tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 18, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
mudville jokes aside. nbc kasie hunt got to throw out the first pitch for the orioles. this is so awesome. we're going to give her the credit for the o's 3-1 win over the rangers. she got to hang out with the mascot too. congrats to our pal, my buddy. our awesome road warrior. we'll be back tomorrow with more mtp daily. have a good night. we begin with breaking news tonight. previously unreported direction between president trump and vladmir
putin. a white house official said president trump spoke to putin at a couple's only dinner. vladmir putin was seated next to first lady melania trump. nbc news has not confirmed how long he talked to putin or what was discussed. during the dinner president trump was sitting a few seats
down the table next to the first lady of argentina. across the table you can see. on the
bot dom tom is president trump. hans is at the white house. we have been getting information about this. whatever it is, it's unusual. we didn't know about this. what we don't know or maybe we do know, was there any interaction or private conversation between president trump and president putin? >> reporter: we know there's a conversation. it appears there weren't translaters present. it's unclear how they communicated. putin speaks a little bit of english. we know the meeting took place. we know there's a conversation. we don't know how long it is. nbc news has confirmed they did speak. we don't know the duration or the sunbject. this follows on that 2:15 minute meeting earlier in the day. it went over schedule.
it was at that meeting that trump announced the mini cease-fire and part of the southwest syria. as of a couple hours ago that cease-fire is still holding. we know that u.s. troops don't have a presence there. there's a lot that came out of that first meeting. the president saying he did speak to him several times and brought it up at multiple points. that was the first part of the conversation. the challenge at the white house will be trying to figure out what was said between president trump and vladmir putin when there weren't aides or note takers present. >> we showed they were at opposite sides of the table. we're not just making a reference to the fact there was a couple only's dinner. the implication from the white house and ian brenner is there was a conversation between them. >> a separate side bar conversation where the two of
them spoke one-on-one. that's what these dinners or for. you have these dinners for informal heads info informal conferriversations fors of states. whether or not you want to couch that as a meeting they had as a separate conversation, we don't have a lot of details. the white house doesn't appear to be forthcoming about this at this hour and providing any sort of read out. >> you could sort of apply that to a few meetings that the white house had been asked about recently. thanks very much. trying to force a bill that would do one thing, repeal obamacare. this is after republican senators blind sided president trump last night killing the gop plan to repeal and replace obamacare.
that's not looking good. three senate republicans already coming out as hard nos against the plan. these three here. senator rob portman just moments ago saying it's not appropriate to just repeal. there needs to be a replacement. that means mcconnell does not have the votes again. today a chorus of criticism from within his party. >> i do not think it's going to be constructive to repeal at this point that's so interwoven within our health care system and then hope that over the next two years we will come up with some kind of replacement. >> i'm concerned about something that would repeal and its impact on costs and choices in health care. >> this is not one of those issues that gets better over time. >> we should not repeal without
a replacement and just an indefinite hold on this, just creates more chaos and confusion. >> we're going to talk about that. if this repeal now replace later or maybe doesn't replace plan goes through, millions will be affected. specifically, 32 million more people will be uninsured. that's 60 million by 2026 which would be more people uninsured than before obamacare. president trump shifting the blame for the bill's failure onto democrats. >> i'm disappointed for seven years i've been hearing repeal and replace from congress. i've been hearing it loud and strong. when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don't take advantage of it. we're not going to own it. i'm not going to own it. i can tell you the republicans are not going to own it. we'll let obamacare fail and then the democrats will come to us and say how do we fix it? how do we fix it or how do we come up with a new plan?
we had no democrat support which is something that should be said. we should have had democrats voted. they are obstructionists. they have no ideas. they have no thought process. all they want to do is obstruct government and obstruct, period. >> all right. he's not the only republican blaming democrats. just a quick reminder, this bill was created by republicans behind closed doors with no input from democrats at all. republicans do control all wings of the federal government at this moment. >> it's regretful that our democrat colleagues decided they did not want to engage with us seriously in the process to deliver that relief. >> p the democrats aren't helpful at all. >> the democrats have not been interested in working on this. they don't want to get us off the obamacare train. they want to double down on a failed system that's in the middle of a collapse. >> howard dean is a medical doctor and former vermont governor.
