tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC July 16, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
winds stirring. too treacherous for a selfie. [ camera shutter clicks ] sure, i've taken discounts to new heights with safe driver and paperless billing. but the prize at the top is worth every last breath. here we go. [ grunts ] got 'em. ahh. wait a minute. whole wheat waffles? [ crying ] why! good day to all of you. i'm alex witt at msnbc headquarters in new york. we have new re, x reaction from president trump's legal team overed fallout with son's meeting with the russians last year. defending the president's argument that it was part of opposition research against hillary clinton. >> opposition research is a big part of campaigning.
>> it just doesn't go on the russians all the time, jay. >> nothing happened. the fact is what took place during that meeting, even on the basis of the e-mails, as donald trump jr. laid them out, we're not in violation of a statute. colluding to do what? colluding to violate what law? >> and we're also hearing from the democrats leading the russia investigations in congress. here's congressman adam schiff, ranking member of the house intel committee, and senator mark warner, vice chair of the senate intel committee. >> if you look at the present statements around this time, he announces the speech he's going to give where he's going to give the dirt on hillary clinton that he then cancels. now, that would corroborate that don jr. didn't get the information he was hoping for but contradicts the idea he was unaware. >> what was remarkable was you saw not only willingness but actually glee from the
president's son as well as involvement of the campaign manager and the president's son-in-law to say, in effect, yes, bring it on. very troubling. and obviously moves our whole investigation to another level. >> a new abc/"washington post" poll shows 63% of americans believe the meeting was inappropriate. the same poll finds president trump's approval at 36%. that is a six-point drop since april. it's also a record low in the history of the poll. also new reaction from senator susan collins who is one of two republicans who are a firm no on the new health care proposal. once again calling for bipartisanship to find a resolution. >> we need to go through the normal committee process and get input from people on both sides of the aisle. that's what would produce the kind of legislation we need. >> and senate republicans suffered another setback last night when majority leader mitch mcconnell announced he will delay the vote until after senator john mccain fully
recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot from above his eye. now, mccain's office has released a statement saying the procedure was done friday after a routine visit to the doctor and he is recuperating well at home. let's go now to nbc's kelly o'donnell in piscataway, new jersey. kelly, i know we're getting new reaction from both sides of aisle about the 2016 campaign meeting. has the president been weighing in on all of it? >> well, he has used his twitter feed to comment on some of the issues. and push back in a very trump-like way, attacking the reporting, saying that that is distorting democracy. at the same time, he also raised the issue many people might not have been following as closely. we did include it in our reporting yesterday. one of his campaign officials michael caputo did appear behind closed doors and then spoke to
reporters afterward and said he never witnessed anything related to russia. so the president using that to say thank you for testifying to that and in our winning campaign as the president tweeted about it. so he is talking about the russia issues in ways where he is fighting back. he's also again raised hillary clinton, saying why is his son getting such grief when hillary clinton had deleted e-mails and those sorts of things. so the president, very much in a fighting mode. dealing with these issues. it's clearly on his mind. the white house officially isn't talking about this because they point us to the attorneys. so one of those attorneys was making all the rounds today as you indicated, jay sekulow, and one of the points he was making is this was a meeting he claims with donald trump, donald trump jr. arranging this with some of the top officials about opposition research. and he suggests it's only incidental that the participants from the other side were russian. here's how he explained that. >> you said the russians.
this was a lawyer who was russian. that was -- this was a lawyer who ended up being, was russian. and what took place at that meeting. it's been well reported. you've reported this as well. the discussions involving the majinsky act and russian adoptions. it was quickly ended. it was in the middle of a campaign. >> so there's the explanation there. these, according to jay sekulow, were not people who were officially representing the russian government. that's what investigators want to dig into. they want to interview all of the parties who were there. you've seen some of the legislators on the intelligence committee say there are concerns here because of the slow rollout of information, the changing story. even how many people were in the room has evolved. they want to be able to question each of those individuals that they can get access to. which may make it harder for the lawyer for example to have access to speak with her to find out what was said in that meeting. a long way to go in trying to get answers that will fully flesh out what took place.
