tv Meet the Press MSNBC July 16, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
...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, and the
leading democrat on the senate intelligence committee, mark is warner. also the republican health care bill. >> i am sitting in the oval office with a pen in hand waiting for our senators to give it to me. >> but the vote is now delayed because of a health scare for john mccain. will the delay help or hurt the bill's chances? i'll talk to the man who counts the votes, republican senator john cornyn of texas. and what do voters in trump country think of the president right now? the latest from a special new nbc news/"wall street journal" survey. joining me for insight and analysis are nbc news special correspondent tom brokaw, presidential historian, doris kearns goodwin. former head of the american conservative union al cardenas and danielle pletka of the american enterprise institute. welcome to sunday. it's "meet the press." good sunday morning. to those who remember watergate, the seminal moment may have been when white house counsel john dean said he told president
nixon there was a cancer on the presidency. this appears to be the week that the russia story has metastasized. the gap between the original story donald trump jr. told and what we have learned to be the truth grows by the day and with each new piece of evidence, the white house is forced to revise and extend its remarks. in one week we move from the white house and trump junior denying ever having met with russians through a series of concessions and evolving explanations offered only after reporters uncovered new facts to where we are now, that trump junior, jared kushner, paul manafort, an interpreter, a lawyer and maybe others met at trump tower to discuss dirt on hillary clinton. was there more? was it collusion? treason as some democrats charge? simple opposition research as president trump has claimed? was it even illegal? to be sure, there are many unanswered questions, but here's what we know right now. the trump team was open to
getting information from russians and willing to cover it up. >> as far as my son is concerned, my son is a wonderful young man. >> over the course of seven days, a head-snapping series of statements. story number one, there were no contacts with russians and the putin regime during the campaign. >> it's absurd. you know, there's no basis to it. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that ideal with does. >> but last saturday "the new york times" reports there was a meeting on june 9th, 2016. story number two, a meeting did occur with a russian person, donald trump jr., jared kushner, and paul manafort all attended. >> it was a very short meeting. it was a meeting apparently about russian adoption. and after about 20 minutes, the meeting ended and that was the end of it. >> later that sunday, "the new york times" reports that donald trump jr. took the meeting after being promised damaging information on hillary clinton. story number three --
>> the comments that they are making about any type of information on hillary clinton were vague, they were meaningless. others exited the meeting very quickly. >> then on tuesday, with "the new york times" ready to publish the e-mail exchange, donald trump jr. tweets it himself, including a june 3rd e-mail offering, quote, information that would incriminate hillary and her dealings with russia and would be very useful to your father. the meetings broker's publicist rob goldstone, adding this is obviously very high level and sensitive information, but is part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump. trump junior responds, if it's what you say, i love it, especially later in the summer. tuesday night, story number four. >> for me this was opposition research, they had something -- maybe concrete evidence to all the stories i had been hearing about that were probably underreported for years, not just during the campaign. so i think i wanted to hear it out. but really it went nowhere.
>> and in paris, president trump tries to justify the idea of campaign meetings with russians, contact he has denied for months. >> i think from a practical standpoint, most people would have taken that meeting. it's called opposition research. >> donald trump jr. promises the whole story is now out. >> i'm more than happy to be transparent about it and i'm more than happy to cooperate with everyone. >> so as far as you know as far as this incident is concerned, this is all of it. >> this is everything. this is everything. >> but it isn't everything not even in regard to this single meeting. over the next three days, the number of participants in this meeting multiplies. nbc learns that in addition to the kremlin-connected lawyer, a former counter intelligence officer turned lobbyist, rinet akmetshin, was also there, and there was a translator present. some republicans on capitol hill are losing patience. >> it's serious and this is a serious situation and one that is a long way from over. >> joining me now is president trump's -- one of president trump's attorneys, jay sekulow.
mr. sekulow, welcome back to "meet the press." let's start with this and try to clear this up as best as you can. do you know for sure everyone who was at that meeting with donald trump jr.? >> no, i don't represent donald trump jr. and i do not know everyone for sure that was at that meeting. the president was not at the meeting. the president wasn't aware of the meeting and did not attend it, that i can tell you. >> when did the president become aware of this meeting? >> well, the president said he became aware of it very recently, right before this came out, and that's when he was notified. his lawyers talked to him about it right before, and, again, the president has been very clear on that. >> when did you find out about it? >> about the same time. almost exactly the same time. this was really, as the president said, right before the whole issue started developing. i think the president used the term recently or relatively recently. it was days before leading up to this matter. >> why did you only find out -- why did you only find out then?
