tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC June 26, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT
saying being on the last word was one of the top seven coolest experiences of my really, really, really unusual, totally "the 11th hour" with brian williams is next. tonight on russia, president trump blames obama and takes a victory lap as the supreme court takes action on the travel ban. two former white house chiefs of staff from both parties here with us tonight. plus why the dems were talking late again in the senate. the word today that the new health care bill would dump 22 million more from insurance. what the senate vote might look like. and the veteran of the cia is here to show us what the danger of what the president reveals on twitter. "the 11th hour" begins now.
>> well, as we start a new week, good evening once again from nbc news headquarters here in new york, day 158 of the trump administration. and as the russia investigations on the hill and at doj roll on tonight we learn more about who the feds are talking to. the "washington post" was first to report tonight that former trump campaign adviser carter page has now been questioned by fbi agents over and over again on russia. page confirmed he was interviewed in a statement to nbc news. sources tell the post page was questioned at least five times in the month of march total attention around 10 hours of q and a process eyeball meanwhile even with the specter of investigations into this white house on russia, the associated press reports, president trump
is quote, eager to meet with vladimir putin with full diplomatic bells and whistles. when both men are in germany for a summit next month. the ap reports that's creating big divisions within team trump as some feel it is best to keep the two men as far apart as possible, given the near daily news of bad headlines on russia for this white house. the president generated some headlines of his own this morning using his cell phone. it was on twitter before 9:00 a.m. . and the news was this. he finally tacitly admitted russian hacking of our election but only by way of blaming his predecessor. he said this, quote, president obama did nothing about russia because he expected clinton would win. he didn't choke. he colluded or obstructed. repeating again president obama did nothing about russian meddling. and after months, quote, they have zero tapes of trump people colluding. there is no collusion and no obstruction. as you might imagine, it came up
at today's white house briefing. you can hear sean spicer answer it. we just can't show you, because cameras weren't allowed to be turned on during the briefing. thankfully we were allowed to broadcast audio of what sean spicer a government employee said about our government today. but not live audio, only on a tape delayed basis. here it is. >> what evidence does he have this president obama was colluding or obstructing. >> well, again it comes back to this idea that if they -- they have been very clear they have been playing this card about blaming trump and russia, yet at the same time they were the ones who according to this report knew about it and didn't take any action. the question is were they -- if they didn't take any action, does that make them complicit?
>> was there an element of hypocrisy, sean because this was president trump on the russia if you're listening i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightily by it. how can he accuse president obama of obstructing when he was egging russia on. >> he was joking at the time. >> at this point let's bring in our starting panel. with our nbc news white house correspondent, just off the phone with her sources, hallie jackson. here in new york white house reporter for the associated press. >> hallie, i'll begin with you because of a piece of paper that came out of the white house communication shop tonight. and, again, germane probably this is a white house that ceased communicating with us at least on television and ceased communicating with the american people for now that way. statement from the press secretary, it reads, the united states has identified potential preparations for another
chemical weapons attack by the assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians including innocent children. the activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its april 4th, 2017, chemical weapons attack. as we have previously stated, the united states is in syria to eliminate the islamic state of iraq in syria. however if mr. assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons he and his military will pay a heavy price. i imagine, hallie there is much scrambling going on to figure out how the back story to something like that gets reported. >> let me just saw broadly that the white house wants this statement to speak for itself, being fairly tight lipped about it. tight lipped about the back story. i will tell you one source thinking behind this statement, these words that you just read say a lot. another administration source when i asked if this was an indication that some kind of an attack may be imminent, and how
imminent did they believe it was, they added if this can deter the behaviors that we saw last time from the assad regime and the chemical weapons attack, then lives could be saved. i do think this is fairly unexpected at least into tonight. and we are reporting more on the back story, brian, but you saw the activity from the assad regime in april, the first big military action of president trump as commander in chief. i also want to point out nikki haley is on line, talking about this kind of warning shot to russia and iran as well. and i point out all of this is happening just a week before president trump heads overseas and could meet face to face for the first time with vladimir putin. there is a lot of play here yet again in this administration,
