tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 15, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT
i feel protected all day, in a fit so discreet, you'd never know they're for bladder leaks. always discreet boutique. hi there, everyone. it's 4:00 in the east. in never-before-seen excerpts from the brand-new book "i alone can fix it" we are learning that the trump presidency was much, much worse than any of us imagined and that the people around him all knew it. they also knew he had autocratic tendencies and would do anything to cling to power including endangering the life of his own vice president and the vice president's family.
blockbuster new reporting in this yet to be released report bears that out and adds to our understanding of the horrors of january 6th including the new detail that trump's white house counsel expected trump to be charged with a crime, sedition, on that day. in the new book we learn more about the extreme pressure campaign. donald trump exerted upon his vice president mike pence to overturn the will of the american people on january 6th. they write this, quote, trump called pence, who was spending the morning at his naval observatory residence before heading to the capitol. pence again explained the legal limits on his authority as vice president and said he planned to perform his ceremonial duty as prescribed by the constitution. but trump showed no mercy. quote, you don't have the courage to make a hard decision, he told pence. it's a sentiment he repeated even as the crowds turned violent with the threat mounting. the excerpt says this, quote, as rioters marauded through the
capitol, it was clear whom they were looking for. some of them shouted, "hang mike pence." trump didn't exactly throw them off the hunt. tweeting this, mike pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our constitution. this next exchange provides new insight into the magnitude of the threat pence was facing. as trump appeared to egg the crowd on. at that moment pence was still in his ceremonial office protected by secret service agents but vulnerable because the second floor office had window that is could be breached and the intruding thugs had gained control of the building. tim giebels, the lead special agent in charge of the vice president's protective detail, twice asked pence to evacuate the capitol, but pence refused. quote, i'm not leaving the capital, he told giebels. the last thing the vice president wanted was the people attacking the capitol to see his 20-car motor car flee. that would only vindicate their
insurrection. the third time he asked pence to evacuate it was more of an order than a request. they are in the building, he said. the room you're in is not secure. there are glass windows. i need to move you. we're going. video of that evacuations was presented as evidence in donald trump's second impeachment trial. pence refused subsequent requests to evacuate in his armored limousine and the pences waited out the riot underground. so galling were trump's actions that trump's own white house counsel office believe that had very day it was possible trump would be brought up on charges. in a never-before-seen excerpt provided to nbc news, i alone can fix it reveals for the first time this. quote, the afternoon of january 6 it started dawning on white house counsel and his deputies that trump could conceivably be charged with a crime for setting off the deadly riot. there were a lot of ifs about
whether that was likely, but one thing was guaranteed -- sprawling investigations. any good prosecutor would closely examine what the president, donald trump jr., rudy giuliani, and others had said at the rally. they could be accused of sedition, a charge not leveled at a president in a century. the scene on january 6th and the extraordinary violations of presidential norms that would be considered in the aftermath of that attack on the capitol is where we start today with some of our most favorite reporters and friends. daniel goldman was lead counsel for the democrats during trump's first impeachment as well as a former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. now, lucky for us, an msnbc legal analyst. former chief of staff at the cia and department of defense. and lucky for us an msnbc national security. and white house reporter for the "los angeles times." eli, let me start with you. you and i have talked a lot about the mosaic that you're
reporting and phil is reporting and carol is reporting, and great reporting from other news organizations, that is depicted of the ex-president. but this is a new portrait with some of the most brutal personality features, i have to call them, i guess, of the ex-president, and the brutality with which he treated his vice president revealed for the first time. do you agree with that? >> yeah, i mean, we saw this play out for four years and all build to the election, the president's inability to accept the election results, and what we saw on january 6. and what we've seen since, frankly. we have known from covering this white house and this amazing book and other books that are out add to our understanding of things that were reported at the time. but we knew that the president couldn't accept the results. told everybody there was fraud, even though there was never evidence and his attorneys were getting laughed out of court. he went down to the ellipse. he gave the speech the morning of the 6th. he pretended he was going to
walk with the people who attended over to the capitol and then when they actually started breaching the building, we know he didn't pick up the phone even when people like kevin mccarthy were telling him he needed to do that. he wouldn't get on the phone and tell these people to stand down. it took three takes to record a message to the supporters to tell them to go home and the best take they could go with was when trump said, i love you. you're great people. this has always been who donald trump is. this is our understanding of the fact of how much strain he put on everyone around him and on our democratic system and it was hard to cover that in real time. it's easier to take stock of it in real time and when you have the chairman of the joint chiefs telling people before election day came and afterwards that he was considering what would happen if trump wanted to use the military to overturn the
election, that he was thinking about those things in the runup to the election itself, that he was talking about what he would do, how he would resign, how others would resign. having those contingencies in place tells you a lot of people in the government, the trump administration, knew the threat that was sitting in the oval office, and yet they all struggled with how to stop it. how to constrain donald trump. obviously a lot of enablers, mark meadows, rudy giuliani, great reporting in the book about their role in encouraging some of his worst impulses but none speaks to the health of our democracy. it further illustrates how the constitution is just a piece of paper. the people who are entrusted with these positions of power it's up to them to carry our system forward and whether the person at the top of our government was going to do that.
>> well, and i think, jeremy, what the book allows us to do is stop using the word struggled with, tried and failed. they failed to protect the country from donald trump. they failed. they failed to protect mike pence from donald trump. i want to read more about mike pence's experience on january 6th. they go on to record at 2:26 p.m. after a team of agents scouted a safe path to ensure the pences would not encounter trouble, giebels, their top secret service agent, and the rest of pence's detail guided them down the staircase to a secure subterranean area rioters couldn't reach where his armored limousine awaited. he asked pence to get into one of the vehicles. we can hold here, he said. i'm not getting in the car, tim, pence replied. i trust you, tim. but you're not driving the car. if i get in that vehicle, you guys are taking off. i'm not getting in that car. the pences made their way to a
secure underground area to wait out the riot. pence feared a conspiracy, feared that the secret service would aid trump and his ultimate aims that day. this is the most harrowing version of mike pence's day i've seen reported. >> nicolle, this is typical of a dictatorship of an authoritarian anti-democratic regime. this is not typical of the greatest democracy ever on the face of the planet. and i think what you're seeing here is a dynamic that the former president advanced and wished for which is to somehow enlist the security services to include law enforcement, to include maybe the secret service, the united states military and maybe the intelligence community which are and must remain apolitical organizations. i think it was his ambition to
somehow insert them into his political gainsmanship to retain power. thankfully those organizations are full of women and men who have sworn an oath to the constitution up and down the chain of command who i think have been classically trained in the ideals that underpin our security, intelligence and military organizations, and they were having nothing of it. the reason we got to this point where essentially trump was trying to set up a situation where might would make right. meaning, my security services would help achieve a political outcome is because donald trump took us there. i want to tip my hat to those who continue to be under attack today because our organizations should never be brought into an election controversy or gamesmanship. >> jeremy, i think you also are
maybe speaking to or appropriately describing the role we're learning general milley played. let me read this from leonnig and rucker's new book. milley felt he had to be on guard for what might come. if someone really wanted to take over the country, he reasoned, they would need the so-called power ministries -- the defense department, the fbi the cia. now that some movement acolytes had a toe hold on the pentagon he would have to watch them closely. what if more were installed at the fbi and cia? milley confided this worry to his closest deputies, though he acknowledged that it sounded slightly crazy. quote, they may try, but they're not going to f-ing succeed, he told them. you can't do this without the military. you can't do this without the cia and the fbi. we're the guys with the guns. i take your point about the institution holding but i guess i'm old enough to remember it
was a crisis that it came that close and i want to you speak to sort of milley was at least described as coup adjacent and something we don't pause and spend enough time talking about. and without a bipartisan commission examining january 6th, without a lot of transparency around the final days of the pentagon, this piece of reporting feels like the closest look we have at the strain at the pentagon. >> nicolle, i think we need to be precise in our language. anytime we use coup and the military in the same sentence, obviously alarm bells go off. where are we? this is america. we shouldn't even be having them in the same story let alone the same sentence. my understanding of the reporting from carol and phil is essentially there were senior leaders in uniform like general
milley who said that trump's acolytes were streaming into the street, what he called the brown shirts. basically his anti-democratic fascist authoritarian violent anti-rule of law people trying to subvert the rule of law and subvert our democracy. and there was a concern that the military would have to spring into action and place some role to contain street violence or to contain something. i'm saying that because i don't think -- at least my understanding of the reporting, there was no discussion about enlisting the military and actually holding power for donald trump. i say that pretty confidently because, nicolle, i know the measure of the men and women in our united states military and i have recently spent hours and days with people out at intelligence agencies and law enforcement organizations and they were as horrified as any citizen or country about what
went down the last four years and they have breathed a collective sigh of relief that never will they be put to shade intelligence or shade law enforcement or use their authorities in an inappropriate way. there is a narrative that somehow there are people inside these organization that is are playing politics, and that's not my experience at all. if anything, i think they want to stay as far away from politics as possible. >> another place i think, dan goldman, a crystallizing body of reporting is around the rule of law and what's remarkable to me the white house counsel thought donald trump would be charged with a crime and expected imminent investigations. >> yeah, and that's what's going on right now.
