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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 19, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> that's the new macrorubio after last week when donald trump partially delivered on some of his promises to reverse his promises to reverse a little bit of president trump's advances in our relationship with cuba. marco rubio got everything he could get from the president out of that, and now marco rubio is free to speak his mind about the president, which is not good news for president trump. "the 11th hour" with brian williams starts right now. tonight, donald trump and his team ready for a fight over the special counsel. but can they all get on the same page on the investigation? plus senate democrats staging a protest at this hour, pledging to go all night to fight republicans on their repeal and replacement of obamacare. we'll talk live tonight with one of those democratic senators. and finding his voice. today we got a rare opportunity to hear the speaking voice of
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the man who may be closest to this presidency. "the 11th hour" begins now. as we start a new week, good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. day 151 of the trump administration, and today an aggressive strategy from the president's legal team on russia on full display as it was this weekend. jay sekulow, who was already a fairly familiar figure on cable news and who is one of the newer members of the president's legal team handling the russia investigation, made the rounds on the sunday shows yesterday. and on morning tv again today. he set out to assert flatly that the president is not under investigation despite what the president said about being under investigation. and with chris wallace on "fox news sunday," the conversation got interesting. >> i want to be very clear here and very direct. the president has not been and is not under investigation.
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and now he's being investigated by the department of justice because the special counsel -- under the special counsel regulations, reports still to the department of justice. it's not an independent counse so he's being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. >> first of all, you've now said he is being investigated after saying that you didn't -- >> no. >> you just said, sir -- you just said that he's being investigated. >> no. chris, i said that the -- let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. we have not received, nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the united states. >> sir, you just said two times that he's being investigated. let me ask you this. >> sure. >> as a matter of law, does the president think he can be indicted under the constitution? >> the president -- i haven't had that conversation with the president. but the president can't be indicted under the constitution for the activities alleged in something like this. of course not. >> why is that?
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>> because there's not an investigation, and there's -- >> you don't know whether -- oh, boy, this is weird. you don't know whether there's an investigation. >> kind of went on from there. sekulow also said that the president's tweet was only responding to "the washington post" report that mueller is investigating the president, a report that it is worth noting has been confirmed by several other news organizations, including nbc news. and about the claim or question from the president that there could be tapes of his conversations with james comey, today sean spicer said he would probably have an answer on that by the end of this week. there are also new questions tonight surrounding mike flynn with house democrats trying to figure out if flynn misled officials on his security form, omitting two trips to the middle east, one trip reportedly involving a, quote, joint u.s./russian business venture to develop nuclearacilities in and financed by saudi arabia. a deal said to be worth
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$100 billion. the white house is also still struggling to get any kind of policy message to rise above the noise being made by all of these russia investigations. possibly as a result, there are multiple reports yet again that sean spicer may soon be leaving his role as press secretary for a more behind-the-scenes role in the white house communications shop. and along those lines, there was this from today's white house briefing. [ tone ] having a little fun with you there. we should explain that today's white house news briefing was off limits to camera and sound. so to get this straight, the news briefing in the people's house, designed to answer questions for our president about our government presided over by a press secretary whose salary is paid by the taxpayers, that news briefing was blocked from tv coverage or any audio recordings today. reporters and news organizations will now have to decide if the
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briefings are worth attending if they're going to be blacked out. with that, let's bring in our starting panel tonight. eli stokols, jonathan lamrkts ir. and anita kumar, white house correspondent. jonathan, you write tonight, trump's legal plan built on his image. fight, fight, fight. i think an accurate depiction of his image. it does run up against the special counsel and his slen this case. >> that's exactly right. the special counsel haseen buttoned down. there's been sort of silence, no public proclamations of what they're looking to do here. this is a president whose instinct is always to be pugnacious, to if not hit first, hit back much hard or than he got hit. that has gotten him into trouble. we have seen the tweets. there's confusion about are you under investigation? he says he is. his lawyer said he isn't after
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said he was, and then he said he wasn't again. he is sort of getting in his own way sometimes, but he is urging his team to hit back. we saw it the first day when former director comey testified. he had his attorney go up to the national press club and deliver a scathing indictment of the former director, suggesting also trying to muddy the image by saying that it's the leaks are the issue, not the content of the leaks. and unfortunately for the president and perhaps that lawyer, that statement also was riddled with misspellings and typos, including spelling the word "president" wrong. >> if you think that kind of thing is important. so, eli, the americans watching the sunday shows father's day weekend, they watched morning television. they see this lawyer guy saying something different from what the president said on twitter. give us a viewer's guide. how do we figure out what's going on here? >> at least we've had 151 days to get used to the whiplash, i suppose. i mean jay sekulow is out there on sunday morning and again on monday saying there is no
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investigation. and the reason he is out there working for and representing this president is because there is an investigation, and that is why he's been hired. but it's another instance of somebody sort of defending the president and playing to that audience of one that we always talked about, that being the president. if donald trump himself was not pleased with mr. sekulow's performance on sunday morning, there's noay he would have been out there again on monday. and so the president, even though he's not going to always listen to his lawyers, he's going to do his own thing, punch back on twitter, not really have his tweets or public statements vetted by his lawyers or anyone else, he loves seeing people like jeff sessions last week and sekulow go hard to the mattresses for him even if they're ridiculed by the public, even if they get themselves tied up in knots trying to explain something that's really inexplainable. >> i always say about the american political system in a democracy, the people are the customers and the boss of their government.
