mountain top, but, actually, he felt betrayed by many in his own movement.
he had been pushed to the side by younger leaders in many people's eyes. we forget, the last year was such a difficult year for him that sometimes that sort of washed away and that reading of history. but this is a great example, perhaps one of the greatest examples in our time of a prophet not even being respected, if not in his hometown, in his own time. >> he's a modern founding father. he fulfilled the jeffersonian promise that all men were created equal. >> i really was the ultimate fulfillment. >> yes. >> of what the founding fathers -- >> planning the definition. >> of what founding fathers defined but then so imperfectly practiced. he did martin luther king, more than anybody else, i suspect 50 years from now, they will put barack obama in the same sentences as martin luther king for doing that. but he actually fulfilled the
promise constitution, the declaration of the words of the independence of the constitution. >> the suffrage that pushed for the right to women to vote and dr. king actually made real the promise that all men were created equal here. you're exactly right in the last year or two of his life. he had shifted his concern to economic justice and to vietnam, which were issues that however complicated the battle jensen jim crow was, however hard and violent and difficult it was, was even harder. in some ways, the high water mark was 63 and then the legislative achievements of '63 and '64. top headlines. senator bernie sanders is back in campaign mode, if you can believe it. he and democratic congressional leaders joined thousands of americans across the country yesterday to send the message to republican lawmakers not to repeal obamacare. they held rallies in nearly two dozen states, including many battleground states that trump
won. in michigan, thousands braved the freezing temperatures with senate minority leader chuck schumer and senator bernie sanders and sanders issued a warning to his republican colleagues over their push to scrap the health law. >> what we are saying to the republicans, if you want to improve the affordable care act, let's work together. but if you think you're simply going to throw millions off of health insurance, you got another guess coming. no, you're not going to throw 20 million people off of medicaid. you are not going to privatize medicare. you are not going to defund planned parenthood. you're not going to raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.
and, by the way, as part of the repeal of the affordable care act, they want to give over 300 billion dollars to the tax break. >> they are getting pulled by one side and bere sanders talking the republicans think they can do this they got another thing coming. donald trump is also warning the republicans in the house. you better follow me. you better provide universal health for everybody. insurance for everybody or else. i think this is -- this is shaping up to be a pretty extraordinary fight. >> if you listen to the beginning of what bernie sanders said if you republicans want to improve, like to improve obamacare which he could find some ally in donald trump in that regards, donald trump's remarks remind people that he ran, not as a traditional republican as has been said around this table numerous times, but ran that imperfect
vessel that represents the middle of the country and a majority of people now considers themselves independents more so than democrat or republican. this issue, i think, will test the president-elect and we will say president without the elect here in the next several days very quickly. and it will be interesting to see if he can hold enough democrats with him even including some republicans. this king thing moving to the poor peoples campaign and jon and smiley's point really pushed him to the manager so many ways even amongst black leaders and others who questioned why he would leave the plank that advanced his career so greatly up to that point. and frankly what scared and i think frightened so many americans he could have found a way to unite people of all races around an economic justice message. i listen to sanders, i don't think i'll put sander in the king category but i wonder if king would be making a similar argument today. >> right. >> that you saw sanders making yesterday afternoon. >> democrats are going to find themselves somewhere in that crowd and with that guy. in an interview with "the
washington post" published late yesterday, president-elect trump says that he'll soon unveil a plan that will provide insurance for everybody. while he didn't provide specifics, trump told the paper that the plan would provide a much simplified and a much less expensive form of coverage to those currently covered under obamacare. >> jeremy, if that happens, the republican house better get out their checkbook. >> right. >> because this is going to cost billions of dollars. >> in fact, everything. >> if you want it to be cheaper for americans, if you want there could be more expansive coverage and lower deductibles like donald trump is talking about, get out your checkbook, paul ryan, because this is going to cost billions and billions of dollars. >> forget about the checkbook. get out their pen and notepad and come up with a replacement. >> i'd like to see on it! where is this replacement? >> they claim they are close but that comes as a shock to the republican leaders. >> i think it does.
this has been the problem with repeal and replace all along. my colleague carl hall has an excellent piece in the paper. it's been a slogan in search of policy specifics. and this, i think of all challenges facing republicans as they transition being being the opposition to having the keys of the kingdom and being in power probably no challenge that is coming up with a replacement plan to make sure people don't get kicked off the affordable care act. >> people are ncongress having a hard time keeping up with donald trump. they caught up with him last week and said we will replace at the same time we repeal. now he is telling your newspaper he already has the plan in place and we are just finishing it up right now. while leaders in the house and the senate are saying, they are still months away. >> well, when president obama did the affordable care act, his tactic was to let congress do
it, right? let congress come up with a plan and then we got a very complicated plan that did, in fact, reduce the rate of insured in this country dramatically. but i don't think anybody thought the affordable care act was perfect. so president president-elect trump is taking the opposite attack and apparently, saying i'm going to write the thing and you guys can just sign off on it. it is amazing, though. for how many years has the republican party saying we are going to repeal and replace the obamacare and have no clue what a replacement is going to be? that is astounding! >> no clue, no plan. >> the president-elect wants a replacement for it. when he went on "60 minutes" and said we will keep the things most expensive and i think heard jeremy say this one morning
here. when you want to keep the two most expensive components to it yet change it that has thirty themselves. >> that is why they have to get their checkbooks out because you already have insurance companies bailing from this. younger americans just aren't opting in. if donald trump thinks he is going to take a system that is already teetering, at least not on the brink of collapse but teetering in 2017 and make it better, again, the price tag is going -- >> sounds like obama when he says we are providing more insurance with -- >> he sounds wonderful! >> as mika and i have been saying all along, jeremy peters, he is not a paul ryan republican and not even a mitchell mcconnell republican. he has been a democrat his entire life. he switched to the republican
party several years ago. so he doesn't -- >> let's hear it out. >> he doesn't care what think tanks have been writing about health care on the republican side for 30 years. >> he is absolutely not looking at what the heritage foundation is saying about repealing and replacing the aca. i think also what is going on here the fact he is not a conservative. donald trump is a republican president but he is not conservative. he is not of the conservative movement and he doesn't really care much about conservative causes with the same level of passion that many in his party do. and you have it completely at odds with where paul ryan is on this. paul ryan talks about giving people access to health care is the way they describe it, not health care for everyone, blanket coverage like which is actually a very liberal sounding idea. they want to do this through tax credits and providing access. >> there is a reason why bernie sanders got all of the people he got over this past year.
as mika said, when she saw bernie sander, that is the future of the democratic party and he is 70 whatever? 4? >> everybody gets a part and it's going to be great. >> he is going out there and finding out what we missed. >> he sound just as relevant today as a year ago, bernie sanders. >> i don't think chuck schumer made that crowd happy, as much as i love chuck. >> the only respectable argument is for a single-payer system. >> you're talking about bernie sanders? >> yes. but because of the existence of the insurance industry and because of our culture and history that is not going to happen. once you rule that out, then you are left with reforming something. it's actually not replace. it is actually repeal and reform an existing system that tr started on this. this is not our first trip to lucy and the health care football. and that is going to keep happening again and again. and the idea he is not a
heritage president. the president's think tank is a show on cnbc. this is not a serious thing. >> you bring up tr. you take away twitter and you take away all of the other temp ment temperamental trappings of donald trump and you have one that thinks big and wants a big infrastructure spending and wants a to destroy isis, wants health care for everybody, wants big things. he does not think about balanced budgets or paying down debt. >> and has a certain level of self-regard. >> jon meacham. >> just a certain level. >> he is feisty this morning! feisty. >> it's also important, joe, what do you think about this? jeremy said he is not a
conservative president. it's true. he is a republican president. is he going to be a republican president or is he a president who used the republican party as a vehicle to power? >> we will find out. >> yes. >> a transaction president. >> i think a little bit of both. >> i think actually that he -- >> look at his cabinet. >> he is, in a sense, people will look back -- i believe the parties -- we talked about this a lot before. i think the 150-year duopoly is over and i think people will look over the past ten years and see how power in the house has switched back in the is in the and the presidency switched every two years as the beginning of the end for the two parties. i think people are going to still look at george w. bush as the last republican president. >> yeah. >> i think donald trump, by the end, will blow apart the republican party and you may have bernie sanders doing the same. don't you think so? i think in a sense this guy is the first independent president most likely we are going to have, because i think -- he just
said it in "the washington post." he said republicans better get on board or i'm going to run over them. >> right, right. he's an independent contractor and he used the republican party, which was -- is ideologically incoherent as in many ways is the democratic party. harold said a minute ago you have a jen racial shift people don't believe in institutions and don't trust institutions so why would political parties be the exception to that political party rule? >> gene, not only did really have to rely on a political party, he tore the republican party to shreds when he drew the nomination. you see it also in "the washington post" interview this morning where all of the interest groups that give money to the political parties, that allow the political parties to continue like big pharma he tore
into them saying they have been politically protected all these year and not politically protected any more and the government will associate with medicare and medicaid and he has shown it with lockheed, he's shown it with boeing. he just doesn't have the same alliances that people have had in the past. again, i think the republican establishment should be just as concerned as the democratic establishment this morning. >> i think it probably on is this morning. if you think back to donald trump at the beginning of the campaign, what were his policy positions? he was for universal health care and he said that to his audiences and to his rallies ian he got big cheers when he called for everybody to have health insurance, everybody to have health care. then he stopped saying it quite so loudly as he became the republican nominee. but he never quite went back on
it. i think the republican party kind of convinced itself that, oh, well, maybe he is a republican after all and i think to the extent that they did convince themselves of that, they are in for the rudest civil awake engs. >> my daughter at hopkins, she is a junior and she was buried under books for months and would not return my phone calls and declined me on face time. i instagramed it. the one time she came up from air from her studying, oh, my gosh, i got three texts. bernie sanders is coming to hopkins and that was a packed house. he has got the young people and he's got the ideas and he clearly still has the energy. >> there is no doubt.
we need to stop laughing at candidates. it's crazy. amazing. >> what do you make of donald trump? we have talked all of the things donald trump has done before he has even gotten sworn in. before he has gotten sworn in, again in this interview this weekend he is threatening the republican party. he said follow my agenda or you're going to get run over. >> he has threatened, as you said, the two-party duopoly. this is not an accident and don't think this is lost on people inside trump tower. the very highest levels of trump administration there are people whose goals is to smash the two-party system. this is is not just a consequence -- >> is steve bannon at the top of that list? >> on no. this is an aim of his presidency ich do you think somebody like steve bannon would be excited if donald trump halfway through
said, to hell with the republican party? to hell with the republican party. they are not following me. they got health care wrong. they are not doing what i want infrastructure. screw them. i'm going to be an independent and i'm going to run as an independent next time? >> i think absolutely. i think the way that bannon sees the two-party system is just as he sees the government. it's calcified, it's corrupted and it enriches the few at the expense of the masses, and he is going to try to reorder that entire system as much as he can. it's a tall order but -- >> but one consequence of the electoral college. if that declaration of independence came, it would come in the fifth year, after he is re-elected because as an independent, if he didn't get to 270, if the republicans put up a nominee, and democrats, then it goes to the house. >> which is what i was talking about bloomberg. >> ahead on "morning joe" we get to the fallout of congressman john lewis questioning the legitimacy of trump's election
and speak with the white house press secretary sean spice eand the top democrat on the house oversight committee, congressman elijah cummings. ahead kristen welker covering the news of the trump transition and a major change in store for u.s. diplomats around the world and we will be live in washington at the -- we are going back to the bar next friday to cover the inauguration of the 45th president. >> shots for everybody! i don't think to ask meacham. he'll be there! >> shots for everybody! by the time you get to lincoln! >> you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back.
