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kinzinger deserves the last word here. >> i use the analogy of letting the fox guard the henhouse, but the road runner to work with the coyote for banning ace products. >> we'll be back tomorrow with more "mtp daily." i'm ali velshi with n"msnbc live." the white house douming down the defense of donald trump jr.'s meeting with a kremlin connected lawyer during the campaign. deputy white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders saying there is nothing wrong with the president's son meeting with the russian lawyer after being promised damaging information on hillary clinton as first reported by "the new york times." >> i've been on several campaigns, and people call offering information. as i know many of you receive similar calls of people offering
information. don jr. took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up. the only thing i see inappropriate about the meeting is the people who leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed. >> if this sort of meeting is normal practice in the campaign, do you know if there were any other meetings that either donald trump jr. or other representatives of the trump campaign had with other russian officials or any other foreign agent? >> i don't know of any other meetings with don jr. but i also haven't had an extensive conversation with him. j sarah huckabee sanders telling reporters, neither donald jr. nor anyone else in the campaign colluded with the russians. >> i would certainly say don jr. did not collude with anybody to influence the election. >> how about flynn? >> to my knowledge he did not collude with anybody to influence the campaign. i think i've been very clear, our position is that no one within the trump campaign
colluded to influence the election. >> late this afternoon, senator mark warner, the top democrat on the senate intelligence committee said he absolutely wants to speak to donald trump jr. >> this is the first time the public has seen clear evidence that senior level officials of the trump campaign reached out to potentially an agent of a foreign government, clearly a russian, to try to get damaging information about hillary clinton. rest assured donald trump jr. is somebody we'll want to talk to. >> the senate intelligence committee will begin the first interviews with trump campaign officials later this week. this afternoon donald trump jr. tweeted he would be happy to work with the commit toe to pass on what i know. he has hired a lawyer to represent him in connection with the russia probe. let's just recap what we've learned in the last 48 hours. the president's son, this man in the middle, met with a kremlin connected lawyer after being promised damaging information about hillary clinton.
and he brought along trump campaign's manager paul manafort and son-in-law jared kushner. donald trump jr. says he did not know the name of the person he would be meeting. but his account of the meeting was shifted since it was first reported. now the senate wants to question him about what happened. peter alexander is here. peter, to be clear, if one hasn't been following this story, much of the interest has been that donald trump jr.'s response to this has changed twice since he first responded to it in public. >> reporter: that's exactly right. the first time he was asked about this was back in march when he told "the new york times" that there were no such meetings. any kind of meetings with foreign nationals. certainly not with russians. then this weekend the story changed again when he was presented with some more information. nirmly he said that there was a meeting with this russian lawyer tied to the kremlin.
but that the conversation focused exclusively on russian orphans, the issue of americans trying to adopt russian orphans. then on sunday the story changes again where he indicated that he took this meeting because he believed he was going to get damaging information about his father's soon-to-be opponent, hillary clinton. this took place june 9th, days after donald trump effectively locked up the nomination. what's news this evening is the fact that donald trump jr. has now lawyered up, as you noted, hiring a man about 23 years of service. his expertise is in ethics and corporate investigations. so that makes donald trump jr. now the sixth individual either of the president's inner circle, frankly, including the president, or in the past tied to the president which would include mike flynn as now lawyered up. now the vice president with a lawyer, jared kushner with his lawyer, mike flynn as we noted, now donald trump jr. as well as jeff sessions and the president
himself. it is notable that during that briefing today, the white house again tried to build a sort of wall around donald trump. we've heard from the president's son, donald trump jr. and from the president's outside counsel saying president trump was unaware of this meeting having taken place last june, that the president was not in attendance. today sarah huckabee sanders said she was under the impression that the president didn't even know about this meeting taking place until just a couple of days ago. >> the whole thing is hard to believe, that the president wouldn't have been told. but this is now jared kushner's third instance of a time he did not disclose a meeting somebody connected to the russians. the interesting point that donald trump jr. makes about not having known the name of the person, that's valid, because if he did know the name of this person and had anybody googled it, they would have known this is a lawyer tied not just to the kremlin, but other oligarchs in russia. that becomes relevant as well. >> reporter: it speaks to the sort of disorganization, the
disorder, the any enaivety of t campaign. the campaign manager was sort of fending with paul manafort who was in the meeting at the time. the bottom line is, if donald trump jr. was willing to take this meeting, what other conversations and meetings may there have been. >> peter, thank you, my friend. peter alexander at the white house. peter baker is the chief white house correspondent for "the new york times" and msnbc analyst, and robert fineman for the "huffington post." gentlemen, good to see both of you. peter, let me start with you. so much of this reporting comes from "the new york times." again, what do you make of all of this that has happened? there are a lot of potential coincidences here. the white house and donald trump jr.'s people are sort of saying nothing to see here, move on.
