tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC January 30, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PST
president trump's immigration ban. "the 11th hour begins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york, the trump administration is only eight days old, and already tonight, there has been a showdown between the president and the justice department. donald trump tonight has fired the interim attorney general because of her ruling earlier this evening that the justice department would not defend the trump administration's travel ban that was in that executive order. sally yates who served under president obama and was asked to stay on in the interim sent a memo to justice department lawyers ordering them not to defend trump's order to block refugees and citizens from seven mostly muslim countries. that memo said in part, "my responsibility is to ensure that the position of the department
of justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts." that memo tonight led to her dismissal. the white house just put out a statement saying, "the acting attorney general sally yates has betrayed the department of justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the united states. miss yates is an obama administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration." the new acting attorney general is dana boente who was serving as u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia. and just tonight, another development. we know not what to make of it involving the head of immigration and customs enforcement. as you saw briefly our panel is here ready to weigh in on our breaking news. first we start with nbc white house correspondent kristen welker who joins us by telephone.
kristen, what more have you been able to add to the record tonight? >> well, brian, fast-moving developments tonight. you're right. this replacement of sally yates came after a really bitter back and forth. she said that she directed doj not to uphold the president's travel ban saying that she wasn't clear that it was going to be lawful and then the news came that president trump was, in fact, replacing her with dana boente. and we really had fireworks ever since then on both sides. republicans and democrats weighing in really using it as a chance to express their feelings about this immigration order. chuck schumer, for example, saying the a.g. should pledge fidelity to the law and the constitution, not the white house. the fact that this administration doesn't understand that is chilling and
then this from ted cruz just moments ago, "it is fitting and sad that the very last act of the obama doj is for the acting a.g. to defy the newly elected potus." so both sides pouncing in that regard and sort of using it to hammer home their political points. but here's one of the big takeaways, brian. mrs. yates because she was the top senate confirmed official at the department of justice, has the authorization to sign foreign surveillance warrants which is a critical function to the doj and it's not clear that dana boente has that same authorization. he was signed in tonight. he was sworn in tonight at 9:00 p.m., we are told, so he's official. again, because he doesn't come with that senate confirmation, he doesn't have that ability to authorize and to sign foreign surveillance warrants. so that's a concern when it comes to national security. that's going to put the pressure on the confirmation hearings of senator sessions.
he's supposed to have a committee vote tomorrow. and i think just looking forward to that vote, it's really going to become more of a symbol of this incredibly controversial immigration order and, brian, obviously the fallout of that continues and we saw more protests tonight with opponents saying that it's not lawful and that, you know, it's effectively a muslim ban by another name and the trump administration denying that vigorously, but, again, it all came to a head with this replacement of sally yates tonight. >> and kristen, when we have you, the dismissal tonight of the head of i.c.e., the more muscular title for immigration and customs enforcement, obviously new presidents name new department heads. was this timed or scheduled or sudden? >> so those are the questions that we're trying to answer, brian. here's what i can tell you. i have a number of calls and e-mails out trying to determine that.
the tone of this announcement was incredibly different. it didn't come with an explanation unlike the replacement of sally yates, this was very matter of fact. that the administration is, in fact, replacing daniel rusdale with thomas homan, someone who served as executive associate director of i.c.e. and he's a 33-year veteran of law enforcement. he has 30 years of immigration experience according to the statement that was put out by the trump administration. so what we can tell you at this hour is that the tone of this announcement, very different, and this may just be about the president wanting to bring in his own people, but, again, that official announcement didn't come with any explanation for why he was making this decision. of course, it comes on the nights -- on a night when there has been a lot of twists and turns and so we're still tracking this and trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.
>> white house correspondent kristen welker at the end of a long day. they seem to bleed into the next day these days. kristen, thank you for joining us by telephone. also with us, live by telephone, is akeel reid omar, a law professor and constitutional scholar at yale university. his experience includes clerking for supreme court justice breyer and professor, i've heard it proffered tonight that the acting attorney general needlessly left out legal underpinnings from her opinion in saying the justice department wouldn't enforce this refugee ban. is there anything else she could have said in that document or was she destined for dismissal? >> well, the constitution in the end vests the executive power of the united states in the president. if people within the executive branch feel that in good faith they can't defend the
president's policies, they have a freedom of speech, they can articulate their view and at the end of the day, they serve at the president's pleasure and he can fire them. and she chose to very dramatically express her disagreement. there are, i think, probably other elements within the justice department that may be more willing to try to defend the legality of the trump order. i've heard reports that the president believes the office of legal counsel has -- supports certain elements of the executive order that was issued. she -- this is one aspect basically of the transition. the new attorney general isn't yet in place. he hasn't been confirmed.
