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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  June 28, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT

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right now to d.c. with andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports," my mistake in colorado, aspen ideas. >> and right now on a special edition of "andrea mitchell reports," summer sequel, with support fading for the republican health care plan, mitch mcconnell will take a take two after the july 4th recess. could a bipartisan compromise be the plot twist? . >> so when did we get to the point where we said no, we're not going to talk to democrats with a fix? >> the best outcome would still be a bipartisan deal. >> you hear a lot of people talking about across the aisle. something you're interested in doing? >> certainly is. that's what we shyou have done from the beginning. >> i said all along we should talk to the democrats from the beginning. sfw t >> the tangled web a key arc se architect of donald trump's
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political web and the clinton campaign chairman weighs in on whether the obama white house did enough to stop it. >> look, i think the president and entire administration were dealing with unprecedent the incidents of weaponization of fruits of russian cyber activity, and i think they were trying to make the best judgments they could on behalf of the american people. >> and breaking point, the white house press briefing boils over after deputy press secretary sarah huckabee sanders slams the media coverage what have she calls the russian trump hoax. >> we're going to ask you questions and you're here to provide the answers and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say see, once again the president's right, and everybody else out here is fake media and everybody in this room is only trying to do their job. z>> good day everyone. i'm andrea mitchell.
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in aspen, colorado, live from the aspen ideas festival, we're following the latest fallout in the health care battle, a stunning setback in republicans push to repeal obamacare. mitch mcconnell forced to abruptly pull the bill delaying a vote until after senate's returned from the july 4th break. but with growing opposition among both wings of the republican senate ranks, the question now, will mitch mcconnell open up the debate and start looking for a real compromise with democrats? >> if we do fail, if we can't get 50 votes for a republican only product, obamacare is truly collapsing and it's never going to be fixed, there's an opportunity to work with some democrats to find an alternative, which is probably better for the nation, but we'll see. >> and the president just a few moments ago speaking about energy at another event was asked about the health care bill. let's join that.
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>> -- access to the energy and wealth that they have on their own lands. many of our states have been denied to abun dant resources on their lands that could bring greater wealth to the people and benefit to our whole nation. we're becoming more and more energy dominant. i don't want to be energy free. i want to be energy dominant. if my first day in office we've taken swift action to lift the crushing restrictions on american energy. scott pruitt has done an amazing incredible job in a short period of time. most people love him but there are a couple that don't but that's okay, right? we're also putting our people back to work by doing this. today's conversation is a chance for these state, local and tribal leaders to discuss how we can cooperate and support them even more in unleashing these domestic energy reserves, they're tremendous reserves that
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we never appreciated, we never understood but now we understand them very well. i'm confident that working together we can usher in energy dominance and security benefits it brings to its citizens, not only the native americans but all over the country, and we're seeing it more and more, and it's happening and more. i also want to tell you yesterday we had a tremendous meeting, the republican senators met on health care and the meeting went really well, we're talking about a great, great form of health kcare obamacare s essentially dead. if you don't give it the subsidy it's dead in 24 hours. it's been a headache for everybody, a nightmare for many and we are looking at a health care that would be a fantastic tribute to our country, a health care that will take care of
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people finally for the right reasons and also at the right cost a tremendous reduction from obamacare. yesterday in alaska, a great state, announced a 216% increase, so we have a plan if we get it approved, this is very tough, every state is different, every senator's different, but i have to tell you, the republican senators had a really impressive meeting yesterday at the white house. we had 52, almost all of them, never easy but we had essentially 50 show up at the meeting and the other two are on our side. i think we're going to get at least very close and i think we're going to get it over the line. it was a great, great feeling in that room yesterday, and what also came out is the fact that this health care would be so good, would be far better than owe ka ma cair and much less expensive for the people and
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much less expensive for the country, so those are a lot of good factors so we'll see what happens. we're working very hard. we've given ourselves a ail bit more time to make it perfect. that's what we want to do. i think this has a chance to be a great health care at a reasonable cost. people can save a lot of money. we get rid of the mandates, we get rid of so much, gotten rid of a lot of the taxes, all of the bad parts of obamacare are gone, it's a repeal and replace and i look forward to working with the republican senators over a short period of time. i know rick is very excited about the health care we're talking about. >> actually, having these governors sitting around the table is a great example of it, and one of the things that i know kim and paul they'd like to put health care in a place that they helped write and their citizens helped write because i know these, i don't know bill that well, but my bet is he's the same. you give him the authority to