the department of justice is engaged in one of the largest investigations they've ever undertaken and certainly there are some excerpts from this book that are remarkable. and i think that jeremy's right. ultimately the institutions held, but barely. mark milley had a plan for resigning himself and then have generals resign if he was asked to use the military for personal reasons. they had to threaten trump with his own resignation, who would then have a press conference to explain that donald trump's ros his children and rudy giuliani amounted to obstruction of justice. now they held and there were
some adults in the room but one thing is the intelligence director, ratliff, that role during the election year it was used for trump's political advantage and was installed apparently for that exact purpose and there were other political appointees of donald trump inserted into the agencies to try to use the agencies for political purposes. so our institutions held and we talked about how the courts held during the frenetic months of november and december when we had all these crazy, unfounded, baseless claims that were just
thrown out of court over and over and over including by trump-apainted judges. but it was barely and we're still dealing with the aftermath. president trump is not at all swayed or stopped or curbed by any of this activity. >> all i was going to jump in and press you on, i want to read the excerpts, but my roof holds when it rains. it doesn't mean i don't have leaks all over the place. i think we have to be precise when we describe the meaning of held. there was an august nation. milley had a big smile. the fact it was unknown to milley, general milley, whether or not that day would come to pastels both stories the institutions held and we were pretty damn close. this keeps both in every frame. >> nicolle -- >> go ahead. >> sorry, i want to, again, this is fascinating but where i'm in
a little bit of a different place where dan is it's not the united states military or the intelligence community or the fbi barely held on because they were teetering. i think that's going too far. i think what barely held was the united states congress. what barely help was our election system, the system of running elections in all 50 states and the pressure brought to bare on election officials and the process of counting votes in the chamber of the united states congress. that's the process that fundamentally nearly broke down. and the solution to that is, of course, all the things that are being talked about now in terms of voting and election reform. we should never have got tone a point a ministerial act of counting ballots was jeopardized. i don't think we should leave
anybody with the impression the military or cia was on the verge of tilting over in one political direction. that's not the case, i don't believe. >> well, i think what the book details -- and i want to bring you back in, eli, the book details the transfer of power, which is a little bit more than the ministerial functions, the transfer of power was in question, and you look at the scene and it was clear trump wanted pence to stop the peaceful transfer of power. you can't describe it as peaceful. i want to come back and read the section dan goldman describes about pardoning. eli, there was some contemporaneous reporting from white house correspondents about the pardon process and about pardon onning people ahead of being charged of a crime, like pocket pardons. a discussion arose inside the white house about whether the
president could prospectively pardon giuliani and trump jr., and perhaps even himself, to eliminate the risk of being charged. cipollone told meadows that was a step too far. it would smack of and quite possibly be obstruction of justice. he said he and many of his senior lawyers would resign en masse and hold a news conference announcing their strong objections. the news conference threat was the death knell for the discussion. the white house could not afford to take on any more public shaming. eli, is that, first of all, your understanding of the pardon process and what stopped -- i wondered many news cycles is don jr. walking around with a pocket pardon but it answers this question whether the doj would examine his role in it. it seems his own white house counsel thought it might have come to that conclusion on the day of the insurrection itself.
>> right, and thinking back to what i remember pointing out there were discussions about those preemptive pardons and it was cipollone and others pushing trump not to go that far. potential liability from his refusal to act and his encouragement of that insurrection. the reporting is really interesting. the piece about him threatening to have a news conference really understand being the president's vanity and the belief that if people see things on television they will think that they are true. the people hear things from the president and people around them on television, they will believe them. this is, again, rudy giuliani telling the president, as we know from the book, on election night to go out and declare victory and that's what president trump did when he came down and told supporters frankly we did win this election and that's what started the dominos
to january 6th. this is the president whose malignant narcissism is the root of all the damage he has done to the body politic and potentially -- we don't know where this will go in terms of investigations but to himself or the detriment of people around him. just to step over that question of a few moments ago,terms of the damage he's done and the people around him have already done to our body politics just by besmirching our intelligence community, the state department, everyone who do the monthly jobs numbers. nothing was real to donald trump unless it reflected well on him and you can carry that forth to the election. it didn't matter if there was fraud. if he lost he was going to say there was fraud. he ran roughshod over everything that didn't line up with the story he wanted to tell. and that's sort of where we are and that is doing lasting damage and has already done lasting
damage to our country and our democracy and you see it now in a party that donald trump still has wrapped around his finger that wants no part in investigating january 6th in a bipartisan way, that in many cases, including by the president himself are trying to make martyrs of some of the insurrectionists on january 6th. in terms of where we are and what public opinion now looks like in terms of whether people believe our government, they view everything, not everyone but a lot of people who get their news from organizations that align with the president and take what he says seriously, they don't really regard our government as credible or institutions as credible unless the president says they are and that politicalization of our government is a lasting legacy of the last four years. >> and i think the thread is there are people dying of covid and they break down now along
ideological lines. there's one more thing i have to read and play for all of you because one of the lasting impressions was of officer goodman directing mitt romney away from the mob. i want to read this excerpt from the book. senator mitt romney had been more attentive than others. on january 2nd the senator from utah received a call from senator angus king, an independent from maine, warning him of unsettling personal and specific threats. milley had shared with king online, chatter he discovered through an app on his phone called data miner. mitt, you can't go back, ann romney told her husband. she called his senate staff and said she feared for his safety. it's the capitol and i'm careful and i do have precautions and security. i'll be very, very careful, he told his wife. he said he had a responsibility to go back to washington to certify the election. on just this question of political violence, dan goldman, there is an undeniable fact that
there is an unprecedented threat of domestic threat facing local election officials. gabe sterling came out and warned someone would get shot. and we're learning more and more about the threats, to eli's point. the destruction of trust is a threat, is a menace to every institution in this country including our national security institutions. >> domestic violence extremism is the number one threat in this country according to the fbi and the department of justice. there's no question about it and it is white supremacy, white extremism, white power movements that were behind january 6th. but one other thing i would add, we're not out of the woods yet. results from january 6th and from the 2020 election is that we have all of these states that
are trying to change the voting laws not only to restrict and suppress voting that has an impact on minorities but also to make it easier for their elected or not elected state officials to overturn the election, and that's what they were unable to do in 2020, and now they're targeting those issues right now. this is an existential problem for our democracy and the result of january 6th was not to say, apparently manage republicans in particular, okay, boy, that was too much. that went too far. we had people die. this is way beyond anything we're doing. no, they're doubling and tripling down and trying to make it even easier to do what they failed to do this time. we're by no means out of the woods and that's why this legislation that is in congress
right now, the two different bills are so important for congress to pass because it's the only check on a lot of these state laws that are being changed. >> jeremy bash, you get the last word. >> well, look, in the military and the intelligence world we oftentimes praise poem and give them awards for the fights they took on. i think we have to now reward people for the fights they didn't take on. for not getting involved in any way in the election process. i agree our system is fragile and the scariest part of our architecture is in the house of representatives if somebody doesn't get 270 electoral votes it goss to the house. i would be concerned if it was -- i say that without respect to party. we have to ensure that the house
of representatives cannot take an election from the american people. >> and then when you're done making sure that's not the case, you need to make sure that in georgia, is able to be the arbiter of the results, in texas -- that is the election system, the trump wing of the republican party has gone state by state and has been successful in 22 states. that part of our conversation is to be continued. thank you so much for starting us off on this mind blowing new reporting. eli is sticking around. much more from the book including the crisis that we've been talking about, that trump ignited or tried to ignite at the pentagon, the chairman of the joint chiefs reportedly feared a coup aimed at keeping trump in power. just how close did it get? plus, as we learn more about trump's role, the committee moves forward with leader ken
mccarthy yet to appoint any of his picks. and president biden will hold a press conference with angela merkel. that's expected this hour. a lot to get to when "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. ♪♪ if you have moderate to severe psoriasis... or psoriatic arthritis, little things, can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream... ...it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable... ...with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. for psoriatic arthritis, ...otezla is proven.... to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. it may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. otezla is associated with an... increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts....
