tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 31, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
hi, everyone. it's 4:00. john kelly's first day on the job as the new chief of staff has brought a power and display we have not witnessed. anthony scaramucci was removed just six days after officially stepping into the role and four days after a profanity laced interview was published revealing a snake pit within the inner circle. we are awaiting the press briefing to get under way and then we'll bring it to you. in the interim i'm joined by the former trump campaign deputy communications director, mr. brian lanza, who has been in touch with scaramucci since the news of his firing broke. how is he doing? >> he's in a good mood. he's excited -- >> why? >> he's going back to his previous job. >> he thought he'd be taking over that podium. >> well, when you look -- what did you accomplish in the six
days that you were here, he told it that he got out of the leakers. >> he drags the white house into the gutter. one said she was skeptical about kelly's ability to change the way that this white house -- but he shot and killed mooch on day one shows that maybe things can change. the fact that he had to be shot and killed doesn't say much about his tenure. >> he wasn't shot and killed -- >> he was gone after six days. >> he's still in the administration. here's what people don't understand. he's a utility player. the president uses him when needs him. >> sounds like an assassin. >> utility players do what the president is asking him to do. >> steve schmidt, if you were asked to assassinate someone by having comments that would mortify your wife and kids, would you do that? >> no. general kelly spent his life in an important institution, the united states marine corps. his core values are honor, commitment and courage. the comportment of scaramucci if
he was a senior officer of the marine corps he would have been court-martialed, he would have been out. you can't have a senior white house official acting like that. it degrades the office of the white house. so he had to go. >> you served as communications director, and the fact that kelly viewed him as someone who had to be shot and killed because he so degraded the office of the presidency is remarkable. >> well, it is remarkable, nicolle. he wasn't kelly's choice. he doesn't seem to have been anyone's choice except for the president. not only did he use language that is really abhorrent to just about everybody, but he was so incompetent, he did it on the record. >> he did it on the record because he didn't know he was on the record. let's take a look at sarah huckabee sanders as she begins her briefing today. let's watch. >> -- to discuss the response to the maduro regime recent
antidemocratic actions. they will take opening questions on the topic at hand and then your final time of day i'll come back up and take your questions. thank you. >> hi. good afternoon, everyone. i thought it was best to read the president's statement. since president trump's inauguration the trump administration has called on venezuela's maduro regime to respect venezuela's constitution, respect the role and authorities of the constitutionally established national assembly. hold free and fair elections. address the humanitarian needs of the venezuelan people. release political prisoners and stop depressing the great people. the regime has refused to heed this call and its recent actions culminating in yesterday's outrageous seizure of absolute power through the sham election of the national constituency assembly represent a very
serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere. maduro is not just a bad leader. he is now a dictator. the united states stands with the people of venezuela in the face of this oppression. we will work with our partners to hold accountable all of those responsible for the escalating violence and ongoing human rights violations. the president promised strong and swift actions if the regime went forward with imposing the national constituent assembly on the venezuelan people. and he will keep that promise. secretary mnuchin? >> thank you, general. today the united states is broadening its effort to address the ongoing assault on venezuela's democratic institutions by the maduro regime.
treasury's office of foreign assets control ofac has sanctioned the president of venezuela. nicolas maduro. as a result of today's sanctions all assets of maduro subject to u.s. jurisdiction are frozen and u.s. persons are prohibited from dealing with him. as president trump said earlier this month, the strong and courageous actions by the venezuelan people to stand for democracy, freedom and the rule of law have been continually ignored by nicolas maduro who dreams of becoming a dictator. yesterday's illegitimate elections confirm that maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the venezuelan people. the national constituent's assembly aspires illegitimately to usurp the constitutional role
of democratically elected national assembly. rewrite the constitution and impose an authoritarian regime on the people. as such, it represents a rupture in venezuela's constitutional and democratic order. by sanctioning maduro, the united states makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and the support for the people of venezuela who strive to return their country to have a full and prosperous democracy. as the country's head of state, maduro is directly responsible for venezuela's dissent and for the destruction of democracy. adding maduro to ofac's list of specifically designated general reflects our commitment to not stand by idly as venezuela continues to crumble under the regime's abuses. we hope that these sanctions
will make all maduro regime officials reconsider how their actions have affected their country. these actions highlight the high cost and personal enablers of this regime could face if they continue their reckless and undemocratic activities. anyone who participates in this illegitimate anc could be exposed to future u.s. sanctions for their role in undermining democratic process and institutions in venezuela. now we'll take a few questions. >> mr. secretary, if these sanctions don't work what would happen next? is there anything on the table -- >> well, let me just say, i said this generally we very much believe that sanctions do work. and we will continue to monitor the situation and consider additional sanctions.