it was a meeting. but at the very least they took a meeting thinking they were getting scoop from somebody who has ties to a foreign government on hillary clinton. >> yeah, that's exactly right. that's important to know about. what's interesting, among other things, is it's not just this one meeting. you could sort of explain away, or sort of find reasons to, you know, think about what this meeting might have been innocent and so forth. it's a sequence of events that is raising questions at this point. not just this meeting. as peter was pointing out, there are multiple meetings now that jared kushner didn't initially disclose. why are members of the campaign meeting again and again and again with russian tied figures. it seems unusual, particularly at a time when a campaign very, very busy with other things on their mind. donald trump jr.'s new to a campaign. paul manafort has been involved in campaigns for decades. that the chairman in a
presidential campaign with a meeting of someone he did not even know -- >> if it were that easy to get meetings, howard, we would get nothing else done. we knew paul manafort had connections to russians. but mike pence, mike flynn, jeff sessions, jared kushner, now donald trump jr. at some point there may be no fire, howard, but this room is getting real smoky. >> it is. because what it indicates about the atmosphere at trump tower, and i was there, i had a couple of interviews with people there, and so i had some sense of it. not only was it chaotic, and not only was it divided, where you had the lewin dow ski camp and manafort camp and so forth, however, some of those arguments may still be continuing, i think that's what sarah huckabee sanders was referring to in the briefing today, not only was it divided and chaotic, the default setting was any friend of russia is a friend of ours.
and sort of the atmosphere there was, somehow, as we're learning in greater depth, that, you know, we have friends over there. we have friends on that side. let's hear what they have to say. even if we don't know the name of the person coming in. >> so, peter, let's just -- look, it's fair, and enough people who have covered this campaign, like howard, like peter, like katy tur, have described this environment of chaos, and the left hand not possibly knowing what the right hand is doing. i still can't buy that the president of the united states didn't hear, the donald trump candidate at the time, didn't hear that someone came offering potential scoop on the hillary clinton campaign. but is there a danger of this argument of naivety, coming in the way of the fact that someone showed up and got a meeting on the strength of having stolen information potentially about hillary clinton? >> that's right. donald trump jr. tweeted, i guess i'm the first one who had
a meeting with someone who potentially had information on our opponent. what is unusual it would be a foreign national, especially with russia with which we've had tense relations, and basically the relations between his father and vladimir putin was already sort of a public issue at that point. so that's what makes it odd. the other thing i would take today that i find interesting to note is you did see the white house push back. you did see the president's lawyer push back. we did not see the president push back. he tweeted today in defense of his daughter, ivanka, for sitting in his chair at the g20 summit. he didn't say anything on twitter that we've seen so far about what his son did. >> he sent half a dozen tweets out about health care, about -- it is like clockwork. when the president is -- when russia shows up, the president starts tweeting about everything else about russia. >> well, on the contrary to tweeting out something in defense of don jr., it was made
very clear, very early, by multiple people, that the president knew nothing about this. at least that's the assertion. the fact that they immediately built a wall around the president means that even though at least from donald jr.'s point of view, this is much ado about nothing. the president didn't want to get anywhere near it which i think is quite interesting. >> peter, we know that when you're elected to office, when you're a senator, this came up during the jeff sessions stuff about keeping records of meetings with people, is it conceivable that somebody operating at those levels in the trump organization wouldn't have known who they're meeting with? >> well, i mean, again, you can say one person, two people who aren't normally related to a campaign, not experienced in campaign might. but again, it's hard to imagine, at least a fully functioning campaign allowing that to happen. as howard said, this is not a normal campaign. this is not a campaign that operated like any we've seen
before. >> my viewers have a picture here of the three people in the meeting. donald trump called jared kushner and paul manafort. what do they say, i need you to come to a meeting, i don't know who it's with or what it's for? >> i think the chairmen over the years, you know, i can't imagine anybody get egg a meeting with james baker when he was running any of the five campaigns he ran for president without him knowing exactly who he was meeting with and what the purpose was and why he was using his time up for it. that's a very unusual thing. as howard points out, this is not a conventional campaign. >> but, i would say, would repeat that even though it was chaotic, the default setting here culturally, if i can use that term, was that russia's good, let's see what they've got. and that is equally significant
here. because clearly what don jr. and manafort and kushner were looking for, i think, is some big score to impress dad with. two floors there, they had a floor that -- the upstairs where donald trump was, and another floor where junior was, and the campaign down below in the trump tower. these people who were still fighting this rear guard action with lewandowski and the other, they are looking for some big score to take to daddy and say look what we've got. >> thank you very much. you're both very charitable about how this probably all came to be. peter baker, and howard fineman. thanks to both of you for your time. new protests outside the offices of gop lawmakers. a fight among republicans
