tv Morning Joe MSNBC March 15, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PDT
the likely move follows the central bank's two-day policy meeting and comes on the heels of friday's better-than-expected jobs report. that does it for us on this wednesday. to everybody for mispronouncing the name of your city. mike barnicle is not happy. thanks for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> "morning joe" starts right now. >> i'm not really saying tax returns because they are under awe dit. >> every president since the '70s -- >> gee, never heard that. >> as president, sir -- >> the only one who cares about my tax returns are the reporters. >> you don't think the american public is contender concerned about that? >> no. i won. i became president. >> as you know, the d.o.j. has another week to produce evidence that president trump was wiretapped by the obama administration. how confidence is president trump that any evidence will arise to support his claim? >> i think he is extremely confident. >> two huge developing stories
out of washington this morning. both of which the white house could have shut down long before they became big stories. for years, donald trump has refused to release his tax returns. in an exclusive report from msnbc has done it for him. we are going to dig into what those new numbers reveal straight ahead. plus, with still no evidence that president obama admitted a felony, republicans are turning up the pressure on the trump administration to either put up or back down. we are going to talk to senator lindsey graham who is set to make a big announcement today on his push for the fbi to release any evidence about wiretapping at trump tower. also joining us on set, on this very busy news day in the nation's capital, house majority whip congressman steve scalise whose job of counting gop votes for their new health care bill was just made a lot harder by the cbo score. the top democrat on the intel committee congressman adam
second half and senator claire mccaskill and joe manchin will also join us. joe has the morning off. it's wednesday, march 15th. joining us is mark halpern and associate editor for "the washington post" david ignatius. msnbc political analyst michael steele. in new york, willie geist. along with willie, former treasury official and economic analyst steve rattner. so willie and i at the helm in new york and washington this morning. a lot to get to. including the two pages of donald trump's tax returns that were revealed by msnbc late last night. the question this morning did donald trump perhaps release them in his own special way which we will get to that question as well. first, patience is paragraph we.
democratic senator sheldon white house says james comey has indicated privately to senators he may provide a clearer explanation of a existence of a russian fbi investigation ahead of today's judiciary subcommittee hearing on meddling in the 2016 election. white house said the fbi director made the suggestion during a private sit-down between the two men and senator lindsey graham on march 2nd. the same day attorney general jeff sessions recused him from any potential investigations involving russia. on our show yesterday, whitehouse told us it's important for comey to answer the question publicly because they can't have an fbi director steer clear of an investigation while not confirming there is a criminal investigation. senator whitehouse told us he expects comey to expose any
warrant that might have been made of trump tower or trump associates in response to a letter that whitehouse and republican lindy graham sent last week. and lindsey graham is now forcing the issue. >> you need to come to that because i'm going to make an announcement about the letter and let the fbi know they are about to screw up big-time if they keep running to the intel committee and not answer that letter and sort of the theme of what i'm going to say is that i believe in regular order let each committee do its thing. we have risdicon over the fbi. i like director comey a lot, but we wrote him a letter. if they don't honor this question and give us an answer, then i would say that we need a joint select committee because their regular order is not working. >> more news coming on "morning joe" today. lindsey graham will be our guest. michael steele, what is he doing? >> he is throwing down. he is throwing a very bright
line here and saying, look, you either put up or shut up, because they recognize for the republicans, this is going to be a particularly sticky situation so they want to get it behind them as quickly as possible. the idea that the former president of the united states was involved in a federal criminal action is problematic at best, but you better have the evidence to back it up. and so without that evidence, lindsey graham, let's move away. if you don't have it, let's move on. >> lindsey graham, mark halpern, is forcing the issue with the white house? >> it's interesting. a lot of times members of congress respond to political pressure from their constituents or from talk radio, whatever. in this case, most of the republicans who are interested in investigating seem to be doing it on the merits. they actually want to get to the bottom of the facts and that is for the white house kind of a dangerous position to be in because you got members of congress who can't be really swayed because they have the bit in their mouth. they want to know what happened because they are concerned on russian influence on the american election.
>> david ignatius, i'm sure our leaders around the world are watching this as well. what are the key questions here? especially for the president himself. >> the key question is what kind of investigation, if any, was taken by the fbi into russian activities in the united states that might have touched trump tower. the paradox of president trump accusing president obama, the obama administration of tapping his wires is that now the question is forced. so now we are going to find out whether there was an investigation that authorized you wanted the foreign intelligence surveillance act and under some other legal means into evidence that concern the fbi at that time. that is a big step forward. then we are into the terrain of really getting down and understanding what happened. >> so lindsey graham is on the show this morning and forcing the issue. willie geist, wait, there more. >> another republican stepping
into the fray. unexamined move, chuck grassley said he will block the confirmation of president trump's deputy attorney general pick until he gets russia-related answers from the justice department. the powerful iowa republican said yesterday he will not schedule the committee's vote on rod rosenstein's nomination until fbi director comey respond to his written request from last month. when he and ranking democrat dianne feinstein asked for an explanation. senate intel committee richard burr said he is satisfied what he has heard on trump-related wiretaps and russia so far saying he didn't feel he had to ask for related documents because we have had sufficient qualifies and gotten answers that we find to be satisfactory from the appropriate folks. david ignatius, what is the complication of chuck grassley as well stepping forward now? you have prominent republicans, republicans now going out publicly in the media speaking
their minds and saying we want to know exactly what is going on here and we won't move forward past things you want until we get our answers? >> willie, i think it just shows the movement to demand a full congressional investigation is broadening. chuck grassley is not at the center of this investigation, never has been. so if he is deciding that politically its important for him to be part of the group calling for complete disclosure that is important. this is no longer john mccain and lindsey graham, longtime critics of donald trump and broadening to more of the party. other republican members of the senate intelligence committee tell me the same thing, they are serious about getting to the bottom of this. >> you know, we will have a lot of questions for lindsey graham when he comes on this morning. also ranking member of the intel committee adam schiff will be our guest so a lot more could develop in the next few hours here on "morning joe." this morning, we are also learning more about donald
trump's taxes. the president refused to release them throughout the campaign and throughout his administration. last night, rachel maddow revealed two pages of his 1040 form from 2005. no itemized pages, though. they show 152 million in income and 38 million made to the alternative minimum tax and a writtendown of business losses. little more is known because none of the documents showing income breakdown are included. the documents were obtained by david k. johnston who could only speculate where they came from. >> seen them in the mail and there is absolutely nothing improper about journalists, if you haven't solicited something getting it over the transom. it's possible that donald trump sent these to me. donald trump over the years has leaked all sorts of things. >> the president said an effective income tax rate of about 25% because of the alternative minimum tax. mitt romney, by comparison, paid
14% and took heavy fire about that during the 2012 campaign. as maddow prepared to go on the air last night, the white house acknowledged the document's veracity and writing in statement this. that being said, mr. trump paid $38 million even after taking into account large scale of depreciation for construction of an income more than $150 million as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that. despite the substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. the dishonest media can continue to make this a part of their agenda, while the president will
focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all americans. the white house added, quote, you know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago. so, steve rattner, what do the tax returns tell us and i guess i do see how it might be in trump's best interest to release them this way so that is a hypothesis that is worth considering. what do we learn from the two pages? >> first of all, the hypothesis that maybe he actually was happy with them being released is making its way around the chattering classes for a couple of reasons. first many of us thought he would turn out to pay no taxes and here he has paid a significant amount. second, the copy that was released said client copy on it. you'll recall that the two pages their mailed to "the new york times" were mailed from an address that said trump tower
but if it was trump tower, who knows. it's possible he and someone in his organization is perfectly happy to have these in there. we haven't learned a heck of rah lot, as you said. most of what we have learned is that under trump's tax proposal, he would eliminate something called the alternative minimum tax, a tax designed to make lots of people with lots of depreciation say some amount of tax. without that provision which trump wants to repeal as part of his tax plan, trump would have maid $5 million for taxes. you can see the tax plan would help the wealthiest than the less wealthy. it does not appear he is very schedule. we don't have any of the backup schedules but in his summary of itemized deductions and include his charitable, a relatively small number and probably local and state taxes. i think the sense that he do a lot of charitable is probably a
legitimate thing. lastly on him violating the law. i think the law is clear you can't steal someone's tax returns and you can't give someone else someone's tax returns but if you receive someone's tax returns you're within the law to publish them. >> a lot of us wanted to see the tax returns and we have asked for them over and over again the last couple of years because we want to know about business relations and ties to, perhaps, russia. in the two pages you don't learn anything about that. is there anything else you can read into in? he paid $38 million in taxes and made a lot of money and paid a lot of taxes on the money and all we learned really from the two pages. is there anything else you see into this? >> unfortunately, there is not a lot else in this. 2005 was kind of a peak economic year so this would have been a good year for donald trump. seeing all of his other tax returns, we know ten years earlier he lost a billion dollars what is more of a tax shelter kind of game than an actual loss but he got to
shelter a lot of income. no. the backup schedules would really be something that would be interesting for all of us to see to find out what is really going on there. there could be more income in there against a lot more deductions. the fact that they emphasized in the statement his use of accelerated depreciation on his buildings suggest that like most real estate guys he had a pretty good tax game going. we still don't know exactly what it was. >> it was "the new york times" story he might not have paid taxes since 1995. this statement disproves that. >> it does. michael steele, the fact he paid the least amount of taxes possible. say more returns that show that. that plays right to his base. he was very proud of that point. i remember when he said it during the debate thinking, yes, they are going to say he is smart to pay the least amount of
tax that he illeglegally has to. questions of large payments from let's say a russian and does that happen but those two little pages doesn't show any of that. so it almost sets the media up to get hysterical about something we don't know about and which then leads me to wonder if this is exactly what they wanted, which is why a client copy was released to the press? >> i think that is spot on analysis of the situation how we got here. really, the story is in the schedules and in the admissions that go with the tax returns which can number hundreds of pages and we don't have that. what you do have is something that states very clearly that donald trump not only paid taxes, he paeed a lot of taxes that donald trump, those weren't clearly audited but somehow they got out into the public. probably their fingerprints are on it. he wants to set the narrative on the taxes and i think it's because you're not going to see the current taxes. i don't think you're going to get a look what comes out on
april 15th. this sort of preempts that story a little bit. look. i pay my taxes. i'm being audited over here and still working on the ones for 2016 opinion the media is going to get excited about it as you said and they are going to be wanting to know more but i don't think they are going to get it. >> the tax for this april 2015 won't be under awe diudit, will? >> they might be. we should get all of the returns and not just two pages. this begs a lot of questions and doesn't answer so many questions we have whether he has overseas investments but as the white house statement points out that critics said he didn't make much money, he made a lot of money. as steve said, possibly a better year than some and he paid a lot in taxes and some thought he never paid taxes.
