tv Deadline White House MSNBC July 24, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
i'm wearing a santa claus hat and there have been hearings about obamacare. good to see you. and hugh hewitt who walked away from this conversation several minutes ago. a busy how hour, that's it for me now. we're going over to nicolle wallace. "deadline: white house." hi, everyone. he's 4:00. jared kushner today added his voice to the i did not collude with question choir. he asserted that the mere act of asking questions about his father-in-law's campaign and contact with russia ridicules his voters. he faced questions from senate intel committee staffers on capitol hill. >> let me be very clear. i did not collude with russia nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts.
i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign and this is why he won. suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him. >> for his part, president trump is engaged in a social media campaign against his own beleaguered attorney general and the gop. that has many people scratching their heads today. here was a president this morning when asked a question about jeff sessions. >> mr. president, should jeff sessions resign? >> it's unclear if the president was rolling his eyes at the question or at being asked a question at which was clearly a photo-op not a press conference.
this came after the early
morning tweet storm from president trump who wrote this today. quote so why aren't the committees and investigators and of course our beleaguered ag looking into crooked hillary's crimes answer russians --
and russians relations? schiff spends all his time on tv. let's get to the reporters, nbc's kristen welker at the white house. michael schmidt a reporter for "the new york times" and robert costa national political reporter for "the washington post." kristen, the president just wrapped up some remarks an his exasperation has spilled over into full public view with his own party. >> that's right. we heard him take the sharpest tones yet with senate republicans for not moving forward with repealing an replacing obamacare. typically, his harsh remarks are preserved mostly for democrats who he's called on
strucktionists. he did that today. but he tried to turn up the heat on the senate republicans saying that they would fail voters and break their promise to their voters if they don't move on repealing and replacing obamacare. take a listen to what he had to say moments ago. >> for the last seven years republicans have been united in standing up for obamacare's victims. remember, repeal and replace. repeal and replace. they kept saying it over and over again. every republican running for office promised immediate relief from this disastrous law. we as a party must fulfill that solemn promise to the voters of this country to repeal and replace. what they have been saying for the last seven years. but so far, senate republicans have not done their job. >> president trump will head to west virginia tonight. he's also going to hammer that message there as he tries to push this bill forward.
bottom line, nicolle, i have been talking to officials here. and effectively asking them the question is the president going to get more engaged in this fight? he's sort of taken this back seat role. he has been working the phones and trying to do some arm twisting that way behind the scenes. i have been told that just as we saw in the final days of the house legislation, the president will get more engaged but as you and i know this legislation all but died several days ago. this is really an attempt to revive it. the question is, is it too little, too late? we have to wait and see. we know that republicans on capitol hill obviously feeling the political pressure as well. not just because of the president, but because of course they did campaign on this promise to overhaul obamacare for the past seven years. >> robert costa, i want to ask you about your piece which pulls all of this together in a lot of the exasperation on the other end of pennsylvania avenue from capitol hill, but i want to read you this tweet. quote, it's very sad that republicans even some that were
carried over the line on my back do very little to protect their president. i'm guessing that republicans on capitol hill who had the uncomfortable position of being asked whether they supported a nominee after the "access hollywood" tape or whether they supported someone who may or may not accept the results of the election, someone who attacked judge curiel for his heritage, they feel like he put them on their back as much as they did his? >> it was an unusual remark from the president. usually they vent in private not in a frank, public way. but many republicans who are reluctant to embrace this health care legislation say it's not because they don't want to get behind president trump. it's because they're facing different constituencies with different priorities including republican governors in some states who want this medicaid expansion. hospitals perhaps in the states who want to keep some of this affordable care act in place.
