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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 21, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT

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because not everybody's needed at the table. and it's time to make a bigger table. i'm the best person to represent this district because i'm a working person. let's trade places. paul ryan, you can come work the iron and i'll go to d.c. >> randy bryce will join us tomorrow night here at "the last word" to get in his first words of campaigning for a seat in the house of representatives. that's tonight's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" starts now. tonight, donald trump at a rally in iowa gives a progress report on the wall and announced there's been a change to the wall which he shared with the crowd at a red meat campaign style scorched earth rally in cedar rapids. meanwhile, back in washington, some alarming new warnings about the threat russia poses to our elections. and an update on the damage dmon 2016. and new details on the president's money including some changes to his bottom line, all part of our world tonight as
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"the eleventh hour" gets under way. good evening from our headquarters here in new york. day 153 of the trump administration and tonight the president ventured west of the mississippi for the first time as president. he held a rally in cedar rapids, iowa that might as well have been a campaign stop. he went off script early and often and relitigated a lot of long-standing battles. he made some lofty claims about his accomplishments thus far about legislation and the number of coal industry jobs, for instance, that have been produced. he promised the crowd a great national rebuilding. he promised health care with a heart. the largest tax cut in history. and he assured them he's going to build that wall along our southern border, but he said he had had an idea to make it a solar wall because as he put it, it's one of the places where solar works best.
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he said the wall pays for itself, and thus, mexico will have to pay less. >> and yes, we will build the wall. we've already started planning. it will be built. but i'll give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet. and i'm not sure, but i'm a builder. that's what i love to do. that's probably what i do best. i'm a builder. and we're thinking of something that's unique. we're talking about the southern border. lots of sun, lots of heat. we're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy. and pays for itself. and this way, mexico will have to pay much less money. and that's good. right? is that good? >> he spoke for over an hour and repeated a lot of his greatest hits, a lot of it was familiar.
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the shouting down of protesters and the spontaneous chant of "lock her up," when he brought up the clintons. while it took him away from the russia investigation, there was just a passing reference to what he referred to as a witch hunt. no mention of fighting back against russia's attack and ongoing threat to our election system. >> we are making such incredible progress. we are making progress like nobody can believe. these people are being driven crazy. crazy. i mean, they have phony witch hunts going against me. they have everything going. and you know what? all we do is win, win, win. it's always terrific to be able to leave that washington swamp
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and spend time with the truly hard-working people we call them american patriots. amazing people. >> let's bring in our starting panel for tonight. msnbc senior national correspondent chris jansing was at the president's event in iowa where she remains tonight. robert costa reporter for "the washington post" and, of course, moderator of washington week on pbs. and kimberly atkins, chief washington reporter for the "boston herald" and a lawyer by training. chris jansing, how at all in your eyes did this differ from a campaign setting and describe the atmospherics you witnessed tonight. >> reporter: it was raucous. the more he went off script, the more the crowd fed off of it, the more then he fed off of it. something that might have gone a half hour they were anticipating no more than 45 minutes went for about an hour and ten. even though at one point he said we're not even campaigning but listen to the crowd.