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so having said that, take it out of the woe is me news media. what is going on, do you think, with the white house briefings, which are the way we get to learn things about the administration and the government. >> so what happened today actually wasn't unusual. they have been doing off-camera or, you know, briefings not on camera or for audio since the beginning of the administration. i will say a few things have changed. one, they seem to be coming up a little bit more frequently. sean spicer or his deputy oftentimes give up the podium to cabinet secretaries or other people in the administration that they would prefer, you know, give out their message. and the other thing that has been very noticeable the last few weeks is that the briefings are much shorter. and so, you know, they might even be 20 minutes. and if you've watched one of the briefings, you know that the first five or ten minutes are them putting out their message. so it's a limited number of questions. and, yes, you're right. people hear this and say that
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we're complaining. but the people have the right to ask questions, and we are not being able to do that. and so i -- i felt something different today even though what's happened today has happened before. there was way more frustration than i've seen recently, and i think it's all sort of coming to a head. it's been a few weeks of this. >> jonathan, i heard cnn's senior white house correspondent tonight say that cnn was not included in the questioning today. but sean spicer took a question from a reporter with a russian media affiliation. but an honest, simple question -- what do they fear more? the questions these days or the answers? >> i mean i think it's a great question. in terms of the white house, they are getting into more trouble than they can handle with these briefings. we've seen sean spicer trip over himself time and time again, creating a tempest out of a misstatement or a direct, at times, seemingly falsehood.
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they are trying and failing to change the subject from russia, and that's what it keeps coming back to. this probe is dominating. they can't get anything through it. and they get up there and because they seem ill equipped to answer simple questions about it or these days t and kick it to the lawyers, t story cycles and cycles andets worse for them. >> eli, can you really do that? can you say because we don't like the situation we're in right now, however much of it is caused by the guy who lives in the residence portion of this building, we're just not going to have that conversation? and by the way, what do you hear about spicer and his job? >> i suppose they can because they are, and until there's a big enough public outcry, and i don't even know if that would stop them. it's not just not being able to turn the page on the russia story, as john says, this is something where they're choosing not to answer a lot of these questions. sean spicer continues to say, i haven't talked to the president about whether or not he actually believes in climate change, but i will. well, week after week, he still hasn't talked to him, right? it's not that long a path from his office back to the oval, and
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yet somehow he can't come up with the answer. they can't say whether there's a taping system in the oval office. you'd think that's something that sean spicer, who has a blue pass and works in the west wing, could figure out. so they're choosing not to be forthcoming with us and with the american people on a lot of topics. you can read into that what you will. it is difficult to be the messenger, the spokesperson for someone who is so unpredictable, changes their mind, gets himself into trouble and says things sometimes that are not necessarily defensible. i think that brings us around to why they're having such a hard time finding somebody else who is willing to stand up at that podium. they have looked to the ranks of cable news for people, not been able to find someone there. they have talked to people who covered the campaign. they have talked to surrogates who have gone on television hundreds of times as advocates and spokespeople unofficially for that campaign. and i talked to someone night. they say there's still no front-runner for this job, no in-house front-runner. and so, yes, they'd like to sort
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of let sean ref seed bacede bace communications job and put somebody else front and center. as much as they've decided what they're going to do, finding someone to fill sean's shoes has still been pretty difficult. >> anita, what of the business of the white house and the administration? is there a theme to this week as there was with infrastructure, however much that was ignored? >> yeah, there's a theme. this is the third week i think there's been a theme. two weeks ago was infrastructure. last week was apprenticeships. you'd forgotten that one already. this week it's about technology. so the president and vice president, jared kushner, all met with leaders of technology companies like apple. there are going to be other events this week. we're going to sort of see this messaging over and over this week. the problem, of course, is -- and while they got a lot of attention for that and most news organizations wrote stories, the problem is a couple things.