bis chr bill crystal, good to see you. let me start with you. the house bill that was int introduced was relatively unpopular. it had 17, 18% support. probably the only thing more unupu unpopular is a repeal without a replace will send a bunch of people off of insurance. what's going on here? >> that's why none of those passed and none will pass. at tend of the day the republicans don't have that much of a suicide drive. they have quite a bit of it, i've got to say. it's crazy from the beginning. they decided they to do to do it on reconciliation. if you take major piece of legislation, you try to get the other party to cooperate. you make a show of trying to get them to cooperate. try to get some on board. maybe two or three months later you see the democrats weren't willing to cooperate. they started off in an extremely partisan matter. the legislation wasn't well thought through. it's collapsed. the republicans are better off with the whole thing having
collapsed than passing bad and unpopular legislation. that's small solace. i'm a republican but not a trump supporter. six months into the trump presidency he has no legislation accomplishment. reagan had the tax cuts, bush had tax cuts. obama had the stimulus. trump, nothing. >> so much of tax reform depended on the spending cuts that were going to come from this revamped health care bill. >> if you think of tax reform as this mega thing, they have this megalamania about doing huge things. let's do some stuff on cracking down on the gangs. you can do some trump type stuff, making sure drugs don't come across the border. let's deal with opioids. they seem to be unimaginative to
do smaller things once their huge thing fails. >> howard dean, the part of the obamacare that most people don't know about, there are subsidies that are being paid by the executive branch, by health and human services to insurance companies sort of to bide them along. we don't know how disruptive so participate with us and do that. this is something donald trump has threatened all along. he's going to cut those subsidies. that has resulted in some insurance companies making a decision that they are pulling out. tell me about this and how that part gets fixed. they can kill obamacare without killing it. >> it won't kill all of obamacare because the biggest part is the medicaid expansion. it will make things more difficult for people who are buying insurance. i think trump's game is to cut the subsidies that he has power over and blame the democrats. it's not going to work. republicans are in charge of everything. you had four people up there. all four told lies to the
american people cwhich has gottn to be fairly standard. i agree with bill. there are some things you can do. there's some bipartisan things you can do. i disapproved of it but i understood when the republicans were stone walling everything that president obama was doing. i can't understand why they would stone wall when they have 52 votes and they need democratic votes. that's amazing. the answer is mcconnell cannot lead this party because they are so badly divided between the mike lees and ted cruzs on the one hand. i think he's got a very difficult task and get get anything done. >> bill this is an interesting concept. maybe there's no 52 votes or mo majority in the senate because it's a majority of people who label themselves republicans but don't share the same views on things as basic as health care
or tax reform. there may be a majority in the senate but may not be all republicans. >> democrats had trouble passing some piece of legislation. that happens. parties have diverse members. they are entitled to different views on lelt care or environment or other issues. i spoke to a couple of republican senators this morning. the degree of unhappiness with mcconnell's leadership is striking to me. they did not discuss this bill. they didn't know what was going to be in the republican bill until the day before it was unveiled. i think he really mismanaged in that respect his own conference. there was no buy in from the people. they felt, it's unpopular. no one asked my opinion. i'm just going to jump ship. you take major pieces of legislations, presidential leadership kind of matters. it's hard to explain these
things to the american public if you don't have a president doing so. donald trump never made the case for this bill to the american public. >> he didn't understand the bill. that's the big problem. >> i was going to say it is complicated. you have to commit to understanding it. we've all spent a lot of time studying this and trying to understand it. is there an opportunity for democrats given that there is a bit of a vacuum whether because of presidential leadership or get the republican majority to come together in the senate. is there an opportunity to say your way didn't work, now there's way together? >> there is. chuck schumer is a leader that's capable of doing that. there's a lot of awful blood in the senate. i kind of think it's goij to be tough. if anybody will do it, schumer likes to make deals. he's very smart and very good at it. if mitch mcconnell really wants to make a deal on health care, it's still possible but not going to look like the three bills we have seen that's gone
down. >> bill, do you think there's an opportunity for bipartisanship here? >> i think on smaller issues. >> not on the big one. >> i'm slightly obsessed with the oipiod crisis. is it tough for them to get together and break up the gangs and deal with this crisis that will kill more people this year than died in the vietnam war. >> good to talk to you today. good to see both of you. thank you. straight ahead, much more on the breaking news. a second conversation between president trump and vladmir putin at the g20. big news on the investigation. robert mueller is now investigating the donald trump yun yo junior meeting. whose lawyer did he call for information? governor christie pressed on the meeting. stay with us. >> i'm sure he would love to have any information on hillary
clinton. >> from russia? >> you're talking about a guy who is not that sophisticated. if you walk through the door but it turns tout be a chicken shack, it ain't a crime. (baby crying) ♪ fly ♪ me to the moon (elegant music) ♪ and let me play (bell rings) liz assumed all dressingsrust were made equal. assume nothing. just like the leading brands, these kraft dressings are made with high quality ingredients, at a price you can feel good about. no wonder kraft is so good.
