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wiretapping him at trump tower. this is just one of six tweets president trump fired off around 6:30 a.m. he wrote, terrible, just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory. nothing found. this is mccarthyism. president trump also made an attempt to tie president obama to the fallout over meetings attorney general sessions and some of his top aides had with the russian ambassador. he tweeted "the first meeting jeff sessions had with the russian ambassador was set up by the obama administration under education program for 100 ambassadors." and this tweet, "just out -- the same russian ambassador that met jeff sessions visited the obama white house 22 times and 4 time last year alone." meanwhile, attorney general sessions is getting ready to respond to democrats on the judiciary committee about why he wasn't forth coming in the meetings with the russian ambassador. also new today, secretary of state rex tillerson pushing back against the white house's proposed drastic cuts in the state department and u.s. aid budgets, the whopping 37% cut could go into effect by monday.
so i want to check in with nbc's kasie hunt, who is reporting for us in west palm beach, florida. i know you've been working all morning. since the last time we talked to find more substance, the basis of these tweets. what have you learned? >> reporter: hi, thomas. yes. explosive new allegations from the president here at mar-a-lago and what seems to be another working weekend. he is accusing president obama of wiretapping trump tower ahead of the election campaign. i want to point out, thomas, there is no evidence at this point that these claims that the president are making are true. there is no evidence at this point. nbc news does not have evidence that president obama's administration wiretapped donald trump in trump tower. i'll show you one of the tweets that i think we have. the first one, "terrible. just found out that obama had my wires tapped in trump tower just before the victory.
nothing found. this is mccarthyism." we're not sure why again he has focused on this. the president obviously does receive classified intelligence briefings but this president also known for reacting to reports in the media. so we've been kind of poring through those. we do know there's a conservative radio host that focused his show on thursday on this issue. that could be part of it. and bret baier from fox news asked paul ryan about something related to this yesterday in an interview. i want to play that for you and then we can talk about it on the other side. >> there's a report that june 2016, there's a fisa request by the obama administration foreign intelligence surveillance court to monitor communications involving donald trump and several other campaign officials. then they get turned down and in october they renew it and they do start a wiretap at trump tower with some computer and
russian banks and it doesn't show up anything by reporting. have you heard that? >> well, again, like i said, none of us in congress or anybody i know in congress has been presented with evidence to the contrary of what you just said. >> reporter: so i want to explain this just a little bit. a fisa warrant, that's the foreign intelligence surveillance court, that's when the fbi suggests there might be activity going on with foreign agents and they go to a secret court and say we want to read these communications. it's a much narrower authority as a general warrant from the fbi. say the fbi wanted to tap your phones. they'd have to go to a regular judge, get a regular warrant. it's much more intense or public -- not public process but it's harder to do. there is potentially an exception in the fisa rules if, in fact, they suspected that an american was talking to foreign agents where something like this might have come up. but the president does seem focused on these ideas of potential fisa warrants.
again, i want to emphasize that nbc news has not confirmed the existence of these warrants. there are two that are talked about in the conservative press, one that was requested in june and denied and another one in october that was granted and that may have been related to a server in trump tower that was potentially talking to russian banks. so, again, not reports that we have confirmed but ones that have been circulating. and this is part of what has prompted a conservative media to focus on this question. but, again, i do want to emphasize what even has been reported that there may have been contacts, electronic contacts, surveillance going on, different from a straight wiretap of phones which is what of course the president is alleging at this point. and, thomas, let's just take the lens out a little bit for a minute, too, because this of course is happening in the context of the broader investigation that nbc news is reporting the fbi has undertaken between trump campaign
associates and russian contacts during the election campaign. nbc news is reporting that is going on. the fbi has not confirmed that in public. this is something that has now touched on president's attorney general, jeff sessions, who has formally recused himself of any investigation related to the 2016 campaign. this is a president who is known often for tweeting about things to distract, to kind of redirect attention. and this is also coming at a point when the house and senate intelligence committees are both conducting probes into russian meddling in the election, including any contacts between the trump campaign and russians throughout the course of that. and there are democrats that have come out in the last 48 hours or so saying they don't think that fbi director jim comey is cooperating with congress and they want to know more about his investigation. senator chris coons, democrat of dell away, talking to our own andrea mitchell saying he thinks there are transcripts that may exist that detail the contacts between trump associates and
russians and that he wants to see them. koonce of course not on the senate intelligence committee, an important caveat. but the democratic ranking member on the house intelligence committee, adam schiff, he came out two days ago and he said that he knows a fraction of what the fbi knows about what has gone on here and he wants much more expansive cooperation from the fbi. thomas? >> kasie hunt reporting in west palm beach, florida. thanks so much. congressman francis rooney, sit ong the foreign affairs committee, joining us this morning from naples. good to have you with me. >> thanks for having me back on. >> absolutely. love naples. a beautiful part of the gulf coast there in florida. i want to get your first reaction. the tweets this morning from president trump saying that president obama wiretapped trump tower during the election. duce any information that would back up what president trump is claiming? >> no, i don't.