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one, you have the president continuing to tweet about the witch hunt investigation against him. you have stories like today's story about michael flynn, the former national security adviser, possibly not disclosing something else when he was trying to get his security clearance renewed. and so it just -- there are all these other things that are sort of getting in the way of their policy. the other problem with the policy is the couple big things that he has promised, tax reform, health care, have not passed yet, and it's been months. >> and, jonathan, it all goes back to your headline. fight, fight, fight. an organization takes its cues from the man or woman at the top. >> this is what his style has been, this sort of -- this chaos, the aggression and the chaos that seemed to work for him during the campaign. he bounced from one thing to the other but always saeemed to kee his head above water. here he's been unable to harness
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that. we've seen him still stuck behind this cloud of scandal. >> our great thanks to our leadoff panel tonight. eli stokols, jonathan lemire, and anita kumar. coming up, a former watergate prosecutor joins the conversation with insight on this evolving answer on whether or not the president is under investigation when our broadcast for a monday night continues. will you be ready when the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
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mr. president, are you under investigation by the special counsel?
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>> i would like to thank president trump for -- >> the president of panama stepped in as our president, donald trump, chose not to answer whether he was under investigation by rert mueller in connection with the russia investigation. but leg team insists he is not under investigation. so why does a president who is not under investigation need three personal lawyers, and why if the president said he's under investigation should we listen to at least one of those lawyers? joining our conversation here tonight, former federal prosecutor and assistant watergate prosecutor back in the day, nick ackerman. and pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post," eugene robinson is back with us. counsellor, you get the first question because you're a counselor. how should we view this? again, we're consumers watching sunday shows on the weekend. we catch along the way this lawyer with glasses insisting, no, the president's not under
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investigation at all. >> of course he's under investigation. i mean i don't think there's any question that he's under investigation at a minimum for obstruction of justice, which he's admitted to. >> well, then, where is he getting his information or lack of information? >> god only knows where he gets any of his information. >> he's speaking with the authority of the president of the united states. how can he do that? >> look at all these done already. i mean this president is a serial liar. he lies about everything. he has his staff out there lying about everything. you can't take anything he says with any kind of seriousness. what you do know is that there is an investigation going on by robert mueller. any real investigator is gng to be looking at the trump campaign, who ran the trump campaign. it was president trump. they're going to look at this alleged obstruction of justice. he has admitted on national tv to lester holt that he had the russian thing in mind when he fired comey. he's admitted that the whole
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business about the rosenstein memo was a pretext. he's admitted to the russian ambassador that, in fact, he got the russian investigation off his back by firing comey. i mean there is just a massive amount of corrupt intent here that would support an obstruction case. so obviously he's under investigation. obviously the special counsel is going to be talking to the two national security people, coats and helms, as to -- or rogers, rather. >> that's a big deal. >> that corroborates exactly what the director comey said in terms of what the president was asking him to do. >> so, eugene, what's your viewers and readers guide to what we're witnessing? >> you know, i think when the attorney, mr. sekulow, went out yesterday and again today, i don't think he had information. i think he had instructions. i think he probably had instructions from the president of the united states to go
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out -- >> like the first spicer briefing? >> kexactly. to go out and fight and deny, and by the way, my crowd was bigg than any oth crowd in history, right? that's the sort of thing. and that's what you get when you go out and speak for donald trump. so nick is absolutely right. it's clear that the president is under investigation, and apparently it's not just the obstruction of justice prong of the investigation. there's also the basic question of possible or, you know, was there collusion between the russians and anybody in the trump campaign? and, you know, it's a wide-ranging investigation that will also look into financial dealings of trump campaign principals perhaps, trump organization, kushner companies. we don't know, but there are indications if you look at who robert mueller is hiring, it looks like he's looking into some financial dealings as well. >> he's not the only one hiring lawyers.