jeff sessions. presumably, that will happen very quickly and personally, i actually supported the obama administration but you had an election and it's out with the old and in with the new. and this is just some particular drama because of the details of the transition. jeff sessions isn't yet fully in place, so we have a few holdover officials and the obama administration -- excuse me, the trump administration, as promised, wants to hit the ground running with a whole bunch of new policies. they believe they were elected on a change mandate and they're not even waiting until the whole team is in place before moving forward. and this is a very dramatic little episode but it's one element of just the larger drama of profound transition from obama to trump. >> professor akhil reed omar, yale university, thank you very much for being with us tonight.
again, this is all unfolding. let's formally and officially bring in our panel, shall we? former white house communications director, campaign veteran and msnbc political analyst, nicolle wallace. we also welcome ed rollins tonight, he's what you call a political veteran, having worked for, oh, four presidents, chief among them ronald reagan, where he served as deputy chief of staff and political director, most recently ran a pro-donald trump political action committee. and jeremy bash is back with us, former chief of staff at cia and pentagon. nicolle, you've been absent for several days. >> oh, no. >> you get to lead us off. what is happening? >> we're focused on yates appropriately so. she's not the only one who had problems with the executive order. notably president trump's new secretary of defense had to send over a list of iraqis. they were on the list of seven countries that were targeted by the executive order who have helped american soldiers on the
battlefield. who have been in combat and who have served as translators with american soldiers. i can't think of anything more un-american than forgetting to do that on the front end. the other person that had a problem with pieces of this executive order was president trump's new secretary of homeland security who pozited that leaving out green card holders was also problematic. so i think that attorney -- acting attorney general yates obviously pushed this white house too far, but she was far from the only policy critic and the only one questioning its legality, its morality and its implementation. >> what does it mean? >> well, it means that we have a white house that is now rolling out policy that dramatically affects the lives of human beings. i think there are over 100 people that were detained at airports. keeping families separated. i mean, there was -- elections have consequences and one of those consequences certainly could have been that president trump and his white house re-evaluated the visa
application process, could have put in place new vetting. however, leaving out or not thinking about iraqis who are helping americans on the battlefield, leaving out and not thinking about green card holders who are some of the most extremely vetted people to walk around, you know, american soil, is not just an errant judgment, but almost criminal incompetence. when we talk about donald trump's brand and our law professor gave a stunningly insightful political analysis, he could moonlight if he wanted to, but he was elected on this wave of change. of an appetite for dramatic change. bullet his brand is closely tied to being a competent businessman. every voter i met in my "trump we trust" series i went out there and tried to understand the trump voter, especially folks who voted for president obama twice, why pick donald trump? they think he can bring a business acumen that has at its
core the ability to run things. he has not displayed the ability to competently run a policy process around the first national security policy he's sort of taken a swing at. >> ed rollins, your friend, david gergen, said tonight, "i think they intentionally want to create this kind of chaos." could that be possible? >> i think they want to create motion and i think they have created motion. i think they've had a very aggressive seven, eight days here, certainly some little missteps along the way. as nicolle will tell you, or david gergen, my old friend, those of us who have been in white houses, in the early days it's a learning process. this is a whole brand new team. brand new president. very few people any kind of experience. they have a very aggressive agenda. these things he promised, he feels are very important to get out there. i think the acting attorney general knew what she was doing. obviously this was cleared by the office of legal counsel. the office of legal counsel is the government's lawyer. it's in the justice department. if they signed off on this, they basically meant they didn't find any fault with it as far as the law.
