tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 14, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT
03/14/17 03/14/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> these cbo has reported the republican bill pushes 24 million people out of health cacare. this is remarkable figure. it speaks eloquently to the cruelty of the b bill that the speaker calls an act of mercy. 24 million. that is the number of people the
congressional budget office says will lose their health insurance over the next nine years if the republican health care plan becomes law. a also estimate your premiums will increase by 1 15% to 20% by 2018. meanwhilile, the nation's wealthiest will get tax breaks. is this wealthcare or health care? into the firing of u.s. attorney preet bharara. >> not very long ago, the president was saying he was going to keep the u.s. attorney there in new york and then suddenly, i guess he has changed his mind. amy: when attorney general jeff sessions asked for the resignations of 46 u.s. attorneys, bharara refused to step down and then he was fired. soon after, bharara sent a cryptic tweet suggesting he might have been in the middle of investigating trump. we will look at what it all means. then as a copy owned by president trump's senior adviser
and son-in-law jared kushner is set to receive more than $400 million from a chinese firm, we will look at how kushner is keeping parts of his real estate empire, despite his key role in the white house. all that and more, coming upup. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. 24 million americans will losose healalth insurance within n ten years under a plan by house republicans to repeal and replace the affordable care act. that was the conclusion of the congressional budget office in a highly anticipated report released monday. the cbo estimates the legislation would shave about a third of when julian dollars -- a trillion dollars from budget deficits by 2026, largely by ending a program to expand medicaid with tax cuts for the rich. republican lawmakers and the trump administration quickly dismissed the findings.
this is health and human services secretary tom price. >> we disagree strenuously with a report that was put out. we believe our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage they want for themsmselves and d ther family, not that the government forces them to buy. amy: democrats seized on the cbo's findings to argue against repealing the affordable care act. this is house minority leader nancy pelosi. >> this is remarkable figure. it speaks eloquently to the cruelty of the bill that the speaker calls an act of mercy. ok, so they are taking 24 million people, pushing them off their coverage. and as they do so, they are implementing the biggest transfer of wealth in our history. $600 billion going from working families to the richest people and corporatitions in our count. amy: the house plan to rerepeal and replace obamacare will meet its biggest challenge so far on when it's up for consideration
thursday at the house budget committee. at least seven republican members of the committee have said they feel the legislation doesesn't go far enonough to rel obamacare. president trump's second attempt to ban refugees and travelers from several majority-muslim countries got a fresh legal challenge whwhen several states monday filed a joint challenge to thehe ban in fefederal court. the suit was filed by washington state and joined by california, maryland, massachusetts, new york, and oregon. it seeks to halt trump's ban before it takes effect on thursday. the executive order would bar refugees from entering the country for 120 days and would bar all travelers from iran, libya, syria, somalia, sudan, and yemen for 90 days. this is georgetown law p profesr arjun sethi. > i believe this executive order violates the establishment clausese of the firsrst amendmet because it favors one religion or multiple religions over another, namely, islam. amy: a separate legal challenge by hawaii's attorney general
also seeks to suspend trump's ban on refugees and muslim travelers. memeanwhile, the canadiaian stsr ororganization of ththe girl scs said monday it will suspend all travel to the u.s. over concerns about trump's travel ban. a spokesperson for the girl guides of canada said she feared some members could get detained when a group tried to enter the u.s. the decision follows a series of incidents in which muslim canadians were detained by u.s. bordrder guards. in salem, oregon, police arrested a 52-year-old man saturday after he allegedly entered d a middle eastern restaurant and shouted racist epithets while beating an employee with a pipe. jason kendall told investigators he entered the al aqsa restaurant near the state capitol building and decided to assault a "saddam hussein-looking guy" with a pipe, shouting, "go back to your country, terrorist. get out of america." in chicago, democratic congressmember luis guttierez was briefly handcuffed and
detained along with activists and lawyers monday after they held a sit-in protest at a federal immigration office. gutierrez says the group refused to leave the chicago office of immigration and customs enforcement, or ice, after the agency's regional director refused to answer his questions about the trump administration's plans for immigration sweeps and mass deportation. guttierez said monday he and other members of the delegation were handcuffed after they rerefused to leave but werere , quickly releaseded. our goale accomished today. we stotood up to t the departmtf homelaland securitity and to dod today.'s hatr bigigotry against refugees, against muslims, against our immigigrant said,unity. we stood d up and your policies are morally bankrupt. amy: monday's meeting was guttierez's first with ice officials since donald trump's inauguration. last month, guttierez and fellow congressional hispanic caucus member norma torres of cacalifornia said repubublican