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nick, we should point out that the hiring of a lawyer is not at all the admission of guilt. you lawyers would think it was just good, safe practice. >> of course. >> but there's a lot of that going on. >> i only represent innocent people, so i can speak to that. >> we've got mr. mueller with a staff of 13 at that first rung, and he's hiring, reports are, the absolute, cream of the crop, quality lawyers in all of their fields. but then we have mr. kushner said to be re-evaluating his legal team. we've got personal lawyers hired by the president, the vice president. we have a special counsel, by the way, day 151 of this presidency. what are we to take from that? >> well, i think we're to take is that there is a major investigation going on. you would expect people to actually hire lawyers. but if history is any lesson here, it's probably not going to make a big difference because with all the lawyers that they have, they still have to take a political position because they
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cannot go in there -- if, in fact, these allegations are true, they can't just admit to it. if you look at what happened during the watergate scandal, all of these people, cabinet members, two attorney generals, they all went into the grand jury and lied, and they all had lawyers. so think you've got a real difference here between a normal white-collar investigation and an investigation that is involving politicians who also have to be have to shall looking at their constituencies, talking to stay in power basically, because if they admitted it, assuming they did something wrong, they can't do that. that's certainly what happened during the watergate scandal. >> let me flip my own argument. it's only been 151 days. >> right. >> so looking at that, what about the country? what do the people get from this government so far, this presidency? what about that agenda? >> well, they're not getting a lot of it. they've gotten some of it.
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the president said one of his agenda items was deregulation. there's been a substantial amount of deregulation happening in agencies in washington, and i think that has an impact. you can argue whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but that was a campaign promise that's being acted on. but there's no -- there's been no repeal and replace of obamacare. there's been no tax reform. there have been confusing, to say the least, signals on foreign policy. remember president trump came in disdaining foreign entanglements and saying, we were overstretched and basically america first. he's adding more troops in afghanistan and turning that over to the pentagon. we're, you know, shooting at syrian warplanes and potentially getting shot at by russian warplanes in syria. so he hasn't really delivered on that. i don't think the agenda is very far advanced. >> you nicely previewed a
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segment later in our broadcast for which we have a retired u.s. army four-star general standing by. gentlemen, thank you both very much for our conversation. nick akerman and eugene robinson, attorneys at law. >> we're starting our own firm. >> when we come back, the president's son-in-law goes to ra ma la and the political attention domestically goes to atlanta when we continue. ♪ only tylenol® rapid release gels have laser drilled holes. they release medicine fast, for fast pain relief. tylenol®
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there's so little happening in washington right now that serves the needs of people, and they want representation that will work across the aisle to do that. >> steve and i lived in the sixth district for nearly 25 years. my opponent talks about well he only lives five miles outside of the district. where his values are some 3,000 miles away, y'all, in san francisco. >> closing arguments tonight from the two candidates vying to reprent part of the suburbs of northern atlanta in congress, a congressional seat by the way newt gingrich once held for 20 years. a seat that's been in republican hands for a long time. the special election happening more than 600 miles from washington has captured the capital's attention. eli stokols remains here with us tonight, and we welcome to our broadcast jenna johnson, political reporter at "the washington post," who covers the white house.
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jenna, welcome to you and by way of welcoming you, you get the first question. is this race a bellwether or not? and how to know? >> well, if there's one thing that we learned from the last election, it's is that people don't trust the polls. they don't trust job approval ratings. they trust actual election results. and here we have an election in a very tight area, a place that used to be so reliably republican where you have a lot of voters who are very concerned by how president trump is acting, how he's approaching his job. and so this race is seen as basically a major test of do voters still support him or not? and so everyone's watching this. a win on either side could give a lot of momentum or take away momentum for legislation on the hill, for other rac t follow. everyone's just watching to see what happens down there.