i think she clearly understood what she was doing when she waved the red flag in front of trump and she got speared. i think to a certain extent, the story will be a terrible story for a day or two until we have a new chief justice or new justice tomorrow night and the story goes to the next round. this is a very aggressive team. they want to get things done. this is an active president. i think to a certain extent, a week from now we won't be paying much attention to this story. >> let me run more quotes by you. florida republican congressman said tonight on lawrence o'donnell's show, "by the end of this year we may see a president drifting toward an impeachable moment." your other good friends at "the new york times" wrote this in two headlines today, in days trump upends america's enduring image, and with little regard for basic governance, unleashed global chaos. that's not reading well. >> it's not -- well, you don't get to write the headlines for "the new york times," unfortunately, we all have tried
to do that in our past lives. i think this is a president who basically feels he has a mandate for the american public, i don't think he's going to care very much about his poll numbers or the rest of it. he's going to basically be an action guy. he may over the long term care about these things. he truly is an independent guy. he's not going to be a republican or democrat all the time. he's going to try to implement them. he's been very aggressive so far. >> jeremy bash, when asked from the podium today why the president moved his announcement of a supreme court nominee from thursday to tuesday, sean spicer said because he wanted to. perhaps it was in light of so much bad publicity over this weekend. >> yeah, i'm reminded of that old movie, brian, "wag the dog" where you create one distraction to distract from another distraction. look, the new team does have a -- does believe they have a mandate, but where they are the least experienced is in national security affairs.
so, and what private citizen would be experienced in national security affairs? so the new team comes in and between priebus, conway, kushner and bannon, they have precisely zero days in federal government service and now they're asked to weigh in and opine on big national security issues, not just this immigration issue, but there's ballistic missiles tests from iran going on, there's a special operations commando raid under way in yemen. they got crises coming at them left, right and center. that's why they need to rely on expertise. expertise from national security professionals. it's why it's so dangerous to blow fast balls past the secretary of defense. past the homeland security secretary, past the intelligence community. it is going to catch up with them and i think this weekend shows that it already is. >> jeremy, how do you think this is going over in your old shops in the pentagon, and over in langley, virginia, at cia? >> well, look, i think for the most part national security professionals believe that this
immigration order is a very shortsighted and counterproductive counterterrorism tool. if you put an entire civilian population under surveillance and under scrutiny, you're not going to be actually able to chase specific intelligence leads and penetrate specific plots and it also hands an enormous propaganda weapon to isis. it's just about the last thing you want if you're charged with predicting the country. >> ed rollins has literally raised his hands requesting more time. >> so polite. doesn't know the rules around here. just jump in. >> only one line of correction i can give you, mr. bannon had seven years in the navy and an extraordinary career in which he ended up being chief of staff to a major admiral. i don't see that makes him a national security expert but it is government experience and certainly the pentagon, he knows a lot about a lot. >> the counterpoint to that, mr. bannon is a lightning rod for the partisan elements and the more sort of troubling and alienlating aspects of donald trump's -- >> i would argue this president
trump would not be there as elected president if bannon hadn't come in and run his campaign. >> i will disagree but i think that cuts both ways. >> we're going to take a break. we're getting started on our special hour-long edition of the broadcast tonight. we're back with more right after this. honey, aren't we having friends over? it reeks in here. i know [goat noise] i stole the other team's mascot for good luck. we need to wash this room. wash it? yeah, wash it with febreze. for all the things you can't wash, use febreze fabric refresher wow [inhales] it really smells great in here. dog barks and try pluggable febreze, with up to 4 times the freshness in one refill. pluggable febreze and fabric refresher [inhale + exhale mnemonic], two more ways to breathe happy
that's over 6 times faster than slow internet from the phone company. 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. welcome back to the "11th hour" as we continue tonight's breaking news, the firing by the president of the interim attorney general, a holdover from the obama administration. democrats were on the hill late tonight after holding a protest of the president's executive action on immigration.
at heart of all this. here is new york democrat senate minority leader chuck schumer just a short time ago on the president firing the acting a.g. >> sally yates, a person of great integrity, who follows the law, was fired by the president. she was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief that it was illegal. perhaps unconstitutional. it was a profile in courage. it was a brave act. and a right act. and i hope the president and his people who were in the white house learned something from this. first, that we are a nation that's a rule of law. and you can't just sit down, twitter something out, then think, okay, let's enact it.
this is a complicated country and when you do something as major as what the president proposed in his executive order, you got to think it through. >> back now with our panel. nicolle wallace, ed rollins, jeremy bash. nicolle, we say interim attorney general because he was waiting until the swearing in after the hoped for confirmation of jeff sessions. what does this do now to the notion of jeff sessions, to the hearings, to his confirmation vote? >> well, listen, the reason i think it's strongman to suggest that the trump white house is engaged in criminal imp competence but the reason i said that is because what they have done is to hand the democrats the weapons of the words of john mccain and lindsey graham and republican senator jeff flake, republican senator ben sasse who all came out i think by sunday morning, maybe some of them spoke out by saturday night, and said just what jeremy bash said, that this is handing isis recruitment material.
