tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC November 16, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PST
a key national security adviser. it's the latest on what insiders describe as a stalin-esque purge. >> i think there is some confusion going on. about a chain of command coming out of new york. hopefully they'll get that settled pretty soon. i think they'll need to do it. as this clock ticks, all of these decisions become more important and you have to make them sooner, with a little more authority and a little more forward thinking, to make sure they don't bump into anything in the future. >> for those remaining inside the so-called circle of trust, new and renewed scrutiny. reports of conflict of interest for rudy giuliani and chief strategist steve bannon under fire for using derogatory language towards women in a 2011 radio interview. >> the women that would lead this country would be -- they would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their children, you know, they wouldn't be a bunch of dykes that came from the seven sisters schools up in new england. >> and our political team is is
up and ready to go this morning with every angle covered. nbc's peter alexander at the white house covering the trump transition and nbc's kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill with the lawmakers. you just had a chance to watch mike pence. he's here in washington holding meetings today. tell us about that and what you know about who had donald trump's ear and where do things stand with the transition? >> just rushed back to the white house to have this conversation with you. i was a block away at the u.s. chamber of commerce across lafayette park. we were there and through a question out to the vice president-elect as he was walking in to speak to the board. i said, how is the progress going so far? he said, great progress, great progress. that is the public message not just from the vice president-elect but also from donald trump, indicating des spite reports of infeuding, sniping, back biting, you name it right now, they insist this
is smooth sailing right now. donald trump said in a tweet he ultimately will be the one who decides which of the finalists he selects now. as for the former process and decision making, we know vice president-elect mike pence has signed the documents necessary to help move the process forward. that had been a delay. the white house was ready and waiting for those documents to be signed. that means it can begin in earnest. they will soon start to hand over the briefing books in the process. new reports this morning that one of the conversations donald trump had yesterday inside trump turn was with his formal rival, a fierce rival. the senator from texas, ted cruz. and the reports are that that conversation included suggestions or at least a discussion of whether cruz might be interested in serving in the cabinet as attorney general. not confirmed yet by nbc news. but it will be an interesting offer if ted cruz were interested in it. he is former solicitor general of texas. we know the transition team has
ordered they will remove all lobbyists from that transition team. overnight, we confirmed from the transition official that a second senior defense official, a foreign policy official and lobbyist, had been removed from that transition team. kristen. >> to your point about the top names we're watching, obviously rudy giuliani at the top of that list, under consideration for secretary of state. but there's some questions about potential conflicts of interests. let me read you from "the new york times" which report, quote, in one year, mr. giuliani reported in a financial disclosure report he had made 124 speeches for as much as $200,000 each and he earned a total of $11.4 million. he often made extravagant demands in return for agreeing to make a speech, including that the private plane that flew him to the engagement be a certain size. are you getting any reaction from the trump campaign? could it undercut his chances? >> the business entanglement ultimately didn't undercut donald trump's chances.
so these are potential conflicts of interests. ones that members of congress said they will look at closely as they -- if they are to be presented with rudy giuliani, either as attorney general, which he says he won't be, or perhaps more likely secretary of state. giuliani said he would be honored to serve in any form for the president-elect right now. what's notable is what we have been hearing from one republican senator. this is the senator from kentucky, rand paul, who opposes not just rudy giuliani but also the former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., john bolton, who is definitely a hawk in 2015 he suggested among other things potentially bombing iran. rand paul told nbc news that he viewed those individuals as representing the most bellicose interventionist wing of any party. kristen. >> peter, as we have this conversation, we're looking at live pictures of trump tower. there is senator jeff sessions, one of the other names that's being discussed possibly for defense secretary, we know he's
advising with this transition as well. he is a trump loyal it'ist. my colleague kelly o'donnell on capitol hill. steve bannon getting a lot of attention. he was put as trump's chief strategist. obviously he was the head of breitbart news. which has linked, which has a following among white nationalists. ipts put republicans in a really tough spot. what are they saying? >> well, democrats have seized upon this, kristen, because it is one of the few things that have sort of been an easy low-hanging fruit dangleled by the new trump administration in waiting. because of bannon's connections, because of the rhetoric and views associated with him. democrats including the current leader of democrats in the senate harry reid, he spent time on the senate floor going after bannon. and that drew a response from his counterpart john cornyn, republican of texas, who said that harry rae was essentially out of line, a sore loser. but interestingly, he doesn't
offend bannon. he talks about the opportunity for the new president to assemble a team of his choosing, to make those decisions. an argument for giving him space, let this new team sort of form. when mitch mcconnell was asked about it in a photo op with a new republican senator, that's a standard piece of business on capitol hill, he did not respond. and we heard from lindsey graham who usually is someone who will tell us what he thinks. and his view is this. he has not met steve bannon and so he is reluctant to call him anti-semitic or race it's not knowing the man. he said the rjc, the republican jewish coalition, had come out in support of bannon, saying they do not believe he's anti-semitic and he thought that was a notable level of support. and at the same time, he said the website that has been associated with bannon, breitbart, he said that is catering to the alt right. he does not like that. they don't like him.