is that a concern to you that you're not getting all the information you need? >> i don't -- we don't represent donald trump jr. we don't represent the campaign, we represent the president. so in that sense, we didn't have access to the information. we don't have control of data like that. the president doesn't have control of data like that. that was information that either donald trump jr. had or the campaign had or wherever the information was stored. that would not have been information that the president of the united states would have had. >> can you tell me about the reports that the president was involved in the initial response that donald trump jr. gave "the new york times"? >> so i read those reports as well, and the president was not -- did not draft the response. the response came from donald trump jr., i'm sure in consultation with his lawyer. so that is where that statement -- again, i think it's important to understand what this was. when the information -- as the information was to be released, a few days later, but as the
information became public, our understanding is, my understanding is that the -- donald trump jr. and his lawyer worked on a statement to make regarding the scope of the meeting, and the scope of the meeting -- what was discussed at the meeting actually ended up being more about the magnitsky act than anything else, which is not unusual because days after, literally the next day or two, the same lawyer that has the russia affiliation was down in washington pitching the magnitsky act repeal so that's really what this was about. >> you were very careful to say the president didn't draft the statement. did he get a heads up on the statement, was he asked to read the statement? >> i can't say whether the president was told a statement was coming from his son on that. i didn't have that conversation. let me say this, the president -- i do want to be clear the president was not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement.
it came from donald trump jr. so that's what i can tell you because that's what we know. and again, donald trump jr. has said the same thing, that it was in fact from him and i believe it was his lawyer -- i'm sure his lawyer was in consultation. >> you keep saying you don't represent donald trump jr., but can you explain -- >> right. >> -- why it took -- why it's taken six days to continue to find out more people who were in this meeting, more discussions about those e-mails? why was all this trickled out like this? it looks like a pattern of trying to at least if not total cover it up, at least mislead or deceive. >> well, look, you start with -- you use the phrase cover up. let's be realistic here. you've had lawyers on your broadcast and nbc has had lawyers on their network and everybody is coming to the same conclusion about the legality. there's nothing illegal about that meeting. covering up is a big word to use but there was nothing illegal to cover up. with regard to how the information came out, as i said, that was information that was controlled not by my client, not by the president, it was
controlled by donald trump jr. and they made a decision on how to release that out. that is a decision they made. the president was not involved in that decision. i was not involved in that decision. our lawyers were not involved in that decision. >> the president once again has referred to this russia story as a hoax. how do you refer to something as a hoax when you have an e-mail like this with donald trump jr. saying i love it when he finds out there's information coming from the russians? at this point can't reasonable people conclude that this meeting is enough to begin an investigation? >> well, here's the problem with this, and i've said this before and i'd appreciate the opportunity to be very enclosure on this with you. how did this all start? and that's important here. james comey had a meeting with the president of the united states where he took information about this private meeting with the president, put it on his government computer, went to his government office and decides after he gets fired to leak a conversation he had with the president of the united states to a friend of his, to then leak it to a reporter for what purpose? for the sole purpose of obtaining a special counsel
which was appointed a few days later. so the basis upon which this entire special counsel investigation is taking place is based on what? illegally leaked information that was a conversation of the president of the united states with the then fbi director. and that to me is problematic from the outset and i think that raises very serious legal issues as to the scope and nature of what really could take place. and i go back to the other statement, chuck, and that is, again, the meeting in and of itself of course not an illegal act. >> mr. sekulow, i didn't ask you about james comey. i asked you about the specific e-mail. can't reasonable people conclude that because of what was said in that e-mail between donald trump jr. and mr. goldstone, the british publicist, in what he claimed this information was coming from the russian government, can't reasonable people say that's enough to trigger an investigation? i take you at your word that there's no illegal act there yet. but is that not a trigger for an
investigation? >> well, here's the thing. donald trump jr. said he would cooperate with anybody. he made that very clear when he was on air talking about it. and again, as the lawyer, chuck, and you have to understand this, as the lawyer i look at what would -- you say doesn't this trigger an investigation? if there's an investigation you're looking at, what law may have been violated here? and again, the meeting and what took place at the meeting based on all the information that you just said is not a violation of any law, statute or code. so, again, i question -- i raise that question, by the way, with former director comey because that's the basis upon which all that started. and i think it's important to have the full context. you asked the full question and i gave you a full answer. >> i understand that. but why does the leak -- let's take you at your word and the leak that james comey, you know, leaking the conversation. why does that make the president's actions any more honorable? >> well, what was the president's action that's not honorable? what did the president do in the
context of this that was not honorable? >> well, he fired -- he said he fired the fbi director and one of the motivations was the russia investigation. >> he said he fired the fbi director, which he has the appropriate -- james comey testified, chuck, under oath that he had the authority to fire him. >> no, he said he didn't have the authority, but what i don't understand is -- >> well, it's an article 2 power of the constitution. it's not an insignificant matter. he has the authority to fire james comey, and he did. look, this whole thing with if you're going towards the -- conflating the russia investigation with these allegations on obstruction, the position on that, and i've been on your broadcast a couple of times talking about this. the idea that the president of the united states fired james comey cannot raise to the level of obstruction of justice, and you've had a lot of people on this network saying exactly the same thing. >> when you were here in june, you were adamant that the president himself is not under investigation. >> right. >> are you still -- is that still operative today? >> yes.