this is handing fodder to the enemy to do us harm. so you have to accept that the trump white house's goal was to protect the country. i give them that benefit of the doubt. but if you have john mccain and lindsey graham saying the effect is the complete opposite, what you have done is handed the democrats an unimpeachable source, unimpeachable charge against someone in their own party and now all of the confirmation hearings, not just senator sessions, i think every appointee, every sort of nominee, is going to have to answer questions about whether they see this as john mccain and lindsey graham see it, or whether they see it as the white house sees it and i would add, we've talked night after night about the important role that john mccain and lindsey graham will have.
this is what it looks like in motion when a republican white house goes to war over national security policies with john mccain and lindsey graham. it doesn't end well for the rookie white house. >> ed, you will agree this is historic. we're eight days in. the president has already had a de facto run-in with a federal judge -- the fact that the folks at gallup remind us today he has now gone to a majority disapproval rating. he is under water in record time of eight days. >> well, he came in with record numbers. >> true. >> record low numbers. in my sense, again, i go back to the point, i don't think he's ever going to have high numbers. i think this is a president who basically is always going to have a very polarized society against him. we're a very divided nation. these kind of events like the women's march, what have you, basically shows you there's a lot of opposition out there as
it wasn't a very close election. i think he has to move forward with his agenda and live up to the promises he made to his people. i think if he does that, they will stay with him. if he loses that, i think john mccain and lindsey graham are always going to be a couple gadflies, one is the nominee who ran and got clobbered, the other -- when we have 5 senator s you have to make sure they don't defect.3 senator s you have to make sure they don't defect. >> we had john mccain as a serious detractor of our then-secretary of defenses don rumsfeld. he was far more than a gadfly. national conversation about what was going wrong in -- i would have to say, i don't think it's an overstatement to suggest john mccain's critique of the war led to a policy process that led to the surge that turned the war around. he is a very influential voice on foreign policy the world over
and even more importantly, i think jeremy mentioned that russia's neighbors are under increasing threat. this is going to be a flashpoint time and time again because donald trump has set a tone the world over that he's going to tolerate more monkey business from vladimir putin than past american presidents of both parties and john mccain will be able to draw the world's attention to what putin is up to and hold the white house's feet to the fire. i would never underestimate his policy. >> gadfly may be inappropriate, he's the chairman of the armed services committee, but the critical thing here is he has been a constant critic of your president, of my president and -- >> my point is he changed policy and i think it was his critique that led to the policy process that led to this -- >> i don't think trump is going to basically let him set policy. i think that he -- you know, again, two senators, very important, three senators, basically make it a tie. >> wait, you have ten
republicans now who have taken issue, ten republicans who've taken issue with this order and i think if for every policy there are ten republican detractors, i don't think the trump white house is going to ever -- it matters to donald trump. he cares very much about his approval rating. he cares about his press. >> he's going to have to get over that because he's not going to -- >> from your lips. >> jeremy -- >> he has to worry about losing ten senators or three senators. at the end of the day he better get used to bad numbers because they're going to be in -- >> here's another number, 100, the "chicago tribune" reporting 100 career folks over at the state department are signing on to a letter disagreeing with this direction and it also seems to me the names we've been discussing and add to that, schumer, mcconnell, graham, mccain, they are institutionalists as well. it's tough to be an institutionalist with an incoming administration as ed correctly points out that was designed to break furniture. >> and we have a pattern here
emerging even though it's nine days in which is the president versus expertise. the president versus professional state department foreign service officers. the president versus professional cia officers. the president sewing chaos among those responsible for border patrol. if you don't accept facts and don't accept expertise, you're not going to be able to manage national security crises, real national security crises, when they come and hit you over the forehead like a 2 x 4. as we reach for historical precedence, i was thinking a little bit about the mid 2000s and president bush, nicolle's old boss, had a run-in with an attorney general over warrantless surveillance, the famous bedside scene where somebody named jim comey had to go to the white house to the chief of staff and say, hey, we're not going to sign off on this order. president bush brought everybody into the oval office, talked everybody down, he worked it out, they made modifications to the program.