that's making big news. i'll talk to a democrat from mitch mcconnell's home state. president trump contradicts his staff and then himself on russia on cybersecurity. what the white house is saying today after major blowback from democrats and republicans. plus, democrats in the age of trump, does the party have a plan to start winning elections ahead of the democratic national committee? with me live. eart disease. you too, unnecessary er visits. and hey, unmanaged depression, don't get too comfortable. we're talking to you, cost inefficiencies and data without insights. and fragmented care- stop getting in the way of patient recovery and pay attention. every single one of you is on our list. for those who won't rest until the world is healthier, neither will we. optum. how well gets done. for over 100 yearsaking like kraft has,al cheese you learn a lot about people's tastes. honey, what do you want for dinner tonight? oh whatever you're making.
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the original senate version of it. but a new version is expected later this week. this morning, president trump in the wake of all this news of donald trump jr. meeting with a russian, pressured republicans by tweeting, i cannot imagine that congress would dare to leave washington without a beautiful new health care bill. vice president pence today saying this about working with democrats on health care. >> some in the senate majority have said that if they can't pass the current bill, that they'll have to reach out to the democrats. the president's made it very clear, you know, we believe, if they can't pass this carefully crafted repeal and replace bill, do those two things simultaneously, we ought to just repeal only. >> that's going to work out well. for their part, senate democrats today reaching out to senator mcconnell and senator bernie sanders with this message from mcconnell about the senator's own home state of kentucky.
>> the state that has done the best is kentucky. their uninsured rate has plummeted. if you want to look at a success story for the affordable care act, it is the state of kentucky. >> with me, democratic congressman john yarmouth from kentucky. good to see you. is this not well understood in kentucky that this is a state for which obamacare has actually done well? >> well, i think it's generally recognized, ali, that kentucky's actually led the nation in the implementation of the affordable care act. the thing that's held back our state in terms of popular response until recently is that a lot of people didn't know that what we called connect was actually the affordable care act, or obamacare. they said, well, we love connect. we're not so sure about this obamacare. now people realize exactly what it is, we have more than half a million people who are covered by the expanded medicaid and another 75,000 under the --
under commercial insurance through the exchange. our uninsured rate has dropped by more than half. in my district, our uninsured tropd by about 82%. we've done a great job here. people understand very, very clearly and personally how available the affordable care act is to them. >> as a democrat, is there some message to the people who came up with obamacare, that that was somehow the worst messaging on earth, if kentucky's done well by this, and nobody knew it was obamacare? >> ali, i had a town hall meeting here yesterday with more than 700 people there, and 11-year-old got up and said, hey, what was with your marketing and messaging on the affordable care act. people are very much aware of it. you know, i was involved in a lot of the messaging over the initial few years anyway. one of the things that -- well, we learned two things. one is, we really shouldn't have talked so much about the uninsured. the people we needed to convince this was a good idea were the people who already had insurance and who thought --
>> the uninsured didn't need to be convinced that getting them insurance was a good thing. >> exactly. we were going to be giving them something they needed, and didn't have. the people we had to worry about were the people who thought they were going to lose something. we never focused on that. >> this is an important point. if you take out of the population the people who are covered, as i am through my employer, the people over 65 on medicare if they want it, the people who get medicaid, the people who get v.a. services, you're left with about 11 million people who use the exchanges, of that, a portion don't get subsidies. they saw their insurance go up, in some cases they lost multiple insurers. it's a bit of a red herring because you don't need multiple insurers, you need one insurer that insures you with ga rate. it's interesting how the republicans have taken that particular topic and painted that as obamacare as a failure. how do you counter that message? >> it's tough. i think, again, one of the
things we learned is, health care reform is totally personal. people are not really all that concerned with the big picture, macro reactions. they're concerned about how it affects them and their family. and that's where the big change in public opinion has occurred. because everybody either has somebody in their family with a preexisting condition benefiting by this law, or ran over the caps with a cancer diagnosis or serious injury or they know somebody who has. again, i think that's been the real swing in public opinion is the fact that -- this is what nancy pelosi meant to say when she said we have to pass it before we know what's in it. what she meant is, we have to have people experience it before they -- >> i'm glad you brought this up. i covered this extensively when it happened. close to a year of hearings by every major medical association, insurance groups, all that kind of stuff. again, it's a nonsensical thing.
