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tv   MSNBC Live With Steve Kornacki  MSNBC  March 3, 2017 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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the bell, starting ringing right now. closing off a busy week. dow is up and down between negative and positive anticipate janet yellen said guess what, at least an interest rate hike in march and maybe another one later this year. everybody sort of already knew that, but markets don't like that. banks went up today. real estate companies went down. that's what happens when interest rate go up. you're looking a mortgage, lock it in right now. if you live off of fixed income or you have those kds of investments, you're going to get things are a little better for you. >> all right, ali, thanks so much. thanks so much for joining us today. that wrap ups this hour for me. have a great weekend. up next, my colleague, steve kornacki, hey steve. >> thanks. and good afternoon, everybody, i'm steve kornacki, live here in new york on day 43 of the first 100 days. topping our agenda, how to resolve the russia question? >> everybody knew that there was something completely out of order that was going on. >> what we have here among other
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things, a partisan stand off over the trump team and allegations about it's ties to russia. the question is there a way to get answers that will satisfy both parties? also on the agenda, a secret plan. >> the problem i have is, the bill that i'm hearing about through the media, since i haven't been allowed to see it is it has several components of obamacare. >> signs of a repeal and replace revolt potentially brewing within the republican party. what will party leaders do about that? and finally, just another roller coaster week for president trump. tuesday, high marks for his first major address by congress. by wednesday, more allegations, more questions about the russia issue. how is it all playing out for this administration? we are going to talk about that, but we begin with our top story, president trump finishing out the week, dogged by questions over his teams contacts with russia. his attorney general, jeff
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sessions, and his senior advisor, also son-in-law, jared kushner, just the latest in trump's inner circle to come under scrutiny over previously undisclosed meetings with russian officials. now democrats say they are nowhere near satisfied with sessions' decision to recuse himself. they are continuing to call for an independent look at the russia issue. meanwhile, trump is working to try to turn things back to business. he has just touched dow at so the-called winter white house, that is mar-a-lago, down there in palm beach, florida. this after a stop in orlando, florida. that's where he met with students and teachers at a catholic school. he was joined there by his education secretary betsy devos. right now i want to bring in hans nichols, he is at the white house. so hans, in terms of the response from this administration and from this white house to the new revelations about contacts between people in the trump circle and people in the russian government, what is the strategy coming out of the white house
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now? do you think they've addressed this as much as they need to? are they now pivoting or is there more of a more up their leave sleeves here? >> reporter: i might lead with that. i don't have that right now, steve. what i do have is from the white house briefing on air force one, they kind of attempted to deflect. and that deflection is talking about look, there are other people who met with russian officials, there's that photo out there, but in term what was we've heard for the principles was different about the trump strategy in this case is there's an acknowledgment and there's a recognition that senator now attorney general sessions did something not entirely accurate. not entirely -- wasn't entirely forthcoming. criticism from president trump in his statement last night, and we heard that echoed when we heard from vice president pence when he was speaking in wyoming earlier today. saying that clearly mr. sessions did something wrong here. he wasn't as forthcoming. and then comes the full throated defense and sort of this man's position is secure. you know, normally steve, when you have the press secretary,
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the president of the united states say i have full confidence and writing their obituary. that's not the case here. it seems in part because it's interlaced with a little criticism and heard that from the president and vice president. and that seems to be the strategy here. not saying they are entirely clean hands. acknowledging some wrong doing is too strong, acknowledging that something wasn't done properly and then pivot. steve. >> hans nichols over there at the white house, thanks for that. again, as soon as news broke wednesday night that jeff sessions may have misled congress over his contacts with russia, there was an explosion of reaction from both sides. what we have right now, essentially a partisan standoff on this question. on the left, among democrats, accusations of malfeasance calls that the right isn't taking the situation seriously enough. >> everybody knew that there was something completely out of order that was going on.