nothing has changed since not only when i was here, but nothing has changed since when james comey told the president he was not under investigation on three different occasions. we have no notification of any investigation going on of the president of the united states. >> and what's your understanding of what special counsel bob mueller is investigating if he's not investigating the president? >> i think -- you know, i'm not going to speculate as to what he's investigating. i haven't talked with bob mueller. i haven't discussed this issue with him. he has a mandate, everybody knows the mandate that came from the department of justice to look at russia engagement in the electoral campaign. he'll look at that. was there hacking? that kind of information. he's looking at it. what i laid out for you as to your question about the president, there's been no indication from special counsel or anyone else that the president is under investigation for anything here. >> jay sekulow, i'm going to leave it here. thanks for coming on "meet the press" and share your views. >> call me jay any time, chuck. you don't have to call me mr. sekulow. earlier this morning i spoke with mark warner, the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence committee and i
began asking him about when he first learned about the trump junior meeting. >> i'm not going to get into when we knew about this meeting, but i would say this meeting is very significant in terms of all that's happened. a year ago senior members of the trump campaign knew that there was a russian government effort to try to intervene, to help mr. trump, hurt hillary clinton, and so all these denials from the president himself to donald trump jr. to paul manafort, all these denials were clearly false because they knew about this effort and they just failed to reveal it. and that's very, very significant. this is the first time the public is now seeing in black and white, there's no effort to disguise that there was a russian government effort, and not only were the trump senior campaign officials having this meeting, but they were anxious
to have it and anxious to get this information. >> i understand you said you didn't want to get into it, but there's two members of the intel committee that have given conflicting statements about whether you guys knew of the existence of this meeting. james lankford of oklahoma, republican, said you knew of the existence of the meeting, not necessarily the e-mails. roy blount told me that he did not know about this meeting an he's also on the intel committee, republican from missouri. can you clear this up? >> chuck, all i can tell you is we don't share what we know and when we knew it. the fact is this information has now come to light and all of these efforts to say there was only smoke and there's no fire, well, that's all been put to rest. this is clearly brings the investigation to the new level and makes our effort all the more important. >> how many other meetings, because of updated forms, say, by jared kushner and others, do you want to know the details of?
sometimes you see on these forms they met with so-and-so but you don't know the details of the meetings. how many of those meetings are there? five, six, ten, a couple? can you at least shed some light on that? >> well, chuck, we don't really know because so far all of the trump officials have conveniently forgotten about any meetings with russians until they see evidence of it. and we've seen the result of that. the national security advisor, general flynn, was fired. the attorney general had to recuse himself. we know that jared kushner, who said he had no meetings with russians has now had three meetings. we want to know the contents of all those meetings. we want to talk to donald trump jr. we obviously want to talk to mr. manafort, who had a history of dealing with pro-russian forces. so the thing about this investigation is it feels like almost every week we find another thread that we have to pull on. as a matter of fact, we still don't know for sure how many people was in this meeting that
we've been talking about. there's at least six, but there could be more. >> now, you said you need to talk to all these individuals. is the committee ready to talk to them now or do you need to do more evidence gathering before you bring jared kushner before the committee, donald trump jr. or paul manafort? >> i know, chuck, there are other committees that want to rush and bring these individuals in. we've been trying to go about
this in a methodical way. listen, i wish we were further along. i could have never, though, predicted that the president would have fired jim comey and we would have had all the time we spent on that. i think it's very important that we get the documents first, we get the background, we've made those requests. we want to review those documents so that we can drill down and ask these individuals the relevant questions that are needed to be asked. >> look, this investigation feels as if it grows by the day, it feels like it metastasized a bit this week. has it come to the point where the scope of what your initial investigation was, obviously it needs to broaden, but is there a point -- are there parts of this investigation that the intel committee just doesn't have the resources to do, that they need to farm out to others? >> no, i think we can cover it all. we have a counterintelligence investigation. our job is to find the facts. our job is not to find criminal behavior. that's the responsibility of special prosecutor mueller. we are working in tandem. but we believe we have the resources and the charge to get all this information and then to try to get it out. we're not trying to relitigate the 2016 election, we want to know what happened in 2016, but we also want to make sure that we're prepared for when the russians will be back in 2018. and one thing that's a real problem, chuck, the fact that the president of the united states still refuses to unambiguously acknowledge that the russians attacked us means that we have no whole of government approach on how we're going to deal with this problem.