it begs a lot of questions and it certainly shows, ones again, people will suspect he is trying to manipulate everything because there is widespread speculation where it might have come from. we don't know but what we do know it's a distraction that doesn't amount to much in terms of knowing more about him. >> steve rattner? >> two final things. first, to mark's point about taxes not under audit. he probably won't file until october because people with complicated tax get extension and takes months for the irs to decide if there is an audit. a window he won't be under audit. the dollar amount of taxes he paid will be surprising and maybe reassuring on one level to americans but, remember, his 25% tax rate is the tax rate paid by a family with about $400,000 income. >> there you go. steve, thank you. senator lindy graham will join us on set next hour. also ranking member of the house intel committee congressman adam schiff joins us.
the republicans vote counter in the house majority whip steve scalise and democratic senator claire mccaskill. first, here is bill karins with a clean on yesterday's this morning. >> what a mess. how about for the highest snow total reported? bridgeport, new york, 41 inches of snow. that is almost 3 1/2 feet of snow. binghamton 31 inches and scranton almost two feet and albany a foot and a half and same with portland and hartford. worcester area through central massachusetts, here is some aerial drone pictures from yesterday. amazing it can fly with the strong gusty winds we had and worcester picked 14 to 18 inches of snow. two days before the storm hit, we thought the big cities would have the high snow totals but the storm was a little closer to the coast. the other story is the miserable
cleanup out there this morning. hopefully, you did a lot yesterday. windchills are in the single digits in new england and 19 as far south of atlanta. you get the picture. very cold eastern half of the country. still feels like the middle of winter. i know spring is only a couple of days away but it doesn't like we are getting any big warm-up any time soon. new york city, times square. still cleaning up. sleet was a real pain and heavy shoveling yesterday too. you're watching "morning joe." we will be right back. calcu... shall we initiate the restart sequence? ♪ thrivent mutual funds. managed by humans, not robots. before investing, carefully read and consider fund objectives, risks, charges and expenses in the prospectus at thriventfunds.com.
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23 past the hour. the republican quest to reform federal health care coverage looks like it's sputtering among their ranks after monday's cbo report that said 24 million people would lose their health insurance under the gop plan. the president head to nashville today for a rally to sell his vision. according to "the new york times," concerned republican senators told the trump administration officials they wanted to see lower insurance costs for poor, older americans,
and an increase in funding for states with high population to hard to insure people. politico reports last night the president talked with key stake holders by phone for 45 minutes including paul ryan and steve ka lease and tom mccarthy and mick nu mulvaney. work requirements on health care medicaid beneficiaries. senator ted cruz reportedly talked with the president as well to find a way to, yes, on the house bill. earlier in the day, senator -- the senator called the cbo report troubling. >> the most troubling aspect of the cbo report is that it underscored my biggest concern about the current draft of the house bill, which is that it does not do enough to drive down premiums. the bill, as drafted, would not pass the senate.
and i would point out that if it's not going to pass the senate it raises a good question of why house members would want to vote for this bill and pay the political price for voting for this bill if it is doomed a failure in the senate. >> the bill, right now, we have questions that we have to have answered. if slowing down means we need a little bit more analysis before we move forward i'm okay with it. is slowing down we don't want to do this because it's tough, i don't accept that. we have got to make a change. >> on i'm actually very encouraged by the cbo report. one, it lowers the premiums. biggest concern people have out there. secondly, it lowers the deficit. when you look at the small business confidence just booming that is because it takes away more than 800 billion dollars of tax burden on them. >> this is it. if we don't get this through, the goal of repealing obamacare and instituting a system that is
patient center is going to be unbelievably difficult. >> already is pretty difficult. mark halpern, where is this going? there's so many conflicting interests here and the cbo report, at this point, has just been mushed down into oblivion for people on the right and left who have their different takes on it. >> well, it's still out there. it's off the front pages today but it's still out there. look. there is a strand of argument, including amongst a lot of the president's allies, mostly outside of government, saying don't stick with the ryan bill. you got to start from scratch and find something truer to your principles. that is, right now, a side show. the maintain event is trying to hold the party together and a lot of critics but the argument sean spicer is making if this pill bill has a chance get it through the house by saying let's get through this first step and we will negotiate and say to the senate this is your only chance to get rid of the affordable care act. i think people are underestimating the chances that it passes but they have got a lot of work to do to jigger this
way and back that way. >> the party, itself, is struggling with this bill, correct? >> yes. i don't understand why. you've had six years to develop it. you know? it's not like this just showed up on your plate because donald trump got elected in january. publicans, you know, have been saying to the base around the country for the last six years, we are going to repeal and replace. to struggle at this stage and put the white house in this position and republicans, quite frankly, in the senate and house in this position, i think, is a little bit reckless because you're now going to have to do two things at once and mark touched on it. not just play cape what the white house is wanting and what the call was about last night. you have to have the members stand before their constituents in their districts and justify this thing. that is not going to be an easy sell. mark is right at the end of the day there may be a passage of
the bill, i still don't think it does much beyond getting past. it gets through the house. the senate is going to look at this and look at the extensions on medicaid and look at the spin downs on this thing and they are going to go how do we justify this and go back and say that this repeal's obamacare? >> they have promised six years plus to take on a very, in many quarters, politically unpopular project of not just changing the affordable care but changing medicaid and making their be winners and losers and they have to sell it. >> right. >> i guess the president yesterday said very proud of this bill but knowing him, i don't think he minds giving tax cuts to the rich, but i think he will mind taking insurance away from people like if somebody actually sat him down and explained what this did and he could get to a place where he understood what the ramifications might be, the president might not be behind this by him. >> he may not be behind it and
he has explicitly said, or the white house said they don't want his name on it. they at the present time ryan care. rand paul sent out e-mail reading, question. equity. brady backed the pan and 30 congressman like brooks and jordan and meadows and all conservatives opposing the esident's plan right now. >> the american health care act versus obamacare. obamacare is full of job destroying mandates. the new plan laemts them. obamacare puts bureaucrats in control and the american health care act puts congressmen in
charge. >> the cbo report that came out, did it, any way, shape or form change your position on the bill? >> no, not at all. the cbo, if you look historically, they have been way off on certain things. if you look at the origin cost of the affordable care act it was 864 billion but truth know it was over 2 trillion and only off by 2 trillion. the cbo is a good starting point but not the end result. >> that is congressman yoho who is opposed to this. the group that supports rand paul putting pressure on congressman like yoho to support this new idea. steve rattner, let me go to you on the argument that kevin mccarthy made an argument ago in the clip we played. the new plan lowers deficits and premiums and why they can live with some of the other parts of it. is that actually true? >> in part. first of all, in the loring premium side, what it does, it lowers premiums from what they would otherwise have been, meaning premiums will go up.
they just won't go up as much. they might go up by 10%le less. the way it's accomplished is allowing plans not as robust that president obama allowed so, therefore, less expensive plans and brings premiums down. secondly, they are making changes which will change the mix from more elderly to young people and also lowers premiums and makes it like the premiums are going down so a little bit of gimmickry in all of that. to michael steele's point they did have six years but never had a plan. when you're seeing here are the fault lines between people who want to just get rid of it, even though it would put 24 million people plus off of health insurance and those who are realizing it's very hard to unwind a social program of this magnitude after in place six years. >> to ted cruz's point in the sound bite is what we have been making on this show and joe many times. if you're in the house why take a vote on this and suffer the
political consequences if you know it's going to fail in the senate? >> i know. a good question. steve rattner, by the way, thauchthank you so much. still to come, less than two months in office, the president is back in campaign mode, hail a big jobs number. the president returns to the rust belt. we are joined by someone who knows more than anybody on the campaign trail maybe, katy tur. and later, senators lindsey graham and claire mccaskill and joe manchin will join us here on "morning joe." various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects
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on the day you declare, how many years of tax returns will you release? >> well, i certainly go over tax returns and i tell you nobody knows the tax return business or world better than me. >> how many years back would you go on the day you announce? three, five? >> oh, i don't know. i actually have not even thought of that but i sernlt would show tax returns if it was necessary. >> will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinize? >> we are working on that now. i have very big returns as you know and i have everything all approved and very beautiful and
we will be working on that in the next period of time, absolutely. my taxes for many years have been under audit and for some reasons i have a lot of rich friends who never been audited and i'm audited i think for 12 years. many of those audits have never been finished but some are hest. until the audit is finished by the irs which is a routine audit but until such time as it's finished i won't be going and releasing because that is not a very good thing to do. >> a woman who there for almost all of those comments is katy tur. rach and her team through the d.c. repo
sh he paid throu. and paid more than mitt romney or barack obama did in the years that they released their returns. what did we learn last night? >> we dent learn that much. it's a big story whenever we find out anything about donald trump's taxes even if it is just two-page 1040 form that doesn't exactly list how his income was made. the fact that thehe is unwillino release them raises a lot of questions. why would he not dot that potentially if it looks this good for him. he did pay more more than bernie sander and mitt romney and made a lot of money in that year and paid millions of dollars in taxes. what is beyond this? this story is certainly one that can be seen and can be interpreted as something as relatively positive him and also gets some of the negative headlines out of the headline spotlig spotlight, if you will, at least a day or a few hours. so, you know, i think this is potentially the tip of the iceberg. we need to see more. we need to see more. >> the other thing, i don't think a lot of people have
talked about what was revealed last night when the white house put this out before rachel went on the air, is white house can provide a tax return if it wants to. >> clearly. that was striking how quickly they were able to do so. the reasoning they gave that donald trump has a responsibility to his shareholders and his business and family, et cetera, to pay as little tax as possible doesn't hold water. these are his personal tax returns. it's on his business tax returns. he has no responsibility to his company to pay as little money as he can. that is purely for himself and that is one of the reasons he has used when we were talking about "the new york times" was able to obtain over the summer which showed that he was qualified for quite a large deduction, millions of dollars in deductions over a few years. so the campaign and the presidency has been unwilling to release tax returns and it's clear the only way we are going