but the president's fighting on twitter and his lawyer is making the rounds, i trying to make the case. notably, the president's lawyer represents only the president. not donald trump jr. or the son-in-law jared kushner, so it gets complicated in telling the story. the white house through this outside lawyer wants to be visible fighting back. alex. >> certainly was today. that's for sure. kelly o'donnell, thank you. let's bring in republican congressman from virginia scott taylor. sits on the house appropriations committee. i want to start off with russia and some new comments from democratic senator mark warner. let's take a listen to this together. i don't think we have that. let me read to you a little bit of what was said. he said there seems to be a convenient power where all the officials in the trump campaign forget about meetings with russian, don't put it on their forms until evidence comes out. the level of credibility in the senior levels of this administration is really suspect.
and i think it's suspect regardless of which party you belong to. that would have been said. sound bite played. i'm curious your it's that thou that. do you agree the white house has a credibility problem? >> thanks for having me by the way. >> happy to have you. >> if someone does something and it's illegal, we'll hold them accountable. senator warren is not the person to do that. it's going be to the proper authorities. that being said, i've been very vocal. if you've met with the russians, you've done anything like i once did an rt interview one time. get it out there. get it out there. and they should do that. they should do that. they should just get it all out there. i understand it's been a political -- they've used it as a political baseball. so i can understand the apprehension. that being said, it doesn't excuse them for getting that information out. largely it was senator warner and senator mccain, the other senator, calling it treason. i think they're really overplaying this. what's important, underlying for
this, in a bipartisan way, is to come up with a policy that tells the world you will not meddle in our elections, period. that's not happening. they're still using this as a political thing. with all due respect to my good friend, the senator, i think he's mistaken and overplaying this in a political way. >> there's also credibility question though, congressman, it comes from jared kushner, and the third revision to his failure to disclosure forms that were initially required for a national security des ignition. this was the third revision. so does that raise questions for you? >> look, any time someone may leave something out or -- obviously in the heat of the campaign, i'm sure they had tons and tons of meeting with a lot of people trying to get to them as well. look, if there's something -- if there's wrongdoing, hold people accountable. hold people accountable. but to -- the level that, you know, representative schiff and my senators, the way they're trying to take this, this
changed the whole outcome of the election and it's treason and everything like that. i think it's ridiculous. if someone did something wrong, hold them accountable. the underlying thing is yes, did russia try to meddle in our elections, i think they did. i think they should be held accountable. i think we should have a policy moving forward to stop any nation from doing that again, to mess with the integrity of our elections. it's becoming way too partisan. and on the other side, they're becoming -- they're overplaying their hand. i think that -- i'm fearful of us not coming out of this with a policy that deals with other nations trying to meddle into our elections moving forward. because they're coming back and they're going to be more sophisticated next time. we have to do something about that. >> can i ask you, you talk about democrats perhaps overplaying their hand. >> sure. >> are you concerned they're not as any who are not as vociferous as you are and they're saying we have to get this out here? >> i think most of my colleagues agree with me, look, if you've done something wrong, hold people accountable. if you have some information that you may have met with
someone, even if it was benign, which quite frankly most of these things are. i mean, it's crazy to me when i see some of the reporting where they're like tying somebody that's like third removed from somebody. oh, they had ties or they're like oh. it's ridiculous. it's gotten ridiculous. i do think republicans should be like me. look, get it out there. hold people accountable. no problem. and then the other side, stop being ridiculous with the treason stuff. it's not treason. and furthermore, come together, create a policy that protects americans because that's not what's happening. >> so we do have republican congressman saying the president would be better off if he just cleared out the family from the white house. do you agree with that? >> in some respects, no. it depends exactly what you're speaking about because i didn't hear his words so i'm not sure where he's coming from. look, i think in some respects i would agree with that. >> okay. let's go from there now to health care. and that big battle. and the new remarks between republican senator susan
