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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  January 31, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PST

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trump will be announcing his choice for the supreme court, which is yet another -- >> another battle, which we will covering here tomorrow morning. and it will be another exhausting day. this is nonstop. it just keeps coming at you, doesn't it? >> it does. >> it just keeps coming at you. >> that does it for us right now. heather mcghee, thank you very much. chris jansing picks up the coverage right now. >> thank you, guys. hi there. i am chris jansing in for stephanie republican bresteph. breaking overnight. president trump fires the acting attorney general after she refuses to enforce his travel ban. >> she was fired because she would not enact, pursue the executive order on the belief that it was illegal. >> a new acting attorney general now in. taking to the streets. mass protests across the country. police in ohio using pepper spray to push back the crowd.
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supreme battle. the's pick for supreme court justice coming tonight. two names now top the list. sure to spark a fight. plus, botched raid? brand new details on president trump's first military action, a covert raid that left a member of zeseal team 6 and an 8-year-d girl dead. a big presidential meeting at the white house but it might not be as cozy as previous ones. why do i say that? this time president trump is sitting down with top drug makers. an industry he once accused of, quote, getting away with murder by charging high prices. on the streets, it was the third night of major demonstrations as thousands turned out to protest the president's immigration order. about half an hour from now the judiciary committee will vote on attorney general nominee jeff sessions, this vote taking on a whole new mining in the wake of trump's decision to fire acting attorney general sally yates
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overnight. so we've got a great team looking at all of this. i want to start with nbc's ju justi justice. correspondence pete williams. >> it started last night with a letter from sally yates. she was nominated an confirmed to be the deputy attorney general under president obama two years ago. and then following the long tradition the justice department, he was acting attorney general at the end of the obama administration until the new one, jeff sessions, the nominee, is confirmed. last night she sent a letter to justice department officials saying that they should not defend the executive order in court. in the letter she says that she has an obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right but she said defending the order would not be consistent with that duty nor she said was she convinced that the order was legal. that was about 6:15 or so. around 9:15, three hours later the president announced that he was removing her. he put out a statement that said
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this. 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 u.s. that order was approved as to form and legality by the justice department's office of legal counsel. now, in her letter sally yates said, yep, that's right. olc did look at it but i have a different obligation. she was out. then short time later it was announced that the u.s. attorney just across the river here in alexandria, virginia, dana boente, who is also an obama administration official, you see him here talking outside the courthouse in another case, would be sworn in as the new attorney -- acting attorney general and a short time later mr. boente said he gladly accepted the position and would defend the executive order in court. so that's how it unfolded. the whole thing is largely symbolic here because sally yates was a holdover. in fact, government lawyers were
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defending the executive order over the weekend when it had to go through the first round of challenges of these emergency orders in court. and the heavy lifting on defending it won't come for several more weeks when the government has to file legal briefs on these cases that will not look at whether the order is constitutional or legal, chris. >> pete williams, thank you for that. i want to bring in my panel, alfonso, president of latino partnership for conservative principles and former head of the u.s. office of citizenship under former president george w. bush. and correspondent at the nation and msnbc political analyst. lots to talk about this morning. let me start with you. you heard what pete said. a lot of symbol i to this. chuck schumer drew a parallel to saturday night massacre under richard nixon. >> i think it's important. donald trump is now the first president since richard nixon to fire the attorney general. there's debate about whether she was right. there's debate about whether it
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is lawful. but she felt that her conscience would not allow her to defend it. the statements of rudy giuliani and the statements of president trump himself lead to the confusion that this is absolutely a muslim ban which would be unconstitutional. the idea me we would exclude people on the basis of religion which is what this comes down to, she was in her rights to say that's not lawful. >> alfonso, you have a different view of this because you tweeted that president obama and democrats who are opposing this order, i'm going to quote you, are pandering to minorities. explain that. >> whoa. >> absolutely. look, in 2011 president obama imposed a ban on refugees from syria for six months and democrats and leftists didn't say absolutely anything. only two years ago, november 2015, chuck schumer who was crying the other day was saying that we should consider a pause on refugees from syria. so all of a sudden they're blowing this out of proportion saying this is a ban on muslims, we're only talking about a pause
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to take time to figure out if we can improve our vetting process. who, by the way, fbi director comey has said there are gaps in our vetting process. this is not a ban. look, i worked in homeland security, u.s. citizenship and services. i value the refugee program but it's reasonable. there are people like secretary -- former secretary of defense and others who have said that this is reasonable to do something like this. now, what the acting attorney general did, yates, i mean, it's basically an act of insubordination. and you -- if you -- this executive order was validated by the office of general counsel, she's supposed to enforce the law. >> does a president, joan, have the right to expect that his attorney general will enforce an executive order? >> well, let's just remember that when she was confirmed by the senate, senator jeff sessions grilled her extensively about whether she would be able to stand up to the president if