i just know what you know. it's disturbing to me the obama administration would have tried to get these fisa court warrants in the heat of an election. i think that taints the process a little bit. it's almost nixon-esque they were doing that. i think we're going to know before long what really happened because it will all come out. the warrants will come out and the fbi investigation will come out and there are procedures for making sure that the fbi temps to the committees that you just spoke about. we will ultimately know what happened just like we find out about everything else. but it's disturbing to me -- >> the comparisons to nixon-esque, if it was, it would have just been done. it would not have gone through a fisa court. it sounds like this is more patriot act type of responsibility of the nsa, especially given that the republican front-runner was plead for troush hack into the
democratic front-runner's e-mail accounts and in september the intelligence community came together to reveal they felt russia was collectively trying to interfere in our election. in hindsight, regardless of whatever party, do you think that the president should be tweeting about a substance of something of this magnitude without good details to back it up for the american people? >> that gets to more of the heart of the matter. i'm afraid a lot of this discussion now about who tweets what and who contacted who and who sat down with what ambassador is distracting from a lot of real serious issues we face in rebuilding our foreign policy showing russia we can protect united states' strategic interests versus them. >> when we think about the consequences of jeff sessions now caught in the crosshairs of having to amend and submit for the record about his meeting with the russian ambassador back in september, do you think that was more in the confirmation hearings damned if you do or
damned if you don't moment? because by not admitting it he's in the crosshairs of having to recuse himself. if he did admit it, do you think that might have stopped him from hi confirmation? well, you ow, i come from the business world where we try to speak plainly and clearly to our customers and employees. and it looks pretty clear to me his comments about who he had and had not seen like the ambassador could have been a little more clear and expansive and he created this unfortunate misunderstanding as to whether he was in capacity as senator, capacity as campaign and all that. it would have been better had me maybe just been a little more open about meeting with the ambassador in his capacity as an armed services committee member. nae nancy pelosi did the same thing. >> are you worried, though, about whether or not there are other members of the trump inside circle and other members that could be dogged by problems
of the russian ambassador, specifically give. fact that jeff sessions is saying he doesn't have total recall of that meeting, that this russian ambassador can say whatever they want in context to what was exchanged during that time? >> well, i think all this stuff is negative and distractive from solving the real problems that we face. i err on the side of transparent ti si. i'd rather talk about vetted and over with so we can get on the business of fixing our country. >> when it comes to transpare y transparency, would you be on board with president trump releasing his tax returns? >> well, i don't know, because i don't know that there's a law that requires tax returns to be released and there is a right to privacy. your tax returns are something between i think you and the irs unless it gets into some kind of public litigation. to me it seems like tax returns are more of an electoral issue, that candidates want to make the decision do they want to suffer
the negative implications of releasing them versus not releasing them. it worked to mitt romney's disadvantage and evidently donald trump was unfazed by it. >> but donald trump encouraged normal release those taxes. donald trump -- and there is no mandate, federal law that would specifically call for a presidential contender to release their taxes, it's just traditional, and traditionally has been done -- even richard nixon diit under audit, released his taxes. so when it comes to transparency, do you think this is something for donald trump that could -- and those around him nip any talk of russia in the bud because there is suspicion that there could be russian money that is interfered with his taxes and trump organization businesses that would be an issue for the person who is the leader of the free world right now? >> it seems to me the time for him to have made that decision would have been during the campaigns when he took whatever
negatives he was going to take for not leasing them. and now, i don't know, it's above my pay grade to tell donald trump what to do with his tax bus i think all this noise, anything that can be done to reduce this noise and get back to focusing on the business at handle that the american people expect us to do would be an improvement. >> you held two town halls in your district, well attended, contentious at times. i see the smile on your face you're getting from it. what were your folks saying to you? is health care the biggest concern? >> we had two very spirited exercises of first amendment freedom yesterday, one in naples, a little over 300 people, one at cape coral with over 700 people. you know, the good thing is we had some aggressive things said and chanted, et cetera, but everybody got to express their opinions in the spirit of the pluralistic american society our first amendment. only two people lunged at me so, i consider that a victory.