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this was nothing if not an old-fashioned campaign rally. i was at his rallies during the campaign. it had that feel and that energy both from the crowd and from him. and we should mention that even though he said we're not even campaigning, this was paid for by his campaign. there were campaign signs everywhere. he went after the very same themes successful for him on the campaign trail. this is, by the way, his fifth visit to a state where he was successful during the campaign in the five months that he has been president, he hit on those themes of the wall. he said the idea of a solar wall is his. he went off hillary clinton even when a few moments later he said wouldn't it be beautiful if the democrats and republicans could get along, and the thing he mentioned the most was the republican victory in the georgia six. this was for him an affirmation of his presidency. you mentioned it, brian. he talked about the things he has said he's accomplished and it was also a promise to this crowd of things he's going to
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get done. tax reform, infrastructure, health care, even acknowledging how difficult health care is. a couple of things quick, brian. one thick tell you from talking to people, even supporters lining up that they're concerned about one thing, they're worried about the secrecy surrounding health care and want to know what's going to happen to them. the other reality check is this is a state he won by nine points. a poll that just came out in the des moines register showed now he's underwater. 42% approve of the job he's doing. 49% disapprove. he didn't hear any of that in there though. one of the people i talked to coming out, this was his 27th campaign rally for his staff. this is exactly what they wanted to get him fired up after all this time in washington where he feels he's getting beaten up, brian. >> chris jansing, thanks for that live report tonight from caesar rapids, iowa. robert costa, i want to read the front page of the local paper upon the president's arrival was
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devoted to one long and very public open letter to president donald trump. and it reads in part, "mr. president, the campaign is over. you won. now is not the time to rally, now is the time to sell your policies. listen to americans with a stake in those efforts and govern. i.e. wians have questions and concerns about your plans. they can't be heard over the cheers of a rally." robert, we do have some reporting from our own stephanie rhule quoting a senior member of the white house team saying there were some cringe worthy moments for the members of the staff hoping somehow he would turn a page that the presence of a teleprompter would help, but i guess the lure of red meat was too much as we said, he went off script early and often. >> reporter: brian, as i listened to the president's remarks tonight, i saw him being observational as well as defiant. it was a living version of his
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twitter feed. i also heard him road testing suggestions to the republican base, things he has not always fleshed out yet in policy speeches. like the solar panel on the wall. he's trying -- i'm told by my sources to deal with government as reality. with the bracing reality that some of the things he promised may not happen as he promised them. and maybe some different ways of approaching signature issues like the wall or tax reform and health care could be -- could pass by the base, could get the support of the base. this was him returning to that iowa crowd that lifted him back in early 2016 and wondering allowed. in almost a subtle way even though it was a ruckus environment whether he could pivot a bit and still keep their support. >> robert, indeed to your point about a road test, he made the point about health care as if to cover a less than perfect health care plan, he said even if it was perfect and cost the american people nothing, they'd
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get no democratic votes of support. and i thought that was notable. >> it was notable, brian. we have to listen closely what the president says on policy because he's not echoing to a t what conscious greggsal republicans are saying. this is important in the wake of the georgia six election. republicans did win. but the republican there karen handel did not run as a trump republican. we see the president himself not really running directly in step with the house republicans or the senate republicans. and so you have two different factions within this broader republican party trying to navigate this uncertain political moment to see trump if he can steady his presidency and consequential republicans if they can move forward to 2018 and not feel like they're in total chaos. >> kimberly, our mutual acquaintance eli stokals writes in "the wall street journal" tonight under the headline "white house looks to chart steadier course over turmoil over hushia probes, this is an updated familiar story. "investigations by the fbi and
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congress noose russia's possible coordination with members of mr. trump's team are occupying the president's focus more than ever. officials say and without a big legislative achievement soon or significant win to calm his nerves, they say the president could take action to dramatically shuffle his white house team." kimberly, any reaction? >> i think that's one reason why you see the president back out where he likes to be which is on the pseudocampaign trail. he's announced there will be a fund-raiser next week. he likes to be in campaign mode. that's where he's happier and in his element when he's in the white house dealing with the constant steady stream of news about russia, he gets very more rose and withdrawn and it's a problem. that's when he's most likely to strike out and do something whether it's a twitter message or something worse that cos shoot him in the foot on that issue. i think in that way, members of his staff are happy to see him in iowa tonight. >> kimberly, how will this cut