>> and to general mcmaster -- >> the president's prioritized his concern for the venezuelan people. and so he's only considering those options which would benefit directly the venezuelan people. >> mr. secretary -- >> thank you very much. >> how many times has ofac sanctions -- before and does maduro have any assets in the u.s.? >> i can't comment on his assets and this will be the fourth head of state. in the back. >> mr. secretary -- >> yes. >> i have two questions. one on the sanctions and another one about the election yesterday. about the elections i want to know do you see the elections as an attempt -- to consolidate power in the election next year. and also, some say -- also "the washington post" editorial board said that the venezuela regime
is only -- is in the direction of a coup. moving in the direction of a coup. does the american government fear that it's a coup under way in venezuela? and then the question on the -- i asked about. >> well, what we're seeing in venezuela is not a coup. what we're seeing is a brutal oppression of the even have been people. so it's clear if you contrast the turnout from the opposition referendum to the very low numbers of the turnout during this farce associated with the constituent assembly i think you see what the true desires of the venezuelan people are. >> yes. >> thank you, sir. either or both of you. how is this different from what happened in turkey when president erdogan also seized expanded powers in the referendum that some questioned to have a questionable result? president trump congratulated
president erdogan on that and he later came to the u.s. and what's the difference? >> well, i mean, one difference is you see the end of the constitution of venezuela and this is happening obviously in an accelerated pace. in recent months over -- in the maduro regime. but this is a process that has taken two regimes to really restriction venezuelan democracy. and by designating maduro himself he joins a very exclusive club including mr. what ga vi, bashar al assad and kim jong un in terms of the brutal repression of his people and in this game the abrogation of the constitution with the constitution -- with the assembly. constituent assembly. >> right here. yes. right here. >> is the administration contemplating any action at the u.n. security council in terms of multilateral sanctions
against the maduro regime? >> again, i think as we have said before, this president is not going to advertise what he'll do in the future. all options are on the table and we'll consider everything. >> what are the allies -- punishing the maduro regime -- >> i'm sorry? >> have you spoken to any other american ally about the issue of punishing -- >> you have seen the president's statement. we'll continue to work with our partners in the region. there are many who have taken an important role with trying to engage maduro to get him to moderate his behavior. as you know the united states has tried very hard in this area as well so the president's committed to working with partners in the region on behalf of the even have beenen people. >> we had people join us last week in our previous sanctions.
>> what conversations have you had or the president has with the president maduro or do you expect it to happen over the next 48 hours? >> i don't think we'll comment on that. >> you had said -- the president had promised strong and swift economic sanctions. this is not really economic. this is more individual. will the president carry out strong and swift economic sanctions? >> again, we had a series of sanctions last week. this is an additional sanction today. we don't comment on future sanctions but we'll continue to monitor this situation and determine what's appropriate. >> mr. secretary -- >> right here. >> there was some talk of maybe making some changes in terms of our export of light crude oil to venezuela. or curbing venezuelan oil imports. is that still on the table or is that something that would be seen as hurting the venezuelan people? >> we will continue to review all of our options.
our objective is not to do anything that hurts the people of venezuela. but let me just say we will continue to monitor all of our specific -- >> would sanctions against oil -- >> i'm not going to comment on that. we will monitor all of our options. >> thank you, mr. secretary. 16 years ago, secretary powell signed an agreement in south america in which the u.s. completely ruled out support of who was -- who would have an indirect change of government throughout latin america and supported the direct succession. this occurred in haiti when president aristide was overthrown. are you still abiding by the agreement secretary powell signed and ruling out any u.s. support of a coup or an uprising against the maduro regime that brings in new leadership? >> again, i'm just going to comment on we are focused on the
democratic process and that's what we're focused on right now. thank you. one more question right here. one more question. >> are there going to be sanctions on the minister of defense, the people linked to the military? >> again, as i have said, we have announced sanctions. we will continue to monitor the situation and consider every one in the future. thank you. i appreciate it. >> you guys wasted all your questions on the same one over and over. just kidding. tough crowd today. i know it's a little late. i know we're used to doing the briefing so i'll have a few updates before i get to your questions. i wanted to make sure you're aware that last week the first lady announced that she will lead the united states delegation in support of the more than 90 american athletini competing at the invictus games in canada. there's no better representative for the united states than the first lady. he's very proud to have her
leading the team that will support these american athletes. the first lady is very much looking forward to her first solo international trip and her office is available to answer any questions that you may have. as you know the vice president is overseas on a three country visit to eastern europe. he spent the last two days in estonia speaking to the multinational troops participating in the nato enhanced forward presence mission. where he recognized estonia that meets its defense spending obligations. earlier today the vice president and second lady arrived in georgia where they at tended a dinner hosted by the prime minister. and as the vice president continues to strengthen our relationships with our friends and allies in europe during his travels here at home the department of commerce and energy welcomed news of a partnership between american energy and the government of ukraine. ukraine state owned power generation company will purchase american thermocoal ahead of the
upcoming winter season. this will give a reliable energy source which is at the mercy of the volatile neighbors. this boost our own economy, supporting jobs in the coal and transportation industries as the trump administration continues to move our country down the path of energy dominance we hope to see more mutually beneficial partnerships like these in the future. lastly i know we saw the ceremony that ended in the east room. and specialist 5 mccloughan was -- i think his heroic story bears repeating again. for 48 harrowing hours he was voluntarily risking his life multiple times to protect his comrades. he continued to answer the pleas of his fellow soldiers. even carrying one to safety on his own badly injured back. as one of his comrades recalled the medic could count on him.