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she disagreed with him. arou and in his mind it would be standing up to barack obama but it turned out it was donald trump. on the other hand, donald trump is within his rights to fire her. he is. it looks bad. it's symbolic. it shook a lot of people up. but it's his right to do that and she knew that. >> the right thing for her was to resign not to do this. >> i disagree. jeff sessions disagrees, too. >> it was embarrass the president. >> no, it wasn't. it was designed to uphold the law in her eyes. >> absolutely. nobody elected her. >> can i just say the pause in syrian refugees in 2011, what barack obama did with both iraq and syria was to tighten things up. there were -- there were leaks, there were holes. >> exactly the same thing you guys didn't say anything. you're playing politics with tithe issue. >> less is known. then they put in their own extreme vetting. >> let me go to the white house. i want to turn to the white house. nbc's kristen welker has been standing by for us. you have members of the state
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department who have been circulating a memo opposing this ban as well. let me play what president secretary sean spicer said when he was asked about this. >> you're talking about in a 24-hour period 325,000 people from other countries flew in thousand our airports. 109 people. these bureaucrats have a problem with it? they should either get with the program or they can go. >> my way or the highway is clearer the message from this administration. but how unusual is this? >> it's not unusual for there to be a dissent memo in those within the foreign services. this is something that has happened in the past. i think what is striking is some of that language that you heard from sean spicer and, chris, it underscores this is an administration that is not afraid to engage, not afraid to have a standoff with its rivals, political and otherwise. and of course this is how donald trump campaigned. and this is how he's clearly going to govern as president.
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not afraid to take on those who oppose him. as you've been pointing out throughout your show, there have been protests erupted over the weekend and again last night. folks in ohio even pepper sprayed. and this administration not backing down. i've pressed them. i said, is there any chance given this backlash, given this firm reaction that you've seen from so many different areas throughout the country and here within washington, that you're going to change the language of the executive order, that you will tweak it, and i was told absolutely zero chance that that's going to happen. so a real window i think in how we can expect this president to govern moving forward. >> while this controversy continues you have another one that he's setting up tonight. president trump is going to make this big supreme court announcement. what do we know? >> so there are two front-runners who have emerged. i'll just break them down. the first one neil gorsuch is a u.s. federal appeals court judge for the 10th circuit appointed by former president george w. bush. he clerked for justices byron white and anthony kennedy and he
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attended harvard how scholaw sc. the second name that's listen floated is thomas hardiman. a participates court judge on the 3rd circuit and appointed by former president george w. bush. these two have another thing in common, chris. they are both conservative judges who are not too controversial in terms of how they might be viewed by democrats. so it's likely that if he picks one of these two judges they would get through the confirmation process. but again, and i was just talking to a senior administration always shul and you know from covering this white house as well, that no decision is final until it comes out of president trump's mouth. we understand that he has made a decision though. so the white house not tipping its hand that decision coming at 8:00. >> communicated to the person? >> that is a very good question. the white house keeping its cards very close to the vest. it is our understanding that the person is aware, i would anticipate, anticipate that that
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person will be there tonight. we'll have to see though. that's going to happen in a prime time address, chris. the white house really hoping to put the focus on that. shift attention from these otf r controversial headlines we've been talking about. >> what republicans i've talked to over the last 24 hours have said to me, you don't replace scalia but what are theying looking for? what are the issues that matter most to them? >> look, i think what conservatives want is to have a court that does its constitutional mandate and it's not to legislate from the bench but to interpret, to follow the text of the constitution and the law. >> same with scalia. >> same as scalia. the judges being considered are originalists. they don't want to impose their ideology. that's the problem. we've had decades of the supreme court imposing ideology. they've imposed same-sex marriage on states. conservative don't want to impose ideology. they just want to follow the
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constitution. if the constitution doesn't cover certain issues they want to send it back to the states and the states should make a determination. that's what we're looking for. we're not looking for justices that impose ideology. >> a couple things in the pipeline, joan, you have some environmental things, you have voter id, there's this whole range of issues that matter. but the second part of this for democrats they're still mad about merit garland but what they can do about it? >> i'm not sure what they can do but they will fight. basically the senate republicans stripped barack obama of one quarter of his second term by not letting -- by not even holding hearings. >> battle royal. >> i think there will be a battle royal. there is a division over how hard to fight with some people saying try -- assuming it's a him -- off the bench as long as as possible with other people saying hold your fire until the next one. >> one you can maybe actually win? >> yeah. depends. it really depends on when that would happen. i think there's a lot of fire in the democratic base for fighting
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as hard and as long as possible. both on this supreme court pick and on a lot of the cabinet nominees. jeff sessions is going to come in for a lot more scrutiny because of his role in this executive order and, according to the "washington post," his role in everything. >> joan, alfonso, stick around. coming up, the senate judiciary committee is just 15 minutes away from voting on president trump's nominee for attorney general. we'll have that for you live. plus, brand new details hoins first military action that left a member of s.e.a.l. team 6 dead as long as little girl. what are you doing? getting your quarter back. fountains don't earn interest, david. you know i work at ally. i was being romantic. you know what i find romantic? a robust annual percentage yield that's what i find romantic. this is literally throwing your money away. i think it's over there. that way? yeah, a little further up. what year was that quarter? what year is that one? '98 that's the one. you got it! nothing stops us from doing right by our customers.
