tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC March 30, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
interest nepotism. each for the political raticalism that we see is no big deal because at least it's not treason. whether or not the russia scandal brings down this presidency, and it might, the point of the russia attack was to knock america down a few pegs in the eyes of the world. they win and we lose if the outcome of all of this, regardless of this presidency is that we become a country that lets all this other stuff slide, right? where even rank corruption becomes normal or too small potatoes for us to worry about it. we cannot let ourselves be the american generation where the standards slipped that badly. right where that happened. at some point we're going to have to get back to zero in terms of being able to be shocked by corruption, nepotism and crime in government. we're going have to get back to zero when it's all done. that does it for us tonight. fully it's time for "the last
word." joy reid sitting in for lawrence. >> amen. we need to regain our power to be shocked. i am joy reid sitting in for lawrence o'donnell. big breaking news tonight. general michael flynn who served as donald trump's national security adviser for less than a month before being fired for lying about his contacts with russia is reportedly trying to cut a deal, offering to talk to investigators about the trump campaign and russia in exchange for i'm from prosecution. for the trump white house, things just got real. >> "the wall street journal" is now reporting former trump national security adviser general michael flynn -- >> general flynn is a wonderful man -- >> offering to testify in exchange for immunity, when you are given immunity, it means you have probably committed a crime. >> i think it's very, very unfair what's happened to general flynn. >> now that we know that it's his own staffers who were
briefing devin nunes. >> it now raises more questions about whether the white house is actively interfering in this investigation. >> if i start going down the path of confirming and denying one thing, we're going down a very slippery slope. >> that's why you have press conference, buddy, to answer questions. >> every day in this investigation you wake up and think it's going to be one kind of day and it turns out to be quite a different kind of day. >> there is a big bombshell that dropped tonight in the ongoing investigation into the trump campaign's alleged collusion with russia in its interference with the 2016 election. "the wall street journal" is reporting that michael flynn, donald trump's former national security adviser has told the fbi and congressional officials investigating the trump campaign's potential ties to russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution. but the report goes on to say that michael flynn has made the offer to the fbi and to the house and senate intelligence committees through his lawyer, but so far has found no takers.
a congressional official confirms to nbc news that michael flynn told the senate intelligence committee he would testify in exchange for immunity. a spokesman for the committee declined to comment. a statement released by michael flynn's council tonight said they will not comment on the details of these discussions, but they went on the say michael flynn is now the target of unsubstantiated public demand by members of congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated. no reasonable person with the benefit of advice and council would admit to questioning to such a highly publicized witch-hunt. officials previously told msnbc news there was no previous agreement about interviewing former trump associates and regarding the intel committee, criminal immunity in exchange for testimony was not an option. the chairman of the senate intelligence committee richard bury said this yesterday when asked about michael flynn. >> have you guys been in contact with michael flynn or representative michael flynn?
>> i think it's safe to say that we have had conversations with a lot of people. and you would think less of us if general flynn wasn't in that list. >> now, of course asking for immunity doesn't necessarily mean you have done anything wrong. at least that's what most people who are familiar with the law will tell you. people other than michael flynn, that, who said the following last september when talking about immunity deals given to members of hillary clinton's inner circle over her use of a private e-mail server. >> when you are given immunity, that means you have probably committed a crime. >> well, folks, we're only at day 70 of the trump administration, and a fired administration official is already offering to testify for immunity amid about ongoing probe of the president and his campaign aides over alleged collusion with a foreign power to tip the election in their favor. and that's only the beginning of today's problem for the trump administration. a new report from "the new york times" today raises serious questions as to whether the white house is actively
interfering with the house intelligence probe into russian election interference. the times reports that it was not one but two white house officials who gave devin nunes intelligence information in what seems to be an attempt to use the chairman's investigation not to do oversight over this white house, not to investigate russian interference in our election. no. rather to use the house intelligence committee investigation to support donald trump's baseless conspiracy theory that president obama wiretapped trump tower. according to the times, one of those officials is ezra cohen wattnick at the national security council. watnick was brought into the administration by, wait 40, michael flynn, who used to be his boss when flynn ran the intelligence agency. before he got fired from there by the obama administration. leading him to seek income elsewhere, including speaking fees from r.t., which is russian state-run tv. and a deal to represent turkish