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call today. comcast business. built for business. we're book with breaking news. nbc news reporting on a prooefrsly unreported interaction between president trump and vladmir putin. it happened at a social dinner at the end of the g20 summit. we don't know how long the meeting was or what they talked about. ian bremmar broke the news. >> the first thing i thought of when i heard it wads the fact that when sessions was having these meetings that weren't meetings because they were in broader meetings but they're pull aside so you don't need to tuk about it, that's what this sounds like. then he had a meeting with a lot of people not only it. only tillerson, the translater,
the foreign minister and putin. last over two hours. don't have a clear read out on what was said from either side. on top of that, you have an hour that evening that no one has heard of. >> the white house has not confirmed to nbc news what was said regarding the length of or the circumstances surrounding the meeting or the content of the meeting. nbc also confirming today the presence of yet another person in that secret trump power meeting with donald trump junior, paul manafort. an attorney who worked for the agulara family. another name to come out after donald trump junior said he revealed everything about the meeting. eight people were in that meeting. second, the washington post reporting a lawyer for the
family received a phone call from a representative of special counsel robert mueller over the weekend. it's the first confirmation that mueller is digging into the meeting. what do you milwaukee ake of th news. i know these things happen at world events. i know that's what the dinners are for. a meeting with the president of russian when that's all people are worried about these days that hasn't been disclosed before today. >> good evening. this fits the pattern, if you think about it. you have members on the trump campaign team or members of the family and now the president who have secretly or quietly met with russians. they deny it or they don't disclose it and only when confronted with overwhelming evidence do they knowledge it. here we're seeing that the president met with vladmir putin
one-on-one. i think most americans are very offended that vladmir putin ordered an attack against our democracy and like to see our commander in chief stand up for our country. tell him we nope he did it, we won't tolerate it. and he'll have to pay for it if he wants to come back to the table of nations. it's very concerning but it fits the patterns. >> you're a lawyer by training. you're a legislature and on the intel committee. can you explain what the status of the various investigations are. you are involved in one of them because it's the house intel committee. there's been some disorder in the way it's going. >> congress is charged with understanding how we were so vulnerable, whether any u.s. persons were involved. i hope make recommendations so this never happens again. we don't have any criminal
prosecution capabilities. that lies with bob mueller and his special counsel team. they work more in darkness with a closer hold so they can interview witnesses, pursue the evidence and report back whether a crime was committed. we tell a story. we make lepgtive fixgislative f this doesn't happen again. >> you had conversations with robert mueller as to how everybody stays in their lane and mover forward with the investigations as opposed to tripping on people or gathering information someone else is trying to get. >> you want to avoid redundancies. you don't want to subject witnesses to multiple recollections of event. they have been meeting with special counsel for logistics sake. we have a job to do.
we want to proceed as quickly as possible, as thoroughly as possible. i think there's an opportunity now that the evidence is so overwhelming that the trump team sought to work with the russians. regardless of whether they broke the law or not. for us in the house to do something about it. to make sure we never put our country in situation like this again where a foreign adversary will try to work with campaign and influence an election. i hope that's an opportunity. hoo i'm not giving up on it. >> most people remember devin nunes as the chair of this committee. whatever happened to that. he was the chair. he stepped aside for as you weres of this investigation, but he's still the chair? >> we're making progress on the russia investigation with mike conaway leading it.