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guilty to allegations he traveled to washington, d.c., with two other suspects armed. the whole slew of weapons and ammunition, and it comes as we're also learning even more about what happens inside the capitol on that day. thanks to the new book we've been talking about, the book describes a conversation between liz cheney and general mark milley the day after the insurrection. quote, how are you doing, he asked her. that bleeping guy, jim jordan, that son of a -- cany said, referring to. he said, quote, we need to get the ladies away from the aisle. let me help you. i smacked his hand and told him get away from me you bleeping did this. you did this. wow. liz cheney is, of course, the only republican so far named to the january 6th select committee to investigate the insurrection.
amid questions of who or even if kevin mccarthy will appoint members of his caucus to the committee. the potential key witness is meeting with the twice impeached president. david jolly is now the national chairman of the serve america movement and sam stein is here, white house editor for politico. lucky for us both are msnbc contributors. let me show you something, david jolly, that was said about kevin mccarthy's role in being a witness. watch. >> if i was kevin mccarthy i would be very fearful. if i'm a democrat on the committee, i would be very intent on making sure this is by the books and doesn't turn political. we want to know all these details, why didn't the president call the guard? what conversations about kevin have? what members were involved? and i think we'll get to those
answers. >> so this is a line of questioning that has been proposed by liz cheney, chris wallace has pressed on this question. what is the open secret about what mccarthy knows and what he's hiding, david jolly? >> it's a great question and i think the question is palace intrigue or did kevin mccarthy legitimately be concerned? will he try to litigate against that subpoena? and there is a thread here, a thread to adam's comments. butler said kevin mccarthy said on that day certain things about donald trump's role and certain things kevin mccarthy knew that butler thought was relevant to the impeachment conversation and liz cheney has said that ken mccarthy will not be speaker of the house, or i believe coming from the liz cheney universe.
they have suggested kevin mccarthy wouldn't be speaker of the house. i don't want to overspeculate on such a grave matter but there's enough chatter that for some reason this notion he may have to testify could be a damning moment not just for donald trump but for kevin mccarthy himself. the american people deserve to know which party they trust to run the congress and ultimately in 2024 should donald trump be a candidate whether he deserves to be returned to office or not. >> eli, when you take together the reporting the white house counsel believed donald trump would be charged with a crime on the day of the insurrection and adam kizinger and chris wallace's constant probing of kevin mccarthy's knowledge, experience and testimony of that day, it's clear there is a hunch
or concern or suspicions of either coordination or cover-up or something. what is your sense of what they're both getting at? what they know that we don't know yet? >> i would echo what congressman jolly said, what were the conversation that is were happening the day of january 6th? we have anecdotal recounting of what was said. we know that at one point kevin mccarthy did take to the floor. we know that he was critical of trump and then backed away from that criticism. why in that moment was he critical of it? what did he say to the president about getting the national guard up to the capitol? and why did it take so long for the national guard to actually respond? there's been reporting, contemporaneous reporting about this. we don't have much in the way of official documentation.
the senate did their own report about the security lapse that is day. we don't have any of the sort of contemporaneous conversations that were happening around the deployment and what was happening. if i remember the mission, i would immediately look for that documentation and would have people like milley come in to testify about what he's told about the planning prior to that day which obviously goes to motive and the severity of members of the administration. >> sam stein, did i call you eli? i apologize. >> i wasn't going to say anything. >> you should always say something! i'm alone in the basement and you should always say something to me. you should always say something. sam stein. sam stein. >> i thought about it. >> you should always say something to me. >> i was like, i want to be invited back on the show, and so
i'm not going to, no. >> very serious news day. when you get called the wrong name by me, i repent. in the spirit of repenting, sam stein, please take me through your reaction to what we're learning because you and i have had a lot of conversations not just over the last two months but the last four years of not just what trump was like behind closed doors but the level of situational awareness, of the threat that he represented to the country. one of the portraits that phil and i think carol really animate is almost the resignation at the staff level, the very senior staff level, to his shamelessness, his self-absorption, and the danger he posed. >> yeah, i mean, the body is numb to it at this point to a degree, but then you read excerpts like you did last night in which the chairman of the joint chiefs is planning for the possibility, the likelihood
there may be a coup attempt. the specificity. we will have these people resign in successive days and it's like, you really had to think this thing through. you clearly sat down and thought about it. it's alarming. i thought, to your question about what was trump's mind-set, it's impossible to know without hearing from trump directly, what you can glean from his statements is that he at least has thought about what it would have entailed and would have looked like. we know that because he puts out a statement like today in which he essentially implies, yeah, if i would have done a coup, to issue that very o.j. simpson-like statement is to concede that you've thought about how you would have done a coup and who you would have done it with. in one respect it's humorous. who talks and thinks like that? in another it's quite alarming
to imagine the most powerful person in the country, on the face of the earth, had these thoughts going through his head. >> david jolly, it is one step. if i were going to do genocide, i would have done it differently. if i was going to do a coup i would have done it not with milley. he's so glib, it does read as humorous. it's gobsmacking. it's terrifying. i come back to the same question i've asked for five years, why did all of the people around him say and do nothing? >> and what is a deadly serious moment for the nation, the administration of donald trump, a deadly serious moment, a coup attempt in which multiple people died. the power and significance of the reporting is similar to the power and significance of what we are about to see with the house committee on the events of january 6th and it's this, nicole, the past is prologue and
in that context is the danger, lies the admonition, lies the warning that this is something who came perilously close to toppling everything we know about our republic and our democracy to the extent that our top military general had to prepare contingency plans should it reach a level of success that truly feared toppling our democracy and yet the past is prologued because that man remains the head of one of only two major parties in the united states today. and he may very well be the nominee of that party in 2024 and so when i say the past is prologue defines the danger for us, what does that mean for a nation going into 2024 that this man could be the leading candidate to run our nation? we can look backwards and be fearful of the events we will recall and the select committee in the congress but what does that mean going forward for our nation? are we the nation on the
precipice of elevating a man who was willing to topple the country, because that puts the united states on par with other nations of the world we've never considered ourselves on par with. that's a calling for each of us. that's a calling for the american voter to ensure this never happens again. >> well, and just to button up your point, david jolly, it will be easier for him the next time in georgia, in arizona, and in every other battleground state, frankly, in every state. 48 states are looking at 389 voter suppression laws and laws that would change the administrators of our election. that should scare everybody. sam stein, i'm sorry i called you eli. always say something. thank you so much to both of you for joining us. when we come back, joe manchin gave texas democrats some face
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history says: fine jewelry for occasions. we say: forget occasions. (snap) fine jewelry for every day, minus the traditional markups. ♪♪ they might be the most potent force right now in our country fighting for voting rights, those texas democrats that we've been following who left their state, again, together, in solidarity, again, in order to prevent the passage