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do you plan on trying to forge a relationship with donald trump? >> i believe in forgiveness and trying to work with people. it's going to be hard. it's going to be very difficult. i don't see it this president-elect as a legitimate president. >> you cannot consider him as a legitimate president? why is that? >> i think the russians participated in helping this man get elected and to help destroy the candidacy of hillary clinton. i don't plan to attend inauguration. it will be the first one that i miss since i've been in congress. you cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong. >> that was congressman john lewis questioning the legitimacy of trump's election and his appearance on "meet the press." lewis also said he would not
invite trump to selma, alabama, the place he famously marched 50 years ago and where he has marched annually with democrats and republicans alike including george w. bush and jeff sessions. last week, lewis testified against jeff sessions nomination as attorney general. some democrats said they disagreed with what the congressman said, including a former adviser to president obama. david axelrodaxelrod. and joe manchin says the president-elect is legitimate saying i have the utmost respect for congressman john lewis and he is an icon and we have the most respect for him but i think that was uncalled for. this type of rhetoric, it's nonproductive and would like it if that would tone down a little bit and weed be much better off and move on. donald trump responded on twitter to lewis' comments and singling out his district which includes the heart of downtown
atlanta. quote, congressman john lewis should spend more time fixing and helping his dricket which is in horrible shape and falling apart. all talk talk talk no action or results. sad. trump later added congressman john lewis should focus on the burning and crime infested inner cities of the united stat.s. i can use all of the help i can get. people in lewis's deep blue district reacted to trump's tweets by posting shots of the community to social media. conservative congressman retweeted trump and added dude, just stop. republican senator ben sass tweeted john lewis and his, quote, talk have changed the world but the senator also said to john lewis, one of my heroes, please come to the inauguration. is isn't by a man but the celebration of a peaceful
transfer of power. a man has the right to defend himself given lewis' controversial comments. >> look, i served with john and i disagree with him on most issues but i have tremendous respect for him. i actually, my family and i walked across the edmund pettis bridge with him on the anniversary of bloody sunday. we honor the sacrifice he made but part of the result of what happened on bloody sunday and the courage that he showed was the voting rights act. so for someone of his stature, not just in the civil rights movement, but in voting rights, to make a comment that he did not consider donald trump to be a legitimate president, i think, is deeply disappointing. >> it's shocking that congressman lewis, who is a civil rights icon and is a person whose champion voting rights would actually question the legitimacy of an election in this country and starting this
fire storm. he won about 128 out of the 159 counties in georgia. he flipped 200 counties that obama won. i get you want to go back and forth on tweets, but the truth is it's irresponsible for john lewis, as historic as he is, to have done this. barack obama should step up as well and call it what it is. it's wrong what is happening. it's wrong how some of these democrats are treating president-elect trump. >> barack obama has stepped up. he has said he is legitimate and dennis mcdonough was on tv this weekend saying that donald trump is a legitimate president. despite the fact that donald trump, you know, back in 2011 started saying barack obama wasn't legitimate. >> i know. >> you can say what you want about this back and forth. >> very good point. >> say what you want about this back and forth. and i think both men have a
right, if they want to go back and forth they can go back and forth all you want but you can't drag barack obama in this fight because barack obama has bent over backwards doing what any president should do to a person that is replacing him despite the fact he may disagree with the vast majority of his agenda. >> these 20 democratic lawmaker in the house say they too won't attend the inauguration. the democratic party is fund-raising on lewis' comments. i ask you, as someone who puts his opinions on pen and paper every day, i guess, first of all, would you agree with congressman lewis' statements? would you question the legitimacy of trump's presidency? we will start there. >> well, you know, i've written in my column that he was elected president. >> legitimately? >> well, yeah. i mean, we don't have. >> well, yeah. >> we don't have a do-over. there is no clause that says in the case of russian interferences what we do.
we have one president at a time. so he is about to be it. we have to deal with that fact. but what amazes me about this back and forth, as joe said, yes, you know, there is tough rhetoric, for anybody in the donald trump camp, including donald trump, to be shocked, shocked at rough and perhaps transgressive political rhetoric at this point is ridiculous! this is how we became elected president by saying things that nobody else would say and by saying things that were beyond the pale and to -- >> is that what congressman lewis did? are you paralleling? >> well, i'm -- yeah, i am paralleling in that that is not something that we usually hear a member of congress say about the president. then again, we heard the president-elect and various of his allies say things about president obama during his
tenure that we also were not accustomed to hearing and, yet, as part of our political rhetoric. and so loochl the temperature has be look. the temperature is ramped up and i don't think only incumbent on democrats to tone it down. >> this has been going on about a year and a half. look what he said about john mccain and megyn kelly and some of these other people. >> hold n a second. it started with lewis. >> i understand. >> just making sure. >> oh, wait. they are fund-raising now. >> you saw this coming from a mile away on friday when john lewis issued this tweet. you knew trump would take the bait and what john lewis was hoping for. >> jeremy texted me and said, watch this unfold. it is the political circle of life. because john lewis said it. >> i don't think -- >> it helps john lewis. it does. >> really? >> i know people will be
shocked. they are fund-raising off of it, right? it helps donald trump. people saying he is standing up and fighting political correctness. it helps the democrats and it helps the republicans. we are shocked, we are stunned! the press all weekend was shocked and stunned and deeply saddened about it. see, look. this reinforces everything we have ever said about donald trump. >> i think it's bad for us as it pertains to russia. >> i think it's bad for america and i wish donald trump could just let, if you were ever going to let something just go, this would have been a hell of a time to do it, harold ford. a hell of a time to do it. >> questioning the presidency. >> i conserved with john lewis as you did and i share the respect that manchin and others have for him and on a personal level, i think he said it wrong. i do they -- >> said what wrong? >> about the legitimacy of it. he would have to understand he was elected president. no questions about russians tampering with voting systems and so forth. he won states we should have
won, democrats. the one part i hope he takes back is he extends an invitation for donald trump to walk across the bridge with him in selma. >> all of this really isn't did donald trump, is it? it's about america and whether we figure out -- >> the peaceful transfer of power in many ways is what the inauguration is about and i hope that people don't lose sight of that. finally. i think sanders, bernie sanders i like what he is doing at this moment. instead of reactive he is proactive and accepted change is coming to obamacare and i'm hopeful he puts forward idea and as part of that negotiation with donald trump and republicans they look at ways to change it. that is where the energy i think more wisely spent if john lewis, my buddy and dear friend said, look, i'm standing up and work with this president on voting
rights to make sure jeff sessions follows through on the things he promises in that hearing and work with him to make sure we don't roll back several times. i think you have to. at the end of the day he is president. and politically if you want to work on things we got to look at candidates who can win back the states we lost in ohio and pennsylvania and wisconsin. florida, north carolina, michigan. that is where democrats have to focus the energy i think the next two to four years. >> there is really a question for democrats do you resist or do you engage, gene? certainly if you followed what the republican party did over the past eight years, it was resist, resist, resist. so it's kind of hard now for people to say engage. >> yeah. you know, resist or engage, i think it depends. it depends on what president-elect trump does. president obama said that, you know, if republicans and the president-elect come up with something that is better than the affordable care act, he'll
publicly support it. you know? if they repeal it and come up with something better and more inclusive and more universal, he'll support it publicly. so, obviously, that would be an occasion so engage. i want to get to one other aspect of this exchange, though, which is what the president-elect said about atlanta and about -- you know, he has this -- he seems to have this vision he every african-american community in the country as being, you know, crime ridden, you know, falling apart. >> on fire. >> some sort of enclave of utter despair. and that -- that is just not the american reality of today and i think he better educate himself very quickly on what his country is really like. >> a statement that came his way, meacham? >> i think a couple of different things. if john lewis thinks that the
russian interference undermines the legitimacy of donald trump, he, of all people on the planet, have earned the right to say that a we may think it violates the new norms we have put in place to do that but we are in a 25-year cycle -- >> apparently not true. >> apparently not true. >> as donald trump's statement about atlanta is not true, it appears that russia did not hack voting machines. i think we can say that is equally untrue. >> i think if john lewis wants to say what he wants to say. >> he has a right to say it and donald trump has a right to say it. dude, just stop. just let it pass by. don't -- do not strike out at john lewis. >> trump, exactly. >> yeah. >> but on the trump side -- >> he's making a different point. >> i'm making a different point. i think if congressman lewis wants to say this, of all the the people on the moral planet to say what he wants to say it's
john lewis. the fact that somehow it offends the president-elect is really pretty deminute and it creates a paintball we have had all weekend that jeremy predicted that everybody feels better and everybody feels self-righteous about it. it seems to me if as president trump is going to engage at this level, then it's going to be a constant four years of these distractions from what we are supposed to be doing, which is -- what is he supposed to be doing, which is governing. >> right. >> all right. coming up, "the washington post" bob woodward weighs in on on the unverified donald trump dossier and a series of tweets yesterday by the president-elect. >> i also want to ask him about this fascinating development with obamacare and the republicans and the democrats and the back and forth. i think that is going to be fascinating. >> we will be back with much more "morning joe."
