tv The Last Word With Lawrence O Donnell MSNBC June 23, 2017 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT
and end of the term is sometimes when retiring justices like to make that announcement that they're going. so heading into monday, there's some spilkes 30 years after justice powell's announcement, his replacement, justice kennedy, the current swing voter on the court. maybe if he's going to retire, that might conceivably be the day he'd announce it. that leave president trump of course with yet another pick for the supreme court and an opportunity to shift the court significantly to the right if he can confirm someone significantly more conservative than kennedy. justice kennedy is 80 years old, the top republican senator on the judiciary committee chuck grassley has been hinting he expects someone on the court to retire this summer. so monday. could be interesting. set your alarm. that does it for us tonight. have an excellent weekend. we'll see you again on monday. now it's time for "the last word" with ari melber sitting in for lawrence tonight. >> nice to see you rachel. replacing justice kennedy on the court would be the electoral college equivalent of replacing like florida and ohio. >> yeah, it would be like if the
democrats really did start winning texas. >> it would be big. so we'll be watching. >> yeah. >> have a good weekend, rachel. >> i am in for lawrence o'donnell. we have a special report tonight on trump versus medicaid. why is the candidate who ran on protecting that key health program now ready to cut it? we have an exclusive with the former medicaid director. we will also hear from a family who says their lives literally depend on this program, and they have a message for congress that has nothing to do with politics. but first our top story tonight. there are no tapes, donald trump admits, but there are conference calls on russia that trump holds every single morning. >> save medicare, medicaid, and social security without cuts. have to do it. >> a major point of contention for the senate gop health care bill, medicaid. >> this bill is currently in front of the united states senate. not the answer. it's simply not the answer. >> mitch mcconnell and them are just playing political games. they want a win. it doesn't matter what it looks
like. they just want to win and what that means is that the other side's got to lose. >> i think they're solving a short-term political problem. i think they're buying long-term pain here. >> today president trump illustrated the danger of doing an interview with a friendly media organization in the midst of a federal investigation into potential obstruction of justice. >> when he found out that i -- you know, that there may be tapes out there, i think his story may have changed. >> this couldn't have been a good day for president trump's lawyers to hear these freewheeling comments from donald trump. >> it shows a real pattern of trump trying to change the trajectory of this investigation, and that's what mueller is looking at for obstruction of justice. >> about 41 days passed between donald trump's tweet suggesting he taped his conversations with jim comey and trump's concession that there are no tapes. much time was spent on those potential tapes, a reminder of how the trump presidency can
feel like a national version of candy crush, wasting our time whether we like it or not. now after that nudge from fox news, trump says maybe he misled everyone about the tapes to shape comey's testimony. >> when he found out that i -- you know, that there may be tapes out there, whether it's governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, i think his story may have changed. i mean you'll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. and my story didn't change. my story was always a straight story. my story was always the truth. but you'll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. but i did not tape it. >> it was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in his hearings. >> well, it wasn't -- it wasn't very stupid, i can tell you that. he was -- he did admit that what i said was right. and if you look further back before he heard about that, i think maybe he wasn't admitting
that. >> trump suggesting that maybe comey's account changed over time. but of the two men in this story, one man -- trump -- suggested he had contemporaneous evidence, tapes, when there never were tapes. another man, comey, said he had contemporaneous evidence, notes taken after every conversation, and there were notes. consider one man has largely avoided adversarial questioning on this topic. another testified under oath for seven hours in two hearings, taking some adversarial and difficult questions from 34 different senators. keep that record in mind as the president's spokesperson doubled down on the idea that a false assertion, there might be tapes, was offered in service of some larger truth. >> i think the president made it very clear that he wanted the truth to come out. he wanted everyone to be honest about this, and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. i think he succeeded in doing that. the reality is, is that he wanted to make sure that the truth came out. and by talking about something