of an extremely restrictive voting law in texas. they met with vice president harris and the senate majority leader, but today perhaps their most important meeting, a sitdown with senator joe manchin whose unwavering support and commitment to keeping the filibuster in place threatens any and all voting rights legislation. it was, of course, something that the renegade texas lawmakers were asked about following their meeting with manchin. watch. >> did you press him on the idea you all were floating the other day about trying to make a carve out to pass something like this with just democratic votes? >> look, we didn't discuss the filibuster. >> not at all? >> no. >> look, i think enough people have discussed the fiibuster with senator manchin. we'll leave the tactics up to him. >> but are you convinced what he is going to try to do will protect what you want to do? >> yes. he believes in the same voting
rights that we do. >> joining our conversation the author of "the washington post" powerup newsletter and erin haynes, an msnbc contributor. jackie, you are all over this story, our great capitol hill reporters are all over the story, manchin and the texas democrats. i've talked to them myself. so does that mean this is dead? what is happening on capitol hill? >> yeah, nicolle, that's a really great question because it's hard to have this conversation without talking about the filibuster when we're talking about this from a d.c. centric perspective. the question that i think more people need to start asking rather than -- directing this to joe manchin is to president biden. what does he want to do with the filibuster at this point as it seems like joe manchin and some gaggle of moderate democrats are
not willing to budge on this but where they might be able to make inroads and influence if joe biden and kamala harris decide they are ready to call on democratic lawmakers to scrap this procedural hurdle to push through what the administration has said is a huge priority for them. however empassioned the speech was on voting rights in philadelphia there was not a single mention of the filibuster. and vice president harris met with various voting groups this including groups that represent voters who have disabilities, an array of people who have special interest in this. but in an interview with npr the only indication she gave of progress forward on this is funding efforts for voter turnout, which, yes, can help combat voter suppression but it is not the full picture there. so i think that this -- you know, that bridge between the white house and congress is what is ultimately going to push this
forward from a federal perspective, at least. >> errin haynes, does the white house see this as existential to democratic control of the house and senate? >> well, i mean that certainly seemed to be the terms in which president biden was framing things when he was in philadelphia this week. look, let's be honest, i mean he was in pennsylvania where he, you know, was able to put together a coalition that delivered victory for democrats in the white house. we know that pat toomey is going to be leaving and there will be a huge senate race here in just a couple of years, and so, yes, pennsylvania, places like pennsylvania, georgia and beyond are absolutely critical to democrats maintaining control of congress and, you know, the ability of voters not only to be galvanized and feel like they are being protected in this moment but also energized enough
to come out again and vote for them in those numbers, is going to be critical to that winning coalition. but, look, you know, voters tell me all the time they did what they were supposed to do in november 2020. >> that's right. >> they overcame a pandemic, they voted in record numbers. so what they're saying, you know, even though they appreciated the president's forceful tone in his voting rights speech this week, what voters tell me is they did their job and now they want the president and vice president to do theirs. you have these texas democrats who so many folks are pointing to as doing whatever it takes, right, putting it all on the line for voting rights in this moment. you know, you just saw -- i don't know if you are aware of this. i have been looking on twitter, nicolle, at the black woman activist who just got arrested, congresswoman beatty just got arrested protesting voting rights, people like tamika malory, linda sarsors got arrested within the hour protesting voting rights.
so they want to get beyond the rhetoric thanking black voters and get to whatever action that the president and vice president can do on this issue, they want them to use their full weight and make it a priority. >> well, errin, that's -- to your point, voters did everything they were asked to do, and those voters are going to have more hurdles. even if -- and you and i have had this conversation. even if they climb over those new obstacles their vote might not count based on these laws. i wonder, are you feeling frustrated? are you feeling cautiously optimistic? do you still have patience? how do you feel about where this debate stands right now? >> well, i mean, you know, these activists and organizers are people used to playing a long game. but, again, you know, part of the strategy for the administration seems to be asking voters to do what they did again in november, right, to really outsmart voter suppression and outwork voter suppression in the next election cycle. what these folks tell me, you know, is that they can't -- you know, they don't control
legislation. you know, they don't have the ability to whip the senate, and so they're going to do what they have been doing, right, in the face of 21st century voter suppression. they're going to work to turn out people, to register voters. i mean, look, they already spent $25 million last year in november in georgia alone is what i hear organizers telling me. it is going to take more than $25 million from, you know, the democratic national convention -- i mean committee to really, you know, bolster the voter protection efforts that are going to be necessary. the administration seems to understand that voter protection is going to be as much a part of this equation as voter turnout and registration because it is not just the republicans are trying to keep people from voting, but once they do cast a ballot they're trying to keep those ballots from counting. and so this is just -- it seems like there's going to have to be a multi-pronged approach, but, you know, these organizers still do not seem to have given up on federal legislation because at the end of the day, you know, voters historically speaking have had to turn to the federal
government for redress. that is what they are doing in this moment, and they are expecting results. it is just an open question whether or not they're going to actually get them. >> jackie, this seems like the biggest mismatch, and i think that the activists on the front lines are the heroes in this story, but the white house has misdiagnosed this as an activist problem. i think democratic voters are very aware of what is happening in these states. the all-star game was played in colorado instead of georgia. this isn't inside the beltway. the white house points to polls that don't show voting rights on the radar, but you come to the mid-terms and the republicans don't need a lot of help winning and they're going to get a lot of help. 22 states have already passed laws to make it harder for voters who traditionally vote for democratic candidates, not republican candidates, to vote. i mean is the -- i mean the republicans sort of chalking this up to a win? are they checking this off their to-do list ahead of the
mid-terms? >> yeah, nicolle, i think it is an issue galvanizing for republican voters, we have seen it time and time again. but as you know, the white house and the biden administration and the president is under estimating what a key moment and priority it should be for him. i believe as was said on your show this week, biden was elected in part was for his ability to be able to whip votes in congress. he talked non-step on the campaign trail about his ability to negotiate with republicans and level with people like joe manchin. so the fact that he has not been able to do so or hasn't even yet fully exerted his power in doing so on capitol hill i think is starting to really frustrate people. we're seeing that already from a handful of texans, and i think it is going to spread as more and more voter restrictions continue throughout the country, as republicans are continuing to do so. but as you noted, this is -- you
know, again, this is the thing that has -- is motivating republicans, that republican legislatures across the country from a local to a federal level are focused on doing everything from, you know, perpetuating former president trump's big lie to trying to implement suppressive voting measures. all of these things are interconnected here, and if the biden administration doesn't grasp that yet, then they are in for a serious surprise this mid-terms. >> yeah, and i mean there's still time. i think president biden should look at it, a dave moment, you know, filibuster, shmilibuster, mitt romney, could you live with making sure the election officials get to decide? joe manchin, we will give you your voter id. i think presidential leadership is one thing no one talks about. we debate whether manchin could
go along with. no one talks about joe biden having a meeting at the white house, let's get to something. what the texas democrats said to me that was most revelatory, we don't need hr-1, we just need an inch. if the democrats are going to throw up their arms and say we can't do an inch, i think they're in for a horrific mid-term. the republicans have told us where they are. jackie ailmany, errin haines, thank you for being with us. the next hour on "deadline: white house" after a quick break. we are still waiting for the president and that news conference.