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so for him to say well i was just meeting with him, the normal course of a senator meeting with an ambassador, the russian ambassador, everybody knew was hacking our system, beyond naive. it's almost pathetic. it's almost pathetic. >> now republicans meanwhile say that comments like that from democrats, they say it amounts to an attempt by democrats to undermine the legitimacy of trump's election victory. >> i understand why democrats lost the election. you know, and the problem starts with your campaign and your candidate, it doesn't start in moscow. so, i think there is a bit of hysteria here. i don't find it convincing, i don't see evidence of wrong doing yet. if it emerges, then the appropriate people, you know, will take action. >> and the president himself getting into it just this afternoon. he put out a tweet mocking the democrats. he found this photo of chuck schumer eating donuts with
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vladimir putin back in 2003. he said quote, eshd start an immediate investigation into schumer and his ties to russia and putin. schumer immediately firing back, he put this up, he would be happy to talk about this encount we are putin. under oath. then he asked trump, would your team? when it comes to this issue of russia, is it possible at this point to strip the politics away? is there a resolution that both parties can accept? is there even a path to a resolution that both parties can get behind for more, i want to bring in david french, he writes for national review and msnbc analyst ed rendell, former governor of pennsylvania, former chairman of the dnc. well, let me ask that basic question to both of you to start with, and david french, i will start with you. the stand off here on how to go forward, republicans are saying hey, this existing committee structure in congress is more than enough. democrats look at that and they say republicans control the congress, no incentive to look too closely on this, do you see
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any potential give in the republican position that could accommodate some of those democratic concerns? >> i think there might be give if there are further revelations, but right now is the revelations stay where they are, i'm not seeing a whole lot of give in it and we're going to have to take a close look at the intel committees to see they do their job diligently and they do their job thoroughly. this is a situation that should be in some ways beyond the drink ballism and partisanship of our times, but it's not. nobody is covering themselves in glory right now. and on a very, very serious matter. but i think the short answer to your question is absent for the revelations, i don't see any immediate change, but we cannot assume that there won't be further revelations. seems like every news cycle brings something new. every week brings something new and we may be headed to a select committee just because of the momentum of the events. >> and ed rendell, where do you come down on this in terms how far to go forward.
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republicans staking out the position that the committees work. democrats, man are saying special prosecutors, some are saying special commission. is there any sort of compromise you could see democrats going for that might accommodate where republicans are right now. >> well first of all, i want to say, the problem with letting the intelligence committees do this, if you have the two republican chairs in the house and senate who went ahead and took instructions from the white house to tell the press that there was nothing there. so they've compromised themselves already. to the point where they couldn't be effective and anybody could have confidence in them. look, there are new revelations. and your intelligence tells us there were many contacts between trump associates and russian soerkts of putin during the campaign.
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i think we should have a special prosecutor. and that's not just a democratic response, steve. darrell issa, a real partisan said we needed a special prosecutor here. so we need a special prosecutor because some of these actions may be criminal. i'm not saying the president, president may have had nothing to do with this. but some of the actions are potentially criminal. if there was collusion between trump associates and the russian government on how to help trump win the election, that may be treason for all we know. i don't know what the interpretation would be, so we need a special prosecutor. >> i want to ask you both a version of the same question. you mentioned darrell issa, nas true. he's come out and said that.
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the by and large response is polarized by party. i want to put a poll up on this screen. it was asking people if the revelations about russia, wikileaks, the involvement in getting those e-mails out. if it changed the outcome of the election, overall 58% of americans said no, it didn't change the outcome. 40 said yes. if you look at the partisan divide on this though, check this out. barely any republicans say it had an impact, just 10%. two out of every three democrats say it did change the outcome of the election. essentially hillary clinton would be president, but for russia. and i wonder, i'll start with you ed rendell on this question, does that energy, that attitude, that belief among democrats, two ut of three believing this is the reason their party doesn't control the white house right now. is that affecting how democrats address this issue in public? does it have them going too far making too many leaps in the rhetoric right now that sort of feeds the polarization from that
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side? >> no. i don't think so, steve. i don't think any democratic office holder can say with any degree of certainty that what the russians did affected the outcome. look, our campaign made plenty of mistakes. there were the coe my revelations, all of those things. nobody will ever be able to answer that question, but i think -- had hillary clinton won the election, there would be people who would be concerned about this. because the russians attempted to do something that nobody has done to us before, and threatens the fundamental core of our democracy. and that's influence in american election. and if there was a conspiracy, that's something that should be found out and rooted out and punished so it doesn't happen again. look, nothing that can happen to donald trump or any of his associates out of any investigation is going to make hillary clinton the president. we understand that. we ought to understand that. anybody that doesn't understand that should be corrected. donald trump is the president.