to see them is if somebody leaks it themselves and shows us what donald trump refuses to show us. i do still think we need to know a lot more about how he made his money, how much tax he paid in subsequent years, because i don't think this shows the full picture. and how and whether he is leveraged and who he is leveraged to. >> right. >> these are the reasons we have been calling for these tax returns. as you say, a lot going on around donald trump, aside from the two pages of the 2005 tax return. we could learn as early as this morning, perhaps from senator graham, or senator whitehouse, whether or not the fbi is investigating russian ties to donald trump. >> well, listen. i think the argument to be made for somebody saying that, maybe donald trump release those taxes because they are a different headline is because this other news could be coming out today. i do think that if the fbi does release or we do find out any more about the investigation they may or may not have into
the trump campaign and its connections to russia will be the dominate headline because that is explosive and the democrats are going to pounce on it and they are going to keep it in the news for as long as they possibly can, as will all of donald trump's detractors and certainly dominant the press briefing and take a good portion of the press briefing even if it does not come out before then. the only other thing that people have been as curious about is the taxes but people want to know what is going on between the trump campaign and russia inspect we have seen a lot of smoke. is there fire? >> we will hear from senator lindy graham in the next hour on this program. the president in michigan today talking manufacturing jobs. in nashville the home of president andrew jackson the man trump has compared himself to. >> katy tur brings up a bunch of
different points about the tax returns and including the gentleman who provided them to rachel yesterday, brought up that trump would have done this himself or had someone do it for him. it makes sense, since it shed, especially for his base base, some positive light on him and it would be like him to try and deflect from a major news story. we don't know. but it just -- there was not enough there. it was just two pages. you can't help -- >> but enough to have a conversation about something else other than russia or other than the health care plan. >> it was a trifecta for trump. let's be honest. he made a lot of money, he paid a lot of tax. >> put out a long statement. >> and got to attack the media all in one press release. the only thing i would say is that n a way, this chums the water. anybody out there who knows about other years in which other tax returns show something very different get at these issues we
have been talking about, real sources of money and how much money does he have. this in a sense is an incentive to people in some way or another to say the 2005 tax return you got is not really the whole story. i think we should wait and maybe more to come. >> absolutely. we will be talking to lindy graham as willie pointed out. we are going to be diverted from the major, major story of the day which could shed some light on some serious questions we have been draeaddressing. still ahead on "morning joe." >> we are going to stop the regulations that threaten the future and livelihood of our great coal miners. >> he likes the energy plan. but senator joe manchin isn't clapping so loudly for the gop's health care bill. the west virginia democrat calls it, quote, insult to injury and
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in you know, even the bbc has a weather reporter on standby. and keep an eye on the special guy in the background here for tonight's edition of "behind the news." >> new york ci hasad about 1,500 plows out all day on a continuous cycle cleaning the roadways and officials are saying if there is no reason to go out to stay indoors. >> wow. jolly happy soul. all right. it is time now for the must read opinion pages. that was funny. we had a big discussion here on the set with michael crowley about a piece he did for politico about bannon's world view and a lot of people like to call him president bannon because they raise the questions about whether or not president
and the narrative has been that steve bannon has held these views most of his adult life. he finally found a vessel in donald trump who could elevate them all the way up to the white house. is that fair to say, that it's donald trump who has adopted steve bannon's world view? >> i think donald trump is talking about a lot of this stuff for a long time. bannon has his own personal experience. i think people overstate this notion that bannon is somehow infusing trump with some new views. i think the reason trump was attracted to bannon was bannon gives voice for a lot of what trump has been talking to the economic nationalism and the notion america can go back to being a manufacturing country and a country organized in a way that will help the middle and working class. the challenge is to find policies working with the republican congress that make that sensibility about america into a reality and i think that is where the short-term challenge continues to exist because you can want those things and feel those things but how do you actually pass things to make them a reality?
>> david ignatius, what do you make of this relationship and do you think bannon has a great deal of influence over the president? >> i think bannon is the intellectual heart of this white house. i think we keep seeing his influence over the president and saw that when rex tillerson wanted to hire elliott abrams as his deputy and bannon said i don't think that is the right one. we have seen it in other key policy issues. i think bannon is a radical conservative. but he wants to take down the structure of, as he calls it, the administrative state. he wants to change the basic framework of our foreign policy, the nature of our trading relationships. he is one of those wealthy men who, later in life, sees a vision of leading workers. i'm a little suspicious about that. i have to be honest. but there is no question that in terms of intellectual clarity
and influence on the president, he is the most important -- >> michael steele, it almost seems the way from reading the "the wall street journal" piece and hearing halpern and david ignatius talks, it's almost as if it's bannon's world view and the president is his puppet. >> i don't think so. i think mark has it right. i think it's a symbiotic relationship. i think the two men found each other. you find in bannon someone who has the ideology. he has this vision, this view. then you have donald trump who is the practical application of that. he is the guy who is going to go out and actually do it because he has done it. >> i do not see that ideology over the years of knowing donald trump. i don't see -- >> but for trump, it's not about the ideology. it's not his own orientation in terms of e i'm a democratic or republican philosopher. that has never been trump but that makes this work because he
has never had that. the thing that triggers for me the whole bannon piece is this. the institutions his father put his faith in failed him. that is the every man story. that is what trump can tap into. that is what bannon can be philosophical about because he has lived it and watched it with his own father and experienced it. now he is relating it back to a lot of americans on there. well, they are imprinting it on each other. i don't buy this notion that he is the great publpuppet behind trump. i think a symbiotic relationship that works. like a marriage. they came together, they went on the first date and it stuck. >> mike barnicle, jump in. >> well, today's "the wall street journal" piece is just one more element of information about steve bannon, a person that many americans do not know and have never heard of. but today's piece is really
strus constructive his father now 95 years of age and lifetime employee of at&t and began climbing the telephone poles when he went to work for at&t many years ago. what happened him in 2008 happened to oof otha lot of oth americans and clearly steve bannon, i don't know what percentage of him is driven by resentment but a huge portion of what he stands for and articulates is driven by resentment which is sort of an admirable thing on the one hand when you consider he feels very strongly about what happened to his dad and his dad's life savings. on the other hand, what he now arctic dates nearly every day and the president helps him articulate this, restoring the coal mines, restoring the factories in new england and manufacturing base in this country, throughout the middle west. if you talk to ordinary people who live in those regions, they know that's not going to happen. >> right. okay. still ahead on "morning joe."
>> admiral, we have ships with the 47. >> it's a trap! >> "the washington post" robert costa reports that the president's allies are worried the speaker's health care plan is, at best, deeply flawed and, at worst, a trap. we will bring in ezra klein who spent three months working on one story related to this news. three of the leading voices in the u.s. senate, lindy graham, joe manchin, and claire mccaskill will join us live. we will be right back with much more "morning joe." knowing where you stand. it's never been easier. except when it comes to your retirement plan. but at fidelity, we're making retirement planning clearer. and it all starts with getting your fidelity retirement score. in 60 seconds, you'll know where you stand.
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♪ here, there, everywhere. united states postal service priority : you just about the top of the hour and we are following two huge developing stories out of washington this morning. both of which the white house could have shut down long before they became big stories. for years, donald trump has refused to release his tax returns. now an exclusive report from msnbc has done it for him. we are going to dig into what the new numbers reveal and the question might trump have released this specific part of one tax return himself? trump tweeting just now does anybody really believe that a reporter who nobody ever heard of went to his mailbox and found my tax returns? nbc news, fake news! plus, with still no evidence
that president obama admitted a felony, republicans are turning up the pressure on the trump administration to either put up or back down. we are going to talk with senator lindsey graham who is set to make a big announcement today on his push for the fbi to release any evidence about wiretapping at trump tower. lindsey graham is absolutely forcing the issue this morning. good morning, everyone. it's wednesday, march 15th. joe has the morning off. but with me here on capitol hill, senior political analyst for nbc news and msnbc, mark halpern. columnist and associate editor for "the washington post" david ignatius. senior politics report at "usa today" and msnbc political analyst heidi prizbella. did i get it right? and also ron fournier is with
us. and in new york, willie geist. democratic senator sheldon white hou whi whitehouse said that comey may provide existence of a fbi investigate ahead of today's judiciary committee's suggestion of meddling. a private sit-down between the two men and senator lindy graham on march 2nd. that is the same day attorney general jeff sessions recused himself from any potential investigations involving russia in the campaign. after he met with the russian ambassador at least twice and danny sat it before. -- and didn't say it before. they said the committee can't have an fbi director insist she
steer clear of a criminal investigation while not confirming there is a criminal investigation. senator whitehouse told us he expects comey to disclose any warrant applications the fbi might have made for wiretaps at trump tower or of trump associates in response to a letter that whitehouse and republican lindsey graham sent last week. and lindsey graham is now forcing the issue. >> you need to come there because i'm going to make an announcement about the letter and let the fbi know they are about to screw up big time if they keep running to the intel committee and not answer that letter and sort of the theme of what i'm going to say is that i believe in regular order let each committee do its thing. we have jurisdiction over the fbi. i like director comey a lot, but we wrote him a letter. if they don't honor this question and give us an answer, then i would say that we need a joint select committee because their regular order is not working.
mark halpern, explain to our views exactly the issue that lindy graham is forcing here. >> they want more information what has been investigated and what the status of things are. it's usual but director comey set this precedent that members of congress now feel free to demand progress on criminal investigations. it's a dangerous precedent and i think comey has been rightly criticized for it. they will demand to know more about what happened and open doors not revisiting what happened during the campaign but going forward, depending on what the investigation find. >> what is the potential that we could uncover here, that we could learn here, david ignatius? there are definitely questions about russian involvement in the le elections. it's certainly something i think would be a legitimate investigate. wiretapping at trump tower will we get the answers to that as to whether or not that happened? >> we will get answers but we will know there is a question.