as many of you saw the results of the photograph of me at lafayette square last week, that sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society. i should not have been there. my presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic policy. as a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that i have learned from. >> hi, again, everyone. it is 5:00 in the east. it was a stunning moment for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general mark milley, having to go on camera like he did there to apologize for his appearance in combat fatigues walking across lafayette square in washington, d.c. alongside the ex-president where protesters had been forcefully removed, all for the ex-president to take a photo with a bible in front of a church. little did we know milley's issues with the former commander in chief would go so much deeper. shocking new revelations obtained by nbc news from the
book out next week called "i alone can fix it, donald trump's cat strochk final year," showcase a chairman of the joint chiefs concerned and fearful about what might happen in the waning days of the administration. a stud of history, milley saw trump as the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose. he described to aides that he kept having this stomach-churning feeling that some of the worrisome early stages of 20th century fascism in germany were replaying in 21st century america. he saw parallels between trump's rhetoric of election fraud and adolf hitler's insistence to his followers at the nur 'em berg ralliers that he was both a victim and their savior. it is unbelievable words coming from the top military officer in the year 2021. he was worried our nation was on the brink of turning into nazi germany? because also detailed by the authors in "i alone can fix it,"
it was not trump's rhetoric alone that concerned milley, it was trump's supporters as well. troubling him to such an extent it only added to the frightening historical parallel. here is an account from the same book from soon after the election. quote. on saturday, november 14th, legion of trump supporters from across the country converged on freedom plaza a couple of block from the white house for a rally protesting the white house results. it was build the million maga march although only tens of thousands attended. after attending a security briefing on november 10th about the million maga march, mark milley told aides he feared this could be the modern american equivalent of brown shirts in the streets. milley was referring to the paramilitary forces and storm troopers that protected nazi party rallies in the 1920s and 1930s and enabled the rise of adolf hitler in germany. at the same time personnel changes at the pentagon were also alarming milley. the night of that security briefing the general spoke to a friend about his fears.
here is more from "i alone can fix it." quote, what they're trying to do here is overturn the government, milley's friend told him. this is all real, man. you are one of the few guys standing between us and some really bad stuff. according to the book, as trump continued to push the big lie, milley grew more anxious. he was so worried, in fact, that trump would use the military in an attempted coup that he spoke to his closest deputies about preparing to guard against it and said, quote, they may try but they're not going to succeed. the nation's top military officer, believing the nation was on the brink of an historic crisis is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. retired u.s. army general barry mccaffrey is here, former national security council member, now lucky for us an msnbc military analyst. also joining us retired u.s. navy admiral james stavridis, former naval
commander, author of the book, "2034." and john heilemann is back, nbc news national analyst, host of show time's "the circus." general mccaffrey, i start with you. your reaction to this new and if thought thematically a departure, it is certainly new detail to something we worried about at a lot of different junctures over the last four years. >> well, nicolle, i was hearing much of this as a primary source during contemporary events. you know, you should back off this and just say, if you were a foreign intelligence officer looking at trump's behavior during these last few months of the administration, what would you conclude? you would have to assume he's edging toward conducting a coup against democracy. a lot of people aren't aware that the senior military leaders
do not give orders to the armed forces. the president of the united states does and the secretary of defense, they're the only ones authorized to command the 11 combatant commanders. and when trump sacked secretary esper, the fairly distinguished guy, and put a white house flunky in there, many of us said, this guy is on the edge of trying to overturn the election of the president of the united states. so i think we ought to be grateful to this principled, tough-minded, beautifully educated and experienced officer, mark milley. history is going to be pretty kind to him. >> admiral stavridis, what do you think when you read about how concerned people at the highest levels of not just the military, but of the government were about what became very clear to all of them? trump's anti-democratic aims and anti-democratic methods.
>> i'm with my mentor, general barry mccaffrey. i, too, was in many ways a primary source in some of this, and what i think i can add best is i know mark milley extremely well. he served under my command as a one star, two star in afghanistan when i was supreme allied commander. look, the guy looks like a bouncer in a boston bar. he went to princeton where he was the captain of the hockey team. he is brilliant. he's well-read. what a stand-up guy. when he made a mistake at lafayette park, and it was a bad mistake, he went on national television and effectively apologized to his forces. that's what we look for in a commander. that's what we look for in a senior military officer. so confronted with a shocking pattern of fact, which he was as general mccaffrey points out correctly, he did the right thing, which is to gather his most senior officers and clearly layout that they were not going
to obey illegal, immoral, unethical orders like overturning the u.s. election, and they sketched out what they would do, which is the right thing to do, refuse to obey the orders and go public with it. put it in the hands of the congress and the american people. so i'm with general mccaffrey. to me this is the system working. >> let me put you both on the spot, and you may either not want to answer this question, but i'm going to ask it anyway. general mccaffrey, should he have done more? if he saw donald trump acting -- if he saw parallels between trump's rhetoric of fraud and hitler's insistence to his followers that he was their savior, if he really saw this as a moment with parallels to nazi germany, did he have an obligation to go to the oversight committees, the armed services committees in the house and the senate? >> well, i think he did. he did go to the senate. he did go to other sources of power. you know, he talked to the
secretary of state and others. i think he used great judgment. look, at the end of the day the chairman of the jcs, the service chiefs, the four-star service chiefs, are still responsive to any legal order of the president of the united states. so they owe them a duty of loyalty and obedience, unless it is an illegal order. and even then, some of this, you know, at that level of government, it is very tough to sort out where you stand on some of these issues. the president of the united states has enormous emergency powers to use the armed forces to clear insurrections and states of emergency. the only protection of the american people is to elect people to that office who have character, experience and integrity, and in this case we had a near criminal regime in charge of the u.s. government that was trying to overturn the
election. so, again, i think mark milley, he wasn't supposed to be on the "today" show announcing this. he was talking forcefully and directly to people like that stephen miller in the oval office and to the president of the united states. i don't know what else he could have done. >> admiral stavridis, could there have been a scenario where insubordination took place? i mean do you see this -- would the next step, the next sort of escalation have been an order that they refused to follow? and are you sure, i mean in your read of everything that's public facing, does it appear to you that functionally donald trump was the commander in chief on january 6th? >> by law he was the commander in chief on january 6th. >> but functionally. i mean there's no indication that he was in the chain of command and calling the national guard. it has been reported that pence did that. milley has said he would ignore
unlawful -- i mean was he functioning as commander in chief in those final weeks? >> i think he was legally the commander in chief and he was failing in those responsibilities utterly, would be the simple answer. and were we trending toward a moment of insubordination? i would call it a moment of conscience on the part of senior officers. again, on this one i think the system worked, and i agree with general mccaffrey once more. at the end of the day the solution to this is electing officials who will guard the constitution of the united states with their sacred honor. that is the mission here. the military can't deliver that. the american public must. >> john heilemann, i have a bunch more chunks from the fantastic new book, but first your thoughts to what they add to our understanding of really -- i'll just call it
general milley's tore meant? >> well, i think, nicolle -- hi, by the way. >> hi. >> i think they add, you know, i think for those of us who were going through this at the time and talking about it in public as you and i were with some frequency, i think, you know, on some level it is like one of those things like a lot of reporting on trump world. it confirms things that we either knew, suspected, intuited that a lot of -- you know, trump did not hide stuff very well. he's brazen in a lot of respects. >> right. >> so if you pay attention to what trump was doing and saying and you drew logical inferences and conclusions, and if you know anything about how the government works because you either served there or you have covered it for a long time, i always imagined that these conversations were taking place and would sometimes hear echos that they were taking place. they're not the kind of conversations journalists have access to in real-time. thank god we have reporters like