you heard what mike pence said earlier. he said if we can't get this bill through, then we should just repeal. that's a different note than a lot of your republican colleagues in congress are saying, or even republican senators. they're saying if we can't pass this bill, we need to reach out and do something with democrats. i mean, are you tempted to let mike pence go alone on this? that would be an absolute disaster that mike pence and donald trump and the republicans would then own. >> the repeal, and betting on the calm is not what you want to do. particularly because the republicans have had 6 1/2 years to come up with an alternative to the affordable care act, they've been finding out what i've been saying for several years, there's not an alternative except the single payer and they don't want to go there. the senate bill, the way they tried to sustain, or to stabilize the individual market was basically to reinstitute things that were already in the law, re-insurance programs.
we had that in the original law. they de-funded it. and the cautionary reductions, which they are not committing to keep funding, that's helping low income people get their deductibles paid for. these are the key things we put in the law to help stabilize the individual market. they sabotaged the bill and now they're trying to put them back. >> that's exactly what one is saying obamacare is failing, it is failing for deliberate reasons because those things are not happening. thank you for saying that. good to talk to you. thank you. >> good to talk to you, ali. the mysteries of the trump-putin meeting. was there a deal on cybersecurity before there wasn't? did president trump bring up sanctions or not? what the white house is saying, and not, when we come back. (baby crying) ♪ fly ♪ me to the moon (elegant music)
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election hacking. president trump was for that, and then 13 hours later he was just kidding. what was that all about? >> this was part of a discussion in that meeting, and look, we recognize that russia is a cyber threat. but we also recognize the need to have conversations with our adversaries. i think it was simply just a discussion on cybersecurity threats, and potential options, not necessarily a formal kind of structure in place. >> many people in the republican party did not find it funny. republican senator ben sasse said this obviously should not happen and obviously will not happen. why the president of the united states would tweet it is inexplicably bizarre. and marco rubio said it is akin to partnering up with assad on a chemical weapons idea.
>> it's not the dumbest idea i've ever heard but it's pretty clear. >> i'm sure vladimir putin could be of enormous assistance since he's doing the hacking. >> he doesn't take the word of the intelligence community. >> i thought it didn't make sense. i used the analogy of letting the fox guard the henhouse. it's also like the road runner working with the coyote to ban dangerous acme products. >> we're going to try to keep a straight face for this. steve is not even starting with a straight face. the washington editor at large -- >> leadup. >> i mean, honestly. i don't know what to make of this. the idea that we're not really sure -- rex tillerson in an audio briefing after the meeting, of which there were only six people in, rex tillerson said, we brought up the hacking of the election as something that was of concern to the american people. not to rex tillerson, not to donald trump, but to the american people, and this is the outcome? we're pairing with vladimir putin for a cybersecurity
anti-election hacking thing? >> i can only imagine that rex tillerson, who's very well aware that many of his former colleagues in the energy industry, who got hacked in the last few weeks by, now we know, somewhat declassified russian sources have declassified our energy infrastructure, rex tillerson must have been tortured during this meeting. i can tell you, ali, that before this meeting occurred, i am sure that dan coats, mike rogers of the cia, h.r. mcmaster, these folks did not know that this was going to be an outcome of this meeting. this was part of donald trump winging it, and thinking he could basically take the ball forward with vladimir putin without any preparation. this just came out of nowhere. >> but it's got to be, for a guy who was thought to have won that summit, vladimir putin was largely regarded as coming out of that unscathed because there was no discussion of increased