what essentially what senator whitehouse and senator graham are doing, as you had, forcing the issue. they are saying we have to deconflict. we have an investigation but we need to know if you have a criminal investigation so we will properly steer clear of that and not infer with it. so come ynchts hy has to say we criminal investigation and he has to sketch the nature of it. then it's a long process. viewers shouldn't get their hopes up that we are going to know details any time soon, nor should we, because this is so complicated. but we will know that connections between certain russian figures and certain associates of donald trump were under investigation and perhaps were monitored last year, but that is the beginning. >> what about the allegation that obama wiretapped trump tower? will that be put to rest? >> it's already been stated a president can't order wiretaps. they have director clapper state that is not true. >> you would hope come ynchy wo
want to clear that up. >> i'm wondering when the question gets put to rest because even senators and congressmen in washington have to deal with this. what is at stake here? >> well, i think this is the start of something. i think that graham and whitehouse think that if they can't get the information on this to be disclosed in a public way, they are going to have trouble just, in general, getting all of the questions that the public has on russia answered they are both former prosecutors and teaming up on this to get answers for the american public and to hold our legislators and this white house accountable. so i think this is just kind of clearing the decks. the president put this out there. it's hugely controversial. we got to clear this up before they move on to the other stuff that the people really care about. >> part of the complexity is this goes not only to potentially criminal investigations but the sources and methods by which
investigation might have been done and the part beyond. >> microwaves? >> how it's getting into the public realm of any way there was surveillance what it was and how it was conducted. >> i've named my microwave kellyanne. >> another one turning the screws on this russian issue. chuck grassley said he will block the confirmation of president trump's deputy attorney general pick until he gets russia-related answers from the justice department. the powerful iowa republican said yesterday he will not schedule the committee's vote on rod rosenstein's nomination until fbi director comey respond to his written request from last month. when he and ranking democrat dianne feinstein asked for an explanation. senate intel committee richard burr said he is satisfied what he has heard on trump-related wiretaps and russia so far saying he didn't feel he had to ask for related documents
because we have had sufficient conversations and gotten answer that we find to be satisfactory from the appropriate folks. ron, what may we learn today from director comey through senators whitehouse and graham respectively and maybe lindy graham on this show in a little bit. what are your big questions right now about what is going on perhaps with russia and the white house? >> i'll focus more on the answer, willie. president trump has put us in a position where no good is going to come out of this today for him or the country. we are either going to find out that we have a president who recklessly made an allegation that is totally unsubstantiated without merit or we are going to find out that there is a problem cause for an investigation into the president's team and perhaps the president, himself, around russian ties. he has put himself in a position where this is a lose/lose. >> mike, what is the difference here between three committees in congress investigating? you've got the two intel committees and the house and
senate and this committee led by graham and whitehouse. if the fbi is investigating above and beyond what the congress is doing, what else does that tell you? >> initially what it tells me is -- it doesn't tell me anything but gets me wondering again and again, what is going on within the fbi and specifically with director comey? i know no one who knows jim comey who doesn't give him the highest remarks of integrity and character but he had this conversation with senator whitehouse, the senator from rhode island, on march 2nd. it's march 15th today. what is going on here? why -- if he has answers, why don't we have the answers sooner? why does he have these press conferences as he had last october, ten days before the election? why do we have this tease, this buildup? i don't comprehend this. >> that is what you hear in
lindy graham's voice. we ask and ask and want to know what is going on. >> this morning, we have very few answers about donald trump's tax and more questions about exactly how these were released to the press. the president refused to release his tax throughout the campaign and throughout his administration. but last night, rachel maddow revealed two pages of his 1040 form from 2005. no itemized pages. just two pages. they showed 152 million dollars in income, $38 million paid to the alternative minimum tax. and $103 million write down of business losses. little more is known, though, because none of the documents showing income breakdown are included and the documents have client copy on them. which means the client or someone who works for the client had them. they were obtained by david johnson of dc.org report.
he recovered donald trump's issues in the 1980s when he was with the "the philadelphia inq " inquirer." he could only speculate where the forms came from. >> seen them in the mail over the transom and nothing improper about journalists, if you haven't solicited something getting it over the transom. let me point out it's entirely possible that donald sent these to me. he has leaked over the years all sorts of things. >> it was that reporter's instinct that it's possible the president actually fed those to him. when you kind of look at how the sto story tells itself it tends to back that up. the president said an effective income tax rate of about 25% because of the alternative minimum tax. mitt romney, by comparison, paid 14% and took heavy fire about that during the 2012 campaign. as maddow prepared to go on the air last night, the white house acknowledged the document's veracity and put out a long statement saying this.
that being said, mr. trump paid $38 million even after taking into account large scale of depreciation for construction of an income more than $150 million as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes, such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes, and this illegally published return proves just that. despite the substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. the dishonest media can continue to make this a part of their agenda, while the president will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all americans. the white house added, quote, you know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.
heidi, i just have to ask. from covering trump, your instincts tell you there is a possibility that these came from somewhere else? or from trump, himself? >> well, let's just make the observation that before this was released, the assumption was that maybe trump paid no taxes. now that they are released, it shows that actually he paid, by all accounts, for most americans, a decent amount of taxes. and from now on whenever he is asked that question his spokesman will say you saw the taxes from 2005 but these do not get nearly at the questions that are still out there. meaning the foreign sources of income. mika, i did a lot of work on this. there is high skepticism that the president couldn't be, in some way, be in violations of a clause given the bulk of his foreign holdings and some kind of foreign government isn't give him a subsidy kick back or
renting space from him somewhere around the globe. >> yeah. >> we don't have those answers. >> also, you kind of numb the audience to the story if you let out everyone gets hysterical about -- >> to have this to fall back on. >> right. it does, i think, it might have been an effective -- just my gut. what is your gut? >> i can't assume where they come from but i think no doubt it helps the president. a chance to show people he paid a lot of taxes and made money. important for people to know he has successful and tons of questions whether he made a lot of money. this doesn't show what his net worth is but shows one year. >> the president is not compelled to release taxes returns. i believe with his base they will feel insulted for him that they were revealed for him which is -- i think he understands how that works. i know him. i could see, oh, it's fantastic!
>> takes the pressure off of him to release more. whether this is a cherry-picked year by someone that shows a particular advantage, we don't know. i would just note, again, if there are other tax returns out there for other years that people know about that show a very different story, this disclosure provides an incentive for them in some way to share that information so say that is not the whole picture. you need to know and then -- >> we should say, again, the president should release his tax returns to give people not a clear idea of his income but charitable donations, et cetera. >> ron, i smell a rat and feel this sets up the media in a way when other tax returns do come out, there is a similar reaction that has been quizzical to us throughout the campaign where things that should be -- that should count a candidate out, just didn't with this candidate. >> yeah. i smell a rat too.
we got to stay focused on what mark just talked about. people like me who are very critical of hillary clinton's lack of transparency in the campaign have to look at donald trump in the same vein. look at a statement. he talks about the dishonest media. let's talk about dishonesty. he promised several times to release his tax records with no caveats. yesterday we saw he is fully capable of releasing them when he wants to and have a statement coming out when he wants to. there is absolutely no reason, no legal obligation, no ethical obligation. there is no reason why he cannot release his tax returns. there is every reason why he should as you guys have said. >> i'm just curious as to why it would be 2005? any idea? you might not have one. >> yeah, because as you guys are eluding to it shows he paid a good amount of taxes in 2005. it also shows that most of those taxes were paid to the alternative minimum tax and without the atm, he would only pay 5% of taxes.
guess what he wants to do with his tax reform? he wants to get rid of the atm. that is the kind of thing we need to know, the kind of conflict we need to see and why we need to see all of his records. >> ron fournier, thank you so much. we should mention your paper back, "love that boy." if you have not read it, you should. it is amazing. still ahead on "morning joe." >> i think that is a great question for speaker ryan. i know the speaker is working with his members to do that and that is an appropriate question for the speaker to answer. that is a question for speaker ryan to answer. the president is proud of the fact we are working with congress but this is a bill that is not his. >> so whose health care plan is it any way? president trump would sign on the dotted line but the white house is making clear this has paul ryan's name all over it. we are going to speak with the man who is charged with counting the votes in the house, the
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♪ joining us now the man demanding answers. republican senator lindsey graham of school. great to have out the show. >> thank you. >> a big announcement today? >> yes. i hope. well, there is a little bit of confusion here. senator whitehouse and myself wet met with comey two weeks ago and said we are going to have a hearing on russia and i need to know if there is a criminal investigation regarding the trump campaign or anything about russia because i don't want to interfere with it so i don't want to go blindly down the congressional path if there is a criminal investigation, you need to inform congress we are going to look into all things russia. i gave him until today to let me know and i haven't heard yet.
>> so -- >> senator whitehouse's statement, i think, was a bit misconstrued. he did not promise us. we said we want to know. >> i'm curious. if you have questions about this, because the fbi director seems quite demanding about senator clinton and statement after statement came out. don't we deserve some claims about the president? >> the congress needs to know what it's doing, number one. if you have multiple congressional investigations and we don't want to run into it, number one. the president of the united states has claimed the former president of the united states had his campaign surveilled. i wrote a letter last week give us any evidence of a warrant against the trump campaign. haven't heard a word. so we have oversight of the fbi and judiciary committee. if he runs to the intel
committee and talks about this with ignoring the committee of primary jurisdiction, that will be a problem for him. i like him a lot. senator grassley is firmly in our camp. the chairman. he is threatening to block the deputy attorney general nomination until we get the information from the fbi we requested last week. >> mark halpern? >> eken in south carolina air about this? >> it's a wonderful place. everybody should be concerned if a foreign power tried to interfere in our election and when the president says the former president had surveillance on his property. russia is trying to break the back of democracy all over the world. that is what the hearing will be about. they are trying to destroy nato. the european union. alliances that have kept the world a safe place. and russia is a dictatorship that kills everything they don't like when it comes to
scrutinizing putin in and our national security interest to stop this and punish people interfering in our elections. it was democrats today and it could be republicans in the next election and i want to punish any foreign power who tried to interfere in the american democracy. and hello to aiken. >> what do you make of the fact it's taken doctor comirector co answer your questions? is there surveillance taken that was complicated? >> i'm beginning to wonder. i've always thought this is just donald trump tweeting about a story he read. i have no evidence and i looked clearly if a warrant was ever obtained. how would you have surveillance on somebody who was not part of a campaign? there is a connection between the trump operative and a foreign agent. you could get a warrant if the trump campaign was involved in
criminal activity is one way. i have no evidence of either. now i want to know was there any surveillance at all with a warrant or without a warrant? the longer it takes to answer that the question the more suspicious i get. >> could i just follow-up and ask you, senator, are you confident that that the fbi investigation is going to proceed in a nature that is going to get answers to the questions you think folks in aiken, south carolina, want to know? >> i think director comey will do his job. i need to foe in there is an investigation on the criminal side so i don't interfere with it and how we in congress with shield this from political influence. how do you protect a criminal variation if there is one from political interference is the next question. >> senator graham, willie in new york. >> you're not in aiken? >> i forgot. i wish i was. how would it change your investigation in your
subcommitteee? >> we sat down and see if to allow congress to go down that road. clapper said two things that were stunning. no fisa warrant issued against the trump campaign and no evidence of collusion during his watch which only ended in january. if there is no criminal investigation of the trump campaign, i think the country needs to know that and i think congress needs to know that and we would retool and see what we would do in light of that statement. >> retool how, senator? what questions would be different for you after that? >> i don't know. i'd have to sit down with our investigators and see does that change things. wouldn't you like to know if there is a criminal investigation shichlt yes. >> to his credit, the president of the united states would like to know. >> is jeff sessions preventing comey from talking?