as lindsey graham put it, that's good with me. kristen. >> kelly, you have the president saying we've got to give president-elect donald trump space to make these choices. i want to ask you about what you've touched on which is the attempt at unity that we're now seeing within the republican party. house speaker paul ryan, very firm yesterday, striking comments, essentially touting the fact this is a unified party, they are ready to move forward to fight for key policy issues together. what is your sense of that? is everyone on board with that, kelly? >> well, usually during the campaign season is when the unity is born and forged. we didn't get that this time around. so now with the kind of victory donald trump was able to pull out and what it has also done to support republicans in congress by lifting them up and his direct support of paul ryan, making certain he's the nominee the republicans to be the next speaker, securing his job, this is a brand-new alliance. and this is a time when there's no one on capitol hill who is
looking to pick a fight with donald trump. they have some common goals. they want to work together. and while there may be controversial moves, there may be a slow sluggish start in getting the trump administration up and running. it's going to be a patient spirit from republicans on capitol hill at this point. times will change that, but for now they want to keep that window of unity. they thing that is an asset for republicans on capitol hill. kristen. >> all right, kelly o'donnell, peter alexander, thanks so much for helping me kick off the show, really appreciate it. i want to bring in jason mill, communications director for the president's transition team. thank you for being here, really appreciate it. >> kristen, good morning. >> i want to give you a chance to respond to the headlines we are seeing that the transition is in turmoil, disarray, unorganized, chaotic, infighting. i know you're going to tell me that's not the case but my question to you is where are all these headlines coming from? if it's smooth sailing? >> usually headlines are coming
from the folks outside looking in. maybe they're lobbyists who are upset the president-elect is going to come in and have no lobby iists as part of his transition effort. maybe they're from insiders who are frustrated the president-elect is going to come in and drain the swamp, exactly as he promised. here's the real signed look at the transition team office, is one of structure, one of methodical planning to make sure we get this right and ultimately the president-elect is the one who will be making these decisions. while there's a lot of speculations on the -- who's going to go where, i think it's important to keep in mind that president didn't have his cabinet complete in one week. in fact, it took month longer after his election in 2008. the president-elect is going to get this right. people know he has fantastic judgment. we're going to get it right so we don't have to go and review anything here. >> jason, you do have mike rogers who came out, and i'm paraphrasing here, essentially saying theme got to get this
process together so they can start naming people. and there is a sense that some of the people who have been cut off have close ties to chris christie and part of that is because chris christie and trump's son-in-law jared kushner don't exactly have a warm and fuzzy relationship. of course, christie prosecuted kushner's father back in 2005. can you respond to those reports that this is personal, that this is coming from jared kushner? he's at the center of this? >> that's absolutely inaccurate. there's no truth at all to that. >> why do so many people have tied to chris christie? >> well, the president-elect has put the vice president-elect mike pence in charge of the transition team. that only makes sense because the vice president-elect knows exactly how the president-elect wants to structure his government, what he wants the administration to look like. after having spent all this time on the campaign trail with hip, wants to have the right kind of people with the right energy and the right backgrounds and successful records to be in place to implement this agenda,
and so it's only natural that the vice president-elect will have a number of his folks come on board and some other people he wants in on that senior leadership team. we very much thank mike rogers for his service. i was speaking with the president-elect this morning. he had absolutely positive great things to say about congressman rogers. i think we're going to get this put together exactly like we want to. >> all right, eric, trump says we may get some more names today. can you respond to that? will we learn, for example, who president-elect trump's secretary of state will be? >> i think what you're going to see is the president-elect william get this right. a whole host of media camped out at trump tower. that's not our approach. the approach -- >> are we going to get some more names today, jason? are we going to hear at least one or two more names today about who might be filling out trump's cabinet? >> when the president-elect and vice president-elect are ready to put those names forward, that's what we'll do. they're going to be excellent