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agenda and he agreed, and he wants to do something, and he realizes that he need some allies in that department and he seemed really sincere about it. >> talk show host steve harvey after his meeting with trump at trump tower on friday. harvey who lived out of his car and struggled with homelessness as an adult before making it as a comedian followed with a post on twitter saying the following. >> we were having an interesting talk about legitimacy of presidents. we were talking about how, in the past, the legitimacy of other presidents have, to a degree, been questioned certainly starting in '92 with bill clinton. >> i just think it's a really fascinating big historical and cultural question for all of the opposition to ronald reagan who, you know, described himself as my opponents think that i'm ebenezer scrooge meets the mad
bomber, nobody questioned whether he was legitimacy president and nobody questioned whether george h.w. bush was a legitimate president. starting in 1992, each of the presidencies have faced these questions. george bush and bill clinton and barack obama began his national political career by questioning the legitimacy of the birth and the american citizenship of the 44th president. so what is it about our distrust of almost our ambient realities has led us to question the actual legitimacy and now we have it with trump so four in a row. four in a row. >> this is what i don't understand also. the rhetoric. the intensity. i will tell you certainly a lot of my friends looked at bill clinton with absolute abject horror when he went into the house white house and could not believe this man was going to be the president of the united states. if you were around the '92 campaign and even democrats were
questioning it, i think it was bob kerry said the guy would be opened up like a rusty can or something like that because he was so deeply flawed as a human being. and, yet, you go through bill clinton's eight years where he was accused by conservative leaders of murder and george w. bush who was called a nazi and shredding the constitution and then barack obama. yet, despite all of that, those three men were re-elected the first time. i think it said something about the extremists on both sides actually somehow give these candidates something to work off of. they are calling me -- but think about that. what was the last time that three presidents in a row were re-elected? you have to go back to the 1800? ? >> jefferson, madison and -- >> i got that. >> contrast that moment with today.
>> oh, my gosh. fascinating. >> it is. >> there is a partisan existential sense of the paranoid style has taken center stage. every -- >> amplified online. >> exactly. we can fight constantly. i guess one virtue we have political amnesia. >> there is too much. >> like that movie -- >> where are we going to put it? >> who will remember the lewis fight in thee daree days? >> i really don't want to b believe donald trump is my president and it's a rejection of reality. >> does this mean the thorough of the executive branch grown so much more powerful than the other two and that is one of the reasons we have seen two and two to joe's point? >> jfk called at the time vital sense of action and the sense that the president is the
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>> we retweeted 50,000 times. >> i was talking to trump people and said what is your one word for this week? what will get from the inaugural address and from his day one in office and they say action. like everything they are doing is trying to show that business is different, they are not going to live by the rules that people have before. we saw that in the amazing flurry of interviews last night. he is keeping it up this week and keep talking about policies and we are told this won't surprise you. he is loving the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration. he is actually enjoying that part of it so he is told the staff, enjoy the parties and monday we will go to work. day four is when he is going to
have his pen party on monday when he is going to start repealing the executive orders. >> bill, we haven't even gotten to the inauguration and there has been such a flurry of activity through tweets and controversies. one after another. what has stuck over the past month or so that, as you go -- as we actually go to a date he becomes president, are you any closer to predicting what the next four years is going to look like? >> such a good record of predictions the last year. i want to give people a moment to take out their pens or devices and get ready. no. >> what has stuck with all of the chaos? >> one, the cabinet is better than i expected. more serious people. and so to a degree we have cabinet government. i think we can end up with pretty serious policies and from my point of view pretty good policies but trump has changed
less than i expected. one said in washington i didn't vote for trump but maybe the president-elect will change, a little bit list thiess thin-skid sober about being president and that he hasn't internalized at all. the german papers wanted to do with a -- and i think they says nato is absolute. >> he is the president-elect of the united states. let's say nato is obsolete. >> hold on one second. let me make your point for you, here. >> please. >> the thing is what he still doesn't quite grasp is he can give a 60-minute interview and they will grab that line. now, it's inexact. his language is always an exact onni issues like this. he said something with merkel and "the new york times" and most people will ignore where he
says merkel is a great leader and only focus on the horrible mistake. the same thing with nato. he explained what nato -- his language as far as fighting isis pertained to. but he still doesn't seem to grasp the only thing they are going to pick up is the nato is obsolete. >> if you're president of the united states, you can't say everything you believe. believe me. i was in the white house at the end of the cold war we thought nato should be changed. you're president of the united states and enemy on the borders of nato you don't say you have allies who are shaky. >> mike allen, before you go, number five, trump rattles press corps. he is moving them to the press room? >> he sure is. >> is he really? >> that is big. >> what the trump folks will say we have 150 seats versus 49 seats to the press it's a slippery slope. you're likely to run into someone like bill kristol when
you're across the way. >> whooked at kind of revolt th going to cause? >> i remember how emotional it was for the press. first year of bill clinton a door between the press corps and his office and they had to bring david gergen in to repair the damage. >> sean spicer will be on later and we will ask him about that. >> when is the launch party? >> it is wednesday. you've seen the newsletters this week. flip the switch. all 50 of our colleagues wednesday and see you wednesday night. >> excellent. thank you. stay with us, bill. coming up at the top of the hour, "the washington post" body woodward and george costa joins us. start here. or here. even here. and definitely here. at fidelity, we're available 24/7 to make retirement planning simpler.
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now would be a good time to have new car replacement. so get allstate and be better protected from mayhem, like me. it's good to be in good hands. ♪ it's monday, january 16th. >> what is amazing jon meacham, they kept his mike on. >> what did he say? >> he was talking about the french indian war even on set. >> i know. >> he said my next book, we are going to talk about the root causes of the french indian war. >> still with us we have harold ford junior. editor of the weekly standard bill kristol and "the washington post" eugene robinson and joining the conversation
contributor to "time" magazine, elise jordan. political reporter for "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, robert costa. and pulitzer prize winning editor of "the washington post" bob woodward. just to maname a few people. >> bob, there is so much incoming. it's every day. all of these controversies and i'm sure a lot of them are stirred up by trump deliberately, just kind keep everybody off balance. but it's been an incredible two months as far as just the velocity of controversies coming at us before the guy is even sworn in as president of the united states. what sticks with you over the last two months to suggest what type of president donald trump will be over the next few years? >> well, we don't know, obviously. he is different. i think some of these things matter and some of them don't. as jon meacham, i think, quite
wisely was saying, the spat between trump and congressman lewis is going to last about three days. the spat between trump and the intelligence community really matters because they are going to need him and he is going to need them, and this back and forth makes absolutely no sense to anyone, and the idea that it's reached the emotional pitch and wise people like james clapper, who is the head of the intelligence organization, says dni, 75-year-old man who is known to advise people, move on, lots of people are not in the intelligence world, including the current cia director brennan who goes on television and
castigates trump of something that occurred with nazi, germany, understandably being upset but that is trump. people losing sight and latching on to things like that. when he is president, he is going to do that? stand by. >> bob costa, i think my takeaway certainly this weekend was that even before he is elected president of the united states, donald trump is continuing his independent streak when it comes to the republican party. telling you guys, follow me or i'm going to run you over. >> it's an interesting dynamic because my conversation with the president-elect over the weekend, he said repeatedly he is working closely with leads mcconnell and speaker ryan but he also made sure to add that the party gets out of line on capitol hill, he has 20 million people following him on twitter, millions more on facebook, and
he does not have any kind of passion project that is driving him. he wants to enact his agenda quickly and if they work with him, fine. but, if not, there could be consequences. >> what was your takeaway from your conversations with donald trump this weekend? >> he's getting ready for the inauguration. i think he is very attuned to news conference about the affordable care act and he has seen a lot of the democratic criticism that 20 million people covered under the current law may lose their insurance. so he is really bought into this idea that has been floated by other republicans that speaker ryan is calling universal access which, in essence, is having a new system post obamacare that has accessible insurance for most, if not all, americans. trump, as a political point, seemed to recognize that throughout our interview. >> elise, the same message that he delivered this week to bob costa and "the washington post," he delivered in front of paul ryan.
ed, i love paul ryan now. i love paul ryan. of course, if paul ryan doesn't do exactly what i say, i won't love him then. >> did he that in wisconsin! >> did he that in wisconsin on the stage! paul ryan gives him a packers jersey. his message, which, again, i don't think we can underline this enough. there is no alliance to political parties. there is no alliance to former political -- >> there is no way to connect the dots. >> he's at the center and he sees everybody else -- >> i think mike gersin nails it in his column in "the washington post" either today or yesterday where he says the main continuing characteristic of trump is apeeling to his.