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among members of congress? it's been said in the wake of it the georgia election last night that the democrats have nothing going except being the party of anti-trump. but it does seem that the republicans will need accomplishments to run on since the entire congress is up in 18 months. >> well, yes. the republicans definitely need to notch up some achievements between now and then. health care is going to be a big one. we have to wait to see what the cbo says about this new senate version of this bill. americans don't like what they see of it so far. and there are other issues, tax reform and infrastructure that they've promised and haven't come to light yet, but at the same time, the map is against the democrats. and the democrats learned yesterday that you know, picking up seats is going to be difficult. and there was a lot of soul searching happening on capitol hill today with a lot of democrats who were really unhappy with the messaging from
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their party, some suggesting new leadership. so i think both parties have a lot of work to do between now and then. >> robert, we're going to deal with this kind of sporadically throughout our broadcast tonight. it's not too early to ask a guy like you with your connections, is nancy pelosi in trouble? she made for a very enticing target down in this georgia congressional race. we're hearing more and more democrats trot out the idea as moulton did today of a new generation of leadership. >> i don't see congress moulton's statement as indicative of the political reality within the house democratic caucus or within the democratic party. are there concerns about leader pelosi and what she means for democratic candidates next year? of course, there are. but after the 2010 and 2014 republican sweeps, the house democratic conference, remember, became very liberal. it became mostly blue states, blue districts and they are
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diehard supporters when i'm up there on capital behind me, they're diehard supporters of nancy pelosi. they're not itching to get her out of there. she's seen as a stabilizing and veteran force for all of her controversies and problems that some critics have in the democratic party, after secretary clinton lost last year, she decided to stay on and seen as someone who knows how to be an op 0 rater at the high level of national politics. she's a former speaker. in this depleted democratic party that, gives her real staying power. >> kimberly, what next is the white house going to try to do? we've seen this attempted rollout of themes. but every day we've also seen either testimony or a fresh take on the story of the russia investigation from all of your friends of ours in the print media. >> yeah, i think the health care bill is going to take a lot of the oxygen. this is a white house that has shown that it will criticize republicans if it doesn't like
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what's coming out. first of course, the house bill that came out, the president embraced and held a ceremony but then once criticism came in, he called it mean. so i could see him trying to push and get a legislative victory there. but this russia investigation is not going to go away. we haven't seen the last of it. i think we can keep an eye on the president's twitter feed to see how he reacs to that. >> robert, that was another road test tonight. the health care with a heart coming off his widely quoted remarks that the house version had been mean. >> i think back to january, brian, when i spoke to the brez by phone just before his inauguration for an interview about health care. and he said, i guess somewhat notably now he wanted insurance for everybody. just like he said to republicans the other day, he doesn't like a mean bill and he wants a bill with heart now. this is reflective of a president who is not ideological and knows the political consequences for his base and for 2020 if he's seen as someone
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going along with hard line health care policy. in spite of republicans walking back the president's somewhat softer stance on health care overhaul, the president continues to reiterate he's really not in line with republicans on capitol hill. >> our great thanks, first of all to chris jansing for her life reporting and also to robert costa, kimberly atkins for joining us tonight. thank you for making a suburb leadoff panel tonight. out to andrews air force base we go. we'll show you a live picture, air force one taxiing to a halt. as we mentioned the president's first trip west of the mississippi since he's been president. part of the reason his widely reported distaste for spending the night on the road especially if it's not a trump property. he is back in washington tonight. we'll take our first break and coming up, some alarming new details about the threat from russia to u.s. elections. and later, again, the questions about nancy pelosi as democratic
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leader. it's a question many on the hill are asking after that will georgia special election. we'll put the question to a house democrat on the intelligence committee tonight. [hissing] uh- i- [sound of wrench] [intricate guitar riff] [engine starts] [guitar continues]
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mr. secretary, was our democracy attacked this past election? >> yes. >> by who? >> the russian government. >> and would you agree that the first step to solving a problem, have you heard of this quote or this idea, is to acknowledge that a problem exists? >> sure. yes.
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>> why do you think that president trump will not state that russia meddled in our elections? >> you'd have to ask him, sir. >> welcome back to the 11th hour". at the moment, donald trump is coming down the stairs of air force one back to washington and back into the morass, the questions about russia as he makes his way into the limousine. that, of course, was former homeland security secretary jeh johnson today, testifying on russia to the house intelligence committee at the same time, the senate intelligence committee was holding its own hearing on russian election interference with multiple officials and scholars on cyber security, counter intelligence, election integrity and the like. here now a sampling of the sobering testimony from both of today's hearings. >> in 2016, the russian government at the direction of vladimir putin himself orange straighted cyber attacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election. that is a fact plain and simple.