>> no. jeff is out of this. he is out of everything. trump has recused himself. director comey just put urs in h yourself in his shoes. accusation of a current president accusing a former president of being a felon and ail kinds of information that is being released that you may be concerned about and multiple committees to answer to. i would tell director comey answer my my letter there can a warrant and you would be serving the country well. >> you know the senate well. the whole parties wants to get rid of the affordable care act. the president is on the road today to help rally support to forthat macro message. what can he do to try to bring the party back together on the mission that everybody seems to share but the details are vexing? >> i talked to him two nights ago for about an hour. he is really working hard. he was willing to go bowling with the freedom caucus and
shows you how much he wants a bill. i don't think i could have done that. the bottom line is my freedom caucus friends. rand paul is lost. so you're down to losing two more. rand believes refundable tax credits entitlement in a new form. medicaid is the big problem here. my state said no to medicaid expansion. medicaid is broken. ohio, new jersey that took ma medicaid expansion. you're going to have every governor throughout the nation enrolling millions of people in medicaid and it's already structurally broken so you would lose me if that is coming over. i'm not going to punish south carolina. and i'm not going to take a broken program and add millions to it before we can reform it. >> mike barnicle? >> okay, senator. let's stay on this topic but switch cities. take me to greenville, south carolina. we are talking about someone 65, 66 years of age looking at
potentially losing a lot of health benefits and looking at maybe 27, 28-year-old single mom with a couple of young kids living on the margin. what specifically would you propose to do to the house bill when it comes to the senate to take care of the problems of people like that? >> well, somebody 65 is on medicare if you're in greenville and you're 65, you're good to go. how about somebody like me who is about to turn 62? so here is the deal about insurance. the whole goal of insurance is to get young healthy people to pay in. let the company take the money, make some money on the money you've been given, and pay claims when they come due. i would like to broaden the number of insurance companies that you can choose from, competition lowers price. obamacare is collapsing in south carolina. we had five plans on the obamacare scomank shraexchange dropped out and down to blue
cross/blue shield. they are about to go out of the market. obamacare is about to collapse. i would tell the president if you can't get a better deal and protect the 62-year-old worker in greenville from having dramatic premium increases because democrats won't work with you and you can't get the republican party on board, stop, take a time-out, let it collapse then turn to the democrats and say this was the system you created. it has collapsed now help me replace it and that is what i would do. >> senator, the folks in aiken that want to know about russia. >> can we go to myrtle beach? >> if there is a criminal investigation being conducted by the fbi then the question whether that should be referred to an independent special counsel for prosecution. >> good question. >> what do you think about that? >> we are having a new deputy attorney general come forward. he was introduced by two democrats. he is from the state of maryland. i want to give him a chance to be able to look at this
investigation, monitor it, advise it. up until the point i believe he cannot do that. i do not believe he would be disqualified because he was picked by president obama. the need for a new proper is if we lost confidence in him if there is is a criminal investigation. congress i'm okay with each committee looking at their own backyard. i don't feel a need for an independent investigation yet but if i thought congress got broken to where we couldn't get to the bottom of it, then i'd call for an independent investigation. director comey is a good man. tell us if there is is a warrant or a criminal investigation. then we will find out whether or not we need a special prosecutor. >> willie? >> this is a lot of questions before 8:00! >> it is. >> i don't like this! go ahead. >> no offense taken, senator graham. how about a shout-out to another south carolina city?
>> let's go to rockhill. >> okay. you have not only suggested that donald trump ought to provide his tax returns but you said there should be a new law in 2020 a presidential candidate must scoliosis disclose his tax returns. i'm curious about your reaction of the disclosure of just two pages last night from 2005 that showed donald trump made a lot of money that year and, in fact, paid a lot of taxes. what is your reaction to that disclosure? >> the first thing is next time we have dinner, he's paying! that is my first reaction. i'm going to work with democrats to pass a law that anybody running for president in 2020 has to provide their tax returns and i would encourage the president to provide his tax returns. i don't intend to subpoena his tax returns unless there is a connection between his business interests and some investigation of russia and nowhere near that. the president is working really hard to put together a plan to replace obamacare and reached out to every element of the republican party and i told him this. 79% of the american people want
us to do this together. paul rein says this is the best -- last best chance for is. this is the last best chance for republicans to do it by ourselves and maybe screw it up. if you cannot get the product you want, mr. president, don't buy it because republicans tell you you have to. he is the best negotiator i've ever seen and this idea that you're going to get purchases across state lines later by 60 votes in the u.s. senate that is a complete legislative fantasy. if you think buying across state lines is important to getting health care right, it's not going to happen if you need 60 votes in the is not. >> senator lindsey graham making a lot of sense this morning! >> yeah. about 7:33! >> what is going on? all right. it's great to have you on the show. thank you. >> thank you. you need a noon show! >> yes. you're telling me! you have no idea. did you close your microwave this morning? >> no. my microwave has been disabled.
i have a flip phone, nothing made after 1950. >> got you. no microwave. that explains a lot. still ahead, we will talk to top senate democrats claire mccaskill and joe manchin and the rank. ing democrat on the intel committee, adam schiff. "morning joe" is back nochlt. tech: at safelite, we know how busy your life can be. mom: oh no.... tech: this mom didn't have time to worry about a cracked windshield. so she scheduled at safelite.com and with safelite's exclusive "on my way text" she knew exactly when i'd be there, so she didn't miss a single shot. i replaced her windshield giving her more time for what matters most. tech: how'd ya do? player: we won! tech: nice! that's another safelite advantage. mom: thank you so much! (team sing) safelite repair, safelite replace. only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes.
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joining us now the top democrat on on the homeland security department committee senator claire mccaskill of missouri. very good to have you on board this morning. let's start with health care. do you think they will get the votes or end up in the laps of democrats? >> the thing i can't figure out is they have had six years. >> i know. >> they have been preaching replace, replace, replace. it is stunning to me that this is what they have done after six years off ostensibly just wanting the opportunity to control government so they can change health care and the biggest problem with this bill, there is two big problems.
one is it's $300 billion plus tax cut for very wealthy. at the same time, a farmer in rawls county, missouri, who is 62 years old and makes 30 grand a year is going to be asked to pay half of his income in health care premiums. i mean, that is outrageous. people between 50 and 64 get killed in this bill and people in rural missouri get killed in this bill. it's just not going to work. >> yet, if you're watching media coverage and trying to read about it, michael steele, i'm thinking for average hard working american citizens, do you think it's clear exactly what is in this bill and what this bill means as it contrasts to the bill that is in place? >> no. i don't think people have a clear understanding what is in the bill because i don't think that a lot of folks on the hill have a clear understanding what have is in the bill and how it plays out. you hear the conflicting arguments about whether or not
premiums will increase or reduce as premiums. well, premiums go up. they just don't go up by the same -- by as great a percentage in the out years, maybe 10% less but they do go up. premiums go up every year. so a lack of honesty i think overall from democrats and republicans when it comes to the health care debate and back to 2008 we were told you get to keep your doctors and all of that to what is going on right now. for the person you just described, they have health care now, some for the first time ever. the question that i continually ask my republican friends and colleagues are you prepared to go to that mother or that father who has health care for their child for the first time and say that i'm taking that away from you and i'm going to give you something else? and they don't even know if it's better or worse. >> republicans are saying in this bill everyone will have access to health care. >> that is like saying everyone has access to a rolls-royce. if you can't afford a rolls-royce that doesn't feel
like much access. if you can't afford the health care premiums that isn't access. i really think -- when i think of health care i remember what it was like before we passed obamacare. and when i campaigned in 2006 i went to all of the farms that had been around for more than a hundred years and asked these families what will it take for your son to stay on the farm? across the board they said health care. farmers are a good example of people not part of a large employee pool. they have to have someplace they can go and get affordable insurance and for those farm families that are out there in rural missouri, they are not going to be able to afford this plan and no guarantee the deductibles are not going to remain high and nothing in this plan that reduce s health care costs. we need to go back and reform and help obamacare, make it better, but not give this kind of -- this sock to the wealthy
on a huge tax cut. why do we need to give healthy people a 300 billion dollar tax rut right now? >> david ignatius? >> you're a member of the armed services committee. the military has been rocked over the last week by reports of circulation of nude photographs of women members of the marine corps but, apparently, other services as well. and i want to ask whether you're troubled by the way in which the military has reacted to this, what this tells us about acceptance of women serving in the marine corps and other services, but just give us your sense of what you make of this. >> who is accountable? >> i sat in a hearing room yesterday for hours with the leadership of the marine corps and then in a closed session with the investigators that are doing the criminal investigation. keep in mind that the criminal investigators in the navy are the ones that uncovered this huge scandal as it related to bribery and kickbacks. these are good investigators and they are taking this very seriously. i have to say one of the things
i want to see happen, i've written a letter to secretary mattis. i want them to pro actively go after this stuff in all of the services. the idea that a journalist had to uncover this, they had some headup there were problems like this in 2013 and clearly they didn't put it at the top of the list. this kind of online harassment is real and it's a real problem as women integrate into the marines and all of the services that they take this seriously and realize this is all about good order and discipline. and this is all about conduct on becoming an officer and we have got to make sure that in this instance, they show that they can use the wide range of tools they have in the military to discipline, not only the marines that did this, but some of the commanders that may have known -- >> like they drag their feet, senator? >> it sound like they didn't take it seriously enough. it sounds like they didn't realize how damaging this can be. >> the reaction it's on us, we are sorry. take a look.