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>> eli, does the bellwether question depend on whether your side wins or loses? >> maybe. i think if he wins, it does make it harder for republicans to do health care. i think the bigger takeaway is what it does over the next several months in terms of looking ahead to 2018, the kind of recruitment challenges that republicans may have. they may lose some folks to retirement if ossoff is able to win. i don't think you want to make too much of this. it is clearly a seat that it is in place because of donald trump, and yet you have a democrat who is 30 years old, doesn't live in the district. he's been pretty disciplined on a message that is tailor made for the moderate republicans and independent voters in that district because those are the voters he needs. he's run the right campaign, and yet republicans have gone to the sort of familiar, even trite playbook of hitting him with the nancy pelosi baseball bat saying, you're a liberal. all your donors are liberal.
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it's true because democrats, progressives all over the country, want to see a democrat take a republican seat. so that battering ram might just work. this is a litmus test really of where independence and moderate republicans stand five months into the trump presidency and whether or not, you know, they think it's better to have the seat in republican or democratic hands. it's an interesting case because i don't think they're thrilled to send a message that is validating the presenut i don't think they're thrilled either about giving a seat to the democrats when the democratic majority is still led by nancy pelosi. >> not too early to remind our voters a lot of results will be coming in live while we're on the air here tomorrow night. jenna, let's talk about what's going on in the senate tonight because we have one of the democratic senators standing by to talk to us. she is just off the floor. they are talking about health care, and they're taking the whole night to do it. their stated purpose is to draw attention to the markup, the drafting of the bill on the
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republican side. their stated purpose is to gum up the works. what do you make of the effort thus far? >> well, and a big part of this is just reminding americans of what the current health care legislation has done for so many people. extending insurance to people who didn't have it. providing better insurance to people who didn't have it before. and just keeping that message out there in the forefront, keeping people talking about this. and reminding republicans that their legislation, the options that they've put forward so far, are actually not very popular across the country. and so i think we're going to -- i mean the major advantage that they have right now is just getting that message out there over and over and over again. and that's exactly what they're doing tonight. >> eli, you made a point in the break. in the old days when you did this, when you took up the
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senate's time overnight for a cause, whether it was one person or several, it got blanket coverage because it was a big deal. what has happened in the interim? too much media or too much talking? >> well, probably both. but i think we're sitting in this place now where everybody talks about donald trump getting in his own way. there is so much in the news cycle with russia and everything else that this is a matter that actually impacts tens of millions of americans in terms of their health coverage. and yet there is so much drama and people have gotten so used to consuming coverage of the drama, be it at the white house around who's going to be the next press secretary, around all the investigations swirling arou this administration, that it has been harder for folks wanting to drive another message, maybe a more substantive message, to get that message through. that's just the place we're in right now in terms of the media landscape. >> jenna, just one more question while we have you. jared kushner really is going to the middle east to talk about a
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framework for peace, and the trip is serious. the trip has serious goals. any effort toward this, this might be the first of 15 or 20 trips to the region. >> yeah. i mean the white house has been careful to kind of tamp down expectations for this particular trip. they don't expect a peace deal to come out of this overnight. but they consider this just an ongoing conversation. and this is such a different approach from what we've seen in the past. typically these sorts of conversations are handled by a secretary of state, a cabinet-level position. donald trump is sending his son-in-law and a former real estate lawyer from the trump organization over to the middle east to talk with both sides, to get priorities of expectations. so we'll see where those conversations go. we'll see if they're able to get
