tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC March 24, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
we have been documenting on this show the organic protests that popped up in an effort to save the affordable care act and resist the elements of trump and republican agenda. it has been fascinating to watch it unfold. what everybody thought was an impossible battle to protect obamacare when republicans thought they could get rid of it on their own terms. there's a lot to celebrate today. i'm telling you, there is nuting in activism that helps you win something like having won something and boy was this a big win for those folks to save the affordable care act against all odds. what are they going to win next? that does it for us tonight. we will see you on monday. it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. >> so important that you have been emphasizing how this happened, that it was those protests. it was that citizen activism that all has been ignited in the
last 60 days that turned this around. >> i think it's been really ease stoi focus on this as a beltway story and the various caucuses and the discussions that happen in hallways and meeting rooms, but i believe with all my heart what moved this is the discussions in the town halls around the country. it's like nothing i have ever seen. >> rodney is the chairman of the house appropriations committee. when i saw the tweet he put out, i upped my bet this was dead. if the chairman of the appropriations, the third most important job in the house, if he's voting against his speaker on this, then the whole world is, if you record this vote. ime not sure they would be gotten 50% of the vote if they recorded it. >> people are talking about how bad paul ryan looks now. the one good thing paul ryan might have done as a politician and leader today is not make his members commit themselves one way or the other because they
would all be paying for it one way or the other with nobody winning. >> tom cotton, other republican senators kept using the phrase, walk the plank. ryan didn't let his people walk the plank, take a vote they would pay for in the next election and never get it through the senate anyway or have it fail in the house today. >> that's right. >> incredibly dramatic day, but really, your point is so important, it all started with those people. without those town halls, the video you showed last night, without those people in those town halls telling real stories to legislatures who clearly never heard them before. wasn't that the amazing part in the video? you could tell this was news to them. >> legislatures, even if you don't like them, they are human beings. when you get confronted with somebody you are responsible for and it's within your power to either do something that they say is going to kill them or not, i mean, no matter how
heartless you think your public servant is, every human being has to live with themselves at the end of the day. having those personal testimonies, at so many levels, especially in their home districts, their hometowns, there's nothing else like it in politics. i remain con vinlsed the next big act, whatever the mobilized americans decide to do next is going to blow everybody away in terms of what supposedly inevitable thing they stopped from happening. >> i think it has to do with resistance to the trump budget, dead in the water tonight. appreciate it. thank you. today was a big win, big win for the president. the 44th president, barack obama. and it was, to put it in trump speak, a complete disaster if for the president. what donald trump and the republicans learned today is president obama really did bring change to america. president obama changed the way
americans think about health care and most americans now believe health care is a right, not a privilege. it's a right that donald trump cannot take away. >> doing big things is hard. >> with no democrat support, we couldn't quite get there. >> we'll take credit for that. >> didn't pass because they couldn't get 215 from their own party. >> the president did his all in this effort. >> he did everything wrong here. he paid no attention to the details. i don't know if he cared about the details. >> i don't want to speak about specifics. >> at the end of the day, this isn't a dictatorship. >> i, alone, can fix it. >> donald trump is a 70-year-old rookie. >> repeal it and replace it within 64 days. my first day in office, i'm going to ask congress to put a bill on my desk. >> we will be able to repeal and replace obamacare. nobody knew health care could be
so complicated. >> the big picture, it's a victory for, philosophically, for obama. >> obamacare is the law of the land, going to remain the law of the land. >> let's breathe a sigh of relief. >> the affordable care act is here to stay. okay. it's time to discuss the legislative leadership and powers of the presidency. it is impossible, impossible, to exaggerate the enormity of what happened to donald trump today. his presidency effectively ended today. he will retain the office, of course, but not the powers because he demonstrated today, he has none. he is a powerless president. the president will, of course, still have commander in chief authority over the machinery of war, but he exercised more authority over the machinery of
golf since becoming president than military activities. the rest of the presidency in military relations that he is already an abject failure, unwilling to shake hands with our most important ally. >> handshake? >> the president's most important executive orders have been blocked by federal courts and now, now the president has lost his first big legislative battle. that is a sentence. i have never said before, the president has lost his first big legislative battle. they all win those battles and they win them because their parties unify behind the president. that's the way it always works, on the first big bill. usually, for the first year, at least, not now.