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we carried out a very successful raid against al qaeda and the ararian peninsula which resulted in the best of estimated 14 aqap members and
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capture of important intelligence that will better enable us to counter and prevent future terrorist plots. >> now we're learning now details that would seem to contradict what the white house is saying about the raiding yemen that killed two americans. now, one was the navy s.e.a.l. chief pretty officer william ryan owens. the other 8-year-old american daughter of al qaeda leader anwar alawlaki. you heard what sean spicer said. then you have a senior military official who says almost everything went wrong. what do we know? >> let's do the planning and preplanning and actual event. planned for months. started under the obama administration. the last few days of the obama administration they were great aggressive. the five days leading up to the inauguration they announced raids in libya, attacks in syria, as well as drone attacks in yemen. president trump did approve this mission. a lot of it had to do with timing. why then? it was a moonless night. they wanted to wait for this
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special operations for there not to be much light. normally they do this, if this were a kill operation they do it with a drone. become accustomed. get the readout from the pentagon. they sent in s.e.a.l. team 6 because they wanted to gather intelligence. and they encountered resistance and things went wrong. a little bit on what happened as most of the injuries, the three injuries and the death were from the actual compound. then they sent in an osprey for evacuation. that osprey, navy plane that can both hoover up like a helicopter and land. that ends up crashing. they called it a hard crash, not necessarily a hard landing. somewhere in between there. there's injuries there. another three injuries, broken bones. and then it turns out that there are 14 militants that had been killed, spicer is talking about. yes, intelligence. but they are not officially confirming the death of an 8-year-old daughter of an american citizen also killed by drone, by the u.s. military. that's where we stand now. we still need to do a little bit more reporting on just what the goal was and what sort of resistance they encountered.
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one thing the pentagon said is they encountered female comb combata combatants. that's the pentagon's line. always tough to report this out when you have the pentagon on one hand and local on the other. >> it begs the question about when you have 14 killed but then you also have a member of s.e.a.l. team 6, a child, whoever's daughter she may be, it's a young girl, whether or not it's appropriate to call it very successful. >> yeah. >> what would they say, what would the people who were in the middle of it, do you think, say? >> i think the military would probably judge the mission on what their goals were going into it. their goal was not to have, a, encounter fire, and, b, have any of their service member injured or killed. on that metric it wouldn't appear to be successful and spicer seems to be perhaps counter to what spicer is saying. i think in general we have to -- look at all of these actions. trump is talking about accelerating the fight against isis. he wants a new plan within 30 days. he wants to potentially have more troops in the theater. a lot of talk on this inside the pentagon what it will mean. you can expect potentially more
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raids like this which when you send american troops and highly trained, very skilled operators, there's always a risk that something can go wrong. >> trump signed off on this. >> yep. >> do we know if president obama had another month would have signed off? >> too conditional. it's history in the subjunctive. we don't know. we know the planning started, that the planning started under the obama administration, under secretary carter. we know that president obama pulled the trigger quite a bit. he wasn't shy when it kams to using the force from drone or actual spending special operators on to the ground. obama and carter were not shy but we don't know whether or not -- because the mission wasn't right in intel speak when obama was still president. >> good to see you. >> yes. coming up, we're just minutes a way from the senate judiciary voting after trump fired the acting a.g. overnight after she refused to defend his travel ban. so stay tuned. we're going to watch that for you.
