tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC July 16, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT
♪ mom. ♪ ♪ where all the walls echo with laughter ♪ ♪ and every room has its own chapter ♪ you've carried on your family's tradition. let us help you prepare for your family's future. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. good day, everyone, i'm alex witt here in new york. it's day 178 of the trump administration, with new polls out today as the president air approaches six months in office. meanwhile his personal attorneys in an array of sunday morning
talk appearances answering the question what did he know again and again? >> i represent the president. and donald trump jr. said he disclosed everything about the meeting, but i'm one of the counsel for the president of the united states who was not aware of this meeting. >> all this stemming from a firestorm. could a new poll in public sentiment in the gop health care plan be a game changer or will republicans keep chanting the repeal and replace mantra. and we begin with politics and new reaction from president trump's legal team, amid fallout of don jr., setting up a meeting with a russian lawyer last year. and making appearance on all
five talk shows this morning, making every attempt to distance himself from his son. >> with regard to how the information came out, as i said, that was information controlled not by my client, not by the president, but it was controlled by donald trump jr., the president was not involved in that decision, i was not involved in that decision, and our lawyer were not involved in that decision. >> when do you think this could happen? >> i don't think it will happen. >> the president said he would do it if -- >> at this point we have no indication at all whatsoever of an investigation of the president with regard to any of this. >> and we're also hearing from the democrats leading the russian investigations in congress. here's senator mark warner vice president of the senate intel committee and adam schiff ranking member of the house intel committee. >> i'm not going to get into
what evidence we have seen, but we have an addon meeting with all the senior officials of the russian cam pawns. >> this is about as a clear evidence you could find of intent by the campaign to collude with the russians to get useful information from the russians, willingness not only to consent but the issue of what the timing was. >> the new "washington post" poll finds that the president's approval rating 36%. that's a record low in the history of the 30. but his provl at 50% among republicans. they consist of 439 counties across 16 states that either flipped from barack obama to donald trump or where trump greatly -- another set back for the
senate health care bill, majority leader mitch mcconnell said he's putting a hold on the bill. while senator john mccain undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot from above his eye. the procedure was done on friday after a routine visit to his doctor. >> i don't know whether it will pass or not, but we should not be messing with -- evaluate what the squebss are going to be. >> we would have a clean repeal and we would have a spending bill and they could actually be advanced simultaneously on the same day, moderates would get what they want.
conservatives would get what we want, a clean repeal, which is really the only thing we promised in the election, and we promised it over and over again. >> and the number one question, does mitch mcconnell have the necessary 50 votes? here's secretary tom price saying in a meeting this morning that it is uncertain. >> do you think they'll be able to get this done dr. price? >> i do think so because the senators know what's out in right now is not working. >> did mcconnell have the votes to get it passed? >> i don't know. >> kelly, another welcome to you for this day, let's get the latest from this firestorm around this trump campaign meeting last year. >> reporter: i want to point out that the white house is not talking about in issue, hiss
private lawyers on the outside, but the white house wants to talk about other things like buying american products and focussed on manufacturing, those are agenda items they want to talk about and we'll see those events in the coming days as the mouse try s to shine an issue -- as to the president's son and son-in-law and his former top campaign chairman, being in this meeting, that kind of response is coming from the outside attorney. and when it comes to the most visible part of the president's personal legal team, he is a strong voice trying to defend the president. and he does it vigorously, at first saying there were no meetings, now the meetings were themselves not illegal, now he's saying that the russian individuals with russian ties is just incidental that they were in that meeting, here is jay
seculo speaking this morning on television. >> you said this was a lawyer who was russian, this was a lawyer who was russian and what took place at that meeting, the discussions involved russian adoptions. it was quickly ended. it was in the middle of a campaign. >> so there you get the idea that they're trying to say that it was a meeting to talk about an issue and it just so happened that the individuals were russian and not directly officially openly attached to the russian government. that's the kinds of things that the officials want to look at. also the issue of russian adoptions. the putin administration has been very opposed to that 2012 american laws that put sanctions
on wealthy power brokers that have committed human rights violations. so that led putin to cut off americans being able to adopt russian children. that was really part of a conversation, really knowing the specific intent about what was offered if anything about those lawyers who came in talking about hillary clinton information, what is unclear now, is did they leave any information, did they share anything of value or purported value those are questions that we don't know, and jay sekulow says nothing happened because of it. investigators want to dig into that and find out what information was shared and if it connects to any of the actions that the campaign took. >> joining me new york city a reporter from mother jones.