we're interviewing witnesses and hope to report back to the american people and make some fixes in short ortder. >> it is fair to say you're operating in a bipartisan manner as far as the investigation goes? >> yes. >> do you have a timeline as to how long this will take or are things unfolding? >> mike said he's a cpa and used to working on a deadline. we want to make sure we hear from all relevant witnesses and review documents. we want to report back soon. we have the midterm elections coming up. >> that's where this was going. >> we don't want to see this happen again. i don't think you can understood state the number of other drins with similar capabilities or just cyber criminals who will look at us doing nothing as an opportunity. we have to show the world that we're going to do something about this. otherwise, it's going to be even more chaos. >> i'm a little worried you were going to go down some road of telling me some 400-pound guy
could have hacked the election. >> it's other countries with capabilities and cyber actors who have conducted other attacks and see the united states as very as a ruvulnerable because gridlocked in our response to this. >> thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> he's a member of the house and committee on intelligence. remember when president trump made this campaign promise. >> we'll win so much you're going to get sick and tired of winning. is that possible? you'll see plaz please, mr. preside president, you're winning too mump. >> aftersix months in officer and the health care collapse, what's next for the trump agenda? the russians want them back and they are issuing new threats today. ♪
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it reserves the wrigright to retaliate. those comments came after russia's came after the deputy foreign minister met yesterday with the undersecretary of state to talk about the compounds and about others. those aggressive comments about special counsel robert mueller probe. mueller is investigating donald trump junior's meeting with the russian lawyer. as nbc news has learned about a undisclosed conversation between president trump and vladmir putin at the g-20 summit. with me is a former assistant director at the fbi and former chief spokesman for the justice department and security analyst. let me start with you.
this is new information in the last couple of hours about this previously undisclosed meeting. i want to try to get some clarity on it. maybe you can shed some. there was a meeting, a couple's only dinner at the g-20. that's not really the issue here. there's reporting that donald trump and vladmir putin had a conversation as an aside. it lasted an hour. no translation, no read out and no comment from anybody about it. what do you make of this? >> i think it's incredibly concerning. the thing that concerns me more is according to ian, the only other person in the room for that conversation was vladmir putin's translater. there wasn't an american translater in the room. it makes you wonder why would donald trump take a meeting with putin in which there's no other american present? he would have known the controversy this would bring. this would have a massive political fire storm giving concerns with dealings of the trump campaign and the russian government.
the fact he was willing to bear that fire storm and endure that fire storm makes you wonder what it is that was so important that they talk about with no other americans there. that's a very serious question that needs to be put to the white house in the coming days. >> we don't know, we just don't know details about this. we don't know what happened. this is reporting we're trying to get to the bottom of. we also don't know what happened on june 9th, 2016 at trump tower in that meeting except we keep on learning more and more people were in that meeting. what is robert mueller interested in? what he's looking at? the white house has consistently said there's nothing to see here. why is robert mueller looking into that meeting? >> well, the meeting is important and the former director of the special counsel will be looking to maximize his understanding of everything that went into the planning and execution of the meeting and what the participants believe was going to occur going in and
what they believed did occur coming out. to me, that means not just trying to interview every one of the participants but trying to collect every bit of electronic information, communications information from every one of the participants one hop out and two hops out. that is who they were communicating with before hand, what they thought their sbr instrugss were or what they think they accomplished coming out and where those communications went afterwards. >> does he have the authority to get that from people? does somebody have to be under suspicion or can he ask for it? >> i think that this would be a reasonable ask for bob mueller to get subpoenas and issue those and ask the participants who their communication provider is
and go start to get those electronic communication records that might validate the information that he receives this interviews. this is where his investigation gets harder. let's assume some of those russians are using a foreign provider or unwilling to give over records, unwilling to yield to a u.s. issued subpoena. that's where the job gets tougher. >> matt, let me ask you about december 2016, president obama ordered the compounds in maryland and new york that we have been talking about seized. he said they were use ed by russian personnel for intelligence related purposes. we know that russians use things for intelligence purposes. if they want it back, do they want it for the purposes or is this something they don't acknowledge? >> that's one of the purposes they want it back. it's without a doubt they were
using it for intelligence purposes. they wanted these compounds seized for years. i think the russians want it to be able to get thoese intelligence capables back and use them. i think there's something else at stake here. they want to show the world they can get the upper hand on donald trump. one of the things that vladmir putin has made his over arching mission is to re-establish russia as one of the major super powers and showing he can defeat the united states and reverse a decision made by the u.s. president showing that he can tamper in the u.s. election and have the consequences that were imposed for that tampering rescinded would be a huge diplomatic and publish relations victory for putin. i think that's what he's after. >> good to talk to you. thanks for helping us with this rapidly unfolding story. all right.