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hillary clinton is not. we can't change the outcome of the election. so, given that, what are we fighting for here? we're fighting for -- to make sure that the principle of fair elections controlled by the people of america is kept intact. >> david french, same question from the other side. when you see that 10% of republicans, that huge partisan gap there. we have the sound from tom cole, republican congressman. are republicans taking this, taking these questions as an attack on the legitimacy of trump's victory and is that at all clouding how they address this issue in public? >> i mean sure. some are taking it as an attack on the legitimacy of this victory. i think the administration takes a lot of this as an attack on the legitimacy on his victory. here's the thing, unless you're just a brainless partisan, unless you're mindlessly triable, you should be outraged at the russian intervention in this election and you should want a thorough and
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comprehensive accounting of exactly what happened. and what we can do to stop it. i mean of course, now some of it we know rnc, dnc could have tightened it it's i.t. security a little bit, but as far as the full dimensions of russian involvement here, americans of both political parties should want to know, and they should want to know what putin's intentions were. what his intentions are in the future as well as we can disearn that. i think this is an issue that of course you would say in an ideal world, you can't say beyond partisanship, that's never possible, but one that partisans can at least lay some of their ases to decide and say we as americans need to know what happened. and it's important for the confidence in our democracy going forward. let's not forget, from what we know, the russians seem to want to undermine confidence in our democracy. it's one of the reasons for this operation. well, to that extent, they succeeded to a great degree and we need to restore that confidence and the way to restore that confidence is
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thorough, expeditious investigation. >> all right. david french, ed rendell, trying to separate the partisan politics from all of the other issues here. that's a major challenge in this day and age, but i thank you both for taking a few minutes and talking about it. appreciate that. still to come, now that jeff sessions recused himself from investigating russia and potential contacts with the trump campaign. it'll be up to an appointee from president obama to dpds a special prosecutor should be tapped, but could that backfire for democrats? plus, vice president mike pence on the road today with paul ryan. they are trying to sell they're repeal and replace plan for the affordable care act. what's really going on with the replace part of that? there are lawmakers on both sides of the aisle accusing republican leaders of crafting a secret plan. and that accusation set up a bizarre series of stunts yesterday as lawmakers literally went in search of the bill.
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>> i can't find the bill. >> we're assuming it's several hundred pages long. we brought our copy machine in case they would let us copy the bill, but looks like we're not going to be able to copy it. >> repeal and replace is the refrain. when will there be a repeal vote or replace, when a replace plan? we will talk about all of that after this. their experience is coveted. their leadership is instinctive. they're experts in things you haven't heard of - researchers of technologies that one day, you will. some call them the best of the best. some call them veterans. we call them our team. "how to win at business." step one: point decisively with the arm of your glasses. abracadabra. the stage is yours. step two: choose la quinta. the only hotel where you can redeem
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a special prosecutor is what's called for and if the administration has nothing to hide, they won't object. >> i think we should have a special prosecutor that is appointed by not only not by
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jeff sessions, but not by anyone with any ties to the campaign. >> i do believe that there ought to be an independent prosecutor. and i certainly believe that this is something that congress has to take very seriously. >> that is something you are hearing a lot of right now. calls by democrats and one republican, darrell issa for a special prosecutor. they are growing louder by the day. democrats in congress say they don't trust the trump administration to disclose fully any communications with russian authorities. they say they don't trust their colleagues on capitol hill to hold congressional hearings with impartiality. they are skeptical this a jeff sessions-led the department of justice can head up an investigation either. but as josh writes in politico, the realities of a special prosecutor may be anything but simple. new article, the frougt political history of special prosecutors. josh joins me now. thanks for taking a few minutes. let's just take what you heard from democrats in that sound coming in, because it sounds
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reasonable and straightforward enough they say look, republicans control the congressional committees. that's not going to be fair. this is the trump justice department. that's not going to be fair. so why not call it an independent special prosecutor, somebody who can be truly neutral in this thing. what would you say the case against that is based on history? >> well, i mean, one case against it is that it might not provide the kind of public accountability that democrats may actually be looking for. usually special prosecutors don't conduct some sort of broad-ranging fact-finding kind of investigation. they are prosecutors. mainly looking to see if somebody violated the law, did things that were illegal and whether they should be brought to court over there and held to account. you're looking for a broader narrative of how the russians may have tried to influence the campaign, the 2016 presidential election, i don't know that special prosecutor's going to be