>> he was out there on the stump very, very impressive. >> look. this guy is not stopping and now is working on rebuilding as he told us last week the democratic party. i'm sure we could show some of the video in michigan this weekend where senator sanders and chuck schumer had a crowd of about 8,000 people in michigan all talk about trying to push the president-elect not to repeal obamacare. >> right. >> and it's incredible. first of all, that he even has the energy to do this at this point, given such a grueling campaign and frustrating one as well. but, also, you get the sense, when you look at these crowds and you talk to young people that he really does have his finger on the pulse of the future of the democratic party and where they need to go. >> harold, how fast -- >> to rebuild. >> harold, you had democrats were out in phoenix trying to figure out who was going to run
the democratic party of the future. you said the leader of the democratic party actually was in michig michig michigan. >> whether you agree with his politics in the primary or not and to mika's point just building on it, his energy and the nucleus of the party, at least the feeling of the distrust and disgust with donald trump, he personifiies it. he is do it in a proactive way not just reacting. >> grassroots. >> if the president wants to reform obamacare and improve it i'm here to work with him and talked about medicare and medicaid and the changes to. i think we have said it on the set here. trump is a different kind of politician. he has blown up politics and the party and you you don't know where he wakes up one day and decide which to align to on. the question i'd have for bob woodward with and bill is is it reason for him to be concerned that the republicans and the senate decided to go forward
with this investigation of these russian hacks? because does that open the door for a broader investigation and a broader look into russia, not just the interference? >> our relationship. >> and let's underline this right now. we have been talking about donald trump is going to be an independent force. but the wages of picking a fight with republican, every republican senator sometimes, the wage is sometimes death. marco rubio now holds in his hands the future fate of rex tillerson. if marco rubio who has been in a war with donald trump, decides to vote against rex tillerson, he may not get out of the committee. >> it's possible. look. he is picking fights and everyone thinks he has the wind to his back. he is entitled to be offended
when the president-elect of the united states compares intelligence officers to the behavior of the intelligence agencies to nazi, germany. i'm a little -- i hate to sound too earnest but the john lewis thing is more serious than people are saying in this respect. i disagree with john lewis on everything and i don't think he should have said that the trump is somehow illegitimate. the way trump has responded on martin luther king weekend is bad for the country. rightly or wrongly john lewis is considered the spokesman for wh what martin luther king stood for. trump should have that in mind as president-elect. i know it sounds so old-fashioned to say it this way but it's bad for the country for trump to pick this kind of fight at this time. there are things as you said earlier he has to walk away from and he has to swallow hard. >> he chose to pick it. >> sometimes you let things pass. if i had a list of all the
things on my small, small level that i have let pass, personal insults and slights and slander, you just let things pass. we all do. >> a great response would have been with all respect to congressman lewis, i hope he comes to the inauguration. >> this is about the transfer of party. i know a lot of people didn't vote for me. i hope to persuade them the next months and years. why is that so hard? >> this is politics 101. >> it's civics 101 too is my point. >>. >> harold, you've done the same thing i've done. after every election i would always call the person i beat and i would just say it, a lot of times by 20, 30, 40 points and i basically would say, you know, i'm so lucky to beat you. you were so much more qualified. >> 20, 30, 40, points? joe would add! >> what i'm saying when they are down and when they are beaten and when they are embarrassed, because this is such a
horrifying thing to go through, especially if you're on the losing side, that's when you reach out to them and you say, you basically say, it was just my day. i need your help. i can't do this without you and i did it every single time. please tell me what you need. i need your help. your wisdom, your insight. that's what we do. why can't he just let something pass by? why can't had he? >> where i come from, i say this. he gives vladimir putin the benefit of the doubt but won't give john lewis the benefit of the doubt which is a point you made, bill, so eloquently and powerfully. >> a great point. >> bob woodward, there is no indication, bob, that he will let any insult or any slide go by, even now as he is being sworn in as president of the united states. you know washington. what is the net impact of the collected scar tissue over
several years of that? >> well, of course, that is unknown. you have to measure a president by a president-elect. can they grow and can they change? and i was thinking about as the inaugural is a few days away, what is the common characteristic of the last presents we have had? and at least since nixon, the seven from ford to obama, you can criticize them, they have all made mistakes and so forth, but all seven of them are kind people. they have a streak of, gee, i'm going to connect to the people. they understand that the presidency is a caretaker wrrol. my wife remind me freequently said henry james three important
things in life. the first is kindness. the second is kindness and the third is kindness. bob costa knows this. you talk to people who work with trump and they say he really can be kind. he has this capacity. he's got to flip that switch and dial all this anxiety and angst and anger back, and show that side of himself, because people who know him really well say it exists. >> gene, that is the 64,000 dollar question that mika and i have been asking now for a year and a half. why is it that donald trump, that many people see behind closed doors -- i know you've had conversations with him as well -- it never seems to make it into the public arena where he feels like he has to fight
the world every day. >> you know, i really have no idea. look. you could ab pop psychologist and say there is a deep-seeded insecurity there, that this need to always project this kind of uber strength to the world and never take a step backward or admit you were wrong, or let anything pass. but i think it's a very, very dangerous quality in a president, it really is. and it's something that for all of our sakes, he better change. he really had better change. i thought what bob woodward just said about kindness, it is actually profound. i think it's true. and we haven't seen that sort of gr growth and evolution from donald trump in the public's sphere at all. we haven't seen it. >> to woodward's earlier point. insults and insinuations continue to fly between
president-elect trump and top intelligence officials. over the weekend, trump suggested he might lift sanctions against russia. telling "wall street journal" if you get along and if russia is helping us, why would anybody have sanctions if somebody is doing some really great things? and he told "the times of london" they have sanctions on russia. let's see if we can make some good deals with russia. i think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially. that is part of it but russia is hurting very badly right now because of sanctions. i think something can happen that a lot of people are going to benefit. and yesterday, cia director john brennan reacted to trump's suggestion that he would lift sanctions. >> i think he has to be mindful that he does not yet, i think, have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road, as well as making sure he understands what russia is doing. >> trump didn't take kindly to
brennan's answer, sharing a story that quoted brennan suggesting trump does not fully understand the president-elect posted to twitter. oh, really? couldn't do much worse. just look at syria. red line. crimea, ukraine and the buildup of russian nukes not good. was this the leaker of fake news? in the interview, brennan rejected the notion that the intelligence community wanted to undercut the incoming president. >> there is no interest in undermining the president-elect and the national security team coming in. it's our responsibility to make sure they understand exactly the dangers that are on the world stage so as they decide on which policy courses they want to pursue, they have the full benefit of the expertise, the capability and experience and the intelligence that we have so that they can make the best decisions for this country. >> bob woodward, where do you begin? an open battle between the incoming president and the intel community. >> and it really is serious.
the way the system works, presidents sign intelligence finding orders their top secret, secret, and they last from one president to the next, unless they are withdrawn. some of the counterintelligence orders were signed by president bush sr. and they are still in effect. on january 20th, trump can say i'm going to continue these, i'm going to withdraw them. there are lots of sensitive operations going on. this is one of the most serious moments of is he going to say yes? is he going to say no? is he going to have people there he can trust? this is one of those things -- you almost need a marriage counselor to get trump and the intelligence people together and
say, stop this fight. it is in no one's interests. there are secret things going on that really protect the country. also, in some cases, are quite controversial and dangerous and how this is handled is one of those things that should not be -- no one should let it persist. trump shouldn't let it persist. the intelligence people should not. >> one thing left out to me when you were reading quotes from that interview, mika, i think trump said russia is hurting very badly because of the sanctions. these are not broad sanctions on the population of russia unlike sanctions we have done in the past and other countries. you could argue the iraqi people were hurt by the sanctions and so forth but these are sanctions against individuals in the putin regime really against their financial assets as i understand it. >> rich people. >> it's revealing that formation by president-elect trump. when he thinks russia, he thinks putin and his cronies and he is
unhappy apparently they are being hurt. >> bob costa? >> i think one of the things so surreal for a lot of people here on capitol hill is that when they are talking to trump and his team about taxes, about obamacare, they feel like this is someone who is working with them on conservative policy. but bill kristol has a point reflected up here as well that on foreign policy, because trump is so far away from the hawkish consensus and the party, many of them remain uncomfortable with him even if they are okay with his instincts on some fronts. he just doesn't speak about foreign policy in the same way. >> just this weekend, harold, we got to go to break, but it's exhausting. we could fight one battle at a time. don't come at me and tell me that you want to take on this. i tell myself, one battle at a time. all right? and we clear the decks of that. this weekend alone, i'm sorry.
'em just going to say, i'm just going to say. this does not -- this does not last long. this does not continue. there is a breaking point. it is. he's not even sworn in yet. his numbers will collapse into the 20s. >> yeah. >> if this continues. just like mika and i predicted, we have said it, as you know, just like we predicted he could win the republican nomination, i'm telling you this will not last. this weekend alone, harold, he is in fights right now. we have the preeminent civil rights leader in america with the entire intelligence community, perhaps the most important community to have on your side as president, and the most dangerous to cross politically. the single most important military alliance of our time, according to his own secretary of defense nato, and the single
most important leader in all of europe, angela merkel. that is just on this holiday weekend. this will not last. this will not continue. somebody around him better tell him to focus. also, i'm sorry. and he told the republicans he was going to run them over if they didn't follow whatever he did. this will not continue indefinitely. >> he know this what happened this weekend. you think about two or three most controversial places in the world, the most difficult places in the world. he also called the time when the leader before having a conversation with china, said you have the russian relationship, the european relationship, the asian relationship all in a state of disrepair and it doesn't seem the president-elect is interested in listening to our intelligence leadership and our
diplomatic leadership about not repairing those breaches but articulating a clear and enforceable vision going forward. this has always been the worry i think most people had about him and to woodward and bill's point and jon's point walking off the set not only a kindness but doesn't seem to be a willingness to listen and if that persists in the foreign policy space, the implications there are really hard to calculate how damaging they can be not only for us but our allies around the globe. >> if anybody thinks around donald trump that he can succeed as president of the united states with no message spli discipline. the same way he succeeded when he was running against people like ben carson, then they are kidding themselves. just kidding themselves. >> little marco, you can't come up with the nicknames and get yourself out of this. this is real world with real world implications here. >> when you look at the leadership problem that it causes across the entire
presidency of all these cabinet nominees going for their confirmation hearings and being all over the place and rex tillerson's comments on china that were well-received in china and mattis saying know tow is the most important alliance america has ever been in, completely different from tillerson on some level. >> there is no message discipline and there has to be because it matters. >> bob woodward and robert costa and bill kristol, thank you. ahead, congressman elijah cummings joins us live. plus. >> i have 46 million people right now. it's fun. that is really off. including facebook, twitter and, you know, instagram. so when you think that the 46 million there, i'd rather just let that build up and just keep it at real donald trump. and the tweeting, i thought i'd
do less of it, but i'm covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly. >> donald trump's approach to the press is likely to be unlike any other president. his incoming press secretary sean spicer joins us live just ahead. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. ome onlin. let's chat in football terms. this is the goal post. the end zone. the goal of every team. we know you have goals. like getting exposure for your idea or business. with godaddy website builder, you can easily create an awesome mobile-friendly, get you more exposure website. we call that...a website builder touchdown. get your free trial of website builder now.