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welcome back. i'm chris jansing. time now for your morning primer. everything you need to know to start your day. okay. let's begin at the white house. president trump announcing this morning he will leave president obama's 2014 ban on lgbt workplace discrimination in place. that order applies to any company working with the federal government. a senior administration official telling nbc news that president trump will sign an executive order this afternoon. that one to focus on cyber security. iran fired its first ballistic missile test since inauguration on sunday according to american and israeli officials the rocket exploded before finishing its flight but it's unclear if it was a failure or intentional. iran says the missile test did not violate any u.n. resolutions. in canada, 27-year-old business sonnet charged with six counts of murder. p.m. called the attack a despicable act of terrorism.
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according to a spokesperson the boy scouts of america will now accept transgender scouts. the news comes just a year and a half after the organization ended its long held ban on gay adult leaders. and breaking news, the senate judiciary committee set to vote on the nomination of senator jeff sessions to be attorney general. this after president trump of course fired the acting a.g. overnight because she refused to defend his travel ban. i want to go live to capitol hill. that's where nbc's kelly o'connell is standing by. fo good morning. where are you, and what are you waiting for? >> we're route side the committee hearing and just seconds ago we scrambled to get in position to talk to you. we were speaking with connecticut'sry charred blumenthal and he intends to vote know. he is a democrat. we expect this to be a party line vote nn committee but that advantage republicans have would give jeff sessions the presumption of moving forward. but his appearance, i'm just
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checking, it looks -- okay, there are others down the hall. lots of running around here. that's the nature of the place. but richard blumenthal said he had great concerns about the actions that unfolded last night and it is moving toward a real constitutional question and he has great concerns. in his life prior to coming to the united states senate he was a state attorney general in connecticut and a u.s. attorney and has background on this, as many members of the committee do. so they understand these issues in ways that go beyond just a general knowledge. so we expect that there will be a lot of emotion around this and that for jeff sessions who has been expecting to go through this process thinking perhaps the worst issues had been behind him, with questions raised about his failure to rise to the federal bench about 30 something years ago with questions that related to race. that was the first sort of iteration of drama around his nomination. and now with the actions of the president to release from her duty the deputy -- the acting
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attorney general and what is notable, chris, you may have seen that it was sessions during yates' own confirmation hearing who raised the question to her that it's a political environment, he said at the of of the justice department, and would she be able to say no to the president. and she responded then in 2015 that it would be her obligation to serve the american people, not only the president and to uphold the constitution. so those are words that now seen through the lens of the last 12 hours or so really stand out in what an attorney general needs to represent for the country and the sort of political atmosphere that jeff sessions predicted now surrounds his own nomination. >> i know you're going to be standing by through this hearing. joining me now spokeswoman for senator jeff sessions and former director of the office of public affairs for the department of justice. this is going to get started any minute by i want quick comments from you both.
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we just listened to what kelly had to say. was this not a case of the acting attorney general doing what jeff sessions seemed to want her to do when he questioned her? >> no, it wasn't. this was an act of political hysteria but a holdover from the obama justice department. it's why it's so important that jeff sessions move out of committee today, move to the floor vote later this week because what we have are obama appointees pretending that they have issues with this when, in fact, her own olc she's been overseeing approved this as lawful. i also didn't hear sally yates during obama's recession appointments which the supreme court struck down 9-0 as unlawful resign then. she has no actual cogent argument as to why this is a lawful order now. instead of resigning she decided to make political hay for her own future. >> matt, what kind of impact, if any, do you think the firing of the acting attorney general might have on this morning's vote? it. >> should have a huge impact on
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the vote because the president of the united states does not respect the department of justice's traditional independence. this isn't something prescribed in law. it's something that attorneys general and presidents have always adhered to throughout our history. and the president shows he hasn't plan to. it's especially important now, so when you have a president who doesn't respect the department of justice, you have to have an attorney general who is independent. and jeff sessions unfortunately has shown he's not going to be independent. the most pressing issue, d.o.j. now investigating trump's campaign, whether there were ties to russia. and despite clear of department of justice rules that shows sessions as a attorney general would have to recuse himself from that investigation he is refused to commit that he's going to do that. and if he won't commit to that now, while he's up for confirmation, when he's at the point where he's most willing to be cooperative with congress, if he won't commit to that standard now, we have no reason to think that he would show independence as attorney general. >> reality check though, matt, what path do you see for democrats who feel like you do? >> so i think democrats in the senate ought to show up and vote