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an effective way to do that. even if you could get a report out of them, it would probably be years in the making. it would make a congressional investigation look relatively efficient. >> now the way this would work, if this was the road washington decided to go down. it gets a little wheezy here, but you used to have this independent council. and that meant that a judicial panel would pick an independent council. that doesn't exist anymore. so this would be a special prosecutor would now be chosen by the justice department, is that right? >> right. i think a lot of people think about the independent council in the context of those investigations from the 1990s. if people were around then, maybe about 10 or 12 different investigations into different people within thelinton administration, in prior administrations as well, and that was under the old law you mentioned, the independent council law appointed bay court. had to meet a certain standard of evidence. and you could get a report at the end of the day, but sometimes the end of the day was
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three, four, five years after the investigation began. the rules that are in effect now allow the justice department a couple of options. one is to pick somebody within the justice department, but maybe not in the usual chain of command or chain of jurisdiction for this kind of a case. most of the activity here you would think went on in washington, d.c. or new york. you could pick somebody out of town for that. that's sort of what happened in the lewis libby, the ghags ended up targeting lewis libby under the bush administration, that was the valerie plain leak of her identity as a cia officer. so there they turned to pat fitzgerald, u.s. attorney in chicago and appointed him as a special council, but there are rules that allow them still to go outside the department and just pick an esteemed lawyer to look into this issue. >> and you mention to do that independent council that used to exist, that was one of those things historically that democrats were for sort of because of watergate, republicans were against it, sort of because of that.
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but by the end of the clinton years, this was one of bill clinton's great regrets, wasn't it? >> exactly. you know, it's really kind of veers from one side of the road to the other in terms of the sentiments and the parties. i guess it depends on who's in the white house at the time and who's most likely to be the o who is being gored in this situation. and you're right, democrats came in, in the clinton years, gungho to put that law back in fact and some into matters people could consider trivial even if you set aside the clinton allegations. there were other allegations of misstatements about payments to, you know, girlfriends that resulted in investigations and other cases, somebody taking a box of wine from someone at the agriculture department led to legal action being filed. and i think there was a sentiment by the enof the clinton years that there was something wrong with that statute and that's part of why it expired in 1999 and wasn't
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renewed. >> josh with politico. thank you for that. >> any time. bit of news to tell you about here. donald trump we showed you his tweet earlier about chuck schumer, with a picture of chuck schumer with vladimir putin from about a dozen years ago. he just put this up. this is nancy pelosi from 2010, she's meeting you can see across the frabl her, he was the president of russia at the time. also present there, you can see him sort of in the back of the picture there, the russian ambassador. donald trump tweeting i hereby demand a second em investigation after schumer of pelosi for her close ties to russia and for lying about it. pelosi had said earlier she had never had a meeting with the russian ambassador. her office saying she meant a one on one meeting. not a meeting with -- as you can see in a crowded room like that. that is the latest tweet and response involving the president and his political opponents. meanwhile a suspect accused of making threats against jewish communities just appeared in federal court. the man identifie as a
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all right. time now far check of the headlines at the half hour. private e-mail account while governor of indiana to conduct state business and the account was then hacked. pence now saying that this is nothing like hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. >> no, there's no comparison whatsoever. between hillary clinton's practice and having a private server, mishandling classified information, destroying e-mails when they were requested by the congress and by officials. we have fully complied with all indiana's laws. in florida this afternoon, president trump praising a catholic school in orlando as the kind of place that