coming up on made in america, can president trump deliver on those promises about creating those new jobs. we'll have a fact check ahead. first. >> those are like the easy things opinion we're going to get rid of obamacare. we're going to repeal it, replace it with something so good. >> does president trump still think getting rid of obamacare is easy? why undoing the obama agenda is turning out to be harder than he thought. that's 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. new lower taxes. and new university partnerships to grow the businesses of tomorrow today. learn more at esd.ny.gov dad: flash drives? yup. that's dad taking care of business. laptop setup? yup. but who takes care of dad? office depot, office max. this week, all hp ink,
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we were always winning things in this country. we'll win so much you're going to get sick and tired of winning. is that possible? you'll say please, mr. president, you're winning too much. >> six months in, do you think president trump is tired of winning yet? two republican senators killing the republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare throwing a key trump campaign promise into serious doubt. >> obamacare is a disaster. we're going to repeal it and replace it. we're going to terminate. we're going to repeal it and replace it. those are like the easy things. we're going to get rid of obamacare. we're going to repeal it, replace it with something so good. >> well, the easy thing is turning out to not be that easy after all. there's the iran nuclear agreement reached under the obama administration.
here is what presidential candidate donald trump had to say about it. >> my number one priority is to dismantle the disasterous deal with iran. >> that's the dumbest deal i think i've ever seen. the worst deal i've seen negotiated. we're not sending rockets to the moon. >> i would say give us back our hostages. i would have walked out the room. >> the trump administration announcing it will certify that iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. sarah huckabee sanders said this about the president's agenda. >> we should be very proud of the progress that we have made in first six months and the continued progress that we're going to make over the next seven and a half years. >> joining me now white house correspondent for the daily mail.
>> i was in the briefing and i asked how does this obamacare repeal and replace failure affect their agenda? they said they expect to get a draft plan of tax reform done before august recess. we're looking at with the schedule now and it doesn't seem like that would be possible. they said they thought they would get the tax reform package passed by the end of the year. also doesn't seem like that will be possible. sarah huckabee wouldn't put a timeline on that and wouldn't put a timeline or obamacare repeal and replacement when other reporters asked her about that as well. >> it depended on getting this new health care law with the amount they would have saved allowing to give that money back
as tax cuts. >> that's one of the other things that came up today is whether or not they would move onto tax reform or infrastructure. they made it clear at the white house that they plan to keep plugging away on this health care reform and then move onto taxes. meanwhile, we saw paul ryan or capitol hill saying they would start preparing work on the tax reform bill any way because they've already passed obamacare repeal and replacement. >> that's an interesting way of looking at it. let's talk about the fact that generally speaking white house, no matter who is in the white house needs to depend on congress for some things and a congress can use help from the white house on other things. we had many years in which the two bodies were not controlled by the same party. who needs more here? is president trump and his unpopularity hurting congress or is congress in its dysfunction affected the president's agenda. >> i think the president has not seized an agenda and it's really
striking given historically the president sets the agenda. congress reacts. it's been that way for a century now. in this situation, president trump has not sort of put forward a plan of his own own health care. he's not pushed this plan other than just pass a plan. i think congress right now is a little bit unat the titethered. it's really a strange position for washington to be in. >> sarah huckabee sanders said something in that briefing where she said we're looking forward to, the last six months and looking forward to the next seven and a half years. at some point someone needs to reset about something. is it congress? is it the white house? they are living in la la land if they think this has been a successful six months. >> right. i think the white house is probably the area where you need a reset.