collins. let's take a look at that together. >> sure. >> we should not be making fundamental changes in a vital safety net program that's been on the books for 50 years. the medicaid program. without having a single hearing to evaluate what the consequences are going to be. we need to go through the normal commit entry process and get input from people on both sides of the aisle. that's what would produce the kind of legislation that we need. >> do you agree with that? >> well, i've said many times on national television that i think it should be a bipartisan thing. i think folks should come together. but that is very idealistic to think the other side at this moment who has made a political decision not to do so would come to the table to work together. you have not seen that. i'm not -- i listened to a couple of your guests prior. and of course their doomsday scenario, worst case scenario, oh, it's the nursing homes and
medicaid. the reality is the big issues with medicaid exsppansion is whe it covered able-bodied childless adults between the 1% of the poverty rate. the distortion with that, one of the reasons why virginia didn't expand, we saw medicaid was 5% of our budget starting out. now it's 22%, growing unsustainably. the crazy distortion in that is the able-bodied childless adults, the money that comes from the federal government to the states is reimbursed at 90-some-percent rate as opposed to 50% or 60% for the folks that medicaid was supposed to deal with, the folks in nursing homes, poor children, pregnant women. i think ideally, should it be bipartisan, yes. you also mentioned, i heard you say with folks on their plans until they're 26 years old, pre-existing conditions. i think that's a good thing that came it's of the aca. we're not trying to remove that
his an republican as republicans. but there are fundamental problems with the aca. i hear the other side all the tile. let's come together and fix it. have you had anyone on your program, anyone, from the other side come and say this is my plan to fix the aca? i've not seen that in years. although i've heard about folks when they're up for reelex ta-e talk about it. we have a plan. we were elected across the nation to deal with the aca. i understand the poll are also bad. we can do a better job of communicating that. that does not alleviate us from all responsibility to act in a very failing system. leaders must act. >> look, i will say i had a colleague of yours on, rodney davis, who was talking to me. i said, look, repeal and replace has been this republican mantra. the reality is the numbers show that people don't necessarily want to repeal and replace when they see what the gop is offering is not something they're supporting. he made a point of saying, even if you change a colon or a period, you are repealing a law.
so will there be some logic to the republicans stop using that vernacular just for political purposes and say we're just going to fix it, we're just going to tweak it. or not be afraid to call it obamacare? it seems like that, just the image of it, is a lot of what -- gets republicans fired up and their constituents. >> there's no question, you know, it's been -- aca's been around for eight years. there are good things out of it. i really believe it. >> there are fixes to be made for sure. >> i know, but i haven't seen anybody on your program or anybody else's on the other side say here are the fixings. i heard it in the re-election campaigns, but i've seen nothing. fundamentally, i think there are good things there. i think that rodney is correct. once you change it, yes, you have changed the law. but there's a philosophical difference. the philosophical difference is this. we know health care is con um soed locally. we believe states and folks of the local era should be able to make more decisions as opposed to the one size fits all washington which is the aca.
let's not leave out that huge swath of americans whose dedu deductibles are super high, who are paying way more in premiums. it was a broken promise of course. they're having to make very tough decisions. some of them, it's almost as much as their mortgage. they have to make those decisions. we have to do something about this. we are. here's our plan. where is the other side. where's the plan? i haven't seen anything for years. all you hear is yes, there's things that need to be fixed. okay, where's the plan? come to the table. i would love to have our friends come to the table and work something out. >> congressman scott taylor, appreciate the passion with which you talk about this. >> thank you, always a pleasure. >> was it smart of jay sekulow to appear on the sunday talk shows today? my panel weighs in next. this is the new new york. we are building new airports all across the state. new roads and bridges. new mass transit. new business friendly environment.