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>> my question for you, sir, just to be abundantly clear, will the russians be back? >> i think we have to assume for all the reasons that have been discussed here that the russians will back and possibly other state actors and possibly other bad cyber actors. >> fair to assume you are concerned if not worried about '16 and '18 elections and all others going forward? >> yes. >> to the best of the fbi's knowledge, have they conducted covert influence in prior election campaigns in the united states? >> yes, absolutely they've conducted influence operations in the past. what made this one different in many regards was of course, the degree and then with what you can do through electronic systems today. all the way through the cold war up to our most recent election,
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in my opinion, they have tried to influence all of our elections since then. this is a common practice. >> if we fail to act, i think it's only a matter of time until a major election is disrupted or stolen in a cyber attack. >> and here's the important part. officials also confirmed today they believe voter databases in at least 21 states almost half of our country were targeted but they have no evidence of any votes being altered. meanwhile, special counsel robert mueller was back on the hill as expected today continuing meetings with lawmakers overseeing the multiple russian-related investigations. today, mueller spoke to the top republican and democrat on senate judiciary, chuck grassley and dianne feinstein, talking to reporters after the meeting, grassley was asked if his committee would be considering whether or not the president obstructed justice. his answer was, "i think that everything's on the table." also today, at democrats on the house oversight committee sent a
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letter to white house chief of staff reince bre bus requesting nefgs about the security clearances of michael flynn, the president's son-in-law jared kushner and other white house officials. the letter goes on to detail jared kushner's multiple meetings with russian officials, meetings that at first were denied, later confirmed after they were uncovered. the letter directly confronts kushner's security clearance. "it is unclear why mr. kushner continues to have access to classified information while these allegations are being investigated." and breaking just in the past hour from the pages "the new york times" is this. the white house is quietly lobbying house republicans to weaken a bill overwhelmingly passed by the senate last week that would slap tough new sanctions on russia for its meddling in the 2016 election and allow congress 0 block neg future move by president trump to lift any penalties against
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moscow. a lot to talk about. sometimes you have to lawyer up and so we have two lawyers joining our conversation tonight. a 25-year veteran federal prosecutor joyce advance is back with us. she spent almost eight years as a u.s. attorney, among the first five u.s. attorneys appointed by president obama, and jeremy bash rejoins us, former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon, former chief counsel to house intel committee. welcome to you both. and jeremy, let's get rid of the topic of kushner's security clearance first. what authority would order or request it to be rescinded and what's the normal standard? would it be rescinded in a normal case if you were under investigation? >> not necessarily. ultimately, brian, this is the president's call. and fundamentally with respect to this issue, as with respect to the issue of mike flynn having access to highly
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sensitive highly classified information for 18 days after sally yates warned the white house counsel who then warned the president, this is the president's call. he decided all these people should have access to classified information. he invited the russians into the oval office, gave them secrets. he's the one who is in effect giving russia what they wanted whether it's in terms of watered down sanctions or not invoking article five in nato or allowing russia to have a no-fly zone in syria. these are the president's decisions. >> joyce, if the corporate world they call it fishery responsibility especially when you're on a board of directors. considering the president's oath to preserve, protect and defend, we're not asking where is the outrange over russia, not even asking where is the urgency. but is there a responsibility on the part of the administration to have show an effort to continue to investigate to fight back to retaliate?
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>> so ultimately, i suppose, that's a question that the voters will decide in elections in 2018 and 2020. but particularly in light of secretary johnson's testimony today, there is no doubt that this is the most urgent question facing us as a country. our democracy is under attack. republicans and democrats have to come together to address the integrity of our elections. we would all like to see the president showing leadership here. >> jeremy, same question, in light of the preserve, protect and defend, where is the effort from a political standpoint? i know you're not a political analyst, but it's kind of a free shot. it's kind of something all americans could agree on that we've been attacked by russia and something should happen as a result. >> you would think. i mean, today was irrefutable evidence again as if any more were needed that the russians meddled in the election. if i were to advice the white house, i would say you guys
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should concede on this meddling claim. unfortunately, the president believes that if he concedes on that and people investigating that matter and that matter alone, they might turn over rocks and underneath those rocks they might finds maybe collusion and ultimately this obstruction of justice concern. so i think although the white house should concede it, i don't think they're prepared to. >> joyce, we've seen robert mueller now on capitol hill though we don't hear from him for two straight days. i guess doing due diligence, keeping in touch with committee chairs. what is likely going on in these sessions? what is he likely sharing with them? >> so it's very interesting. we don't hear mueller speaking but we hear a little bit of what's going on through the voices of people on the hill. for instance, today, congressman trey gowdy issued a statement saying they were completely clearing the lanes and that he didn't want his committee talking with any of the witnesses mueller was talking to, talking about any of