the president was honored to award him with the medal of honor today officially adding his name to the list of american heroes who will stand forever in our history for their bravery and unbreakable spirit. with that, i'll take your questions. >> sarah -- >> what happen -- >> what happened -- >> how long will you yell? jim, go ahead. >> is anthony scaramucci still in the administration? does he have another role besides communications director? >> sure, he doesn't have a role at this time. and i know that -- not in the trump administration. we put out a statement earlier announcing that. i don't have much else to add beyond that. >> -- [ indiscernible ]. >> not at this time. >> did general kelly ask him to leave or did the president ask him to leave or did he volunteer his resignation? >> i won't get into the process
tick tock. as we said several times before what matters most to us is not who's employed in the white house but who's employed in the rest of the country and we're focused on the president's agenda of growing the economy, creating jobs and that's what we're going to do. that's what we're focused on. john? >> sarah, was it a chain of command issue? because scaramucci said that he had a direct line of communication to the president. there's been some speculation that general kelly may try to tighten up the number of inputs that the president has. was there something about the chain of command or have anything to do with that interview that scaramucci did last week? >> look, the president certainly felt that anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in that position. and he didn't want to burden general kelly also with that line of succession as i think we have made clear a few times over the course of the last couple of days to several of the individuals, but general kelly has the full authority to
operate within the white house and all staff will report to him. >> when you say didn't want to burden him with that line of succession, you mean the change of command? >> yeah. >> to clarify one question about the chain of demand, jared kushner and ivanka trump said they look forward to following general kelly's lead, but who has access to the president will that conduit be narrowed down now? will everything flow through kelly or some things flow around the chief of staff's office? >> the president has given full authority to general kelly. he'll make those determinations. april? >> sarah, this statement that was released by the white house says mr. scaramucci felt that it was best to give chief of staff john kelly a clean slate. but you said that the president felt that his comments were inappropriate. >> i don't see those as being mutually exclusive.
i think the president wants him to build his own team and he felt that the comments were inappropriate. >> a follow-up. tell us what its looks like in this administration. >> you know, as we have laid out general kelly i think will bring new structure to the white house. and discipline and strength. and we're all really excited to work with him and i won't draw out a chart up here but we'll keep you posted -- >> steve bannon, kelly ann will report under him instead of going straight to the president? does everyone go to general kelly first? >> i think i have been clear that general kelly has the full authority to carry out businesses he sees fit. john decker? >> real quick one first. real quick regards sean spicer, will he be in the administration in any way now that anthony scaramucci has announced he won't be part of the trump administration? >> i'm not aware of any changes made on that front. >> then my second one is this. ten days ago anthony scaramucci
was introduced as the new white house communications director. ten days later he's out of the job. the president announced on twitter that there's no chaos at the white house. how would you describe what has happened over the course of the past ten days? obviously, you will agree with your boss, there's no chaos, but how do you explain that not to be the case? >> i have said it before, if you want to see chaos, come to my house with three preschoolers. this doesn't hold a candle to that. just to be clear that's not an open invitation to my house. but if you want to schedule baby-sitting time i'll be happy to work that out. >> does the president regret hiring anthony scaramucci? >> i won't get into anything i said before that front. >> you don't want to get into the process, but the statement says that scaramucci felt -- so you're basically laying this on him. you're saying that it was his
decision. was it his decision? >> i think i have been pretty clear that the president felt it was inappropriate. both anthony and general kelly also i think came to the mutual agreement and we're moving forward to focus on the job outside of this building, not within it. >> two questions. one on this and a different topic. i want to make sure i understand the word he here. you said he didn't want to burden general kelly with that line of succession. the he -- >> the president. >> so you're saying that the president is deciding -- >> all serve at the pleasure of the president. i think this was a mutually agreed conversation that took place between several people stephen -- sorry. >> just on russia and russia sanctions. do you know whether the president has or is going to sign the russian sanctions bill and why hasn't the president taken the opportunity he had today, several public opportunities to say something
in response to vladimir putin's retaliation with the 755 diplomats? >> so we put out a statement over the weekend stating the president's intent to sign and we'll let you know when that takes place. >> [ indiscernible ]. >> again we'll let you know when that's going to happen. and in terms of your second question, the follow-up was -- i'm sorry? >> why hasn't he taken the opportunity to say something forceful to vladimir putin? it's striking the silence from the president, you know, with no sort of response out of his own mouth. he had a couple of opportunities to say something about it. >> right now we're reviewing our options. when we have something to say on it we'll let you know. >> sarah, not to beat a dead horse -- >> why not. that's our favorite thing to do. >> all staff will report to the new chief of staff, does that include jared kushner and steve bannon? >> that includes everyone at the white house. >> and then a question about tax