i believe this is senator kirsten gillibrand questioning the pop member of the marines. take a look. >> who has been held responsible? have you actually investigated and found guilty anybody? if we can't crack facebook, how are we supposed to be able to confront russian aggression and siber hacking throughout our military? who is being held accountable for doing nothing since 2013? who? which commander? >> i'll still in the process -- i mean, i don't have a good answer for you. i'm not going to sit here and duck around this thing. i'm not. i'm responsible. i own this and we are going to have to -- you've heard it before. but we are going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we do -- how we treat each other. that's a lame answer. but, ma'am, that's the best i can tell you right now. >> so what does that exactly
mean? i appreciate it but i don't -- >> i will say it was refreshing that he didn't -- he took responsibility and blame. ed that we have not done this the way it needs to be done. but i can assure you, kirsten and i have worked very hard at doing a long list of reforms in the uniform code of military justice to help survivors of sexual assault. and on that list are things that -- like making retaliation a standalone crime. well, this is a moment because some of these women's have been retaliated against who have come forward. this is a moment for them to show they will use every tool in the tool box to show how serious they are about making sure that women do not feel that they are going to be subjected to this kind of abuse. >> thank you for your work on this, senator claire mccaskill. >> you bet. >> always come back. >> yes. up next, the new yorker claims our next guest is quote, the unlikely liberal hero ready
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does the president believe that former president barack obama committed a felony? >> i think the president's tweets speaks for themselves. >> but the twitter post should not be taken at face value. >> he said, quote, wiretapping, in quotes. i think he feels contpfident wh will come of this will vin duh indicate him. joining us now, ranking member of the house select committee of intelligence, adam
schiff of california who is holding a press conference with republican chairman nunez this morning. i just need to know to make sure everything is okay, did you close your microwave this morning. >> i put tape all over -- >> did you unplug it before you left? >> no. >> you have to go home right away after this interview. willie? >> you asked a pretty simple question about whether or not the previous white house wiretapped trump tower in any way, and why is it so hard to determine if this took place? >> it isn't hard. we will have an open hearing on monday where if we don't get the written answer, we will get the oral answer. i have not seen any evidence to back up the president's claim and there's not going to be evidence about this because,
frankly, if there were i would know it by now, and i don't know why it's so difficult for the justice department. >> why press this then if you know it didn't happen? >> they wanted to bury it in a committee that generally meets in a closed session, and we decided we will investigate this in public. we have to impress upon this white house there are real costs when he makes baseless claims, and probably the best example i could give is if six months from now if they say iran cheating on the nuclear deal, if he's making it up it's a big problem but if he is telling the truth, it's a bigger problem, and this way i hope we show him there are costs
to making these kinds of claims. >> willie? >> as you said, this would have been a phone call away from the president himself or anybody from the justice department, the day it happened they could have made a phone call to see if there was a wiretap. what is your suspicion about why we have not found out yet? >> my suspicion is the president made this baseless claim, i assume, from watching something on tv or getting a tidbit of information and decided this served him right, lobbying these accusations and there's no price he has had to pay so why not, and his staff has tried to run and dodge whether the president of the united states mislead the country of something, and he accused his predecessor of being sick. sean spicer said there's no reason to believe the president was the subject of a court-approved wiretap, and
spicer also said we believe he was tapped and he is saying the fbi must hve been engagein a rogue operation. >> i understand the white house wh they may be taking its time, but why wouldn't the justice department be able to pick up the phone and tell you instantly if there was a wiretap? >> they could. i don't understand why, if the reporting is correct, they asked the justice department to say it was not a correct basis, and my only thought is they did not want to embarrass the president. >> why don't you just hit them with a subpoena? >> well, we will if necessary. i don't think that's going to be required because essentially on monday we will be able to ask the director this question, and i have to think he's going to answer it. i can't imagine he will come into open session and say i
won't answer whether the president was wiretapped by his predecessor. obviously the director of the fbi would be in a position to know that he would have had to have been involved, so i imagine he would have that opportunity to refute that and a subpoena won't be necessary. >> it sounds like you are parenting the president? >> well, look -- >> i mean that without -- you keep saying we need to show the president there are costs to making these claims and you have to understand the ramifications of making baseless claims. it sounds like something you would say to a child that you are raising. >> look, you know, at a very fundamental level tkedemocrats republicans, we need the presidency to be successful and we don't want to see our standing in the world diminished and we don't want to give up the role of being the champion of the world, and this president is not standing up to his
responsibilities, and we are doing our best to impress upon him the gravity of his position. i am losing hope, frankly, that's ever going to happen but we have to try. >> when you are trying to raise a young and beautiful person you want that person to be successful. it's like parenting, it really is. >> and putting aside whether president obama ordered a wiretap, you have been pushing since last august or so for a serious fbi intelligence community-wide investigation of these allegations about russia's activities. a simple question is, are you confident there has been an investigation of these matters going on with the appropriate agencies, and if so is it possible there was some other kind of surveillance not ordered by obama but some other surveillance that would account for what we are seeing? >> david, i am not at liberty to give you a full response to your question. the only thing i can say is i
don't think that what has been done has been adequate and i would like to see an independent commission that has the staffing and the resources that is outside the political process, and i am not saying we in the intelligence committees should step aside and we have our own job to do but i would have a lot more confidence if i knew there was a dedicated body that would have the interest of the american people behind it and won't be inhibited by a lack of staffing or resources or any political consideration. >> congressman adam schiff, thank you so much. >> thank you. we just spoke with lindsay graham as he prepares to leave on the congressional hearings of the russian meddling, and the big question this morning is what happened to the audit? also joining us this morning, steve skau lease on whether the
republicans will have the votes to pass their health care bill. plus, senator joe manchin, and "morning joe" is back in a moment. y2a1gy yx9y knows how it feels to seeetes your numbers go up, despite your best efforts. but what if you could turn things around? what if you could love your numbers? discover once-daily invokana®. it's the #1 prescribed sglt2 inhibitor that works to lower a1c. invokana® is a pill used along with diet and exercise to significantly lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. and in most clinical trials, the majority reached an a1c goal of 7 percent or lower. invokana® works around the clock by sending some sugar out of your body through the process of urination. it's not for lowering systolic blood pressure or weight,
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there's only one invokana®. ask your doctor about it by name. on the day you declare how many tax returns will you release? >> i will tell you nobody knows the tax return business or world better than me. >> how many years back would you go on the day you announce, three or five? >> i don't know, i have not thought about that but i would certainly show tax returns if it was necessary. >> why not release those that are not in audit even if -- >> i have not had most pressure. the only one that cares is certain people in the media. i have had very, very little pressure. >> i will release my tax returns against my lawyer's wishes when she releases her 33,000 e-mails that have been deleted. as soon as she releases them, i will release -- i will release
my tax returns. >> will you release your tax returns to prove what you are saying about no deals in russia? >> well, i am not releasing the tax returns because they are under audit. >> all the presidents since the '70s -- >> i never heard that. the only ones that care about my tax returns are the reporters. i won. i became president. >> there are two major stories that have washington a buzz this morning, and one is on trump's taxes, an exclusive report from msnbc revealed two pages from his 2005 return. we will dig in to what those numbers reveal, new numbers, and don't reveal, and the question might trump have released that return himself? trump tweeting earlier, does anybody really believe that a reporter that nobody ever heard of went to his mailbox and found my tax returns? nbc news. fake news.
the other on the wiretapping claims, with still no evidence at all that president obama committed a felony. republicans are turning up the pressure to put up or back down publicly. i will play for you what lindsay graham, who is demanding answers, said last hour. and then senator joe manchin has deep concerns about how the health care bill impacts the wealthy and hurts the poor. and joe has the morning off. we have david ignatius, and former chairman of the national republican committee, michael steele, and sam stein along with willie geist, of course, and mike barnicle in new york. here we are 8:00 on the east coast and patience is wearing thin in washington with the
director of the fbi, especially in the u.s. senate. democratic senator shelton whitehouse says comey may provide a clearer explanation of the existence of a russ russia-related fbi investigation ahead of today's judiciary committee on middling in the election, and he made the suggestion during a private sit-down between the two men and lindsay graham, the same day jeff sessions recused himself on any investigations with russia. and it's important for comey to answer the question publicly because it committee can't have an fbi director insist they steer clear from an fbi
investigation while not confirming there is an fbi investigation. in response to a letter that white house and republican lindsay graham sent last week. last hour on morning joe, senator graham framed for us what is at stake. >> every american should care whether or not a foreign power tried to interfere in our election and every american should want to know what happened when the current president claims the former president surveilled their campaign, legally or illegally, and these are questions that need to be answered in a democracy, and russia is trying to break the back of democracy all over the world and that's what the hearing will be about, and they are trying to destroy nato and the european union, alliances that kept the world a
safe place, and russia is a dictatorship that don't like anything, and it was democrats today and it could be republicans in the next election and i want to punish any foreign power that tried to interfere in the republican democracy. >> what do you make of the fact that it has taken director comey so long to answer your question and senator whitehouses', is there some type of surveillance that is complicated -- >> i am beginning to wonder. i always thought this is just donald trump tweeting about a story he read. i have no evidence -- i have looked pretty close, that a warrant was ever obtained. how could you surveil somebody that is part of a campaign, and if there's a connection between a trump operative and foreign
agent you could get a fisa warrant, a criminal warrant, or if the campaign was involved in criminal activity, and that's one way, and i have no evidence of either and now i want to know was there any surveillance at all with or without a warrant, and the longest it takes to answer that question the more suspicious i get. >> why, david ignatius, is it taking so long to answer the question and what would the suspicion be? >> we don't know why it's taking so long, and it's a complicated issue than just yes or no, and they have to review the intelligence collection and the sensitivity, and what could be disclosed and what can't at this moment. there's no other explanation that i could see. but we are going to find out something important in the next week or so which is whether there is some kind of investigation, criminal investigation by the fbi, that would have produced some kind of surveillance of trump associates