for example, dhs has indicated 21 states were hacked. it's my understanding that most of the secretaries of state have not even been briefed on whether their states were hacked or not. >> let me ask you this final question. is there a difference in your mind between collusion and coordination? and if so, what is it? >> listen, i'm going to leave the legal questions to bob mueller and his team. what we want to show, collusion, coordination, we want to show -- clearly the russians dealt with a number of individuals, senior officials in the trump campaign. clearly the people from the trump campaign welcomed that kind of involvement. we want to see how extensive it is and then we will leave it up to the american people to draw their own conclusions. >> i understand. but do you believe there's a difference between collusion and simply coordination? >> i've learned that there's a wide breadth between what is called in the espionage business a useful idiot and full-fledged collusion. where all these conversations fall, that will be something
we'll try to reach conclusions on, but we're still early on. we have not -- we're just starting to talk to all these individuals who are involved with the trump campaign who have had contacts with russians. we need to have those conversations, and then i think we'll have a lot more to say. sorry about the voice this morning as well. >> no worries, we'll let you go. go get some more honey in that tea you've got to drink. i appreciate it, sir. >> you bet. when we come back, much more on the timeline from the trump junior meeting right through the release of the e-mails. and then there's the battle over health care. does the latest vote delay help or hurt the republicans' bill chances?
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conversation with this. following a little comp that we put together that now seems totally inoperative when it comes to the russians and president trump. here it is. >> during the election -- >> no. nobody that i know of. >> so you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election? >> how many times do i have to answer this question. >> can you just say yes or no on it? >> well, i think the whole concept of it. there is no collusion and everybody has said, and i think you will admit that, there is no collusion between me and my campaign and the russians. >> there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign, but i can always speak for myself and the russians. zero. >> tom brokaw, we don't have the answer yet on collusion. but there's -- now we have a piece of evidence that is the there is there potentially. >> and as he continued to say that in public, i wondered what
his son was thinking at the time or paul manafort was thinking at the time watching all of that. oh, wait a minute, mr. president, or dad, there's a meeting that we probably ought to make you aware of. what is stunning to me is why the president has not called in all the principals and said i want this out of the way right now. i want you to fess up to what happened. we need to close this down. it's stopping everything we're trying to get done in this country. i came in here saying i was going to be a very strong president. why he felt so engaged by putin in the first place has always befuddled me a little bit. we've got health care hanging out there, north korea hanging out there, and this one keeps dribbling out in a way that is really destructive to him. and i think it's time for presidential leadership to say i want to get this out of the way. >> danielle, his lawyer said i'm not donald trump jr.'s lawyer, i'm only going to speak for the president at this point. that's a legal argument. they're losing the politics here. >> and i notice that he's made
it on every single network, so clearly he's thought about this. i'm not don junior's lawyer, don't ask me about that. you used a key word there, tom. i wonder what the president is thinking. increasingly what we in washington now see is that the president doesn't spend a lot of time thinking and the president doesn't spend a lot of time planning. what the president and his team do is that they handle every little bit as it comes out. i'm not persuaded that there's a lot of collusion here. i'm not even persuaded there's a lot of coordination here. the one thing we can all be persuaded of is they are liars. they won't stop lying about things. >> that's a strong thing. al, it seems like a lot of conservative writers this week, this news turned them. ross douthet, as to the president himself, anyone presuming his innocence should have all the confidence of chris christie awaiting his cabinet appointment.