say hello to internet speeds up to 250 mbps. and add phone and tv for only $34.90 more a month. call today. comcast business. built for business. joining us from trump tower here in new york city, msnbc white house correspondent kristen welker. a busy week ahead for the trump transition as he prepares to officially become, if you can believe it, it's this week, the 45th president of the united states. >> reporter: a busy week, indeed. just four days away. president-elect trump is going to spend the day here at trump tower as more of his nominees are going to undergo confirmation hearings starting tomorrow. skeds this all comes against that backdrop, that feud he is
having with civil rights congressman john lewis who is questioning the legitimacy of his presidency. trump firing back and you've been talking about this all morning long. now more than 20 democrats say they are going to potentially boycott the inauguration, but not all of them. a number of democrats have not questioned, of course, president-elect trump's legitimacy of his election, including the leader of the party, president obama who has really tried to put the focus on figuring out exactly what went wrong. take a listen to what he told our lester holt. >> it did speak to a problem that we saw during the course of my presidency, which was i had trouble transferring my personality popularity or support to the broader cause of
the democratic party and i think that is a legitimate criticism. i've thought about some of the things we could have done. >> reporter: and as a part of that, president obama has also yuns scor underscored the failure of reaching voters in this election. preparations for the inauguration were under way in washington, d.c. over the weekend and we are learning more about what is going to happen with the inauguration, including the justice clarence thomas is going to swear in vice president-elect mike pence and another busy day at trump tower as more meetings get under way. >> thank you, kristen welker. >> harold, barack obama, again, losing working class voters. when you look at the auto bailout, when you look at the stimulus program, when you look at the affordable care act, obamacare, you look at all of these things that he -- why
wasn't he in middle america saying, look what i've done for you? look what i've done for your children? it seems to me -- and look at the economy. look at the numbers. it seems like if the right democrat had run this year what an incredible message to carry. >> yeah. >> two working class voters. >> i don't think the message was carried as consistently asbestos powerfully as it should. a segment of the country felt they were left behind and frankly talked down to over a period of time and i think trump captured this idea and it resonated with people around the idea that government has been organized in a way to help a very narrow few. and to help special interests. and i'm going to go there and change this dramatically. it's not unlike most presidential races. a changed candidate is always the one who is advantage. unfortunately, secretary clinton, as much as she tried could not make herself caricature into the change
reform candidate. finally, you can't overestimate how some people thought the health care plan was an overreach. i thought trump's brilliance at the end of the campaign when comey came out with that ten days before he shifted everything to say, look, this is about reforming health care and endi inin ining obamacare. we lost midterm elections democrats did and health care was a part of that in 2010 and give trump the way he ran it on 2016. >> let's bring in democratic congressman elijah cummings of maryland. elijah, it's hard nod to start with what has happened inside your office and my daughter actually worked in his baltimore office and knows katie. but you have a staffer who is still in the hospital, horrific house fire, claiming six of her children. is anything being set up? do you know more about what happened? but in terms of being able to
help this family who works for you? >> yes. there is a baltimore area and people all from around the country have been going to her go fund me page and helping her out. i think they have raised over $270,000 so far. the three surviving children are -- one of them is out of the hospital. >> wow. >> two of them are going to have a bit of a struggle, but we think they will be fine. i went to see -- my wife and i went to see katie last evening. she, as you can understand, having lost six of your nine children, was, you know, a bit upset, but, at the same time, when i walked in the room, she gave me a thumb's up and gave me a heart sign and basically said, i love you. my wife and i prayed with her but we are embracing her. i want to thank everybody who
has come to be helpful. these kids were like our kids because they range from 8 months to 11 years. so she has been with me almost 1 years. so we remember when all of them were even born. and they would be around the office. we would have little thanksgiving dinners and things like that of that nature. you can imagine my office has been hit kind of hard. but this is the -- but katie is a great employee and we will get through this together. >> gene robinson, he has a question for. gene? >> congressman cummings, i would love to hear your take on the back and forth over the weekend between congressman lewis and president-elect trump. >> i think it's very unfortunate. my father only a fourth grade education and former sharecropper saying big can can't you as small has got you. you just can't do this. you know, i would hope that the
president-elect would, today, pick up the phone, put down the twitter stuff, and just give john lewis a call. he is, indeed a hero. the 40 some members of the congressional black caucus wouldn't be in the caucus and probably not in congress if it were not for people like john lewis who put their lives on the line for us. i would hope that the president would go big, pick up the phone, president-elect, and that would be on martin luther king birthday, a celebration day. i hope he would do that today. >> i just was curious. are you still planning on attending donald trump's inauguration? >> i haven't decided. it's a very -- it's an interesting situation. i tell my constituents not to concentrate on who we are fighting against but what we are fighting for. and so i try to concentrate on those things and i represent
700,000 people so i have to figure that one out. but i'm -- i want to see what happens in the next day or so. i heard vice president-elect pence yesterday. i thought he could have been a little bit stronger and i think that he can play a role in bridging that gap between john lewis and the president-elect. but something has to be done. joe, you were absolutely right. we cannot continue to go down this road. as a matter of fact, the discussions that you all have been having is something i've been saying to the democratic caucus all along. this is bigger than trump. this is bigger than hillary clinton. this is about a struggle for the soul of our democracy and it's really bothering me that we are going down this read where all of our agencies, cia, fbi, on and on, are being threatened, voting rights, you know? and telling a president who had 10 or 11 months left in his term
that he can't appoint a supreme court justice. we have to go down this road and i know the president-elect is watching and i would say to you, president-elect, i'd be happy to meet with you at any moment but we have work to do. the american people want us to get to work for them and lift them up. if you want to deal with prescription drugs and reducing the prices, i'm here with you. if you want to deal with health care for all, i'm here with you. >> elijah, isn't that the great irony here is that twitter and these battles get in the way of some areas where there could be real common ground. when donald trump starts -- >> no doubt about it. >> -- talking about no repeal without replacement, that is something democrats agree with. when he talks about how big pharma have gotten a free ride from the washington establishment and don't even negotiate drug price for medicare and medicaid, that is something that almost all democrats can get around. it is, again, it's the red rot
rhetoric that is actually getting in the way of working with people like you and nancy pelosi and democrats alike on some issues that everybody could agree on. >> joe, let me tell you something. on the prescription drug issue, bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and i had been working on this issue for years and we have not been able to get any traction. when i read yesterday that the president-elect wanted to begin to deal with this issue, i said hallelujah, because that way, things like epi pens and people need from day-to-day. i believe in my heart he wants the american people to do well. again, i know you're watching, president-elect. i'm here perhaps to move forward on the things we can agree on. those things that go to our values and go against my morals, you know, we are going to have a problem with, but there are things that we can agree on. please pick up the phone and call john lewis. >> amen.
and all of the people said, amen. congressman elijah cummings, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> as always, putting country first. we greatly appreciate it. our thoughts and prayers are with katie malone and more importantly than that, not more importantly than thoughts and prayers, but also let's figure out, mika, how do we help? >> she has a go fund me page. it's katie malone, right? i'm sure you could contact elijah's office. >> yeah. if they get to my office, we can -- because of ethicsish, we can refer you to her family and they can go from there but she lost six children and they were beautiful, beautiful children. >> beautiful babies. >> i tell you, it hurts me so, so badly and so thank you. >> we love you, elijah. thank you for coming on. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. coming up, incoming white house press secretary sean spicer goes on the record amid reports the new administration is thinking of moving the press
briefing room out of the west wing. which, by the way, is not a new idea. >> hey. you got my note? >> about moving the press room to the oeob? >> and? >> i did. don't let anyone know you wrote it and you mentioned it under the circumstances. >> move the press room? >> you did it again! >> just across the street. we can get much needed office space and put a little physical distance between the press and president and put them across the street in the state-of-the-art facility. >> by state-of-the-art you mean? >> a room with electricity. >> the press doesn't want physical distance from the president and the american people would prefer the president didn't have physical distance from the press. we can't compiexile the press. >> it sends a signal we are trying to hide things from them!
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joining us now incoming white house press secretary, communications director for the trump administration, sean spicer. sean, good morning. here we go. >> we got a lot. >> i know. >> good morning. >> windup, the delivery, the pitch. >> let's just go there. are you guys moving the press room to the eob? is that a real thing?
>> what we were talking about yesterday was for the first couple of weeks having the briefing in a larger room. we only have 49 seats in the brady briefing room. the idea has been and it's literal just a discussion is look at other rooms that exist that hold a greater capacity to more folks can attend these briefings. >> is there going to be a move? >> right now, we are working through the go he logistics to see what is possible the first week and not as easy to move the folks for briefing room that day. we have to figure out how to make that happen so we are working through the hoops. may be the first day in the briefing room and the second days or third day in the bigger room but we are trying to figure out what the demand is going for the benefit for the first week and beyond. >> sean, it's jeremy peters. john lewis just said a few minutes ago -- i'm sorry. elijah cummings just said a few minutes ago he would like the president-elect to pick up the phone and call john lewis and reach out and extend a hand. is that something the president-elect might do or would consider doing?
>> sure. i mean, i think he has shown a willingness to reach out to all americans. i think he understands the important iconic nature of someone like john lewis when it comes to fighting for voting and civil rights. today he is going to sit down with martin luther king iii and others to talk about that legacy so i wouldn't put it past him to do that but i think there has to be a willingness for john lewis who has fought so hard for voting and civil rights to not use language about delegitimatizing an election and integrity of our voting system that he is frankly been a real champion of. so i wouldn't put it past him to pick up the phone and call him but a willingness has to be on both sides. >> sean spires, good morning. harold ford. the president-elect is quoted talking about health care in the "the washington post" and saying that he would want to see not only a replacement but calling for better coverage and lower prices. can you give us a sense of how that might look and how that might contrast with republican and democrat proposals?
