tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC July 15, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
hello, everyone, i'm alex wi wit here at msnbc national. we have new reaction from a heb of the house intel committee on where the russia investigation is heading, this in light of donald trump jr.'s meeting with a russian lawyer. here's what congressman jim himes told me in the last hour. >> i suppose we could have a long national conversation about the definition of collusion, but, you know, the president's son clearly knew he was getting derogatory information from a hostile foreign power and laid out a timetable to use it. in my mind, that's collusion. whether it's illegal or not, of
course, remember, collusion is not a legal term. whether it's illegal or not, that is something, i think, for both the justice department and the congress to figure out. meanwhile one of president trump's personal lawyers is ramping up his client's argument that the obama administration is at fault. here's trump attorney jay sekulow in an interview last night. >> they're in meetings all day and for weeks during the campaign. so to isolate this -- but i've raised the question, how did natalia, who got here under -- the interesting aspect of this, how she got into the united states in the first place. >> but today, president trump is pressing senate republicans to pass the health care bill. here's part of his weekly address. >> i am pleased to report that we are very, very close to ending this health care nightmare. we are so close. it's a common sense approach that restores the sacred doctor-patient relationship. and you're going to finally have great health care at a lower
price. >> all right. let's go to new jersey not par from the president's bedminster estate. kelly o'donnell is there for us. another good day to you, my friend. there are some new details about that 2016 meeting between donald trump jr. and the russian lawyer. also a new tweet from donald trump this past hour. so what's the latest on all of it? >> reporter: well, the president has not done a lot of commenting about this related to his son and the meeting, kind of spare remarks from the president this past week. he did put out a couple of tweets. we're in new jersey because he's attending today's u.s. women's open golf so one of the tweets dealt with that. another does reference this issue. he's talking about the economy. stock market hit an all-time high yesterday. it goes on to say job numbers are starting to look very good. the president is trying to weave in what he has branded -- talking about how that's affecting his presidency.
what we have learned is that donald trump jr. did take this meeting about 13 months ago, june 2016. we've been learning more about the different figures who were a part of the meeting and a number of them were at the highest levels of the trump campaign, trump junior, his brother-in-law, jared kushner, and the campaign chairman, paul manafort. here is one of the president's outside attorneys talking about what he says is the president not having direct knowledge of this. >> the president was not aware of the meeting, did not know who the participants were, did not attend the meeting, and only recently became aware of that meeting. what law was violated by that meeting and your experts have said it too, nothing. at the end of the day, that's what this is about. >> reporter: the attorney there is trying to make the case that
this is not something that violates criminal law. that's going to be an argument you're going to hear from jay sekulow, who is a part of the legal team, but is also very much a spokesperson on behalf of the president's legal team. he has a public persona, has been in the public eye for a long time, and so we'll see him often as the guest in these instances to try to speak on behalf of the president. we do know that the president's son has said that everything was put out and yet we have learned over recent days that there were other figures, the russian lawyer, in addition to that, a russian translator, in addition to that, a russian-born american citizen who is a d.c. lobbyist, but an individual who had previously in his life in the soviet union at that time served in the military in a counterintelligence unit. so those sorts of things are raising a lot of questions about what was the intention of those on the russian side. were they trying to make a way into the trump campaign or was this a case of simply trying to
advocate on an issue that related to russian adoption or other things a part of their own business dealings. all of that needs to be sorted out and the president is not directly talking about this today except to again use his phrase, the russian hoax. alex. >> all right, kelly o'donnell, many thinks, particularly through a little technical difficulty but you're such a pro. thank you for that. joining me now, congresswoman nina titus of nevada. with a welcome to you, let's get right to it, congresswoman, because it's still not clear if we know exactly who else was in that room aside from an unnamed, as yet officially, interpreter. what do you make of trump junior's assertion of that's all, an then we learn they say than 24 hours later that it's not all. >> well, that's the problem. the story just changes by the hour. and oftentimes it's the cover-up that's worse than the event. the whole question of collusion is a complicated one, whether it's a narrow legal definition
like the lawyers are trying to say or one on flash cards like kellyanne conway was trying to explain. let's just say it like it is. collusion in this case was being willing to get in bed with the enemy in order to affect the campaign, and that's what the trump campaign did. we're not talking about some low-level often six research person. you're talking about the number one son, the campaign manager and the son-in-law. and if you believe they didn't mention this meeting to donald trump, i've got a bridge i can sell you. >> how about any concerns, ma'am, that you might have about others in the meeting, and that would include jared kushner. >> exactly. the whole question is how much does this family really need to be in the white house. how aappropriate is that. and so i think you're going to see some legislation or some people looking at making some changes to how that administration can be structured. and you know this affects our policy in the foreign relations committee. we aren't one of the committees conducting the investigation,