reform l. the administration support the version of tax overhaul that comes out of the ways and means committee? >> we're working hand in glove -- we put out a big statement with the big six and will announce details as they come forward. >> when sean spicer resigned it was for a clean slate and when scaramucci resigned, it was a clean slate. has the slate been cleaned at this point? any other staff positions? planning to remain at this time? >> yes, they are. >> sarah, two brief questions. is there any chance you will leave the job of communications director, having had people who held it leave rather abruptly. >> we'll let you know when we have any personnel announcements to make on that front. >> when the president made his speech to police officers on friday, almost within minutes statements came from police
chiefs across the country criticizing his remarks that seemed to endorse the use of force by police in certain arrests. was the president joking when he said this or did he check his remarks out with the international association of police chiefs or maybe the attorney general? >> i believe he was making a joke at the time. >> so to be clear, because the statements that anthony scaramucci is no longer with the administration, was scaramucci fired by the president or was he asked to resign? >> again, i won't get into anything beyond what i already said on that front. >> from the perspective -- you said this was a back and forth conversation. can you take us through what the president is looking for in his communications shop, why he might make this decision to make a clean slate? >> i think that he wants to work with general kelly in the communications team that is intact right now. and determine what the best course forward is at this point.
>> attorney general sessions is being considered for homeland security chief accurate? how soon will that be announced? >> there are no conversations about any cabinet members moving in any capacity and the president has 100% confidence in all members of his cabinet. >> two questions for you. one on the scaramucci issue. you said that the president found his remarks inappropriate. obviously the president is not a stranger to salty language. can you tell us what he found inappropriate about this? >> i said he found it was inappropriate for a person in that position. because of -- >> he found the comments inappropriate. >> and a betrayal -- i'm trying to find out because you talk about the messaging being important for the president here. i'm trying to figure out what
went wrong this morning when scaramucci was here and now? >> i don't think it's complicated to understand that the president felt the comments were inappropriate. i can't explain it any further than that. i'm not sure -- >> on north korea over the weekend, there's been some discussion from -- [ indiscernible ]. speculating about the first strike. is that an option on the table for this white house? >> as we have said many times before the president's not going to broadcast any decisions but all options are on the table. >> sarah, the president the week before last signed the order on infrastructure. does that mean that the president has no -- not no intention, but is not going to prioritize working with congress on that infrastructure bill? is there any discussion at this point of moving forward on any sort of legislative plan for infrastructure especially digital since he -- >> absolutely not. the president has been very
outspoken on the need for the massive overhaul to the country's infrastructure system and that's still a priority, both legislative and in any capacity he has the ability to carry that out. matthew. >> thanks. a big picture here, we have seen a chief of staff, deputy chief of staff, a handful of communication directors, press secretary and the national security adviser all leave in the first six months of this administration. can you tell us about why there's been all this turbulence? i know you don't like to get into the process but all those things together what's going on? >> look, we're continuing to focus on the president's agenda. we'll have staff changes. we let you know what's happening. but again, our jobs in the building are not a focus. we have created over a million new jobs since he took office, the lowest unemployment in the last 16 years. consumer confidence is at an all time high. we are focused on creating a
strong economy and growing jobs outside of this building not focused on the ones within. we'll continue to do that. >> health care -- a quick follow-up on health care. nick mulvaney says that the white house doesn't want any votes in the senate until they're voting on the health care. is it the white house's position they'll accept the senate's voting on nonhealth care things over the next weeks and months? ? >> we are continuing to push forward with a repeal and replacement of obamacare. we've never been shy about that. we'll continue to do that. alexa. >> the president's legislative affairs director was talking today about the tax reform ambitions. i wanted to ask you about the president's hope to travel in august to talk about tax cuts and tax reforms and interest in getting some democratic senators
interested in supporting legislation. do you have any information? >> not at this time, but certainly we'll make sure we keep you posted on the president's travel and schedule throughout august and no, he does hope to have a large amount of support for tax reform. it's something that is vital to our economy and certainly that the administration is very focused on and has been and will continue working both with the house and senate as well as members of the administration. cutting it close on time. thanks so much, guys. >> that was sarah huckabee sanders wrapping up the headlines what matters isn't who's unemployed in that west wing. might be because it's hard to keep up with who's unemployed. also, sanders saying that anthony's comments were inappropriate according to trump and it contradicts some of the reporting over the weekend and late last week and that all staff will report to him. that was the response when asked specifically about jared kushner