welcome to you. five sunday talk shows this morning, jay sekulow has been a very busy guy. what do you think the strategy is behind that? >> i think the strategy is very clear, he's trying to separate the president from the president's own son, the president's campaign manager and the president's son-in-law did during the campaign. they're telling us that nothing happened at this meeting, they're not saying what happened. and so we have to wait and see but certainly they're trying to very hard to just separate the part from that and on top of that, they're stressing this issue of illegality. they don't want to talk about norms, they don't want to talk about rights and wrongs. >> jay sekulow has been saying that the president had no knowledge of this trump meeting
with his son until the news report surfaced. is there plausible deniability here or is there something to the fact that this june 9 hth meeting of last year, and donald trump was on the campaign trail and promised a big news drop potentially on the clinton campaign. >> i think those are things that the investigators are going to be looking at. the more that you have, the more reason that you have for investigators to think, we're not going to take this story at face value, we're going to look further at the details to find out what happened. and certainly there's the comments that is trump made afterwards, the timing of emails being releases ased during this time, all the while trump is going on tv saying that the
russian story is phony and ridiculous. >> molly hooper join us now, congressional reporter at the i hill. when you think of the best case and worst-case scenarios how do you think this plays out? >> talking to the republicans on capitol hill, they're the ones going back to their districts and hearing from the people they represent. they're hoping that the investigators will get to the bottom of this and all the speculation, all the circumstantial evidence that's coming out in the press will be secondary, they really want to focus on tackling these issues that they campaigned on and they really want these investigations to go forward and get wrapped up. >> what are the chances that donald trump jr. or jared kushner testified?
>> the senate. you can see from the judiciary committee we'll hear in him up on capitol hill, it's unclear whether that would be a closed hearing or an open meeting. i'm not sure as much about whether chuck grassley has pursued a hearing. >> we're going to move to health care now, this new poll from abc/"washington post," 50% prefer obama care, 24% prefer the gop plan, 17% say neither or something else. do you think it's possible that public sentiment, even many gop
voters, things have changed and that repeal and replace is a losing proposition? >> that's a really good question, i think the issue, what's going on here, clearly this bill is very unpopular, it's not really popular with the republicans, it's very unpopular with democrats and it's very unpopular with republicans as well. republicans are very beholden to their base. the base is very in favor of donald trump still, where his popularity is eroding with the population overall, his base still really loves him. the same thing goes with obamacare, this is something that they promised for years and the base thinks produce that, and if you look at their political fortunes, you're looking at primaries rather than political elections right now. >> this john mccain absence, and
we should say he had a procedure on friday and resting at home. how much does that change the equation, do you think it more likely helps or hurts mitch mcconnell's efforts. >> honestly it depends on who you ask. this is one of scenarios where john cornyn said the number two in the senate republican leadership basically said mitch mcconnell has been known for pulling a few rabbits out of his hat. i'm not sure he's going to have enough time to pull rabbits out of this particular hat of obamacare repeal and replace. it's one of those issues where you maker changes to certain aspects of it you win over conservatives and lose moderates. and light now, go holdouts, you have one conservative and one moderate. rand paul and suzanne collins so and they're both dissatisfied so it's unclear how to thread this
needle so to speak and so perhaps another week of pressure from the base, because again, these members are run on this, they voted on repealing and replacing this obama care so many times that it's almost like if they don't followthrough on it, there's going to be exactly primaries, a lot of elections and that's what republicans are worried about. >> ladies, thank you so much. so could hesitation by a few gop senator actually stop the passage of the republican health care bill?