the members of donald trump's own party in the house of representatives and the senate do not care what he thinks. they do not care what he wants. he has proved himself incapable of changing their minds, commanding loyalty and commanding their respect. why would they respect him? here is what he's doing yesterday, after he publicly gave up trying to win support for his own bill. [ applause ] [ horn honking ] >> tonight, the president, who already proven himself to be the laziest, most ignorant president in history is now the weakest. nothing, nothing will get through congress because donald trump wants it to get through congress. the republicans will probably get a tax cut through congress because they have had a tax cut ready to go since before donald
trump ran for president. tax cutting is the one kind of legislation that republicans know how to get done. it won't be donald trump's tax cut. he will be irrelevant to the process. it will be paul ryan's tax cut negotiated with mitch mcconnell. if donald trump will sign it. all he is to congress is the rubber stamp for what they choose to pass. mitch mcconnell will do what he can to nominate a supreme court justice not chosen by donald trump, but a name on a list handed to donald trump. a list of names he never saw before. he was told, you get to pick one of these. that's it. donald trump is the most powerless president we have ever seen and nothing can change that because it is who he is. he is a weak president because he is a weak person. weak of mind, lazy, undisciplined, reckless and ignorant to the point that he amazed republican house members.
republican members of the house of representatives are the least knowledgeable people in government about health care policy and one of them told ryan lizza at the new yorker, astonished, how in over his head trump is. he doesn't get the politics or the policy of this. that was the word from inside a private meeting with the president on the health care bill. republicans in the house have seen donald trump up close trying to make the deal. it was very clear to every one of them he did not understand a single word of the deal. he had no idea what he was talking about. some members of the trump staff whispered it was easier to negotiate with congress without trump. of course it was because trump was telling everyone who came through the door, what they wanted to hear. in congress, that means you can never, ever get a deal because you are going to have to be able
to say no to someone on what he or she wants and still, still get that person to vote for your bill. that is the only waybills like this get passed. members of congress vote for a bill that they don't like very much because their president needs them to do it. that's how bill clinton got his first bill passed by exactly one vote in the house of representatives and in the senate. there was very little in it for democrats to like. it was a big tax increase along with big spending cuts in medicare and medicaid to reduc the deficit. democrats voted for it in the end. what put the bill over the top was the belief among democrats in the house and senate if their president lost on his first big bill, his presidency would be irrelevant. that's how bill clinton got to 51 votes in the senate. the last ten democrats to come on that bill did so only to save
bill clinton's presidency. it was a hard vote for them. but, that argument always works. when ever democrats or republicans in congress need it, we have to pass the president's first big bill or his presidency will be irrelevant. that argument has always been right and that argument has always worked. until today. republicans in the house do not care about the trump presidency and they proved that today by crushing the trump presidency into irrelevance. today, the resistance between president trump won and the resistance on this day was republican. president trump is a man without a party in a government that only has two parties. trump voters were convinced that donald trump could push congress around, any member of congress that crossed donald trump would have his or her political career destroyed by a trump tweet. he would fire the tweets into
the congressional districts of the members. the congressmen lived in fear of donald trump. when the president got tired of negotiating on the health care bill, he issued the ultimatum to the republican house that it was time to vote. it was time to shut up and vote. and if they didn't vote for the trump bill this time, they would not get another chance. the ultimatum laid it all on the line for president trump and now we know what a donald trump ultimatum means to congressional republicans. absolutely nothing. president trump has the lowest approval rating of any president in the first two months at 37% in the latest poll. that is now a higher job approval rating than president trump has with his own republican congress. today, donald trump did what no president before him has publicly done on health care reform, he quit. he gave up. he could have said, we are going