>> was the lunging in cape coral or in nape snls. >> cape coral. there was some lady that was seriously in disagreement with something i said. >> i used to live in cape coral as a local reporter so i know the area well. if i was going to put my bet on the lunging between cape coral and naples, i was going to go with cape coral. >> exactly. >> congressman, thank you so much. i appreciate it. >> thank you. have a great tay. >> rolling back restrictions on vehicle pollution, i'm going to ask a former epa administrator how long it would take before we see real impact. then at the bottom of the hour, senator ben cardin of the foreign relations committee joins me. we'll talk about russian controversy and the serious allegations in president trump's latest burstover early morning tweets. special edition. this is one gorgeous truck. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's five. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style. it's truck month. get 0% financing for 60 months
allegations from donald trump about trump tower being wiretapped. another allegation about tapping phones and calling the situation nixon/watergate. we have no reporting that the allegations are true and we're trying to figure out the basis of these comments, the substance of where the president is coming from. joining me now is a senior political analyst, and a congressional reporter for "the hill." heidi, your reaction to trump and his tweets and the suggestions coming from coverage that it might be linked to a fisa court. what do you know? >> well, it falls in the category of actually not helpful to trump. usually when trump tweets stuff out like this, it's to distract from the main news, but in this case, he's bringing us right back to the main issue of
russia. and, you know, he's basically been trying this whole week to push us away from the russia story. but in this case, if a fisa court was involved, that means that president obama had probable cause to think that there was something serious going on there. and this comes at the same time that we're learning about the president also pushing out all kinds of intelligence information at the end of his administration to try and make sure that that went on the record. and of course it comes on the heels as well of this whole sessions controversy. and what we're finding out now, thomas, is that these weren't just contacts between the trump campaign and the russians. this was contacts at very critical moments. first there was the flynn contacts which came around the sanctions. now we're finding out that sessions had the russian ambassador in his office at the very same time that it was
front-page news that the russians were trying to hack hillary clinton to help trump. so we're at the very beginning of this. this is going to bring up all kinds of questions. i'm not sure that trump tweeting this out is going to help him if the democrats say -- take this as challenge to say put out all the information now that you have about trump and rugs. >> that's the thing. where are the facts to back this up and if there is no "there" there, let the american people know. mike, have you gotten any reaction? we'll have senator ben cardin in a minute, but any other reaction from folks on the hill based on whate've hrd from president this morning? >> no. i think it's too early to tell for all the reasons mentioned. there's no evidence yet there's anything substantial behind this and everybody is waiting to see what trump can or if he will produce. in the meantime, i agree with heidi. i think trump had a very good
speech on tuesday at the capitol. he really energized republicans, put the democrats on the defensive, and then this sessions story blows up and he's the guy back on the defensive. so it seems like he wanted to distract from the sessions controversy but at the same time he brings us right back to it. so this might be politically at least shooting himself in the foot, and also as haiti mentioned, he's comparing this to watergate. well, not quite. nobody's breaking into the trump tower and wiretapping it. if obama, as trump says, went through a fisa court, this of course was created by the republicans anz an a anti-terror measure post 9/11 and you have to have probable cause. it's not like it's a politically motivated group. if all those things do come out, then, again, trump might be shooting himself in the foot as he's trying to distract from the sessions controversy. we're all in a wait and see moment, specifically for the substance of what he's saying but i haven't heard any
reaction. >> when we think about where we were back at that time and ramping up to the conventions, donald trump at the end of july puts that public call out to russia to find hillary clinton east missing e-mails, saying hack into -- you know, find them, use whatever measures you need necessary, because of world we were living in then with wikileaks and the information that was coming out based on the dnc or john podesta, he made reference that the press would reward them. for doing such. the basis that got a fisa court to potentially take this under consideration would have been donald trump asking russia to help and potentially the fact that in september a majority, 16 of the intelligence organizations that came out said that they felt that russia was trying to interfere in our elections. i mean, this isn't so absurd to think that this really did happen.