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no. i think democrats outside of washington and independents and republicans who are concerned who believe that the president shouldn't be above the law, that the president out to follow the same rules that previous presidents have done with respect to attorney general and -- >> nobody has -- nobody has said this is unlawful. >> do you think that by doing this firing last night the president set a more chaotic stage than was necessary for what we're going to see in just a couple of minutes? >> no, i think democrats have made this a chaotic state. jeff sessions and other republicans voted to confirm eric holder when obama got appointed. at this point he had over a dozen of his cabinet officials confirmed. this is the problem when the democrats both won't confirm his cabinet appointments and then democrat holdovers from the obama administration refuse to listen to the president or resign. instead we now have another acting attorney general, another obama appointee who says this is an entirely lawful order and will support his office of legal counsel who signed off on this. it's difficult to believe that
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matt thinks it's appropriate for sally yates to ignore her office of legal counsel who had already said it was a lawful order. >> should she have just resigned, matt? >> absolutely not. the office of legal counsel did approve it on its face but we don't know what they looked at and the standard they look at in that analysis is very, very limited. >> matt, you tell me why that order is unlawful. >> i'm going to tell you she made clear in her statement that when you look at the statements the president made that his intent was to discriminate. that's a judgment she made. it's a judgment the president should have respected. if you don't like the attorney general's decision you're supposed to reject them. >> that was jouyour list. >> here's a question. why won't -- why will jeff sessions not commit to follow department of justice rules and recuse himself from the investigation of the trump campaign? it is clear as day in regulations he has to do so and he won't commit to doing it. >> absolutely not clear. that is not true. >> i'm more than happy to send it to you. >> okay. >> i want to bring in -- we're
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back here with our guest. and so what do you expect here? we know what the full hearing i think is going to be like, joan, but what are you expecting here today? >> i'm expecting a strict party line vote. i'm expecting all the democrats to vote against him. i know democrats are worried about diane feinstein because she's signaled the kind of cordality, but i think she's under enormous pressure to vote no. and then it goes to the floor. and then people can raise questions on the floor. i don't think this fight is over. >> is the message that this sends though to the american public who wanted to see less -- a less combative nature, more, for lack of a better word, collegial nature, thought washington was broken, does it send another message to supporters to president trump, you know, what it's more of the same? >> i don't think so. i think it reflects very poorly on democrats who are basically demonizing mr. sessions because of his views. you can disagree with mr. sessions. i've had disagreements with him over immigration reform. but i don't think he's a racist. and the problem here with
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democrats is that they're demonizing his views just because he thinks a certain way he's a racist or he's a homophobe or whatever. the truth is, okay, fine, vote against him, allow the it have, don't delay the vote. mr. sessions is a man of the law and the person, the acting -- the acting attorney general playing politics with that position and a sessions who is going to enforce the law. >> when you talk about demonizing the president of the united states questioned whether or not the democratic leader of the senate was truly a emotional about this order and, in fact, made a kind of a snarky comment about whether his acting coach. >> the irony is incredible. let's have a debate about ideas. we're talking about this and this person, mr. schumer, two years ago was saying that we could consider a -- from refugees from syria. hypocritical. let's have a debate about the ideas. let's not demonize the other
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side because we disagree. >> we're not demonizing jeff sessions. >> you're not? >> i haven't called him a racist. excuse me. >> we're going to take a listen now. we'll come back. let's take a listen. >> -- nomination to serve as attorney general. after we vote on senator sessions, we will turn to legislation and other committee housekeeping business on the agenda. i'd like to mention a few things before we proceed, except for the ranking member, i'll ask everyone to try to limit their remarks to five minutes. that's how i handled lynch's nomination. and by my count, every democrat on this committee except for two that i know about has already announced that they intend to oppose the nomination. so there's no mystery how this thing may go today as far as the final vote is concerned. with everyone's cooperation, we
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should be able to move forward in an orderly way. three weeks ago senator sessions testified before this committee for more than ten hours. throughout that testimony the american people had the opportunity to hear and learn directly from senator sessions what all of us on this committee already knew to be true because we have served with him for so long. he knows the department better than any nominee for attorney general in recent memory. he's a man of integrity, he's a man of his word, and, most importantly, he will enforce the law regardless of whether he would have supported passage of that law as a member of the senate. he explained that he
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enthusiastically prepared -- is prepared to set aside his role as a legislator and adopt a new role as our chief law enforcement officer and he told us he will execute that law with strength, with integrity, and with independence in order to provide for equal justice for all. that's precisely what we want in an attorney general, equal and fair application of the law. his answers to written questions made all this more clear. and i might add, there were quite a few written questions given to him in addition to what went on during those ten hours. senator sessions answered roughly 700 written questions including over 350 questions from members who announced that
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they would vote against his nomination even before they submitted a single written question. one consistent thread that ran through all of his answers is this, he will follow the law regardless of whether he would have supported it as a matter of policy as a senator. the written testimony that we heard at his hearing tells the same story, we heard from witnesses concerned that the attorney general must provide full and fair law enforcement. and then we heard from witnesses who have known senator sessions personally and worked for and with him for decades. those witnesses included former attorney general mukasey, former deputy attorney general thompson