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take care of their citizens, they can have more people -- quite confident. >> there you heard president trump, rick perry of course the energy secretary also there, the president's first reactions to the health care defeat really, the fact that they had to pull the bill. nbc's kasie hunt on capitol hill and dr. zeke emmanuel, chairman of health policy at the university of pennsylvania. kasie first to you. let's talk about the president's take and a reality check on that, compared to what really happened on the hill. it was an incredible setback for mitch mcconnell. kasie let me interrupt you for a moment. we want to play a little bit more of president trump. >> i always say it. >> mr. president, yesterday said
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it was a hoax -- >> thank you all. thank you. >> thank you, please. thank you, please. >> he was asked a question about health care. kasie you pick it up there in terms of what happened with mitch mcconnell and what happened when the senators went to see the president, because from all reports he didn't know the details of this plan. >> andrea, what i learned from that spray that you just played right now of the president he filled in some of the blanks of what the issues are, that is more texture than i have heard him articulate previously about the contours of this bill, and of the negotiation that's currently going on among republican senators. what i can tell you here on capitol hill, the sense is, it became very clear in the lunch behind closed doors they weren't just a handful of votes short on the health care bill, they were dozens of potential votes short,
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a lot of problems and mitch mcconnell decided to make the bet that he would try to take a little bit longer to negotiate within his own conference, and the warning has essentially been, look, if we don't get this done right now, we are going to have to turn to democrats to get something done, and you're starting to hear moderate republicans saying things that are more along those lines. there seems to be pressure coming from those moderates on leadership to work with democrats. if you think about it, in a slightly different set of terms, if they were to try to do a bipartisan bill, there are moderate republicans who would rather sign onto a bill that's palatable to eight or nine moderate democrats then on to one that's palatable to rand paul, ted cruz, the right wing of that republican caucus. now, of course, broad picture, all kinds of issues with a bill like that going forward but that would potentially be a completely different calculus and senator graham said if we
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don't come to an agreement by the end of this week we're looking at a situation we probably have to do this in a bipartisan way. little bit of a threat coming from leadership but i also think you heard the president there leaving the door open to potentially a variety of ways of solving this problem. we'll see if he stays engaged. he tried to give himself room from what i could hear to say this bill republicans in the senate have come up with would accomplish the things he called for on the campaign trail but there seems to be room for maneuvering as well. >> kasie, it's been such an extraordinary defeat for mitch mcconnell, such a misjudgment of where the congressional budget office would end up and how that would impact his own caucus. unusual, he's been the mastest strategi strategist. zeke emmanuel, author of "we scription for the future." you went through the rigors of obamacare and perhaps what we've learned from this is that no single party, not the democrats,
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who passed it over, you know, after lengthy hearings, and argument and debate. >> right. >> but not the democrats nor the republicans can fashion something this complex without compromise, without engaging both parties. >> mike khouw connell has 52 votes, he can only afford to lose three. he tried to do that, and i think as i say often, there is a lot of overlap between conservative health policy experts and liberal health policy experts on what we need to do to solve this problem. you could reach across the aisles. now, after not reaching across the aisles, after disgracing and basically not dealing with the democrats, they say we're going to come back and do it in a bipartisan manner, that seems a little false. it doesn't sound like -- will the democrats be receptive or would they rather see the
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republicans fail? part of the problem is the politics here, that the democrats and the republicans, well really the republicans tried to do all these things without the democrats. they did not join in on the affordable care act even though the democrats reach out to them, they did not reach out to the democrats here, and i think if republicans go to their home districts and hold town meetings, there's going to be a lot of heat on them, and i think we don't know how that's going to play out. time is not going to make 22 million people suddenly get insurance on the republican bill. they have to change it fundamentally to change that number. whether mitch mcconnell has the stomach to fundamentally change it who knows. >> kasie you weigh in on this here, are the politics better to not have a bill for the republicans, because then people are left with essentially obamacare light, obamacare sabotaged if you will, the insurance companies pulling out,