>> yeah. well, look. i think congressman, one of the things he is looking at is the business side of this, how can you work with the drug companies to bring some of the costs down through greater competition on the pharmaceutical side? but then also looking at the market access piece of this in terms of -- excuse me the market competition piece, which is how do we make plans to compete with each other over state lines and how do we create greater competition among plans and maybe offer additional option for people who don't necessarily need a cadillac version that insures that the company itself between the things that are purchased whether medical device or on the pharmaceutical end those which are major cost drivers in health care. we negotiate better deals with them. but then secondly that there is greater competition among the plans themselves through access, to be able to compete over state lines. for small businesses to pool their resources. and i think he is using the negotiating skills that he uses as a businessman and frankly the same skills that brought down the costs of f-35 and next generation of the air force one
to this issue to figure out how greater competition can lead to lower costs and great access. >> jon meacham? >> sean, i'm wondering if you would argue that congressman lewis has a right to say, a right to question the president-elect's legitimacy in light of reports and questions about the russian involvement? >> nk he has a right to. congressman lewis and every american has a first amendment right to say whatever they what. unfortunately the facts don't back that up. i think what is disappointing about this, jon, is 245, that number one the facts don't back it up and nine of 13 battleground states he won and 2600 counties and list goes on and on how great the win was. the reality is -- there is no one including the united states government are the dni or department of homeland security have come out and said is there no way you can hack or change the outcome of a voting -- of our voting systems. we have a voting system and some people vote by paper ballot and
some electronic scan and/or by other electronic means the idea we can change or hack the outcome of a election is ridiculous and the government was clear about that before and after the have a right to say it? sure. we all have a right to say what we want but the facts are clearly on the other side of what he did say and i think further someone of john lewis' iconic stature and the idea -- he is hands down one of the leading champions of voting and civil rights. so when someone of that stature makes a comment like this that undermines the very principles that he's fought so hard for, i think it's just nothing short of disappointing. >> gene robinson? >> what the president-elect said about congressman lewis' district was, i think, in many ways more upsetting and more disturbing. he described it as falling apart and crime ridden and this is the way he always describes african-american communities.
why is that? does he have any idea of what black america actually is today? >> well, i think during the campaign, gene, you saw him go to detroit, philadelphia, cleveland, baton rouge. he was going from city to city talking about the plight of some of these cities and some of the issues that african-americans face whether they're in inner city or middle america and whether it's access to education, better education and choice and schools, better education in small business lending. he's been very clear about being a champion of not just black america regardless of where you live but some of the problems that inner cities face where there's a higher urban population. so i think that he understands that. the point he continues to make and said it at hillary clinton at one debate is focus on your own backyard. there are problems that washington has overlooked and is too interested in rhetoric than results. so there is the distinction. he's talked about this before in terms of the people not focusing on the major problems that we have as a country.
he wants to stand with john lewis and anyone else who wants to fix our country whether it's inner cities or issues that some of our more rural communities face. i think this is, like, my first press conference. joe, i may need you in the white house. it's easier if you just call people. >> here we go. >> i like it where i am. so tell me just following up, if somebody was though in the white house, is there a chance that they would win the press assembled in the white house across the street? that's the question that everybody in the press is asking this morning. is there that chance long-term? >> i don't know. i think right now our focus is on these briefings and get more people access to them. >> there hasn't been a discussion about moving the press across the street? >> not in any substantive way. you can't just move them across. there's no work space for them anywhere but where they are.
so i think right now all we're talking about -- >> we're worried about our own work space first. there's enough people figuring out where their office will be as we move into this administration. the greater focus is bringing more reporters and more people into the process. >> sean, i understand you're outside the window. thank you for being with us. greatly appreciate it. >> enjoy the day. appreciate it. >> i just think this is a substantive debate between congressman lewis and the president, but it's taking place in an unsubstantive way. >> so unnecessary. >> i can't imagine the trump white house wants the press to get distracted over a fight with the briefing room in the middle. >> call john lewis and talk to elijah cummings and create alliances. >> it could be a big moment for trump and others as we look at issues we want focused on. this could be the pivot moment.
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comcast business. built for business. >> is hillary going to run for mayor? how about harold ford jr.? >> that's what i want. >> coming up at the top of the hour, senator bernie sanders is back on the campaign trail. can you believe this? the big crowds are still with him. his impassioned fight to save obamacare ahead and ambassadors like caroline kennedy are saying so long to the countries where they served. in the past, replacing diplomats has been a staggered process but the trump administration is calling for ambassadors to leave their post by the end of the week. no exceptions. ouch. "morning joe" is back in a moment. knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan.
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trulicity responds when my blood sugar rises. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen and i may even lose a little weight. trulicity is a once-weekly injectable prescription medicine to improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. trulicity is not insulin. it should not be the first medicine to treat diabetes or for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take trulicity if you or a family member has had medullary thyroid cancer, if you've had multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to trulicity. stop trulicity and call your doctor right away if you have symptoms such as itching, rash, or trouble breathing; a lump or swelling in your neck; or severe pain in your stomach area. serious side effects may include pancreatitis, which can be fatal. taking trulicity with a sulfonylurea or insulin increases your risk for low blood sugar. common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, decreased appetite and indigestion.
some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may make existing kidney problems worse. with trulicity, i click to activate what's within me. if you want help improving your a1c and blood sugar numbers with a non-insulin option click to activate your within. ask your doctor about once-weekly trulicity. good morning. it's monday, january 16th. martin luther king jr. day. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have pulitzer prize winning historian jon meacham, jeremy peters, msnbc political analyst and professor at the university of michigan school of public policy former democratic congressman harold ford jr. and associate editor of "the washington post" and msnbc political analyst, eugene robinson. >> harold, talk about today and
the importance of today and just put it in proper perspective for our viewers this morning. >> i think undeniably when you think of americans that make contributions to advancing and making the public space fairer and more open to people in the 20th century probably not a more towering figure than martin luther king jr. a day in which has been so famously said a day on instead of a day off for people. people decide to give back in some way. i think it's important to try to help this space. it's also important to help young people understand whom this man was and what he represented and not only for african-americans but what he represented to the country and even to the world. >> gene, as you look back, the thing that's always so remarkable as you look back and read history, is just how young this man was. this was such a young man that shook the world, that changed the world. that changed everything. >> they were all young at the
time. but dr. king especially when you read his writings. when you listen to his speeches, there's a maturity and a wisdom that is just -- that came from somewhere else. he was a towering figure as harold said. and i think his reputation and his stature in american history only grows with time. >> jon meacham, i didn't realize until we talked about the last year of martin luther king's life, he was not on the mountain top when he died. we always hear him talking about right before -- talk about going to the mountain top. actually, he felt betrayed by many in his own movement. he had been pushed to the side by younger leaders in many people's eyes.
we forget the last year was such a difficult year for him that sometimes that sort of washed away the reading of history. this is perhaps one of the greatest examples in our time of a prophet not even being respected if not in his hometown, in his own time. >> he's a modern finding father. he fulfilled the jeffersonian process that all men were created equal. >> he really was the ultimate fulfillment of what the founding fathers -- >> expanding the definition. >> -- defined but perfectly practiced. he actually did. martin luther king more than anyone else i suspect 50 years from now they'll put barack obama in the same sentence as martin luther king for doing that. he actually fulfilled the promise of the constitution. the words of the declaration of independence of the constitution.
>> those that pushed for the right for women to vote and dr. king actually made real the promise that all men were created equal. you're right in the last year or two of his life he shifted his concern to economic justice and vietnam which were issues however complicated the battle against jim crowe was was even harder. so in some ways the high water mark was '63 and legislative achievements of '64 and '65. >> top headlines this morning, senator bernie sanders is back in campaign mode, if you can believe it. he and democratic congressional leaders joined thousands of americans across the country yesterday to send the message to republican lawmakers not to repeal obamacare. they held rallies in nearly two dozen states including many battleground states that trump won. in michigan, thousands braved the freezing temperatures with senate minority leader chuck
schumer and senator bernie sanders and sanders issued a warning to his republican colleagues over their push to scrap the health law. >> what we are saying to the republicans if you want to improve the affordable care act, let's work together. but if you think you're simply going to throw millions off of health insurance, you got another guess coming. you're not going to throw 20 million people off of medicaid. you are not going to privatize medicare. you are not going to defund planned parenthood. you're not going to raise the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. and by the way, as part of the repeal of the affordable care act, they want to give over $300
billion in tax breaks to the top 2%. >> harold, these poor republicans in the house are getting pulled by one side and bernie sanders talking that if republicans think they'll be able to do this, they have another thing coming. now donald trump is also warning the republicans in the house, you better follow me. you better provide universal health insurance for everybody or else. i think this is going to -- this is shaping up to be a pretty extraordinary fight. >> if you listen to the beginning of what bernie sanders said, he said a few republicans want to improve obamacare, which you could find an ally in donald trump in that regard. donald trump's remarks remind people that he ran not as a traditional republican as said around this table numerous times but the imperfect vessel that represents the middle of the country and the majority of people consider themselves
independents more so than democrat or republican. this issue will test the president-elect. we'll say president without the elect here in the next several days very quickly. it will be interesting to see if he can hold enough democrats with him even including some republicans. my last point, this king thing moving to the poor people's campaign to jon's point, that's what really pushed him to the margins in so many ways even amongst black leaders and others who question why he would leave the plank that advanced his career so greatly up to that point. frankly was really what scared and frightened so many americans that he could have found a way to unite people of all races around economic justice message. to listen to sanders, i wonder if king would make a similar argument today that you saw sanders making yesterday afternoon. >> democrats are going to find themselves somewhere in that crowd and with that guy. in an interview with "the washington post" published late yesterday, president-elect trump says he'll soon unveil a plan that will provide insurance for
everybody. he didn't provide specifics. trump told the paper the plan would provide a much simplified and less expensive form of coverage to those currently covered under obamacare. >> if that happens, the republican house better get out their checkbook. this is going to cost billions of dollars. if you want it to be cheaper for americans, if you want there to be more expansive coverage, lower deductibles, better coverage like donald trump is talking about, get out your checkbook, paul ryan. this is going to cost you billions and billions of dollars. >> get out their pen and note pad and come up with a replacement. this idea of repeal and replace. it's a big, beautiful plan. >> that comes as a shock to republican leaders. >> i think it does. this has been the problem with repeal and replace all along. my colleague has an excellent piece in the paper today about how the repeal and replace
slogan was much more marketing than it ever was policy. it's been a slogan in search of policy specifics. and i think of all of the challenges facing republicans as they transition from being the opposition to having the keys to the kingdom and being in power, there's no great eer challenge than coming up with a replacement plan that makes sure people don't get kicked off the health care. >> republicans in congress are having a hard time keeping up with donald trump. they caught up with him last week and said, okay, we'll replace at the same time we repeal. now he's telling your newspaper that he's already got the plan in place and we're just finishing it up right now while leaders in the house and senate are saying they're still months away. >> you know, when president obama did the affordable care act, his tactic was to let congress do it. let congress come up with a plan and we got a very complicated
plan that did in fact reduce the rate of uninsured in this country dramatically. but i don't think anybody thought the affordable care act was perfect. so president and president-elect trump is taking the opposite tact. he's saying i'm going to write the thing. you guys can just sign off on it. it's amazing though for how many years has the republican party been saying we're going to repeal and replace obamacare and they, like, have no clue as to what a replacement would be. that's astounding. >> no clue. no plan. >> joe, the real problem is the president-elect said he wants a replacement for it. when he went on "60 minutes" shortly after the election and said we'll keep things that are most expensive, i heard jeremy say this one morning here. when you want to keep the two most expensive components to it but want to change it, that's what hurt them so badly. >> that's why they have to get their checkbook out.
you already have insurance companies bailing from this because the economic model makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. they're having to provide health care insurance for older, more unhealthy americans while younger americans just aren't opting in so if donald trump thinks he's going to take a system that's already teetering, at least not on the brink of collapse but teetering in 2017 and make it better, again, the price tag is going to be massive. >> sounds like obama saying more insurance that will cost less. >> jeremy peters, as mika and i have been saying all along, he's not a paul ryan republican. he's not even a mitch mcconnell republican. he's been a democrat his entire life. he switched to the republican party several years ago. and so he doesn't -- >> let's hear it out. >> he doesn't care.