interests without registering as a foreign agent as he was legally required to do. the other official names in the times report is michael ellis, a lawyer in the white house council's office who used to work for, wait for it again, detective, on the staff of the house intelligence committee. the time in the report that watnick began detailing interception of foreign officials shortly after donald trump's wiretapping tweet. and late tonight "the washington post" is now reporting that at least three senior white house officials were involved in sharing intelligence documents with devin nunes. the post names ezra cohen-watnick but also names the top lawyer for the national security council, john eisenberg. joining us are malcolm nance, intelligence analyst. a former senior director in the obama white house working on national security issue, and kathleen clark, professor of law at washington university in st. louis. she is one of the country's leading experts on ethical standards for government
officials. thank you all for being here. malcolm, i'm going right to you. when i say we've been having the same conversation for almost a year, i literally mean that that's true. we talked about michael flynn when you were making these predictions about him last summer. i believe it was july 27 during my weekend show that you first started saying this thing. i want to start with this guy watnick. if folks will radar recall there was a political story that hr mcmaster who was a replacement for general flynn tried to get rid of watnick. donald trump overruled the decision by lieutenant h.r. mcmaster to sideline. this guy cohen watnick appealed the decision to have his own guy in there. he went to jared. he went to jared kushner. he went to steve bannon. they brought the matter to trump. trump overruled them. does this prove that hr mcmaster was prescient in trying to get rid of this guy? >> absolutely he was very
prescient. but what you have seen here is you've seen the limits of a four star general who could not get rid of a junior extremely junior intelligence analyst. let me tell you something about watnick. he is 30 years. and if he graduated university like everybody else with a bachelor's degree at 24 and got a year's training in intelligence agency, he would have four years experience in an analytical position. how he got to this position at the white house is a disgrace. because even the most junior operators at the cia and other agencies, you're usually a watch stander. you're the guy who runs out and gets coffee. he managed to become the top intelligence official in the national security council staff overruling a general of this magnitude. this is an example of incompetence at the white house. and this guy has now going to have to answer for exactly why he misused classified material
for political purpose, which is not what classified material is for. >> you know, and kathleen, you wonder is it incompetence or something else? if this young man who was working for general flynn at some point decided when donald trump claimed there was a wiretap that he went maybe searching for his boss's name. the only name we know that was unmasked in potentially legal surveillance of foreign phone calls was michael flynn. should this person have been searching through national security data in order to prove a white house theory? >> it sounds like what you're theorizing is there may have been a political intention in searching through the intercepts. and that would be clearly a violation of ethical standards and a misuse of those intercepts for political rather than national purpose. >> and if it's a violation, is it illegal? >> i believe it could be. but it also can be difficult to prove that someone's intention is political as opposed to
following their job. so, again, another issue really is as your other guest mentioned, what was this person doing in this job. >> right. >> and whether or not going to jared kushner and others to protect his job was the appropriate thing, appropriate use of the power structures within the white house. . that is the question of why he would be so determined to stay in the job and sort of be almost a leave behind for michael flynn. let's play adam schiff who commented on the "new york times" report about the two white house officials allegedly being the ones to hand over intel information to devin nunes. here is adam schiff today. >> if in fact the national security council staff that discovered these materials reportedly in the ordinary course of business and the same staff that provided them to the chairman to be provided to the president, it raise as profound question why they were not directly provided to the white house by the national security staff if that was designed to
hide the who gin in the materials, that raises profound questions about just what the white house is doing. >> is there any ordinary course of business that you can remember from your time at state that would -- that you could envision staffers at the national security council just happen to be looking through intercepts trying to find american names? and if they let's say even had that ordinary course of business, is there any other provision, like a whistle-blower provision? why would they not as adam schiff said not go right to the nsa -- i mean right to the white house directly. why would it go through a totally separate branch of government? >> absolutely there are strict provisions on the ethical side to prevent people in positions of power at the white house and the state department and guidelines from going through information that would uncover personal information about private citizens. so that's problem number one. the state department issued every single passport in the
country, and people have been fired of randomly looking up passports of celebrities for example just to see what the photo looked like there is a lot of trust that the government at the highest levels is protecting our privacy. that is number one, the privacy challenge. problem number two is this is a white house that is not interested in protecting the checks and balances of our government, the fundamental elements of our democracy that make america work. the oversight committees are supposed to be conducting oversight. they're not supposed to be colluding with the white house. they're the ones that are responsible for actually making sure the white house is doing its job within the rules of the constitution. so having secret closed door meetings with the lawyers at the white house, sharing information with select members of the majority party highly problematic, not just from a lem standar legal standard. >> sean spicer tried to claim