names. people who have had great success. be able to replace obamacare, cut taxes, secure the border. excite things we'll do once the president's sworn in here and there's people who know how to do it. >> in terms of names i want to talk to you about a few specific names we are hearing. one reports today that frank gaffney who's a reagan administration veteran, he was brought in to assist national security issues. some are reporting. i know there are also conflicting reports saying that's not the case. this is someone who's a lightning rod. he has made offensive comments about muslim. is he a part of the transition team? >> he is not. i know he's a nice guy but he's not part of the transition team. >> is he advising the transaction team in any way? >> no. >> has he stepped foot inside trump tower over the past 48 hours to meet with president-elect trump? >> kristen, i very much appreciate the effort to try to go down a rabbit hole. we're bringing all sorts of good folks in.
you saw cruz in yesterday. different business and educational leaders have been coming in. that's exactly what trump will do. sit down with folks, look them in the eye. we have very thorough and detailed vetting program everybody will go through to make sure they pass all tests and benchmarks we have in place. then we'll charge forward and we'll have this government ready to go on inauguration day. >> let me ask you about rudy giuliani. he's a trump loyalist. he's someone who's being eyed potentially for secretary of state. yet there are these reports about possible conflicts of interests in "the new york times." politico reporting he's received millions of dollars for consulting fees and also as a lawyer for foreign governments like qatar and venezuela. is it appropriate for him to be named in a cabinet position, given that he has what some perceive as conflicts of interest? >> i'd say to that i'm not part of the vetting team. we have a very strong structure in place. any name put forward by the president elect will be someone we're completely confident we'll
be able to pass confirmation. now to defense the mayor for a moment, i think you saw someone who's a very strong ally. he's someone who's been very loyal. someone i worked on his 2008 presidential race. thing he's an absolute fantastic advocate for the president-elect. >> do those ties concern you at all, jason? do those ties concern you at all? they undercut his chances? >> i think i'll leave it to the president-elect to put foorpd t forward the names. until then, i don't think it's right to speculate as far as this name or that name. but just know the process going into it and the right kind of people we're going to put in place is really what's paramount. >> jason, president-elect trump came out on the night that he won and he said it is time for us to unify and then in a matter of days he put steve bannon essentially named him as his chief strategist. and a lot of people see him as a lightning rod. i know there's a lot of debate about whether or not he has ties
to the alt right. what is true is he has a following among the alt right, among white nationalists. why appoint someone who is a lightning rod in that way, who it seems would undercut president-elect's trumps to unify the country? >> kristen, may have been some reports you read. i really think it's unfair to try to describe steve bannon in that matter. steve bannon i've gotten to know over the last three months as part the campaign team is someone who's embraced diversity. someone who really helped the president-elect take this populist message into the communities neglected and forgotten far too long. steam has been a real driver of that. as we saw in the campaign, steve did a fantastic job of implementing the president-elect's vision and his agenda during the campaign and we won. and he'll do the exact same thing of making sure we i implement president-elect
trump's efforts in the white house. the one thing i'd say about steve as well is i think your descriptions at the beginning were way out of bounds here. bannon is a zinist. someone who's so solidly pro-israel he went and founded breitbart jerusalem. he's someone who, everything from mentoring african-american youths during his life -- i mean, he's had this great record and -- >> i hear what you're saying -- >> kristen, hold on -- he may have a website that thrives on political commentary much in the same way on the other side msnbc has its political commentary in the evenings that probably gets things a little ratcheted up. i totally respect. the way steve bannon has lived his life, projected the image for president-elect trump, has been above board. it's really epbraced this feeling of inclusion as we've gone forward since the election.