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disadvantaged children should be able to choose for their education. education secretary betsy devos joining president trump for a discussion on school choice. trump set to spend the weekend at mar-a-lago in palm beach. and the white house announcing that president trump will sit down with angela merkel at the white house later this month. trump and merkel criticizing each other during the campaign for policies on immigration and refugees. and arnold schwarzenegger announcing that he is not going to be returning to host another season of "celebrity apprentice." the actor and former california governor's decisions came after president trump who is listed as an executive producer of the show still criticized schwarzenegger over the show's ratings. trump had written -- excuse me, schwarzenegger writing in a statement while he loves the show and the people, he would rather work on a show that doesn't have this baggage. federal authorities announcing an arrest today in connection with some of the threats that have been made against jewish community
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centers, schools, and groups across the country. 31-year-old juan thompson making an initial court appearance in st. louis, just in the last hour. stands accused of threatening eight jewish community centers. and the anti-deaf mission league's headquarters in new york. authorities do not believe he is connected to the rest of the more than 100 threats in recent weeks. nbc justice correspondent pete williams is following the story. and pete, this is one when that name popped up this morning of juan, a lot of people looked at this and said, you've got this angle with -- this is a disgraced journalist. this is a bizarre story. >> reporter: yes. he was fired by the internet news site, the intercept, accused of making up stories. what authorities say here is he was dating a woman in new york who was dating a social services agency and dumped him in july. after that, he began efforts to harass and intimidate her sending e-mails to bosses saying she had a sexually transmitted disease. and then finally they say just
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in the last month or so, he began sending threats to eight of thesetargs. these jewish centers in four states. some of them, he , what he would do is phone in or e-mail the threats, giving her name, and saying that he had planted bombs and then in some of them, he said -- the threat said, juan thompson, his name had planted the bombs, but then he said on twitter, that she was sending the messages and blaming him. and in any event, he was arrested today by authorities in st. louis where he's been living. police there said they also want to question him about an attack on a local cemetery in which over 100 headstones were knocked over at a jewish cemetery, but he is facing these cyber stocking charges and authorities might press more charges against him, but they don't believe he's involved in any of these other threats, other than those eight. >> all right. pete williams down there in washington. pete, thanks for that.
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turning now to the debate over the future of obamacare. the affordable care act. vice president mike pence joining with house speaker paul ryan and health and human services secretary tom price today in wisconsin. they were there to talk about efforts to repeal and replace the law. that has been a long-standing republican promise, but republican leaders are being criticized for reportedly drafting a new bill behind closed doors. democrats were accused by republicans of doing the very same thing back in 2009 and 2010. republicans senator rand paul and house democratic, they spent part of yesterday searching in front of the cameras, the u.s. capitol for a copy of the legislation. they did not have success finding it. and nevertheless, republicans promising a vote, but will there be resistance from their own party. tom reid from new york, thanks for taking a few minutes. let me ask you just about the strategy here. the promise we're hearing from republican leaders, there's going to be votes by the end of this month, the month of march
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on repealing and then replacing this law. the concern that's being raised here, you hear from rand paul. look, this is going to be sprung on republican members of congress at the last minute and they're going to have to take or leave it. is that the path republicans are going down here? >> no, absolutely not. what you're going to see is an open process. we're going to have a mark-up. and we'll take it to the floor and the march time frame is very reasonable. and i think we're going to be successful at the end of the day. >> well the blueprints that are leaking out into the press right now, we can put some of the pieces up on the screen here. this is what's been reported so far. the republican replacement plan would include tax credits, but not allow wealthier americans to qualify for those. the medicaid expansion, expanding the number of people eligible more medicaid, that's central to obamacare. it would phase that out, phase out the taxes and insurer reimbursement component. is that roughly where this is
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going? >> that was the general parameters. you can see the foundation of what we're going to replace obamacare with. the bottom line is we made a promise. we are going to repeal obamacare. and we're going to replace it with policies that are going to empower people to choose the health care for themselves. >> what about and you hear the concerns from rand paul right now, he says, first of all, he wants a full repeal of the law, he doesn't want obamacare light -- he doesn't want a tweaked version of the existing structure. first he wants the entire thing repealed. hook line and sinker. is that the process republicans are going to take here? will there be a specific vote that immediately does away with the whole thing. >> no, i think we're going to work in tandem. with all do respect to the senator, i think we owe it to the people that we care deeply about. those are fellow american citizens to repeal obamacare and replace policies that are empower people and that's what the tax credits are about, the commitment is about. to make sure we have the safety nets. at the same time, we're changing the dynamic of the market for