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the uncertainty affecting the markets. so it reverts back to blaming president obama through, you know, social media and advertising, whatever the president can say, and they don't have to own it. that's a counter argument. >> it is, and look, i do think that there's a sense from republicans that being seen failing to follow through on a major campaign promise would potentially be damaging but i also think the polling is changing relatively rapidly. i think when i talk to sources about that, there's some sense perhaps people were taking their feelings about president obama out on the health care law that bore his name, and now they're thinking about potentially losing what they have, the popularity numbers for that law have gone way up, and democrats will say well, they managed to pull off something we could never do. they could never make obamacare popular but that's what has happened and that kind of makes for a very difficult political situation for republicans to the
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point that the emerging conventional wisdom seems to be whoever owns health care is going to be saddled with electoral losses and a lot of political problems. so perhaps we should all just take a little bit of the blame, spread it around and change kind of this fundamental dynamic. >> so i think first of all, it is true as kasie says, that the popularity of the affordable care act has gone way up and the republican bill is very unpopular, and the second thing is that i don't think you can blame president obama anymore. the republicans have done a lot of things to increase the uncertainty, and that's what's driving premiums up. president trump and the republicans are going to own every change and every problem here. they can no longer blame an administration six months ago, and so it's going to be their problem and they're going to be punished in 2018 because the public realizes this is actually a good thing. throwing 22 million people off insurance is not progress in this country. >> i'm just saying that it depends on how the debate is played, with that said do we have to reach a point where we
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get to a bigger argument over what kind of sacrifices have to be made and -- >> andrea we're at a turning point in this country where a large part of the health care system is improving. what we need is for the government to help that improvement, and i think if we brought bipartisan policy people together to write a bill, could you get a consensus. that's a big step for politicians to take, to say look, we are going to do this in a bipartisan manner. i'm not sure you can do that because i'm not sure there's enough trust in washington now before the 2018 election to do that but that would be the way to go. >> thanks so much. and my colleague peter alexander in washington with more news from the white house. peter? >> andrea, thanks to you. during yesterday's white house news press briefing things got a little bit heated. people still talking about. it was an exchange between sarah huckabee sanders and a reporter. here's part of what you missed.
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>> you mentioned the story where they had to have reporters resign -- >> come on you're enflaming everybody right here right now those words. this administration has done that as well. why in the name of heaven any one of us right, are replaceable and any one of us if we don't get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. >> i think -- >> you have been elected to serve for four years at least. there's no option other than that. >> i think -- >> we're here to ask you questions. you're here to provide the answers and what you just did is enflamtory to people all over the country see once again the president's right and everybody else out here is faking it and everybody in this room is only trying to do their job. >> well, i disagree completely. >> nbc's kristen welker joins me from the white house. we were both in the briefing room for this moment. there have been some frustrations on both sides, but it seemed like they hit a breaking point yesterday, as we
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sort of witnessed this combative exchange play out. >> reporter: that's right. first the backdrop, peter. sarah huckabee sanders expressing frustration within this administration about some of the mistakes that have been made but over the russia probe and the administration has consistently referred to it as a hoax, and so sarah huckabee sanders venting the frustration of the administration about that particularly in the wake of a story that was walked back by another network. but you saw of course that reporter there, brian karem, lash out as well and i this i that underscores the extent to which, look, the media also increatesingly under a microscope and also clashing with this administration for more access as these off-camera press briefings become increasingly more frequent, and karem has done a couple interviews in the wake of that to explain why he larshed out i that way at that very moment. he said effectively that he didn't want to be on the other side of this bullying by the
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white house. so that's what he's saying today, peter. we're going to have another one of those off-camera briefings with press secretary sean spicer later on this afternoon. >> coming in an hour and a half. that's it from washington for the moment. we want to get back to andrea mitchell now in aspen. >> thank you. more from washington now john podesta, one of the chief victims of russian hacking. pressed on why the obama white house did not do more to expose the kremlin before the election. >> i think they were, the president and the entire administration were dealing with an unprecedented incidence of the weaponization of, fruits of russian cyber activity, and i think they were trying to make the best judgments they could on behalf of the american people. >> podesta testified before the house intelligence committee yesterday, and joining me now is from washington, california congressman adam schiff.