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information came out, as i said, that was information that was controlled not by my client, it was controlled by trump jr. that is a decision they made. the president was not involved in that decision. >> that was one of president trump's personal lawyers this morning. he hit five talk shows today. joining me now, senior political reporter for the huffington post. and the white house columnist at the hill. good to see you both. we'll go ladies first. as the president's personal attorney, he's been saying the president had no knowledge at all of his son's meeting until he saw the news reports. do you think the president has plausible deniability here? >> not really. what are the chances that the president didn't know his own campaign manager, his son and son-in-law were going to meet with a lawyer connected to the russian government with potential dirt on hillary clinton. it was obviously a badly run campaign. if things were happening right under his nose and he had no
idea. either way, it looks bad for him. >> i'm curious what you think the strategy is behind sekulow. he's talking about this repeatedly on the talk shows. is that wise? >> i think it's pretty clear what's going on here, a lex, and that jay sekulow and the president himself and his allies are sort of furiously pumping up the smoke machine to obscure the central truth of what happened. these e-mails showed someone contacting donald trump jr. saying we have dirt on hillary clinton, it comes from the russian government. and donald trump jr. was delighted to hear that. saying i love it. that is the germane point. here and mr. sekulow has a to do, representing his client. everyone understands that. i think there's a broader effort here to really muddy these waters because the basic thing that happened is so damaging from the white house's perspective. >> in terms of what this means
for the investigation, laura, how do you read this? what do you think the latest is on whether donald trump or jared kushner, rather, are going to have to testify before congress? >> i think it's really murky. it's an extremely complicated legal issue. it's sort of unclear whether this amounts to a crime. various legal experts have weighed in. but no one seems to be able to pin them down to any kind of crime. i do believe both of them are going to have to testify during the investigation. but i just can't say what's going to come out of that. >> okay, best and worst case scenario now? can you put that out there? what do you think will come from this? >> best and worst for the trump administration or from their perspective. well, i think, you know,en would of the difficulties for them is this is going to go on for a long time so there's inevitably a kind of erosion of credibility that goes with that. the best case scenario is that -- the issue that laura mentioned, you know, whether collusion is, per se, a crime is debatable. it could be that nobody is ultimately indicted. for example in bob mueller's
investigation, it could be that ultimately there is no really serious wrongdoing found. but the worst case scenario, i don't know where you put the limits there. this is very, very serious. it could potentially be incriminating to a lot of people extremely to the president. if laura's correct and the president does, in fact, have more knowledge of these things than he is claiming, then obviously he will be implicated in any wrongdoing that has taken place. >> all right, well, certainly we're speculating there. i did ask you to give me your scenario there. this new poll from abc/"washington post" where it shows 50% prefer obamaobamacare prefer the gop plan. 1% neither or something else. republicans keep pushing that voters told them to, quote, repeal and replace. is it possible that public sentiment, even many gop voter, that their minds have been changed and repeal and replace is now a losing proposition,
laura? >> think so far the plans republicans have put out are just not great. the cbo score is terrible. knocks 22 million people off insurance. i don't think anybody likes that. i don't think anybody likes the deep medicaid cuts. this plan doesn't seem to be popular even with republicans in congress. they can't get the votes to pass it. they've been trying to do this for months. coming up with different bills and not being able to get the votes. if they can't get it passed in republican-controlled house and senate, how is the public supposed to get behind it? >> good point. how about john mcinkccain, he's absent for a week, he's had an emergency procedure done, it was unexpected. he's fine, we should tell everyone who's concerned about that. he's going to be home for a week though. does that change the equation? is it more likely to help or hurt mitch mcconnell's efforts and try to get folks on board? >> it's more likely to hurt in my view because i think it gives more time for opposition forces to really marshal their strength in this. and, remember, the central distinguishing characteristic of the republican plan is that it
takes something away from people according to the cbo. it takes health insurance away from about 20 -- more than 20 million people. taking stuff away from people is always a difficult sale in politics. quite aside from the rights and wrongs in the specific case. i think this is an uphill climb anyway. now, after senator mccain has announced he'll be absent for a certain period of time, as i say that is more likely to be a good thing for the people opposed to the republican plan. >> and laura, last word to you, what do you think, helps or hurts, this time delay? >> it absolutely hurts. it allows the opposition to build their argument against this bill. it seems like the more details that come out about the bill, the worst it is for the republican party. >> all right, laura, nile, guys, thank you so much. another taken on the russian investigation. why one governor says his fellow democrats are spending way too much time on it. i'll get reaction to that from a democrat on capitol hill.