>> could be go. >> what think tanks have been writing about health care on the republican side for 30 years. >> he's absolutely not looking at what the heritage foundation is saying about repealing and replacing the aca. i think also what is going on here is you have the fact that he's not a conservative. donald trump is a republican president but he's not conserve s . he doesn't care about conservative causes with many with the same level of passion in his party do. you have him at odds of where paul ryan is. paul ryan talks about giving access to health care. not blanket coverage which is a liberal sounding idea. they want to do this through tax credits and providing access. >> there's a reason why bernie sanders got the people he got this past year. as mika said, that's the future of the democratic party.
he's 74. >> he's going out there and finding out what we missed. >> he sounds just as relevant today as he did a year ago. >> i don't think chuck schumer made that crowd happy as much as i love chuck. >> he's making the only respectable intellectual argument is for a single payer system. >> talking about bernie sanders? >> yes. because of the existence of the insurance industry and culture and history, that's not going to happen. once you rule that out, then you are left with reforming something. it's not even replace. it's repeal and reform an existing system that t.r. started on this. this is not our first trip with the health care football. it's going to keep happening again and again. and just quickly, the idea that he is not a heritage republican, the president-elect thinks think tank is a show on cnbc. this is not a serious thing.
>> you bring up t.r. you take away twitter and you take away all of the other temperamental trappings of donald trump, and you do have a republican like t.r. who thinks big and who wants big infrastructure spending, wants big defense -- wants to destroy isis. wants health care for everybody. wants big things. he does not think about balance budgets or paying down debt. >> and has a certain level of self-regard. and so, yeah, just a certain level. >> feisty this morning. >> i just think it's important. it's also important -- joe, what do you think about this. jeremy says he's not a conservative president. that's true. he's a republican president. is he going to be a republican president or is he a president who used the republican party as
a vehicle to power? >> we'll find out. >> a transactional president. >> i think that actually -- >> look at his cabinet. >> -- he's in a sense and people will look back -- we've talked about this a lot before. i think the 150-year doopoly is over. power has switched back and presidency switched every two years as the beginning of the end for the two parties. i think people are going to still look at george w. bush as the last republican president. >> still ahead on "morning joe," congressman john lewis has never shied away from a fight and now he's picked one with the president-elect just days ahead of the inauguration. we'll talk about the political fallout and uncertainty ahead of the transition of power. we'll be joined from along the mexican border. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back.
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>> do you plan on trying to forge a relationship with donald trump? >> i believe in forgiveness. i believe in trying to work with people. it's going to be hard. it's going to be very difficult. i don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president. >> you do not consider him a legitimate president? why is that? >> i think the russians participated in helping this man get elected. and they helped destroy the candidacy of hillary clinton. i don't plan to attend the inauguration. it would be the first one that i miss since i've been in congress. you cannot be at whole with something that you feel is wrong. >> that was congressman john
lewis questioning the legitimacy of trump's election in his appearance on "meet the press." lewis also said he would not invite trump to selma, alabama, the place where he famously marched 50 years ago and where he has marched annually with democrats and republicans alike including george w. bush and jeff sessions. last week lewis testified against sessions' nomination as attorney general. some democrats said they disagreed with what the congressman said including former adviser to president obama david axelrod and democratic senator joe manchin said the president-elect is absolutely legitimate adding i've got the utmost respect for congressman john lewis. he's an icon. we all have the most respect for him. i just think that was uncalled for. so for this type of rhetoric, it's nonproductive. i would like it in that would tone down a little bit. we'd be much better off and move on. for his part donald trump
responded on twitter to lewis' comments singling out his district which includes the heart of downtown atlanta. "congressman john lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart. not to mention crime infested rather than falsely complaining about the election results. all talk, talk, talk. no action or results. john lewis should focus on burning and crime infested inner cities of the u.s. i can use all of the help i can get." people in lewis' deep blue district reacted to trump's tweets by posting shots of the community to social media. dude, just stop. and republican senator tweeted john lewis and his talk have changed the world. the senator also said to john lewis, one of my heroes, please come to the inauguration. it's not about the man.
it's a celebration of the peaceful transfer of power. on the sunday shows, the trump team said the president-elect has a right to defend himself given lewis' controversial comments. >> look, i served with john. i disagree with him on most issue issues, but i had tremendous respect for him. my family and i walked across the bridge with him on the 65th anniversary of bloody sunday. we honor the sacrifice that he made. part of the result of what happened on bloody sunday and the courage that he showed was the voting rights act so for someone of his stature not just in the civil rights movement but in voting rights to make a comment that he did not consider donald trump to be a legitimate president, i think is deeply disappointing. >> it's shocking that congressman lewis, who is a civil rights icon and is a person who has championed voting
rights would actually question the legitimacy of an election in this country in starting this firestorm. he won about 128 out of 159 counties in georgia. he flipped 200 counties that obama won. i mean, i get you want to go back and forth on tweets but the truth is, it's irresponsible for john lewis, historic as he is, to have done this. barack obama should step up as well and call it what it is. it's wrong what is happening. it's wrong how some of these democrats are treating president-elect trump. >> mika, barack obama has stepped up. he said that he's legitimate. donald trump was a legitimate president. despite the fact that donald trump back in 2011 started saying barack obama wasn't legitimate. you can say what you want about this back and forth.
say what you want about this back and forth. i think both men have a right if they want to go back and forth, you can go back and forth all you want but don't drag barack obama in this fight. barack obama has built over backwards doing what any president should do to a person that's replacing him despite the fact he may disagree with the vast majority of his agenda. >> gene, at least 20 democratic lawmakers in the house have said they won't attend the inauguration and the democratic party is fund-raising on lewis' comments. i ask you as someone that puts his opinions on pen and paper every day. i guess, first of all, would you agree with congressman lewis' statements? would you question the legitimacy of trump's presidency? we'll start there? >> you know, i've written in my column that he was elected president. >> legitimately. >> well, yeah. we don't have -- we don't have a
do over. we don't have -- there's no clause that says in the case of russian interferences what we do. we have one president at a time. so he's about to be it. we have to deal with that fact. but what amazes me about this back and forth as joe said, yes, there's tough rhetoric for anybody in the donald trump campaign including donald trump to be shocked at rough and perhaps transaggressive political rhetoric is ridiculous. that's how he became president by saying things nobody else would say and saying things that were beyond the pale and to -- >> is that what congressman lewis did? are you paralleling? >> well, yeah, i am paralleling in that that is not something that we usually hear a member of congress say about the president. then again, we heard the
president-elect and various of his allies say things about president obama during his tenure that we also were not accustomed to hearing and yet as part of our political rhetoric and so you look at the temperature that's been amped up. i don't think it's now incumbent only on democrats to tone it down. >> we have much more ahead on "morning joe" including the curtain call for the ringling bros. as times change. set to close for business. america's beverage companies have come together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. with more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie
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welcome back to "morning joe." here's a quick look at some of the ground we've covered so far this morning. >> i'm exhausted already. >> president-elect trump says he'll soon unveil a plan that will provide insurance for everybody. >> repeal and replace slogan was more marketing than it was policy. >> get out your checkbook, paul ryan. this is going to cost you billions. >> would you agree with congressman lewis' statements. >> there's no clause that says
in the case of russian interference what we do. he's about to be it. >> the 40 some members of the congressional black caucus wouldn't be in congress probably if it were not for people like john lewis. >> i think there's got to be a willingness for john lewis to not use language about delegitimizing an election. >> you saw this coming from a mile away. >> knew trump would take the bait. >> who is going to remember the lewis fight in three days? >> i think people are still going to look at george w. bush as the last republican president. >> very highest levels of the incoming trump administration there are people whose goals are to smash the two-party system. >> the cabinet is better than i expected but -- this is a big but. trump changed less than i expected. >> i know the president-elect is watching. i would be happy to meet with you at any moment. we have work to do. >> music very dramatic. >> i like that. >> an american broadcast. >> i like it. >> now to some -- >> there wasn't any script though. you need some sort of "morning
joe" with it. >> okay. >> i like the music. >> very moody. >> you like the music? >> i do. i'm a sucker for the music. >> maybe "chariots of fire" scene where they're running down the beach. >> champagne on hurdles. >> are we good? >> covered a lot of ground though. if you haven't been watching over the past 2 1/2 hours and just tune in right now on the west coast, bottom line is this. trump is tweeting too much. he's picking fights with too many people. and good-bye republican and democratic party because bernie sanders in his own way is starting his own party on the left and donald trump is starting his own party on the right. >> and unprecedented week. the week will end with the inauguration of a unique american figure. >> donald j. trump, the guy that came down the escalator when everyone laughed. >> nobody is laughing now, are this h
they? >> no, they're not. at least 31 people are dead after a turkish airlines cargo jet crashed. the boeing 747 was en route to istanbul from hong kong and was scheduled to stop just north of the capital when it crashed into a village destroying at least 20 homes. officials say most of those killed were on the ground. initial reports indicated there was heavy fog in the area although officials now say pilot error may be to blame. the black box has been recovered. severe winter wth is crippling the heart of the country at least five people died in car accidents because of the storms. slick roads led to dozens of other crashes including this one in oklahoma involving two tractor-trailers. no one was injured in that wreck. in kansas, one trooper captured dramatic moments on his dash cam of a tractor-trailer traveling too fast and skidding across the center divider barely missing the officer. the states of emergency were declared in oklahoma, missouri
and kansas as ice up to a half inch in some areas blanketed the region. tens of thousands remain without power across multiple states. the nfl even had to delay the start of yesterday's playoff game in kansas city for several hours. after 146 years in show business, ringling bros. barnum & bailey circus is taking down its tents. kerry sanders has more. >> reporter: good morning. t today's kids are more interested in video games and virtual reality than they are in things like corny clowns and then there was a calculation that the circus didn't quite realize would have the dramatic impact that it had and that's retiring the performing elephants. >> welcome to the greatest show on earth! >> after almost a century and a half of entertaining, the