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thank you for being with us. first of all he will's talk about john podesta's testimony. what have you learned so far? >> well i can't go into the particulars. i think it was valuable for him to come and testify before our committee. we're looking at a number of things obviously we're looking at the issue most people are focused on in terms of whether there was any coordination between the trump campaign and the russians, but we're also looking at issues about u.s. government response, how did the fbi and the dhs respond when they knew that russian foreign adversary was in the computers of the dnc and also involved in the hacking of the campaign compare for presidential candidate john podesta, so we're very interested in u.s. government response, what can we learn from it, how can we protect ourselves from the future and ensure a timely and strong response. >> you've said that the obama administration should have done a lot more when it found out
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that there was russia not only intervening but directing it from the highest levels, from obviously vladimir putin. what should the obama administration have done and why didn't they do more? >> well, you know, they say hindsight is 2020, but i'm not talking from hindsight here. in real time, senator feinstein and i were urging the administration initially to make attribution to call out russia publicly on what it was doning. it was clear to in the feinstein and i that russia was the responsible party and you probably remember, that failing to get the administration to do that, senator feinstein and i issued our own statement of attribution in september. ultimately the administration did issue a statement, but only a written statement signed by two administration officials. the president himself didn't speak about this until after the election, didn't seek to impose sanctions at the time the russians were interfering. i do think that was a mistake. that was what we were urging at
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the time that the administration confront russia on this. it was important i think to tell the american people in very plain terms what a foreign adversary was trying to do. now i understand the reasons why the administration was hesitant to do that. they didn't want to be seen as interfering or tipping the scales toward hillary clinton but to me, that was outweighed by the public's need to know, and so i think the administration should have taken a different course than it did. >> the president's going to see vladimir putin coming up at this summit next week, and as recently as yesterday, there was a blowup at the white house press briefing when the spokeswoman described it as a russia media hoax. what does the president have to accept before he sees vladimir putin or is putin just going to take the message they can do anything they want in the next election? >> here is the thing. the president this week once again accused his predecessor of
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illegal or corrupt conduct saying that obama was guilty of collusion and obstruction. if the president isn't willing to acknowledge what the russians did here, if the president isn't willing to confront them, if the president isn't willing to tell the american people, look, i accept this is what the russians did, and both parties need to come together to condemn it, then we can hardly expect him to confront the responsible party, and that is vladimir putin, because of course our intelligence community concluded the orders to do this came from putin himself. so i have to say i go into this with low expectations, what the president should do in that meeting with putin is say we know what you did, i acknowledge what you did and we're never going to tolerate that again and there will be severe repercussions if you interfere in our elections that way in the future, moreover don't expect to have any relief from sanctions, not from me, not from the congress, until you get out of
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crimea, until you refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of your neighbors, as they continue to do with their troops and their proxies in ukraine, and also we are happy to make common cause in fighting isis, but we are not going to make common cause with you in propping up the regime of bashar al assad. so these are some of the messages that the president ought to deliver, but given that he won't even i think level with the american people about the russian interference in the election it's hard to imagine him confronting vladimir putin. >> and according to our own reporting, nor is the administration doing anything from the homeland to protect against hacking in the mid terms. >> that's another problem, and that is the administration ought to be working closely with the secretaries of state and other elections officials to say okay, here's what the russians did. i think they should be much more forthcoming in talking about the extent of russian probing of elections infrastructure.