lawmakers had them thrown out of a meeting with a top ice official. in washington, d.c., the justice department failed to meet a monday deadline to hand over evidence in support of donald trump's claims that president obama ordered the wiretapping of trump tower last year, asking leaders of the house intelligence committee for more time to comply. the delay came as senior trump administration officials backpedaled from the claims. at the white house, press secretary sean spicer said president trump didn't literally mean wiretapping when he tweeted about "wire tatapping." >> the president used the word "wire tapppping" to mean probaby surrounds another activities during that, and that is -- it is interesesting how many news outlets reported that this activity was taking place during the 2016 e ection cyclcle. and d now wewe're wonderiring we the prproof is. it is any of the same ballots in the ststream that talked a aboue activities that were going on back then. amy: spicer's claim directly --tradicts a march for tweet
march 4 tweet by the president in which the wiretap claim is made without quotation marks. the tweet read -- "how low has president obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. this is nixon/watergate. that or sick -- bad or sick guy!" meanwhile, white house senior adviser kellyanne conway drew ridicule over her comments on surveillance in an interviewew sunday with the bergen record, as she attempted to walk back trump's wiretapping claims. >> was an ararticle e this weekt talkeded abobout how you can surveillanance someone thrhrough their phones, c certainly throuh theieir televivision set, any nr of different wayays -- microwavs that turn into cameras, etc. amy: conway's claim became the butt of jokes on late-night television, and prompted wired magazine to publish a piece entitled, "no, microwave ovens cannot spy on you -- for lots of reasons." a company owned by president trump's senior adviser and
son-in-law jared kushner will receive more than $400 million from a chinese firm in a real estate deal that many experts are calling unusually favorable. the payout from the anbang insurance group is part of a $4 billion deal at kushner's manhattan officer tower at 666 fifth avenue. bloomberg reports anbang has links to the chinese power structure and that past investments by the companyny in new york real estate have drawn federal review. lawrence nobel of the campaign legal center said of the deal -- "at the very least, this raises serious questions about the appearance of a conflict that arises from the possibility that the kushners are getting a sweetheart deal. a classic way you influence people is by financially helping their family." in climamate news, new york prosecutors said monday that former exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson used a separate email address and an alias when discussing climate change. the disclosure came in court
documents filed by new york attorney general eric schneiderman as part of a criminal probe into charges exxon knew that fossil fuels caused global warming as early as the 1970's, but hid that information from the public. tillerson, who retired from exxon shortly before becoming president trump's secretary of state, used the alias "wayne tracker" on a separate email account when discussing global warming between 2008 and 2015. exxon now faces questions about whether it complied with a subpoena requiring it turn over all records relevant too schneiderman's investigation. in yemen, aid officials said monday theyy are in a racece against time to prevent a famine brought on by a u.s.-backed saudi-leled war and blockade. the executive director of the world food programme said his agency had just three months' worth of food stored and that officials were only able to provide hungry yemenis with about a third of the rations they need. the warnrning cameme afterhehe p
u.n.n. humanitarian official tod the security council said the risk of famine in yemen, nigeria, south sudan, and somalia is unprecedented. this is u.n. emergency relief coordinator stephen o'brien. >> we stand at a critical point in our history. we are facing the largest unitarian crisis since the creation of the united nations. now, more than 20 money people across four countries face starvation and famine. without collective and corrugated global effortrts, people w will simply starve to death. amy:y:he u.n. says it needs s to raise $4.4 billion by july in order to avert famine. in the netherlands, dutch prime minister mark rutte sparred with far-right politician hairt wilders in a debate monday night ahead of wednesday's national elections. wilders hopes to withdraw the netherlands from the european union in a "nexit" vote similar to britain's "brexit." nexit is the best thing that
could happen to us. we would become once again the bosses in our country. once again, we would get the keys to our own front door. almond people at home would find it unpleasant to not even have the keys to their own homes? they could see which guests they let in and which not. amy: wilders has called for the de-islamization of the netherlands and was found guilty , by a dutch court last year of inciting racial discrimination against moroccans. nevertheless, he's running a close second in national polls. ahead of monday's debate, prime minister mark rutte compared hairt wilders to donald trump. >> this is a time to be realistic and not to rely on the -- that took this before. remember the brexit. we all thought that would never happen. remember u.s. elections. so let's not make that mistake again. these elections are crucial.
let us stop the domino effect right here this week, this wednesday. amy: wilders hopes to capitalize on rising tensions with turkey, which on monday suspended most diplomatic ties with the netherlands after dutch authorities barred turkish ministers from campaigning among expatriates. in israel, police detained israeli-american activist jeff halper last wednesday on charges of suspected incitement after they received a tip he was carrying materials supporting a campaign to boycott and divest from israel over its treatment of the palestinians. halper was held after leading a tour of observers at an illegal jewish-only settlement in the occupied west bank. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the e war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a startling new report from the congressional budget office is prprojecting 24 million people will lose e health insurance coverage by 2026 under the republblican plan to replace the affordable carare act.