somewhere, trump tower or elsewhere. >> i have a question for david. i was under the impression, you don't comment on an investigation whether it is or not happening -- >> this is the second time he's in this position. >> correct. i was under the assumption that perhaps there was an innocuous explanation why it was taking so long, and of course the backdrop is that comey publicly did go out on a limb in the summer and say he had the press conference with respect to clinton's e-mails and that might have changed things, and is that a possible explanation of why it took so long? >> it is possible, and the paradox here of what is forcing comey to make an unusual statement as fbi director is trump's charge that obama personally wiretapped him and trump tower, so comey is in a position where -- quite properly, he's saying here's a position to illegal activity, you have to respond to that. >> didn't we have a few weeks
ago the former dni director clapper tell us that if anybody knew there was going to be a fisa warrant he would know, and there was no fisa warrant? >> yeah, and the simple explanation is trump saw an article from breitbart.com, and he saw something like obama wiretapped the trump tower and he tweeted about it. >> and we are thinking about russians, and diplomats and business people that were legitimate targets of u.s. surveillance, and people sometimes gets swept up in it, and that's the thing to remember. >> i am just going to put the news out here. here is republican senator, lindsay graham, republican senator lindsay graham last hour on our show talking about what could happen next. >> i want to come back to those folks in akin that want to know
about russia. >> if you go to myrtle beabeach -- >> if it turns out there's a criminal investigation by the fbi, that should be inferred to a special council for prosecution, and i want to know what you think about that? >> we are having a new deputy attorney general come forth and he was introduced by two democrats and from the state of maryland and i want to give him a chance to be able to look at this investigation, monitor it, advise it up until the point i believe he cannot do that. i do not believe he would be disqualified because he was picked by president obama. the need for a special prosecutor would only arise if we lost confidence in him, if there is a criminal investigation. director comey is a good man, and tell us if there's a warrant or criminal investigation and then we will find out whether or not we need a special prosecutor. >> david ignatius, i am wondering in the course of you
talking to your many, many sources in washington, d.c., if you have run across the following possibility for director comey's hesitancy, his reluctance or stringing out saying whatever it is he will say, and in the course of the investigation that began with one thing, russia, they might be now a couple of investigations going on, and the director comey is reluctant to come out in full public view in fear of giving up sources and methods involved in a multiple investigation? >> mike, i should be clear, i -- for me as a reporter and probably better for the country, i don't know how they are going issue to issue in this investigation. what i do know is the question of sources and methods, these are the most sensitive topics at the intelligence community has, and looking at russia and its leadership and intelligence
operatives, and how they operate, how we know about that is a big u.s. secret, and that's one of the riddles at the secret of this. we will help congress get to the bottom of this, so we will know answers to questions that i think are very sensitive. >> we heard in the last 30 minutes even on this show, members of the congress on both sides of the aisle, adam schiff and lindsay graham, who want answers about what happened in russia, and adam schiff asking about the simple answer of whether or not it's a wiretap, and graham wants comey to tell him if there was an investigation, and it appears between three congressional investigations and perhaps an fbi investigation, there will be
answers eventually on whether or not there was a link on the trump campaign and russia. >> yeah, and then the question becomes what do they find if there is a lynn skpbg how big is the link? what we know now from reporting there was numerous advisers who did have some ties to russian interests. they tended to be people that left the campaign, like paul manafort, for example, and there were numerous trump advisers who said they never met with russian officials and then subsequently recalled it. the question we are trying to find out from the various committees, how big were the ties, and to what extent do they matter and what extent were they ongoing, and once the communities come up with something, what happens next. >> and we had a candidate and then a president-elect who could not find a negative thing to say about vladimir putin, even when
pressed and when handed this on a silver platter, and i know the president watches "morning joe," you know, and we are grateful that people in the white house watch the show, but i would suggest that he watch "60 minutes," perhaps download the piece that was on this past sunday that really looked at the people that vladimir putin has murdered or tried to murder over the past few decades, and really get a sense of what putin is like. it might be a good education tool, and perhaps helpful the next time he is asked about vladimir putin, and perhaps he might be able to put a more realistic analysis of what type of leader he is really is, or he is colluding with them? who knows? i don't know. >> and the republican platform at their convention was changed and we know it was changed at the behest from somebody in the
trump campaign, and at first they did not say there was any involvement in the campaign, and so something is going on. >> absolutely. >> we just don't know the extent. >> yeah. still ahead on "morning joe," tomorrow is another big test for the republican health care plan. a vote to decide whether it will even make it to the house floor. we will talk to house majority whip about that, and then the leaked document into trump's tax returns, more questions than answers. it's cold in the eastern half of the country behind our big blizzard. it's up in canada, and we have big storms from buffalo to syracuse. middletown new york, one of the big winners, if you want to call it a winner, one of the highest totals, they had about 24 inches of snow and many areas from
scranton through the catskills look like this. the highest total we saw anywhere and this is in area of central new york, 41 inches of snow. the pwe i mentioned how cold it is out there, and windchills 11, 10, and even atlanta is at 17, and chicago at 4. it's extremely cold and feels like the middle of winter and it's going to be a slow warmup in the eastern half of the country, and in the west, it's beautiful and warm, and 75 today in denver. "morning joe" will be right back. stay tuned. rheumatoid arthriti, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years.
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is presenting him from releasing his full tax returns a sham. this after the white house preemptively released details of the president's 2005 tax filing to undercut msnbc's reporting. david k. johnston claims he received the documents in the mail, and last night he shared them with rachel maddow. the president paid $38 million in federal taxes on more than $150 million in income. and joining us, hallie jackson, and ed tore in chief in-box.com, ezra cline. his new story is the lesson of obamacare. seriously over six years they should have learned but they have not, ezra. we will start with you, hallie. >> let's lack ahd to today, because he is hded to
nashville and he is expected to talk about health care and this is the big pitch to real people trying to put pressure on republicans sure skeptical. he has been working the phones, and been on sessions with house speaker, paul ryan, and sessions was over there yesterday trying to figure out what kind of compromises they can come up, and ryan is acknowledging, to revive this, it's mortally wounded, and they are going to have to change it and there's acknowledgment there will need to be modifications made, and the question is why is it moving so fast. and the question is, how much political capital is at stake? sean spicer said this. and so he can either get out there and spend political capital, and if he sees writing
on the wall, and there's no indication he could do this, hey, paul ryan's plan and not my plan, and there's not a lot of indication that president is not going to fight for this, and this is his art of the deal and it's a big one. >> will he get the deal he campaigned on, though? i don't think so. >> i don't know if he can. >> what did he campaign on? he said insurance for everybody, and that's not this deal. >> that's not this deal. >> but they are standing by that. sean spicer was pressed, insurance for everybody who wants it. >> and some constituency will end up disliking the bill because of it, and obama had to deal what democrats in congress had to deal with prior to his election, which is finding the right formula where each constituent would say i like it enough to vote for the bill, and it's just very tough to get this
right. >> i want to be clear about this. this bill, it's not that he made big promises, but it makes tradeoffs and it's not there, and it's a betrayal about what trump said in the campaign. >> he said he would repeal and replace. >> it's not a replacement, right, for the 24 million people. >> it's not a replacement? >> when he said he would not cut medicaid, and this is through medicaid, and this is the thing that will beat up on republicans, not just trump but mcconnell said it, and it was that the deductibles were higher, and it's the way it works and it allows you to use a smaller tax credit to buy insurance, and it makes you pay out of pocket more. that's a tough promise to break because people feel it and it's not just a political promise but it's something in their actual
lives. >> so you are writing about what republicans should have learned but haven't. i think it's amazing that they have not seen just how difficult this process can be. >> yeah. >> how is that possible? there is no jlegitimate replacement? >> they are believing different things. what they want to do is tax rich people to provide generous rich people to poor people, and republicans have different wings, and some want to bring the cost down and not increase coverage and others want to increase coverage but in a different way than the democrats, and they did it on the slogan of repeal and replace and did not have any fundamental agreements about what it should be about, but what goals it should be pursuing, and that's where they are really in trouble. >> no common goals. >> for a while it was the
republican mantra that high deductibles were a fine thing because it would cause people to consume less health care, and then obamacare comes in and it's an easy thing about obacare, your deductibles are going to work, and then it suddenly becomes political, and now they have to get a plan together to get deductibles lower, and they box themselves into this corner. >> if the cbo concerns about this plan are true, and this plan gets through doesn't everybody lose, truthly? >> what the response is, this is part one of a three-part process. >> what does that change? >> you have people like tom cotton saying two and three might not exist. you can't pretend that two and three parts are going to happen when those might be more difficult than part one which they are already having difficulty with. paul ryan came out and said he
and donald trump are talking about how to stick the landing on this, and some in washington are wondering if there's a landing to be stuck given where the bill is. >> ezra? >> i am not sure there is. if they get conservatives, then they lose the moderates. it's a bad bill. it would hurt a lot of people and the more republicans realize that the less they will want the people hurt in 2018 and 2020. >> bet they don't know what to wish for at this point. thank you both. we have much more ahead. the republican health care bill appears to be in trouble and democrats can smell blood. >> trump wants to call it ryan care, and ryan wants to call it trumpcare. if it's so good, why don't they want their names on it? >> we will get joe manchin's take on how the potential changes to health care would play in his home state. he's next on "morning joe."
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senator, joe manchin of west virginia. did you close your microwave today? >> no. >> oh, boy. maybe you should close it. >> maybe i am tuned in. >> they are listening to everything you are saying, joe. let's talk seriously -- >> funny start. >> i am happy. >> i am ready to go. >> you have to go and close the door of the microwave and unplug it. >> the door is closed but not unplugged. >> you are halfway good. and you were clapping in the president's announcement of the coal industry being brought back. >> and i told him, it was the first time we heard something good. i said thank you. >> i think that's great when he
brings in the union guys and talks to people who are doing the hard work that makes this country run. i applaud the president for that. i totally understood where you were. now health care, how does this plan look for the people of west virginia? >> here's what i said. when i first looked at it, i got hit three ways, i have an elderly population, which are challenged financially, and i have poor people, and i have more people percentage wise coming on the expansion than most any state, and then i have a horrible openid addiction. how can we look anybody in the eye and say we gave the tax cuts to the people that need it the least? and then they say we saved 330 or $40 billion.