>> no. no, there's a lot of dots that are being connected now, thomas, including -- so donald trump -- here's the time line, right. paul pan afort takes over, who has deep connections to russia and to pro-russia regime in ukraine. he takes over and about a month later is when donald trump publicly calls on the russians to hack hillary clinton. i want's also right around the same time that the gop platform is being changed at the convention to be more pro russia. it's also about the same time the ambassador and some other trump associates are meeting with the russians. and then we don't hear from trump. he stops doing news conferences. and it is during that time that russia actually goes ahead and hacks hillary clinton and puts out all this information in a very strategic way, because i remember i was in a green room when the first wikileaks drop came, and you know when it came? hours after the donald trump "access hollywood" tape came out. so that was very strategic to try and deflect attention away
from what was happening with trump to try to help trump, and that's been the narrative all along. so then you find out and you connect all the dots that when these contacts are taking place they're at very strategic moments. for instance, when the russians are trying to get reassurance on sanctions. and, you know, the meeting with sessions right now maybe in a vacuum doesn't seem very significant, but think about it. think about him meeting with the russian ambassador at the same time that the news headlines are dominating that these are the people who are trying to help you, that sessions is the top trump surrogate. he was not just any surrogate. he got one of the first appointments under trump. he was rewarded as a top loyalist. so when you start to connect all of these dots it's not at all unreasonable, and i think that's why you have not only democrats but a number of republicans coming forward, because they're getting booed and heckled at their town halls because the american people are now also making this an issue. >> mike, as heidi brings up and
we look back at the perspective, and yes, jeff sessions was an instrumental surrogate, certainly on national and foreign policy, security measures for donald trump's campaign, even discussed potentially being in the running to be vice president and to go along with donald trump for that. sessions, smart guy, been around capitol hill for a long time. was this plan a for them thinking donald trump was going to win? because if so, would thntly be stupid that they would put themselves in the periphery of the russian ambassador as heidi was pointing out, the time line of the russian interference headlines, all across the media in early september and then he takes this meeting with the russian ambassador on the 8th? do you really think it was plan a for donald trump to win and these people to put themselves in the periphery like that, or is it about something else? >> well, i think it was all
always plan a for donald trump to win in the mind of donald trump and his loyalists. we're not in there. i don't know what he's thinking or what jeff sessions is thinking but considering how early jeff sessions got behind him, this was early in 2016, when, you know, there were more than a dozen primary contenders still out there. so he had a long list of republicans who people thought had a better chance and he went with the long shot and he won. as heidi said, he was rewarded as the top cop in the country. trump probably rewards loyalty more than anything else, and that's kind of the dynamic we've seen. whether or not there was some calculation with the russian ambassador, we don't know the nature of the discussion that sessions has, he claims he was doing it as a senator, not as a surrogate. >> right. >> people point out that the other 25 members of the senate armed services committee never met with the ambassador last year. so there is that distinction to be made. again, in the context of everything else that was happening with the russian hacking and all that, itust looks bad, it looks terrible.
as the congressman said a couple mites ago, it's just a distraction for republicans on capitol hill who want to get all these things done. they have a legislative wish list. they've been dying to do these things for eight years -- >> but a tweet will shake up the morning. mike, great to have you with us. thanks so much. heidi, great to have you with me as well. we'll talk about the senate foreign relations committee with bendin coming up. and i'll ask the former head of the epa whether she saw waste in the department during her tenure.