like tapes made people have to -- it made comey in particular think to himself, i better be honest. i better tell the truth about the circumstances regarding the situation. >> i better tell the truth. is that now what the white house thinks comey did? because comey testified that trump inappropriately pressed him for loyalty, said he should be investigated for obstruction, and that he wrongly interfered with the flynn inquiry. trump's immediate reaction was that some of comey's statements under oath were not true. >> some of the things that he said just weren't true. >> he did say under oath that you told him to let the flynn -- you said you hoped the flynn investigation -- he could let go. >> i didn't say that. >> so he lied about that? >> well, i didn't say that. i mean i will tell you i didn't say that. >> so trump said comey was lying about things that make trump look bad, but he tweeted a misleading statement about tapes to make comey tell the truth, which worked except for when it didn't. at this point you might want to throw your hands up and say, forget it or, worse, you might
say maybe nothing matters. but that's not actually the case. these things do matter. and while trump's approach here, call it vibrado or lies, may be designed to exhaust and obscure, and petty fog, it's notable his approach failed first because comey offered thorough testimony that even republican senators praised. second, because comey flipped the script on trump and basically punked him over the tapes saying if they existed, they would exonerate comey. >> look, i've seen the tweet about tapes. lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> third, trump's fetweet faile because it drew a formal demand to release any tapes. congress set a deadline of today, which is why trump admitted there were none. yes, some things do matter. and, fourth, this all failed because trump's tweet about tapes was a major driver of the decision by his own doj to appoint a special counsel he now apparently disdains.
and we know that because three white house aides are now telling "the washington post" the president holds a conference call on russia every morning at 6:30 a.m. quote, part strategy consultation, part presidential venting session during which trump's lawyers and public relations gurus take turns reviewing the latest headlines with him. they also devise their plan for battling his avowed enemies, the special counsel leading the russia investigation, the fake news media chronicling, and in some instances, the president's own justice department overseeing the probe. let's take stock of all of this with nick akerman, a former assistant watergate prosecutor and former u.s. attorney there in the southern district, as well as e.j. dionne, an opinion writer for "the washington post." nick, a lot of time spent on the tapes. some people feel time wasted. but as you go through the record that i just did there, it would seem this did lead to some things, and they might be good for the investigation. >> well, what he's done is he's just continued his obstruction of justice. i mean what he has done with
that tape in basically threatening comey as a witness amounted to nothing less than witness tampering. the statute that's involved is section 1512 of the united states code, and i'll just read from it because it's spot on. whoever knowingly engages in misleading conduct -- which we clearly have here. he misled everybody for six weeks about these tapes. -- toward another person with intent to influence the testimony of any person in an official proceeding commits a crime. i mean it couldn't be any clearer. this is just part of his entire obstruction of justice that he has been constantly perpetrating since the time he asked comey to forget about the flynn investigation when comey didn't drop the flynn investigation, he then fired comey. and on top of it, he also, in between those two events, he
asked dan coats and admiral rogers to drop -- to try and put an end to the investigation. so you've got now five acts of obstruction of justice. you've got the president of the united states admitting that he got rid of comey because of the russian investigation. you've got him admitting to the russian ambassador that he fired comey because he didn't want the russian investigation on his back. and now you've got him admitting to fox news, in kind of a most convoluted way, that he was trying to manipulate comey's testimony. ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what more do you need to convict this man of obstruction of justice? >> e.j. dionne, what more do you need? >> i don't need that much. i think what's striking as nick says is that when the first talk about obstruction came up, there were a lot of people saying, well, you can't really easily make an obstruction case. you need to prove intent.