but we're certainly considering the sanctions bill on russia and we see that as part of this whole play too. if they were talking about adoption, don't forget that's in relation to sanctions, so that's inappropriate as well. >> i'd like to get your sense now about how you think the american public perceives this whole russia investigation. let's take a listen to what democratic governor, john hickenlooper, told steve kornacki last night. >> i think we're spending way too much time as democrats worrying about russia and i think we should stay on the policy issues. maybe the russia thing is trying to distract voters so they're not going to be so agitated and begin to pressure the senators who are trying to make up their mind about whether to support this new senate health care plan. >> congresswoman, do you think that the governor has a point there? how much do you think this matters to middle america? do you think there's a tipping point at which it becomes of much greater concern? >> well, i do. if we continue to get more and more evidence and it moves down the path to impeachment or
resignation or whatever, there will be more concern. right now in my district health care is the number one issue, so that's certainly the case. the people who don't like donald trump think -- were not surprised, he'll make a deal with anybody. the people who do like it think it's overblown. so i believe that we want to focus on jobs and health care more than just this investigation. >> well, in fact i would like to focus on that with my next part of the interview with you. do sway with me and we'll talk about that. first i want to go to alex seitz-wald who is at the summer meeting in providence, rhode island, where more than 30 governors have been hearing the trump administration's latest pitch there for the senate health care bill. so, alex, i know you've been speaking with the governors from all across the country today. what have they heard? what have the folks heard from the health and human services secretary, tom price, a bit earlier and did it change anyone's mind? >> reporter: yeah, the administration is really making a full-court press and this is one part of it, a bit of a bank shot. they're trying to influence the
governors to influence the senators from the home states. mike pence yesterday spoke for about 20 minutes about health care giving a very hard sell. this morning secretary price spoke behind closed doors to governors. i talked to many governors coming out of that, including some republicans that have big questions. a big one to watch is brian sandoval from nevada because dean heller is a key republican swing vote. sandoval said he was not convinced. he still sounded pretty critical. i didn't get the sense that he was going to come around on the bill. i've heard the thing from more conservative republicans and of course democrats are united in opposition to this. so i think the administration, they're making their effort, but i'm not sure that they have really made a lot of progress in changing minds here. >> mick mulvaney, the omb director, office of management and the budget, he is speaking with the governors right now in a closed session. what more can you tell us about his pitch? >> essentially the pitch that the administration is giving behind closed doors to these
governors is that everything will be okay. your health care system will be better. for the governors, the reason that this really matters to them is medicaid. they have billions of dollars on the line. with the affordable care act, the expanded coverage with the promise that a lot of that money would be coming from the federal government, most of the money from the first few years. now they're worried, both democrats and republicans who expanded medicaid that if this health care bill passes, they'll lose that money and won't be able to cover these people. essentially what mulvaney, price and pence are saying, don't worry, we'll still find a way to cover those people. not everyone is convinced. take a look at what wyoming governor, matt meade, told me. he was not sold. >> when talking with my republican colleagues, i think there's still questions a lot of us have as to how it's going to work, how it's going to affect our state congress. the administration needs to know that it is us, we, the governors, that have the responsibility to make sure the citizens of our state are in a good position. so it's like so many things in
congress, we hope they are listening to the governors, republicans, democrats and independents on this issue that is critical to the health of not only our citizens but frankly the health of our economies. >> reporter: and that's the governor of wyoming, one of the most conservative states in the country. interestingly, alex, it's difficult here to find a republican governor who will give a full-throated endorsement of this bill. >> okay, thank you very much, alex seitz-wald from providence. let's bring back congresswoman dena titus from nevada. your reaction to what alex just reported. why would your republican colleagues continue to push for health care measures that are so vastly unpopular? >> well, i can't understand it. dean heller is on the hot seat. he has boxed himself in with his base who wants him to repeal obamacare and with the rest of the state, including our governor, who wants him to keep it. governor sandoval, and i commend him for this, he was the first republican governor to accept expanded medicaid because nevada
has always had one of the worst rates of uninsured. and since it has gone into place, we have insured thousands of people, almost all children are insured. if you take it away, 40,000 people in my district alone here in the heart of las vegas will lose their coverage. and it will cost the state up to $500 million to make up that gap. the state just doesn't really have it and can't plan on having it in the future. so he knows what it means to people in nevada. he's whispering in the ear of dean heller and heller is just torn. he had a private meeting with price, mulvaney and pence so they are really putting the hard sell on him. i don't know what they can offer him to make him change his mind because the bill certainly hasn't gotten any better. >> so you think at this point he's a no? >> i do. i've written him a letter and encouraged him to stand his ground. that's a western thing to do. >> you know, that's all they need. if he goes no, that's it. >> that's right. >> so talk about the pressure. >> that's right.