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and lawyers who worked with senator sessions for a long period of time. all of those witnesses who actually know senator sessions said, in evident, the same thing if you are concerned with securing the strong and equal enforcement of our laws, you should look no further than senator sessions to find an attorney general that's up to that task. senator sessions was asked a number of questions about policy positions he's taken as legislator. that's good and well, but the test isn't whether or not you agree with policy position senator sessions may have taken as a legislator. i'm going to refer to what ranking member feinstein said in her opening statement at the hearing on this question. the test is whether senator
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sessions as attorney general will uphold the laws he voted against as senator, on issue after issue then senator sessions made clear that he w l will, it's important to recall what senator sessions said in this regard, quote, the office of attorney general of the united states is not a normal political office and nine which holds it must have total fidelity to the laws and the constitution of the united states, end of quote. and everyone on this committee br, be they republican or democrat, knows senator sessions to be a man of integrity and a man of his word because we know him to be a man of his word, we know that he will uphold and enforce all laws equally without regard
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to person just as he pledged. i'll take a second and address a few questions concerning executive orders issued by the president. some on the other side raise concerns about senator sessions, whether he was involved in drafting or reviewing the executive orders. it's not clear to me why it would be a problem even if he had been involved. but the fact of the matter is, he was not involved. in his written responses to senator leahy, senator sessions stated for the the record, quote, neither i nor any of my current staff, end of quote, had a role in formulating or drafting the executive orders. ranking member feinstein also asked about the department's
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role, more specifically the office of legal counsel. of course, as we all know, senator sessions is not yet attorney general. he isn't yet running the department because now roughly three weeks and over 700 written questions after his hearing, this committee is still debating his nomination. to me this underscores that we shouldn't needlessly delay this -- >> we're doing to continue to watch this for you but we want to break in because we have breaking news coming out of the white house. just moments ago we heard from president trump. he has been meeting with the leaders of big pharma. he famously said during the campaign that pharmaceutical companies in the united states have been getting away with murder. there is a law that basically forbids the government from negotiating with pharmaceutical companies about prices on drugs. the u.s. government is the largest consumer of drugs in the world through medicare and medicaid. he is actually with a lot of
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democrats on this, that he wants to change that. so he's sitting down in a room with these leaders who he has harshly criticized, you remember that he had a lot to say when the whole epipen controversy came to be. this is something with far reaching implications affecting literally millions of americans. president trump said he was going to do something about it. here's what he said, this is tape from just moments ago. >> thank you very much, everybody, for being here. we appreciate it. this seems to be quite a bit of interest from the press but there always is. and i think you know most of my team. and you folks have done a terrific job over the years, but we have to get prices down for a lot of reasons. we have no choice. for medicaid, for medicare, we have to get the prices way down, so that's what we're going to be talking about. we're also going to be streamlining the process so that
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from your standpoint when you have drug you can actually get it approved if it works instead of waiting for many, many years. the u.s. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical for our country. got to do better. new drugs have led to longer, healthier lives. we all know that. but we have to do better accelerating cures. we're forced and focused on accelerating fda approvals. we're going to get the approval process much faster. one thing that's always disturbed me, they come up with a new drug for a patient who is terminal and the fda says we can't have this drug used on the patient. but they say but the patient within four weeks will be dead. they say, well, we still can't approve the drug and we don't know if the drug work or if it dunlts work, but we can't
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approve the drug because we don't want to hurt the patient. but the patient is not going to live more than four weeks. so we're going to be changing a lot of the rules. we're going to be ending global free loading. foreign price controls reduce the resources of american drug companies to finance drug and r&d innovation. i think you people know that very well. it's very unfair to this country. our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for u.s. manufactured drugs, so our drug companies have greater financial resources to accelerate the development of new cures. and i think it's so important. but right now it's very unfair what other countries are doing to us. one thing i really want you to do, a lot of -- i have seen this over the years but a lot of the companies have moved out. they don't make the drugs in our country anymore. a lot of that has to do with regulation. a lot of it has to do with the fact that other countries take advantage of us with their money
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and their money supply and devaluation. because our country has been run so badly. we know nothing about devaluation. every other country lives on devaluation. you look at what china is doing, you look at what japan has done over the years. they play the money market. they play the devaluation market and we sit there like a bunch of dummies. so you have to get your companies back here. we have to make progress back. we're going to get rid of a tremendous number of regulations. i know you have some problems where you cannot even think about opening up new plants. you can't get approval for the plant and then you can't get approval to make the drug. other than that, you're doing fantastic. so we're going to get that taken care of. we're going to be cutting regulations at a level that nobody has ever seen before. we're going the have tremendous protection for the people. maybe more protection for the people. but instead of being 9,000 pages, it can be 100 pages.