14 millionon people will lose health insurance in the next year alone. just hours before the cbo report was released president trump , claimed the republican plan would ensure healthcare accessss for all. pres. trump: i have to tell you, it is an unbelievablyy complex subject. nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. amy: while the white house rejected the cbo findings, politico is reporting the white house's own analysis predicts 26 million people will lose coverage under the bill over the next decade. the cbo also found that premiums would initially skyrocket for some americans under the republican plan. the agency said a 64-year-old making around $26,000 a year would see their premiums jump 700% from $1700 undeder obamacae
to over $14,000 a year under the republican bill. but the cbo said premiums would eventually decrease for most americans. on house speaker paul ryan monday, stunned fox news host brett baier when he described the cbo's findings as encouraging. >> your reaction on these numbers and what they mean. i think if you read the entire report, i am pretty encouraged by it and it exceeded -- >> mr. speaker, if you are encouraged by the cbo report, what is the cbo report your discouraged by? >> i have been reading them half my life. the point i'm saying, what the cbo did is they validated. we are black renting medicaid back to the states, saving $880 billion right there. cut for$883 billion tax families and small businesses helps lower their health care costs. and it saves money -- it reduces
the deficit. that is really good on all of those e points. amamy: house speaker paul ryan went on to praise the cost savings in the house bill. according to the cbo, the bill would reduce deficit by $337 billion. but of the biggest beneficiaries one of the republican bill will be millionaires. according g to new research by e tax policy institute, people in the top 0.1% would get a tax cut of about $20207,000 under ththe plan. u.s. house minority leader nancy pelosi accused republicans of attempting to push thru the -- push through the biggest transfer of wealth in the nation's history. >> the cbo has reported the republican bill pushes 24 million people out of health care. this is remarkable figure. it speaks eloquently to the cruelty of the bill that the speaker calls an act of mercy.
i do not know if he thinks it is anan act of mercy y to allll ofe people who will lose coverage, to people who will lose jobs, to the hospitals that may have to close down -- especially in rural areas. i don't know if he thinks it is an act of mercy to be blonde opioid addiction or otheher addictions looking to medicaid as an answer, as many revolving governors have spoken to. this is, ok, so they're taking 24 million people, pushing them off their coverage. and as they dodo so, they are implementing the biggest transfer of wealth in our history. $600 billion going from working families to the richest people and corporations in our country. amamy: just hours before the cbo report was released, president trump claimed republican plan would ensure hehealth care acces for all. pres. trump: the house plan will expand lower cost and ensure healalth care access for all.
we are negotiating with everybody. it is a big, fat beautiful nenegotiation. hopefully, w we will come up w h something that will bebe really terrific. i want to thank paul ryan and everybody, mitch, everybodody. they'rere working arod d the clock. ultimately, the big beneficiary will be the american people. we will end up with a really great health care plan. we are also going to send congress a budget request that will include one of the largest increases to defend spending in our history. amy: we are joined here in a very snowy new york by elisabeth benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the community service society of new york. cofounder of health care for all. welcome to democracy now! your assessment of the republican plan and this, really, explosive assessment by the congressional budget office? >> it essentially devastating for low income people and for working people.
what they're going to do is rob $880 billion from the medicaid program. they're going to rob $673 million in tax care -- tax credits and subsidies from middle and working income people , and d pay for tax cuts to the very wealthy in the order of around 600 billion dollars. these are extraordinary numbers. i don't think people understand that 41% of the people on medicaid our children. the remainder are elderly, people with disabilities, and very low income wage earners. i was helping a woman recently who used to work in a very high-end department store. fromhe got a bad knee standing up so much in her department store work and now works in a coffee shop. $16,000 year.nd she is on medicaid.