congress cannot wholeheartedly take control of the national agenda that a president can. the president is elected by the entire country. congressional members represent different districts in different states. it makes it much harder to have a national megaphone the way that president trump can. he just hasn't been utilizing it. he's had only one solo press conference since becoming president. there's been no major address to the nation aside from his early joint session to congress which was well received. he's not taking upon himself to speak to the nation in a way that past presidents have utilized. >> just for people who don't watch the news every day and don't read the news and aren't on the news every day, what is the thinking behind the white house and its communication strategy. these off camera briefings. the fact we can't use the audio until it's done. what is this all about? what's it meant to achieve? >> they've said that when the president speaks on that day,
that they want that to be the voice that carries the day. as you know, and i know a lot of times when they are having these off camera briefings, the president doesn't plan to speak at all that day. today he was supposed to have meetings that were behind closed doors and then did end up making remarks to reporters but previously that's not been the case and that wasn't originally going to be the case today. >> it's an interesting development. we'll have to keep on figuring out how to get the questions to the white house that we need answered on behalf of the american people. keep doing the work you do. we'll be right back with more on the breaking news that we're covering about an undisclosed private meetings between president trump and vladmir putin. nge, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory.
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reporting that the second meeting at the dinner at the g-20 summit latsted an hour as was initially reported. halfway through the meal, the president left his own seat to occupy a chair next to putin. trump was alone and putin was attended only by his official interpreter. back with me can the chief for the boston globe. we got this from the washington post. there's now reporting from the new york times that corroborates what ian said earlier tonight. he also said that the animated conversation was held in full view but not within listening distance of the others present. what does this say to you? there was an actual meeting between these two gentlemen. no translater on donald trump's side. no american official present. no read out.
no notes, no official government record. >> on the one hand, these meetings are meant for state leaders to converse with one another, to talk. the curious aspect is we're only now learning about this. the white house never read this meeting out. we still don't have confirmation from the white house on this meeting. it's also curious that only vladmir putin had an interpreter present. donald trump, the president of the united states does not have somebody else there to corroborate whatever happened in that meeting. it makes it awfully hard for americans to determine if it becomes vladmir putin's word against donald trump's word. if there's a dispute about what was discussed in this. it is an odd meeting and it's odd how we're finding out about this particularly given donald trump junior's lack of unwillingness to be forthcoming
about his own meeting with russia. >> it's odd that everything that happens has to be pried out of this white house. they don't offer any information up about these things. >> right. things? >> right. and on a subject they should be forthcoming about. in the aftermath of all the controversy with donald trump jr. and his own meeting with the russians you think the white house would be conscious of the fact these things should not come out in a drip, drip, drip fashion. that they should be more transparent about what the president of the united states is doing. >> i want to bring matt miller back in. matt, to a point that is important. hans nichols made it earlier and matt made it here that these informal dinners after these global events are meant to hob knob. but there's something unique about this relationship, donald
trump and russia, and nobody who's a grownup would think that would be okay to have an unscrutinized conversation with vladimir putin -- matt are you there? >> i'm sorry i lost audio for a minute. >> i'm saying it's not possible that anybody, let alone the president of the united states would have thought given the scrutiny of the relationship between donald trump and vladimir putin that a sit-down conversation without any government officials present would have been okay. >> that's absolutely right. and one of the questions we have to ask now is did anyone else in the white house or state department find out about this conversation after wards? did donald trump tell other members of his administration, the government of this conversation. it's highly unusual there was no other american present. i keep coming back to trump would have known this would have been hugely controversial and he
was willing to take that risk anyway. what was so important to have that conversation knowing the fire storm it would brick and the white house would keep it underwraps. >> hold on. i want to bring in the ambassador michael mcfall into the conversation. ambassador mcfall, you and i had this conversation that when president obama and president trump met while you were ambassador you were in the room, you were the note taker. you were responsible for the notes and whatever the readout became from those notes. how unusual is it for there to have been no u.s. government presence with the light that has been shining on the potential relationship between donald trump and vladimir putin? >> well, yeah i was the note taker when i worked at the white house, not to be clear. not when i was ambassador, although i attended those meetings as well. so almost all meetings that