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any farther than previous administrations have. >> jenna johnson, eli stokols, thank you both. we're going to make way for senator tammy baldwin, who is ready for us just off the senate floor. we'll talk to her live about tonight's effort right after this. >> families across this country will go to bed anxious, scared because of the partisan politics happening right here in washington. i needed something more to help control my type 2 diabetes. my a1c wasn't were it needed to be. so i liked when my doctor told me that i may reach my blood sugar and a1c goals by activating what's within me with once-weekly trulicity. trulicity is not insulin. it helps activate my body to do what it's suppose to do, release its own insulin. i take it once a week, and it works 24/7. it comes in an easy-to-use pen
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so i'm going to ask that we agree today that the bill won't come to the floor until the health committee has had an open meeting and considered amendments from both parties. >> is there objection? >> i object. >> objection's heard. >> i ask unanimous consent. >> is there objection? >> i object. >> objection's heard. >> i'd like to ask for unanimous
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consent. >> is there objection? >> object. >> i ask for unanimous consent. >> objection is heard. >> i have a unanimous consent request. >> is there objection? >> i object. >> objection is heard. >> and so it goes in the world's greatest deliberative body. welcome back to "the 11th hour." that was the scene today in the senateith democrats increasingly frustrated with republicans who are in effect working in secret on the senate version of their health care bill. in protest, democrats are holding the floor tonight. that's senator merkley there using speeches and senate procedures to have their say on this health care bill. and to underscore just how unprecedented this move is by the senate republicans, today the l.a. times reported this. don ritchie, historian emeritus of the senate, said not since the years before world war i has the senate taken such a partisan closed-door approach to major legislation. for more, i am joined by senator tammy baldwin, democrat of the
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state of wisconsin. so, senator, we understand that this was not the democrats' idea, and we understand your evening-long effort. but at the end of the day, can you reassure people who are scared from missoula to madison to cleveland, people who are scared they're going to lose their coverage, that you as a member of the senate will look out for them, and nothing will get through there that will actively harm folks who have coverage now? >> well, on the first point, brian, one of the purposes of my floor speech was to tell some of those stories that i hear day in and day out. and frankly itarted with my own because as a child atge 9, i had a very serious illness. three months in the hospital and then was labeled as one of those kids with a pre-existing condition. but i know my story is not unique. and as you look at what we can
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tell the american people, clearly republicans have the majority in the house. they have the majority in the senate. there's a republican in the white house. but we are not going to give up. and while one -- as a senator myself, i can't affect the outcome, even democrats in the senate can't. if we elevate the voice of the american people and make sure that they communicate with their elected officials in the house and the senate, that's what it's going to take. and i still have hope that their voices will be heard because health care is deeply personal. >> let's talk logistics just for a moment. mitch mcconnell, it's hard to envision him bringing something up that is born to fail. so let's say he has the reasons to think he can get this passed. what happens then, remembering
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that some americans are watching this very closely? >> well, you asked about what we're doing this evening in terms of holding the floor, bringing the stories of our constituents to the senate floor, demanding that those stories be heard. hopefully inspiring people to act, to call, to write, to be involved in this democracy because the last thing we can afford to do right now is to say this is an uphill battle, and the odds are long. we've got to engage in this fight. it's one-sixth of our nation's economy. it impacts everyone on a very personal basis. and my call to action, my colleagues' call to action is that let's make our democracy work in this particular debate. people need to speak out. >> do you think obamacare will be repealed and/or replaced by the end of calendar year 2017?
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>> you know, again, the odds are long. but i have hope. i have hope, first of all, that we can stop this partisan nonsense to score partisan political points and instead resolve that we're not going to repeal the affordable care act. we're going to fix the affordable care act and improve upon our health care system for everyone. and if we can get to that point, i can assure you we can work together to make a stronger plan for all americans. so long as they continue to craft legislation in secret, in dark, behind closed doors and do so more to make a partisan point than to do the business of the american people, we've got a big fight ahead of us. >> senator tammy baldwin, democrat, of the great state of wisconsin, thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. when we continue, who's in charge of the u.s. effort in afghanistan if not the
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president, and how it seemed like old times today, at least with the russians.