sanctions on russia. >> right. >> got a bit of an extra win out of this one then. do people really think donald trump was duped into thinking russia is going to help preserve our electoral integrity with russia's help? >> i mean, it looks like donald trump has come to his senses. but at that time, yes, take a step back. the big deliver rabls that came out of this meeting is, one, the cyber hacking deal to prevent cyber hacking of each other for all-time. that didn't hold. a southwest syria cessation of fire. >> with syria, about 3% of syrian land. >> right. it's assad's syria. and it really wasn't one of our fundamental key strategic objectiv objectives. and kurt volcker to handle the ongoing crimea and ukrainian issues. it's not a big list of deliverables that came out of this. one of them that did, really was
just far sick al from the beginning. i bet not only the republicans but people within his administration, personally in the natural security apparatus, were shocked with this revelation. >> here's one that i think is serious. another weird question out of the trump-putin meeting. there were six people in the meeting, two of whom were translators. president trump tweeted, sanctions were not discussed at my meeting with president putin. that directly contradicts secretary of state tillerson who said that sanctions were in fact discussed. listen to this. >> i think the president took note of actions that have been discussed by the congress, most recently additional sanctions that have been voted out of the senate, to make it clear as to the seriousness of the issue. >> okay. so steve, there were two translators and four government officials in the meeting. president trump, president putin, sergey lavrov and rex
tillerson. so far lavrov and trump said we didn't talk about sanctions, tillerson said we did. i mean, there weren't that many people to get the message wrong. >> it's a faulkner novel. it's told from the perspective of -- this is the problem with the president being limited to such a degree that the people are in the room and they can call it as they like it. many of us are finding some of the russian readouts far more detailed and specific than donald trump's. we have to kind of try to align president trump's previous positions both on the hacking, on sanctions. i remember being with joe biden in ukraine, in kiev, a day before donald trump had been inaugurated and he said, maybe we can give up the crimea sanctions if we can make a deal with russia. the casualness feeds the notion he's not serious about sanctions and that he wants to take the penalties that have been imposed by previous administrations off russia, without russia doing anything, to actually deserve
that relief. thus, he's rewarding them on the front end of his administration, for no concession, you know, no stepping back, no confessions by vladimir putin of what he's done. nothing. >> steve, we've known each other for a long time. i don't think we'd have ever guessed we would be having this conversation on tv. thank you for indulging me. >> thank you. donald trump jr. said no biggie, that he was taking meetings with people who had dirt on hillary clinton. i'll get the democratic party's official response, right after this.
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we've been reporting on the white house russia investigation putting new pressure on trump associates. democrats are facing their own real questions about the party's agenda, its leadership and future. it is still unclear what role, if any, former president obama will play in any of this. he's returning to politics later this week with a fund-raiser. but he has signaled that he is going to stay in the background. politico reports democratic leaders are considering a new slogan for 2018, a better deal. better question might be, what is the deal? take health care, two big name progressives, elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. big picture, what's the party plan to win beyond attacking donald trump? with me is tom perez, chairman of the democratic national committee. good to see you. >> always good to be with you,
ali. >> let's start with this donald j. trump meeting, the fact that we're up to five or six trump associates who have now been dishonest about the fact that there were contacts between trump associates and the russians. what's your first take on this? >> this culture of corruption is everywhere. you've got flynn, you've got manafort, you've got donald trump jr., you've got kushner. that's why we needed a special counsel. what we need to have happen in congress, ali, number one, the sanctions bill needs to be passed by the house. because that is very important to hold putin accountable. number two, we need to continue this investigation. because you see the lies permeating, and i'm often asked, why does this matter? this is an assault on our democracy, ali. russia is our -- one of our most fiercest adversaries. ronald reagan wouldn't be acting like this. barack obama certainly didn't act like this.