but we have heard this morning that there are some other senators who are starting to waver a little bit. they're starting to look at it a little more closely, so you may see the pieces start to fall. >> can i just ask you quickly about whether you're still considering to run for harry reid's position in your state? i know that was something that was on your template. is that still a go? >> well, thank you for asking. yes, i am still considering it. and what dean heller does on the health care vote may make a difference on what i decide to do. >> all right, thank you so much from nevada. >> thank you. we have fears coming true for voters worried about their sensitive personal information. what the white house did this week that has many people upset. , down by one. championship on the line. erin "the sharpshooter" shanahan fakes left. she's outside of the key, she shoots... ...she scores! uh... yes, erin, it is great time to score a deal. we need to make room for the 2018 models. relive the thrill of beating the clock.
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why would he? nothing transpired at that meeting so there was nothing to discuss. this was a setup to do what? to really get in on the mag n magnitsky act. she went down to washington, d.c. and did the same thing in washington and the end result of that was nothing so the whole thing was a put-up to begin with. >> the president's attorney, jay sekulow, downplaying the controversy around don jr.'s 2016 meeting with a russian lawyer who promised damaging intel on hillary clinton. let's bring in elise jordan and peter emerson. with a welcome to you both, peter, is it plausible that it was a setup, as jay sekulow claims? >> no. i have this visual image that we see on csi and law & order all the time, the big bulletin board with pictures of suspects, pictures of people of interest. there are too many connected points here for this to be a
setup. >> okay. eli elise, what about you, what do you think? >> i think that they are really grasping for straws in how to defend this. you look at how their story has shifted. on so many different occasions. every trump advisor had been saying publicly absolutely there was no collusion. and now suddenly collusion isn't illegal, so, eh, who cares. they are shifting the boundaries just because they are desperate. and as this drip, drip, drip continues, it's not going to look any prettier for this administration when it comes to what they have done with russia. >> okay. we should say, though, the administration is saying there's still no collusion. that's their backdrop point for sure. but, peter, what do you think is worse, if trump junior and jared kushner took this meeting because they really didn't understand its ramifications, so there's a naivete there, or if they took it with the intent of colluding with russia? >> you know, not too many years ago we wouldn't be using such a sanitized word like collusion, we would be using words like
conspiracy and treason. and so it really doesn't matter to me what their motives were, because it was very clear from all of the evidence in the e-mails, i'm reading that goldstone, who is the one that invited donald junior in, described the lawyer as a russian government attorney. if the e-mail had said an attorney from russia, that would have been different. words matter in this. so as elise said, i think they're scrambling because every defense they put up crumbles very quickly. >> that is true, it does say russian government attorney as opposed to what the president said when he was answering that q & a at the news conference in paris when he said it was a russian attorney, not a russian government attorney. that said, elise, trump junior said that he released his e-mails with the russians so he could just get it all out there, however, more and more keeps coming out about this meeting anyway. how much damage do you think he has done to his father or to the administration by handling it this way?