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welcome back to "the 11th hour." what is the trump administration's strategy for afghanistan? that's what a lot of people are asking as the country awaits official word of how many additional troops will be sent
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to afghanistan. in a break from the previous administration, the current commander in chief has given the secretary of defense, james mattis, the authority to set troop levs there. president trump has received criticism just today inact from senator john mccain, who argued there is no strategy to achieve victory. with us tonight to talk about all this, we're so pleased to have back on our broadcast retired four-star u.s. army general barry mccaffrey, decorated combat veteran, ground commander in desert storm, and former u.s. drug czar with of course experience in government and military throughout the world. so general, if it is general mattis who is overseeing strategy in afghanistan, a, is that unusual and, b, what do we think the mattis strategy will be in afghanistan, our nation's longest war? >> well, brian, it's important for us to remind ourselves the
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actions in control of the u.s. armed forces are governed by law. goldwater/nicholls. there are nine joint commands on the face of the earth. i think most of this is just a reversion to a more sensible way of having a white house and a secretary of defendant focus on conceptual approaches to warfare and allowing tactical decisions to be made by people directly on the ground. i think it's a very sensible move. >> what do you think ought to happen at this point in the nation's longest war? >> oh, there is no good solution in afghanistan or, for that matter, syria. afghanistan, in a larger sense, is just an endless ethnic civil war with marginal u.s. strategic
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interest at stake. the regional partners are extremely interested in what go goes, principally pakistan, iran. i don't think it's going to be solved by another 4,000 or 5,000 troops. i think general nicholson is trying to not have it come apart on his watch. the problems in afghanistan have everything to do with this deeply cruel, ded naon. >> you mentioned syria. syria snapped back into our attention over the weekend. we shot down a syrian jet. the russians today have gotten involved, at least verbally, warning the united states about a line we should not cross. does any part of you fear a shooting war in syria over a mistake or a misunderstanding or
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worse? >> well, it's hard to have a scorecard to watch what's going on in syria. clearly there are contending factors. the syrian armed forces under assad, who is our enemy, the sunni muslim rebels, both the ones in isis, al qaeda, the ones we allege were supporting, the kurdish forces, the iranian revolutionary guards. it's an utter mess with a half million people dead. it's a tragedy. i was surprised that the russia' reaction. it would be a huge mistake for the russian air force to take on u.s. naval and u.s. air force air. so i don't anticipate they're going to do this. but they basically said, look, u.s. aircraft, coalition aircraft are targets if they fly west of the euphrates. this would be a monumental misjudgment by putin if he moved
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in that drenirection. >> a lot of us spent a good part of the weekend thinking of the sailors on board the fitzgerald. 60 miles offer the coast of japan when it had a fatal encounter with a container ship. obviously nothing is ever supposed to come in contact of one of o naval vessels, especially a destroyer, especially in those open waters. i know you have strong feelings about the young men and women who make up the crew of vessels like this and are serving in uniform around the clock. i don't know what this says about the watch shift in the overnight hours. i'm sure there will be an investigation. this was just not supposed to happen. >> yeah. well, look, brian, thank got for the united states navy. they're globally deployed. they're the most technologically advanced, well-trained, dedicated force on the maritime seas. the navy also holds their commanders absolutely
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accountable. they'll sort it all out. it was an inexplicable accident. it should not have happened, but, again, our hearts go out to the families that lost these brave young sailors. >> absolutely. terrible tragedy at sea for the u.s. navy. general barry mccaffrey, always a pleasure. thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> good to be with you, brian. when we come back after our final break, why today will live in infamiliary for so many peop least inside the world of social media.
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will you be ready when the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
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someone with the amount of power that he has, have you er hedim speak? seriously, what does his voice sound like? you don't know, do you? look, it wasn't easy, but we did actually manage to find an interview of him talking on tv in 2009, and here it is. [ gilbert gottfried voice ] >> no, no. i know. i know. i know what you're thinking. you're thinking hold on. you just took that clip and you dubbed in gilbert gottfried, but you don't know that for sure. >> with thanks to our friends at hbo, last thing before we go tonight, we heard from the actual jared kushner today. the senior adviser to the president, son-in-law to the
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president, what's news here is that he used his voice, not gilbert gottfried, to speak. we have not heard his voice before. he spoke today at a technology council meeting at the white house. prior to this trip he is making to the middle east to try to achieve peace here. here for the first time on our broadcast, the voice of the man who is perhaps the closest to the president of the united states. >> our goal here is simple. we are here to improve the day-to-day lives of the average citizen. that's a core promise, and we are keeping it. together, we will unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before. >> we have waited 151 days for that, and that will have to do us for a while as one web writer put it today. this was the day jared kushner used his vocal chords and social media went wild. on that note, that is our
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broadcast for a monday night as we start off a new week here thank you for being here with us. good night from new york. >> tonight on "all in". >> it's very unfortunate. >> the clock is set as the secret republican health care bill inches closer to the senate. >> nobody's hiding the ball here. >> tonight, the democratic resistance. >> we will fight this bill with all we have. >> my guest, senator bernie sanders. plus, meet the president's new lawer. >> now he's being investigated by the department of justice. >> the ever changing explanation on the russia investigation. >> you have now said that he is being investigated after saying that he didn't. >> no. >> you just said that he's being investigated. and after months and months of silence, jared kushner speaks. >> it's working and it's very exciting.

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