so they feel like the president is directing his ire against them, but not necessarily in an appropriate way. this is part of why you see the tension. >> and michael schmidt, all of this ire as robert costa describes it really has its roots in the russia investigation. his ire for his own attorney general is over him not over recusing -- and staying on as the person to oversee the russia probe. today do you view it as significant that jared kushner made a rare on camera statement on the white house grounds and used that opportunity to essentially relitigate the veracity of donald trump's win? >> well, it was certainly one of the most offensive moves that they had made in this area. a lot of times they're usually play defense and just reacting to stuff that's in the press. and in this case, they put out a statement from kushner earlier in the day. he stood out there. we usually don't hear from kushner. he went out there by himself, giving a statement with the presidential seal there in the
west wing. it was them trying to put their message on offense which has been different than what we have seen in the past. because a lot of times they're just responding to the disclosures that are incredibly damaging about different things that come out in the press and such. it's interesting he continues to attack sessions or raise questions about sessions' credibility. he is obviously very, very angry with sessions and very angry about mueller and increasingly so. he seems to understand increasingly the severity of it. he's really upset with sessions. looks like he's trying to make it very uncomfortable for him to be the attorney general. >> kristen welker, are you still with us? >> i am indeed. >> even rudy giuliani is defending -- you have elizabeth warren to rudy giuliani defending poor jeff sessions and i hear democrat after democrat saying i don't support him, but in this instance he did the right thing and the president is attacking him twitter rather
than picking up the phone and passing on the grievances. they have to decide whether or not to support the sanctions against russia. did you hear that scaramucci said one thing and sarah huckabee sanders said another. what is today's white house message on the question of the legislation to impose tougher sanctions on russia? >> important question. and just to remind our viewers these sanctions would not only slap a new round of sanctions on russia, but it would limit the president's ability to lift those sanctions and that's part of the reason why you saw this very vigorous opposition from this president. and from this white house. but congress has sort of boxed in the president because politically speaking he knows it would look very bad if he tried to veto this legislation. and by the way, congress could override that veto. so my sense based on my conversations today is that they are supportive of this latest version of the bill.
their line is there were some tweaks that the white house had asked for and that had been made and now the president is feeling more like he can support this legislation. again, nicolle, i think this has a lot to do with the politics. i think he knows it would look very bad if he opposed legislation that would impose new sanctions on russia when this administration is being looked at for possible ties to the campaign officials. >> john heilman has a question. >> bob, i'm looking at reince priebus after the arrival of anthony scaramucci. there was a lot of speculation about how long he stays in the white house. katie walsh, sean spicer, reince priebus, they were a trio from the rnc. walsh left and spicer is gone and now scaramucci looks and sounds more like a future chief of staff than a communications director. what are you hearing about that?
>> well, john, i wouldn't describe it as a small cadre. i think part of the challenge for reince priebus he has a large footprint within the west wing. he brought many of his allies into the white house and the erosion of some of his inner circle you saw katie walsh depart earlier this year and now sean spicer. you have some of his other loyalists under scrutiny in the communications operation because he has this large footprint, all of the chipping away really cuts at his capital, his stature within the west wing because you compare him to steve bannon the chief strategist or jared kushner the senior adviser, they don't have this larger operation within the white house and that makes priebus vulnerable. >> mike schmidt, i want to ask you a question on a different topic. i listened to jared kushner made his comments this afternoon. what stuck out to me was i had no improper contacts and he said
i have not relied on russian funds to finance my business activity in the private sector. am i wrong in saying that that is something quite different from what donald trump has said so far? he says i don't make any money from russia, i don't do business in russia, i don't have deals in russia, but he never said anything quite as precise as what jared kushner said today. i wonder if you noted that and if you see any meaning in it? >> well, the president isn't as precise as other people in his administration. but clearly the money issue is something that trump and the others in the white house are concerned about. they're concerned that mueller is really going into dig into this issue. the president said it was a red line, if he was looking into the money issues of the family that's something that's a violation by mueller. this is something that mueller should not do. it would go outside the election meddling. so yes, it was more precise and it was more exact. but i'm not sure how much to
make of it because the president has been so unequivocal himself. no russia money whatsoever. it's hard the make sense of it at all. the interesting thing about it is how much on the offensive they actually were and how much they were trying to push a message which seems different than they have been in the past. >> it's fascinating. thank you so much. thank you for fielding questions from our colleague john heilman. he did his homework and he has the best questions of the day. joining auts the table, the root.com, jason johnson who is queried chris christie and others. former chief of staff to house speaker paul ryan and a first time guest at the white house, thank you for here. and a fellow at harvard shorenstein center of the press, politics and what do you make of the sense that jared kushner took center stage, something that we know he's loathe to do. and two to use the opportunity not just to say i'm innocent of any questions or scrutiny under