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mcconnell would take the advice of susan collins, republican senator from maine and let democrats and republicans sit down together like the constitution said and actually try to work towards bipartisan solutions. >> let's bring in republican congressman rodney davis of illinois. congressman davis, thank you for joining me. this is already questionable whether it's going to receive the votes it needs. would working across the isle be better for everyone? >> we saw zero willingness of the republicans wanting to work
together to do it. we had to do it on our own, after our first version failed to get a vote. we worked together without any republican input. and i hope that's not the same in the senate. i hope that senator warner is actually telling the truth when he says he wants to sit down and work on our republican health care season. because there's 60 million americans right now who can't afo afford insurance or can't -- >> here's what twro republican senators today. >> i'm concerned about what's perceived to be a call shift of the states. >> hearing those kinds of statements from republican
governors does that concern you and your republicans in congress? >> i hope the senate can actually put some better provisions in place. let's get the facts straight, our bill is not cutting medicaid's growth, we are still growing what we spent on medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars. they're of course concerned because they don't know what the program is going to look like because we don't have a final bill. but i would hope that every republican governor in this nation realizes that with more flexibility, the ability to take washington out of the -- is going to be something that's a challenge that they look forward to tackling. >> what do you think, sir, of the cbo report, several interpretations, but the numbers now saying 22 million people
would lose coverage. >> the cbo is an organization that's going to score a bill based upon the piece of legislation in front of them, we have been hope and completely honest in the house, alex, about this bill that we passed being our first step in a three-step process. there are other areas of the health care delivery system that we would like to change in that bill. but because of the affect antiquated parts of health care bill. and let's get the facts straight too, right now, under obama care, halve as many people signed up for health care coverage than what the cbo projected they would. we believe they have better policies that are going to work to ensure that everyone has access to affordable health care coverage. i'm sitting here with tony and
lisa, they're behind the camera, they're talking to me about how they are covered but can't afford to get simple tests because they're too costly. that's what's got to change and that's what i'm trying to do. >> you mentioned the two kbiss with you, approximate public sentiment, you have this new abc "washington post" poll, you have 50% saying they prefer obamacare over the gop bill. 24 prefer the gop health care bill. is it possible that since 2009 and the passage of obama care, the aca, that things have changed and people have become accustomed to it and rather than saying repeal and replace it could be pull forward just to fix what's there. >> well, our bill is exactly that alex, it's a fix.
in washington, when we repeal any law, we do something as simple as replace it with other language. so we have repealed and replaced. but in essence, that's all a fix, that happens on every bill that we pass in washington. over so we have fixed it. but the problem we have and you mentioned those polling numberings, let's make sure that your viewers understand that 93% of all americans get their health care coverage through their employer or through medicaid. so we're talking about 31 million people who can't afford to use the coverage they have, mainly going into 70% of all americans. that's what we have to look at fixing, and those are the types of issues we need to address and if we don't, and many democrats have said they want to help us fix this system and have done
nothing to do that. and they're abdicating their responsibilities as elected officials by sitting on their hands. >> i heart echos that this is similar to what the republicans were doing to the democrats during the obama administration. >> i wasn't here when obamacare was passed. and in the last two years i have made progress on a variety of issues. i actually passed a bill called the hire more heros act. and that was an idea that came from a veteran, and it was a fix to obama care, it passed unanimously signed into law after going through the senate. so i have a history of living up to that rhetoric that i just talked about of working
together. i hope that those who gave us the afordable carable, i would hope that they wouldn't just use well republicans did it so that's their excuse, let's change things, let's work together. that's my goal and that's my message today. >> let's get to a different topic here, the fallout concerning the campaign meeting last year. bi >> i think it would be in the president's best interest if removed all of his children from the white house, including ivanka and jared kushner. get them out of the way so that we can have a professional standpoint on these policy issues. >> what do you think about that, do you agree? >> that's bill's decision, and those are decisions that are going to be left to the trump