there was a letter sent by the white house seeking information whether donald trump's tweets were true. but on this program, the host of this program, lawrence o'donnell has been asking over and over, why hasn't anybody asked paul ryan who essentially is devin nunes's real boss, not donald trump, whether or not nunes consulted with him what to do with the information he got from these maybe three leakers. let's listen to paul ryan answering that question today. >> he had told me that like a whistle-blower type person had given him some information that was new. >> did you encourage him to then go tell the president about it? >> no. but i told him to add it to his investigation. >> so you at no time said whatever you find out, you should probably go tell president trump about? >> he was going to brief everybody. i already knew he was going to go and brief. so what chairman nunes said he is came into possession of new information that he thought was valuable to this investigation, and that he was going to go and inform people about it. >> have you ever heard of a situation where a congressional
investigation results in the chief investigator running to the target and telling them information that they got off of national security intercepts by, quote whistle-blower? >> no. and jeremy bash, who is the chief of staff at the cia, and also worked at the house intelligence committee, he said in his entire career, he has never heard of anyone ever doing this on the intelligence committees, is just not done. and what you have here is you've got a situation where you essentially are going to that target, as you said. and you are telling him he is under investigation. but on the other hand, now that we're seeing this information about watnick come out, you had people who were cleared going on to classified systems, drawing out special intelligence, which by the way is the most secret secrets that we have. and taking that special intelligence, calling up the investigator, telling them that you have information, bringing them into the white house for him to review it.
and then he goes out and gives a press conference about that. this is beyond unusual. watnick needs to lose his clearance today. the national security agency needs to say i'm sorry, we're not going to let this guy use our classified systems anymore because they are abusing these systems for their own personal reasons, which of course in the end were political and not intelligence-related at all. and that is a violation of their security clearance. >> go on. >> that is part of why he was likely tried to be called back from his home agency. i mean, this is somebody who the home agency is supposed to be representing them. he is -- they're trying to paul him back. they weren't happy with his work and what he was doing. but you have the senior advisers and the political appointees no, we like this guy. he is doing our bidding. >> right. >> so there is already a politicization of this role that is supposed to be strictly nonpartisan. >> let's not forget that steve bannon is also sitting on the national security council where
he shouldn't be. very quick to you, kathleen, is there any circumstance under which paul ryan could be right in calling these people who went in and got the information and gave to it the white house whistle-blowers? >> if they were disclosing some kind of wrongdoing, you could characterize them that way. but that would not justify them going to the person who is being investigated and disclosing it. >> absolutely. i think that is pretty clear to everybody, except maybe devin nunes. malcolm nance, kathleen clark and nayyera haq, thank you for joining us tonight. whether you're after supreme performance... ...advanced intelligence... ...or breathtaking style... ...there's a c-class just for you. decisions, decisions, decisions. lease the c300 sedan for $389 a month
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nonpartisan review. the vice-chairman and i realize that if we politicize this process, our oefforts will likely fail. the public deserves to hear the truth about possible russian involvement in our elections. >> it is vitally important that we do this as a transparent manner as possible. we are going to move together and we're going to get to the bottom of this and do it right. >> and that is a far cry from the mood on the other side of the capitol where the collapse of the house investigation seems to indicate that any hope of a full and thorough congressional inquiry now does indeed lie with the senate. house intelligence chairman devin nunes has said his committee will continue with its investigation, even democratic members of his own committee have cast doubt on his independence and on his ability to move forward that was underscored earlier today when republican congressman ted yoho of florida let a little truth
slip out regarding nunes' top secret trip to the white house. >> are you concerned at all that he was viewing what he said was classified information at the white house, then reported it back to the white house? >> you got to keep in mind who he works for. he works for the president. he answers to the president. >> does he? or does he work for the constituents of his district? >> well, you do both. but when you're in that capacity, if you've got information, i'm okay with what he did. >> and joining me now are the former deputy chief of staff to harry reid. he is currently the senior adviser for the center for american progress's project and david corn. i got to go to you first, adam, you have been staff to a very senior member of congress. did it surprise you to hear ted yoho of florida said he thinks devin nunes works for the president? >> i mean, nothing is shocking anymore. but even in a world where that's true, it's still shocking to hear that republicans have so