>> jason, okay, and let's take you at your word, but bannon himself called breitbart, quote, the platform for the alt right. those are his words. he is regardless -- let's take everything you say as truth. he is still someone who in the minds and in the eyes of many people of color all across this country is a symbol of someone who is not going to embrace them so why would mr. trump -- and should he reconsider him as a part of his west wing? is there not someone better to fill that position? >> kristen, i can't think of a better advocate who can better implement the president-elect's agenda. i didn't know steve bannon well prior to this campaign. i've been with hip out in public, i've been with him behind closed doors, and i can tell you, the way he's conducted himself, to bring people together for inclusion, to embrace diversity, has been
absolutely fantastic. i think that's part of the reason he really fits in with this message. i talked about a moment ago, he helped take this populist message into the inner cities, urban renewal plan that the president-elect put together. a driving force in helping to craft that. i think we're going to -- the president-elect took the trip to flint michigan or when he even went to mexico to show we can reach out, we can start building these relationships. much of this was with the push and the blessing from steve bannon. i think you'll see a white house teaming up with chief of staff reince priebus, this is a white house who will do really great things and you are going to see we'll have a broad diverse group coming together to run this government. >> very quickly, can you tell me the names of some of the women and minorities who mr. trump is looking at? >> well, i've seen a number of names that have been in the newspapers. i think michelle reid i've seen
mentioned, eva moskowitz mentioned, education. a whole host of other women and folks of color and every possible ethnicity and religion that are all being considered for different spots. i think when you see the entirety of this cabinet put together, you're going to be really impressed. >> i'm going to try one more time. are we going to see more of the entirety of the cabinet today? >> i'll defer to the president-elect and the vice president-elect on that but as soon as they've made their decision or decisions today or going forward in the future, number one, they're going to get it right, number two, it's going to be someone very solid for the position and number three, then we'll know for sure. >> jason miller, thank you. coming up do republican leaders have plans to slash medicare? i'll talk to health and human services secretary sylvia burr well matthews head. take a look at this just moments ago. donald trump's name being taken off apartment buildings on
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the presidential transition well under way despite numerous reports of turmoil and infighting. trump promising names of cabinet nominees will soon be revealed as early as today. we've seen senator jeff sessions at trump tower, the alabama republican reportedly under consideration for a position in the new administration possibly as defense secretary or attorney general. i want to bring in two of our msnbc political analysts to discuss. former rnc chairman michael steele and former ohio democratic state senator nina turner. thanks to both of you for being here. >> thanks, kristen.
>> so donald trump tweeting this morning in candidate fashion -- >> no! no, pleading, no. >> i'm going to read you what he said. he said, i am not trying to get top level security clearance for my children. this was a typically false news story. there has been so much focus on his family and whether or not he's trying to get security clearance for them. he says it's not the case. bottom line, are you concerned his family might have too much influence over this administration? >> no, i'm not so much concerned about it. it's how -- there are checks and balances in place. there are regulations and laws that sort of make very clear the delineation between your family and the interests of your family and your duty as president of the united states. so not worried so much about that. what i think what donald trump has to do though is get control of this process. i get the sense he's standing back and letting it unfold. he's got to manage this. make sure jared kushner, his
son-in-law, if he has a role for hi, let's define what that role is. this whole purging process going on with chris krichtchristie an team. everybody's got to be on one point. that is to make sure at 12:01 on january 20th the trump administration is ready to take the reins of power and control of this government and move forward. and you cannot have any hiccups in that. that means getting it right, now, so you don't have to worry about it later. >> i just spoke with jason miller who says reports of the purges related to chris christie are ridiculous, they're not true. what are you hearing? our reporting indicates that is, in fact, what's going on. >> well, i hear the same thing internally. so the question is where is chris christie, where are all these people going? why are they suddenly -- you
just don't up and leave in the middle of a transition for the presidency, you just don't do that. so there is something going on there. this is his moment to exercise managerial control over this process. i know a lot of times presidential candidates step back and let the people they put in charge do this but there seeps to be some confusion as to who's really in charge. and he needs to clarify that in order for this thing to move forward successfully. >> let's talk about the democrats. there has been a lot of backlash among -- for the appointment of steve bannon. i was just talking to jason miller about that. he defended the move. do you think politically it's wise for democrats to go after steve bannon? obviously, they're going to have to choose their battles. is that a smart battle to pick right now? >> you hit the nail on the head. look, steve bannon, i mean, the president-elect has the right to put the people around him that he decides. symbolically having someone like that, who has described himself