phil and carol and mike bender and people doing this work now to be able to go back and tell us what was actually going on. i think, you know, everything, you know, is shocking, right? i mean so much about trump, shocking but not surprising. in this case you apply it to milley. the analysis that what trump was, that we were heading to that moment, that trump -- if you think about what are the things about hitler, the populous demagoguery, the impulse, tapping into white grievance and resentment, the conspiracy theories, all of the stuff that you associate with that moment and that time in history, you know, these were analogies people were making in real-time, right. >> yeah. >> so, you know, i agree with the two distinguished -- with general mccaffrey and admiral stavridis here about the fact, you know, that the whole assessment of it makes me much more admiring of mark milley, who i was already admiring of
before, and the fact i do think it was a situation where the system worked. the thing i want to say thinking about it all day, watching the way, listening to these two esteemed veterans and leaders of men in the military make their assessment, and think of what donald trump's assessment is today of mark milley, trashing him in the same breath that he trashed jim mattis. and i just want to always be thinking about the future. what is happening now with trump and a guy who when he came into office started out by trashing the intelligence agencies, even before he became president, when he was still president-elect, and worshipped, venerated the military, venerated it. talked about it all the time. was so proud to have jim mattis coming, mad dog mattis he used to call him, coming in to his defense secretary. now you have the same man trashing the military with great frequency, another big institution, one of the few institutions he had respect for when he started out as
president, now is feeding to his followers, people to tend to believe what he says, who tend to take him seriously, who tend to take his views as gospel. he is now in the process of systematically undermining the american military on a day -- at a moment like this, and i just, you know, he's the front-runner for 2024. you know, we understand the risks there and we see what he is doing. >> i'm going to ask all of you to stick around. president biden and german chancellor angela merkel have just walked in to commence a joint press conference. let's listen in. we will pick this up on the other side. >> today it has been my great honor, i mean that, to welcome a dear friend back to the white house. and before i say anything else, chancellor merkel, i want to express to you and to the people of germany my sincere condolences and the codolences
of the american people for the devastating loss of life and destruction due to the flooding over the past 24 hours in germany and neighboring countries. it is a tragedy and our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones. chancellor merkel has been here frequently over the past 16 years. matter of fact, she knows the oval office as well as i do. but all kidding aside, though this administration, she has been there for four years -- for four presidents. but i want to take a moment to acknowledge the historic nature of his chancellorship. the first woman chancellor in german history. the first chancellor from the former east germany. now the second largest longest-serving chancellor since helmut cole. an exemplary life of groundbreaking service to germany and i might add, and i mean it from the bottom of my
heart, to the world. on behalf of the united states, thank you, angela, for your career of strong, principled leadership. thank you for speaking out what is right and for never failing to defend human dignity. i want to thank you for your continued support of the long standing goal of your freedom and peace. you have been a stalwart champion of the transatlantic alliance, the atlantic partnership. under your chancellorship the friendship and cooperation between germany and the united states has grown stronger and stronger. i am looking forward to celebrating more at our dinner this evening, but today was very much a working visit. chancellor merkel and i covered a wide range of issues where germany and the united states are working to advance a shared agenda. we discussed together with our fellow major democracies at the g7 germany and the united states
have responsibilities to lead with our values, as do the other members of nato. today i've confided that in our new washington declaration, which we've codified, a document affirming our commitment to the democratic principles that are at the heart of both of our nations and how we will apply them to meet the biggest challenges of today and tomorrow. both our nations, both of our nations understand the imperative of proving that democracies can deliver the needs of our people in the second quarter of the 21st century. we will stand up for democratic principles and universal rights. when we see china or any other country working to undermine free and open societies, and we are united, united in our
commitment to addressing democratic back sliding, corruption, phony populism in the european union or among candidates for the eu membership or anywhere we find it in the world. we agree on the importance of further integrating the western balkans into european institutions, and in our continued support for the sovereigty and territorial integrity of ukraine as well as the continued importance of reforms in support of their euro-atlantic aspirations. we stand together and we'll continue to stand together to defend our eastern flank, allies at nato against russian aggression. while i reiterated my concerns about nord stream two, chancellor merkel and i are absolutely united in our convex russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce
or threaten its neighbors. today we are launching a climate and energy partnership to support energy security and the development of sustainable energy, sustainable energy technologies and emerging economies including in central europe and ukraine. to unite our efforts to upend and on our global climate ambitions that we have to up the ante. what will happen is we talked about when paris accord was set, we thought we had established just how serious it was, that things have gotten much more dire since even that date. to unite our efforts to update, to up the ante on global climate ambitions. i also thanked chancellor merkel for the dedication and the sacrifice of german troops who have served side by side along with u.s. forces in afghanistan for almost 20 years.
we reaffirmed our shared commitment to continuing to counter terrorist threats where we find them including in the sahal in africa, and we -- when we think about the future, the future we want for the world, there's no issue, there's no issue set at all that i believe we find anything other than the certainty that commitment, that between the united states and germany doesn't benefit whatever the problem, concern is. we need to fight covid-19 pandemic everywhere to strengthen global health security for tomorrow, so we're ready for the next pandemic. we need to make sure that the rules of the road governing the use of emerging technologies advance freedom, not authoritarianism and repression. we need to promote a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery
that enhances the prosperity and opportunity for all, and so much more. this isn't just a work of governments. the work, it is the work of our peoples, sharing their innovation and insights, joining together to amplify our collective impact. so today we're launching a futures forum between our two countries which will bring together top experts across business, academia, civil society and more to collaborate as we shape our shared future. madam chancellor, i know that the partnership between germany and the united states will continue to grow stronger on the foundation that you have helped to build, but on a personal note i must tell you that i will miss seeing you at our summits. i truly will. so thank you again, angela, for making the journey, for our productive meeting today and for your friendship.
>> translator: mr. president, dear joe, first of all i would like to thank you most warmly for the condolences and the empathy you expressed as we've gone on, victims to the flooding in germany. i would like to ask your understanding that i need to address this matter with a few words. the day is already drawing to a close, a day that is characterized by fear, by despair, by suffering and hundreds of thousands of people all of a sudden were faced with catastrophe. their houses were literally death traps. small rivers turned into flooded, devastating rivers, and i must say that my empathy and my heart goes out to all of
those who in this catastrophe lost their loved ones or who are still worrying about the fate of people still missing. i include belgium, luxembourg and the netherlands who also suffered from flooding. the rescuers, the first responders are doing their utmost to help people. i must say that i am very much feeling with those who have suffered, and i know that millions of people in germany feel the same. the ministers and presidents of australia respectively and the ministers responsible here, i talked to them and i would like to send out a message to the people that we will not leave them alone with their suffering and that we're trying our utmost to help them in their distress. mr. president, dear joe, thank you nor the invitation. thank you for making it possible to talk to you. it is my first visit since 2019,
and i'm so much -- so happy about the personal exchange. we have seen again today that we're not only partners and allies, but we're very close friends. thank you for the very friendly exchange that we had this afternoon. we all share the same values. we all share the same determination to tackle the challenges of our times, to master them, and i am deeply convinced that simply committing to these values is certainly not sufficient. we are living at a crucial moment in time where we are facing new challenges, and these challenges need to be translated into practical policy. so i'm very grateful that we have this opportunity to work on our foundations and we lay down those foundations in the washington declaration and also how we see the road ahead and also measures, and i think that this future forum will deal with
those issues. societies will discuss together what sort of solutions they think are appropriate, and think such structures are very important. there is a very large degree of common ground, as has come out of our talks. we are convinced, both of us, that overcoming this pandemic is only possible if as many people as possible are vaccinated in our countries, and many wish to do that. we have to also support the rest of the world with vaccines. we work together with covax, and covax, and i'm very grateful to the united states and under your leadership, dear joe, the u.s. has committed itself very clearly and unequivocally with multilateral speed, be it on climate, be it reform of the world organization and support also to wto. germany and the united states have agreed to provide vaccine doses to poorer countries.