what you've had is the president laying out intent in public today, saying he was trying to get comey to tell the truth although as you pointed out, there were truths that comey said that trump denied were true. so you have that. you've got the threat to fire -- first the try and influence comey and then the firing itself. and now you've got the attack on mueller, where there is clearly an effort to build up the idea that mueller is biased, that, you know, god forbid, he's hiring people who made contributions to democrats. so he has a political track where he's trying to create pressure, and then he's got the legal track. >> here was trump on mueller. >> he's very, very good friends with comey, which is very bothersome. but he's also -- we're going to
see. i mean we're going to have to see in terms -- look, there has been no obstruction. there has been no collusion. there has been leaking by comey. i mean the whole thing is ridiculous if you want to know the truth from that standpoint. but robert mueller's an honorable man, and hopefully he'll come up with an honorable solution. >> nick, you've worked in a similar format as a prosecutor dealing with a sensitive case touching the white house. if you in an office heard comments like that, what is the approach? you ignore them, or you look at them as potentially also problematic? >> well, you ignore them. you know they're problematic. but this is really history repeating itself. this is exactly the tack that the nixon administration took against archibald cox before nixon fired him. it was the complaint about archibald cox, who was the solicitor general for president kennedy. there was the complaint that there were people being hired in the prosecutor's office who were
registered democrats. by the way, there are also registered republicans who are part of that office. but it was the exact same tack that was taken back in 1973. this is just history repeating itself. >> e.j., there is that argument that it's history repeating itself. there's also the argument made by many trump allies that the difference was in watergate there were a lot of direct links to the underlying crimes that led back to the white house and a money trail. and here at this stage in the investigation, there's no public evidence that any of the crimes that occurred, such as felonious hacking, have yet been linked in any way to the white house or trump associates. does that in your view leave a bigger burden of evidence for anyone who wants to make that comparison? >> well, no, but you didn't have enormous amounts of evidence linking nixon to watergate at the beginning. and they were trying to say that this was a kind of rogue operation, and that's why the tapes were so important. so we pretend that watergate
happened all of a sudden. watergate was in '72, and he wasn't out until '74. here's what i think is a big difference, which is you have much more political polarization and a much more homogeneous party. when elliott richardson and the deputy attorney general were fired, they represented a very substantial wing of the republican party. there were liberal republicans back then. now you have almost -- you have no liberal republicans, and i think it's easier for trump to turn this into a totally partisan matter than it was for nixon, who tried it, who got pretty far, but there was a wing of that party that was always ready to stand up to him. >> right, and that also goes to the president's response. he did not directly send a letter to congress acknowledging their inquiry. he was clearly moved by the deadline, but he took it to twitter. he took it to the public as he increasingly does and continues
to impugn aspects of the inquiry as nick was explaining. e.j. and nick, thank you both. >> good to be with you. >> bres coming up next, the special report, trump versus medicaid, donald trump making so many promises about health care out on the trail including no cuts to medicaid and everyone will be taken care of. we're going to speak directly with a family that says this repeal and replace plan could tear them apart literally. y her the mercedes-benz summer event is back, with incredible offers on the mercedes-benz you've always longed for. but hurry, these shooting stars fly by fast. lease the c300 for $399 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing. and still have dry eye symptoms? ready for some relief? xiidra is the first and only
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cost, and it will be great. i will not allow people to die on the sidewalks and the streets of our country if i'm president. i'm not going to cut social security like every other republican, and i'm not going to cut medicare or medicaid. >> donald trump was telling the truth there about a lot of other republicans, but apparently lying about himself. during the campaign he promised he would not cut medicaid, money that primarily helps children, seniors, and the disabled, especially at lower income levels. now president trump says he will support the republican plan which literally does just that. despite president trump reportedly calling one version of the house plan mean and saying he wanted a plan with, quote, heart, republicans in the senate are making even deeper cuts to medicaid. they're phasing out, for example, a medicaid expansion program under obamacare. they are capping the federal money that is given to states which helps support all of these programs and medicaid insurance. republican senator dean heller today, the fifth republican to say he will not support the bill