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hi, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. new tweets from the new president accusing the former president of wiretapping his home at trump tower in new york city at some point before the november election. donald trump making these allegations in a series of tweets around 6:30 this morning. this is of course happening amid the controversy surrounding
attorney general jeff sessions and his meetings with the russian ambassador that he didn't confirm during his senate confirmation hearings to become the attorney general. joining me now is senator ben cardin, ranking member of the foreign relations committee, and senator cardin has not decided whether sessions should recuse or resign. so, senator, based on what we know of these tweets from donald trump, your first reaction, and do you have any information about whether or not this is true, that president obama was interested in using the fisa courts to wiretap trump tower? >> thomas, first of all, this is an interesting development, the use of tweets by the president. the bottom line is that we need to find out why senator sessions was meeting with the russian ambassador, what took place during that meeting, the timing so close to the election, his failure to disclose that during the confirmation hearings. that needs to be done.
that's why i filed to have an independent commission. we need to have credibility of an independent commission to find out what russia was doing in the united states, the contacts they had with americans, the relationship with the trump campaign. it's not what mr. trump says about it or what i say about it. we need an independent investigation. in regards to what the president is saying this morning, we do have protections in our system that make sure that the courts are involved in these types of actions. we don't know whether there's any credibility to what the president is saying or not, but that's another area that could be reviewed by an independent commission. let's find out exactly what russia was doing. >> for the independent, you know, investigator or commission that you're calling for, do you think that there's anything that the attorney general can do in his amended testimony submitted monday that would clear up any of the fog for you? >> well, the problems here are twofold. one, why was he meeting with the russian ambassador when he was a surrogate to the trump campaign? were they talking about -- were
the russians trying to get information from him about the trump campaign, how they could help? were the russians trying to find out about how they could influence perhaps a trump administration on the sanctions? these are all areas that we need to find out exactly what was going on. i hope that attorney general sessions will clarify that to the -- in his supplement on his nomination. we also want to know why in fact he had that meeting so close to an election when he was the surrogate for the trump administration and why did he not disclose it before his confirmation vote. >> one thing that donald trump tweeted before the mccarthyism tweet about president obama was that the first meeting jeff sessions had with the russian ambassador was set up by the obama administration under education program for 100 ambassadors. i know that sessions has also used the proximity of being the
senator and the committees that he sits on to give credibility to having a meeting like that. but the president now saying it was the obama administration under the education program for 100 ambassadors. are you familiar with that, and is that something that happened for you? >> i am not familiar with that specific request. i do know that as a member of the senate foreign relations committee, as a senator, i meet frequently with representatives of other countries. many times in committee with other members of our -- of the senate. it may be at a public event. it's rather strange, though, that this close to an election where there's so much controversy concerning russia that you would meet with the russian ambassador. no other member of the armed services committee met with the russian ambassador during that period of time. this was a private meeting in a member's office. that's different than a lot of these other contacts that are made. >> you know, being within the proximity and, you know, the committees of which you sit,
would you have taken this meeting? >> no, i would not have met with the russian ambassador at that particular time. if there was a specific reason for the meeting, if we had a specific problem that we had to deal directly on a bilateral with russia, that would be a different story. but to take what appears to be just a general meeting with the russian ambassador, no, i would not have. >> and what do you know of him other than the attention that he's getting right now? have you met with him in the past? have you had exchanges and experiences with this ambassador here in the d.c. area or other places? >> i don't believe i ever had any private meetings with the russian ambassador. i may very well have been at some social settings where he was present. i just don't know that for a fact one way or the other. i do know him by reputation. i do know that he is a very personable individual. i also know that he always tries to get as much information as he possibly can during all meetings. and therefore you have to be rather cautious as to how you