as someone who represents the alt right, that should be concerning, but the democrat's major concern right now is how we reached the hearts, minds and souls and voters in this country that handed us this pass on november the 8th and let us know very clearly as a party they're not feeling us. the coalition of the forgotten united. and now we have president-elect trump. so in terms of what we should be fighting for first is we have elects coming up next year and we have midterms in 2018. we need to decide how we are going to move forward as a party that can recapture our integrity and the moral imperative in terms of lifting the working class families in this country. we have lost governor's mansions. we have lost state legislatures. and it is time not to point the finger at somebody else. we got to get our own house in order. >> i want to give michael the chance to respond to this backlash about steve bannon. michael, you have senate
majority leader mitch mcconnell who wouldn't even comment about steve bannon yesterday. i mean, are you comfortable as former head of the rnc, as someone who continues to be an outspoken voice in this party, are you comfortable with steve bannon in the white house? >> you know, i think there's -- to be honest, a little more made about steve bannon then there should be in this regard. steve bannon is someone who serves in our nation's armed forces. he has built businesses. it's not someone who just sort of appeared on the scene. steve bannon worked closely with andrew breitbart. this idea he's anti-semitic i find to be hysterical given -- >> perhaps that's overwritten but what about the fact he said he wanted breitbart to be a platform for the alt right? i mean, that is a very divisive statement. >> well, you know, i think it's not divisive to me because i've
listened to the left define the alt right and the alt right is clearly not what everybody makes it out to be. it's not this white supremist organization. steve bannon is about the american economic machine and how it plays in a global economy. that's the -- if you go back and look at his readings, that's his central argument when it comes to this nationalist perspective. it has nothing to do with race. nothing to do with racism. the narrative is out there. and, you know, maybe it required bannon to come out and address it to some degree but i just think there's a lot more noise about this and if donald trump is comfortable with this noise, then that's going to be on donald trump. if he wants to deal with it, he'll deal with it. but i think it's more of a distraction. my focus right now is how does this administration get up and running for january 20th? it's got to put cabinet officers in place. it's got to build out a staff. there's a lot more to be worried
about than steve bannon. >> let's talk about the way forward for democrats. you brought up so many critical points. it comes, as we know, that the house has delayed its leadership elections for democrats. potentially threaten being the role of nancy pelosi. do you think she should stay on as leader? >> that caucus has to make the decision but it's soul searching time. and, you know, the leader, she has been a strong and a good leader. but in terms of assessing what has happened to the democratic party nationally, really since 2010 -- >> let me interrupt you very quickly. we're just going to go to chuck schumer speaking on capitol hill right now, elected democratic minority leader in the senate. let's listen. >> how will that old relationship -- >> i spoken to him a couple of times and i told him just what i told you. when we can agree on issues, then we're going to work with them. we're not going to just, as some
have done here in the past, say just because it's president trump's idea or thought, we're going to oppose it per se. but i've also said to the president-elect on issues where we disagree you can expect a strong and touch fight on some of those issues. i'm not going to get into the specks now. >> members of the caucus yesterday had a press conference saying, including senator stabenow, asking to fire bannon. >> i put out my statement on bannon. the things he said are reprehensible. and we're going to keep a really careful eye on the president and on him. we're going to go after them in
terms of pig gbigotry. [ inaudible ] >> -- happen today? >> stay tuned. >> -- elections reflected in your -- >> we needed a much sharper bolder stronger economic message. we needed to let the american people understand what we all believe, that the system's not working for them. and we're going to change it. >> the supreme court, where you're going to draw a line in the stand? >> again, first, we're deeply disappointed the way our colleagues were treated. merrick garland. and i'll underline we did not change the rules for supreme court because we thought on something as important as this there should be some degree of bipartisan agreement. last question. >> you talk about the merit of feinstein moving to judiciary
and -- >> dianne feinstein has rouge respect in the caucus. she will be a superb ranking member. she's going to have a very important job. making sure every aspect of the president's nominee is explored and brought before the public. thank you, everybody. >> senator chuck schumer addressing the press. elected to senate minority leader. other leadership positions, bernie sanders, elizabeth warren and joe manchin. you heard schumer say on issues where we disagree, expect a strong fight with the president-elect. i went ahead now to my colleague kacie hunt who is monitoring this on capitol hill. kacie, what are your takeaways? you heard a robust statement. >> that's right, kristen. and just the tableau of him