>> well, he might not have technically broken any laws, but it certainly shows how they were playing fast and loose with the laws of propriety and cooperation when it comes to campaigns cooperating with a hostile foreign power. so i think that if nothing else, the appearance is absolutely terrible and people should be shocked. people should be outraged, people should expect for a presidential campaign to have more to america than to subvert their authority to the russian government. >> peter, i'm curious, if you're a democrat right now, how do you handle all of this? does it benefit you to come out strong against the trump camp or then do you risk looking like you're just piling on and does that work to your detriment? >> two things. one, i agree with governor hickenlooper of colorado that democrats need to get away from the day-to-day of this. next week there's two closed hearings and one closed briefing
of the intel committee. they're doing the work -- mueller is doing his work. democrats should get back to the front lines of health care and defending americans of all types, economic backgrounds, social backgrounds. that to me is the most important thing. and if i may, let me make a quick point. i think that donald trump probably waived the clearance requirements for jared kushner. having been through as i think elise has, an fs-86, which listeners don't really need to understand other than it's a very compressive security background check document, i suspect that at the end of the day, the omissions and other facts that are now being disclosed were known by the investigators and brought to the attention of senior level white house officials and the president, who has ultimate authority on granting security clearances, waived all of that and granted them. >> what do you think realistically, elise? how much do you think the average voter cares about the
rubba clai russia claims and isa point they might care more, if national security is going to be compromised as a result, where is that tipping point? >> i think that this is right now definitely not a priority with most voters on the republican side and on the democratic side. i agree with peter's point 100% that the smarter strategy for democrats would be to focus on a health care bill that is a tax cut for the wealthy and that republican senator mike lee said himself was a caricature of what liberal opposition would say is a republican health care bill, so that's a much better strategy. however, the russia problem for the trump administration is -- it does affect their agenda going forward because they aren't able to get anything done because it's sucking up all the oxygen. it's made it impossible for republicans to fully defend and fully be behind and back this white house, just because they are on such shaky territory because they can't keep their
stories straight about anything. >> well, something i know everyone does care about is health care so i want to get to you first on that, elise, because you worked for rand paul. he is one of the most vocal critics of the senate health care bill. do you think he and other republicans are too stuck on this idea of repeal and replace when polls show much of the public has pretty much moved past that? >> alex, i think it's why they were elected. they have been saying for so many years that they were going to repeal obamacare, and then to now turn and put forward a worse bill that preserves all of the corporate cronyism throughout and all of the tax -- to add these tax cuts for the wealthy, i do think it's a slap in the face for their voters an it's not going to make health care any better for these voters that put their faith in republicans saying that, yes, they would repeal obamacare and that they would put in a stable form of health care that unleashed the market's full potential. >> elise, don't you think that things may have changed? this is one thing when it was obamacare, the aca was passed in
'09 and in 2010 there was a reaction to that perhaps in the election results. but here we are seven, eight years later. maybe people have gotten used to what's out there and they realize, sure, it can be better and let's tweak some things about it, but that whole repeal, replace mantra, maybe that's outdated? >> well, certainly republicans have managed to make obamacare much more popular. you look at how this bill is completely unpopular with voters, and you wonder how they -- what their calculus is when it comes to implementing a bill that actually would make premiums rise. it just makes no sense. and so i'm fully behind senator rand paul in opposing this piece of ill thought out legislation that too many republican senators want to keep hidden from public view. >> so you're saying that not only are they losing the policy -- i mean the political ballots, they're losing the policy battle here? >> oh, absolutely. i mean they have been -- you look at how this entire process
has unfolded and, you know, the criticism that republicans heaped on the obama administration for trying to keep it behind closed doors when really actually they didn't. they had a ton of hearings, it happened over, i think, a year-long process. and then you look at how originally this process in the senate, they were going to throw out this bill without giving any of the senators time to read it. it's absolutely ridiculous. when you're fundamentally reordering one-sixth of the country's economy, let's have a sound policy debate. >> peter, i'll give you the last word here. >> i think very strongly that democrats need to focus on health care. i worked for mr. health care, ted kennedy, for many years. this was the most important issue in his entire legislation career. and when i hear people like secretary of health and human services tom price say that women -- any woman in america can afford birth control or when i hear kellyanne conway say, well, if you lose medicaid, you just get a job, the absolute not
just disrespect but heartless, cynical treatment of whether they be poor, middle class, the elderly, is just reprehensible. and to me, the most powerful emotion is fear, an i think elise has touched on that. i think ultimately people are growing more an more afraid they're going to lose something either they have or they're not going to get something they wanted, which donald trump promised to give them and he's not going to. >> all right, elise jordan and peter emerson, guys, thank you so much. >> thank you. the new "time" magazine cover story on donald trump jr. explores the potential fallout from ms. now infamous meeting and asked one simple crucial question. how bad will the firestorm get? we can't stay here!