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some of the secretaries of state including my own in california, have communicated they're not aware of much of what is being now testified to in open session in congress, so i think the department ought to be much more open with the whole country about the extent of russian probing of our elections infrastructure but also working hand in hand to prepare our states and our local elections people for what may be the next assault on them in the next election. >> thank you so much, adam for being with us today. >> thank you. come up, repeal and replace turns into retreat and regroup. what's next for the republicans on health care. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" live from the aspen ylds festival only on msnbc. delicious... fresh fruit.
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hey you've gotta see this. cno.n. alright, see you down there. mmm, fine. okay, what do we got? okay, watch this. do the thing we talked about. what do we say? it's going to be great. watch. remember what we were just saying? go irish! see that? yes! i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. i have said all along that i thought we should talk to the democrats from the beginning. i complained bitterly in 2009 about them shutting us out, so we shut them out. i think that was a very serious mistake. >> would you support any effort to work across the aisle? >> tell me, who can you work with over there?
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half the time they won't even come to meetings. they're not serious legislators unless they get their way. >> republicans still divided over whether or not to pressure their leaders to start talking to democrats. what a novel concept, about writing a bipartisan health care bill, after mitch mcconnell failed to get enough republican votes to pass his version. joining me an all-star panel bill kristol, founder and editor of "the weekly starred" susan page, presidential historian for gravitas jon meacham. >> i'm here for the gravitas. >> suffolk university polling grim prognosis for the republican health care bill. >> 12% of americans support the senate bill. 26% of republicans say they support it. they're really paying a price for the process they've done doing it in secret, not holding public hearings. majority of republicans told us they didn't know enough about
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this bill to have an opinion and apparently they don't have enough trust in the gop brand to say i'll support if it's got a republican label. >> what do you do if you're the gop? brandon if you're the gop leader, do you start reaching across the aisle or do you say let's try to own it and ific fi? >> paul ryan was committed to do this on reconciliation because he thought no democrats would support repeal, replace or reform of obamacare. they jammed the bill through the house in a way that required mcconnell to only get 51, 50 votes in the senate. if they didn't get on board go to the senate, save the democrats from filibuster and let's have a discussion, have some floor debate, let's make the case one way or the other. i think this might be a moment where republican leadership in the house and the senate because mcconnell is getting the grief now he was given the hand to play by paul ryan. this is reconciliation.
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take it. the house bill is unacceptable. have a senate bill that confused everyone even more and a president who made no case for the bill. ma whanlgor legislation gets passed, reagan's tax cuts, obamacare, without the president explaining the bill and making the case to at least his own supporters come on board which as susan says they haven't. i would start over and maybe this is a useful moment for mcconnell and ryan, we're going to try bipartisan shap. democrats don't do it, fine, they'll get credit for having tried. >> the president has a big mega phone but first he has to understand what's in it. he didn't understand this was a tax bill and the tax cut he's talking about down the road depended on the monies saved from health care. without that, the rest of his agenda is really in jeopardy. >> one of the questions i find fascinating is the market has clearly reacted to the prospect of ultimately the corporate tax going down, which is dependent on the health care bill passing, so at what point do the dominos begin to fall. i think a lot of the political
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conversations would be radically different if the dow were 2,000 points down. >> it's not ultimately -- we say it's dependent on it because we accepted these budget rules but those are just rules a majority of congress passed. what if the republicans said there is bipartisan consensus on some reduction in corporate taxes. they are a little high compared to the rest of the world, do something for the middle class and infrastructure. let's pass this bill if wave to waive the budget rules, fine f schumer and mcconnell agree and ryan or pelosi or some democrats do. they can waive them. they got so trapped in the process they were handed. >> susan, i think they failed to realize that making the cuts in medicaid, and i had an argument on "meet the press" with secretary price early on before the house bill was scored by the cbo. denying they were cutting medicaid. it was going in the face of anything, all of these stories are so heartbreaking, and the narrative writ large these were
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deep, deep cuts in a program that people had since 1965 had you know believed in as part of the american compact if you will. >> we find a big political ride on the issue of health care but not what any health care needs to include. hugeconsensus. the senate bill doesn't do that. two-thirds of americans say the people who have gotten medicaid through the expansion of medicaid that was part of the affordable care act it's important that continue to be the case that they not be pushed off medicaid. the cbo says 15 million americans will be pushed off medicaid under the senate bill. these are big hurdles for republicans to get over. >> final thought, chuck? >> big things happen, daniel patrick moynihan, 25 years on "meet the press" sending a message to the clintons on hillary care, saying significant pieces of domestic legislation