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the good. >> what about the mandate? the requirement that people have an insurance policy or they pay a penalty right now to the government. would that survive? >> i don't believe it will. that is part of the repeal. that's a cornerstone of the repeal. but reform lease iek preexisting condition reform. the things like allowing children up to the age of 26 to go on parent's plans. i believe those forms are going to go forward and part of the replacement package. and that's a good thing. because those are good reforms that need to be supported and carried on. >> okay, but critics would say the things you want to continue there, allowing people with preexisting conditions to get coverage without any kind of penalty there. something like that you can only afford, you can only pay for if you have the mandate which forces healthy people to buy in. so the insurance companies can afford the more expensive customers. >> well, i think there's a better way to do it. and that's why a lot of what we are talking about has been articulated and the better way document that's been out there for months. you know, you have the flexibility to the states to
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come up with high risk pools to come up ways to fund those situations with reinsurance policies and chronically ill being covered in a different, better way. by giving the flexibility to deal with the populations and those in the individual market that are in the healthier populations. those risk pools will allow premiums to go down because they're taking care of themselves in the determination. >> and final question, you were one of those many republican members of congress, we showed clips of this over the last few weeks, we went home, had these town hall meetings and you heard from a lot of folks who were upset, very vocal. i think we're showing scenes from one of your meetings there. did that change? does that encounter with those constituents -- did that change your attitude towards this at all? did that change any of your colleague's attitudes? >> it reinforced my commitments to stand with our folks out of fear. expressing anxiety and misinformation. you know, things like the preexisting condition reform. kids up to the age of 26 being
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carried forward. it allowed know amplify that voice in washington. that's why i appreciate the town halls. those are the voices i try to listen to each and eve day. those are voices of people in our district. >> republican from new york, thanks for the time. >> thank you so much. up next before the new revelations about attorney general jeff sessions and his meetings with the russian ambassador. the trump white house had been riding a wave of good reviews after his speech before a joint session of congress on tuesday night. did that speech mark a turning point for the trump administration? that's the subject of the most important number of the day, and it is next.
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it was only three days ago, that was tuesday night and that was the biggest story in politics of the week for a while at least. donald trump first addressed to a joint session of congress and you know what, he got some pretty good reviews. some pretty good poll numbers that came out of that. it looked like that was the major story of t week before there was more drip, drip on russia, but that speech still a major moment in his presidency. and we have some new numbers to dig through on that about what it did for donald trump and his stature as president. that is the subject of our most important number of the day today. 36 as in, 36% of americans who watch that speech said they came away from it more confident in donald trump as their president. more than a third of americans said before the speech to after the speech, they became more confident in his leadership. only 11% came away less confident. so that is a headline number that's good for the president. however, we go a little bit deeper on here and surprise, surprise, we see a partisan
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divide. check this out, among democrats, only 5% of democrats who watch that speech said they made it more confident. in fact, a number larger than that, 15% said they were less confident after listening to it. he did himself no favor with democrats on that front. you see on the flip side. republicans look at that, 60% said they are more confident. this is one of the stories with trump. i think we saw this in the campaign. a lot of republicans sort of reluctantly voted for him in the end to be president. maybe they didn't like hillary clinton more, maybe they felt the pull of party loyalty, whatever it was. those republicans it seems like this speech made them warm up to him a little bit. so sort of solidifying his own party. also though, worth keeping this in mind, check this out, the policies that he outlined in this speech. do you support them generally or oppose them generally? bit of a surprise here. democrats obviously trump scores terribly with democrats on most issues, personally he scored terribly, but about one in five