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the topics that mueller was investigating. so the take away from that is that bob mueller is speaking with both house and senate subcommittees, telling them or advising them about the scope of his investigation, and i suspect giving them good reason to not interfere in any way. it must be compelling information that he's taking to them to elicit this kind of response from people like congressman gowdy. >> that's a great point. and jeremy, does mueller investigate or is he fueled by what we now have in testimony the president not expressing any curiosity or anger to the former fbi director, the president not expressing any curiosity or anger to his sitting attorney general over the fact that this country was attacked in our election process by russia? >> yeah, he appears to have no concern at all. just want to take slight issue
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with what janice just referenced. i do share some concern with some congressional overseers if congress is overly differential to the department of investigation and doesn't pursue any witnesses, that stall the congressional investigation. it's important for two reasons. it's the only one that will be conducted in public. that's an important public service and the second, it's the only one where we can learn lessons and defend ourselves to the next election. >> joyce, you get the last word. are all of the investigations equal in the eyes of the law and the eyes of the justice department and the eyes of mr. mueller? >> so i think jeff makes a good point. it's important to have an pope congressional investigation so people understand that what secretary johnson called for today, some level of national coordination, whether it's a cyber czar or cyber bureau that works together to protect our laeks election's integrity, that's important but equally important will be bob mueller's
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investigation. we don't want congress to interfere with witnesses to give people immunity while mueller is still in the early steps of his investigation. it's a good sign that he's up on the hill and that everyone appears to be working together at this point. >> our thanks to our two highly capable lawyers, jeremy bash, joyce advance. thank you very much for this conversation. another break. when we come back, our questions for a democrat on the house intelligence committee. ur weekly tee times. but i've been taking osteo bi flex ease. it's 80% smaller, but just as effective at supporting range of motion and shows improved joint comfort in seven days. which means you're in big trouble, son. you will bow to my exquisite short game. cower at my majestic drives. i will make you question everything, son. so don't worry about dad's joints. worry about your dignity. love, dad. 80% smaller, just as effective. osteo bi-flex ease. made to move.
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off by asking if there was anything else he was waiting to hear about russian involvement in our presidential election. >> no, today, jeh johnson reaffirmed what many of us believe and i think the country believes which is that -- at this point, it's pretty clear that that's exactly what happened. >> is the malpractice here in your view is, the fact that the white house is not acting like
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this is a crisis afoot and not acting to preserve and protect the next presidential election perhaps? >> yeah, what's specially disturbing is that president trump and the white house and even many leaders in the congress still refuse to call it what it was, which was russian interference and really to start to take real action against the russian government to make sure that we send a clear signal to russia and other country who's would interfere are our elections in 2018, 2020 or beyond. for example, brian, i asked secretary johnson a direct question, which is does he know of any law that sets up any basic cyber security requirement to protect our voting systems? and his plain answer was no. that needs to change. americans deserve to know that their democratic processes are secure and safe. >> how are you feeling about your committee's investigation into all things russia related after i guess what we can call a shaky start?
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>> we're moving forward, of course, about six weeks ago, we got a new chairman in mike conway and so we're continuing to request documents from people, bring people in. and i feel like we're moving forward. >> finally, congressman, i have to ask some of your democratic colleagues today have let it become known they think leader pelosi's time as leader may be up. do you think it is time for new leadership among democrats in the house? >> i continue to support nancy pelosi. she is the democratic leader, and there is no election coming up. so she's our leader. >> did anything about the georgia sixth district loss last night concern you? >> you never want to lose an election and i know that we've lost a few special elections but every single one of these elections has also been in a race where in a regular year, we really have not had a real chance to win. so candidate ossoff's improvement on the democratic candidate in terms of the
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percentage was something like 20 or 23 points. so that's an incredible improvement. i believe that democrats will take back the house of representatives in 2018. but these have been some tough districts to compete in. >> if you had it to determine what would the democrats' bumper sticker message be for 2018 when the entire house of representatives is up for election? >> we represent you. we represent opportunity for all americans. >> congressman joaquin castro, democrat of the texas 20th, thank you very much for being with us tonight. >> thank you, brian. and coming up after our next break, what is in the republican senate health care plan? we'll ask a couple republicans if they've heard anything.
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and you're about in to hit 'send all' on some embarrassing gas. hey, you bought gas-x®! unlike antacids, gas-x ® relieves pressure and bloating fast. huh, crisis averted. i've had a lot of people ask me specifically when the health care bill is going to be released to the public. why it isn't public.