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require bipartisan support. the blue dog democrats were there for 1981. >> exactly. >> and the johnson era all the way through. >> the bradley tax bill in '86. >> and also as we were saying you need a president making the case for this beyond claiming that he knows what's in the bill. >> jon, susan and bill thanks very much. coming up, reality check with republican charlie dent right here on "andrea mitchell reports." are' watching msnbc. (baby crying) ♪ fly ♪ me to the moon (elegant music) ♪ and let me play
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welcome back to "andrea mitchell reports." i'm peter alexander here in washington. back to andrea in a moment. but first here at the nation's capital, a delayed vote for the senate health care bill, and joining me is republican congressman charlie dent, who voted against the house version. congressman dent, appreciate your being here. let's get right to this. mitch mcconnell out there today effectively saying the democrats aren't going to work with us, but we have been hearing from a series of republicans, senators, john mccain, graham, murkowski, saying a bipartisan bill is the way to go. will mcconnell need to change his strategy here? >> well first peter, thank you for having me on the program. i believe we need to work this legislation from the center out. i said the same thing during the
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house tlibratideliberation. the mistake democrats made with obamacare in 2010 they muscled this through on a partisan basis and we've been fighting about health care ever since. i feel republicans are making the same mistake. we should work this from the center out and also, peter, get involved, many of our governors, governors like john kasich, governor sandoval, charlie baker in massachusetts. these governors are popular and they have some very constructive suggestions. i think we need to bring them in. of course we need to do this on a bipartisan basis if we want a durable sustainable reform. we won't have one otherwise. >> appears mitch mcconnell will send as early as this friday a new bill to be scored or reviewed while lawmakers await in a partisan fashion so it remains to be seen. i want to ask you a moment that played out on the hill, senator marco rubio told my colleague that president trump plays a major role in this process.
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here is their exchange. >> reporter: can the president be helpful in getting the process passed? >> of course he can be. the. is the important. he's try igto dot best he can. he's giving the senate the space to work and that's good. >> so congressman, let me ask you, what role should president trump be playing in this process? he didn't make a case for this bill absent saying he thinks it will be a tremendous one everyone will be happy with it. he hasn't lobbied for t given speeches on it or host a town hall about it. >> in my view, this white house, like the last one, largely outsourced health care to congress. i think that's what's happening, congress is writing this bill and you just mentioned, too, senator mcconnell was going to present a new bill. my view is one of the challenges of the whole issue is that the senate largely took the house bill. the senate bill was structural similar to the house bill. i thought the senate would come from a different perspective. if senator mcconnell is writing a new bill i'd be curious to see how different it will be from
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the bill that passed the house and the bill that was just taken off the table. >> congressman, quickly because there's a new reporting to this effect you were behind the scenes during house deliberations with the. the. reports suggest the president may not have a grasp of all the key elements of the senate bill and health care bill. do you feel confident of his real understanding of this issue? >> i get the sense that this issue is maybe not the president's wheelhouse is, health care. he is much more focused on, and like a lot of people in congress, too, not trying to be critical of the president, but i think a lot of members of congress are more focused on tax reform and i've always felt too many, both in the white house and in congress, have looked at health care as a speed bump on the road to tax reform, so the details i think were often not given the full consideration they should have either in congress or by the white house. i think it's been a major problem. the president wants to go on infrastructure and tax reform and i with a the to get there,
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too but we have to treat health care with all the attention it needs and deserves. >> all the issues sit idle. congressman dent of pennsylvania we appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me on the program. andrea mitchell is live from aspen, including what's next for the president's travel ban. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only here on msnbc. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is with great pleasure that we offer our congratulations on your acceptance..." through the tuition assistance program, every day mcdonald's helps more people go to college. it's part of our commitment to being america's best first job. ♪
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so it's about 5:00 or so, between 5:00 and 6:00 and matt calls him and says you're not going to believe this, but i was just on the "new york times" website, and it looks like the president has instituted some sort of travel ban. that's how we found out about it at the department of justice. >> sally yates, the former acting attorney general describing here in aspen yesterday how she found out about the travel ban, the executive orders, which were not briefed to the key cabinet secretaries when they were first ordered. joining me is former deputy solicitor general who argued against the trump travel ban in the ninth circuit along with ambassador wendy sherman, former undersecretary of state new nbc