far lost sight of who they truly represent, that you could even let something like that slip out. i think that is a kingsley gaffe where he accidentally said what he really thought. >> it's pretty shocking. dianne feinstein threw some shade at devin nunes today when she talked about really what he probably ought to do in his conduct and its impact on the investigation. this is dianne feinstein. >> the chairman devin nunes ought to clear this up. because it sort of casts a pall over all of us, house and senate. and it's not the way this would happen over in the senate. this would not have happened. >> and one more. one more for you, david corn. this is david swalwell, a member of devin nunes's committee. take a listen. >> he shouldn't last as the leader of this investigation. the continued progress that we're supposed to show is not happening. so we have lost independence, credibility, and progress. he should step aside so we can reclaim that. >> david corn you have great source there's in d.c. there any chance that devin nunes finally steps down? there certainly seems to be pressure for him to do it and
steps down as chairman of this committee? >> i'm dumbfounded by what has been going on. and i would not hazard a guess or prediction. i would not be surprised if he did a press conference tomorrow naked. this could go any number of ways. it might be good for ratings. >> no it wouldn't! >> but the thing is that right now we need an investigation of what happened at the nsc in terms of helping trump prove this bogus tweet. and you have sean spicer coming out day after day saying we don't though who let these guys in. today he said i told you i would look into it. but i didn't promise i would share the information with you. you need to investigate what the white house knew, when it knew it and what happened and what the nsc staffers were doing. the senate committee is not going to do that. their hands are busy. so how can nunes investigate himself? i am reminded of that groucho marx routine when he cross-examined himself during a
court case where. were you on the 21st? i don't know. this is what we need nunes to do. somebody on the house intelligence committee. >> yeah. and you did work for senator harry reid who late last fall seemed to be telegraphing it every way except giant neon signs that there was blockbuster information about russian involvement in the election and collusion with the trump campaign. can you tell us at this point if this is what he was talking somebody was he talking about michael flynn? >>y tell you that a lot of what he was talking about is now public knowledge. i can tell you that he feels somewhat vindicated for sure. i can tell you also he feels extremely frustrated that this information was not made public before the election. and he felt he did everything he could without without disclosing private information without making public lighting a giant neon sign and telling people this is here. unfortunately we're finding out. now better late than never. but it's too bad we didn't know before the election. >> short of there being a
special council where darrell issa has come out and thinks there should be a special prosecutor. short of that, would even this more grown-up senate investigation you think finally get us to an answer as to who did it and why they did 80 on the u.s. side of russia-gate? >> good question. the thing that people have to remember when we talk about a special prosecutor or what the fbi is doing in this investigation, which has been going on since the end of july now is that special prosecutors in the fbi are not designed to produce public reports of their own hearings. they're designed to determine if there is a crime and to fruit they have evidence of that. and then they provide the information and the course of a court case, a legal prosecution. and in a counterintelligence case, the fbi never comes out at the end and tells what they find. and those cases can good on for years. calling for a special prosecutor doesn't really lead to an assurance that the public will know anything at the end of the
day. right now the only entity that can do that is the senate intelligence committee. and they're off to a much better start. it's a low bar. >> yeah, i was going say. >> but a much better start than the house intelligence committee. but there is still a long way to go for them to demonstrate. every republican on the committee who have been partisan on this that they can do this job right and whether or not we need an outside special independent commission. >> you have to do this right. >> adam, it would be hard to do worse than devin nunes who apparently works for the white house. the other question i would love to ask you is whether or not you think it's likely that the senate would provide immunity to michael flynn in order to get his testimony. how likely do you this that is? and do you actually trust their investigation to be aboveboard? >> i do trust the senate investigation to be aboveboard. i would say it doesn't mean we shouldn't also have a special prosecutor. i think we should also have a special prosecutor. i think one of the things about this case and the stories is that it is so massive. and you are supposed to have investigations.
the committee he is doing investigations on the house and the senate side. the house side essentially null and void due to the conduct of chairman nunes. i think it's just more reason why we need as many people investigating as possible. >> yep. and how likely to get immunity? >> i think it depends on how much he knows. i think flynn is under the gun in a big way. i think he is desperately trying to get the feds to not lock him up. and there is probably a lot on him. i think it's probably 50-50 at this point. >> joy, the big question is -- >> yep. >> not immunity with the committees but immunity with the fbi ifx that's right. in the pastrana in the iron contra days, wanted to give immunity to testify, no, not yet. well still have criminal cases we're investigating. >> all eyes on jim comey. david corn and adam jentleson, thank you very much. asked if russia conspired to effect the elections.