and ivanka trump. let's go to hallie jackson inside the briefing room. >> hey, nicolle, listen, you heard it here, i'm catching you run through some of the highlights why exactly anthony scaramucci was effectively pushed out of the position. making clear that this was the president's decision. you talked about that new yorker article, that sort of profanity laced rant that happened last week clearly had an effect on the president who found it as she found it inappropriate. i think you're right, one of the key pieces of information is that general kelly is now apparently or at least in the eyes of the advisers who are speaking to us the gatekeeper for president trump. he has not had this. remember inside this oval office. i has been very come and go. but you're hearing now increasing signals from top advisers that in fact they will defer to general kelly, at least for now, in interacting with the president and bringing sim
suggestions. this appears to be a warning shot or a power play, nicolle, from general kelly on his first day here. his first hours as chief of staff, to the rest of the team. to kind of say, listen, you know, there's a new guy in town. he's not going to stand for some of the stuff that had gone down previously. >> one of the things i heard from a source close to kelly, he studied mattis' model and mattis insisted on bringing in some of his own people. i'm hearing that some of the moves that kelly is expected to make is to perhaps bring his long term deputies into the trump west wing. are you hearing any news on that front? >> i wouldn't be surprised when you look at what general kelly did when he was at the department of homeland security. when you looked at how he's build his career so far. i will say this. there is an opening now, right, for communications director in this white house. that will likely need to be filled. you heard sarah huckabee sanders defer on that. but one thing i have heard from sources outside the white house and inside, it's difficult to bring somebody on board when
they do not have the assurances that they can have their own people in place. that has been a refrain that i have heard again and again from people who have had conversations around this in recent weeks. so it would make sense for that to have been something that general kelly came in and made clear before taking the job. because that autonomy issue is one that has come up in the west wing before. again, this is clearly a statement from kelly it's his show now. at least on the one level below the president. we keep saying this, nicolle but it's true. it may be the start of a new era and a new leader and it's still the same boss and still president trump in the oval office. >> the day started as many do with the president sharing his inner monologue with the world on twitter, talking about how the white house is not in chaos and ramping up a war of words with china over north korea and trade. hearing any names for the
opening of the communications director post? >> none that we can report on the air at this point. >> we'll talk later. >> the no white house chaos comment from president trump and sarah huckabee sanders was asked about this. remember, the president may say there's no white house chaos. he hired scaramucci in first place over the protests of sean spicer. the president slammed jeff sessions and is now face-to-face with him today for first time sense the comments. while the press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders, may say real chaos is in her house with young kids, it's fair to say that general kelly has a mission ahead of him now to try to get the shop in order a little bit after what we have seen. >> it's not fair to preschoolers to compare this west wing to preschoolers. thank you very much, hallie. i want to bring in jenna johnson who covers the white house for
"the washington post." you have been watching this briefing today. remarkable because another day, another firing and hiring for this west wing. your thoughts watching sarah huckabee give her first briefing i think eight days after she first introduced anthony scaramucci in that room. he took the podium to declare his love for donald trump ten times. i think love was invoked 14 times. how he can throw a football through a tire which if you're a guy i guess is cool. now just ten days later he's out. >> yeah. i mean, when did the white house briefing become such a reality television show? >> when donald trump became president. >> tune in to, see what happens next. i mean, this was a big surprise to a lot of people. i think a lot of people thought that if anthony scaramucci was going to get the boot it would happen when that new yorker article came out. people close to kelly have said he was surprised that nothing
happened right when that new yorker article came out. just because it was so breathtakingly not something that any president wants coming out of his shop. but president trump is a different kind of president. he loves chaos. and in his businesses over the years he was always pitting people below him kind of against each other, setting up different rivalries. on the campaign trail you saw when things weren't going too great with his campaign manager, corey lewandowski, he brought in a campaign chairman and let the two of them duke it out. and again, we were seeing this with reince priebus and his crew versus scaramucci. now they're both out. it's a new chapter, it's perhaps a new episode. we also are waiting to see what happens next. but sanders was very clear in giving kelly very clear authority saying that everybody reports to him that he's the top. that people have to go through
him. that's a very clear message that we never heard from reince priebus. >> and that was never the case on the campaign. i mean, we've got the six month presidential history, but we have got almost two years of a campaign where even when you were out, as you talked about corey lewandowski being out, he was never gone. so even in the past when people departed, they never really went very far. let me bring my table back into the conversation. we have msnbc contributor steve schmidt here. anita dunn, former communications director under president obama and brian lanza. at the top of the show you said you hung up the phone with mr. scaramucci who said that tomorrow morning he'd report to work at the exim bank and sarah huckabee sanders said there was no role for scaramucci moving forward. do you think there's mixed messages? >> i think we'll get clarity tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. in