administration. there are three investigating going on about russia meddling in the election in the united states. i don't think that most americans believe that the russians hacked into individual coins election systems. any country who wants to try to influence the outcome of any american election. i think mr. kushner eeg omission of this russia meeting probably bought him an appearance in front of all three, when if he would have disclosed more information on this front end, this may not be nearly the issue for him and the trump family that its become. >> i'm glad to hear you say that and glad to have you on the program. as details unfold in the meeting involving donald trump jr. and multiple russians, what
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welcome back, everyone. i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. here's what we're monitoring, john mccain resting comfortably after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye. mitch mcconnell says he will delay that health care vote until after mccain returns. major flooding concerns as water levels from two rivers continue to rise. 6,800 buildings have all right been damaged. the rivers could crest in a few days. and a big win outside of los angeles for roger federer. he is now the first man to win eight titles at the all england club. this also marks federer's 19th
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. new reaction to the russia investigation, a new report suggests that the donald trump administration is -- russian lawyer and a former soviet military sergeant. the president's lawyer maintains mr. donald trump was not involved. >> the president was not aware of that meeting, did not attend that meeting and don trump jr. was expoliliolice sitly clear ot sean hannity interview. >> clint carl, a 20-year veteran with the city clandestine service. should americans be concerned?
>> americans should be concerned. this is simply one instance of a new virtually infinite number of instances of russian actions that intelligence related actions that have affected, meddled with our elections and involved russian intelligence with members of the trump entourage, that's the facts. everything else is bells, whistles, chaff, chatter and trying to take attention away from the focus. i played a hockey when i was in college, when somebody's trying to maneuver, they put a move on this way and that way. you look at the center of the person's chest, the heart of the issue. that's what we should look at, members who are associated with the russian government. the fact that donald trump senior was not in the meeting was a little like saying that
general eisenhower didn't attack the beaches of normandy. it's just a silly thing to say. >> when- >> i think he did a lot of the work for the investigators, you know, quite kindly by explicitly stating that he was thrilled to have dirt provided by russian intelligence service or the russian government or intermediaries for it, that's fair to say, and was interested in receiving it and using it and that's the fact. >> was there any fact that the russian lawyer, that she acted on her own, that she initiated the meeting without the blessing of the russian government or any intelligence agencies? >> well, that is possible. but it's also not especially relevant because often you will have standing guidance, you know, and you don't have to be teleguided, you will now turn right, you will now make this
phone call. there are objectives that one pursues and clearly her mission, which is a legitimate mission is to try to oppose the sanctions for the magniski act. that's lobbying, but there are overlapping areas of responsibility and control. it's not simply i am a spy and you are not. things merge into one another. >> so glen, we have been kind of watching your statements since march of 2016, you have given warnings about possible trump campaign ties to russia, with all of these ongoing investigations into the russian meddling into the u.s. election, we have yet to see an actual smoking gun. on what evidence have you based your assumptions. >> intelligence services are competent, certainly as the russians are, americans and other countries have, you don't have a contract saying here's
the illicit spying that's occurring. things happen and they will always be plausibly explainable. there are financial ties of a tremendous nature of a long standing duration at multiple levels, going back a minimum of a decade to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, there are numerous reports from multiple sources from different countries including the united states of meetings of a notable nature, i would say alarming nature of people associated with russian intelligence with members of the donald trump entourage. that is alarming, and on and on. and there are many instances of this, and then you look at and it is relevant and important. every single statement made by candidate and now president trump and every policy taken and
invariably they conformed to the russian ministry of foreign affairs line. that should be something noticeable to those who are long standing -- >> thank you so much, good to see you. scared about north korea? you aren't scared enough, that's the title of a recent article, i will speak to the author about what finds them most alarming. and president's connections to russia has dominated fru ed presidency, but is it any of criminal?