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watch my lips. he said no. >> correction, mr. putin. george h.w. bush said that, and it's not quite how the quote went. here is what you were trying to say. >> read my lips. no new taxes. >> so vladimir putin was trying to quote a line that is well-known for meaning the opposite. george h.w. bush went back on that promise and in fact raised taxes. fitting, since we know that vladimir putin is lying. putin was participating in a cnbc panel at the international arctic forum in russia. here is what he said about the senate intelligence committee investigations into russia's hacking of the 2016 election. >> >> translator: we perceive the united states as a great power which we want to establish a good partnership relationship
with. other things are fictional and provocations, lies, all these are used for domestic american political agendas. the anti-russian the plagued by political forces inside the united states to trade on that and consolidate their positions. >> and joining us now, alexei kovelan. let's talk first about the reaction of vladimir putin there. do you perceive that the russian government and putin are sort of abandoning donald trump, who they were very supportive of before the election because perhaps they've now seen that he is a disappointment in terms of what he can deliver? >> morning, joy. so first of all, i would like to say that it is a beat of our miscommunication there. because i wouldn't say that the
russian authorities did support trump before the elections. that is not quite what i saw on the ground. and in fact a week before the elections, all the propaganda big guns, all the political talk shows on the russian tv were so convinced that trump was going to lose that they all but declared the u.s. elections as illegitimate. and i can tell you for sure that what i'm seeing on the ground even if they were trying to put trump in the white house, they certainly do not know what to do once he is actually there. so that's quite some confusion in the russian political circles. >> right. we know there was the scenes of cheering in the duma after trump's election, this perception whether or not we want to believe vladimir putin that they didn't want him in the first place, that they were glad he was there. vladimir putin talked about the great power, that the u.s. is a great power.
and he apparently believes in great power politics, one-on-one dealing with countries rather than in things like the eu. is there a perception now that donald trump cannot lead a great power, that he actually is not politically competent enough to be the great power russia can deal with? >> well, you have to separate the cheering on the tv and the loud populist politicians that aren't in fact any policymakers. so they were cheering trump on. but the actual reaction in the kremlin was very, well, balanced i would say and very wary of donald trump. so, yes, at some point trump, donald trump became more popular in the russian media than vladimir putin himself.
but seems to fade quickly. i mean, putin is in the headlines again. and i don't actually see much of the trump-russia affair covered in the russian media. >> interesting. >> because, well, we sort of growing bored of it. and there isn't much we can do. the russian -- the kremlin and putin are already cast as these bogeymen and universal kind of low hanging fruit which you didn't blame anything on. which is ironic because it's exactly the image the united states had a few years back here. we had a slow burning spice candle a few years back when the russian political opposition was blamed for being in cahoots with the united states and all the united states diplomats in moscow were targeted as spice. so it is -- it is quite like a
broken mirror to watch this unfold in america four years on. >> well, it is very interesting. and that is for sure. alexey kovalev live from russia, thanks so much for getting up early in the morning for us. coming up, the michael flynn news could mean that donald trump's terrible horrible no good worst first 100 days ever are about to get even worse. staff meeting. noon? eating. 3:45? uh, compliance training. 6:30? sam's baseball practice. 8:30? tai chi. yeah, so sounds relaxing. alright, 9:53? i usually make their lunches then, and i have a little vegan so wow, you are busy. wouldn't it be great if you had investments that worked as hard as you do? yeah. introducing essential portfolios. the automated investing solution that lets you focus on your life. the search for relief often leads here.s, today there's drug-free aleve direct therapy. a high intensity tens device that uses technology
when you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime. >> and the worst first 100 days just got a whole lot worse tonight for donald trump. and here to react to everything happening tonight is former republican congressman david jolly from florida. and joan walsh, at the nation and msnbc political analyst. okay. so joan, i'm old enough to remember, as i tweeted a little bit earlier when one michael flynn stood on the podium at the republican national convention and did the following, led the
following call and response chant. let's listen to good old michael flynn. >> oh, yeah. >> lock her up! >> and you know why? you know why we're saying that? we're saying that because if i, a guy who knows this business. if i did atenth, a tefnt of wntt she did, i would be in jail today. >> so joan, now that he is seeking immunity from prosecution, do you think michael flynn might think he did a little more than a tenth. >> did he do a tenth? did he do half? did he do twice as much? joy, when you look back at the types of things that he said, and that self righteousness and sanctimoniousness with which he approached hillary clinton and turned her into garbage, and turned her into just a criminal, it's really extraordinary. and i can't wait to see what