we need to nak sure that we are helping people get the economic security, day in and day out. we were fighting for social security. >> you understand the problem. i hear you. but what's the fight look like to people? >> sure. >> what donald trump is, is somebody who is connected with at least 30 or 35% of the voting base. and they are staying solidly with him. because they believe he carries their message. who carries the other message, and what is that message? let's talk about single payer. we talked about this. bernie sanders, elizabeth warren say single payer is a good thing. i'm canadian, i like it. but there are many other ways to get to universal health care. democrats aren't on the same page about that. >> democrats are on the same page in the following respect. we believe that health care is
right for all and not a privilege for a few. the republicans -- the -- whatever you want to call it, trumpcare, ryancair, i don't care, whar the bill is, that is not a health care, that is a tax cut for mega wealthy people and large corporations. i applaud the fact that the democratic party, our debate is how do we enhance access to quality affordable health care for everyone? and what the republicans are saying is, no, it's far more important to give a tax cut to wealthy people. that was my point before. it's not just what we're fighting for, whether it's health care or good jobs or access to reproductive health services, but it's who we're fighting for. they're fighting for a -- >> are you the voice of the democratic party today? are you the clearest voice that people can see? >> i think the voices of the democratic party today, ali, are the millions of people who marched on the streets across this country on january 21st
saying, donald trump, you didn't win the majority of american voters, and you don't stand for our values. and the millions of folks who have continued, i've never seen the activism in my life that i see now. i get stopped all the time, ali, by people who say to me, tom, i am so concerned, because i have diabetes, and i don't know what i'm going to do. or my loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, and medicaid is going to go away. or my grandmother is in a nursing home and medicaid funds 60% of nursing home care. story after story. democrats are fighting for them. that's what we're about. we've got to put those values into action. >> i hear you. i'm still trying to get to the answer about what the face of that looks like. i love the idea that you think it's everybody. i'm not sure that's the world's most efficient of looking at winning an election. but i prisht the time, tom. >> always good to be with you, ali. >> tom perez, chairman of the
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people's disclosure statements have been amended to reflect meetings such as this. and don jr. came forth this weekend and gave more information about the meeting. he also made very -- >> after denying it. >> no information that was meaningful or helpful was gained from this. >> why did it take so long to come clean with this? michael flynn denied to the fbi that he discussed sanctions with russian ambassador kislyak. he walked back his denial saying i couldn't be certain that the topic never came up. in january attorney general jeff sessions claimed under oath he, quote, did not have communications with the russians. in march, it's revealed that sessions met twice with kislyak during the campaign. and he's forced to recuse
himself from the russia investigation. in january, jared kushner neglects to disclose any meetings with the russians on his national security clearance application. this stuff is important, guys. then in march we learned kushner met with kislyak at trump tower in december. and then we learned he met with a bank chief who gives an entirely different report of that meeting than kushner does. and now we know he met with a russian lawyer during the campaign with donald trump jr. what about vice president pence? here he is just five days before the inauguration. >> did any adviser or anybody in the trump campaign have any contact with the russians who were frying to meddle in the election? >> of course not. >> of course not. with me, heidi, senior political reporter for "usa today," and msnbc political analyst, and jessica chambers. francesca, i have people telling me about naivety in the
campaign, honest mistakes. let me tell you, if i ever had a conversation with a russian official about sanctions, i would not forget it. what do you make of this? >> it's really unclear still why donald trump jr. would have had a meeting with a stranger, whose name he didn't bother to get, to then invite paul manafort and his brother-in-law jared kushner to also attend this meeting, not give them any information on the substance of them, and then get them to attend as well. we didn't really get answers to that in today's white house press briefing that was held off camera. once again, they made it very quick and made it very short. we didn't get to follow up on those questions far enough. >> so the problem, heidi, is that, i don't know, as i said earlier, i don't know that there's any fire, but the room's getting full of smoke. i don't know if there's any collusion. we can't get to a discussion about collusion if we can't get to the truth of who met with whom and why. >> it is not just the con
tactsd. any one of these contacts in isolation, they could make a plausible argument why this was a legitimate meeting. it is the totality of the contacts and the it is the totality. senator warner today said, look, we're at about 20 and counting in terms of campaign officials in this circle who've had some kind of meeting and failed to disclose it. so certainly it could be completely innocent. certainly -- >> could be. >> don junior could have been very sociable. but look at the context here. look at the timing of this. right around after he cinched the nomination and the fact that there were so many high level officials in this meeting. and there's for the first time raising the specter here of there being a potential if not collusion quid pro quo in terms of trade for information. and don junior's explanation for it i think is what is really raising a lot of eyebrows.