wasn't acceptable to everybody, we were able to protect the country and keep america safe but he had the temperament to bring people together. that's what i think is necessary when you have a crisis like we're seeing unfold tonight. >> and he sided with the career professionals. i mean, he ult patly sided with fbi director bob muller and think it was deputy attorney general comey. >> yes. >> i don't think you're going to change a 70-year-old man who basically ran he's going to come and be the change agent of washington and don't think his constituents across the country are going to basically want him to alter his behavior. i think he'll immeasurably among that crowd be very -- they'll be very pleased he fired the acting attorney general tonight. i'm trying to tell you what i sense. and i think to a certain extent, he promised he's going to be different and clearly in the first eight, nine days -- >> do can you think they care about -- i agree with everything you just said, i think they thought they were hiring a very effective businessman who made
himself very rich because he's good at running things. >> the key thing is we have to make a judgment later down the road whether he's competent. i think he is competent. i think it's a learning curve. i would hate to have made these decisions in the first eight, nine days i was in the white house. >> we reached the bottom of the hour, usual end time for this broadcast. not tonight. we are going long because of the amount of breaking news we have to cover. another break for us, when we come back, among the topics yet to cover, mr. bannon and his oversized presence in this still eight-day-old administration.
we are back covering this breaking news of president trump firing the acting attorney general over at the justice department tonight. earlier tonight newt gingrich, former house speaker, said this on twitter, "there you go, trump practiced you're fired for years. today he applied it to an insubordinate acting attorney general. congratulations." let's bring in ucla law professor adam winkler as we continue to look at what happened tonight vis-a-vis the law and professor, do you think anyone bumped up against the law? either the acting, now former a.g., or the president? >> i think actually both of them followed the law. sally yates was obligated to follow the constitution, not trump's unconstitutional immigration order.
and some people are saying she should have resigned instead. she took an oath to preserve and defend the constitution. not to cut and run at the first sign of trouble. and in this instance, she apparently felt that defending the constitution required her to stop defending the immigration order. we know the president has the power to fire the attorney general as he has done in this case. >> now, professor, didn't she also do a de facto huge favor to all the immigration lawyers who are going to be arguing for refugees, who can you say, your honor, i submit the wording of the now former attorney general on behalf of the justice department containing her underpinnings as to why this shouldn't be our argued? >> absolutely. and you can expect good lawyers to use that argument. if there's any challenge those lawyers face, however, it's a course that there will be department of justice lawyers in court arguing against them and against that point of view, and one problem with yates' letter that she used to explain her decision not to enforce the law was that it didn't provide with
any clarity any clear statements of objections based on the law. she said that the law was unjust and unwise, but didn't make clear exactly what its constitutional problems were. so that makes it a little bit more difficult to use her statements in court. >> so you're saying she should have cited like a court opinion would the underpinnings as to how and why she reached the decision she did? >> well, in fact, she didn't offer anything really but a serious of conclusions. i think that she was right to disobey this -- the immigration orders. she felt that they were unconstitutional and there are serious constitutional problems with them. however, she did not bother to identify those constitutional problems in the letter, itself. >> professor adam winkler, thank you for joining us out on the west coast. professor winkler teaches law at ucla. another quick break for us. when we come back, our panel is back with us. jonathan alter, the veteran journalist, will also be with us to discuss what we're covering here tonight.
i want to quote the harvard lawyer professor, laurence tribe tonight, "it's as though history is being clams edclams collapsed hole and everything is happening faster than the speed of light." doesn't it feel that way? think of it, we're base quli reporting the aftermath from the immigration ban. we are eight days into a new administration. we are also tracking another fast-moving story tonight. the addition of white house aide steve bannon to the national security council. of bannon tonight, "the new york times'" editorial board wrote this, "a new executive order politicizing the process for national security decisions suggests mr. bannon is positioning himself not merely as a svengali but as the de facto president." let's bring in jeremy bash whose background is in national security, after all.
