tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC June 24, 2017 9:00am-9:31am PDT
good day, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. it is high noon here on the east, 9:00 a.m. out west. and day 156 of the trump administration. and the president wrapping up his criticism of president obama following an explosive "washington post" report about the obama administration's efforts to thwart and punish russia for meddling in the u.s. election. here's president trump in an interview to air tomorrow on fox news. >> here 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. if he had the information, why
didn't he do something about it? >> here's a clip from an interview with jared this morning on "the hugh hewitt show" this morning. >> with the president nearly every day, we have 30 to 45 minutes on his schedule that almost always runs long, which is great. he has a serious consumer product for the intelligence community to deliver. and i appreciate that because it informs how he thinks about the world. i know my predecessor handled it differently. was not there very often, president obama consumed intelligence in a different way. president trump is incredibly demanding of the intelligence community, asks us incredibly difficult questions and accounts on myself and other leaders to deliver the answers for him. >> meanwhile, house intel ranking member adam schiff on the political courage for republicans to start talking impeachment. here's what he said at a national security council
conference in washington yesterday. >> in a gop-led congress, that comes down to not a legal definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, was rather gop members would be in a position to go home to their districts and say that the evidence they have seen is of sufficient seriousness and is sufficiently disqualifying that the president must be removed from office and that this is not simply a way of nullifying an election that all of us disagree with. now we'll to to the white house with nbc's kelly o'donnell as they are working on more with the health care bill today. >> reporter: we don't know if the president is working the phones. we know he's done that so far, but speaking to senators on the conservative side of things to try to bring them along. meaning not the more moderate ones so far based on what we
have been told. and the leadership of the senate and top staff will really be working hard to try to pull things together. trying to see if they can find some ways to attract a couple of the members who are nose publicly at this point. they can only afford not to have two members vote with them and have this go through. because the vice president will vote in this tie-breaker situation. the republicans have 52 in the senate, a very narrow margin. part of what they're dealing with is on the conservative side you have members who think this doesn't go far enough. and on the more moderate side, those from blue states or states that took the medicaid expansion, there's concern about how that would affect their constituents. a prominent name in the mix on that is dean heller of nevada up for re-election next year and is considered perhaps the most vulnerable of all republicans on the ballot next year for senate
races. and he is speaking out and his focus about who might lose insurance? a new plan if the republican version becomes law. here's dean heller. >> we have 200,000, we are talking those with mental health and insurance they would not have had five or six years ago. i'm telling you right now, i cannot support a piece of legislation that takes insurance away from tens of millions of americans and hundreds of thousands of vets. >> reporter: so a big question for someone like dean heller, is there something that you can alter in the bill to bring him along? there isn't much time. the intention from the republican leadership is to have a bill fully crafted and ready on tuesday. what we have seen thus far is what they call a discussion draft. so there is time for change if they can be made. and then they hope to have it voted on by the end of the week before the fourth of july break. so part of that is time pressure
to focus this. and, of course, these issues have been talked about for years. so they are trying to encourage members to see if they can get to a yes bill that will work for republicans to complete the promise to repeal the health care law, obamacare, or will it fall apart? we don't know. the white house has a lighter touch trying to influence the members from what we're being told. alex? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much for that. on the heels of t"the kelly report," let's bring in tanothe member to discuss this. you were also opposed to the senate health care reform bill. talk detail, further detail, than the senator did on how it will impact people in your home state of nevada. >> well, i'm glad dean heller has seen the light. he's been voting to repeal
obamacare for eight years now and has come aboard because he knows what a great impact it will have on nevada. we used to be one of the top two or three states in the country for the percentage of people who were uninsured but since obamacare came in place, we have expanded that. almost all children are insured in nevada now. and over 250,000 people have gained insurance. and in my district alone, which is the heart of the las vegas valley, if this bill goes into effect, 44,000 people will lose their insurance. and if we have to pay for it in order to extend it, we lose the federal funding, then it will cost the state $400 million. and that will have to be either made up by taxpayers here in the state to cover that or those people will have no coverage. they will be back in emergency rooms and those with premiums will see premiums go up to cover the increased cost of health care generally. >> okay. what about your constituents? what are you hearing from them about this bill?
do you get a sense they are up in arms? >> reporter: they are. we have had rallies throughout the district and throughout the state. it's interesting, i voted for obamacare. it cost me an election. i came back and the tables have turned. now people have the benefits, they don't want you to take them away. and the overall sympathy in nevada is for keeping obamacare. and they see how bad both the house and senate bills are. >> well, so then you know personally what it is like to be targeted, if you will. you say you lost an election as a result. certainly many who support the gop, the analysts or fellow citizens of congress suggest dean heller will lose the hotly contested seat when he's up for re-election next year. could he lose his seat over this? >> reporter: well, i think he realizes he's in a box. he has to keep his base motivated but knows overwhelming support is for keep on obamacare. if you have a very popular governor like sandoval taking
that position, that's why i think he came around to where he is now. you saw him very closely tied to sandoval. and i think you will see the governor with him throughout his campaign. so yes, it will be a big issue. >> are there specific parts of obama care that you want to see changed? >> reporter: well, i think you can certainly fix it. and that is exactly what we should do. we should look at the cadillac tax, for example. you we don't want to punish people for having good policies. that's what the cadillac policy does. you have to look to extend family coverage. you can sell it across state lines. nobody objects to that. but that's a problem from state to state to state. so there are some things we can fix, but you don't throw the baby out with the bat. >> well, the white house as i know you have heard is insisting obamacare is dead. are you at all worried now about what could happen if an obamacare replacement bill does not pass for whatever reason? some of the options is the different states are drawing up.