medicaid has saved her life. she's able to get treatment and keep working. she is in her 50's. if she's going to have from having free health care on medicaid that is helping low-wage workers to a $16,000 healalth insurance plan, it is n same. you cannot afford basically to pay what you earn. however, wealthy people will be getting an incredible tax cut. so the peterson institute for international economics just released a statement saying people who make $1 million will be getting a $12,900 tax cut while the people who are earning $26,000 who are older will be getting a 12,000 insurance rate hike. this is not fair.. it is not right. it is unethical. amy: let's go to help and human services secretaryry dr. tom pre speaking on monday. >> look at the numbers. there are 8 million people, 9 million people on the exchange currently. i'm not sure how they're going
to get to 14 million people uninsured if that is what t they say with ononly 8 million people on the exchange. there are individuals i g guess they assume on medicaid who are not paying anything in the medicaid system who are not going to take medicaid -- take the medicaid policy just bececae the mandate endeded or something happened. it just is not believable, is what we would suggest. we will look at the numbers and sesee. amy: that is dr. tom price. >> that shows a shocking level of ignorance for our highest health official in the country. what they're doing is robbing money from the medicaid program, robbing money from the state, incentivizing states to cut people off of medicaid instead of being looked at the eligibility was here, they're changing it to every six months. instead of letting people have retroactive medicaid if they get into an accident and go into a coma that goes backwards for a month while you are in a coma, they're getting rid of that. they're basically incentivizing the states to cut off medicaid for low income and working
people. in we will have no more medicaid program for them. the fact he does not understand how the numbers were derived by the congressional budget office -- by the way, which were rosier than the white house's own numbers. he is in the white house will stop can't he read the report? >amy: unless that is his intention. >> are pretending to o obscure facts, which seems to be the plan here. the bottom line is, real people will get hurt, like my waitress, like chihildren, like seniors, people in nursing homes. it is really an unconscionable bill. amy: talk about a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old and what is going to happen. >> now we're movining from medicaid for a second to what is happening in the marketplace. we're talking about people with a little more income, say around $16,000 year and above. what will happen to a 20 year old who is earning around $18,000 is they will get a $2000 tax credit. they are able to buy a plan that
costs $150, so they will be a net winner. this is what they're trying to do, incentivize more young people to get into the health insurance market. not a bad idea on its face to incentivizing people to get into the marketplace. perniciouseans are and evil. the 60-year-old will have to pay, right now who is making the same amount of money, around $20,000, will be asked to pay five times more because they will allow age rating, which means they will say, if you're older, you have to pay five times more than a younger person. they're not going to base it on income anymore. before it was, you pay as much as you can up to 400% of poverty. now they're saying, forget about your income and how much you can afford, everybody has to pay the same amount. older, you have to pay five times more. amy: i want to turn to house speaker paul ryan on sunday speaking to "face the nanation." he says he does not how
many will lose health care. >> here's s the premise of your question. are you going to stop mandating people buy health insurance? people are going to do what they want to do with their lives because we believe in individual freedoms in this country. the question is, are we providing a system where people have access to health insurance if they choose to do so? the answer is yes. but are we going to have some nice-looking spreadsheet that says we, the government of the united states, are going to make people buy something and therefore there are going to buy it? no. so it is not our job to make people do something they don't want to do. it is our job to have a system where people can get universal access to affordable coverage if they choose to do so or not. that is what we are going to be a college sing. amy: house speaker ryan says it is about choice, except when it comes to choice through collective rights. >> it is not about choice because they're basically going to ensure health care premiums will be unaffordable for older
people. when people were asked what they did not like about the of portable care act, it was that they had co-pays and deductibles. ll is a race to the bottom. deductibles will be higher and co-pays will be larger. you can buy lower quality insurance, buy higher-quality insurance, you had choice. have lots of subsidies for people who really need it. what is happening here is they are giving a transfer of wealth to very well-off people who do not need it and basically robbing it from low income people -- people on medicaid, seniors, peoeople with disabilities, and the working poor, and middle income people. it is not right and we have to say no. amy: i saw you speak into hundreds of people on sunday here in new york city, something you have been doing a lot -- sometimes 1000 people packed into a hall to really understand
what this is all about. and one of the descriptions of wealthcare, not health care. >> that is just about right. i think we're at a point in the country where we have to decide who we really are. if we are really about enabling the superrich to be richer at the expense of the horrible populationons like chiren, old people -- honorable publishes like chihildren, old people, the working poor, they're having to pay what they can, it is just that is the affordable care act. that is a fair and just system of health care. it is not perfect. we can make it better, but this is making it -- it is throwing it away and offering a substitution that is much worse that will really hurt real people. elisabeth benjamin, thank you for being with us, vice president of health initiatives at the community service society of new y york. this is democracy now!