which i have been placed but that the president's victory was justifiable and to question it was to ridicule his voters. wow. >> one is playing to the base. we keep discussing there's a strong donald trump base that does not ideologically follow the decline in the approval ratings around the rest of the country. so that -- talk about the election was clearly speaking to the base. but i think one thing about kushner going immediately to finances is fascinating because when you look at the idea of the president pardoning possibly himself and family members, you know, jared by marriage, that works on a federal level. it doesn't work on the state level. eric schneiderman, the attorney general has been looking at possible money laundering if there were a state case underico, for example, that would not be pardonable. i think kushner and the president are very concerned not only about mueller but about
other investigations and other legal forums. >> i need to bring you into the conversation about the gop and their really now hot war with the republican president. you have got folks -- your old colleagues complaining openly about how -- not just unhelpful, but unconstructive he's been, he's calling the house bill mean, the senator bill it needed more heart, more money put into it. what is the current state of the relationtion other than what we have seen in robert costa's and other reports. what do they think about this president? >> the president has shown an and to -- an ability to basically say anything he wanted to say at any time. and he -- >> an ability? an appetite for that, right? >> proclivity. >> yeah. i mean -- >> one might go that far. but i wouldn't necessarily -- >> is it harmful though? >> yeah, because there's no discipline. if you want to put together an effort to pass legislation to
move forward on a policy basis, you have to have discipline and consistency. the best -- >> what happens if you don't? what happens to the republican agenda? >> it makes it much harder to get it passed. >> is it possible to get it passed? >> it is, but it's harder. why should it be harder when you have a president? if you look at ronald reagan as a comparison, they're very different people, but ronald reagan was the most disciplined man as the president of the united states. ronald reagan was very responsible for some of that. he knew what he wanted to push, how he wanted to push it. what he wanted to say. every day had something to get out and make it the only thing that the news reported that night. they were excellent. >> jason, i want to ask you, what do the democrats do when they see donald trump -- i have seen the ones that end up on tv. they defend sessions but what are they doing as a strategy when they as a party -- you know, does the enemy of their enemy become their friends? >> i always thought this when the democrats are in trouble, they should step back and lit the circular firing squad do what it needs to do.
>> hard to watch though. >> it's difficult to watch, but there are so many different issues here. on the one hand we have health care. this is a problem. i understand why democrats basically have this attitude of fine, let them do this, it will blow up in their faces. i think russia is a separate issue. paying tone what jared kushner -- attention to what jared kushner said today, not only does the president not give consistent answers but what i heard from jared kushner is like a 14-year-old saying i didn't know there was going to be drinking at that party. look if don jr. invited you i have no idea why he invited me -- >> it's on the e-mail. >> which he said he didn't read. >> but how many of us have gotten an e-mail that runs page after page? >> are you defending the decision to attend the meeting? >> it's entirely likely he didn't read to the end of it. >> wasn't it more honorable to get to dirt on hillary or walk out when you found out it was adoption? >> basically what i think he
looked at is this is a waste of my time. >> because it wasn't good enough dirt about hillary. >> once again i can't tell you if he read to the end of the e-mail. i suspect everybody here and everybody at home is listening look, it's a long e-mail. you never read to the bottom. >> but i think that if one is involved with a foreign power that's been hostile to the interest of the united states one might want to read thoroughly. i like to think that my public officials will read -- >> we have to take a break. >> i mean, i'm a scatter brain to beat all scatter brains but i get through the subject line. when we come back, pardoning the president, can he or can't he? according to the president he absolutely and completely can. also ahead as we're talking about the floodgates are open, republicans on capitol hill openly complaining about the difficulties of working with this white house. and president trump at war in afghanistan. a stunning new report about tensions about his war cabinet.
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the shackles are some of the establishment people that are weak and ineffective people this the -- and paul ryan. >> they were holding you back? >> not a question of holding you back but they're not giving the kind of support. you know, we have more votes, more than 14 million votes more than anybody in the history of
the republican primary bills and they don't give the support that we need. >> let's face it, it was never a match made in heaven but now an all out war between trump and his party. they're losing control of the party. i want to bring in our own kasie hunt on capitol hill, along with msnbc contributor and conservative commentator charlie sykes. charlie, i remember being on television with you in the walk up to and in the aftermath of that gop primary vote in wisconsin and i think wisconsin was one of the last big battle ground states that donald trump lost. and people were making the kinds of arguments about what the party stood for, about fears about isolationism. protectionism, nativism. they never really became the party's standard-bearer.