>> well, nevada hasn't lost any insurers. but in other places where they have, i think you start to look at offering medicare for all as an option for, like a, not just single payer, but a public option like was in the original house of the obamacare bill and was taken out of the senate. what i fear is that the republicans are trying to starve it to death and pick at it piece by piece at a time. if they don't get this passed next week and it doesn't look like they have the votes now as they try to ram it through, then they will probably turn to rax reform. and there are a number of taxes that support obamacare. and you may see him chip away at it by repealing or replacing some of those. >> i know you were meeting with nancy pelosi as they lost a few seats this week. some democrats are calling for her to step down as leader.
here's what kathleen rice is saying. take a listen. >> nancy pelosi was a great speaker. she's a great leader. but her time has come and gone. yes, she's a great fund-raiser, but if the money that we are raising through her leadership is not helping us win elections, then we have to have this difficult conversation now. this is not personal. i have enormous respect for nancy pelosi, enormous respect. but i want to win. >> what do you think of her statement there and what is your response? >> well, i think she's on target with what a lot of people are thinking. there's a great deal of respect for nancy pelosi. she's done incredible things for the pay trty and does raise an awful lot in money. but down the road, the new millenials want to move into leadership and i understand their frustration. >> what about the thought as you look forward? don't democrats need to move
forward, you mentioned millenials, doesn't something need to change in party leadership in messaging? >> i think so. and one of the things i think we can do, we can kind of take a lesson from republicans. they have term limits on their committee chairmanship. you don't have to do away with seniority to put term limits on chairmanships and that will allow real rotation into positions of decision making. not just giving somebody a title or putting them on a policy and steering committee so they feel like they're part of the process. give them some real power and that may be a way to do it. >> all right. nevada's democratic congresswoman, thank you so much for your time, ma'am, appreciate it. jared kushner's security clearance. they are teaming up with democrats to demand answers. that's ahead. and i couldn't wait to get my pie chart. the most shocking result was that i'm 26% native american. i had no idea. just to know this is what i'm made of,
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i think it is doing just fine. it will be a good bill. obamacare is dead as a door nail, it's over, it's a failure. but it would be so great if the democrats and republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it and come up with something that everybody's happy with. it's so easy. but we won't get one democrat vote, not one. >> and that was president trump in an interview airing tomorrow on fox news on the future of the senate republican health bill. joining me now, jane newton small, contributor to "time" magazine and kate bartel at "the hill." the president spoke to senator ted cruz on wednesday hoping to win him over. he's one of the five senators not going to vote for this bill. senator dean heller says it goes too far in making the cuts. the other four say it doesn't go far enough in rolling back
obamacare. so does mitch mcconnell have a strategy to please the two sides of this party? >> yeah, alex, that's the trouble right now that we're looking at, is that on the right people think that it's not going to -- the conservatives think it's not going far enough. and then on the moderates, people like lisa murkowski, went looking at planned parenthood, that it would defund for a year, that it is hard to have a come to jesus meeting, how can we do this? the strategy for mitch mcconnell is looking at the amendments coming out. president trump is coming out. i'm surprised he didn't come right out of the gate when the senate bill was released to first then try to meet with people. he waited a little bit and waited for his first statement to say there's room for negotiation. now, i think that we're looking at the republican senators taking that literally saying, yes, we're going to push the negotiation. we want to take this bill even further to the right, but yes, there is that worry that are they going to go too far to the right and have to pull away from senators on the other side of the aisle.