to spend the weekend working on this bill and see if we can bring it to a vote next week. if we can't, we'll keep working on it until we bring it to a vote. that's what you are supposed to say. the last one ended in a signing ceremony at the white house. the one before that ended in 1994 with no bill. president clinton's bill managed by hillary clinton didn't make it through congress. it made it through the committees, but not the floor. remember bill clinton's speech the day he surrenders on health care the way donald trump did today. do you remember hillary clinton's speech the day they surrendered on the health care? no you don't because they never surrendered. not publicly. the democrats kept drafting alternative compromises they thought might be able to get through house and the senate well into september of that session. no one ever publicly gave up on
the democratic side and the truth is, you never have to admit complete defeat in congress if you are willing to at least, at least go through the motions of continuing to try because the door never actually closes on legislation, but donald trump just gave up today, that forced paul ryan to admit they were giving up. we have been wondering since the election what it would take for trump voters to realize the size of the fraud they voted for. donald trump, the guy who said repeal and replacing obamacare would be easy, spent less than 60 days trying to do it and many of those days on the golf course before quitting because, as he had to admit along the way, it was just too complicated. and more importantly, because he is the laziest, most ignorant, most incompetent and now the most irrelevant president in
history. joining us now, the editor and chief of fox.com and the republican strategist and contributor to the daily beast. ezra, it seems two or three weeks ago, this was complicated. to the end, he never understood how complicated. >> this turned out to be a huge problem. one of the things i kept hearing, meetings with him, who were part of the ultimate closer, it was clear he had no idea how the bill worked. i think when people hear that, it sounds funny. it actually matters. when you are doing this kind of big thing, when you are asking members of congress to take a dangerous vote, you actually have tohem committed to something bigger than themselves. this is a big deal. it is worth losing your seat over. that's what obama did. he gave a speech at the end of the push, this is worth losing
your seat over. trump didn't like the bill and didn't like to talk about it. he came in with a cynical, political closing argument. if you don't vote for it, you will lose your seat. it's not enough to get people to vote for a bill with 70% approval rating. >> ezra, the polls show exactly opposite of the trump threat and rick wilson, everybody has the same access to those polls ezra just mentioned. if you don't vote for it, you lose your seat. the polls said the opposite. if you vote for it, you are taking an extreme risk with your seat. >> this was an exten shl choice for those guys where donald trump did not overperform. these guys were looking at number where is this bill was in the mid-20s to high teens in almost every case for approval. the fact of the matter was, the pressure on these folks from donald trump's minions and the
mean tweet, it diminished as the political reality set in, no matter what you think of obamacare, there's no way donald trump is going to be a guy to go out in private or public and articulate an argument for this bill that would move the numbers that would make sense. the emperor has been buck naked from the beginning. as ezra noted, i have talked to members in the meetings, basically, this guy has no clue, whatsoever what he's talking about. he's more comfortable being a presidential truck driver rather than somebody who can argue about a serious consequential bill like this. >> yeah, ezra, historically in legislation like this or complex legislation, you don't let anyone do negotiating who isn't in command of the details. most of this has been left to chairmen of the committees who know the material the best, the congressional leaders and rarely the president on specific issues
because the president is always, this is no fault of the president, going to be less informed of the details on congress is. it certainly looked like some members were having conversations with paul ryan that were unsatisfactory, then they go to the white house and have conversations with the president and the president would say, yeah, i think you are right, we should try to do that, thereby under mining whatever paul ryan said to them. you have this two-headed monster of negotiations going on. >> i think that's true. i think we should look at the larger picture here. this was an atrocious bill. >> yes. >> it was not that donald trump didn't know enough to make a good case for it, there wasn't a good case to be made for it. if there was, somebody else could have been doing it. paul ryan could have been out there. secretary rice could be been out there. there wasn't. when heritage action came out against the bill, that's a conservative group. we are not talking liberals here. they said you have to vote against this bill.