president obama had with either the president or the prime minister, we had staff there, translators there. we had note takers there. there's one time when they met, just to be clear, i remember, when they had had a formal me meeting at a nato summit and president obama wanted to follow up on a specific point so he pulled him aside with a translator. and that happens. but as you were just discussing, that's after several meetings over a very specific issue. the difference here is president trump is very new to diplomacy, does not know the set of issues and the details that president putin knows. so it creates an asymmetry when
you have a sitdown like that. >> so you 'been an ambassador and worked with president obama as an advisor. given what you just said that president putin is an expert at this, he's been that the a long time, worked intelligence, and donald trump is new tho-to-this. would donald trump not have gone into the dinner with advice from people about what potential interaction with vladimir putin would have looked like? could nobody in the universe have said this would be problematic, particularly if it's not disclosed? >> two things whenever president obama had a meeting with the head of state we did something called the prebrief. that was some of the most important work i did when i worked at the white house to go through the set of issues and walk through the talking points. and remember they're rather sophisticated talking points with a guy like putin because you have to respond one way if
he says one thing and a different way if he says another. we didn't do things in an ad hoc way. i want to br b clear, i think at g20 meetings and nato summits, there are chats between heads of state. that is normal. i would encourage it because you want as much face time as you can between leaders but you want them to be prepared and ready to discuss certain topics. of course, my concern with president trump would be did he prepare for that? did he think about the talking points? and in particular if i were working at the white house, and even with president obama i always worried about any pull-aside. we wanted to have a readout of what was said, right. so often times in a meeting with president obama, he would do a few minutes one on one either with the former russian
president or putin but we would immediately read it out to know what he said to follow through as a government. >> so the readout is important to answer questions. it's important for follow through. but it's possible there are these pull asides and private meetings where for valid reasons there's no readout or no government witness? >> you know, i was thinking of my five years of experience in the government. i do not recall, you know, an hour-long session with a head of state that was not read out. >> that is an important distinction. the amount of time -- >> exactly. >> -- this was reported by ian bremer and i wanted to read back what "the washington post" is reporting on this. trump has undisclosed hour long meeting with putin at the g20 summit. halfway through the meal, trump left his own seat to occupy a chair next to putin. trump was alone and putin was
attended only by his official interpr interpretorand a few witnesses who saw this, a few participants told bremer about this. this wasn't a casual sitdown let's just chum it up a bill bit. >> again i'm going by what you're reporting. i don't have any way to validate it. but that suggests to me that's a pretty long conversation. obviously we would like to have our translator at a meeting that long that our president, any president -- >> i think we've lost mike mcfall who's on the phone, but i do have ron hosko here, a former assistant director at the fbi. ron, obviously the concern here is two-fold. one is, why we have to pry everything out of the white house. the world knows that everyone is
looking at this relationship between donald trump and vladimir putin. but secondly, there's always this idea that when one power is possibly trying to manipulate another, if there isn't a government record of it, if there isn't an official record of it, we don't know what was said, what agreements were made, what threat or sanction was offered. >> i'm going to ascribe aless nefarious motive to a president who by many accounts is a very successful businessman. i want to take it on faith that he has the best interests of america at heart when he has a meeting like this. it could be that he is trying to chum it up to develop an association with vladimir putin that works into something that benefits america. that they can together somehow move world politics in the right direction, favorably to one or both, particularly to us.
so i want to give him that space as a president to make these sorts of decisions believing in his own instincts as a good businessman. but i will agree with you that under the current circumstances with the ongoing bob mueller investigation, two congressional committees at least looking hard at russia influence and possibly russia collusion. it's more concerning under that circumstance. i would have wished for an independent american witness taking notes so that the intelligence community might learn from it, that the state department might learn from it as well. >> and decode what was said there. i want to remind our viewers about what has developed. we have reporting that corroborates a statement that was made earlier by ian bremer that there was a meeting held that was not previously disclosed between donald trump and vladimir putin at the dinner that took place at the end of the g20 it was initially reported that meeting was an
hour long. the white house has not confirm it had length or content of the meeting but has confirmed it took place. thank you for watching. i'm ally velshi, "hardball" starts now. >> from russia with dirt, let's play "hardball." good evening i'm kris matthews. last week all we knew about that june 9th meeting last summer was three members of the trump campaign met with a russian lawyer then on friday we learned about two more participants, a former soviet intelligence officer. and today the intermediary who set up those meetings was also in the room. now, we've learned there was an eighth