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democrats, little bit more than one in five democrats here say, yeah actually the stuff he was talking about on tuesday night, they support. remember, he sort of mixed up the party lines there on issues like trade and infrastructure and meanwhile, republicans obviously not a shock here, 91% say they supported 6% opposing. again, that's the most important number of the day. in that speech tuesday night, donald trump helped himself in terms of how people feel about him as president. now the stuff that happened the rest of the week, maybe that changed it again. that's something we will talk about ahead. and also next, another scandal for uber. the "new york times" now reporting that the company developed a tool to deceive authorities. we'll talk to the reporter who broke that story. that's next. look closely. hidden in every swing, every chip, and every putt, is data that can make the difference between winning and losing. the microsoft cloud helps the pga tour turn countless points of data into insights that
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all right. some news about uber here. an investigation currently under way at the ride sharing giant this after a former empyee made sexual harassment allegations about two weeks ago. former attorney general eric holder has been brought in to lead that investigation. also, there's the company's ceo, having a rough week after he was caught on camera in a heated argument with an uber driver who had confronted him on the terms that the company's drivers drive under. the video prompting the ceo to e-mail his staff saying he was ashamed over that encounter. now there is this though, news this afternoon, a report from the "new york times" that says that the company used a decoy program in it's app, a secret decoy program, that deceived law
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enforcement officials who were trying to conduct sting operations. joining me now, the author of that report, "new york times" reporter mike isaac. thanks for taking a few minutes. well, explain this. i read the article, and this is fascinating, but essentially what you have cities here, ewe know, there are plenty of cities not necessarily rolling out the red carpet for uber, so uber sets up shop in those cities anyway. law enforcement tries to catch them in the act and uber did what? >> reporter: so you've got it right. so basically uber -- if you remember back in 2014 to 2015, uber definitely hasn't been sort of the most welcomed presence in a lot of cities. so in order to evade those sting operations and evade drivers cars getting inl pounded or tickets, what they would do is identify law or code enforcement officers by a number of caseworkistics including if they opened the app near a police station or government building or if the credit card they used to sign up was registered to
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police union. then they would tag them and serve them up a fake version of the app itself. so, if these officers tried to call an uber to come pick them up and then impound their vehicle, the ubers would either not show up on the app or show up like fake cars or just cancel the rides entirely. >> and i want to make sure to get this in, we have a statement from uber. i'll share with with everybody. this program denies ride requests to fraudulent users who are violating our terms of service. whether that's people aiming to physically arm drivers, competitors looking to disrupt our operations, or opponents who collude with officials on secret stings meant to entrap drivers. so, what you're describing here, take maybe just the average city, maybe there's an example here or something where this dynamic was playing out. what did that save uber? did this save them a considerable amount of grief or
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did the authorities catch on anyway? >> reporter: sure. well -- so i had to call one of the authorities in portland yesterday just to get comment on the story because they had -- uber had done this technique in portland. and they had no idea. they were actually kind of wondering how uber was able to so successfully evade them in 2014 and 2015. and to your point on uber's statement, they did use the program for other practices like keeping their drivers safe from people who were attacking them in other countries like kenya and brazil. so there were other -- if you want to call it more legitimate uses of this tactic and these tools, but one thing they discovered, it was also very effective in evading capture and having to spend tens of thousands of dollars helping their drivers and paying tickets and paying for impounded vehicles. >> all right, mike isaac with the "new york times," interesting story. thanks for taking a few minutes. >> reporter: yeah, thanks for having me. >> all right. and what a week in
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washington. although i feel like we've been saying that every week. and it's only number six right now. week number six for the trump administration. our political panel is going to join me, next. that means you can take a universe of data - in your case literally - and turn it into medical discoveries, diagnostic breakthroughs... ...proof that black holes collapse into one singularity. i don't know what that is. but yes. innovation runs on supercomputers... ...and supercomputers run on intel. you are super smart. and super busy. ♪ ooh! ufo! false alarm, eyelash! will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job,
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if you have diabetes and burning, shooting pain in your feet or hands... step on up and talk to your doctor today. we had a full meeting a week or so ago, and planned to have a meeting today. it was on our schedule to make a final decision about whether or not i should recuse myself. and the reason i believed i should recuse myself is because i was involved in the campaign to a degree, i think it would have been perceived is that i wouldn't be objective in participating in an