in this form. quote, it takes away insurance from tens of millions of americans and hundreds of thousands of nevadans, he said. nevada one of the 31 states that already did expand medicaid through the trigger from obamacare. here's what white house press secretary sean spicer had to say about the senate bill and medicaid. he's talked about having heart, and he likes a lot of the reforms that have been in there. he's committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the medicaid program is affected in any way, which is reflected in the senate bill, and he's pleased with that. so i think he is very pleased with that bill. >> joining us now is andy slav et, the former acting administrator for the centers for medicare and medicaid services where he served through 2017. thanks for being part of our special coverage. what does medicaid do that's most important for the health of regular americans and what would you say being effected under this bill? >> well, medicaid's one of the
most essential programs in our country and one of the most essential promises to american families. in the real world, half the babies born in the country are paid for by medicaid. half the people in the program are kids. and then 70% of the funds go to care for people who are either living in nursing homes or who are living with a disability. so it's a vital program. it's a program that doesn't have a lot of slack in it. and the plan that we see before us in the senate would take that program and cut it by 25%, which i think we can only interpret to mean that the services for those individuals are going to be cut by 25% or 25% of those individuals are just going to be simply cut off of medicaid. >> who is going to make that call? >> well, that's going to come down to individual state governors, and if this law passes, it's going to put governors in an awfully tricky spot because unless there's another way to raise revenue,
many are running deficits as you know, ari. they're going to have to make some draconian choices. they can look to other parts of their budget, but they don't have many. they can cut pre-kindergarten, but that doesn't get you very far. fundamentally they're going to have to choose between how they're going to make these choices. we've got a baby boomer wave that's entering the nursing home period of their lives in the next few years. the costs are going to go up. we have an opioid epidemic which is paid for largely through medicaid. it's the largest payer of medicaid. slashing that budget right now just isn't smart and it hurts people in the real world. >> you're saying that most of the federal funding for dealing with what has been described as both parties as a national opioid crisis is also something that is run through medicaid? >> that's right. depending on what state you're in, medicaid pays about a third of all opioid treatments right now. >> wow. >> but in some states that's as high as 50%. so if medicaid is slashed so
dramatically, governors will not have much choice but to slash the treatment here. and i think what you'll probably see in the next week is the senate will throw a bone to opioids by announcing some small fund. the analysis of the size of the fund shows that it's about only 20% adequate towards meeting the needs that are currently being met in the program. we should be spending more on the national epidemics like we are, not dramatically slashing it. >> what i'd like you to do is stay with us because part of our special coverage is we want to look at how the medicaid cuts would affect many real americans involved in the program. there's a 33-year-old we're going to speak with. mike phillips as a spinal muscular atrophy. he's enrolled in medicare and medicaid. in 2008, a tv version of the very famous radio show, this american life, took a look at mike's life. >> his thumb is just a fraction of an inch away from his computer, he can't type, so he can't communicate.
he has all these horrifying stories where something goes wrong, wrong in a way that could kill him. and he has no way to tell anybody. when you meet mike, he's remarkably chill for somebody who regularly has these moments of total frightening isolation. so mike, let's review all the different ways that you communicate. just show me yes. and no. and then you had one for reset when it's time to reset everything. okay. i'm going to ask a question now and type your answer in. the question is, so if we were to replace your voice with somebody's, what would you want it to be? this process is just incredibly slow. typing out this one-sentence answer takes over three minutes. >> i'd want either johnny depp or edward norton, whoever is available because either way, they are both --
>> mike phillips and his mom, karen clay, will join us next. america's beverage companies have come together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. with more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels, and signs reminding everyone to think balance before choosing their beverages. we know you care about reducing the sugar in your family's diet, and we're working to support your efforts. more beverage choices. smaller portions. less sugar. balanceus.org.
the senate and the house are trying to put us, the people with disabilitiedisabilities, i situation where we will end up in nursing homes where we will die. i'm semi-paralyzed. all i'm asking for is the right to live in freedom. >> protesters who gathered outside of senator mcconnell's office on thursday, most of them didn't say -- and you may have seen these dramatic images. most of them didn't say they were political activists. they didn't describe themselves as obama allies.