handle any meeting with the russian ambassador. >> i think people will recall from jeff sessions' press conference where he didn't have total recall of his exchange but referred to ambassador as well as others as being gossipy. is that what you mean, the type of personalization of small talk that then can lead to a bigger reveal in a conversation about a certain -- and classified information in d.c.? >> my understanding of this ambassador is that he's very strategic. he may be using a social conversation to try to get information that could be useful or the the russian government. my understanding that in that meeting was more than just sessions, so there should be other people who can give us a recall and report out. we really need to know more about what happened at that meeting and why did he not fully respond to the questions that were asked during the confirmation process. it really looks like he was trying to hide something. so why did he do that? i hope we'll get the answers when he supplements his
testimony this week. >> and, sir, i understand that you've received some classified information from the obama administration on russia's alleged meddling in the election. these are documents you requested. can you tell us whether the documents are helping you connect the dots? >> in my role as the ranking democrat on the senate foreign relations committee, i requested information from the state department, because we knew russia was active in the united states. that had already been publicly reported. and i wanted to get as much information as possible from the state department and my responsibility on oversight in the senate foreign relations committee. the state department made information available to me. it was available to not only me but also the republicans and staff and the democratic staff had access to it. they marked the information classified so i can't tell you specifically the information that they had made available. i can tell you that the knowledge i had before i received those documents, i was able -- i had my concerns before
receiving those documents. >> sir, good to have you with me. senator ben cardin. thank you for your time. i really do appreciate appreciate it. >> thank you. developing overnight, the trump administration expected to roll out and roll back strict federal relations on vehicle pollution and change the fuel efficiency standards for future cars. this announcement, which could come as early as tuesday, would not dock a key part of president obama's legacy about the environment. i want to bring in now gina mccarthy, former epa administrator under president obama. it is great to have you with me. let's just get right to it. explain what the trump administration, what you're hearing is the proposal. >> well, thomas, the trump administration is really challenging our effort to maintain strong environmental protections that are necessary for public health. you know, epa has been bipartisan for 40 years. these are big-deal things. i don't know why they've decided that our core values no longer include clean air and clean water, but that seems to be what
this is about. it's executive orders that are threatening the safety of our drinking water for 117 million americans. this latest news on clean cars is actually rolling back significant benefits that we have provided to people with cleaner air as well as addressing some of the challenge we have with carbon pollution that's fueling climate change. there is literally no way that you can take away a rule that's already been developed with an executive order. but what you can do is send a signal about whether you care about public health and the core values of the american families. and this is -- >> this administration is successful in issuing a lot of executive orders. whether they have teeth for the long haul is another thing to be seen. but as you understand and for these proposals to really make an impact, gina, how long would that take? >> well, you're going to have to redo these rules. one of the interesting things is that a lot of it is being done with the idea that epa is
overreaching, not doing what congress said, and yet they won't allow it to be determined in the courts where it sits today to make those determinations where those determinations are made. instead, they want to pull those back and rethink. well, that rethinking will take a few years at best. but in the meantime, we may not have those protections moving forward that are so necessary for us to address, not just climate change but clean air and clean water. it just doesn't make any sense because at the same time, they're cutting out the ability of the epa to actually function as an agency by cutting our budget 20%, by -- 25%, by cutting our staff 25%, by looking at cutting our scientists by 42%. this is not just an all-out attack on epa and the protections we've brought to the american people, but it's an all-out attack on environmental protection, because it also cuts state grants by 30%. you know, if people were worried
before about whether flint, michigan, is a one-off, they should be really worried today. >> we know that the trump administration, according to "the washington post," collectively they say the government's science climate agencies would be reduced by 17 collectively. gina mccarthy, thank you very much. i appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> all right. one of the president's toughest republican critics on capitol hill and today he'll see what his constituents think about that. talking about lindsey graham. they're lining up for a town hall meeting this morning in clemson, south carolina. we'll take you there coming up next.