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investigation that might involve the campaign. i do not confirm or deny any investigation, i just felt like i should clear the air and we are moving toward that end even before this latest flap. >> that was attorney general jeff sessions appearing on fox news last night. that was hours after he announced his recusal from any investigation into the trump campaign and russia. joining us now to talk more about this guardian political reporter sabrina and politico reporter eliana. let me does you, sort of take the temperature, if you will, of republicans right now, on this question of sessions, on this question of trump and russia. what is their level of concern right now? >> i think you heard several republicans, it sounds like, get out ahead of jeff sessions yesterday and call on him to recuse himself. he says he was going to do that anyway and they got there before him. if he in fact was being
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truthful, that would be consistent with what previous attorneys general have done, john ashcroft recused himself with having to do with the campaign because he was like most attorney's general, a partisan spoert of the president that he worked for. i don't think republicans are concerned about jeff sessions reliability. though this was an unforced error. he should have been more careful until his answer to senator franken's question. i think with concern to trump on russia, the major concern is how much of a bother is this going to be to republicanings? where republicans with a congressional authority have the most political capital to get what they want accomplished. and everything is -- the focus is on the scandal rather than on pushing legislation forward. >> sabrina, that's interesting too, from a democratic standpoint, it was notable to me
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when that story came out about sessions, and i think on wednesday night. i get my days all confused here. wednesday night that story came out about sessions and it seemed within about 12 hours, just about every democrat had jumped from responding to it to calling for his resignation, and i think it was indicative of a broader mood, broader energy in the democratic party that really ratchets these things up quickly. their response. >> yes, i think that the issue here is that this story is not going away. you have i think the usa today counted at least 20 instances where affiliates of trump have denied having had any communications with russian officials during the course of the campaign and now you have this pattern where it's starting to unravel at least with respect to jeff sessions who did at least deliberately not reveal during that testimony. you can focus on the operative words, but he did not say he met with the russian ambassador twice last year during the course of the campaign. i think that democrats sends an opportunity to try and elevate
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this where they could secure a special prosecutor, gu again, republicans in congress are being as was said, i think very firm in standing by the administration even as it is uncomfortable. do you think this is leading to some grand conclusion that's going to tie the dots together in a big way? and hope they could pressure republican leaders into relenting into scial prosecutor which, you know, you heard one or two republicans start to lean in that direction. democrats are going to try point to actions that correspond to some of the meetings where they were discussing sanctions on the same day that president obama levied sanctions against russia and retaliation for interference in the election where in the republican party platform after some of these meetings took place with other officials in the trump campaign potentially
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and russian operatives. they took away, you know, providing lethal assistance in the republican campaign platform to ukrainian rebels. >> you were getting to this a minute ago, look the week started on a high note with that speech to congress. there's a threat to bog this down with the attention. does the trump administration, do republicans see daylight on this any time in the near future? >> look, nobody knows where this is going, but in the meantime, it's political gold for the democrats and it's damaging for the republicans. it's going to continue to be damaging for the trump administration. the question for republicans is how long do they let this drag on before they say we're tired of it and so that question focus on our legislative goals. and i think you started to see
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that daylight emerge yesterday when republicans wasted no time in calling for jeff sessions to recuse himself. >> that'll do it for this hour and week. thank you both for joining us. mtp daily starts right now. if it's friday, denials don't add up. >> tonight, the russian connection. new questions about russian ties in the trump circle. a defiant white house calls it a total witch hunt, republican senator rand paul and democratic senator amy cloeb shire join us. plus guess who used personal e-mail for official business? this time it's vice president mike pence on the the defense. >> there's no comparison whatsoever. between hillary clinton's practice -- >> and the separation of sports and state. >> i'm working hard to get sports back to get jobs back. >> we'll hear from north carolina's new democratic governor about the fight to

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