a lot of them said they were americans who receive their health care through medicaid, and they said they want to be heard from before the republican congress makes these drastic cuts to medicaid. now, michael phillips could not protest outside of senator mcconnell's office, but he did send out this tweet that got a lot of notice, saying, hi, my name is michael phillips. i live at home because of a medicaid waiver. don't cut medicaid. don't take away my home. joining us now on "the last word" is mike phillips who is living with his spinal muscular atrophy and stands to lose medicaid benefits under the potential discussion bill. we're also joined by his mom, karen clay, who is his full-time caregiver. thank you both, karen and mike, for being here. starting with you, karen, how do you see this issue and why was it important for both of you to speak out? >> thank you. when my son was diagnosed over
30 years ago, the doctors told me he wouldn't see his first birthday. and yet here he is. over time, his needs have changed, and the amount of care that he's needed has increased. and that's what medicaid is all about. medicaid is called a lifeline. but for people like my son, medicaid is a life. through a medicaid waiver, we are enabled to keep mike at home and to care for him by a family who loves him and who knows his needs best. if you take away medicaid from individuals like my son -- and my son in particular -- there would be no place for him. in the state of florida, there are no facilities for individuals who cannot be weaned from a vent, which is how mike breathes. he would be forced into an institution not even here in the state of florida but somewhere else in the country. his other option -- and we have seen other individuals with vents who have been in hospitals and had nowhere for them to go.
and this is at an extreme cost. my son doesn't want to live at our local hospital. he doesn't want to be out of state in an institution. he wants to stay at home, and we want him to be at home. it's amazing that after all these years, i would have to fight to spend less money. >> so, karen, you're saying that the way this works, if there were the funding cuts and you didn't have that support and that waiver, it's not just reduced health care, which is significant. you're saying it might mean that you wouldn't be able to have mike at home or care for him at home? >> yes. that's exactly what could happen. >> and, mike, we read what you wrote on twitter, and i understand that you've also written something else, and you wanted to share it. so please go ahead so folks can hear from you. >> hi and good evening. first, i just want to say it's an honor to be here.
i watch your legal analysis every day. you're spectacular. so ever since november the 9th, 2016, i haven't been sleeping well. i've been scared. i've never been scared by the results of an election. it's an odd feeling. i've always felt like the federal government exists to protect citizens, even when state governments won't do so. maybe especially when state governments won't do so. so, yes, i'm scared. scared of what could happen to me if medicaid cut comes to pass in florida and scared because florida is bent on doing so because they know the federal government won't stop them. though i'm quite disabled, medicaid services allow me to
live a full, productive life, interacting with the community, being cared for at home. i live at home. i have a personal care assistant. she takes me anywhere i want to go -- the movies, starbucks, dinner with friends, the tattoo shop, when the mood takes me, which is often enough. i don't have a girlfriend right now, but i had one for quite a while, and i'd like to give things another go. i'm a published writer. i helped develop asistive technology. i'm not exactly ryan gosling, but i lead a good life. losing medicaid, being forced into an institution, i'd lose everything. i'd lose the rights guaranteed to me under the constitution -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. people with disabilities know
happiness isn't guaranteed, but we want a shot at it just like anybody else. >> mike, thank you for sharing that. it's very eloquent. karen, what else do you want people to know about this bill, about the battle ahead? >> this bill is not just mean. this bill is cruel. this is not about replace and repeal the affordable care act because there is nothing in the affordable care act that mentioned block grants or per capita caps. per capita caps were result in not only the $880 billion in cuts that we're looking at over the next ten years, but it will be far greater than money. it will be loss of life. and that's why we're fighting, but we cannot believe that a bill that is this cruel could possibly be enacted by anyone in
washington. this isn't about democrat or republican. this is about lives, and this is about caring for people, especially our most vulnerable citizens. >> karen and mike, i want you to stay with me. i mentioned, you know, we were speaking with andy, slavett, who on the policy has run this program. andy, i think you're still with us. as you listened to this and you think about the disability aspect, which we often hear about in terms of data, we hear the words, walk us through how this program works nationally and how many people with disabilities and families are affected. >> well, there's nothing that i could say that would be more eloquent than what karen and mike just told you. but what i can tell you, having overseen the medicaid program for two years, is that there's 10 million people living with disabilities in this country who are dependent upon the kinds of services that just allow them to not only lead a life that gives them the basics of their health care, but to lead a life of some