the morning at the exim bank. >> i think he's reporting. >> you're telling me right now, anthony scaramucci believes he's a -- an employee in good standing at the exim bank? >> absolutely. >> all right. white house not yet getting that message. steve schmidt, what do you think? >> well, look, i think that certainly it's the case that this white house and the west wing has functioned some like sort of latter day zoo. i have no doubt about general kelly's ability to instill the appropriate level of fear and discipline in people who badly need a dose of both. but the issue that's causing chaos globally, in the country that has taken the president a record low -- approval numbers is not a staff issue. it's a president issue. and will the general be able to control the worst impulses of the president? i mean, if you think about it. for a president of the united states to go give a speech to the boy scout jamboree and be
rebuked by the boy scouts for the inappropriateness. >> then on friday -- when he went to give the speech on friday, police departments all across the country rebuked the message to the police. >> of course. >> i mean, so in his short tenure as the person in charge of the message he gave two of the worst received speeches of his presidency. and sent out some of the most fiery and off the rail tweets of his presidency. anita? >> and he had an interview with the new yorker that for a breathtaking idiocy on the part of the white house communications director we will probably wait several generations before we see something like this, nicolle. so, you know, we'll miss that ten day tenure of anthony scaramucci. >> i miss it already. >> i know you do, but steve's point is right. you know, at the end of the day, this is a decision the president
of the united states makes. now, i was -- you know, i was heartened today that we got through a cabinet meeting without him insulting any members of his cabinet. so perhaps we can move forward. there is an agenda at stake for this president and for the white house. there are issues out there that are serious and need bipartisan cooperation to address. not the he's of which is what comes next for health care. how are we going to modernize our tax system so we can compete with other countries? how are we going to get these things done? general kelly can hopefully impose some order on this. but at the end of the day it's about the president. >> brian, i follow the president on twitter. but i don't stay up over the weekend so before we came on, i checked all of his tweets. since kelly was announced as chief of staff, he attacked china for not doing enough on trade and north korea. he went after republicans again over obamacare. he denied that there was any chaos in the white house when he had to have known within hours
mr. scaramucci would be relieved of his ten day old duties. do you think the use of twitter is helping him advance his agenda or hurting him? >> his twitter is the most powerful political tool. it's his bully pulpit. he went on twitter, he hit hard some of the republican colleagues and they went back to work a month later. >> and he called the health care mean -- >> moving the ball forward. >> so you think that president trump moved the ball forward on health care? it's dead because of him. >> it's one vote short. he would have another opportunity to bring it back. that's the difference. when they run into the tough issue and they fall short of the votes, they push it aside and they don't to deal with it again. he's a business man, he keeps trying and trying. they were a vote short. they didn't take up the vote a month later -- >> but president trump helpful
or hurtful to the effort, by calling it mean? >> you have to ask the house of representatives -- >> i'm asking you. >> you come on my show -- >> so you're a communicator, you sell your communications, do you think someone as a title of communication director should know when he or she is on the record or not with a reporter? >> yes. >> what do you make of what anthony scaramucci did with the new yorker? >> he thought he was having an off the record conversation. >> would you have that kind of a conversation? >> would i curse out a reporter, many times. >> this is a remarkable person attracted to the orbit. >> you never cussed a reporter off the record? >> like that? i never heard steve -- >> i grew up in north jersey. i'm familiar with all the colorful colloquialisms of the area and the country that anthony and i grew up. but as someone who served in the
west wing of the white house, never disgrace the office or the president i worked for conducting myself like that. you talk about he's a business guy. there's no business in america that runs like this west wing white house does and there's no ceo of a publicly traded company that would have not already been removed by his board if he acted one-tenth the way that donald trump did. that's not to mention the entire senior officer corps of the united states military. the behavior -- >> donald trump or anthony scaramucci? >> the president. the behavior and comportment of this president and the degradations he brings to important institutions in this country, one of the defining issues that this country is dealing with in this time is the collapse of trust in institutions. and every day, a president who should be charged with the
institutions he's degrading them and totally unable to control himself. vladimir putin appears in the do you want year that oliver -- do you wantary with oliver stone and one of the things that putin reveals about himself it's his contempt for people who have no control. and clearly, we have a 71-year-old president of the united states who has the impulse control of a little child. who feels aggrieved, who's resentful. who's a constant victim. i find it remarkable that you can sit here and you can say at any level that he's demonstrating any capacity for impulse control. he clearly has no impulse control judged by his attacks on the attorney general and other people. there's no argument to be had that he has the psychological act to control himself. >> you too have held the title of communications director for the vice president.