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the short answer to the question is, i haven't seen it yet either. >> that is senator mike lee, a utah republican addressing one of the biggest questions americans have about this republican senate health care bill. what's in it? senate republicans will see a draft for the first time tomorrow morning. here's why it's interesting what he just said. senator lee is actually among the authors. the group of 13 men compiled by the republicans to draft a bill. it has not been a public process. there have been no hearings and it's been a remarkable turn of events considering what some republicans who are in that working group were saying back in '09 about how obamacare was drafted. >> americans are asking the democrats to put party loyalty aside tonight. to put the interests of small business owners, taxpayers, and seniors first. >> they want to make sure they pass it before the american people find out what's in it. because the american people, by
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nearly two to one according to cnn poll, deputy like what they've heard about the health care bill. >> i want to make sure my health care is not going to be made worse, worse by what's going to happen in -- in the senate between now and the end of the year. >> when americans voted to change washington last year, they didn't think it would be politics as usual here but unfortunately, it's sunk to a whole new level. >> only one party and especially one person gains from this so-called health care reform bill. the president will be able to show how he was able to accomplish something against all odds. >> after weeks of closed door clandestine negotiations, senator reid finally emerged with a 383-page christmas list. this bill is a dark example of everything that is wrong with washington today. >> they want to push through here and finish it before the christmas holiday and get this in the rearview mirror before the american people have an opportunity to see what's in it. >> we are joined tonight by the former chairman of the republican party michael steele
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and longtime radio talk show host in the wisconsin charlie sykes. gentlemen, welcome. michael, just from a television standpoint, they make it too easy. that's an open net. >> i know. >> that's due diligence. we have to do that. that's very basic. so from a human standpoint as i keep saying here night after night, real americans are scared to death about the status and future of their health care. michael, what's about to happen and what should happen? >> well, i think what's about to happen is going to be not that much far removed from what is already happened with the house bill. and that is i think the senate for all of the machinations and the noise that has been built up around this bill it's going to hew pretty close to what you see in the house. the idea is not just to get a bill that won't get through conference. they need a bill that the house and senate republicans can at least come somewhat to the table
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on. i think that's going to allow them the space they need to do that. last night's elections helped that argument, as well. they see where the base of the party is, standing very firmly with the president and the candidates he is supporting. and all this now begins to pile on top of this particular bill and will push it out sometime tomorrow and then of course, in the next week for a vote. >> charlie, a, is this any way to run a railroad, and b, this is a potential win. this is a big chance at a win for the republicans. do you think it's going to have a "w" next to its name? >> it is a very, very dangerous win. look, michael steele and i are both old enough when both of us were railing against the democrats for ramming through the process. you know, and you look back though in the comparison, and by the way, this was a legitimate complaint about the speed of all of this. and it helped detoxify obama care. here's key numbers. the senate health care had 47
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hearings or roundtables. the finance committee had 53 hearings on it. the u.s. senate had 25 days of debate before they voted on this in december and the legislatelation wasn't passed till march of 2010. now contrast that that the same folks who ran on this who rode the tea party wave into office are now talking about rolling out a bill that no one has seen. rolling it out tomorrow and having a vote before july 4th. i mean, look, there was a time when conservatives took process seriously because they understood how dangerous it was to have elite political figures in washington making decisions for tens of millions of americans but apparently that's all been forgotten. >> michael, charlie has such a cap praesque wistful version of the past in his mind. >> he's right. >> when you talk to republicans privately and i know they all talk privately, what are you hearing? >> there's a lot of concern
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about this. there's a lot of bad fruit that's dangling from this particular vine. pre-existing conditions, medicaid expansion. you know, will i be able to keep my health care? how much will i pay for that? they have no answers for this. the fact that they've not taken the time to sit down to invite to the very table the people who have an interest in health care starting with the consumer, the patients, the parents, and then going into doctors and all the other adjuncts that go along with putting together a health care package, they haven't done that. they don't know what the reaction is going to be overall and a lot of members are nervous about that. they think they're going to get this thing voted and off the table and we're going to focus on infrastructure a trillion dollars and then tax cuts. we don't know how much that's going to be. they're playing to the democrats' card when they start putting in place those pieces that say you're doing everything
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that benefits not the least among us but those who have the most among us. that's a problem. >> charlie, does mcconnell have a bare 50 to deliver to this, and if so, to what end? >> you know, we will find that out. that, of course, is one of the many mysteries in washington. but i think michael is absolutely right. at this point, it's all become about a "w." just get this thing through and move on to tax cuts. you know, as somebody that's been a long time saying it's not true that conservatives wants to strip poor people of health care in order to give tax cuts to the rich, now that republicans have really peared the two issues side by side. he's right. one of the dangers of doing deals like this in secret is they are highly risky. there's a reason why we have transparency. it's just smart decision making. this is very risky business. >> two old school republicans who now meet in church basements to talk about politics away from the glare of the media. >> phone booth. >> thanks so much.