fulfillment. and if you can imagine if some of those services that mike just talked about didn't come daily but came weekly, just imagine the kinds of cuts that would change his life, let alone the size of these cuts, which would eliminate in many, many states the possibility of the kind of waivers that karen described to you. and karen said something very important. these waivers are humane. they're what families want. they keep families together. but they're also very efficient. it's much better to keep people at home and take care of them in comfortable settings. so we have, i think, we're on the verge of making, i think, a mistake that in the real world will hurt millions of people like mike. and i'm so glad mike and karen were able to come on and share their story. >> karen and mike, stay with me here, with andy. joan walsh and nancy giles are here. we talk about politics a lot. we talk about policy a lot. joan, you've been covering the
health care battles for seven-plus years. i wonder what you're thinking. >> i'm thinking what the hell kind of a country are we, ari, that michael has to lose sleep wondering if he can stay in his home with his family? i mean what is this family supposed to do? paul ryan has been dreaming about cutting this program since he was hanging out at keggers in college. he's told that story. >> what kind of a man is he? >> what kind of a monster is he? who dreams of cutting medicaid? they act like people are merely takers. they don't act like they understand hardship of any kind. paul ryan, who actually got social security as a survivor when his father died, god bless him. i mean the cruelty -- karen uses that word. it's the only word we can use. the cruelty of this bill is beyond belief. if donald trump is really going to go along with this, don't like the man, didn't vote for
him, but he promised not to do this. there has to be a way to reach the consciences of multiple republicans on this bill, and i think you've begun to do that tonight. thank you, karen and michael. >> nancy, how about that? because when we listened to mike and he told us that he's been scared since the election, obviously he's listened and analyzed and done his own work. we heard from a candidate and we played it earlier this hour who said on the facts, on the record, that he wasn't going to cut medicaid, although that's clearly what this bill does. so obviously something's come through here between the promises the president made and what is in this health care bill. >> i -- i'm so overwhelmed at mike and karen that i don't really know what to say. for starters that anybody could think the kind of care that he gets and that his mom supports him in getting is a luxury and not something that is his right as a human being, i just find
appalling. i echo what joan said. i'm really confused about what kind of country we are. we're revealed by how we treat our most vulnerable citizens, and if an inefficient system that profits some people could mean that an earned right, not a -- you know, not a gift, i mean medicaid and social security, they're not gifts. these are things that we earn. that something like that could be denied someone like mike, who has thrived and used it and is able to express himself, to not have a chance for his voice to be expressed is just criminal. it's criminal. >> karen, did you want to respond to any of that? and i did also want to ask you what you thought of some of the activists we showed that did get some attention there. some said they were activists and some said they were people who happened to use this type of
health coverage that were there outside senator mcconnell's office. >> that was a display yesterday that i never imagined i would see in this country. and i asked myself the same question. where are we? what kind of people would ask -- would have them dragged out of wheelchairs because people in wheelchairs are still fragile. you have muscles that have not been used. you have bones that have not borne weight. if you don't know how to really pick someone up to move them from their chair, you can harm them. you could hurt them. and i know that these people, that some of the people were hurt yesterday. it was a display that i found to be absolutely unacceptable, and i was just so -- i was on the verge of anger and tears the entire day. i never thought i would see that in this country, ever. >> andy, while i have you here, the other question i wanted to pose is what do you say to backers of health care reform and some of the republican backers of this bill who say
they're not against the recipients of these programs. they're certainly, they say, not against patients in america. but they say the overall system cannot hold and that you have to revert things back to the states and have state-level reform. what do you, as someone who's run these programs, what do you say to that argument? >> i'd say a couple things. first of all, we have a commitment in our country that we made in 1965 that wasn't a partial commitment. it wasn't a halfway commitment. it was a commitment to people that when they need medical care and they're in the straits that we're talking about, that we would get them to them. we're a country that can afford that. as a matter of fact, the medicaid program costs about 28% less. all things considered, it even costs 28% less than a commercial insurance plan, and its medical cost growth is negligentibative.