not a single conservative health care policy on the list is for it. this is a bill opposed not just by aarp, but the american hospital association, the american medical association and anybody that knows about health care said it was terrible. not only was it bad, but broke all their promises. it broke donald trump's promise to give everybody health care. this is not what anybody wanted. even if trump had known more about it, that would have made him uncomfortable with the fact this didn't go with anything he said on health care. >> ezra, that is such an important point to focus on what was in the bill. it was a disaster on its face. i would add that to the issue of competence. the pushing a terrible bill is one of the signs of incompetence. >> you know, if you are a conservative, this bill looked -- if you are a fiscal conservative, this is a disaster. if you are a market
conservative, wow, we recon figured the industry to pharma. we are not reducing the premiums or deductibles or burdens imposed on people by obamacare. it doesn't fix anything and it also, just from the look and feel of the thing, it's a disaster. it gives you every hook. if you are a democrat, every hook to go after the bill, putting people off insurance and maternity and mental health care and thing that is just were immediate news hooks and people understood them and there was no effort to market the bill beyond the thought that donald trump would sell it to the public. that's saying we are going to outsource a day care center to a team of serial killer clowns. it's ridiculous. you can't outsource this where it needs heart, soul and feel. it's not a heartless mechanism to throw people off their insurance to donald trump, the guy with the least sympathetic
affect of any human being. >> they came up with a bill that couldn't be sold, then did everything wrong after that, too. thank you both for joining us, appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thanks, lawrence. coming up, we have an expert panel on the chaos in the white house. what we have already seen in the first 60 days and what we can expect to see in what's left of what we call the trump presidency. also, we are going to be joined by a house intelligence committee member, jim hynes. he will join us with the latest on what happened with chairman nunes today, who has changed his story. he is now telling a completely different story of the intelligence information that was brought to him this week that he rushed over to paul ryan, then down to the white house. various: (shouting) heigh! ho! ( ♪ ) it's off to work we go! woman: on the gulf coast, new exxonmobil projects are expected to create over 45,000 jobs.
even they realize this is a devastating day for donald trump. the post says after it, president trump was set to have a houseboat to replace obamacare. it was a harsh defeat for the gop which long campaigned against the law. so much for donald trump's attempt to blame the democrats. i'll be right back. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis isn't it time to let the real you shine through? introducing otezla, apremilast. otezla is not an injection, or a cream. it's a pill that treats plaque psoriasis differently. some people who took otezla saw 75% clearer skin after 4 months.
and otezla's prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't take otezla if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. otezla may increase the risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. side effects may include diarrhea, nausea, upper respiratory tract infection, and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your dermatologist about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. so, with today's questioned defeat, the superman trump voters think sending him to the white house has met his kryptonite at the end of two months of sheer chaos,
incompetence and weakness. >> with no democrat support, we couldn't quite get there with just a very small number of votes short in terms of getting our bill passed. >> i will not sugar coat this, this is a disappointing day for us. >> with respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping of him, i have no information that supports those tweets. >> i have recused myself in the matters that deal with the trump campaign. >> retired u.s. army, three-star general, an intelligence specialist had resigned as national security adviser. >> breaking news, a short time ago, a federal appeals court here in california ruled against the government, refusing to reinstate president trump's ban against travelers from seven predominantly muslim countries. >> joined by washington columnist for "the boston globe"
and david cornyn from mother jones and msnbc political analyst. i want to look at what charles said this evening on fox news about what happened today. >> the big picture, i think, it's a victory for philosophically for obama. seven years since the act was put into place. the country is changed. there is now the generalized expectation that there is an entitlement to universal health care. >> nick, it took a long time for republicans to grasp that concept. >> that's right. it took them seven years of trying desperately to try to overturn it and 18 days of their own effort that they also spectacularly and let's hope it is behind. frankly, president trump articulated, he's going to try to kill obamacare and he can certainly sabotage it and blame
it on its intrinsic difficulties. that's one of the main risks ahead. that's a power he has, to sabotage it. >> that would fall to the democrats to identify that, where they see that happening as much as possible, basically rush to the scene of the crime. >> you are right. the thing about president trump here is, let's not forget, this is a man who loves to win. his entire brand is about winning. today was about a spectacular colossal failure. this is on top of a number of failures in the first two months. you know, we have talked on this show before about his travel ban that failed not once, but twice already now, all sorts of questions about intelligence and this on top of it. it seems as if trump didn't realize how difficult health care was. he said things like we didn't know how difficult it was. everyone in washington already knew how difficult it was.