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and you don't have to double up and quadruple up and hire -- we have companies where they have more people working on regulations than they have working on the company. so it's very unfair. we have to lower the drug prices. the competition, the key to lower drug price, we have competition but a lot of times the competition dissipates. i'll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing a product to a vibrantly competitive market. that includes price fixing by the biggest dog in the market, medicare, which is what's happening. but we can increase competition and bidding wars big time, we have to, into the program. the numbers we pay, i mean, we have cases where if i go to a drugstore and buy aspirin the aspirin costs me less than what the united states pays for aspirin and united states is the biggest purchaser of drugs anywhere in the world by far. so i can buy at a drugstore the
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aspirin for less money, right? and so we'll talk about that after these wonderful people that i like so much leave. but we've got to do something about that. we're doing to have national security priorities, very important. and we're going to basically work on innovation, we're going to work on price. we can save tens of millions of dollars, and you people are going to do great. you're going to do great. what i want is we have to get lower prices. we have to get even better innovation. and i want you to move your companies back to the united states. i want you to manufacture in the united states. we're going to be lowering taxes big league. we're going to get rid of regulations that are unnecessary. somebody said the other day, what's the percentage of regulation? i said maybe 75%. it could even be up to 80%, which is what you need because you can't even function. other countries have no regulation and you go there for
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that reason. and you produce good product. you want to be -- you want to produce good product, also. so we're going to produce great product. steam line the fda, we have a fantastic person that i think i will be naming fairly soon, he's going to streamline the fda and you're going to get your products either approved or not a proved but it's going to be a quick process. it's not going to take 15 years. and we're going to do i think a tremendous -- i think we're going to make a tremendous difference to you. i agreed where it costs sometimes $2.5 billion on average, actually, to come up with a new product. is that correct? >> 15 years. >> 15 years, $2.5 billion to come up with a product where there's not even a safety problem. so it's crazy. i'm surprised you can't get them to move faster than that. i know you. i thought he could do it. i'm very disappointed in that. that's why we're here today, right? that's why we're here today. so with that i would love to go around the table. introduce ourselves.
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and let's see and then we'll start a little meeting and we'll ask the press to leave. so just two seconds, you can stay for a couple minutes longer. go ahead. >> mr. president, bob huey from celgene corporation, our company is in new jersey, southern new jersey, we operate for our country and 60 countries around the world. when i joined the company 18 years ago we were ranked one of the top ten companies in the country to go bankrupt and today through a lot of risks we've taken we've provided a lot of cancer treatments for patients and so we're great to be able to engage in discussions. thank you very much. >> bob bradwick, new hampshire, thank you for having us. glad to be here. we share with you the desire to advance innovation that can help to alleviate or eradicate the serious diseases you talk about in your inaugural speech and we're confident about the outlook of innovation in this country and we will be adding 1600 jobs at amgen this year. >> i just heard.
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>> confidence in the outlook of innovation as a company and for the industry. and we look forward to continuing to advance medicines for those. >> i just heard you're going to be adding a substantialill. >> i just heard you're going to be adding a substantial number of jobs. >> i'm greg walden. i chair the energy and commerce committee, look forward to working with the administration. >> thank you for being here. you worked long and hard. and now your legwork will have paid off. >> dave ricks, new ceo of eli lilly. 140 years we've been in indiana. we're hiring manufacturing jobs as i speak, which is good news for people in indiana but some of the policies you've suggested, i think it helped to us do more. tax deregulation, those are things that could really help us expand regulations.