but medicaid is an incredibly efficient program, and it's doing wonderful things. and if we can imagine a greater national priority that we would rather fund, whether it's a wall or some other thing, then i think we're going to have to take that to the american public because the one thing i will say, and i think karen said this very well. there was no mandate in this election to take health care services away from people like mike and 70 million other people on medicaid. that was not part of this election. so we have -- i think we have to basically -- if we want to have that debate, i think we're happy to have that debate and i think there's no two better people than karen and mike to participate in that debate. >> we're almost out of time to what we've devoted to have this discussion. i know, nancy, you had one more question for karen. >> really quickly, karen, i'm wondering what do you think is the disconnect between your elected representatives and where you stand? i mean they're elected to represent your needs. why do you think there's -- why do you think we're at this
juncture right now? >> because all they want is budget predictability, and there is no predictability in health care. just as i said with my mike, his needs have increased over time. his care has increased over time. and that's what medicaid is there for. you know, all of us are one job -- you know, one job loss or one economic downturn, in florida, one hurricane would put -- and this is from fema -- approximately 2,700 people on the rolls of medicaid. if you had a widespread storm, it would put tens of thousands. now, where are they going to get their health care? this is this lifeline. this safety net is in place for a reason. to me, this bill is nothing more than -- it's not just cuts to medicaid. they want to decimate medicaid. and budget predictability and flexibility are words that they use. we have flexibility in our medicaid state plans. what they want to take away are our rules, regulations, and our
rights. >> karen, clay, thank you so much for sharing with us your story. mike phillips, i really appreciate what you wrote, what you said, your eloquence. and andy, thank you. i really appreciate it. thanks joan and nancy as well. coming up, we turn to some breaking news. there were some new comments by president trump on russian interference in the 2016 election. that's next. [ indistinct chatter ]
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networks that may actually be deployed up to this day. the story also notes that one reason the u.s. did not hit back harder was the credible fear that russia may have been able to attack the actual voting on election day. obama was weighing that risk in how he did his response. and tonight president trump is weighing in. this is for an interview with "fox & friends" weekend, and he is apparently eager to second-guess his predecessor. >> well, i just heard today for the first time that obama knew about russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it. but nobody wants to talk about that. the cia gave him information on russia a long time before they even -- you know, before the election. and i hardly see it. it's an amazing thing. to me, you know, in other words, the question is if he had the information, why didn't he do something about it? he should have done something about it. but you don't read that. it's quite sad. >> why didn't he do something?
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or what our government should be doing or the intelligence community to protect america against russian interference in our election system? >> i don't recall a conversation like that. >> never? >> no. >> do you find it odd. >> not with the president trump. >> right. >> i attended a fair number of meetings on that with president obama. >> james comey speaking about the two administrations in the approach to russia. joining me is formerly ambassador to russia. right before the break i played new sound from president trump arguing obama didn't do enough. and then you have the big report today i'm sure you have a front
row seat to it i know there is parts you can and can't talk about. put it in context for us what the "washington post" reported and president trump saying why didn't osh do more? >> well there are lots of strange things that that sound bite you played. the strangest for me was the first sentence where he said i just learned for the first time. that coannot be true. if it is true i'm really scared. because obviously we've known about this intelligence for a long time. the obama administration released a statement about it in october of 2016. we've been talking about it in the u.s. congress on your shows here at msnbc for months. so that was the first thing that was shocking to me. the second thing of course is shocking and counterintuit disbelieve i'll pause you on that though. if you take the president as at his word he just learned about this the first time would that be normal, concerning? >> it's not normal.
of course it's not normal. if that is true then his national security team is not doing their job in terms of briefing him about intelligence that even people like us know about. he has access to a lot -- a much greater detail, classified information about that. and surely he should have been briefed on that by now. >> then we'll take to you the second point and here is the more recent tweet along the same lines. donald trump says just out, obama administration new for in vanls of election about meddling by russia. why? i suppose if i want to read that accurately in caps. why? your response. >> well, again two different pieces. first of all he has been denying this happened for months now, right? both as a candidate, president-elect trump and then president trump has been denying the fact that this happened. so you can't criticize the president obama for doing you yourself said that didn't
happen. >> right. >> secondly he is now the president. we need to take actions to prevent this in the future. there are very concrete steps that can be taken. to the best of my knowledge -- i'm not privy to all conversations. they've done absolutely nothing. >> nothing so that's the last thing to ask you about the "washington post" pose he says obama had a cyberoperation that involves deploying imblants in russian networks that would cuss them pain and administrative if disrupted. according the u.s. official the they were glemted by the nsa and could be triggered remote i. does he have that in president trump's arsenal if he wanted to do as you put it, nothing. >> i think of it as different layers how you defend yourself against cybersecurity attacks. the first one is attribute using. the to this date the president has not been explicit about talking about the facts. maybe that changed today.