aside from saying you told everyone so, what do you think when you see this relationship basically as is unworkable? they cannot govern or legislate late with this president? >> i'm surprised that anyone is surprised by this. everything that has happened in this presidency from donald trump was very clear to anybody who was paying attention in 2015 and 2016. look, the dysfunction of the republican party was a pre-existing condition. but we continue to plumb the depths of donald trump's indifference and ignorance on policy and his inability to control himself. and what you're seeing right now is a president who honestly thinks that he can lead and legislate through twitter and appears to be more concerned with avoiding blame for the failures that are about to come than actually providing any support for the legislators doing the heavy lifting. >> charlie, reince priebus gets a lot of the blame even inside this white house staff. they blame him for being weak or
incompetent. for not inspiring confidence among this president and even the most loyal advisers to the president say that the addition of a new communications director changes nothing in terms of their structural impediments. i want to ask you if you think that's a fair or unfair sort of burden of blame for reince and if you think that this white house can be fixed with donald trump basically serving as his own communications director and decides one day for a repeal, one day for repeal and replace. and who sort of targets republicans with public scoldings before he picks up the phone and has a conversation with them. is there anything anyone else could do differently or better? >> no. the trump white house is not dysfunction because of the staff. and i'm not letting anybody off the hook it's dysfunctional because of the president. i thought it was interesting over the weekend people were talking ago the muddled communications we were getting from the new communications staff and, you know, it wasn't the communication that was muddled. it's the president who is in muddled. i don't think anything is going
to change here. we have -- there's been all this speculation, when is donald trump going to bring the grown-ups in, when -- ronald reagan brings in jim baker and what do we get? we get donald trump bringing in anthony scaramucci which pretty much tells you what the trajectory of this administration is goingb to in the foreseeable future. >> kasie hunt, did the addition of anthony scaramucci make anyone on capitol hill less concerned about this white house and their focus on governing and legislating? >> i don't think so. nicolle, look, in sean spicer they got rid of or lost somebody who actually did have a lot of relationships up here on capitol hill. people around here have known spicer for a really long time and reince priebus. he's the guy they're calling when they're at the most freaked out. if they're worried about something that the president has done, that i a're on the phone with reince priebus. he's said to people like lindsey graham and john mccain, hey, guys, i really need you in our
corner right now, here's why. he's been the one who is able to get some traction and so to the degree that you see, you know, spicer as the close ally to reince priebus that he is and that as -- you know, as a waning force inside the white house, i don't think he gives people up here on capitol hill any more reassurance. i think scaramucci is somebody who maybe has relationships -- you know, he's given to democrats in the past. who make political donations to democrats, circled in the new york scene. there are members of congress who my know him from that. >> democrats? he's got -- did he have more contacts on the democratic side of the aisle? i didn't think of that. >> i think it's a distinct policy. i have to do more reporting before i want to say that straight out. but certainly you could see -- you could map out social occasions where he may have run into the people on capitol hill or crossed paths with them in the course of doing business. but look, he's just -- he's more of donald trump and most people up here in capitol hill are very uncomfortable with that.
and, you know, we'll see how this plays out tomorrow across the board on health care. you know, i think this is a point where obviously the president has really had some aggressive things to say about re-election for republican senators and what he's demanding that's made a lot of people uncomfortable here in his own party. >> robert, i want to put up a piece -- a chunk -- frustrated lawmakers are increasingly sounding off and a white house unable to get the legislative goals. president is threatening electoral retribution. some major gop donors are considering using their wealth to try to force out recalcitrant incumbents. this is the first i have read. i'm not surprised it's in your reporting about donors. that's -- sometimes a canary in the mine, but sometimes the tail that wags the dog. in this case -- i got a head nod. >> canaries and dogs? >> are you talking to donors who
are getting involved six months into the presidency? >> yes. and it's important to make the distinction that these donors are not necessarily rallying around president trump but if you look at the swing in the market, you look at their priorities they want to see regulatory reform sweeping across the board. and they want to see the tax cuts. both in the health care legislation and in wholesale tax reform later this year. at least corporate tax cuts later this year. because of that the stalled agenda is making them try to get behind trump -- the president and try to get something done because their whole business -- their whole world view relies upon the things happening. >> all right. that's amazing. charlie sykes and robert costa, thank you for joining us. when we come back the questions that jared kushner didn't answer. i work overtime when i can get it. i need my blood sugar to stay in control. so i asked about tresiba®. ♪ tresiba® ready ♪ tresiba® is a once-daily, long-acting insulin