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc world headquarters in new york. at 32 past the hour, here's what we're monitoring. three people are dead, 12 others injured after a fire in a honolulu high rise that did not have sprinklers. the fire chief says sprinklers would have contained that fire to just one apartment if they had been there, but the building was built before they were required. new word about that huge sinkhole near tampa, florida. authorities say it has stopped growing but it's still more than 200 feet wide and some 50 feet deep. it's already claimed two homes and threatening nine others now. at wimbledon, spain's garbine muguruza beat venus williams in straight sets preventing the 37-year-old american to be the oldest woman to win a grand slam title. she was going for number six. we are getting more details about a meeting last year in
june with russians offering potentially damaging info on hillary clinton. this during the 2016 election. nbc news was first to report that a russian-american lobbyist is the latest person identified at that meeting. rinet akmetshin is also a former military officer, a sergeant technically speaking. donald trump junior failed to give akmetshin's presence earlier this week. the russian meeting not only grabbing headlines but earning the front cover of "time" magazine. joining me the author of "time's" cover piece, david von drehle. it has been announced officially by the white house that ty cobb has been appointed. he will serve as white house special counsel. talk about that in conjunction with this question, as you open the piece asking how bad is it? how do you answer that? >> well, as we say in the piece, our traditional instruments for
determining how bad a political situation is have really been shaken up over the past year or year and a half as one dramatic thing after another has happened without really knocking president trump's juggernaut off course. but what i think we can say with confidence about this is that it's getting worse and worse and worse. and, you know, you were talking earlier with your previous guests about what should the democrats do. i think we're now at a point in this process where it doesn't really matter what the opposition does, it doesn't really matter entirely what the media does, because the special counsel now has a tremendous amount of room to dig into this and to go from the oval office to trump tower and dig into the
relationships between the white house and the trump organization, of which donald junior is supposedly the head now with his brother, and the dealings of the trump campaign with russia and of the trump organization with russia. and so this whole tangled web, which could go in a lot of directions, is going to come under the scrutiny of the fbi and the justice department. >> yeah, convoluted to say the least. just listening to you there, it's like wow. donald trump jr. made this big fuss as you know about releasing what he said was the full story. we now know it was not. did he think people would stop investigating after he shared those e-mails an has he perhaps made it worse for his father by handling it the way that he has? >> you know, it's hard to figure out what they're thinking. they seem to believe that this is a pr problem for them and that they need to handle it with
public relations. they need to handle it with just the right tweet or just the right spin. you see this in the way that jared kushner is handling his problems, now donald trump jr. and of course the president seems to think that if he gets his tweets right, this will all go away. they need to understand this is a major legal problem both for the white house and for the trump organization. they need to stop spinning and i hope that the new appointment in the counsel's office at the white house will be a step in the right direction to begin to handle this professionally, because it's not just donald trump and his family that are at risk of damage here, it's the united states of america. >> and what do you think robert mueller can do with all this information? >> robert mueller is one of the most formidable investigators
alive today, and he has hired a staff of very experienced people. they are going to get to the bottom of it and hopefully they will do it in a way that will be transparent, above board and convincing to the majority of americans. there will be people who are not going to buy what comes out no matter what, that's the nature of human beings and of our polarized country. but it's really up to mueller to be as open as he can when the time comes to report what he's found. >> you know, david, you write that despite all the chatter out there, treason is actually a very hard case to make. why is that? >> it's the only crime that's defined in the constitution, and it clearly has to do with war and peace. it's colluding, associating, assisting the enemies of the united states. that really has to do with war
time. it's benedict arnold leaking the plans to a fort in the middle of the revolution. that sort of thing is treasonous. this i don't think is ever going to be at that level. >> and to that extent, what if this meeting really does amount to nothing, as the trump team has argued. is it possibly that the whole situation has been blown out of proportion, at least the content of this meeting? >> we have no way of knowing because the people who were there so far have done nothing to make us think that they're telling the truth about what happened. it's story after story, changing daily, changing hourly. so we're going to have to wait until the special counsel gets all of these people, however many were in the meeting, we still don't know for sure, and puts them under oath and compares their testimony one to another and gets to the bottom of it. >> all right. david von drehle, thank you so much. i'm looking at the magazine
right now. it's a darn good article, very typical of you and your work. thank you for joining us. the white house releases personal information of hundreds of voters critical of the president's election integrity commission. was that intentional or was it a mistake? i'm going to ask a member of that commission in just a moment. whoa! you're not taking these. hey, hey, hey! you're not taking those. whoa, whoa! you're not taking that. come with me. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. you're not taking that. mom, i'm taking the subaru.