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it's easy to add to the routine. join energy upgrade california and do your thing. welcome back. i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york at 32 minutes past the hour. there's a new poll out today from abc news and "the washington post" suggesting that all the finger-pointing democrats are doing may not be helping their party. those polled were asked whether the democratic party currently stands for something or just stands against trump. and 52% said the democrats are all about opposing trump. joining me now, democratic congressman jared polis of colorado. i'd like to get your reaction to those numbers. what do you think? >> i think the challenge for democrats is to show what we would do different, right. so if we're against this repeal the affordable care act, let's show our own ideas. and guess what, we have them. we have a number of bills. whether it's adding a public option to the exchanges so
people don't have enough choices have more whether it's allowing reimportation of prescription drugs. we have real solutions. and sometimes that's what gets drowned out in this back and forth of -- >> to that point, i had on a cole egg lo colleague of yours, he said he hasn't heard anybody come on a broadcast. i wish he heard you before. because he said i haven't heard anybody come up and say what they would like to see done. why do you think that message is not getting out? why is it democrats and republicans are not able to work better together? is one freezing out the other? when one says hey, we want to help, i just -- it's confusing. >> first of all, he was just wrong in saying that. i've received no calls and my colleague, democratic colleagues haven't from president trump, from speaker ryan, saying what are your ideas on health care. i tried to offer three amendments myself. every democratic amendment got locked out. just amendments to make it work better. to make health care more affordable. you know, think what's happening
is it's getting drowned out, right. there's so much going on. right. whether it's russia, whether it's health care, that when democrats are offering, you know, common sense ideas and putting them on the table, there's just not a lot of talk about them in the media. so i hope there gets to be more. >> okay. let's talk about the russia probe and how much you think that matters to middle america. and is there a tipping point where you think this does become a greater concern to the average mesh. that it is now potentially? >> let's take a step back. illegal crime occurred. an illegal hacking of the dnc. illegal hacking of clinton chair john podesta's e-mails. so the question is was there any involvement or collusion from the trump campaign with the illegal hacking that we know occurred? likely with relationship to the russian government? so we need more information. obviously this meeting is a salacious detail. we don't know what occurred
there. it's not that meeting per se. that's just one data point. there's a whole lot of smoke out there. at the bottom, we know there was an illegal hacking. >> i'm curious, what you want to make of the latest developments in the russia probe in terms of taking a look at what some of your democratic colleagues have been saying. here they are. >> 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. >> this is about as clear evidence you could find of intent by the campaign to collude with the russians, to get useful information from the russians. >> yesterday talking to me, saying this is collusion. congressman schiff saying intent to collude. there's a difference there. which one do you think? >> the dots are starting to be connected, right. again, we know there was an illegal act. we know there was russian interference in the election with illegal hacking. the question is, was there collusion, right. we don't know yet what was said at this meeting. we're beginning to know who was there. this may not have even been the
primary meeting around collusion. this could have been a failed attempt at collusion for all we know. there could, underline it, be successful attempt at collusion. look, there's a lot there. the fact that donald trump was willing to take this meeting under the pretense he was going to get secret illegally obtained information? that alone should be prolow m t problematic. >> two have filed articles of impeachment against the president, it happened last week, but the constitution lists the standard for impeachment as high crimes and misdemeaners. with of course this russia probe far from over, is it presumptive for democrats to be pushing for impeachment right now? >> we need to let the independent prosecutor do his work. once we see what laws were violated, whether it rises to the level of president trump, who around him were engaged with acts of collusion, with a foreign government, that's when we'll have that evidence that we need to decide whether it merits that level of reaction or not. at this point, we just have a whole lot of information that
this we need to uncover, and i'm confident the processes are in place to do that. both at the house and senate intelligence committee level. >> congress man, thank you so much. we look forward to seeing you again. the trump tower meeting, does it even come close to being criminal? we'll take a look at that next. coming your way at the top of the hour, it's "meet the press," including trump legal team lawyer joy sekulow. tech: when you schedule with safelite autoglass, you get time for more life. this family wanted to keep the game going. son: hey mom, one more game?