appearing with bernie sanders behind him as well as joe manchin of west virginia. i think this is very much a recognition of what the democratic party has gone through the last months or really the last weeks since the election really shook the party to its core. and this is a demonstration that democrats want to try to publicly bring into the fold all of those progressives who supported bernie sanders over hillary clinton. the energy that was behind bernie sanders clearly did not carry through to the general election. he of course came close to beating her in the primary. in the end, the votes kind of across the south and the support from african-american voters really prevented sanders from being able to beat hillary clinton. but i think what you heard schumer talk about, and schumer's a really smart politician, right. this is him making sure that these people that might cause the democrats to be kind of in disarray or might -- or spl
splintered, that he is publicly embracing them, bringing them into the fold, giving them a seat at the table, to try to make sure they're not off doing something he doesn't want them to be doing, cutting deals potentially with a trump administration. there's already been some democrats who expressed concerns that perhaps progress ives migh find common ground. whether the infrastructure or other priorities. when bernie sanders put out a statement. it was in the ways a bifurcated statement. said on one hand if trump is going to do things racist and zenophobic, i'm not going to be with him. if he's doing things that help middle class americans, i'm willing to be on board. you also heard schumer talk about needing to make sure that geographically they're speaking to voters in west virginia, to voters in michigan. i think there is a real sense that the democrats are in danger of becoming the party of the coasts and that's dangerous for party's long-term future,
kristen. >> great analysis. i want to bring in nina turner. you heard chuck schumer say we need a bolder economic message. is that your sense that that's what was at the root of the loss by secretary clinton but also other democrats in down ballot races? >> oh, absolutely. in my state alone, the numbers that have been lost, the trade deals. this state and other midwestern states were crying out for that. we see, again, the coalition of the forgotten, whether they're african-american, latino, native american, asian. all of those groups. every single group. the mosaic of humanity in the working class was crying out for leadership that spoke to their pain. and senator bernie sanders was the one in the primary speaking to that pain. and making it clear that we will not have business as usual. so you have other progressive leaders like myself and others who kept letting the democratic party know that we were really off message.
but what were they told? go back in your corners. what you're talking about doesn't matter. what we see from the voters of this country that they want leaders who understand they are try to solve problems. that this is not about who has the best resume. about who can get out the best concert. not even about somebody's legacy. this is really about the heart and soul of america across the ethnic spectrum and the democrats missed it. so it's not so much -- i'm glad to hear some mp thoof those nam the table. it's about what they'll do once they get at that table. >> michael, let me let you jump in on that point. i can tell you when i get in there. >> yeah, no, i so admire senator turner. i've gotten to know her. she is a voice that the party should listen to. there's no doubt about it. but here's the reality for the democrats right now. their battle is going to be the two people standing behind chuck
schumer. senator warren and senator sanders. who have a very, very strong clarion call within the democratic party. which i still don't believe the democrats have reconciled themselves too. and that's going to be part of their early national struggle. when senator warren and senator sanders want to move in a particular direction on a policy issue that may align them with a donald trump administration. let's say on trade for example. and chuck schumer, who is part of that traditional democratic mind-set wants to move in a different direction. these are the battle lines and fault lines drawn very much as we've seen in the republican party over the last few years. between, you know, the conservative base and the protectist establishment. >> and those are fault lines that will continue to be at play. fascinating stu happening on capitol hill. michael steele, nina turner,
this leadership team is unified. this entire house republican conference is unified. and we are so eager to get to work with our new president-elect to fix america's pressing problems. >> triumphant paul ryan emerging from a closed door meeting after getting unanimous support to serve again as the next speaker. i'm joined by congressman mark sanford, republican, from south carolina, thank you for being here. so very different tone from house speaker paul ryan there yesterday from what we heard during the campaign when he had
some sharp words for donald trump. it seems like most of your conference lining up behind donald trump. the question is are you. you have been quite critical of him. >> well, i think that everybody in the conference would in essence take last participant, chuck schumer, we'll take things that work, things that don't work, the nature of the political process. the conference is unified, honeful for what the trump administration will bring. i join with everybody else in saying let's go. >> congressman sanford, when you hear the reports of the infighting, of the disarray, and i know you folks are talking on capitol hill as well, are you concerned this transition isn't running as smoothly as it should be or as quickly as it should be? >> respectfully, i'd say i think it's a tem pet in a tea pot. i've been through transitions. they're fairly chaotic.