it was chuck schumer, the mi yorty leader in the senate who had the last laugh when he said this is the most incompetent white house he has ever seen and so much for the art of the deal. i think, unfortunately, a lot of trump supporters may be think thag, too, if they thought they were going to get a better health care deal out of it. this is shelved to be forgotten. >> listen to one of the lies donald trump told when he was making excuses about this, saying he never said he could do it in just 64 days. listen to this. >> i never said, i guess i'm here what, 64 days? i never said repeal and replace obamacare. you have heard my speeches. i never said repeal it and replace it within 64 days. i have a long time. >> david cornyn, he did say he would get it done the first day and other time frames. i don't think he specifically said 64 days, he might be right about that. >> he didn't say 64 days, he said immediately, he was the
only guy to do it. we had a video where he said it would be easy, easy, easy. so, he clearly doesn't remember what he said. it's a situation where he doesn't know what he said ten seconds ago. it's about the moment. to nick's point about stepping on the oxygen hose, very apt metaphore here. the one thing about donald trump, when he does these speeches for 50,000 bucks and the secret, make money like donald trump. he says the most important rule we can teach anybody in business, they won't teach you this at wharton or harvard, if somebody screws you, screw them back and screw them ten times and 15 times over. this is a guy who looked defeated now and kind of was low key about it. i believe this obsessive need for revenge will cause him to lash out and do things at
republicans, obamacare, maybe everyone. >> nick, republican congressmen are sensitive to the idea of revenge and trump being revenge. not one of them, not one of them seems to fear that. >> well, i think they fear voters more than trump, but, my greatest concern art revenge is ultimately the revenge about obamacare and we are going to see one test of that very soon when we have the house of representatives lawsuit against the extra on obamacare and if the trump administration does not defend against that suit, then obamacare is deeply sabotaged and president obama said today democrats own obamacare, it's going to die. i fear he is signaling he is not going to defend that suit and he wants to see it succumb and blame it on obama, which would be a catastrophe to go from
great victory today to covering less people because of his ineptitude. >> a mystery i have been waiting to see unfold, what is donald trump's legislative power going to be? we have seen a defeat like nothing we have seen on the first bill of the president. things get more difficult from here. they will probably get tax reform because the republican congress knows how to do it. donald trump wants to do individual trade deals with individual countries around the world. this shows today, he won't do a single one because the only thing more complex than health care legislation is a trade deal with one country or multiple countries. >> not to mention, legislation and whipping things through congress takes an attention span. you know, you can't just, you know, nick was saying 18 days. obama spent 18 months on obamacare and then it was hard to get it through. he said after 18 days, that's it, i'm done. i'm done with this. that's all he had the attention
span for? it doesn't make sense. he spent the day deflecting blame say thg is the democrats fought. the bottom line, he needed three dozen, there was something like three dozen republican deflections here. he was unable to get his own party in line because of deep, deep divisions within the republican party. if he can't do it over obamacare, something that was universally hated by republicans, it's hard to see how he was going to do it on iss issues on the agenda. beginning with a loss is not the way to begin. >> obama, then the clintons before him, they each spent two years on the presidential campaign trail studying health care policy and working on the details of it in debates before getting to the white house. donald trump obviously -- we have to squeeze in a break here. we are going to come back with our panel. the house intelligence committee
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and, second, he changed his story about what was in the intelligence reports that he says he brought first to speaker paul ryan, then to the president on wednesday. >> can you clarify if trump associates were monitored? >> we won't know that until we receive all of the documentation. >> that's what he said today and here is what he said about that on wednesday. >> this is information that was brought to me that i thought the president needed to know about. collection where the president himself and others in the trump transition team were clearly put into intelligence reports. >> the president, himself, was clearly in the reports on wednesday in the white house, and now, he's not. now, devin nunes doesn't know. so, i guess that means he now