but up to today he hasn't. second there are the coercive things zriebld in the excellent reporting from the "washington post", including things like that. there is also sanctions, including congressional legislation he has the opportunity to sign if he wants to do that in terms of a coercive response. and then there is the resilience. we can do things to make our systems more secure. we can do things to make our computers more secure, have paper trails as backups in terms of elections. there is a myriad of things it to do none of those have been done. >> thank you always in coming up. what russia is planning next, coming up.
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when heartburn hits fight back fast with new tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum new tums chewy bites. . >> mr. the russians back or have they never left pch cybersecurity experts say they've backup at it a while and including ongoing ground testing in ukraine. this month's cover story in wired reports extensively how suspected russian hackers interfere in the country elections as well as power grid with one expert saying ner testing out red lines what they
can get away with. you push and see if you get public sbark if not you try the affection step. andy green berg a senior writer at wooird manage. the cover story is lights out in the july issue of wired. what did you find? >> well, i found that something unprecedented is happening in ukraine. hackers are attacking the country with a scale, a scope we've never seen before, attacking every strata of society, finance, the media, destroying hundreds of computers, shutting down the railway system ability to issue tickets. but then finally the most unprecedented thing in the ukraine in the cybersecurity -- in this cyberwar in fact is that hackers have shut down the power grid. that has never happened in history. >> how much of this is physical? and how much of this is about affecting a society and its expectations, public faith sort of softer things. >> well russia is at war with ukraine. there is an actual physical deadly war happening in eastern
ukraine right now. but this is the digital aspect of that war. and we're seeing a new kind of war here, where russia is trying to make -- to create this impression that ukraine is a failed state, that it's government agencies don't work, power grid is faulty. but i think the more disturbing thing about what's happening in ukraine is all of in is kind of a canary in the coal mine that russia can get away with things in ukraine that it can't elsewhere. so it's using urng ukraine as a test lab a training ground to hone weapons it may use against western europe or the united states. >> how much of this reporting gave you a window into you think what the lines are or the ways to affect putin because as you know in the united states he got a big return on investment he might be emboldened based on our election experience. >> you see the history of ukraine -- actually russia tried to hack the ukrainian election
first in 2014. they tried spo spoof the results on the website to make it look like the far right candidate had won and the election officials only kaugt that that with hours to go. when they got away with that they faced no sanctions internationally or no real punishment then they tried it in the united states. so then now we see russia is turning off the power in ukraine, the next logical step is are they trying that in the u.s. as well. >> would that be an act of cyberwar. >> it would have to be. we've always defined cyberwar as a physical attack destroying physical things. >> something physical right. >> we know russia is willing to cross that line now. it seems like a matter of time they've built the weapons to do it elsewhere. >> you don't make me feel brt but more informed. happy friday night. appreciate you sharing reporting with us. >> i am ari melber if you want more you can try tds sunday on the point. the good bad and illegal on leaks.
i have exclusive with yale law professor jack baldwin. says we are not a constitutional the cries but trump is a example of constitutional wrought. the 11 pgt hour rgs starts runt sfl tonight the white house officials oberle oberle response to the house intelligence committee on the existence of tapes. the answer it's all in the president's tweet. plus behind the scenes in the situation room new reporting on putin attempt to hack the american election. president obama's response and why one former insider now says quote, we choked. "the 11th hour" begins now. >> good evening once again from our h-here in new york i'm nicole wallace in for brian who has night off. day 155 of the trump administration. and it was dominated by a rare on camera interview with the president sounding off about james comby