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text to reorder blades with gillette on demand... ...and get $3 off your first order that is a form of intimidation, that's a form of harassment. some of the people that make up this commission, they have a history, a long history of making it harder and difficult for people to participate in the democratic process. we come too far. this president should be leading us into the future, not taking us backward. >> georgia congressman john lewis express dissatisfaction with president trump's election integrity commission. joining me now is ken blackwell, former cincinnati mayor and ohio secretary of state, also a member of the election commission. always good to have you on the broadcast. it's been a while, so it's good to see you, ken, thank you for
joining us. >> good to be with you, alex. >> i want to ask you if you can assure americans that your commission's actions are not going to be voting more difficult for those whose voting rights have historically been suppressed? >> absolutely not. let me just start out by responding to congressman lewis. for almost a decade, he has perpetuated an urban myth that in 2004 i made it very difficult for minority voters to participate by frustrating them by having too few voting machines in minority-dominated districts. well, the reality was, is that a bipartisan board of elections, 88 counties have a board of elections, two democrats, two republicans. they made the decision as to where voting machines were to be placed based on historic voting patterns. so this whole notion that i sus pressed the minority vote by
having too few voting machines in their neighborhoods, you know, is fewer urban myth. it is the kind of obstruction that gets in the way of solving a problem and that is to protect the legal vote of all legal voters in not only ohio but across the nation. >> and i see that you're on the record with that. but let's talk about what the white house did this week, which is as you know they released this trove of e-mail complaints from the public without redacting the writer's personal information. you got 112 pages of e-mails, most of them harshly critical of the president's election commission, accusing the commission of attempting to suppress votes. if this was deliberate, ken, should it be seen as intimidation of people critical of government? if it was a mistake, then how can the public trust the white house to protect a federal database with voters' personal information? >> well, look, i think what you should see it as is as
transparency. folks understand when they write in to complain to make a public complaint against an act or an individual, it is in fact just that. it is public information. >> but, ken, names is one thing. do they need to have their telephone numbers and/or occasionally addresses? i mean e-mail addresses? does that need to be out there too? because you know people will be hassled. >> it goes into the record. those folks are who they are and in fact they have made -- they have made their concerns known as a particular voter in some part, some jurisdiction of the country. you know, so this is a case where the commission is damned if it does or damned if it doesn't. this is about transparency. i think one of the things we
have to understand is not congressman lewis by himself, there were many of us who for years fought to make voting rights, you know, accessible and voting accessible to all legal voters regardless of color, ethnicity, gender, what have you. and it is -- it is important for us to understand that many important public policy decisions are decided by one or two or three ballots. and so we have a right to expect that our voter rolls get cleaned up. when you have over 3100 counties in america, many of those counties have more voters on their voting rolls than they have residents in their respective counties. we need to clean this up. we need to take away opportunities for corruption. >> all right. but, ken, how many states -- >> and we need to -- we need to
do it in a bipartisan way. i've served on bipartisan commissions before, whether it was to fix voting machines across the nation with steny hoyer or whether it is to serve on an international -- >> listen, you're not going to get any argument from me on that. bipartisan would be excellent. it's my understanding only the state of arkansas has submitted this kind of information that has been requested and there are a number of states that have said we're not going there. >> well, look, information that we asked for in general is public information. we were asking that it be forwarded to the commission to expedite our work. we can get the information because it's publicly available. we wanted to expedite. but look, let me just tell you something. one of the things -- and we really have to work on this. these new contraptions, this new