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on covers and pages the trump russian drama. the latest edition of "the new yorker. donald trump makes "time" magazine's cover with the headline "red handed." and trump-landia. and then the boston herald, a story receiving little attention. it's about the trump administration reportedly considering bypassing immigration courts to speed up deportations. well, president trump certainly
defending his son don jr. on twitter. mr. trump tweeting complaints about hillary clinton's e-mails and his son don. meanwhile, senator mark warner said news about the meeting is part of a larger pattern. >> we saw general flynn lie about meetings and get fired. we saw the attorney general not disclose meetings and have to recuse himself. we saw the president -- we saw the administration put out one reason for firing comey. then the president himself said the reason they fired comey was because of the russian thing. clearly this administration has not been forthcoming about what they know and when they knew it in terms of russian involvement in the elections. >> well, let's bring in kathleen clark, a research professor at washington university school of law. kathleen, with a welcome to you. can this meeting be connected to the bigger picture of how the trump campaign and the administration has handled the russian investigation? >> yes, it can. in fact, what the e-mails and the meeting indicate is that
when presented with information that could be useful to the campaign from the russian government, at least they -- donald trump jr. indicated enthusiasm and suggested, you know, specific timing for when that information could be disclosed to the advantage of the campaign. and then, you know, asserted numerous times that there was no collusion at all between the trump canmpaign and russia whic i believe was false. >> do you believe trump jr. or kushner or manafort in legal jeopardy? >> it's possible. it's certainly evidence of possible illegality and even criminality. because u.s. election law prohibits foreigners from providing anything of value to a u.s. campaign. and the e-mail that donald trump jr. received from goldstone was
offering specifically explicitly offering documents and other information that the e-mails said would be valuable to the trump campaign and would be coming from the russian government. and of course he responded with enthusiasm. >> describing the e-mails as russian government lawyer, that said, the president's lawyer saying trump jr. meeting with a lawyer who happened to be russian. so would not knowing they're meeting with a russian government operative, if that dot had not been connected potentially by don jr., would that be a defense? >> no, it would not. because u.s. election law prohibits foreigners from providing something of value to u.s. campaigns. it doesn't matter under that law whether the person offering it is connected to a foreign government or is simply a foreign citizen. >> but how about if you didn't get anything of real value? does that make a difference? >> that could make a difference.
if, in fact, there was nothing of value to be provided. i think that's part of what we'll have to see about what specific help the russian government provided the campaign. and connecting the dots essentially between that meeting and those e-mails. and the actions of the russian government in disclosing hacked e-mails and so on later on during the presidential election campaign. >> okay, and then the president's son-in-law, one of the campaign officials in that room, now, he still works in the white house with a top level security clearance. he is now, in hindsight, adding abo about 100 names to his list of foreign contacts. can he be held responsible for these omissions? if so, who would sign off on that? >> that's a very if question. jared kushner faces a different kind of potential legal liability then the other
participants in that meeting. because he was asked to list all contacts with foreign governments as part of his security clearance application. and the information he provided was radically incomplete. and he -- my understanding is he revised it at least twice. >> three times actually. >> okay. and so if he intentionally failed to to disclose the information that he was required to disclose, he could face liability under a federal criminal statute that prohibits providing false statements to the u.s. government. >> okay. so mr. trump's lawyer, let's make certain everyone knows, it's just his personal lawyer. he's not representing anyone else. this is jay sekulow we're talking about. he said today he has not spoken to the president about issuie i pardons in the russian investigation. does mr. trump have the power to pardon his relatives, his associates, even himself? is it likely he could use that?