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news and msnbc global affairs contributor as of today i think. welcome to the family. >> delighted to be here. >> you were on that panel with sally yates and that just illustrates the haphazard way that decision-making from the very beginning in january of the administration, the first week. >> yes. it's a terrible process unfolded that led to the travel ban that's led to a lot of other things in the trump administration and obviously we all have concerns about the substance that the president is enacti ining a muslim ban for t first time in our lifetimes and americans need to be concerned about procedures what miss yates was talking about, the ramrodding of this through is just not the way good government policy making is done. >> wendy sherman, procedure. we had the day before yesterday, the night before last late at night a press secretary statement from sean spicer, a written statement warning that there would be a heavy price to be paid by the assad regime and
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also warning russia and iran if they were to launch another chemical attack, with no explanation. clearly there was an underlying intelligence, but as we've learned, there were top officials who were not properly informed that the statement was going out. >> well, even if -- quite agree. even if it turns out secretary mattis knew, he didn't convey that down the chain, and today we have comments including from secretary mattis that that statement has deterred another chemical weapons atack, so the trump administration taking sort of success from doing this. now if they deterred the chemical weapons attack we would all be for that, but what is concerning here is what is the strategy? everything seems to be tactical. muds limb ban, done without process, just to sort of make real something that happened in the campaign, and a promise made in the campaign. the chemical weapons attack, which was very popular the first
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time president trump did it, using that deterrence again, but what's the underlying strategy? what are we really doing in syria? what are we doing in terms of settling down the rift among the gulf coordinating council today which between qatar and saudi arabia. all of this say mystery and doesn't seem there's a team underneath working through the decisions. >> cording to my reporting secretaries tillerson and mattis blindsided by apparently jared kushner was decision by the saudis and the, uae to go against qatar, whatever the merits of qatar's past support for terror groups or the like, the fact is we now have a major division among american allies, and the officials, the cabinet secretaries can't seem to unwind it because the president keeps contradicting them. i wanted to show an exclusive interview that our colleague lester holt just did with the parent of austin thiess being
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held somewhere in syria we believe for nearly five years. this is part of what they had to say just now to lester holt. >> i suspect you wouldn't be sitting down with me if if ther was any question that austin was alive. >> there is no question about that. >> does that come from an emotional place or hard evidence? >> well, that's a question that's sensitive to answer. let's just say we had a video that was titled "austin theiss is alive." that's never been contradicted. it has been confirmed over these last almost five years. it's important that we continue to work to bring him safely home. >> just as you said, we wouldn't be sitting here talking to you if we didn't -- were completely positive austin is going to come home safely. we wouldn't have a lot of the
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conversations and meetings that we have if that weren't the case. >> there's been a lot of criticism even from the trump administration that the obama administration did not do enough. some of the families have been very angry as well. not this family. he's been a journalist missing in syria. what can be done to bring these people home? >> well, i think president obama tried in the case of austin tice enormously, appointed an envoy, jim o'brien, to work on hostage families. we are here at aspen. david bradley is a big supporter of the aspen ideas festival. he's done a lot as a private citizen to try to bring americans home. there is nothing any of us can do for any family that has to suffer through waiting for their loved one to come home. it is just, the meetings that i had with any of these families when i was undersecretary were the most difficult things i had to do because there is no -- there's nothing you can do to comfort them except to bring
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their loved ones home. so i would hope that president trump would appoint someone to pick up the work that jim o'brien ended when he had to leave at the end of the obama administration, and i quite agree with austin tice's family. we have to work very hard to do everything we can to bring these folks home. we have just gone through the tragedy of otto warmbier, this wonderful 22-year-old who was in north korea and ultimately came home after a year, but came home in a coma on the edge of dying, and he has now died. it is just one of the most horrific things that any family faces. >> we have to leave it there, unfortunately. there will be a lot more on "nightly news" tonight. we'll be right back. n a time a girl with golden locks broke into a house owned by three bears. she ate some porridge, broke the baby bear's chair, and stole some jewelry, a flat-screen tv, and a laptop. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped the bears with homeowners insurance.