greatest show on earth is pulling up its stakes forever. >> this is messed up. >> sunday's performance in miami, the last time the circus rolls into town here ever leaving memories on parents' cell phones. >> she's almost three. this will be her first and only circus. >> the decision to retire the performing teelephants last spring, a move demanded by animal welfare protesters, had a big impact on the bottom line according to circus owners. evidence on cell phone video showing rows of empty seats. the head of the company that owns ringling bros. says it just doesn't work anymore. >> it's been through a lot of change. it isn't relevant to people in the same way. >> dare devil who gained fame in the air under the big top and
who has since gone onto even bigger stunts says he's heartbroken. >> it is part of my family. i bleed, sweat, eat, sleep and cry circus. it's just who i am. >> performers and show producers say today's young audience growing up on video games and virtual reality just isn't into the circus the way their parents and grandparents were but many are sad to see this generation's old tradition coming to an end. after the last performance on may 21st, the circus says all of the animals will be retired to quiet sanctuaries. meantime, to give you an idea how long this circus has been touring, 146 years. consider this. back when it began, there were only 37 stars on the flag and grant was president of the united states. mika? >> that's perspective. thank you very much. it's not just president obama who is out of a job this friday. u.s. ambassadors were informed that no extensions will be granted for those wishing to
stay past inauguration day. wow. without exception they say. in the past, replacing diplomats has been a staggered process allowing extensions on a case by case basis to keep an open line of communication with countries overseas during the white house transition. seemed to make sense. in fact, some ambassadors would stay on the job for weeks, even months, while their successors clear a potentially lengthy nomination process in congress. president-elect trump, however, is pulling the band-aid in one swipe leaving some nations unsure of whom to contact over the coming weeks in case of any diplomatic friction. i see a number of problems here. what do you think? >> i just think it's unnecessarily antagonistic. you look at what our ambassadors around the world do and they choose to go and live in these countries. a lot of them hardship posts. they take young children off many times with them. it's been a professional courtesy to let the children continue at their schools throughout the duration of the
semester. something that trump should understand given that he's allowing the same for his son to stay in new york city and continue his semester of school and so this just really unnecessarily disrupts a lot of families but also is just a poor diplomatic move when you think about so much pressure on the deputy chief of mission who is a career foreign service officer usually but they are also going to have to work with the host government and do all of the diplomatic niceties but also manage the embassies. it unnecessarily puts strains on our operations overseas. still ahead, have members of donald trump's campaign been in touch with russia? plus, president obama tries to seal the narrative on his legacy with a flurry of last-minute actions on foreign policy. we're back in a moment with that.
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>> two words, red line. there are reports it wasn't in your speech. it created problems for you with the military people. would you take those words back? you didn't have to say them. >> look, if you're putting all of the weight on that particular phrase, then in terms of how it was interpreted in washington, i think you make a legitimate point. i've got to tell you though. i don't regret at all saying that if i saw bashar al assad using chemical weapons on his people that would change my assessments in terms of what we were or were not willing to do in syria. >> jon meacham, first of all, he did use chemical weapons on his people. isn't that just a great example of how words matter. a president's word matters. we talked about this with donald
trump. there's an example of where he used words and trying to act like somehow it matters less but that was extraordinarily important to the world that he talked about crossing a red line and then basically gave assad a free pass and then assad knew he could do whatever he wanted. donald trump should when criticizing barack obama and red line understand that everything he says sends a massive message to our nato allies, to putin, to the world. >> it's one of the great questions that will really start taking shape friday at noon is going to be whether the words of a president continue to have that disproportionately significant meaning or will the world now discount? arguably, this could weaken the country in ways we haven't even thought about. what if people stop taking the president at his word because he changes his views from moment to moment. he changes what he says. i think that's one of the
things -- to use donald rumsfeld's most memorable phase, that's the known unknown. >> i couldn't agree more. this is a real test of whether or not because the president will be so wildly inconsistent and contradictory. just the sheer volume of what comes at us from donald trump. >> you look at what he said on nato this weekend. he discounted nato. you look a little more closely at it and it seems to be like it's regarding one aspect of nato and that is fighting isis but you worked for condy rice. every word that got to the president and got out was scrubbed a thousand times. so people knew when the president spoke, this was
policy. >> that's what's been so unbelievable about the casual tweeting. trump really has just been so promiscuous with words. he throws so much out there and no one knows what matters. you look at what he tweeted about north korea. was he saying that we would preemptively strike north korea if he had evidence of a nuclear weapon he wanted to take out? it was very confusing. when you have rogue actors like that, especially north korea being so unstable, it's dangerous. >> mika, not only does this impact foreign policy but it's impacting his poll standing among independents. something that people at trump tower know. right now his political enemy among independents is actually twitter, which he sees it as a strength. you can look at poll numbers both external and internal and it's actually hurting his
political standing here at home. >> and global standing because at some point us arguing amongst ourselves about the russians and whether or not they hacked and who hacked when and how and us fighting, the infighting over russia, how happy is vladimir putin about that? >> he's very happy. >> it breaks us down. there's a lot to be done and a lot to be learned. up next, barack obama has deported more undocumented people than any other president and now people on both sides of the border are waiting anxiously to see how donald trump's campaign promises turn into policy. we're back in just a moment. myo severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to
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it's your retirement. know where you stand. president-elect donald trump's plan to deport undocumented immigrants was one of his signature campaign issues. all this week msnbc is looking at the real world implications of trump's campaign promises. he reports for us from the u.s./mexico border near san diego. >> this is house of migrants. if you want to know what mass deportations in a donald trump's america would look like, you start in a place like this. how long have you lived in the united states? >> 29 years. >> 29 years. how long have you been in mexico? >> three weeks. >> do you speak spanish? >> a little bit, yeah? >> your english is better? >> spanish is my second
language. >> what did you do? you got caught. what did you do? >> i got deported for a misdemeanor drunk in public. >> your second deportation? >> yeah. i've gone back a few times after that due to the fact that that's the world that i know. >> donald trump is known for his tough talk on immigration but more undocumented migrants have been deported by barack obama than any other president. 2.8 million. mexico receives the most deportees of any nation and the vast majority of them end up here in tijuana. many seek help at a shelter like this. you'll find others at a place you might not expect. next door solutions could be inside any office park in the united states. the way it looks outside and what's going on inside. if you take a look around this neighborhood, you'll see we're in the middle of an industrial area in tijuana. inside is a booming company only made possible by deportees. so what's going on in here? >> mostly sales for internet. we're trying to americanize the
operations. >> this customer service and telemarketing call center hired by american companies. how did you end up here? >> deported. >> what happened? >> got into a confrontation with an older brother of mine. that was about it. >> that was it? >> that was it. out of curiosity had you been to mexico before you got deported? >> before the deportation, no? >> other than being born here? >> no. no vacations? >> no. >> no trips south of the border? >> my vacations were to montana or minnesota. >> you feel like an american living in mexico? >> that's exactly how i feel. >> trump said anyone that entered the united states illegally are subject to deportation. that's already happening. during the obama era, deportees with a criminal conviction only slightly outnumbered those who didn't have one. how long did you live in oregon for? >> my parents took me when i was three and i was deported when i turned 27. >> what happened? >> the lawyer messed up my
paperwork and they deported me. >> so did you commit a crime? >> no. >> no crime? >> no. >> you lived in america your whole life. >> my whole life. i worked for the u.s. post office. >> you worked for the u.s. government and paid taxes. everything that an american does? >> everything that an american does. >> what would they say if they could come back and live with us. >> they know i'm in a waiting process for a visa. they're just waiting. they're patient. >> would you be here without all of the deportees coming from the united states? would this business be the same? >> no. these guys are the main labor for the industry. >> ironically, donald trump would create jobs in mexico if he deports all of the undocumented immigrants from america here? >> absolutely. absolutely. >> boy, that's incredible. >> incredible story. really good work. you know, the data has been that people have been going back over the border in higher numbers
than ever before as well, which i never understood during the campaign when he made these ground proclamations about building a wall. >> in part because the economy has gotten better, a lot of people would say the economy has gotten better because of nafta. one of the great ironies is barack obama has deported more illegal immigrants than anyone else. that's not lost on hispanic leaders over the last eight years. >> they have been outraged for years. whether it's accidental or not, i don't know. this is the brilliance of trump's immigration policy is that he doesn't really have to do all that much more. he'll build a wall. build part of a wall. cut a ribbon. big grand ceremony. as long as he continues obama's policies of deporting criminals and noncriminals, he'll get credit. >> yeah. >> final thoughts, jon meacham, today? >> when the history of modern of america is written, this week
will matter enormously. we begin it with the commemoration of the high water mark of fulfilling the promise of the declaration and end it with the inauguration of the most unconventional american president in 240 years. >> no parallels. >> none. >> i'm really excited for the inaugural address on friday because it literally could be anything. you have no idea what's in store. we have no idea. >> and the word this weekend, jeremy, as your reporting that donald trump is writing a lot of it himself. >> he is from what i'm told. sitting down. it will be his voice. that's a very distinctive voice. interpret that as you will. i think that means it will be pretty conciliatory in a way that is not giving much ground. because trump is a very stubborn guy. at the same time, he's going to want to extend a hand to the people who did not vote for him and do not support him because they realize internally that
they are probably going to have no honeymoon and the runway is very short. >> earnest hemmingway of twitter. >> what about you? what do you think? >> on this day i would ask that everybody think back and read to their children about martin luther king's wife. he's an example about how one man and one person can do what bob kwi kennedy said in 1966. in capetown, south africa, how one person can change the world. they can create and hope people hear the story of martin luther king and do the same over the next 50 years. >> that does it for us this morning. we go live to capit h