steve hayes, picking up on what dani just said, if the meeting was a waste of time and nothingburger, why lie after lie after lie. rich lowry, the way this story has unfolded raises the prospect that it's something worse. peggy noonan, was it collusion? it was worse, it was classless. the point is it seems as if even conservative writers that were trying to give the president the benefit of the doubt, this is the week that they feel like they can't give it to him. >> there's a common denominator here that emanates from the fact how we as conservatives feel about russia. there seems to be a disconnect about our feelings towards russia and their motives and what the white house is portraying and that creates a tension. look, we have offices in moscow, we represent global countries. one thing we know about the russians, there's no free lancing. that meeting with this lady who was accompanied by someone else, that meeting was known to be approved there. there's an approval process and a structure. everything with russia and the united states has an approval process and a process, there's no free lancing. so we know russia's motivation. what we do understand as conservatives is why is the white house so reluctant to react as aggressively as they can to the cyber attacks, to the bait and switch.
you know, they bit, hook, line and sinker all these meetings, a whole bunch of people. yet we've got a nine-month narrative. russia has exceeded way beyond their dreams with respect to the disruption they have caused. if i'm the white house, and i'm going to go with executive branch of the legislature and say, hey, there's got to be consequences and i want the consequences now, and i want them spelled out. that void is what's getting the conservative movement up in arms. >> doris, what do you make of all of this? >> well, i think whatever happens to this story as it unfolds, there's no question but that the bungled handling of it, the lack of leadership, the tweets that have come out, is taking away the precious gift that a president is given. a new leader comes in, their responsibility is to set a tone for the country, to bring us to common action, to have an agenda, to mobilize the congress, the public and the press behind their goals. time has been lost, time you can never get back. time, energy an focus. think about the time we lost from monica lewinsky's first
allegations and clinton's final acquittal by the senate, 11, 12, 13 months. we've already lost six months and this doesn't show an ending. where is that compact between a president that he's going to lead them forward. it's gone. >> tom, you were our chief correspondent during watergate. is it comparison fair? where is it? what do you see today that looks the same and looks different? >> i really am reluctant to do that. >> i understand. i get it. >> i thought watergate was unique. the part about unique -- of that uniqueness, we have to keep this in mind, it was a very detailed process from a repertoire review and legal point of view how the case was built brick by brick by brick. that's what the country deserves in this case is to go about it and not to entangle the two yet. certainly there are atmospherics
that call to mind watergate, the kind of denial of the obvious and the petty lying that is going on. but at the same time, watergate, i like to think, was there by itself. and this president is entangling himself in that kind of
discussion that we're having here today when it's not in the interest of anyone, most of all this country, when we have so many issues before us. it's got to get cleaned up. >> does jared kushner -- should
he leave the white house right now? his lawyers are probably giving him the advice to leave, that it's not a good time to be there, but he probably doesn't want to leave. >> what do the american people dislike when they look at this? ivanka, jared, don junior, and there are more. nepotism is not really a great american thing and it's hurting the president more than i think he realizes. but what people fail to appreciate enough, i think, about donald trump is that there's really one thing he cares about most. it's not even the trump name. that man loves his family and he protects them even when they don't need protecting and complicates their lives, not to speak of his own leadership.
>> all right. i'm going to take a pause here. we've got russia coming up and some health care coming up. we'll have more on this story later. but senate health care 3.0, does it have the votes? will it get a vote? i'm going to talk to republican senator john cornyn of texas. vos oscar mayer deli fresh ham has no added nitrates, nitrites or artificial preservatives. now it's good for us all. like those who like. sweet those who prefer heat. sfx - a breath of air and those who just love meat. oscar mayer deli fresh. sweet!