>> so jane, how significant do you think it is that senator heller is against this bill and that he's forced to move to the major ad buy that the super pac is threatening him with? >> it's stunning they are running a million dollars worth of advertisement against one of the most vulnerable members of the senate who is up for re-election. and basically not supporting it. if he supports it, he could lose re-election. so it puts him in a double bind. and a lot of republicans on the hill need to know if this will protect him rather than take him out and playing political hardball with your own team doesn't endear you with other people cate mentioned who are considering voting for this bill or having the bill. so other moderates are looking what is happening with dean heller to say, do i want to support this bill or not? like jeff flake who is another
republican up for re-election considered vulnerable right now. he's got to be looking at what is happening to dean heller and thinking, this is my party, are they helping or hurting me? >> it's a real conundrum for a lot of them. and we'll talk about president obama's decision to deal with cyber attacks. >> the russians are trying to undermine the democracy. in some ways, there's no news but this puts a heightened emphasis on the ability to figure out how to stop them. >> all right. what sense did you get from this comment about how the cia under the president is prioritizing the likelihood of russia meddling in future elections? >> there are a lot of concerns that the cia isn't doing enough to crack down on russia and to
open up the diplomatic lines and be frank and honest about the concerns of russia's meddling, especially given "the washington post" report this week about how much the obama administration looked into potentially really cracking down on russia's meddling in the u.s. elections, that the trump administration hasn't picked up that ball, isn't running with it. and if that's the case and the russians might feel comfortable down the road in 2018, 2020 again meddling with our elections. >> cate, on the subject of the president denying the existence of taped conversations with james comey, i want to play people what the house intel ranking member adam schiff told my colleagues on capitol hill on thursday. >> the president's now denial is not a complete denial. he's only saying he didn't report the conversations and he doesn't know whether there are reportings out there. so we'll continue to explore this. during the course of our continuing investigation, we'll ask others, are they aware of recordings, is there evidence of
reportings and we'll get an answer and final answer. >> cate, how does this rell ovation by president trump add another layer to the investigation? or do you think it was more the incident of president trump being snarky? >> alex, i think you hit the nail on the head there. yes, i think it was president trump looking confident. he's taking some of the cue of the reality show world that if you play along with the games, bait and switch, that some of these strategies have been successful in the past. and i think that's going to play out into the sense he sees this isn't going to work going forward. now, what adam schiff was getting at is, yes, he's admitting president trump wasn't necessarily recording him, but the president did use quotation marks, which is a pretty retro thing to worry about referring to the tapes. so could he mean this in the sense? i think whether the tapes exist doesn't matter right now. i don't understand why the fuss. why should the trump administration be talking about this? republicans want to be talking
about the -- they don't want to be talking about the election. they don't want to talk about the russian meddling. and neither do the dems right now. so we need to push the conversation forward. >> very quickly, jared kushner, his security clearance, democrats want all sorts of answers. chuck grassley is teaming up to say, yep, we want to know some answers now. what is the status of this? what do you think of the two republicans signing on? >> well, you have two letters, one from the house oversight committee where 18 members of the house asked for more information on the security clearances for jared kushner and michael flynn and why they still had security clearances long after these inappropriate contacts with russian agents were disclosed. and then you have the senate in this case two republicans as you said, chuck grassley and up lindsey graham, signing onto the letter asking for more information. so it is, it does speak to them holding the administration accountable even though it's the same party and saying this is not appropriate, you need to answer this.
>> thank you, ladies, good to see you. the hot topic issue that could be a major sticking point in the health care debate this week. ♪ ♪ isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready?
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with less pain, i can be more active. ask your doctor about lyrica. five republican senators now oppose the health care bill as it stands. we are covering this story for msnbcnews.com. what are the key sticking points for republicans not getting on board? >> there are two problems here, one on moderates and one on the conservatives. with moderates, you have dean heller who thinks the bill doesn't cover enough people. then you have a conservative side with mike lee of utah who worries it is too much like obamacare. specifically, he wants to get rid of obamacare conditions for pre-existing conditions. and meeting the demands of one group means antagonizing the other. >> what are the key criticisms here? i'm going to talk about inside the health care bill, trump wanted heart, he didn't get it.
your article says otherwise, he didn't get any heart here. >> so, when trump says heart, that is subjective. but he made some very specific claims in what he wanted from the health bill. he wanted something to cover everybody that lowers deductibles and doesn't cut medicaid. this bill is likely to cut medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars and deliberately raises the deductibles for many people. and in general just does not live up to the promises. it is like by his own standards not hard. >> i know you're doing an article on deductibles that will be out tomorrow. planned parenthood, is that a big sticking point? >> absolutely. especially for the moderate senators like susan collins and lisa murkowski. it would deplan parenthood through medicaid reimbursements. just as it is tough for them, conservatives, it is tough for them for it to stay in the bill. you can see this being a last-minute point of contention for passing the final health care bill.
>> benji, maybe we'll talk tomorrow again after looking at the article. that will do it for me at this hour. up next, "velshi & ruhle." see you back at the top of the hour at 1:00 p.m. eastern. eye drop approved for both the signs and symptoms of dry eye. one drop in each eye, twice a day. common side effects include eye irritation, discomfort or blurred vision when applied to the eye, and unusual taste sensation. don't touch container tip to your eye or any surface. remove contacts before using xiidra and wait at least 15 minutes before reinserting. chat with your eye doctor about xiidra.
replacing obamacare. republicans in the senate advance their own health care bill, what's in? what's out? and why the cost estimates are dragged through the mud. without a doubt. and a record 6 million job openings ready to be filled, or are they? america's skill gap is holding up hiring, but workers say they are just cheapskates. >> i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. and for once the news out of washington is mostly focused on a key part