we were communications directors for george w. bush's re-election and then we went into the white house. can you imagine any scenario -- it's important for viewers to understand that what a communications director does is tells other staffers when they're on and off the record. so just the -- the incompetence to me is the thread that runs through everybody around donald trump. just the complete -- not to mention the lack of impulse control. because even if you wanted to say those things about one of your colleagues and we had too many bleeps last week so i won't relive them, but they were acrobatic, lewd, disgusting and crass in nature. the things that come out of the mouths of the people who work for this president, i know i speak for the folks that work for george w. bush. i'm sure that was the case. i know a lot of your former colleagues -- >> rahm emanuel did he never cuss? >> so -- >> actually on the record -- >> he's known for his colorful language. >> that's okay. >> no.
no. >> we're making the opposite point. it's not okay. >> it's not okay. but here's the other thing i would say which is that first of all, to use that language about your colleagues, okay, because this wasn't addressed toward the reporter you had a fight with. >> reince priebus -- he's been fired. >> steve bannon. >> about your colleagues and about people who you were supposed to work with. you were supposed to go in every morning and it's a fundamental lack of loyalty to each other and to a president when you get that kind of behavior. and that is a prescription for disaster in the west wing. we all know that. in organizations where we work, if you don't trust each other or respect each other, you are not going to be able to be successful. well see if general kelly can change that. >> these people are not working at ibm. these people are in close proximity to the most powerful person in the world. assistant to the president, if i recall as a deputy assistant carries three star rank. a deputy assistant carries two star rank. these are positions of immense
responsibility. immense importance. what do you think -- i'm just curious. what do you think the advisers to the canadian prime minister or the australian prime minister, what do you think they think when they're reading something like this and the great danger of this chaos is this. for the first time since world war ii the president of the united states early and absolutely lacks the moral authority to lead the western alliance should it be necessary militarily. because domestically, australian prime minister and the canadian prime minister and the british prime minister cannot trust the credibility of this president, this administration, to commit their troops under american command and that chaos brings the predator nations to life against our interests all over the world. it makes the world more dangerous. and it's not that anthony scaramucci used bad words. it's that anthony scaramucci
showed us all he revealed what's going on there. the snake pit. the leaking. the lack of probity. the lack of rectitude by these people who constantly, constantly since donald trump became president have stood up in front of the podium with the white house seal on it, have serially lied to the american people have prevaricated constantly. and it is not good for america. it's bad. >> full stop right there. we're just hitting pause. we'll have much, much more on all of this on the other side of a very short break. stay with us.
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i think there's been at times a disconnect between the way we see the president and how much we love the president and the way some of you perhaps see the president. i think we're doing an amazing job. i was in the oval office with him earlier today and we were talking about letting him be himself, letting him express his full identity. i think he's got some of the best political instincts in the world. people i grew up with, they so identify with the president, and they love him. and so we're going to get that message out. i love the president. i obviously love the country. scene decided that he thought it would be better to go. let me clear the slate for anthony and i do appreciate that about sean and i love him for it. i love the president and i'm very, very loyal to the president. and i love the mission that the president has. >> mr. scaramucci, we hardly
knew you. now the slate has been cleared of anthony scaramucci for new white house chief of staff general kelly. the white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders saying today that the president thought anthony's comments in that expletive interview with the new yorker last week were inappropriate. also that all staff will be reporting to kelly. anthony had been promised a direct line to donald trump. saying what matters isn't who is unemployed in the white house. we've got a little bit of conflicting reporting. anthony scaramucci's friend brian lanz athat elreport -- report to duty tomorrow at the xm bank. white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders as of about 20 minutes ago having no knowledge of him having a formal role in the investigation. >> i just texted with anthony. he showed me his action paperwork that shows i am being reassigned back to xm bank.