they're hard to put together. you have all the expectations of holding office but you have yet none of the tools. and you want to select a team that works for you. so, you know, it's a little bit dicey at the front end of these things. i think that's to be expected. particularly with somebody as unorthodox if you want to call it that in his approach as donald trump. and so i think it's, again, a lot of media hype. i think once you get a couple more of these areas laid out, i think that maybe a little bit of a hype will subside. >> let me get your take. rudy giuliani potentially for secretary of state or john bolton. and laura ingram for press secretary. we also have jeff sessions potentially in the mix, department of defense. any of those names strike you as someone who absolutely needs to be there? >> again, it's up to the president-elect who they think will work for their team. i put together a transition team.
we put together a cabinet. i think what's important is, in part, you dance with the ones who brought you to the table, and if you've got a formula that's worked, that appealed to americans as this campaign certainly did, then you -- if you're tone deaf going into transition, you say, we're going to try a different approach to governance. it's to your own peril. i think part of what they're trying to balance here is how do we stay true to the in essence events that brought us to winning the presidency while at the same time moving on to the measure that you need in governance. >> congressman mark sanford, thank you for your perspective, really appreciate it. >> yes, ma'am. big changes in store for obamacare in the new administration and now maybe medicare and medicaid. sylvia mathews burwell joins me next. my belly pain and constipation?
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change as part of their campaign to boost signups for obamacare. tweeting out this video encouraging people to enroll for health insurance under the affordable care act. there was a big surge in signups. more than 100,000 people enrolled the day after the election. i am joined now by secretary burrwell. secretary, thank you for being here. really appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> so president-elect trump and the republican controlled congress have said they'll repeal and replace obamacare. although of course we did hear mr. trump soften his stance, saying he wants to keep things like making sure people can stay on their health care even if they have pre-existing conditions, making sure that young people can stay on their parent's health care until they're 26 years old. my question for you, can you have it both ways? or if you essentially gut obamacare, does that mean that you can't pass those other things mr. trump wants to keep in place? >> no, those things, the things like the preexiting conditions
and making sure that people who have had cancer, have asthma or allergies, can get that coverage. it's actually think the right way to think about it is it's like a three-legged stool. if you take away one of the legs, you can't keep the other two in terms of keeping the stool standing. so the pieces and parents are interrelated. they're interrelated because when you bring in people with pre-existing conditions so you can cover those folks, what you want to make sure you do is provide assistance or subsidies or tax credits to help make it affordable for everybody. so the pieces interrelate. and that's an important part of how we can do things like maintain up to 26 and make sure people with preexiting conditions can get coverage. >> as you know when president obama first took office, he undid a number of the things that former president george w. bush put in place. there's a sense that president trump could, with the stoke of a
pen, gut some of obamacare. what is your level of concern about? have you been given assurances that won't happen on day one? >> i think you repeated what we heard, which is the president-elect committed to making sure that preexiting conditions are something that exists, that kids can stay on their plans up to 26 that there wouldn't be an abrupt change. i think it is time we as a nation move from slogans and rhetoric to the substance and the substance of what the affordable care act is. those are three elements. there are other elements i think many people don't focus on. for those seniors. there are 11 million seniors who receive benefits in terms of their drug costs. about $2,000 on average for every senior of that 11 million who receive those benefits by something called the closing of the doughnut hole that had to do with drug costs. for people who actually have a child who has had a very serious illness, they no longer face