we work within covax, as i said. we talked about the challenge of climate change, and i am very happy that the united states are now back again with us in the paris climate agreement, and that for glasgow, that provides us with totally different faces in order to work among the parties to the treaty better -- in a much better and more efficient way for climate. and we see countries that are hit by floodings, by wildfires and by storm in an increasing manner, and that shows that there is a dramatic increase in such unusual weather phenomenon, and we have to contend with this, germany and the united states have now forged an energy and climate partnership. i think it is a very important message that we're sending here. we want to build on future-oriented technologies,
green, hydrogen, for example, renewables, electro mobility. we're in competition with others on this planet, and we would like to be successful together and germany is very much looking forward to cooperating in this respent. and i support the president in what he proposed as a global infrastructure project which we agreed on, on the g7 summit. next year, as you probably know, we will have the chairmanship of the -- the presidency of the g7, and we will bring this project forward. we talked about russia and ukraine, and in this context also about nord stream 2. we have come to different assessments as to what this project entails, but let me say very clearly, our idea is and remains that ukraine remains a transit country for natural gas, that ukraine, just as any other country in the world, has a right to territorial sovereigty, which is why we have become engaged and continue to be
engaged in the process. we will be actively acting should russia not respect this right of ukraine that it has as a transit country. so nord stream two is an additional project and certainly not a project to replace any kind of transit through ukraine. anything else would obviously create a lot of tension, and we're also talking about how we can actually make this very clear together. we also talked about other priorities in our foreign policy. for example, our relationship with china. we are countries who stand up for free, democratic societies, stand up for those rights, civic rights for those who live in these societies. so wherever human rights are not guaranteed, we will make our voices heard and make clear that we don't agree with this. we are also for territory integrity of all countries of the world. we also talked about the many facets of cooperation and also of competition with china, be it
in the economic area, be it on climate protection, be it in the military sector and on security, and obviously there are a lot of challenges ahead. on the nuclear agreement with iran, jcpoa, we think that everything ought to be done in order to bring this to a successful conclusion, but i think that is something that is also -- the ball very much here is in the iranian camp. now, over many, many years we have served together in afghanistan. we have been able to contain to a certain degree terrorist dangers, but unfortunately we have not been able to build a nation as we would like it to look. still, i would hold it was a good partnership, has been a good partnership with the united states all throughout his experience, all good contacts between our soldiers and our soldiers greatly appreciated that. we also talked about the zone where terrorism is on the rampage, and obviously it is a great challenge for us in
europe. we are very grateful to the united states for their mission in order to contain and push back against these terrorist advances. we also have drawn up a german -- we have also agreed on a german/american dialogue between our business communities, because we have considerable trade links and we wish to build on this, and, obviously, an economy is of prime importance. it was a very good exchange. we are close partners. i would like this to remain even after i have left office, and i think with this visit we have probably paved the way to make it possible to also create formats where we can exchange, because the world will continue to be a place that is full of challenges. so thank you very much for making it possible for us to tackle those together. thank you. >> thank you very much. we're each going to take two questions, and i'm going to begin by recognizing steve
portnoy. congratulate you on your new role as president of the white house correspondents association. >> thank you. >> my sympathies, but thank you. >> reporter: i appreciate that, sir. on behalf of the press corps, thank you. we are looking forward to the day we can have even more reporters all the way to the back of the room, so thank you very much. i have a couple of questions, also a question for the chancellor. mr. president, with respect to latin america and the developments there in the last week plus -- >> yes. >> reporter: what are the circumstances under which you would send american troops to haiti? that's the first question. the second question is when it comes to cuba, what is your current thinking on american sanctions toward cuba and the embargo? and today your press secretary said that communism is a failed ideology. i assume that's your view. i was wondering if you could give us your view on socialism. and then for the chancellor, the question is, madam, the president said that you know the oval office as well as he does. i'm wondering if you could reflect on your exchanges with
american presidents over the last 16 years, and particularly contrast the current president with his most immediate predecessor. >> in two minutes or less. obviously i know why they elected you president. let me start off by answering the question relative to haiti and cuba, and communism is a failed system, a universally failed system. i don't see socialism as a very useful substitute, but that's another story. with regard to whether the circumstances in which we would send military troops to haiti, we're only sending american marines to our embassy to make sure that they are secure and nothing is out of whack at all. but the idea of sending american
forces in to haiti is not on the agenda at this moment. number one. number two, with regard to cuba, cuba is a, unfortunately, a failed state and repressing their citizens. there are a number of things that we would consider doing to help the people of cuba, but it would require a different circumstance or a guarantee that they would not be taken advantage of by the government. for example, the ability to send remittances back to cuba. i would not do that now because the fact is it is highly likely that the regime would confiscate those remittances or big chunks of it. with regard to the need covid -- excuse me, they have a covid problem in cuba, i would be prepared to give significant
amounts of vaccine if, in fact, i was assured an international organization would administer those vaccines and do it in a way that average citizens would have access to those vaccines. and one of the things that you did not ask but we're considering is they've cut off access to the internet. we're considering whether we have the technological ability to reinstate that access. i think i have answered your questions. thank you. >> translator: allow me, if i may, to elaborate on three different points. any german chancellor has a vested interest to talk, and that's very much in the vested interest of germany to work and talk together with any american president. we have always had contacts and you have been able to -- it was, i think, very transparent, and
today it was a very friendly exchange. oh, sorry, i have to call mr. kunos and his german question. >> translator: thank you, very much. mr. president, allow me to ask a question as regards nord stream. madam chancellor, you said you would act should russia be in breach of its commitments, for example interrupt gas transit through ukraine. what do you mean in concrete terms? will germany then switch off nord stream two from the german side, and what sort of legal grounds would you be claiming? mr. president, you have fought so many years, the u.s. has fought so many years against nord stream two. now there will be only a few days left until this pipeline comes into operation. will you allow it to go ahead, to put it in operation, or will the people who operate this system actually have to contend
with sanctions on the horizon? >> translator: well, mr. kunos, says the chancellor, you know we have worked a lot, the whole of the commission, for talking to russia and ukraine, negotiating a treaty that ensures until '23 the gas contract, and after that gas deliveries must be possible as well. that is what i have heard at least. let me be very careful here in my wording. and then should that not go ahead, we have a number of instruments at our disposal which are not necessarily on the german side but on the european side. for example, sanctions as regards crimea and breach of the minsk treaty has shown we have those sanctions at our disposal. we have possibilities to react.
we are in contact with our european friends on this, but at the -- at the point in time of which i hope we will never have to take those decisions, you will then see what we do. >> my view on nord stream two has been known for sometime. good friends can disagree. but by the time i became president it was 90% completed, and imposing sanctions did not seem to make any sense. it made more sense to work with the chancellor on finding out how she would proceed based on whether or not russia tried to essentially blackmail ukraine in some way. and so the chancellor and i have asked our teams to look at practical measures we could take together and whether or not europe energy security, ukraine security are actually strengthened or weakened based
on russian actions. so this is a we'll see, we'll see. ms. leonard of bloomberg. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. i have two questions for you and then some for chancellor merkel as well. your administration tomorrow is issuing a business advisory for hong kong. i was wondering if you can explain why you think that is necessary? and then, secondly, on your bill -- build back better agenda, have you spoken to senators manchin and sinema about the framework and are you confident they will be on board at that level, and if they demand you lose some components will you be able to keep progressives on board? [ speaking foreign language ].
>> translator: i wanted to ask you whether you have a feeling that after the talk with president biden, he better understands your viewpoint as regards china or whether the situation is still tense, whether there's still decoupling and, secondly, whether you think that the united states has contributed enough to vaccinate the rest of the world or do you think it is -- is it appropriate for children in the united states, being vaccinated, children below the age of 12, while adults in other countries have no chance to get vaccinated? >> that's all. i thought i said we'd take two questions, but i guess that translator will take two questions or more from each person we called on. let me talk about the business advisory. the situation in hong kong is deteriorating, and the chinese
government is not keeping its commitment that it made, how it would deal with hong kong. so it is more of, the advisory is to what may happen in hong kong. it is as simple as that and as complicated as that. with regard to am i confident, i am supremely confident that everything is going to work out perfectly. look, i understand why the press and, among others, is skeptical that i can actually get this deal done on infrastructure and on human infrastructure. i have watched and listened to the press declare my initiative dead at least ten times so far. i don't think it is dead. i think it is still alive. i still have confidence we're going to be able to get what i proposed and what i have agreed to in a bipartisan agreement on
infrastructure. i have gotten -- we have each committed -- i trust the members of the republican senators who have made the commitments relative to how we should proceed and what would be included in the package for infrastructure, and they're men and women of honor and i expect they would keep their commitment. with regard to the further issue of what's going on and what will confuse the listening audience, but reconciliation -- that is the mechanism by which you have to get every single democrat to agree to proceed on matters like what i announced today. today, i don't know whether you have any children, it is none of my business whether you do, but you do, if you are making less than $150,000, you are going to get a significant stipend that is a tax cut.