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>> our great vice president. >> chair of the pharma association. >> big pharma meeting with president trump. a couple of things that i think are important that get to the heart of what the debate is. one he says you have to get prices down. when you talk to the leaders of the pharmaceutical companies, they talk about regulation and research and development and they'll tell you how many things that go through the process that never achieve efficacy. they need that money to get the drugs that work. he also talked about streamlining the process. people do like to use the example of you have someone who has four weeks to live, why can't they have a drug, make their own decision about whether or not they're willing to take that risk. the larger issue is about getting them to market sooner, are the proper safeguards in
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place, have they gone through all the testing we want to make sure happens so there aren't unintended consequences, side effects from this drug. it's hard to sit and listen and not think about the people who go over the border in buses, senior citizens because they have to choose between whether they're going to get their medication or eat. >> i didn't hear him say anything about negotiating with medicare. he said he would crack down on countries like mexico that pay less for drugs. i supposed he would do this through more trade war, tariffs, taxes, but he has no capacity to crack down on them. my father died of cancer. it's wrenching when treatments are denied. but the one issue is is medicare going to pay $300,000 for a drug
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we don't know is going to save anybody's life, has never saved anybody's life in this situation. so it comes down to a financial situation in a way and that's got to be considered. also the streamlining of regulation, i'm sure there could be less regulation, right, i'm sure there can, but i do not trust donald trump to be the one to tell us which regulation should go away. these drug companies are regular itted very tightly for a reason. we've had scandals over the years with drugs that didn't -- that weren't tested adequately. >> al phones owe, what did you hear. >> i would agree in terms of proposals not very specific, i don't know how you're going to reduce prices by having those companies bring back manufacturing to the united states right now. but having said that, what i saw is the political audacity of donald trump breaking with the modern republican narrative and connecting with the american --
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the average american, who is concerned about the increase in drug prices. and confronting the leaders from pharma. so i think he's breaking with the narrative from republicans and really it's a realignment, a political realignment and it's a trump coalition, one that really -- it's all about economic populous and doing everything to benefit average americans. i think rather than specifics, what i got is a message. he's communicating with the public out there. i think they will respond favorably, standing before pharmaceuticals saying we want to lower prices. >> there was a shouted question but the no comments were made by the president about any of the things that are roiling right now about his decision to fire the acting attorney general, about the controversy over his executive order. a couple of quick updates on his cabinet, ryan zinke for
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interior, rick perry for energy. in the meantime, dianne feinstein, who some questioned whether she would break with her party and support jeff session, let's go back to the senate judiciary committee on the attorney general jeff sessions. >> just one short year and two months ago on december 7, 2015, then candidate donald trump issued a press release calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states, end quote. three days later on december 10th, 2015 senator leahy, the sitting to my left, offered a resolution in the judiciary committee. here's what it stated, quote, it is the sense of the senate that the united states must not bar individuals from entering into the united states based on their
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religion. as such action would be contrary to the fundamental principles on which this nation was founded, end quote. the vote was 16-4 in favor of the leahy resolution. the chairman and a majority of republicans gentlemen voted for it, but the nominee voted no. in fact, he spoke for nearly 30 minutes against it. he had to know that this type of ban would raise serious constitutional questions. he had to know that it was effectively unenforceable, but he supported it anyway. this no vote speaks volumes, but it was certainly not the last word. according to "the washington post," and again i quote, from immigration and health care to national security and trade, sessions is the intellectual godfather of the president's
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policies. sessions' reach extends throughout the without with his aides and allies accelerating the president's most dramatic moves, including the ban on refugees and citizens from seven mostly muslim nations that has triggered fear around the globe, end quote. now, if it were just this one article by the post, just one campaign event, just one vote, maybe there would be an open question, but there are many disturbing actions and statements throughout his record. let me name some of them. i'm also concerned about the president's repeated calls for an investigation into voter fraud. simply because he lost the popular vote by 3 million. and again last week the white house press secretary reiterated the president's belief that
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there was widespread voter fraud in this past election and that millions of illegal votes were cast with no evidence whatsoever. what will this attorney general nominee do? will he use the awesome power of the department of justice and spend taxpayer dollars to launch partisan investigations into voter fraud? or will he use his position to defend the voting rights of millions of americans. when asked about voter fraud by senator franken, senator sessions responded that he believes, and i quote, we regularly have fraudulent activities occur during election cycles, end quote. in reality, claims of widespread voter fraud have been repeatedly
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debunked and even isolated cases have been found to be extremely rare. this past december -- excuse me -- "the washington post" reviewed the 2016 election and out of over 135 million people voting, they found four documented cases of voter fraud. if confirmed, what will senator sessions do when faced with questions on reproductive rights? this is an issue of real important to a dominant majority of women if this country. at this hearing i ask directly if it is still his view that roe v. wade is, quote, one of the
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worst colosally erroneous decisions of all time? he said, quote, it is. he said he believes the decision, quote, violated the constitution, end quote. as attorney general who said he believes a woman's well-established, fundamental rights are unconstitutional is essentially inviting states to pass more restrictions to women's access to health care, knowing full well the justice department may in fact support those in court. in fact, i asked whether the justice department under his leadership would seek to overturn roe or change precedent on reproductive rights. he left the door open by saying, and i quote, such decisions would depend upon the unique circumstances of the


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