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue to talk about health care. i also want to bring an investigative reporter lee fang atat the interceptpt. -- ecently wrote a piece "whenticle begins republican congressman john shimkus expressed outrarage durg a house commitittee hearing wednesday about m men having to purchase prenatal care in their health insurance, the video clip
of which caught fire on social media as an example ofof misogyy and cluelessness, he was not going rogue. he was just getting ahead of party leaders who have not publicly announced their next steps quite yet." is john shimkusus making commenents after beieing questid by m michael doyle. >> what mandate in the obamamace bill does s he take isissue wit? cecertainly,y, not with pre-exig conditions w were capsps on bens are letting your child policies ntal 26. i'm m curious, what are we mandating? >> what about men having to purchase prenatal care? >> w what? >> i'm just -- isis that not correct? >> reclaiming my time. >> and should they? >> that was john shimkmkus. we're joined right now i investigate reporter lee fang of the intercept. explain. >> thank you for having me.
republicans have long argued that the affordable care act's consumer mandates, for example, in the affordable care act there is the essential benefits package will stop this rule that mandates all health insurance plans offer a basic basket of coverage items, including prenatal care, pregnancy care, mental health, hospitalization, it er drugs and lab work. package isial included in every health insurance plan so that when you go to the doctor and you are covered, your health insurance plan actually covers some of these basic needs that everyone essentially has. now, in the bill we're looking at today that the cbo scored yesterday, this is only phase one of the plan. the bill that paul ryan has proposed is essentially a budget plan. it does not touch most of these
consumer safeguards. it does kind of rollback some consumer safeguards for medicaid, but for the larger hehealth care market, for individuals and employer-based plans, there are not many changes. that is because this is a three-phase strategy. the first t phase of the stratey relates to the bill that paul ryan is proposing. that is because what they're using is a strategy called reconciliation. for any bill that is proposed that reduces the deficit, and the cbo score confirmed yesterday that the paul ryan plan does reduce the deficit by ,ver $300 billion over 10 years given that score, it allows this bill to pass with only 51 votes. memeaning that it can bypass the .enate filibuster and republicans, as long as they can keep their caucus together, they can pass this without any
democrat and senator the president's desk. what is interestingg here, and what we revealed with a strategy call we obtained, republicans arson we could not fit all of the changes to obamacare to thte phase one strategy, but later this year, after this bill passes, they will use executive action, use the powers of the department of health and human services, to try to roll back a lot of the consumer safeguards, going after the essential health benefits plan and other regulations. so john shimkus complaining about paying for prenatal crigger, permits care, he was that kind of ripping, he was kind of potentially showing his cards that republicans do plan to go after these essential services, just not in this initial phase of the repeal effort. amy: explain what alex has to do it this -- alec has to do with this. >> the intercept, along with
contributor nick's urging, we obtained a strategy call on thursday right after the two main house committees that market this legislation. republican leadership has gone out and try to win conservative support for this legislation. so his conference call that we obtained was the conference call with state legislative leaders that are a part of the american legislative exchange council. this is a conservative advocacy group brings together people to come up with policy solutions. this is one of the few groups that has endorsed paul ryan's legislation will stop this is also a group that is funded by health insurance companies, drug makers, and pharmaceutical companies that has long lobbied against the affordable care act and push for a lot of the proposals that you see in the paul ryan plan. particularly the block granting
of medicaid. so this was a call, probably like many others, of the house republican leadership in congress calling state lawmakers to try to build support for their plan. amy: you also wrote a piece lee,, which wasas "paul ryan fun race with health insurance lobbying firm just before his powerpoint." explain. losers bill has a lot of , folks that will lose coverage because of medicaid being cut. elderly individuals who will see their premiums skyrocketing under this plan. but, as you mentioned earlier, it has a lot of winners, whether that is the medical device industry -- sing a tax cut. all of the affordable care act taxes are either repealed or delayed. when the sun tanning i industry, they receive a big tax cut under the republican proposal. but one of the biggest winners of this plan is the health-insurance industry.
as we have been reporting, the big health insurance lobby met last week as this bill was moving quickly through congress. the billhursday after passed through markup, paul ryan, of course, got a lot of media coverage because he is a long press conference in a powerpoint presentation when he was trying to sell this plan. but what we found out was just prior to that press conference, aul ryan was fundraising with lobbying firm that represents the health-insurance industry. $10,000 per person typype event raising money for paul ryan's joint fundraising committee hughes is to elect house republicans. and all throughout the week, we have seen congressional republicans meeting with health insurance companies. american health insurance plans, ththe trade grou f for the bigit insurers, they met w with washington, met with kevin brady, the republican chairman
of the tax ways and means committee. again, i want to emphasize that insurance companies and so many ways are the big winners of the bill. they receive specialized tax cuts because the affordable care act financed itself with the special tax on health insurance industry at large. the affordable care act had a limitation on tax elections for health insurance ceos and other executives. that gets rolled back as well as the other taxes. as you were talking about earlier in the program, this republican proposal allows us a greater level of age discrimination. so you're going to see elderly americans paying more than $10,000 a year in higher premiums. at the same time, if you look at how that affects the health insurance market, the republican proposal encourages younger, healthier people to enter the health insurance market at the same time they're pushing older massacre americans out of the market.