brian. >> eli stokels, this is why credibility and communication are important especially on some of the days especially in light of this odd piece of paper. >> right, just sort of came out of left field tonight. your point is the right one, this white house has eroded its own credibility of this first five months of this administration. and so we do have to ask tonight, when you get a vague potential of attacks that could be imminent, from where it is coming, what this white house is doing now, why now just today at the off camera briefing. press secretary sean spicer told us this is a president who works quietly behind the scenes and said that with a straight face that this president works quietly. but he says he is not going to telegraph any moves. and tonight here you have a
statement that may be meant on its face, it seems, as hallie reported, a deterrent to syria, but from a president that doesn't like to report, if the white house is just trying to put it out as sort of a political distraction as well, given everything that is going on. >> and jonathan, you guys, the associated press reporting that he is anxious to sit down with putin. and i assume there is guidance coming from members of his attempt that the optics may not be perfectly timed. >> that is exactly right, this is an issue divided from this white house. when it comes to russia, president trump wants to zig while others want him to zag, and meeting putin, the president has spoken repeatedly he would
like to have better relations with russia, perhaps a sincere desire. it is also the possibility that this is a president who is stubborn that the smoke that is surrounding him with russia for many months and he does not want to seem like he is giving into that pressure. but this is happening now, this can't help but raise questions. why do this? this seems to be a politicly damaging move when nearly every day, there is drips and drab, some other piece of news when it comes to the russian investigation. and now you're going to have the situation where he is face to face with vladimir putin, a ruler he expresses admiration for. and vladimir putin, who is diplomatic in the one-on-one meetings, versus the president, who is inexperienced. >> hallie, back up to russia, what people are calling the clear and president danger argument and that is blame your
predecessor if you wish, but when we people lining up in the intelligence community that we have been attacked already and they're here to stay perhaps. >> and i'm actually pulling up e-mails, we have some reporting on this. you're right. the urgent warning coming from officials, multiple government officials as well as outside experts is that 2018 and 2020 will be here soon and russia will try to do what they did again, basically, and there is real concern that the trump administration is simply not prepared for that. nbc news, we contacted dozens of state officials all over the country and contacted everybody, in all 50 states. 30 of them got back to us. many of whom said they had very little contact with the trump administration. some of them were confused about the designation. the white house pushed back saying hey, they have this election commission, the
election fraud commission that is looking into some of this. remember that was created after president trump made that unfounded claim that millions voted illegally, he pointed to evidence to back that up and they also cited the security move. what did they do last summer? they pushed fake news and used information. they leaked and hacked embarrassing political e-mails. there is a real question of what can be done to stop this from happening again, and is the trump administration doing enough? >> eli, what is the deal with the no cameras briefing? and how long before somebody figures out how to put it live on facebook, or periscope, what is going on? we can't hear the briefings. >> press secretary sean spicer was asked about it today. i think he gave an honest answer about it. saying the president is sort of making a public statement in the rose garden this afternoon with the indian prime minister. and sean said we want the
president's words to carry the day. and i think that is right. you have a president sitting in his office, yelling at the tv, upset about the things said about him and sometimes upset about his over communications team and their statements at the podium, perhaps not being as effective as he would like them to be. there were a lot of conversations about the strategy, and this was delivering the on camera briefings from the communications team going forward. >> our thanks to our own white house press corps of sorts tonight. waiting to talk to us here in our new york city studios, a special guest who was chief of staff to president bush having served in the bush 41 cabinet and the reagan administration before that. andy card is here with us in new york. first things first, on this statement in syria, have you ever seen anything quite like it? >> well, i hope there is already