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and a few republican governors expressed strong opposition to the bill. the white house is still lobbying republican governors hard, sending the vice president there, hoping their approval will help win over their own state's skeptical republican senators. we learned last night, by the way, that senator john mccain had surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye and as a result of not being able to travel to washington this coming week, the senate will delay its vote. it is so precarious that republicans needed mccain's yes vote to simply begin debate. senator john cornyn is the republican whip and he is the man to find 50 votes. welcome back to the show, sir. >> thanks, chuck, good to be with you. >> let me start with the delay. one of the things that sort of raised a yellow flag in my eye was the fact that senator
mcconnell didn't seem to commit that we're going to begin debate as soon as senator mccain is back. can you say with 100% conviction that you're going to begin the debate and get this bill to the floor when senator mccain returns to washington? >> well, first of all, chuck, we all wish john mccain a speedy recovery, and we need him in more ways than one. but yes, i believe as soon as we have a full contingent of senators, that we'll have that vote. it's important we do so. >> you know, what does it say that you needed that one vote just simply to bring the bill to the floor? obviously this bill is a tough bill for i would say at least a dozen senators to vote for on your side of the aisle. what does it say that one missing republican could actually upset the entire apple cart? >> well, health care is hard. we know that. but we have no choice to try to come to the rescue of the millions of people who are being failed as a result of the
problems with obamacare. and, yes, unfortunately it's become a partisan issue. our democratic friends are refusing to lift a finger to help their very constituents who are being hurt. but i think republicans have made repeated promises in elections leading up to now that we would and we could do better. i believe we will do better. this bill actually i think has gotten much better as a result of the discussions we've had amongst ourselves. i think it's something that once we agree to that we can sell to the american people as a better choice than the failures of obamacare. >> well, you've got a lot of work to do with the american people. there's a new "washington post"/abc poll out this morning essentially asking respondents what would you prefer, keep obamacare or the new republican health care bill. 2-1, keep obamacare. does the public's opinion -- >> well, there isn't a republican bill yet that's been approved. chuck, there isn't a republican bill that's been approved by all 50 senators. >> well, they don't like what they have heard so far. what do you say about that? >> all they hear is the critics. the fact is we know millions of people are seeing sky high premiums, unaffordable
deductibles and fleeing insurance markets because insurance companies keep losing money. i'm afraid if we don't come to the rescue of those people that we will be left with our democratic colleagues wanting to bail out through billions of dollars to insurance companies without any reforms. so what we are doing is offering a better alternative. in my state alone, 600,000 texans, low income texans will get access to private insurance which they don't currently have. that represents progress. this is hard, but we need to continue to work to make sure that more people have access to medical care that they can afford rather than this exercise in central planning and command and control which has been a failure. >> one of the issues that you have to get this to the floor to start debate is trust with republican rank and file. senator john thune of south dakota said the following. he conceded that suspicion about what can be accomplished during the vote-a-rama is challenging leadership's ability to whip enough votes to begin debate. basically to translate that out of washington speak, rank and file republican senators don't believe their amendments will be taken seriously because leadership somehow already has a deal to kill specific amendments in order not to disrupt the
contours of this bill. do you accept the idea that there's a lot of suspicion among republican senators about this? >> well, i would call it uncertainty. this is going to be an open process where anybody on the democratic side or republican side can offer an amendment, and it will get a vote. there's no way that anybody can block it or prevent them from doing so. so i think there's uncertainty about what the final outcome will be, i understand that, but it's inherent in the legislative process. >> one of the things you were criticizing the democrats back in 2010 during health care, you said the following. americans have already seen and rejected the way democrats bought their way to 60 votes in the senate, including political payoffs such as the louisiana
purchase, the cornhusker kick back and billions of dollars in gatorade. senator, as you know, this revised bill had a special carve out for alaska, had money for senators from west virginia and ohio wanted for the opioid fund. somebody from the other side of the aisle could easily say you guys are doing the same thing. you have redesigned the bill specifically to get wavering votes. do you accept that criticism? >> there's no state-specific relief here. what there is an attempt to accommodate those concerns of those states that expanded medicaid under obamacare and those that did not and that's the hard task ahead of us. i believe we're making great progress and as a result of the good work of the administration, particularly cms administrator, seema burmah and dr. price, people are understanding the plan in terms of bringing down the price of health care and making it more available to more people, as they can choose what they want at a price they can afford. >> if this health care bill does not pass, what's next?