markets andbilize boost t profits. if you look down the line, whether it is tax changes or even the conversion of the individual mandate, instead of the government collecting a fee when people go without health insurance, now health insurance companies can charge a surcharge of the to percent of people's premiums if they lose health care and then try to get health insurance again from going uninsured. so health insurance companies are the big winners. they are not only lobbying, but providing a lot of campaign fundraising support for republicans pushing this plan. amy: lee, you have written over the years aa lot about single-payayer, medicare for al. as we wrapap up today, can you talk about why this is not being raised at this point? >> look, you know, for this republican plan, it we see, but division in industry. medical device company's, health insurance companies supported.
but hospitals and many doctors groups oppose it because of the medicaid cuts. but for a big plan like single-payer, medicare for all, we have seen over the years every time this type of proposal is brought up, that actually unifies the for-profit health care industries in america because they are trying to , frankly, thatm benefits them. look at colorado last year. inre is a ballot proposal that state for single payer. the health care industry at large unified to lobby against that plan to fund the opposition. and it was crushed. so moving forward,d, we don't se many democrats propoposing an alternative, whether it is the public option or medicare for all type plan. again, that is because any of the big health care industries in america, they play both sides of the aisle and provide a lot of money to democrats as well.
amy: thank you for being with us, lee fang investigative , journalist at the intercept covering the intersection of money and politics. we will link to your articles at democracynow.org. as we move now to know top story, attorney general jeff sessions asked for the resignations of 46 u.s. attorneys on friday, angering the prosecutors who say they weren't warned in advance. although the dismissal of u.s. attorneys is common during presidential transitions, those affected say the trump administration bungled the layoffs -- with many u.s. attorneys learning only through the media that they had to clear out their desks by the end of the day. one of the most high-profile prosecutors asked to resign, u.s. attorney in manhattan preet bharara, refused to step down and was quickly fired. friday bharara's termination came as a surprise, since donald trump met personally with bharara at trump tower last november after he was elected and assured him he could remain at his post. the unusual circumstances of bharara's dismissal prompted
democrats to suggest it was politically motivated. the dismissal came as his office was probing fox news after it allegedly failed to inform sharehololders about numerous settlements in sexual harassment and assault cases. the dismissal came less than a week after government watchdog groups sent a letter to the manhattan prosecutor's office asking for an investigation into whether president trump violated a clause of the constitution , the emoluments clause, barring federal employees from receiving benefits from foreign governments. in 2013, preet bharara was one of 18 u.s. officials barred from entering russia. russian president vladimir putin was reportedly angered by bharara's prosecution of russian arms dealer viktor boot. on sunday, bharara tweeted about his firing, writing -- "by the way, now i know what the moreland commission must have felt like." that's a reference to an anti-corruption commission set up by new york goverernor andrew cuomo in 2013, which the governor then disbanded the next year. the tweet fueled speculation
bharara was fired because of his investigations into trump's businesses and the white house. well, for more, we're joined now by harry siegel, an editor at the "daily beast" and columnist at the "new york daily news." his most recent piece for the "daily beast" is titled, "trump to u.s. attorney preet bharara: you're fired." harry siegel, welcome to democracy now! can you talk about what happened here and what this means, what preet bharara was looking at? >> i'm never sure with donald trump what is bundling and purposely doing. car rightmbassadors away, he said, get out, get out today. getting rid of the u.s. attorneys. again, these are pretty conventional things a new administration does, but they seem to be proceeding with purposeful contempt. hey, great job, we don't have your replacements lined up, but please leave your office, returned or you nelson and be done with all of your business today.