i said don't play games. if you think it's too expensive because you expanded too much, think about this, anything you buy today in america, and it comes in a box and you open up instructions, and it tells you how to assemble it and use it, ande didn give them any instructions, anything, and so there' savings of how we could use it and be more healthy, and we are not trying any of that, just throwing them off. >> obamacare, does it help the people of west virginia? >> certainly. but can we do it differently? >> trump says it's an edisaster. >> people are paying higher premiums and it's like having no
sha insurance. only one person have come and sat down is tried to fix it, bill cassidy, and he is a republican, and he gave me his bill and i looked at it and said we have problems and everything went silent because his bill was kicked to the side and was not considered. >> let's say the system was kept in place as is, but you had one change you could make to obamacare, what would the change be? >> the first change would be the market for the 26-year-olds. i have not found one 26-year-old that bought it. >> how do you make it more -- >> you change the plan, and it should be $80 to $100 a month. and it's a catastrophic plan. >> you have to open the market, and if you are a healthy 45-year-old, and you are doing everything right, you don't want all this other. >> the thing about health care
is you don't know when you are going to get hit with something, right? >> right. >> if you give catastrophic coverage to a bunch of people -- >> that's the risk that is inherent in the system. >> they can book that one. >> willie geist? >> we had lindsay graham on earlier and he's waiting on an answer from director comey about whether or not the fbi is investigating the trump campaign and the connections it could have had to russia, and you sit on the intelligence committee, and do you believe the obama white house or some other government entity wiretapped trump tower? >> i have not seen any indication of that, and today we are going to have a meeting on our intel meeting, and we are going to find out. i think it's going to be a come to jesus meeting, and let's find out where we are. i appreciate lindsay doing what
he is doing. if we can't get the information and can't get the cia and the fbi and everybody giving us what we need in intel, and basically a closed hearing where we are sworn to secrecy, we can't even get that and how do we expect the public to have light on this and we are upset about it, absolutely. >> mike barnicle? >> senator, i mean, you live close to your state. you can go home a lot to a state filled with hard-working people, veterans, minors -- miners, and it's a state that voted overwhelmingly for donald j. trump for president. when you go home how do you speak to people who voted for trump who under the proposed health care bill with no access, very little access to opioid clinics and rehab facilities,
what do you tell them other than you will probably die if you get sick? >> mike, i spoke to the president three or more weeks ago and speaking on different issues, and i said mr. president, don't let them lead you down the primrose path, and so be careful what you are doing here. he said basically we will repeal and replace it the same day, which is almost an impossibility, and then i said, let me tell you, mr. president, over 70% of the people that probably benefited from the expansion, from the subsidies, for all the things you are doing and you are addicted and we have treatment centers, those people don't know how they got these services, they really don't, they just think it's an expansion of the services, and they had no idea it was the democrats, and let me tell you,
mr. president, they will know who took it away from them and they will know if they lose it, and take that vote and see if you get 60, and if not keep repairing it until we get it fixed but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, because you will know it. >> we appreciate that. still you head, house majority whip may have a math problem. can he get skeptical house conservatives to add up to 218? he joins us next. stay with us. just like the people
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collapse and then turn to the democrats and say this was the system you created and it's collapsed and help me replace it. that's what i would do. >> that was senator graham speaking with us earlier on "morning joe." and house republican congressman, steve scalise. congressman, it's good to see you this morning. as you are well aware there's resistance to this bill within your own caucus, freedom caucus, many conservatives don't like it for many reasons and many senators don't like it because of the roll back on medicare eventually, and what can you tell us about the strategy to get this thing through. >> sure, we talked about the strategies to get it resolved, and you have the freedom caucus and the republican study committee, this was, you know, the largest conference, about 175 conservatives, and then you have the tuesday group. look, i think one thing we are
all focused on is this idea of just letting obamacare continue on a death spiral. it might be good politically, but it's not the right thing to do responsibly, and we committed we would rescue people from obamacare and we are keworking through the final details of getting that done, and if you look at the score, if given the choice, people would walk away from obamacare, and our plan lowers premiums and cuts taxes for working families and reduces the deficit, and those are things we have been talking about for years, and we have been talking about these ideas for years and we put the blueprint in place and the voters said that's what we want to do. >> it's that very cbo score that
is giving your colleagues pause, and i understand there are caveats in there, and you cited them, but what do you say to a congressman or congresswoman that doesn't want to take a vote on something, that by the way may not pass the senate anyway -- and it takes away the health care from their districts. >> what i would say to them, and i have been, is go look at the cbo score, because cbo even acknowledges they are not allowed to look at what tom price can do as secretary of hhs, and there's 1,400 different places in the law where it says the secretary of hhs shall or make rules to change the process, and 1400 powers the secretary is given, there's a lot that the secretary can now
do to go and rebuild a healthy health care marketplace that has been destroyed by obamacare, and secretary price is working on those things. those will help lower costs, and cbo by their own admission can't look at those. >> what is the rush? a lot of senators say let's take the time to do this right. it's so important for the country. why the rush to slam it through? why not take more time and iron out these issues of who is going to be helped and hurt and get it right this time? >> we have been waiting seven years. and some people are saying why is it taking this long, and some people say it goes too far and some say it doesn't do enough, and you are probably hitting the sweet spot. the idea of strengthening health savings accounts, that bolsters the marketplace. >> it doesn't look like the
sweet spot -- >> watching sausage being made is not the pettiest thing, but at the same time these are the things members want to do to comb through, and a lot wanted to see the score to see what it would do, and what can we do on the final pieces being negotiated with president trump and a number of our members in our conference that ultimately want to get to a yes vote and send it to the senate. >> sam? >> i don't want to waste my time with a few fact corrections, and the cbo figure said the costs would go up, and i don't want to get into a back and forth, and what i am curious about from the sausage-making process, you have had a single conversation with steny hoyer in maybe getting democratic votes? >> at the beginning of the process the democrats made it
clear they were not going to support anything that guts obamacare, and immediately they said if it involved getting rid of obamacare they don't want to be involved in the conversation conversatio conversation -- >> you have thought about reforming obamacare? >> you can't fix it or tweak it around the edges. the idea is obamacare is unelected bureaucrats tell you what you can and can't buy. >> there's a continuous coverage provision, and we're scaling back the medicaid expansion and not completely getting rid of it. we have -- obviously you can't do everything through reconciliation. and they say you are tinkering around the edges. >> a number of freedom caucus members like what we are doing, and you look at the committees it went through, and every freedom caucus member that was on the weighs and means committee was on the bill, and
doesn't mean they are not trying to negotiate final changes. the bulk of the bill is a good bill that achieves the things we want to do is putting people back in charge of their health decisions and getting bureaucrats out of it and lowering costs. next week president trump heads to kentucky to sell his health care plan, and tomorrow on "morning joe" we will be joined by rand paul and he will give his pitch. this morning we heard from senator lindsay graham who is demanding answers from the fbi, and they all want a clear answer. is there a criminal investigation centering on the 2016 campaign. msnbc chief local correspondent joins us to explain what is about to happen here. keep it here on "morning joe." ♪
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about hillary clinton's e-mail set this precedent. >> was there any surveillance at all with a warrant or without a warrant, and the longer it takes to answer that question the more suspicious i get. >> there are more cost ws when makes the baseless claims. >> if you receive somebody's tax returns you are completely within the law to public them. >> it almost sets the media up to get hysterical, which leads me to wonder if this is exactly what they wanted. >> the fact that he paid the least amount of taxes possible, that plays right to his base. >> it also gets some negative headlines out of e headlines spotlight. >> it would be like him to try and deflect from a major news story. >> if we don't get this through the goal of repealing obamacare is going to be difficult. >> to struggle at this stage and put the white house in this position, i think, is a little bit reckless. >> people between 50 and 64 get
killed in this bill. >> we give tax credits to the people that need it the least. >> the white house said they don't want his name on it, let's call it ryan care. >> did you close your microwave this morning? i named my microwave kellyanne. >> how do i get in the reel if i am on after? >> you have to get up earlier. >> you have to get up early to make that reel. >> there was a theme, you had frustrated senators and frustrated members of congress saying we need to know whether or not there's an fbi investigation and why is it taking us this long to find out, and adam schiff saying why is it taking so long, it's an easy piece of information to get and
we don't have it, and you have three different investigations, and perhaps an fbi investigation, and where do all of these roads lead us? >> we don't know. obviously there's a lot here. one of the things most signal was senator graham saying the judiciary committee has the oversight over fbi, and congress does have a constitutional role to play here, and director comey, who they feel has not been very forthcoming yet has that obligation to tell them. that's very interesting, because there's an intel piece of what happened and how does that affect national security, and then the legal piece of whether or not the fbi director is following the practices that he has set, right, and he made exceptions on his own judgment in the clinton case and he has not yet taken that approach here, and is it a cnton standard or russian standard, and sooner or later the fbi is going to have to do its role. >> with regard to the justice
department and director comey and the length of time involved here in terms of comey coming forward with information, whatever happened to the subpoena power of the house and senate committees? >> they obviously have that power, and i think i heard congressman schiff speak to that on "morning joe" today saying we don't think it will get there, and there's a good reason for that, and the reason is the committees don't want to start with playing their biggest card, and the subpoena power, if anybody has been on the wrong side of a subpoena, there's a lot of teeth there, and if the fbi says there could be an exception to that, they can sometimes push back. and it's not automatic where you subpoena a individual or company where you will get what you asked for, and the other piece with director comey is that there has been a lot of politics around the fbi, and so there's a lot of questions about how and when he releases information, and meanwhile, senator grassly
saying he's going to hold up the deputy ag until he gets the answers, and that's who is supposed to over see it while sessions recused, and the trump white use ha not made it easier. >> the trump taxes in terms of business deals overseas, last night we got two pages from the 2005 tax return. two questions for you. what did you learn from those two pages if anything new? the white house claims they were illegally obtained, and is that true? >> it is illegal for federal authorities to leak tax returns and up to five years in jail, and it's not illegal to leak your own tax returns and this was a good year for trump, so whoever leaked them leaked a good year. >> thank you. >> we will get you in the reel clip. >> final thoughts?
willie? >> we learned two things last night which is donald trump had an advantageous tax report put out by perhaps somebody representing him, and it made him look good and the question remains open about his taxes. this in no way puts it to bed for me or hopefully any other reporter. this is two pages of one good year he had and lindsay graham said himself this morning we need to see all the tax returns. >> i do smell a press play, though. mike barnicle? >> i can't get over the fact that the drafters of the house bill seemingly ignore or can't hear the numbers of people who have health insurance for the first time who might be losing health insurance? >> i agree. absolutely. sam stein? >> i am with mike on this and it's incredible and i think they are starting to feel a little empathy for what nancy pelosi went through in 2009, because this stuff is hard. getting votes is hard. >> i think last night was a home
run for donald trump on his tax returns, and the tax argument goes away for a little while for him. >> and the base, too. david? >> i learned three key members of congress are talking about a serious investigation, and i think there's going to be a serious investigation of russia and the trump campaign. >> it's getting really interesting. thank you. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. >> thank you so much, mika. good morning, i am stephanie ruhle. breaking news overnight, donald trump's taxes. msnbc the first to reveal a portion of the president's 2005 return. >> donald trump's tax returns have surfaced. >> what they say about his income and new questions about who leaked them. >> trump has a long history of leaking material about himself when he thinks it's in his interest. >> deadline day. the senate demanding answers today about the wiretap investigation from the fbi. >> if it's not true just say it's not true.