technology that captures voice commands and has a lot of information on individuals can be monetized and put their security, their identification, whether it's for voting or their financial situation at risk. we need to work cooperatively across jurisdictions to make sure that we protect the jurisdictional rights of counties, of states, but at the same time do all that we can working in a common sense way to protect the integrity of every ballot and to protect our country from, you know, bad actors, whether they be foreign or domestic. >> i think a lot of people agree with you on that, ken blackwell. that you f thank you for joining me. what the russians may have learned from the meeting with donald trump jr. the world from a former c itia
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make sure they're not arrested, the fbi doesn't come and that is enough of a signal to the russians that the trump campaign people are willing to play ball and then you are going to move to your next step in this operation. >> former deputy of the cia's worldwide russia program with his take on russia strategy and the trump team meeting in june 2016. joining me now, seema mata, political reporter for the "los angeles times" and amy parn, senior white house correspondent for "the hill." we just heard john suggesting that russians saw this meeting as some sort of invitation to play ball, if you will. the trump administration is saying that was not the intention. it was just about hearing out someone who was offering opposition research. is that an argument that will work in the russian meddling investigations? >> i think between the special counsel and the house and senate committees, there is so much to dig into because the story about this meeting seems to change every single day this past week. what the meeting was about, we are learning now about more participants including one of your colleagues reporting the
man who has ties to counter intelligence agencies in russia. we don't even fully know who all was at the meeting. this is such an evolving story, every agency will dig into. >> any sense there's still more to come or you think it's all out there now? >> based on what we learned this week, alex, as seema said, it's changing by the hour, by the day. i think that there's more to learn here. i think obviously when you have republicans in congress coming out and kind of questioning what's happening here, those are signs of trouble, i think, for the trump administration. >> yeah. i'm going to ask you amid all of this, we have the president add another lawyer, ty cobb will serve as special counsel. talk about the significance of that. >> i think it seems like everybody in the administration seems to be lawyering up. it's notable, there is somebody in the obama administration who tweeted earlier i don't remember hiring a bunch of lawyers. obviously it seems like they see
some potential exposure and are trying to protect them zfselves against it. >> i will be a little more charitable than the word dupe, which was used by my previous guest when he talked about those that were sent to the meeting. is it possible that those that were sent to the meeting, they just weren't aware of the rules? they were political neophytes? >> i don't buy it. i think it's pretty -- you can be a political neophyte and know you shouldn't be dealing with foreign interests and have a party come to the table from russia. i don't think -- i think even -- that's kind of a rookie mistake. i don't think that any of them have been dealing in business for years and years, they knew i think what they were getting themselves into. i think -- i don't think anyone here was duped. >> what about jared kushner, revising his federal disclosure form. he's done it three times now from the original input there. could this be a problem for him? >> you know, i think so. i think you are hearing a lot
more chatter about whether or not he should even have the role that he's having. i think a lot of people are questioning what he's doing there. i know certainly the obama administration folks have been very vocal about that, about they didn't have anyone at that level playing those, in those talks. i think his overall role i think here is going to be questioned i think going down the line. >> seema, the other big story this weekend, the white house push for the senate health care bill. you have a couple health insurance opposition groups saying this is not workable in any way, shape or form. how much influence could the insurers have on this? >> they can have -- the greatest area to look at are the governors. that's why the administration is paying so much time trying to sway governors at that meeting in rhode island you were reporting about earlier. some of the senators who might be on the fence, if they are hearing from their republican governors that this is going to really destroy our budgets or we won't be able to cover people, that could be a real problem. >> that is under way right now in providence. we will get more on that and bring you all the details
tomorrow. seema and amy, good to see you both. thank you so much. that's a wrap for me. i'm alex witt. thanks for watching. coming your way, selling trump care 3.0. the back room deals being cut to win over gop members who are still on the fence. see you tomorrow morning. there's a denture adhesive that holds strong until evening. fixodent plus adhesives. just one application gives you superior hold even at the end of the day fixodent. strong more like natural teeth.
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