-- return your emails and be done with all of your business today. preet bharara was investigating the seventh district. amy: the sovereign district. >> bharara, who showed really dependence, was pupursuing, whih i think trump liked to democrats, bill de blasio who has been investigating -- on amy: the mayor of new york. >> and the governor of new york. it was not clear if he was done with the same time, trump tower plus orbit.bharara he is had several investigations and prosecutions that touch on russia and vladimir putin, that touch on turkey and the iran sanctions. amy: that is interesting because we now know the former national , he was a paidr lobbyist for turkey. while he was advising trump, riright up to the election,
general flynn. >> right. and bharara was going after very well-connected close to the political powers that be in turkey. doing this interestingly enough over some quite objections from the obama administration and were trained to negotiate the iran deal. but there is so much that is interesting on its plate. with fox, this was not just allegations of they covered up settlements. so shareholders could not see what they were paying. it also looks like from our reporting and others that this had to do with other wiretapping and listening in on people's phone calls and their emails, which is something that rupert murdoch has a l long history wi. it is incredible that the guy who is rumoreded to be trump's pick to replace preet bharara, marc mukasey, among other things, represented roger ailes. and of course, his father was the attorney general. he became e the attornrney genel when preet bharara, whose chuck
schumer's chief counsel in the senate, got gonzalez pushed out for dust on amy: that was over to gonzalez. he boot that u.s. attorneys. he is thrown out. and michael mukasey replaces them. and now his son, who is worked for giuliani -- >> formemer u.s. attorney for te general didistrict, supposedly going to be the guy who fills that role. it is in a credible set of full circled of elements. amy: explain more about preet bharara plus investigation into fox. what exactly the allegations are. >> we don't know. there is reportedly a grand jury impaneled. what is been reported by myself and others is that the sec and preet's office are looking into their covering up payments that effectively hiding from shareholders whether or doing to pay off employees who had it used leadership of sexual harassment and other things. but at the same time, the fox,
which is an it firstly paranoid culture, you know, did all sorts of things to listen in on their employees also phone calls from a males, stuff like that. reportedly, bharara's office was looking into that and now he is gone. the funny thing is, the supposed explanation is trump said a bunch of stuff in nnovember. had no idea whatat he was talkig about. jeff sessions was reluctantly on board. yet are pretty rough -- he had a pretty rough confirmation. the two u.s. attorneys who he did not accept the resignations are the deputy -- the acting deputy attorney general and trucks to be the permanent deputy attorney general. those are the people who would be reading the russia because sessions recused himself. he called those too personally. he tried to call bharara the day before firing him, which could lead to more conspiratorial stuff. i'm almost certain trump was try to be have these in as they come hey, man, i'm sorry i told you this thing and now you're out.
amy: sessions told him as early as last week he was staying. >> he was the first guy -- sessions told him this week, i believe on a conference call with other u.s. attorneys, he was definitely sticking around. amy: to you think he was trying to deceive him because if he were preparing in advance for leaving, he has access to a lot of information. >> yes, i think that is what is happening there. i think you is try to deceive them. i think when sean hannity started talking of perjury, it is much more likely someone sasaid, sean, this thing is comg and then trump was watching tv and said, ok, let me get rid of all of the u.s. attorneys. amy: have you ever seen anything like this? these u.s. attorneys who have been involved for years with these cases do not have even a day to c clear out their office. preet bharara bought one day because he refused to step down on friday so he stayed until saturday. >> it is pretty incredible.
this administration hasas nominated zero of their own u.s. attorneys. they have 44 who are leaving. they are 44 people nominated and put through. that means the people they just pushed out, their right hands, will be running these offices indefinitely until that gets sorted out. amy: harry siegel, we will link to your pieces, editor at "the daily beast" and columnist at the "new york daily news." his most recent piece "trump to , u.s. attorney preet bharara: you're fired." when we come back, how is jared about to makely something like $400 million in a real estate deal with a major chinese corporation that has links to the chinese government? we will talk about it. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "freedom highway," rhiannon giddens. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a company owned by president trump's senior advisor and son-in-law jared kushner will receive e more than $400 million from a chinese firm if the deal goes through. in a real estate deal that many experts are calling unusually favorable. the payoff from the are being interest group is part of a $4 billion deal at kushner's manhattan office tower at 666 5th avenue. bloomberg reports that links to the chinese power structure and that past investments by the company in new york real estate have drawn fedederal review. lawrence nobel of the campaign legal center said of the deal "at the very least, this raises serious questions about the
appearance of a conflict that arises from the possibility that the kushner's are getting a sweetheart deal, a classic way you influence people is by financially helping their family." we're joined right now by investigative journalist justin elliott who has been closing -- closely examining kushnerer's possible converts of interest. justin, talk about the significance of this revelation. >> there are a couple of issues. we have heard a lot about the fact donald trump is not divesting from his business in part, the jared kushner, who is now perhaps the single most influential aide when you watch trump on tv, jared kushner is a was by his side, involved in seemingly everything. and go and he is married to ivanka trump. previously see the kushner -- multibillion dollar company that owns tons of real estate. s and other types of
businesses. typically, they sell them also they do not have conflict of interest. in the case of christer, he is keeping parts of his family real estate empire and the white house has not told us yet what he is keeping and what he has given away. in the cases were has divested businesses, he, according to the lawyers, has sold or transfer them to his mother and brother. so that puts them in the clear in terms of the law, but as you point out, this deal involving this chinese company in this large office tower in midtown manhattan, which jared kushner has divested from, but the family still owns it. amy: this could be one of the biggest real estate deals in history. >> right. according to this deal sheet that bloomberg obtained, i believe it not use one office building at over $2 trillion, the highest amount ever.