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month. let'sab let's bring in jeffrey lewis. he was the subject of a recent bloomberg article, scared about north korea? you aren't scared enough. jeffrey, chilling to say the least, but what does today's news tell us about north korea's capability? >> i think the reality is we often imagine north korea like it was in the 1990s when it was backwards and it was aspiring to acquire nuclear weapons. but now they have them and they're developing them. but the big change ask this has gone to a country that wanted them to a country that has them. >> analysts are talking about this july 4th missile test and they say it demonstrates the ability to hit the west coast. you say they could possibly hit new york? >> what happens is north koreans
fire their missiles straight up and they do that so they don't fly over japan. and so we see how far that missile would have flown. but we start modelinging the missile, how big it is, how much it weighs and how far powerful an engine it is. it looks a lot more like it could hilt l.a. or perhaps new york than just alaska. >> so the icbms are they capable of delivering nuclear armed weapons? >> oh, yes, yes, the thing about nuclear weapons is they're smaller than conventional explosives, so if a missile could carry a few hundred kilograms less than 1,000 pounds then it's going to have no trouble delivering a nuclear weapon. >> so right now you think north korea is capable of firing a nuclear weapon and hilting
virtually anywhere in the united states? >> all the parts i like, l.a., and probably new york. >> wow. we have several outlets that reported that the u.s. had a kill shot in killing kim jong-un for about an hour before that july fourth missile test. what do you know about this and why would they not have taken that shot? >> i think the reality is a little bit more complicated. my understanding is they got a picture probably from a satellite, probably showing that the missile had been elected a little bit an hour before launch. that's not the same thing as continuously monitoring it or having in place the ability to do something and you don't necessarily know if kim jong-un is there or where he is. on the one hand i think that the u.s. intelligence community should be applauded for how good they are in monitoring north korea's missile program, it's a long way to go from that to having an ability to kill a
foreign leader. >> do you think they should be relying on china to solve the problem? >> no, actually, you know, i think the frequent references to china are a little bit of a fantasy to be honest, the way the chinese have tried to influence or control the north koreans is by building up a little cadre of officials inside north korea. for example kim jong-un's half brother was living in macau under political protection. if the chinese had that kind of power over the north koreans, i think that kim jong-un's half brother would still be a live. >> very interesting, a little bit chilling and we look forward to talking to you again about it. repeal and replace, that could sink the gop? award winning interface.
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i wonder why the secret service, if this was nefarious, why did the secret service allow these people? the president had secret service protection at that point. number two, we can't act like this is in a vacuum. we know for a fact, as reported extensively in a piece by politico, that the ukrainians were in direct contact with doc officials and traded information back and forth. >> that's the president's lawyer. throwing on the blame game. back to the democrats. at least partly for donald trump jr.'s highly scrutinized meeting with several russians last year. howard dean, former dnc chair and msnbc contributocontributor. and republican strategist susan dell piriso. how do you respond? >> well, the lawyer is using half truths. in order to defend his client. and they don't hold up under scrutiny. first of all, for him to suggest that the secret service should have vetted this person is a
suggestion which isn't very smart on his part. that trump was going to be in the meeting. because when you're a candidate, the candidate has secret service protection. the family doesn't. and the campaign manager doesn't. so the only reason for the secret service to vet somebody who was meeting in that tower was if trump him was going to be at the meeting. that raises a whole new question that hasn't been raised before. as far as the ukrainian stuff, that's nonsense. that's the kind of stuff you see open fox news. were there contacts? sure. hillary clinton was secretary of state. i'm sure she had lots of contacts. >> all right, susan, your thoughts? >> at the end of the day, donald trump's president and hillary clinton's not. we need to keep the focus on the elected president. and to look backwards is just some rope a dope stuff we've seen coming out of this white house. what i'm also very concerned about is when they start talking about who was in that meeting.