communications in the diplomatic channel, maybe the military channel or the intelligence channel to the allies or syria to put them on notice, if this is the only communication coming out from the white house it's very bizarre. and it does really signal something that may happen and raise expectations in america, not necessarily raising expectations around the world, but in america we're ready to do something when we don't know if something needs to be done. and it also sounds a little bit like, if you do something we'll retaliate really hard, when we think they're doing something, should we do something pre-emptive so they can't do it? >> and in the background, this like every word from the white house comes under investigation, the white house under the specter of russia. >> while i hope the white house is not worried about any of the investigations they should be focusing on helping the president do his job. and that is the discipline that should be at the white house. let the russia investigation
take the path that it's going to take. everybody who is working at the white house, unless they're engaged in something that the special counsel is paying attention to they should be focusing on helping the president and let the chips fall where they may in this investigation. >> i have one more question on this statement, only because it's so unusual. aren't you curious in this chain, where it came from, the names, mcmasters, and pompeo? >> if they have not been part of the communications chain -- >> our remarks at the top of the broadcast, when you hear us we hear every night the president at 8:55 a.m., said this on twitter, it reversed and caused
this to happen, do you have your arms around this quite yet? >> i don't think anybody has their arms around this. look, it's very challenging, my simple statement has been for a long time, presidents should taste their words before they spit them out. certainly before they tweet them out because the words have so much consequence to the world. it does to a white house staff, to a congressional staff, think what it does around the world. so be very careful with the words you use. don't be impulsive. secondly, the staff at the white house want to help the president do his job, they're on his team. but if you blindside them and pull the rug out from under them it makes it very difficult to do the job they're supposed to be doing. so even to meet the executive branch that they have to meet. >> i am going to preview our next segment by asking you about health care. it seems whatever emerges, i'm
curious to know if you think mcconnell has the votes. republicans are now going to own health care. you first and foremost are a loyal republican. >> the status quo is not viable, it's not working. the repeal effort was a hallow effort if you did not have a replacement. and the republicans didn't do a good job on developing a case for repeal along with what replacement would look like. but i do think it's important that congress get their act together and pass something so that this certainty in the marketplace, so that people if the dynamics are going to change they can understand what they have to do with their lives in the marketplace, whether it's going to be a new marketplace or the old marketplace. it won't go back to that which it was because obamacare was not working. and the replacement has not been put there. so right now the uncertainty is
terrible, terrible for people who wonder what health care will be like? terrib. terrible for the marketplace when they try to design what the marketplace will have. >> a question about mechanics, how does mcconnell get to 50? >> i think he has to do something to get ready to pass, and let the negotiations take place and do it. it's not going to be the status quo, because the status quo is not viable. >> andy card, who will be here again, thank you for stopping by our studios tonight. when we come back after our first break, this senate health care plan loses another big name waivering republican just tonight who now plans to vote against even bringing it to a vote. that discussion on the other side of this break. these days families want to be connected 24/7.
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we may have written a terrible piece of legislation that has nothing to do with improving your health care. but we repealed obamacare! and he is hoping the american people won't notice. >> welcome back to "the 11th hour." democrat from colorado late tonight coldalling out senator mitch mcconnell's health care plan. we now have the congressional budget office's scoring, how it will affect the actual americans. the experts say by the year 2026, 22 million fewer americans will have insurance if it passes.
lot of asterisks here, but the plan will also cut the national deficit by $21 billion. as now the president, and both candidate, president trump has been clear on what he wanted on the obama replacement plan, what he wanted that to accomplish. >> i am going to take care of everybody. i don't care if it costs me votes or not. everybody will be taken care of. >> we are going to take care of people and people are going to pay much less and get it so good. >> they will have private health care but i will not allow people to die on the sidewalks and streets of our country if i'm president. you may let it. and you may be fine with it. save medicaid, medicare and social security without cuts. have to do it. we're going to have a health care that is far less expensive and far better. >> yes, premiums will be coming down.
yes, deductibles will be coming down. you know, i've been talking about a plan with heart. i said add some money to it. a plan with heart. >> and tonight it just got harder for majority leader mitch mcconnell to get the votes he needs. he can only lose two. and senator susan colins from maine became the sixth republican to say she could not vote for it. lonniey chen is back with us, and most recently, advised republicans on this health care bill. still with us, john lemere, associated press. do we start with the numbers, jonathan, there is this trick to get to 50 that is in front of mitch mcconnell.