>> because he thought it was about getting scoop on hillary clinton. >> it is that he wasn't satisfied with the information. he didn't like the information they wanted to potentially collude off. >> so francesca, let's just talk about this, don junior is the latest of the trump circle it hire a lawyer to handle -- a criminal attorney, to handle his part of things here. but more importantly tweeted out, sarcastically, i'm clear lit first p person who has of taken a meeting like this. there is, from the trump side of things, there is nothing to see here, you're all obsessed. i'm getting that on twitter too. are is there nothing to see here? >> i think it is what you outlined and what aheady is saying. maybe there is nothing it see here however it has been one thing after another thing with the trump white house when it comes to meeting with the russians and meeting with people who are russian nationals in this particular instance. and the white house today was
asked whether there were other meetings like this potentially and notably they couldn't deny that, said they would have to get back to us. so now it seems they are hedging a little bit on potentially there might be other meetings out there that we don't know about like this one. >> i just think there would be so much less story here, heidi. there would be an explanation of things but don junior's explanation changed three times. no one forgets that much stuff that easily. nobody says, there's a meeting, i have no idea who it is with. jared and paul manafort, can you join me on this? >> we are all speculating because we aren't bob mueller. he has way more information. this is starting it scratch the surface and reveal a little bit about why he is going the direction he is going. we know he made that request to treasury financial crimes unit that a lot of this may center on potential long-standing business
ties between the trump organization and these olda garks. i dwes dati there is information i guess dating back to miss universe pageant, but this isn't something that just organically occurred during the campaign. there are song there are long standing connections with t connection olda garks. >> thank you. coming up, history in iraq. iraqi prime minister declaring victory off ice nis mosul. that's important. but what does it mean for the future of isis? lower back pain won't stop him from keeping up. because at a dr. scholl's kiosk... he got a recommendation for our best custom fit orthotic to relieve his foot, knee, or lower back pain, from being on his feet, by reducing shock and stress on his body with every step.
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what governs? former director of iraq security council and security national fellow. doug, thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure. >> doug, the reason they had isis in the first place, it was something as a disaster and overcome by a rag tag band of terrorists. is the army just better now? >> undoubtedly. the iraqi army counterterrorism forces, their federal police have been fighting in a complex area in mosul for nine months. a city of what used to be a million. they now are considered one of the most proficient forces in the region. and their turn around in a three-year period is amazing. >> this is house to house combat with people who are not afraid of dying on the other side. is the idea that they are a good fighting force mean that iraq is a good government now? that's the fundamental disaster
that allowed isis to get in there. iraq's post saddam government is a failure. >> well, iraq's prime minister has been doing all the right things the last year and half. he has had good relations with people in the country. he seems to be trusted across all sects. and nationalities inside iraq. he is doing well. that said, iraq still has a lot of problems. but at the same time, we should stop and really celebrate this. this is a big deal for iraq. this is a big deal for the iraqi army. yes, there's a lot still to be done. but let's take a day or two and let them celebrate. this is important. >> and the second biggest deal, too, when syrian forces of some sort, not obviously government forces, but someone takes raqqa, isis's capital, then for all intents and purposes the caliphate is done. >> that's right. there are still places in iraq that need to be liberated. a city to mosul's west will be
the next town. there will be an insurgency that follows. isis won't go away any time soon. but again, this is a big deal. and it is a moment for iraqis to celebrate and watch the largely sunni citizens of mosul welcome the majority shia army as liberator is an encouraging sign for the future of iraq. >> right. now they have to make sure they get into the army and government and all of that. doug, good to see you. thank you so much for being with me. >> pleasure. i will see you back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. that will do it for me but "hardball with chris matthews" starts right now. eastern promises, let's play "hard ballball." ♪ ♪ ♪
good evening. i'm chris matthews. the big question since january is whether the trump team was willing to clud with the russians to beat hillary clinton. thanks to this weekend's bomb shell in the new york times we know it is a fact that they were. donald trump jr, jared kushner, paul manafort all met in trump tower with a russian lawyer offering dirt on hillary clinton. then the candidate. it is another pete of the trump/putin puzzle. a secret meeting between moscow and trumps. kept secret from the american press. another connection that president trump continues to hide from prosecutors, media and american people. the beat goes on pt another week, another story of trump/russian intrigue. american family that acts like it acquired the u.s. presidency continues to display not just an affinity for russian dealing but readiness to behave like russian royals. like the