and that he, you know, was there coordination with donald trump and donald trump jr. when the statement came out. and most surprisingly to me is we have not heard the name michael flynn brought up in this investigation at all. let's not forget michael flynn was the one who had to resign because sally yates, the acting attorney general, said he had been compromised and open to russian blackmail. what we've learned this week is that it's possible that the crime in this case is worse than the cover up. the cover up has been bungled, there's no doubt. they've done a horrible job getting information out. but on top of it, it seems that a lot of people and a lot of high-powered positions are lying. and i have to wonder what are they try to cover up. >> and howard and i both kind of exclaimed when you said the michael flynn point, yeah, yeah, good point. >> yeah, that's a really great point. >> yes, and was he there in that meeting, we don't know. and did he know about the meeting? >> i suspect attorney general mueller is investigating that
very question. that's a great question. >> if he wasn't before, he is now. >> yes, i'm sure he is. >> and it shows president trump has hit a record low approval rating for any president at the six-month mark, just 36%. that sounds bad but, howard, how much does that number mean? do we give it too much credit? >> well, actually, there's a worse number in that poll. that's the first time i think that trump is really in danger of dragging an entire republican ticket down, i believe both the house and senate in 2018. the worse number was his approval rating and his counties he won is only 58%. 50%. that means a lot of those counties are not winnable by democrats. currently have red congressman. so i think it's a big number. i think that the top line number's the one that always gets printed. if you look below those top line number, that's when you often find out whatle pos really mean. >> you should explain those
counties in particular. trump counties in particular. and they were counties that went for trump or -- and flipped and went for trump in a massive way. >> right, 68% on average. >> right, right, right. sorry, go ahead. >> no, finish up, howard. >> well, i was just to say, that's the kind of thing that really hurts you. his numbers have been terrible for a long time. his numbers in his own base are bad, that's a death signal for his presidency. >> specific to health care, susan, there's also low support for that. and the republican health care plans 24% versus 50% backing for the aca. not the first poll that shows americans have cooled off on the idea of repeal and replace. could that damage the gop, pushing forth such an unpopular bill? >> depends if it gets passed, to be perfectly honest. he has hurt the members of the
house by calling the bill they passed mean. just imagine next fall having someone run an ad against a republican who voted for it. saying more extreme than donald trump. so it can hurt. can it hurt enough to flip the house? at this point, i don't think so. a lot will depend on how the economy is. look, but susan, this clinging to repeal and replace, i pose this question all weekend long, bus it seems like the tenor of things, when the aca was passed in 2009, we've had a number of years to get used to it. there are absolutely things that need to be fixed for sure. but that the wording of repeal and replace, it's what so many republicans ran on, and you have to wonder if that's somewhat outdated. don't you want things tweaked and fixed? >> we know people are not responding well, as you've just noted. there's a 24% approval rating for trump care now. but what people really don't -- what the administration failed to recognize is that this isn't in effect 20 million people who are on obamacare. it affects all americans.
because now all americans have their children on their plan until they're 26 years old. now all americans have pre-existing conditions on their plans. so this is a lot bigger. republicans are making a huge mistake by trying to do this. what they really are saying is let's repeal and replace medicaid. and i think that that's a very dangerous thing for republicans to be doing. >> i'm curious, howard -- >> can i just quickly. >> yes. >> -- amplify on that? people in nursing homes, a huge number of them, old people, are supported by medicaid. they're going to cut medicaid bien would-third? that means everyone who has a senior in their family in a nursing home is at a substantial risk of ruin. >> nick's going to absolutely kill me but i have to ask, why are democrats not taking advantage of this low support for the health care bill and low support for donald trump's numbers and popularity? what's happened to the democrats? >> i think the democrats have got to come up with a positive message. not just donald trump is awful.
everybody knows donald trump is awful. the poll numbers you just talked about showed that. all right, all right, what are you going to do when you replace him? that's what america wants answered by 2018 in november. >> that's going to be a wrap right there so nick doesn't really get mad at me. good to see you both, howard and susan, thank you. at thep to of t top of the hour russian/trump jr. story changes. i'll get reaction from both sides. across the country, we walk. carrying flowers that signify why we want to end alzheimer's disease. but what if, one day, there was a white flower for alzheimer's first survivor? what if there were millions of them? join us for the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's. register today at alz.org/walk. a cockroach can survive submergede guy. underwater for 30 minutes. wow.