doesn't know why he ran to tell paul ryan about the reports, then ran down to the white house to tell the president. on fox news, devin nunes gave yet another reason for running to the white house. >> i felt i had a duty and obligation to tell him because he's been taking a lot of heat in the news media. >> devin nunes thought he could help the president out with the heat he's taking in the news media. there is no governmental reason to go to the white house in what you just heard devin nunes say on fox news last night. absolutely none. on fox news last night, devin nunes is admitting he did it for nothing but public relations reasons to help the sunking credibility of the pathological liar in the white house whose credibility can never be helped because he lied his way through life. devin nunes is in way over his head. he is obviously incompetent.
he has no idea how to properly handle intelligence and is now trying to publicly block his own committee's progress by cancelling next week's hearing. >> i think that there must have been a very strong pushback from the white house about the nature of monday's hearing. it's hard for me to come to any other conclusion about why an agreed upon hearing would be canceled. >> congress jim hines on that intelligence committee will join us next. ♪ ♪
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joining us now, democratic congressman jim himes from the house intelligence committee. thanks for joining us tonight. first of all, can you tell us what you were hoping to accomplish in next week's hearing, what that testimony would have been and why you believe the chairman canceled that hearing? >> sure, thanks, lawrence. i was really looking forwards to tuesday's hearing because, remember, the vast bulk of the work we do as an investigative committee in this arena is not likely to happen in public. we are dealing with classified information, very sensitive surveillance, that sort of thing. like monday's hearing, next tuesday was to be an opportunity to hear from the former director of the cia and director of national intelligence and sally yates, the deputy attorney general, all of whom would have
known ant the investigation as fbi director comey told us has been on nine months. they would have known about that investigation prior to leaving office in january. this was a great opportunity for the american public to hear more and learn generally from professionals about what it looks like when russians seek to influence an election. the cancellation of this tuesday open hearing was really a blow not just to the investigation, but an awful lot of curious americans. >> what do you make of the chairman's reason for doing it? >> well, to me it's clear as day. the monday open hearing, in which we had the fbi director and the head of the nsa, who is a rough five hours for the president in which the fbi director acknowledged a lengthy investigation to use his words, he's looking into links and coordination between trump associates. they knocked down the tweet of
the president saying barack obama wiretapped him. then, of course, the democrats, we ran through all kind of questions that painted a picture of the bizarre connections of people like paul manafort and flynn with the russians and the fact they have hidden those connections. that's not normal for a presidential campaign. suffice it to say that was a painful five hours for the white house. my guess is, if they called up devin nunes and said we are not doing that again and here we are. >> i was impressed with the chairman monday that he allowed the hearing. no, he didn't agree with anything you were saying, but more importantly, he didn't try to contradict anything you were saying. they changed the subject to an irrelevant point. i thought wow, this is a republican chairman letting this out, letting this damage occur to the president and i was impressed with that until he, apparently, couldn't take it
anymore. >> yeah. whether he could take it or not, it's clear people in the white house said this is going in a bad way for us. it wasn't just the cancellation of the open hearing next week, just the bizarre, as we have come to call it, the midnight run. you would get intelligence that you wouldn't tell the rest of the committee members, wouldn't tell the staff of the committee and feel a sense of obligation to help the president with heat in the media. you know, third grade civics, we remember congress is a check and balance on the president. we are not their public relations people. that, of course, cast a huge question on devin's objectivity and created a problem for us two days ago. today, we get the cancellation of the hearing. suffice it to say the democrats want a meaningful and objective investigation. we are in a tough place today. >> you know the chairman personally, how surprised are you by his erratic and
unpredictable behavior this week? >> i tell you, i do know him and respect him and count him as a friend. this is not the first time we have had a week like this. he and senator burr, chairman of the senate intelligence committee admitted to knock down a new york times story the white house didn't like. we have seen this sort of thing before. what makes it confusing is, yes, i do know him. in fact, inside, behind closed doors, he's constructive about this investigation. we are working on a witness list right now, as you pointed out. he allowed the open hearing on monday. we have seen a lot of inside cooperation. of course that changed this week. it's put us in a terrible spot. on one hand, you say to yourself, what are we here for if we are cancelling open hearings. we don't have an outside bipartisan commission. we are the only show in town. we walk afwra the investigation and people are under suspicion.