happens next. it's only day 70 here. >> it feels like year 70. david jolly, there is in florida surely among people who supported hillary clinton watched that lock her up and all the epithets that were thrown at her. donald trump said in september why did five of your staffers need fbi immunity. well, why is your former staffer looking for immunity? sean spicer the same month, the secret of sheryl mills, if there was no evidence of criminal activity, why the immunity? >> they were bold when it was hillary clinton using her personal e-mail. but now suddenly the republican party finds itself with the national security adviser who is begging for immunity. your thoughts. >> and those words are coming back to white bite him right now. listen, the biggest success of the first 100 days for donald trump is likely that nobody in his administration has yet gone to jail.
this is a real issue. go back to watergate. go back to the low approval ratings we have seen when this type of suspicion begins to build within an administration. the problem here, though, and this goes -- donald trump owns this, he has lost all credibility. you cannot spend a year attacking independent arbiters in the press, the judiciary, frankly members of your own party, the speaker of the house, senators. you cannot attack people, keep your credibility while you continue to lie. he has nowhere to go with this, joy. and this is going to be trouble. >> just to stay with you for a second, david, then why is he still managing to stay at 42% in the nbc survey poll which is historically low, but that, and you look at the 38% in gallup. what those two polls indicate is there is a hard-core of republicans, a good third of the country that i guess no matter what are with donald trump. when does that approval rating go below 80% among your fellow party members? >> well, listen, you can't win
an election with 37% or 42%. you got to get to 51%, or we got the electoral college. but here is what he has already lost. he has already lost those mainstream republicans who held their nose and voted yes for donald trump. he has lost them. this is a president with 37% approval ratings who just tried to sell a 17% health care bill, and he lost. he is not the ideological leader of the party, nor is he the political lead other telephone party right now. >> and does it matter if he still has that hard-core base when he is alienating the leadership of the party, including the freedom caucus? >> well, the one person i'm wondering about, he's still got paul ryan. >> yeah. >> he's still got paul ryan. paul ryan has not reeled devin nunes, which he should have done. devin nunes should not have a job that was evident several days ago. it's more evident tonight. but paul ryan is out there making discussion excuses for him. paul ryan just told us that he got an apology from donald trump for sending his followers to go
see judge jeanine pirro. >> pirro. >> tell her viewers that paul ryan had to go. paul ryan is sticking with him. he is keeping the leadership in place. and i'm perplexed by this. they need each other right now. but when does that bond break? >> let's do that on the other side of the break that is a good question for us to save for the other side of the break. so stay with us. donald trump attacked the freedom caucus. the caucus attacked donald trump. things are going great for the gop. no, actually things are going terrible. that's next. my business was built with passion... but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... which adds fuel to my bottom line.
army versus army. ♪ nation versus nation. ♪ evony: the king's return. download now and play for free. for patients like lynn, advanced genomic testing may lead to other treatment options that can work. learn how genomic testing is changing the way we fight cancer at cancercenter.com/genomics do you feel betrayed by the house freedom caucus? they seem to be the most difficult. >> no, i don't feel betrayed. they're friends of mine. i'm disappointed. >> today donald trump issued a threat to launch primary challenges against the group of conservative republicans who defeated his health care bill, tweeting the freedom caucus will
hurt the entire republican agenda if they don't get on the team and fast. we must fight them and dems in 2018. apparently forgetting that the team of the freedom caucus used to be tone as the tea party. you know, the supposed grassroots salt of the earth conservatives that the republicans used to take over the house. the house. here's how justin amos responded to that. >> most people don't take well to being bullied. >> is this a natural negotiating tactic by the president or do you think this is the constructive way to do it? >> it's constructive in fifth grade, but -- it may allow a child to get his way, but that's not how our government works. >> if donald trump sticks with his genius plan of making an enemy of the freedom caucus, he's going to need democratic help to pass any legislation at all through the house, and here's what paul ryan had to say about that today. >> if this republican congress
allows the president to be the enemy of the good, i'm worried we'll push the president into working with democrats and i don't want that to happen. you know why? i want a patient centered system. i don't want government returning health care. >> bob corker tweeted we have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president not to work with the other party to solve a problem. the panel will respond after this. at crowne plaza we know business travel isn't just business. there's this. 'a bit of this. why not? your hotel should make it easy to do all the things you do.