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always a pleasure. michael steele, charlie sykes. another break for us. when we come back, what bloomberg news has been able to learn about the president's net worth, that is unless and until we see the president's tax returns. right after this. there's nothing more important to me than my vacation.
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welcome back to our broadcast. president trump has often boasted about his wealth as you may have heard. but a new analysis of his net worth shows it has taken a hit. don't feel sorry for him. it's down to 2.9 billion from an even 3 billion a year ago. the three properties the president owns in manhattan are said to be underperforming. bloomberg also notes this, quote, trump's own estimates of his net worth are higher than
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independent appraisals. when he announced his candidacy, his campaign released a document saying he had a net worths of 8.7 billion. later he described it as quote a stupid report. the author of that story, caleb mel by is with us in the studio. if made an exact science by access to the president's tax returns. so guys like you have to study everything else available, right? >> that's correct. so we're going through mortgage documents, we're going through company finances, we're going on through the annual financial report that he personally files with the government to try and make up for the fact we don't have the sort of information we're used to having. >> he's supposed to be separated from his financial world. having said that, how is it and
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by how much has business taken a hit since he's been president? >> right. what's interesting is we're seeing these hits in his legacy businesses, old office buildings in manhattan with a bunch of new office buildings coming online aren't doing as well as he or the banks that first issued him loans would have liked, which means these licensing deals that have come under scrutiny during his presidency where he works with international partners to create trump branded properties around the world are more important to him than we previously thought relatively that these other businesses. >> licensing is an interesting word. it almost makes him a franchisee. he hasn't owned a jack hammer,
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correct? >> not to my knowledge, no. >> landlord of many properties. and the ethics lawyers like richard painter keep complaining about emoluments and how he might profit from being president. >> right. and these buildings are a great example of that. we reported one of the biggest tenths in trump tower that pay him rent is the industrial and commercial bank of china, state-owned bank in china. when painter makes his case, they're looking at the state-owned entities doing with trump's privately-held businesses and arguing that that is an emolument, that is a gift from one state to the head of our state, donald trump. >> this calls far prediction on your part. let's see if you're up to it. in the course of your work because of the investigations going on, before this is over
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you will get to pour over his tax returns? >> i can only hope as somebody who's been tracking his net worth for two years now, this is the third time we've done this since he announced his candidacy in june 2015. i can only hope. but he's been very adamant about not releasing them so far. >> terrific job with the tools you've been given. we appreciate you coming by, and good luck in your future quest. thank you very much. when we come back, the ongoing effort toward middle east peace that just happens to feature the president's son-in-law. the pain can really be a distraction.
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[ intense music playing ] it's here, but it's going by fast. the opportunity of the year is back: the mercedes-benz summer event. get to your dealer today for incredible once-a-season offers, and start firing up those grilles. lease the e300 for $569 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. last thing before we go tonight on the eve of president trump's inauguration, he told his son-in-law in public, quote, if you can't produce peace in the middle east,s nobody can.
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jared kushner returned to israeli today. he met with benjamin netanyahu in jerusalem, and then the palestinian authorities in rama la decidedly different body language with the two sides. both meetings were described by the white house in very similar readouts as productive. the word used to describe every meeting toward middle east peace ever. both sides reaffirming, quote, their commitment to advancing president trump's goal of a genuine and lasting peace according to the white house, kushner will brief the president, secretary of state, national security adviser as to the next steps in achieving peace in the middle east. that's going to do it for our wednesday night broadcast for all of us here atmosphere nbc news headquarters, thank you before being us. good night from new york.
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there were apparently four hours of interviews all together, i will confess i have watched zero of those four hours. but i do keep watching the trailers every week to help myself decide if i might want to watch any of the interviews. turns out that that itself is newsworthy. because the new trailer for the newest hour of interviews, there's a problem in the trailer. >> in hindsight, did you make a mistake in exiting crimea? there is a new law in russia that provides for mass surveillance. >> would you want to join isis if you saw that? >> can we just stop there? can we go back a couple of seconds and show that screen grab of what putin is showing oliver stone there on the camera?

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