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president trump and his administration as we take on the challenges that he was elected to face. thank you very much and i look forward to taking questions from the house committee tomorrow. thank you. >> that was jared kushner looking ahead to his appearance tomorrow under oath before the house intel committee. with us now former chief of staff at the cia and the pentagon and one-time chief counsel for the house intel committee, jeremy bash. kasie hunt with us as well. jeremy bash, i wanted to ask you we've gone back and forth a little bit today. i want you to go through what you did with me all of the questions that remain unanswered for you after reading jared kushner 11 page statement and after hearing from him today at the white house. >> so i'll pretend i'm an investigator for the senate intelligence committee or the house committee tomorrow. here are the things he still has to answer. number one, regarding that june
2016 meeting, he says he was bored or it wasn't of interest to him. what if they had come with the goods, they had come with substantial russian government support, either dirt on hillary clinton, would he have stuck around? would he have played ball? i think he has to answer that question. >> can i stop you right there? isn't that a worse scenario than the meeting actually being about adoption and -- isn't that a worse fact for him to say i was only there for dirt on hillary from russia. when i found out it was about adoption i bailed. >> totally. i think a much better defense would have been the adoption issue is fascinating, but i'm a busy guy. i can't get involved in every policy issue and he said to the russian government i wanted them to come forward with information that was important to the campaign but that wasn't just tantalizing enough. it shows that he and other people in the meeting were actually looking for and welcoming russian government support. but second, nicolle, i think then we have to go to the fall. on october 7th is when the dhs
secretary the department of homeland security secretary publicly fingered russia as the culprit for the hacking. everything after that time it's clear that everybody in trump land knew that the russians had been behind the hacking. why? why did they engage in those meetings with the russians, why did they meet with kislyak on december 1st? they should in my view should have been horrified. they should have been pushing back on the russians. instead, they welcomed the russian outreach with open arms. at that meeting on december 1st in this testimony today, jared acknowledge he was the one who suggested using secure telephone lines at the russian embassy to communicate with russian officials. why were they trying to keep it secret? and then nicolle to round this out, as a senior white house official -- >> hang on. my brain can't keep up with your brilliant legal mind. let me ask you, what are the
possible scenarios? i mean, i'm just thinking back to this time in the campaign. there was a transition office. it was run by chris christie at the time and they were talking to the white house. they were trying to set up landing staffs at all of the agencies. john heilman, what are the possible scenarios for why they would have proceeded in december to meet with kislyak? >> well, look, the possibility scenarios, jeremy's normative argument they should have been outraged at russia and should have been locked arms with the obama administration -- >> not locked arms but shouldn't have been deaf to what they were hearing. >> sure. i think we should have stood as one, i agree with them. but the realities is a normal time frame, right? the notion of the russian ambassador reaching out to the person who's the point person, who's talking to foreign governments on an incoming administration. that would not be a strange meeting to take under normal circumstances. these were not remotely normal circumstances. i found the thing about
kushner's account of the two kislyak meeting, the strange thing -- the strange or convenient thing possibly true, but certainly convenient that in both instances he said kislyak wanted the meeting with me and i took the meeting and kislyak said he had things that the general wanted to say, so i tried to help him out. when he goes to meet the banker, kislyak wassing noing at my door. but because he was so insistent with it, i took the meeting. and kislyak is out of washington, he's gone effectively from the world of having any accountability here. so it's very -- kind of -- convenient and interesting that the main person that kushner credits -- anything to see, this is all on kislyak not on me. >> kasie hunt, are you hearing any reaction to what jeremy described as unanswered questions from kushner's testimony and the substance of
his written response? >> look, i think there are republicans that i talked to who are willing to give him credit for giving a detailed explanation and are willing to -- >> really? they think -- it's been -- really? it's been six months -- 11 page memo? these have been questions that out there for six months. >> i think that those who are willing to defend him are willing to say, look, this was a campaign where essentially collusion was not possible because everything was so crazy. they're willing to buy into the defense. mine, what heilman was walking through is exactly that. he essentially walked through each and every one of the potentially problematic moments and essentially said it was either too chaotic or i was sloppy or my assistant was sloppy. and if he's going to find defenders on the hill that's what they're saying so far. nobody is saying that this doesn't all look, you know, not great. i mean, we have moved passed there. there was a time when you could find republicans who would say, oh, you know, it was really nothing. they're digging up things that aren't really there. we are passed that. people are now saying well,