nationwide, members of congress have been hit with questions from their constituents at town hall meetings. those that have been brave enough to take them. on issues related to the new president including repeal of obamacare. senator lindsey graham, a critic of the new administration, is going to be holding his own town
hall today in clemson, south carolina. so what should he expect? nbc's von hilliard is in clemson with more for us. i see people have started to line up. what has senator graham promised as the focus of the meeting? >> reporter: thomas, lindsey graham is just the fifth republican senator since inauguration date to hold a town hall. we are here in clemson, south carolina. mary ann, if you could step in here for a moment. how far did you drive morning? where are you from? have you been involved in politics before? i drove 2 1/2 hours to get here. i'm from ft. mill, south carolina, and my name is mary ann. >> have you been involved in politics before? >> never, not in my entire life, a long life. >> reporter: you worked in the foreign service overseas. what's important to you? >> it's vitally important that our country be able to talk to the whole world. they see -- everyone sees what's going on. they should be able to listen to the diplomats, experienced diplomats, as to what is going
on. communication. >> reporter: mary ann, thank you. a step back, thomas. we'll show you what the crowd is. it's about 45 minutes away. difference between last week when we heard from grassley, tom cotton, bill cassidy, they were trying to present to the town halls a discussion on health care. but yet a week ago they didn't have any specifics outlined on what would be potentially part of a bill. this last week, house chairs from particular committees actually presented to these republican senators, including lindsey graham, what this potential replacement bill would look like. the question we'll be looking for today is the extent to which lindsey graham is able to offer up and which these people will be able to receive the specifics of this bill. also we're here in northwestern part of the state, your kind of conservative bastion. we have clemson. where's greenville? about 45 minutes away. columbia, 2 1/2 hours away. thomas, thers a lot ofple here. we'll check back in a little
bit. >> a beautiful day to drive in clemson and coming to see the popular senator there. nbc's vaughn hillyard. thank you. president trump lobs serious allegations against the participation. up next on "a.m. joy," the growing controversy over five trump advisers having questionable contacts with russia.
my next guest says there were three key messages to african-americans in president trump's address to the nation this week. we'll break them down. s one gor. oh, did i say there's only one special edition? because, actually there's five. ooohh!! aaaahh!! uh! hooooly mackerel. wow. nice. strength and style. it's truck month. get 0% financing for 60 months plus find your tag and get $5500 on select chevy silverado pick-ups when you finance with gm financial. find new roads at your local chevy dealer.
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so what was your reaction to president trump and his joint address to congress? joining me is patrice lee. we promised our viewers there were three things to watch for. patrice, on tuesday we saw the president giving this speech. a lot has been clouded since then because of jeff sessions and tweets from this morning.
i want to focus on the cbs poll that found 76% approved among those watched. what do you think has happened to the momentum of the speech for president trump in regards to the news that's come out since he gave that speech? >> well, i mean, i think that the news for the past couple of days has definitely clouded and proved a distraction from his speech. his speech was widely heralded as his first kind of presidential moment, a time for him to speak to lots of communities who questioned whether he would have their best intentions at heart. the speech definitely did that. >> for the specific community of black america, you said there are three key messages. what are they? >> absolutely. the first was that hate was not acceptable. he opened talking about the end of february, black history month, and condemning the injustices and violences occurring against the jewish community. he also talked about us being
one people, we bleed the same way, blood courses through our bodies the same way. he also talked about education being the civil rights issue of this nation. for kids stuck in zip codes that are poor, hearing that you should be able to go to whatever school you want, for him to have as a guest a young woman who is going to graduate schooecause of choice. >> patrice, it was short-lived, but real fast, i just want to say the headline out of politico said that this could potentially be the donald trump that could win in 2020. was this the moment, that presidential moment, do you think that's it? if so, how can he stay on track between now and then? >> oh, man, i do agree it was a hugely presidential moment. the key though is to pivot back when you have distractions like we're seeing right now, pivot
back to what his administration is doing. whether that's rolling back regulations or it's promoting school choice opportunities for young people and talking about getting people to work. that's what americans care about. >> i wanted to focus more about what happened from the joint address. the tweets this morning from president trump kind of took our time with breaking news. thank you for joining me. i'm thomas roberts. "a.m. joy" is up next. questions being raised about the trump administration focusing on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants. the sun shines on joy from l.a., after this. . to knowing they are. going beyond expectations... because our pets deserve it. beyond. natural pet food.