if you have a child under the age of 7 years old, you are going to get in your bank account today, you are going to get a payment of one -- of 12 months divided -- $3,600 -- $3,700 for that child divided by 12 every month, just like a social security check. it is expected to reduce child poverty by over 40%, and this could be a significant, significant game changer. we have mechanisms to pay for both these mechanisms, and there may be some last-minute discussion as to who -- what mechanism is used to pay for each of these items, both the infrastructure package and the human infrastructure package. but i believe we will get it done. thank you. >> translator: we talked about
china, and there is a lot of common understanding that china in many areas is our competitor, that trade with china needs to rest on the assumption that we have a level playing field so that we all, well, play by the same rules, have the same standards. that, incidentally, was also the driving force behind the eu/china agreement on trade, that they abide by the core labor norms of the ilo, and we are convinced of us needing to be technological areas. obviously china is wishing to do this as well. we will cooperate in many state of the art technologies. i think the act the president
launched is crucial. we want to trade where security issues loom large in our agenda. we ought to talk about this. we ought to talk about norms and standards that govern the internet, whether we can agree on common norms, particularly as regards the relationship of us with china. we ought to coordinate our efforts. we do that in the european union and we should do it with the united states, and then there are interests, obviously sometimes divergent interest but also common interests. we have areas where american companies compete with european companies, and we have to accept that. i think basically the rules how we deal with china ought to rest and do rest on our shared values, and i think on the pandemic we are obviously of the opinion that the pandemic -- we can only master the pandemic if each and everyone is vaccinated. we are trying to boost production. we are trying also to get as
many people in our country vaccinated as possible, which obviously opens us up to criticism of those countries who as yet have not had the chance, which is why we invest a lot of money in covax, which is why we encourage our companies to increase their production of vaccines. and in africa we are trying to help africans to up skill people so they too can have their own production sites. we are going to do this, but de facto there is an imbalance, i agree. but we are overcoming, we are putting our all into that and also together in overcoming that imbalance. i'm sorry, i call on ms. shogel from the -- newspaper. thank you. >> i have a question for both of you. mr. president, my first question is on an issue that touches those of you in the u.s. and us
in germany. can you explain why there's a travel ban on people coming from germany and other european union, while from turkey, where the number of new cases are seven times as high, can come? you have repeatedly said you are following scientific data. what is the main argument for not lifting that travel ban for the region? chancellor merkel -- >> translator: you talked to the business companies here. you heard their concerns. you heard their headaches. some have threatened that they're going to shift business away from the united states. what was your main argument to work for a lifting of the travel ban and have you had success with this? >> we put in the head of our covid team because the chancellor brought that subject up. it is in the process of seeing how soon we can lift the ban, it is in process now, and i will be
able to answer that question within the next several days, what is likely to happen. i am waiting to hear from our folks, our covid team, as to when that should be done. the chancellor did raise it. >> translator: i did raise the issue, yes. and i got the same answer that the president gave you just now, the covid team is evaluating the matter. we had an exchange on -- in both areas. the delta variant actually is on the increase. that is, again, a new challenge to both of us, and obviously before such a decision one has to reflect and it has to be a sustainable decision. it is certainly not sensible to have to take it back after only a few days. so i have every confidence in the american covid team. >> having been here many times, if we don't leave right now we
are going to miss dinner. the chancellor and i have a dinner with some -- a number of folks very shortly. so thank you for your attention. thank you for your questions. thank you. >> thank you. watching along with us, retired u.s. army general and msnbc military analyst, barry mccaffrey. our friend john heilemann is still here. general mccaffrey, chancellor angela merkel dodging a question about dealing with question dealing with president biden after the previous occupant. angela merkel had very warm relationships with every american, she had a warm relationship with president obama. in this new book we have been talking about all day today, the ex-president, donald trump described her as a word that we can't say on television, the
b-word merkel. this ability is another really important touch stone of a return to normal bilateral relations with our closest allies. >> i used to tell people i had a crush on angela merkel. i think she's simply splendid chancellor and international diplomat, doctrine physics. i may add having lived in germany for six years, germany is a center peace powerful of the european union, economic human rights and they had problems and been a long standing allies since 1945. to have positive relationships with this democratic nation is vital. the fact mr. trump was so
childishly and with all european leaders, putin and erdogan and others. >> right. the conversation we were having before the press conference began, john helman had a natural extension, it is not just unprecedented crisis, super agitated country on the right, you have to go further than that, call them radicalized and truth immune. there is a task of level setting of each and everyone of these relationships. the world over watched the last president disrespected and disregarded our allies and couch out to our enemies. i wonder what led as you watch this press conference. >> exactly that, nicole.
we even saw it with biden and putin and the notion that the way in which world leaders look at joe biden is just - we don't have to be crazy body language readers to figure it out. they have a long relationship with biden. they have been working with him for years and years when he was in the senate relations committee. he traveled widely and he met these people. he was vice president and he met them again. it is like climbing back into this relationship with the new president is like i think for a lot of these world leaders is a blessing relief and it is climbing in a warm bath in some way. thank god, i am home. by that i don't mean there is tensions but there is always challenges. this is a person like us, this is a serious person. a person that takes responsibility seriously. as general mcaffrey was saying a
second ago. i think another thing, nicole, that's worth noting. the shocking antidotes that are popping out that we are seizing on, things like the discussion we had earlier about the chairman giant chief of staff and thinking are we having the right moment is the coup -- these are things will be drawn to. if you read these books, i have my vendor on my podcast this week and if you read these books and what we are learning is that trump was saying to people especially the moment he thought he was going to win in that delusional moment in the middle of november 3rd and 7th, right? he was saying to people what his policy agenda was of things he
was being warned to say in 2020. yeah, we'll do that in the second term. among the things was probably trying to dismantle nato. if you are angela merkel and you are not just delighted to be back in the presence of joe biden, you are reading these stories and recognizing what it would have meant to donald trump had been reelected. you had to be think about what it would mean if donald trump were to be elected again in 2024 if he runs. i think its got to be a chilling and chasing experience for those world leaders to be reading these books just as we are and understanding the threat is not passed and the threat may still lie ahead. >> general mcaffrey, i want to come back to something that comes up both in michael bender's book and what we have seen in carolyn rucker's book. the people who know our history the best and they tended to be the ex-president military's
advisers, ended having to confront his affinity for nazi germany the most. no, the nazis do not do good things and you do not comment hitler's handling the enemy. there is this of general millie's concerns of these parallels to nazi-germany. on january 14, dozens of leaders gathered for a drill exercise. they took over the large gymnasium and mapped out the city on the floor to a.j. where people would congregate. millie helped lead the drill and in initial small meetings with the seniors laid out the stakes .
these guys are nazis, they are proud boys. these are the same people we fought in world war ii, milley told them. everyone in the room whether you are a cop or soldier, we'll stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power. shocking to read that the ex-president had enough affinity for hitler to see the top military commander saw his supporters in the threat they pose as a very clear parallel to the threat posed by nazis. >> nazi destroyed all and killed 40 million people. on the other hand, the nazi experience in the 1930s is worth
looking at and seeing parallel to trump's basically criminal behavior, ignoring the rule of law. >> you know nazi germany in the 1930s was one of the most civilized country in the phase of the earth, look at what happened. i think the alarm that mark milley and other leaders, we saw what's happening. most of this is not a surprise to us. this fella did not buy into the constitution of the united states he was edging towards a coup. that substitutes secretary of defense.
that's what mark milley and the rest concerned about. jeremy bash made the analysis that this is sort of the line over here inside the military that milley held. you spent a lot of time looking at everything else, right? it is clear that every norms fell. i wonder if you can give me your thought on this new sort of antidotal evidence of all he destroyed about the office of presidency. >> well, right before we went to the press conference that i was leading to, as you see trump now and out of office laying waste to his followers and the tens of millions of people believed his
election is stolen and the most outlandish lie. when you see him trashing jim -- he wants to undermine everything, he's thinking of what he can do now and going forward. it is very ominous because he still has a big role in our american life unfortunately. >> to be continued. my thanks to both of you, general mcaffrey and john helman. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. >> we begin with president biden's historic move to reduce child poverty across america. as we have republican leaders literally building on what nicole was recorded on. the idea that donald trump busted all these legalities and