>> see in that comes to pass. we have a treat. he just interviewed russia foreign minister sergey lavrov on who is one of the people reported about how donald trump is now boxed in on the question of sanctions to russia. >> yeah. >> we've spent a lot of time talking about donald trump's desire since he was a candidate to have a better relationship with vladimir putin, the congress, u.s. senate voting 98-2 in favor of sanctions. the house passing sanctions. talk about russia's retaliation. they're already lashing back. >> yeah. i mean, the retaliation i think is really in a sense them trying to balance things out, because when you're in moscow, from moscow, what they want to do is always be seen as equal to washington. they're saying you have this many diplomats, we're going to give you the same number of diplomats on the other side. as of a week ago my view is the kremlin viewed the trump administration like this. they thought that trump was pro
russia or in favor of trying to get a better relationship with russia, but that he was surrounded by people who weren't as enthusiastic. so my view is that russia has been, if you looic, pushing on a twin track approach. one is the hope that tlum would prevail in that idea and that relations would warm. and the other is putting themselves at the center of foreign policy issues around the world, be it syria, europe, north korea. and you just saw before the g 20 president putin meeting with the leaders of china and coming up with an agreement on north korea. effectively what they're doing is they're saying, okay, there are two possibilities here. one is that washington changes its stance on russia and gots softer towards us. the other is that we don't but we are so bedded in in the geopolitical situation that you cannot ignore us. you cannot continue to just hold us on the sidelines because we
are there front and center. >> and there's no doubt that putin responded differently this time than he did when obama issued sanctions at the end of december. and it was donald trump that intervened, right, and i think vladimir putin had american embassy staff, kids over for christmas. >> we still don't know what president trump and president putin said to each other when they met. we don't know so i can't say. it's possible that they kwhich erred sweet nogz to each other and trump was able to give president putin the impression that once i get my situation in washington sorted out then my view is we should have a better relationship with you. that's what he's said openly -- >> right. as a candidate he said that over and over again. he defended him that he killed dissidents and reporters. >> i think the conversation you guys were having before the
break. that's not your fault. you were just talking about the real reality. >> just another day on the white house beat, here. come on. >> but from an international perspective it's terrifying because you think about washington as on the bridge of an ocean liner let's call it the titanic and it's heading towards an iceberg around the world and the washington is just arguing with itself. you look at north korea and if the u.s. decides to launch a strike in north korea and the implications of that and russia is mixed in with that, you look in syria, you look at the national security council where there's reporting that there's some there who are arguing that the u.s. should launch a proxy war with iran and syria. the implications for that. again, are russia is going to be involved in that. i mean, there are some very, very big issues around the world coming down the track, and aside from the conversations that guys like you have, you know, privately, if you like, in the -- >> we try to have them on tv.
>> right. but the conversations aren't happening to the extent that the thing is coming towards us, if you like zbloor let me bring you in just the point that obama by the end was really trying to tuchb the line and the relationship was getting much fosier. and that vladimir putin held out hope that that personal warmth, chemistry would yield results. on the foreign policy front i think on syria america has been pretty compliant. where do you think this white house has gone wrong in navigating the u.s.-russia relationship. >> i am not a foreign policy expert, nicole, so i'm not even going to pretend to that answer that, okay. but i will say is two therms where this white house has gone wrong in terms of dealing with capitol hill. so they got faced with this extraordinary embarrassing set of votes for the margins are just amazing considering the president said that he didn't
want this bill. >> right. >> the first is in not taking seriously what happened last fall. it does not did he legitimate eyes donald trump's victory if he says this is a big problem, we should all be investigating it because frankly it's a fundamental threat to our democracy. that has hurt him an enormous amount. and two, i do think that the secret conversations, the sense of that is a real problem for him. >> steve, we've only got about 30 second. document to get a last word on just watching this president interact with a foreign adversary? >> i think that there's a harvard professor who did a poll and for people born in the 130s, over 80%, for people born in the 1980s, it's 25%. putin's attack was not an attack on hillary clinton. it was an attack on america. that's when the attack on our elections process are. he's trying to bring doubt to
sew doubt about our supports, about the efficacy of the american democracy. it's how he weakens the european union, nato, it's how he sets himself up to programs act in u stona without the united states being able to fulfill its article 5 obligations. it's worrying. >> all right. on that worrying note, it's going to be it for us. that does it for this hour. i'm nicole wallace. "mtp daily" starts right now with the fbs katy terr in for chuck todd. >> you were supposed to get rid of all the breaking news last week. >> sorry. i saved some for you. >> if it is monday, another one bites the dust. >> tonight, communications failure. white house communications director anthony scaramucci is out on john kelly's first day as white house chief of staff. >> the president certainly felt that anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person