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and welcome back to the aspen ideas festival. joining me is jeffrey goldberg, editor in chief of the atlantic and walter isaac'son, president and ceo of the aspen institute who is hosting this conference. thank you so much for having us. >> thank you for coming. >> there has been so much from president trump about fake news, and it's become such a meme for this administration. we wanted to share with you, in one of your previous jobs you were editor in chief of "time" magazine. this is a "time" magazine cover that's apparently up in all the
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trump properties which is a "time" magazine cover -- >> photoshopped, obviously. >> photoshopped which is -- remember how the president on the second day of his administration was bragging at the cia he's had more "time" covers than tom brady? this is one of those covers where he's bragging about the apprentice but apparently it's totally fake. >> you know, it's really important for people to just think carefully and say i know the difference between fake news and real news, and i know the difference when somebody makes a mistake. cnn made a mistake recently and corrected it. if we start deciding that anything we disagree with is fake news, you lose the trust, the whole thing breaks down and that's really one of the really bad things we are facing as a society. >> jeff, when we talk about the way people have become stuck in niches where they will watch one network or another or read one blog or another and not ever get real facts, how do we break
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through this new paradigm? >> part of the problem is in the public, in this bifurcation. part of the problem is that in our industry itself, i mean, i try not to talk about "the atlantic" too much but we try to be a bigger tent and have conservatives and liberals arguing on our pages, in our website. i wish more people would do that in our industry. but i can't make people come. but you can put it out there in a civil, interesting way and hope they come. >> you have a fact-checker, too. >> yes. she was fantastic. >> it's important to check facts. weenchlgts ha >> we have to have better fact-checking in our industry. >> how important is it or unimportant the white house doesn't have on camera briefings and daily briefings and we certainly don't have them at the state department anymore. >> i think the on camera briefings could be cut back. i think it's really good to have -- >> that's why i asked you the question. >> off camera, people discussing things, some for the print press even if it's not on camera.
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i think on camera, everybody performs. >> but getting people on the record, though, is important. and getting people who care about facts. >> right. >> if things were factual and not just spinning, it would be a big step forward. >> i would trade ten of those white house briefings for one press conference with the president. i want to see the president in front of the press corps every couple weeks answering an hour of questions. that's much more valuable than sean spicer. >> also the jousting with the press secretary done on camera doesn't really get us that far to understanding things better. i agree with jeff, once a week presidential press conference makes total sense. started from the jack kennedy years to the present, that would be good. then i say background briefings for an hour or two. where people actually tell the truth from the white house, the press and instead of trying to joust on camera. >> we will leave it there. thank you both so very much.
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that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." katy tur is up next on msnbc. thank you so much. of course, thank you as well. good afternoon to you. i'm katy tur in for craig melvin. lots of stories we are following at this hour. first off, who is to blame? republicans taking stock after failing to push through a bill to overhaul obamacare this week. who is responsible for that setback? building resistance. the deal may be dead for now but the resistance against the gop plan is growing. can it sustain itself? and stop the presses. the white house is always blaming the media for what it calls fake news but with another off camera briefing set for just a half hour from now, what are we going to hear this time? we start with that new de deadline for a senate health care bill on friday. the sense is if they can cobble together 50 votes by then, the cbo can score the bill over the

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