befi was active.gia, i was energetic. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. he also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery
until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. well, he said he was going to fight back, and he feels that he negotiated with them and they didn't negotiate in good faith. that's donald trump. >> do you think that's a smart strategy to have with the freedom caucus? >> listen, you can't allow 30, 35 people to hold the whole republican caucus hostage. they're playing tough. he's playing tougher. >> we're back with david jolly and joan walsh. let me read you a couple of tweets donald trump wrote again. he said if they'd get on board, we have both great health care and massive tax cuts and reform.
the president asked me to look you square in the eyes and said he hoped you voted no on this bill so he can return a primary challenger against you in 2018. does he have this power? >> no, he doesn't. he is delusional. this is a very wounded president already. but these guys could be primaried for voting for something like the health care act that was larded up with things they didn't like and their constituents didn't like, so he's got the politics wrong. he's got the people wrong. he's got the psychology wrong, and his presidency is rapidly losing steam. the number of representatives who supported that bill, joy, declined the more the president worked it, so i think he's crazy thinking he can do this. >> david jolly, i feel like maybe a lot of people have forgotten the freedom caucus are the tea party. they got there by primarying people who were mainly
conservative. what makes donald trump think he can outdo them in their districts? >> and they elected donald trump. i was somebody who said never shut down the government. what is perplexing here though is donald trump has turned on them. here's what every trump supporter needs to know tonight. nothing has changed. the party is still divided. donald trump is not the leader of the party. the swamp has not been drained. in fact, there's more snakes than ever because donald trump brought them to d.c. and guess what the president of the tunited states can insult members of congress and then ask for their vote. he cannot call charles schumer a clown and ask for his vote. republicans need to realize that tonight. >> he said it didn't take long for the swamp to drain donald trump, but that is an important question that david jolly just brought up. donald trump is in a position where he's a man without a
party, a man sort of without allies. >> that's it. >> is there any conceivable situation where you can see democrats coming to the rescue and say, okay, trump, let's do a deal on health care? >> no, absolutely not. >> why not? >> he wants to break obama's suggest achievement. he's not saying premiums are too high over here. if he tweaked that, maybe, but that's not how he came in. he talks about still wanting to repeal it. he threatens to work with democrats and then he never follows through. no demonstrate crat is going to out his or her hand to help him at this point. they're watching him at this point. >> is the rest of the agenda going to be any easier to pass? >> no. >> we know the first health care bill was a trillion dollar tax cut that was going to set the stage for a second trillion
dollar tax cut. can donald trump or paul ryan, his buddy, make that happen? >> no. the president of the united states was trying to court the freedom caucus and couldn't get them. now he says he wants to work with democrats. tax reform will be no easier. do you think cutting taxes for the top income bracket are something democrats are going to work with? no, the president is delusional to think he can move to tax reform. it's not going to work. >> during the break, we were talking about "the wizard of oz." even in munchkin land, are they going to let a tax bill go through? >> no. >> there's a way to do an infrastructure bill. the president of the united states needs to go after offshore corporate income and deem it taxable to fully fund and pay for an infrastructure bank. that's what he should have done.
>> first, he'd have to understand what that means and that might be a problem. he doesn't understand what it means. he doesn't get it. i'm joy reed. thank you for watching "t. tonight, someone wants to make a deal. the "wall street journal" reporting general mike flynn will talk in exchange for immunity. the reporter who broke the stoistory joins us at the top of the broadcast. working in reverse, the white house wants to show the intelligence committee some intelligence the way they reportedly did in private for chairman nunes who then privately briefed the president. and president trump picks a fight with republicans, going after the freedom caucus for not having his back on health care. how are they likely to react to a frontal assault? "the 11th hour" begins right