>> congressman himes, thank you for joining us, appreciate it. >> thanks, lawrence. >> coming up, more with the panel on this whole devin nunes and house intelligence committee investigation and other trump messes. in july of '98. i did active duty 11 years. and two in the reserves. our 18 year old was in an accident. when i call usaa it was that voice asking me, "is your daughter ok?" that's where i felt relief. it actually helped to know that somebody else cared and wanted make sure that i was okay. that was really great. we're the rivera family, and we will be with usaa for life. usaa. we know what it means to serve. call today to talk about your insurance needs.
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i mean everybody on the committee that i have spoken to, the democrats all think the hearing was canceled because trump just took a thumping from the hearing held earlier this week. if brennan clap came on there and sally yates talks about what the administration did and didn't do about flynn lying and his connections to kislyak, it would define the day and give more ammunition to people who are investigating the trump/russia scandal. another weird press briefing today, he essentially conceded he got off without acknowledging that. he said he hadn't seen all the documents, he heard about it earlier in the week, wednesday afternoon, he was rushing to the microphones. it was reckless and he told us it was reckless. >> a quote from your column yet,
entitled "there's a smell of treezen in the air." i'm told there's ties between russia and a member of the trump team that isn't yet public. another trump team -- >> i believe there are, you know, more shoes to draw. i think this is going to continue to stagger along. my sense of this is there is going to be evidence of a collusion, not a hard one between the trump team and the russians, but advanced knowledge, some degree of cooperation. i think the challenge is going to be to connect that soft collusion by members of the trump team to president trump himself and i think that may be very, very difficult and for those people who are counting the days toward impeachment, i think that is going to be a critical obstacle and we may see a president enormously weakened
by this. we talked earlier about health care. this is another blow that is going to intervat the presidency as we go ahead. it's going to be hard to connect it to show his knowledge. >> i was watching that hearing on monday in the house intelligence committee, thinking how did they let this happen? how did the republicans allow this to go on? it's completely up to the chairman to have this hearing. how did the white house allow this? this is another case of incompetence where they did not understand ahead of time how devastating this well advertised hearing was going to be to the president. >> there's another thing called the separation of powers. the whole point of the house select committee on intelligence is they are supposed to be an oversight committee providing bipartisan oversight on the intelligence community and also, in this case, investigating russian interference in the u.s.
election and any potential collusion we have been talking about between members of the trump campaign and the russians. the point here, and i think the most important bottom line question going forward is can an investigation by this committee be considered impartial, independent and credible? after what devin nunes did on wednesday,itis hard to see how it can be. even if you are a republican, even if you are a member of the trump transition team, as he was, his job is to lead a bipartisan probe, an investigation he said he would do independently. to run to the president and brief the president on a probe of which he is a subject, very, very strange behavior, indeed, including what you referred to. >> we have to leave it there tonight. thank you all for joining us, appreciate it. coming up in tonight's last word, a very special last word by president barack obama. ile,
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