lifetime limits. i've met children who by the age of 15 had run through their entire insurance for a lifetime. but that no longer can happen. >> secretary, i have two quick questions. we are running out of time. i want to make sure we get to them. one is the counterargument is you have premiums going up by double digits in some places. doesn't this law need to be fundamentally changed in some way? what are you saying to the folks? >> what are consumers actually paying? for the 159 million americans who have insurance through their jobs, actually what they've seen in their premiums, in five of the last six years, is the slow et premium growth on record. for folks in medicare and medicaid, those premium increases didn't impact those. because of the way the affordable care act was designed, for those people in the marketplace, 85% of those people are insulated because they received the tax credits and subsidies. for those 15% we are concerned and have proposals to improve it. >> secretary burrwell, as you
likely know, house speaker paul ryan is talking abo ing about p out medicare. he's arguing it is a drag. there's a better way to insure those people. >> medicare is an incredibly important part of our nation's financial and health security for our seniors for over 50 years at this point. we know that what has happened and what is the truth is the life of the medicare trust fund or our ability to pay for those benefits has increased since the passage of the affordable care act. we also know medicare spending since the passage of the affordable care act, we saved $473 billion and that's for the taxpayer. >> secretary burrwell, thank you so much for being here this morning, we really appreciate your insights. >> thank you so much for having me. >> obama's deputy national security adviser has to say about donald trump's transition of power.
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president obama wrapped up his trip to greece today. nbc's chris jansing has an exclusive interview with become's top national security adviser ben rhodes. >> here in greece, president obama before taking off for germany clifring his last speech on foreign soil. a major architect of that speech joins me now. different speech then you might have written a couple weeks ago. what's the message? >> well, it's actually a similar message. it's different circumstances. the message is here in the birthplace of democracy. the need to stand up for democratic values around the world. and also in a country of inequality, he'll talk about the need to structure more inclusive economies. >> you have a situation where the president elect is somebody who has different ideas. he has called the economic
situation here unsalvageable. what kind questions are you getting from your counterparts? >> we're getting a lot questions around the world. just as people around the world are waiting to see who the trump transition team starts to pick for these jobs. >> does it make you nervous as you watch it? >> well, look, i think what it points to is just how important it is in terms of who fills these positions. so much of the machinery in government depends on leadership at places like the defense department, the nfc. at the same type, people want to be reassured that the united states is going to remain committed to things like our alliances, nato, the war we played in supporting the global economy and going after terrorism. people are looking for consistency. >> you've been in the room where it happens so many times other the course of the years. i would say i guess your legacy
is at stake as the president's is. how do you look at this in terms of the president's legacy? >> first of all, i've been here for eight years. you do your best with the time you have. we feel good about what we did. some of our legacy is focused on international agreements we believe are very important like the paris climate change agreement, like the iran deal. some of our legacy is focuseded on newish in tichbl ish initia opening to cuba. the efforts against terrorism. we of course would like to see those policies continued not just for the sake of our legacy but because we think they're the right approaches. one thing that's going to be important for the administration to recognize is even as they take a different course in some of these issues, these are international agreements. paris has 200 countries signed to that agreement. the iran deal has six major
world powers. so there's a reality in governance where these agreements have to be dealt with as what they are, international agreements and not simply u.s. bilateral agreements. >> ben rhodes, thank you. kristen, back to you. >> chris jansing, thank you for that wide-ranging conversation with ben rhodes. that wraps up this hour msnbc live. t tamron hall picks up our coverage. >> donald trump denies reports major troubles with his transition team. saying it's going to smoothly and he's not trying to get security clearances for his children. new questions over trump's rumors cabinet picks and the possible conflicts of interests, including rudy giuliani who's floated as secretary of state but a new report indicates he may have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from groups including one that was designated a terror