he remains with us as do nicolle wallace and ed rollins. jeremy, how unsettling, again, to career men and women, at the pentagon, in langley, is mr. bannon's presence in that room at that table? >> i think that "times" editorial is overstated, brian, but let me break down for you what is of concern. inside the national security council, there are multiple layers of meetings that occur. the most important one is called the principals' committee or p.c. in government parlance. all of the cabinet secretaries and national security adviser and tee up the big decisions for the president and when the president walks into the room, it confirms into a nsc, national security council meeting. what the trump administration did, they said with regard to this p.c., the principals' committee, that the director of national intelligence and chairman of joint chiefs of staff have to get a particular invitation to attend the meeting, but that the chief strategist, mr. bannon, is automatically entitled to be
there so they upgraded him as a permanent member of this group and they downgraded the chairman. now, i just want people to think about this tonight, and i love ed's prospective on this, imagine if obama had said the chairman of the joint chiefs will come when i ask him to come in the room, but i'm putting the editor of buzzfeed on the principals' committee. i mean, would republicans be -- have a mind-blowing experience or what? >> i have no problem putting steve bannon, whatever the president wants him to. ed niese was counselor to the president, he served a similar role. the point you made earlier, the joint chiefs chairman is adviser to the president and secretary
of defense by statute. the whole patriot act, the dci, by statute, again, those two people -- what difference should it make if it's two more seats at the table? it's two very, very valuable people. that's now objection. bannon is -- a president is entitled to have whatever we wants but those two people being put out was foolish. >> nicolle, remember what puts us here, the immigration ban from mostly muslim nations. i just asked you in the break, what's the status of green card holders? do we know? >> we don't know that they've all been let in. we know our newly sworn in, newly confirmed secretary of homeland security said they should be. i want to go back to bannon for a second, because karl rove, really no one closer to george w. bush -- >> i remember him. >> -- than karl rove. you remember him. our old friend, karl rove, was excluded from this principals' committee level meeting that jeremy correctly describes because there was a feeling that obviously a president can get advice from whomever they want.
>> sure. >> but george w. bush believed when a campaign ended the business of governing was serious and shouldn't have even an appearance of a political adviser in the room. steve bannon isn't just any political adviser. he's the one who's made donald trump answer questions about the alt-right, the only reason the whole country knows what the alt-right is. he's an incredibly polarizing and devicing figure. i don't know him personally. he may be a honey bunch. i have no idea. as a political persona, he is terrifying to donald trump's detractors. and you don't want your national security policy process to include a person that terrifies people of the other party. >> our 70-year-old non-ideologue president who came from a different world more malleable to this kind of thing? >> i have not seen anything that suggests that donald trump is malleable in terms of wanting his way. he's not ideological so i think on policy he's probably very malleable, but steve bannon is -- it has been reported by people with multiple sources, he
is to get the credit if you're a fan and the blame if you're a detractor for all of the sort of populism that we heard in the inaugural address, for the dividing of americans along class lines, for the speaking directly to the forgotten man and woman which was the closing message that got donald trump elected and whether you love that message or hate it, it was central to -- i agree that donald trump would not have won if it weren't for steve bannon. putting him in the room with career national security public servants, people who put their lives -- and watching military operations, never mind that he was in the military, i don't know that that gives you right to advise a president on military operations. >> i think -- >> is shocking. >> the only thing i would say is this is a president who got elected who didn't have a bunch of political people around him, didn't have a whole bunch of longtime advisers. bushes did, reagan did, everybody else did. bannon became his closest adviser. bannon is the adult he listens to. bannon is the person he trusts the most.
he sees bannon as a peer. his son-in-law which obviously is a son-in-law, everybody else is new to his game, everybody else is kind of a staff person. bannon is a peer. and so basically i think at the end of the day, what bannon says, president's going to listen to, although i do think this is a president with pretty strong opinions of his own. >> i want to talk about -- >> i would have flipped it there and put the chairman of the joint chiefs in the room in every meeting and said, steve bannon, we'll invite you if we need your advice. >> i want to talk about another aspect of donald trump for a moment and starts where shuck schumer has a news conference every weekend, food to local media who find it slow during weekends and whatever issue chuck schumer talks about usually makes into new york local news. this weekend was different, he was talking about the immigration ban. chuck schumer's middle name happens to be ellis, from the name of a beloved family member, named after ellis island where the family entered the united states.
chuck schumer became highly emotional on this topic. we'll show you that and show you how donald trump reacted. >> this executive order -- was mean spirited and un-american. >> i noticed that chuck schumer yesterday with fake tears. i'm going to ask him who was his acting coach because i know him very well. i don't see him as a crier. if he is, he's a different man. about a 5% chance it was real but i think they were fake tears. >> fake tears. >> i'm going to say what i'm thinking, not always a good idea especially at 11:48. the first time donald trump gets a hug from a mom or dad whose son died in an operation ordered by the american commander in chief, and the first time that mom or dad says, you know, god bless you, mr. president, he's going to cry and he's going to be ashamed of those comments.