obviously this could have happened very easily, we're willing to buy into all of the explanations. i think that's been a noticeable shift from republicans. >> jeremy, let me give you the remaining time. >> just really quickly, but then after the president comes into office sally yates goes to the white house counsel and says that the russians are able to blackmail the national security adviser, mike flynn. now are we to believe that jared kushner was not involved in the conversations about whether to retain mike flynn and what about the firing of comey? is jared kushner involved in those discussions? i think there are a lot more questions to be answered than merely what were the four instances he met a russian in 2016. a lot more ground to be plowed here. >> do you think he'll be questioned in conjunction with the special counsel by looking
into firing comey while he was investigating russia? >> absolutely. the second is what the did the president do in office with regard to the comey firing and obstruction of justice and i think he'll probably have to testify publicly before the house and senate on both matters. >> he probably isn't going to be letting go of his attorneys any time soon. kasie, there's a tweet we're following from senator cornyn about john mccain? >> yeah. politico tweeting out that cornyn has said they're trying to convince john mccain's doctors let him come back and take a vote tomorrow on this critical motion to start debate on the health care bill. we know that the president has said, we need his vote. nobody has ruled out completely the possibility that mccain might come up here. i mean, you have known him well over the years. those close to him have said, young, the last thing he wants to do is sit around in arizona. he wants to be, you know, doing what he can do with everything he has here and they do really need him. so you know, i think hopefully
we'll some more formal word from his office tonight. i think there's possibly a question about, you know, whether or not he would be the deciding vote. that would be a different scenario. you know, if republican leads are hearing behind the scenes that murkowski and capito are potentially willing to say yes, then you're talking about a different conversation. >> you were laughing through that. you know john mccain. >> pretty well. with great respect. i don't know physically if he can get on the airplane. that's for the doctors to decide. if he can, i think the drama of john mccain coming back to be the vote puts this at 51 is almost irresistible to john mccain. >> really quickly. >> as much as they want to have the pierce moment he's coming on the court to save everything, this is a bill that people have a problem with. >> yeah. >> all it does is get them one step. >> all right. we have to take a quick break. kasie hunt, thank you for spending time with us.
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ykeep you sidelined.ng that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. does the white house believe that the president has the power to pardon himself? >> i don't know. i don't -- we haven't even really looked into that. i don't know. i talked to jay sekulow about that because he's a scholar and you know i took constitutional law from larry tribe and if professor tribe is listening i know he doesn't like the president but i got an a-minus. >> that's quite a credential. can the president pardon himself? one of the hottest questions in legal circles right now. president trump said he has complete power to do so and laurence tribe and others argue that the power would fall short.
joining us is another tribe student, jerry bash. what did you get in his class? >> who the hell knows and it's irrelevant. >> you wouldn't say it on tv. can he or can't he pardon himself? >> i think he may be able to pardon himself but i want to hasten to add that's auto impeachment. he can grant reprieves and pardons except in the cases of impeachment we means if congress wants to -- if the house wants to impeach a president and the senate votes to convict a pardon will not save you. i think a president who pardons himself basically is saying, i have committed a crime and that is the justification for impeachment and conviction and removal from office. >> is this the republican's or the democrat's worst nightmare that the president would go ahead and pardon himself if he thinks -- is it a preemptive move or -- >> i think first of all,
obviously, we don't know exactly what he's going to do. and even if he can't pardon himself he can pardon others. but i do believe that from what i understand even though it's muddled that he does have the right to pardon himself. i do believe it would lead to the impeachment and i think that puts the republicans in a position there's no chance of impeachment before the midterm elections presuming the republicans might regain some power. but -- >> and if you think you have seen chaos, that would be chaos. and they would have to go into it i think going to the judiciary committee and having real hearings, serious hearings about what was done, where. and all of this would have obviously -- pld be done in the
public eye. i remember watergate, i was old enough to realize what was going on. those were real set of hearings that developed real material. >> a real somber time for our country. what is he doing talking about this? >> i don't know -- again, i'm not a lawyer. although i do know larry tribe. i met him in the coffee shop at one point. >> did you get an a-minus? >> i do not know whether it's possible to pardon someone who's not been convicted or at least accused or indicted. so i don't know that preemptive pardoning is possible. >> i made that up. >> that i know. and trump's posture though is i have done nothing wrong. >> right. >> so he's certainly not going to take this up in any instance unless he were actually under threat of indictment or had been convicted of something. i think the reality is that to jeremy's point, the practical political reality is a president moving to pardoning himself