>> the president does have under the constitution the enormous amounts of authority to issue pardons. to his relatives. to whomever. there is a justice department memorandum from i believe the 1970s that asserts that the president doesn't have the power to pardon himself. but i think that memorandum is actually a bit tentative or doesn't represent a thorough analysis. but the bottom line is that under our constitution, the president has the ability to pardon. and may well be able to pardon himself. >> all right. kathleen clark with the john lehman research, professor with the john washington school of law. thank you very much. by the way, the trump 2020 re-election campaign is using donations to pay some legal fees related to the russian probe and
that would include donald trump jr.'s lawyer. they found that the 2020 campaign spent almost $700,000 on legal fees over the past three months, which is twice the amount spent in the first quarter of the year. "the times" also says the trump 2020 campaign is busy cranking out merchandise, spending nearly 200 grand on trump branded merchandise like more than $80,000 on hats. what will the russian meeting uproar matter if it does not lead to charges? we'll discuss that next. isaac hou has mastered gravity defying moves to amaze his audience. great show. here you go. now he's added a new routine. making depositing a check seem so effortless. easy to use chase technology, for whatever you're trying to master. isaac, are you ready? yeah. chase. so you can.
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blasting off for the moon. more than a million people watching including former president johnson. four days later mankind reached the moon and set the stage for his first steps on the moon and the immortal words. >> that's one small step for man. one giant leap for mankind. >> aldrin followed arm strostro little later, and they spent two hours on the moon. we are marking the apollo 11 docume series. it will be on this thursday. back to politics, a histoicc
moment for president trump. the president himself doesn't seem too concerned tweeting this morning almost 40% is not bad at this time. let's bring in carl cannon, author of the new book "on this date." discovering america one day at a time. coming out on tuesday. congratulations, well done. >> thank you, alex, thank you for having me. >> let's get right to it here. years later on a particular administration, how important are things like approval ratings really. how many does this matter in the legacy of president trump? >> that is a smart question. we don't really pay attention in history to those things. we pay attention as political writers, but harry truman left office with job approval ratings lower than richard nixon, lower than george w. bush.
democrats would not campaign with him. they wanted to give their nomination to eisenhower instead of truman, now harry truman is revered. and he is in my book more than roosevelt, i just realized yesterday. but when donald trump starts quoting harry truman, you know he probably is worried. >> will they see this moment, is that any sort of a turning point? >> we don't know this yet. we look back on watergate and there are turning points. there were president's relatives. richard nixon's brother, jimmy carter's nephew. if donald trump is impeached, they will not be forgotten.
>> are there any parallels to be drawn between the history of watergate and the history of in terms of the way that everything came out. it was a drip drip drip for months and months with watergate and we're seeing a drip drip drip here. >> but i don't know where this is going. also who, i don't know yet who bob woodward -- >> i know you have written about the russian allegations, and you said based on what is known so far, the decision to attend the meeting came out of stupidity not just an attempt to collude. >> i don't know if it was -- i think it was mike barnacle. collusion, treason, or
stupidity. i don't know that there are only three choices in life, but it is safe to say that's not the smartest move of a president's son. >> when it comes to your book, where did the idea come from to tell the story of america day by day? >> i do this newsletter, and if you're not on the list, alex, i'll pit you on myself. cometh out five days a week. tells what's on real clear politics. like a lot of people, mike allen did that, and i had a newsletter and i thought i would just pick something that happened that day. and it grew into something more. and i guess if i had to goal, it would be to remind people that we have been through a lot.
looking back on it, i have been doing it five years now, we usually figure it out, america, we usually end up stronger. not always, but we usually get past these things. >> i have always thought history is a great educator because it repeats. >> these are themes that come through the book, but immigrants, we talk a lot about imgrabts, illegal, legal, let's leave that aside and the political battle going on now. what i found is that immigrants helped us. at key points when we really needed something, and that could be an invention, a political stance, an idea like freedom of the press, there was an immigrant there to provide it.
new febreze air effects with odorclear technology cleans... ...away odors like never before. because the things you love the most can stink. and try febreze small spaces to clean away odors for up... ...to 30 days. breathe happy with new febreze. this sunday, the drip, drip, drip of team trump's meeting with the russians. >> i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. >> all week long, revelations render the administration's previous statements inoperative. >> these guys just can't come clean. and it tells the country that they have a lot to hide. >> and it's not just democrats speaking out. >> this is a serious situation and one that is a long way from over. >> what happened at that meeting? why is the white house so reluctant to come clean? and how much did president trump know about the meeting before? i'll ask president trump's lawyer, jay sekulow, a