>> ed? >> you know, obviously following harry reid who made me cry -- we never made him cry -- i think schumer is in a very tough role. he's now the leader of that party and basically was a guy who thought he was going to be a majority leader for life, going to be a minority leader. >> going to be on tv more than ever before. >> i understand. this is a party that's desperate, desperate for leadership. i think the emotion was real emotion. i think at the end of the day, it doesn't quite give the impression the country wants for a leader. i think trump is basically is a guy who is a bully, going to take shots any chance he gets. was it appropriate? in the trump world maybe it was but i wouldn't have done it. >> jeremy, you were talking earlier about deinstitutionalization, a big word, meaning take down the structures of government, reduce news to fake news and now in this case, if you believe it, fake tears. >> yeah. and i think about my mentor, leon panetta, whose parents emigrated from italy, through ellis island, made their way to california, and he always says
secretary panetta always says they would have never imagined that their son would grow up to become cia director and secretary of defense of the most powerful military in the world. and i think part of chuck schumer's tears are not just about what's going on today, but about the fact that we may be denying the ability of people to come into our country who someday will grow up as the son and daughter of immigrants who will protect our own children and grandchildren. that is what i think he's shedding tears about today. >> to jeremy, to ed, to nicolle, thank you, all. we've gone long tonight. we appreciate having your advice and counsel. we'll take another break. jonathan alter will join us in the next segment. this is "the 11th hour." if you have play dates at your house. be ready to clean up the mess. the kids have fun, but it's pretty gross. (doorbell) what's that? it's a swiffer wetjet. i can just grab this and just go right to the mess. that comes from my floor? now that's disgusting.
you at hours like this one to ask what we're witnessing, what is happening right now? >> well, i don't think we're quite in a constitutional crisis at this point, but we are in a crisis of governance and it's a completely unnecessary crisis. the country is at peace. we have relative prosperity. we're not under attack right now from terrorists or anybody else. and so to inflict this on the public is destabilizing and it sends a message of chaos and disorganization and incompetence, but what's striking about it to me, brian, i feel like donald trump, president trump and steve bannon, want this. they like the chaos. they like making somebody like chuck schumer cry. because as steve bannon said in a now famous interview with the "daily beast" three years ago, like vladimir lenin, i like to blow up the establishment." that's what they're trying to do now. we're seeing the consequences. >> a couple points, number one, the protesters are said to be
the tip of the spear in the democratic party these days. that may be true. david gergen said tonight in addition to scaring millions of americans, president trump is damaging the u.s. reputation. and you tweeted something about a law that may bring mr. bannon to confirmation if he's going to sit in on the nsc? >> you know, the national security council was established in 1947 by federal statute and that statute has been amended several times, most recently in 2007. and if you read the statute, it says that members of the national security council include, you know, cabinet members and then if you want to add somebody else, it requires, quote, the advice and consent of the senate. meaning senate confirmation. now, i guess bannon could attend as a guest at the national
security council, but if he does it regularly, if he's at every meeting, it raises a question the congress should confront of whether he is a de facto member of the nsc and there are requires senate confirmation. at a minimum you might see somebody like senator mccain who chairs a committee, he could request bannon to testify on capitol hill about this and that would be very interesting testimony. i think we will see that if not bannon's removal, which is much less likely. >> as i keep saying mccain and graham may well be the senate firewall on a lot of these things if not the entire
reading from his statement tonight, president trump said, "calling for tougher vetting for individuals traveling from seven dangerous places is not extreme and while in our coverage tonight i think we decided it's somewhere south of the saturday massacre, somewhere south of reagan firing the air traffic controllers, as jonathan alter reminded us, it is south of a constitutional crisis but to quote eleanor roosevelt about the world war ii era, it is no ordinary time.
we can all agree on that. rachel maddow is going to continue our live coverage now at the top of the hour with a live edition of her broadcast. rachel, good evening. >> good evening, brian. rachel, good evening. >> good evening, brian. thank you so much, my friend. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. good do be with you, we're here live at midnight eastern time. our new president does not like to be upstaged. but this president is being upstaged because whether you like this new president or you don't, he is doing some version of many of the things that he promised to do as a presidential candidate. so, yes, it may still pursuing t muslim ban, for example, but he did say trump era thus far is the thousands of people, the tens of thousands of people, the hundreds of thousands of people who have turned out to march and protest and demonstrate against him starting the first day after his inauguration but it turns out that wasn't a one off and turns out giant protests against the new president don't need weeks of planning and big