senator mcconnell, some say it was a threat, but senator mcconnell says it means you're going to have to work with the democrats. is that what happens? >> well, if we're not successful now, i assume we'll keep trying. but at some point if democrats won't participate in the process, then we're going to have to come up with a different plan. but what i don't want to happen is for us to just do a multi billion dollar bailout of insurance companies without any reforms. we're willing to do what we can to shore up the system now, to stabilize it to make health care available to people now, but we want reforms to go along with it. i don't think democrats want to change anything about obamacare, they just want to throw more money at it. >> one last question here, the president once again this morning is tweeting that the
russia investigation is a hoax. you're an ex-officio of the intel committee. you're very involved in this investigation. is it a hoax? >> well, i think it's a mistake to personalize this to president trump or hillary clinton or anyone else. this is russia taking very aggressive and sophisticated ways to -- both through espionage and cyber attacks and propaganda to undermine public confidence in our elections and our institutions. it's a very serious matter that needs thorough investigation. i'm part of the intelligence committee along with mark warner and we are going to get to the bottom of this. i understand the president's -- >> does calling it a hoax undermine the trust? >> i understand the president's frustration when james comey told him three times that he's not the target of the investigation and he wants that made public, but this is not about president trump. this is about russia versus the united states in my view. >> senator cornyn, i'm going to leave it there. appreciate you coming on and hopefully we'll talk to you soon. >> thank you. quick programming note,
tonight on "sunday night with megyn kelly," she talks with six female entrepreneurs about sexual harassment by venture capitalists in the tech industry. lots of reports about how hard it is for women to work in silicon valley. that's tonight on "sunday night with megyn kelly" at 7:00 p.m. eastern. after the break, back to the russia story. the best way to figure out how significant that trump junior meeting was or was not may be to follow the timeline, and that's exactly what we're going to do, next. 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. don't be late. even when we're not there to keep them safe, our subaru outback will be. (vo) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. nitrites or artificial ham has preservatives.tes, now it's good for us all. like those who like.
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in that e-mail goldstone promises the younger mr. trump dirt on hillary clinton, and he explains and we are back. a little twist on data download this week. we've been talking about the timeline of this past week, but we'd like to look at the timeline of both june and july of 2016 now that we know about this meeting that took place at trump tower. let's start with june 3rd. that's the first e-mail that is sent to donald trump jr. by publicist rob goldstone. in that e-mail goldstone promises the younger mr. trump dirt on hillary clinton, and he explains that the information is, quote, part of russia and its government's support for mr. trump, unquote. june 7th, the general election officially begins when both hillary clinton and donald trump officially clinch their party's nominations on that primary -- last primary day. also on june 7th, remember the meeting with the russian lawyer is already on the books for two days later. the president says this in his victory speech. >> i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the clintons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. >> june 9th, the meeting happens at trump tower. june 14th, five days later, no speech from the president, by the way, but we do get the first reports that russian hackers penetrated the democratic national committee. the first time it's in public
that we know about this. june 15th, the very next day, it's russia-linked hacker guccifer 2.0 who claims credit for the dnc hack. now, let's fast forward a few weeks to the start of the conventions, republican and democratic national conventions. july 18th, that's the first day of the republican convention. that's when we get the first reports that the trump campaign essentially wants to water down or even gut a republican party platform statement that was anti-russia when it comes to the issue of ukraine. july 22nd, the day after the republican convention ends, wikileaks publishes its first dump of stolen dnc e-mails. july 27th, five days later, in what became his final press conference as a presidential candidate. then nominee, donald trump, says this about hillary clinton's e-mails. >> russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. >> that's 56 days between that
press conference and that first e-mail that we now know about from goldstone. and then from there, of course, russian interference seemed to continue through election day. the podesta e-mails and there you go. the timeline now so important, not just to organize yourself, but the timeline now may be evidence. when we come back, how do people in trump country feel about the president these days? we're going to have the latest from an intriguing new survey that we've conducted. that's next. during your period?
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back back now with the panel. one of my goals with that last segment is simply try to put some of this in context for us, because i think we all are so event driven, even by this russian investigation, where does it all fit in the picture? >> no question timelines are the foundation of what we do in history, so i think it's really important to understand that. then we can figure out were these events just facts, or did they have a causal connection, coincidence or causal, and historians are the first draft of history for us and the story they are telling us is important. people always argue we know so many facts in history, you need the facts. you need to know if this, then that. it's up to us to interpret and figure out the facts. >> in other words, chuck, the most significant aspect of outcome is member schedules.