would be tantamount to admitting he committed a crime. we would not get to that, the reality -- >> you think somebody would stop him? >> in the impeachment hearings you would be in the full state of constitutional crisis so i don't think we'll test this theory. >> i have no confidence that they'll hold him accountable because people are still going to vote for this president. they're still going to vote for the republicans so it doesn't matter if he does something terrible or against the norms or a complete violation of the constitution. ate what they like. -- it's what they like. they like that kind of aggressiveness. what's interesting and john mentioned this, and something i have been asking of the lawyers, mueller knows this too. they're smarter than him, they're smarter than trump and the lawyers. that's why they haven't put anyone under investigation. they're not going to hand out any of the indictments until
some time november of 2020. >> jerry bash, thank you for playing our law professor. it's not just the russia investigation causing friction between the president and the top cabinet advisers. the war in afghanistan is causing tension. we'll talk to the reporter on the beat next. ♪ ♪ i'm... i'm so in love with you. ♪ ♪ whatever you want to do... ♪ ...is alright with me. ♪ ooo baby let's... ♪ ...let's stay together... he's happy.t's with him? your family's finally eating vegetables thanks to our birds eye voila skillet meals. and they only take 15 minutes to make. ahh! birds eye voila so veggie good
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tremendous people. nothing like it. the job they do, absolutely incredible. you'll be hearing. >> that was president trump at the pentagon on thursday. his strategy on afghanistan still unclear, despite a two-hour meeting with national security advisers. his remarks came just days after those same officials gathered to discuss america's longest war, but one which noted today struck a vastly different tone t. wroting the session was described by two sources briefed on it as a bleep show that featured what a third source was a heated debate where words were exchangtd. susan glasser joins me now. susan, a remarkable piece. i want to read you one of the quotes from it. tillerson teamed up with mattis to block mcmaster's initial version of a proposal which they believe trump and political advisers, notably chief
strategist steve bannon would not support without clearer markers of success. talk to me about the role, steve bannon very publicly was kicked off the national security counsel ill, but from your piece it sounds like he still plays an null role in decisions about national security, which might disturb some people, but might be what the president wants. what do you understand to be the case? >> well, i think you're right. it's what the president wants. and by all accounts steve bannon has been involved very much in the discussions that -- months of discussions over what to do about afghanistan. it hasn't gotten as much attention as the debates over russia or the iran deal. but when i started talking with people about this, what i found is that the fight over what to do about america's longest war has been consuming the trump white house. remember that h.r. mcmaster the national security advisor seshld in the military as a three star general in afghanistan. he felt like this was a channels for a do over.
the obama administration had screwed up and this was an opportunity to sell to trump where he could really make a difference. however, i think he's got a skeptical customer in the president. this is one of many increasing signs i was told by people of really increasing he is strangement between mcmaster and the boss. and i think steve bannon, you know, is pretty clearly emerged as sort of a rival poll when it comes to the competing views of trump forp policy in the white house. >> it's so fascinating because bannon was against president trump picking scaramucci as communications director but on questions of war straenl he's listening to him instead of mcmathser. i get a fixed report card on the president's afin ilt for mcmaster. and i worpd if you hear any of the same tensions emerging between tillerson at state. there was a story i think you had some reporting on the tensions between kushner and tillerson. mattis is viewed as sort of the holy grail of that team like theo da figure if you will. what do you hear about the
dynamic between the president and the other most prominent members of his national security steam? >> well, nichole, look, i think one thing we're learning very clearly is if you thought the national security team was going to be in oasis of relative calm in the chaos presidency, that's not the case. clearly the faxes, the infighting and the uncertainty have spilled over into the national security realm. and i'm not surprised because in the end trump has made clear that he's the decider, to use the words of your former boss jornl w. bush. and what that means is that he is both constantly overruling or pushing these ch more traditional republican foreign policy guys. and they're just not on the same page with the boss. and so of course they're fighting with each other increasingly as well too. >> all right. susan glasser. it's an amazing piece. thank you so much for spnding some time with us. we're going to sneak in a quick break. we'll be right back.
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. thanks to my panel john, jason, dave. and you know what i'm going to do tonight at six o'clock? one of the nicest people, one of the smartest and best broadcasters, ari melber starts his new show tonight in one hour. that does it for now. "mtp daily" starts right now. hi, chris. >> but keep it tuned now. if it's monday, jared kushner opens up behind closed doors. >> tonight, the kushner connection. the president's son-in-law and top advisor tells senate investigators there's no smoke around his four meetings with russians during the campaign. >> let me be very clear, i did not coll