susan took her time deliberating. had some questions she wanted answered. >> the senator is not something who you think would bring something to the floor without knowing it would pass. they had hoped to have a vote this week, that is very much in question now whether they can get this done before the fourth of july holiday. there appeared to be a couple of pretty firm no's. some of the others like senator cruz will look at the exchange. right now it doesn't appear the senate majority leader has the votes and unless something changes, seven years, eight years that obamacare has been there the republicans have said this is something we're going to get rid of. repeal and replace. and if they can't get it done now maybe they never do. >> kelsey, worse than a no vote. susan colins will vote against it preceding to get it considered. she apparently has some company.
so same question to you. everything jonathan said about mitch mcconnell is absolutely correct. but where is the 50 here? >> yeah, he is absolutely correct. and it is very unclear to me that there is 50 right now. i spoke with senator roy blunt, he is one of mcconnell's top deputies this afternoon and he said very frankly the 50 is not there yet. there are a lot of people speculating that they can't get to this procedural vote on tuesday as planned. it may have to slip a day while they do what they can to horse trade and give out a little bit of extra money here. a couple of savings cuts there. there is an idea that senator mcconnell has some money to work with here. they have set up a savings target that is much, much higher than what they need to get in order to stick with senate rules. so they could hand out some spending in order to get some moderates. >> athis debate over getting to 50, while germane, has
absolutely nothing to do with the folks who are terribly nervous and shaken up about what may happen to their health care. as we established with andy card, whatever happens here republicans now have to own it. do you think republicans are prepared for that? >> i don't know that they're prepared for it but i think it is absolutely the case that they're going to own it. and by the way, politicly that is why they want to have this vote this week, because if they don't do it for the fourth of july recess they're going to go out there and it will be that much harder to get it done. what i will say is i think that senator mcconnell has used the process that he decided to implement to get this through, the so-called budget reconciliation process, he used it to the best ability he can. which is not to say they wrote a perfect bill, they haven't. but they put as much good stuff in there to really get through that gauntlet.
it is a function of the process. >> where on donald trump's dying in the streets scale will this fall? and i don't mean to be snide about it. but all the things we just heard him say about a bill with heart, about spending more money, about people getting great health care, where does this fall? >> well, as it turns out. health care is a difficult thing you know. >> who knew? >> but apparently it is a difficult thing. look, here is the reality of it. the senate bill is better than the house bill in the sense that the subsidies are more generous, and in a way the cbo score today showed they have more than $330 billion to play with. in the next month, senator mcconnell has to figure out how to spend the money. it is a powerful tool of a guy who as we all know is incredibly
savvy. >> whether trump wants to own it or not is anyone's guess. >> he is going to. it's not mcconnell care, it's trump care. this is a white house that is desperate for a win as we discussed all night. the russia probe grows by the day. this is a president whose approval ratings are at historic lows for this point in the term. this is a president who is open to attacks from democrats saying hey, you're favoring the rich. you're favoring the wealthy, instead of the working and middle class voters who helped get you into office. >> kelsey, i know you're a journalist and not in the prediction business, but try some odds. what is the chance we get a health care bill underneath the president's pen by the time congress leaves washington on the july fourth break? >> i would give it a 60% chance at this point, so just a little better than 50/50. i think it's really important to
remember that as much as republicans are going to own this, many of the most difficult things that will happen in the bill, the cuts to medicaid, the changes that they have coming down the line, the subsidies, they don't happen right away. many of these things happen after the next senate election, in fact, after the next presidential election. so there is some delay to this pain. people are willing to guess they will take the delayed pain and be able to follow through on saying they repealed obamacare. that may be better for some. >> wow, the merging of two great time-honored washington traditions, delay the pen and kick the can down the road. stay tuned for more updates on this. i want to thank the panel, obviously interesting instructions, kelly snell. thank you. >> on the travel ban today, what it really means when you take it all apart as we will when "the 11th hour" continues. no other sunscreen