if your schedule is filled up 60% of the time with interview requests and meetings regarding russia and other matters, how much time do you personally have to dedicate to trying to consort and meet and resolve challenging issues like health care, tax reform, and infrastructure? we have been limited so much in terms of the time capabilities to really have serious conversations about the issues of the day. that's why i said earlier that russia has won. they have disrupted america's legislative process. >> tries to pull the thread, i think, on this russia stuff and, obviously, journalists are writing the first draft of history, but the biggest problem with the trump administration, there isn't any thread. we're talking about leadership before. he can't drown out the russia story, because he's not doing anything else. i don't have a sports analogy for you, chuck, i know there is one, but i don't know what it is. they keep hitting at the balls that come at them rather than having a narrative, and they
don't have an agenda. >> that's pretty good. >> was that okay? >> that was a pretty good one. >> thank god. >> we also have to put this in the context the president of the united states who's not responsible just for how his family behaves or what his last trip was. because of the health care debate and because of this russian situation, no one is raising, once again, north korea. there's an enormous concern in the national security and foreign policy area about how that has been set aside. it's a very complex issue. i'm told that the chinese don't know who they should be talking about in this administration. there's no context, no construct for dealing with north korea. it comes up. president says i'm going to deal with it, then it goes away in a hurry. >> let's look at health care, al. president, no speech about the bill. he's not done that. how about doing a rally in west virginia that might put pressure on shelley moore capito. he's not doing the things you need to do to get a bill passed. >> people in his party whose
districts he needs to visit and sell on a particular key matter, that's not happening. we're talking about polls, we're talking about other issues when we go to a rally. where's the conversation about pushing the agenda and getting through the home stretch of health care? that's got to be a concerted effort. it always has been. those last five or six votes are so hard to get, man. you have to work hard, be resilient, go to people's district, get public opinion to side with you. that's how you pressure a member, how their voters think. well, what are we doing to convince the voters that member needs to vote a certain way? that's a critical part. >> on the contrary, he just said the other day, i'll be angry with them if the senate doesn't come up with a bill. he's part of them, we, us. >> all right, back in 45 seconds. end game and the latest numbers on what voters in trump country think about the president. is a. but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall.
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back now with end game. we did something a little bit different with our new poll and we did a separate survey that we're going to use and track over the next four years. we talked to voters in different areas who helped fuel donald trump's victory. first in what we're calling surge counties, places where donald trump improved dramatically on mitt romney's performance in 2012. the president right now is doing well in these areas. 56% in the surge counties. they approve of the president's performance. just 40% disapprove. if you're wondering where these counties are, in the state of florida it's any county that basically doesn't touch salt water. that's a good way of thinking about it. then there are those that switched from obama to donald trump. 44% approve, 51% disapprove. combine the two groups, 50% approve, 46% disapprove. on one hand you can say, okay, in the places that helped get
donald trump elected he's doing better overall, but i could argue 56% is not a good number in those areas. >> well, you could argue that. there are three things you need to do. look, to push this stuff in a congress that's so close in terms of votes, you need high public opinion numbers. you need those public opinion numbers high, especially in the areas where you've got to get the members to vote with you, and if you look at the electoral map, look where the senators are, those numbers are not where they need to be, and that's where the states where the numbers need to be up. >> fact is, chuck, there's a burning fuse out there and it's health care and we don't know how that's going to turn out, and it could blow up in donald trump's face and it could undermine a lot of the support you're seeing there. the fact is, for seven years the republican party said obamacare is a disaster, get us in office, we'll improve it, then they end up like kids in a bumper car, you know, banging around in this arena of some kind, slamming into each other. we don't know how it's going to
turn out, and at some point from a political point of view, however enthusiastic they may be about demand, that's going to catch up to them. >> the difference between the surge voters, i think they'll defend him. the flip voters, they were voting against hillary clinton and the establishment. >> and they are waiting. they are waiting for the republicans to do something. what's been the entire theme of our conversation, the lack of leadership. >> and also you think about the fact that he hasn't expanded his base beyond these voters that were already for him. he hasn't gone to those states where they didn't vote for him. he doesn't reach out to them. he says we won, you lost. we can't lead like that. you have to bring people and heal this nation together. >> not a double down, trickle down, kwau droopable down. out of time. thanks to all of you for joining us. thank you for watching. remember, if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." you can see more "end game" and "post game" sponsored by boeing on the "meet the press" facebook page.
hello, everyone, i'm richard lui in new york city, thanks for being with us on this sunday. millions of americans have some serious doubts about the president, a new poll shows donald trump with the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in the past 70 years, since polling started. his agenda overshadowed by the russia investigation with the focus now on his eldest son and today the president and his attorney are on the defense. >> my answer stands, and that is the president was not engaged in this, was not aware of it. >> to say there was only smoke and there's no fire, that's all been put to rest. this is clearly brings the investigation to a new level. plus, delay