amy: and they paid something like $1 billion? >> i think $1.8 billion. thisecause there was famous meeting that jared kushner had after his father-in-law got elected in november, early december, with the chinese representatives of anbang. >> that's right. yet a meeting in november with these potential business partners from anbang. it w was reported f february,ye was present for meetingg with china's top diplomat with trump. it seems to be a clear intersection of his released of his family's business interests and jared kushner's work in the government. it is not just as china deal. there are all kinds of other was government policy could affect jared kushner's holdings and his wife ivanka trump's holdings. there are conflict of interest laws around this. he needs to recuse himself from matters that would have affect
on his assets. amy: so is he breaking the law? is president trump breaking the law including him in these meetings? >> it gets technical. you had to recuse yourself from matters that would have a direct and predictable impact on your assets. so it is hard to know from the outside exactly what he is involved in. we have an asking the white house about his refusal plan. they have not been saying anything beyond general statements. the other thing is, christians companies is privately held. we do not even know it this point, we may letter -- later, what jared kushner owns. it is not just real estate. his brother has a health insurance company called oscar that jared kushner was also holding a stake in that may have been to vested. there are a lot of unknowns. it is something to watch. amy: i want to move onto some of your other writings. i want ask you about one of your recent pieces which was headlined "the the hundreds of
officials trump has quietly installed across the government." you describe some of the people that trump administration has hired for positions across the federal government "a trump campaign aide who argues that democrats committed ethnic cleansing in a plot to liquidate the white working class, former reality show contestant whose study of societal collapse inspired him to invent a bow and arrow come survivalist multitool, a pair of affair lobbyists, a lobbyist for defense contractors and evangelists, and lobbyist for the ledger, the silicon valley company with close ties to intelligence agencies -- justin, take us through. >> it interesting. at the same time president trump has not been nominated people for the senate confirmed positions, high-level positions at agencies across the government, deputy undersecretary, he has hired these people on what they are calling beachhead teams that do
not face senate scrutiny. at agencies like the department of labor, department of defense, department of labor done the most reporting on. there is the secretary of labor yet, as you may remember, trump's first pick andrew puzder, because he had go to the senate scrutiny, revelations about domestic abuse, mistreatment of workers, his cavity came out, hit a dropout. no senate confirmed official at the department of labor right now. there is this group of people some of whom's names we did not know until last week in this so-called beachhead team. again, a lot of unknowns about what these people are doing. lobbyistspeople are previously were lobbying the agencies they are networking -- not amy: i want to ask y you abt this. donald trump talked about a ban on lobbying. lobbying ban.
this is all of the people, most of the people, standing behind me will not be able to go to adverse to anything our wonderful country. five year ban. it is a two-year b ban now and t has full of loopholes. this is a five year ban. a makeup what about that? >> there are two parts of it. trump has talked about a five year ban on lobbying after you leave the administration although it is filled with loopholes. during the campaign, he said he would not have a problem raining lobbyists, former lobbyist, from joining is a administration. our reporting and research on these hundreds of people hired across the government showed he in fact has hired dozens of people who were lobbyists. the complete violation of what he said in the campaign. this was not a swamp training group of people. amy: name names. >> department of labor, jeff were. until a few months ago, he was
the chief lobbyist for the construction trade industry. he has been hired in the department of labor. there are several health care industry and health insurance, pharma who have been hired at the toronto of health and he -- to recommend of health and human services. amy: jon perdue? >> he was not a lobbyist, believe. he is been hard at the treasury department. he was a guy who, frankly, has worked for french, think tank, written for breitbart. there are several -- amy: inventor of a survivalist tool called the packbow? >> yes. he appeared on a reality tv show.. according to the website of the packbow, which describes him as an expert in guerrilla warfare, his study of "societal collapse" led him to invent this bow and arrow in which you can also have
-- store your water purification tablets, has a lot of other functions. we're not quite sure what he is doing at the department of the treasury. amy: the high school student in new hampshire? >> many former trump campaign staffers. this one gentleman has been hard at the department of labor -- hired at the department of labor, seems to have graduated high school in 2015 and went to work for the trump campaign. to be fair, it is not unusual for the administration to bring in people who worked for the trump campaign. the trump administration is brought in many more people for these early hires. amy: i'm going to ask you to colypsering this snowpo and posted on democracynow.org. justin elliott, reporter at perp propublica.
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