tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC July 24, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
as we start a new week, good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. this is day 186 of the trump administration, and it's a busy one on many fronts including the russia investigation, trump's cabinet, his twitter feed, active again tonight. his son-in-law and the health care debate. late tonight a recuperating senator john mccain announced he will be back in washington tomorrow for that tight vote on whether to bring the republican health care bill to the floor of the senate. more on that later in our broadcast tonight. today the russia investigation also took a major step forward. for the first time a member of the president's inner circle faced questions on capitol hill. put another way, this
investigation has now come within one man of the president. he is arguably the closest man to the president. white house senior adviser and son-in-law jared kushner spent more than two hours with the senate intelligence committee and then he made a public statement saying he never colluded with russia. it comes as trump pours the pressure on his own attorney general, jeff sessions, who recused himself from the justice department's russia investigation months ago. a decision the president has not been able to get past. he wrote about sessions on twitter this morning, referring to his own attorney general, mind you, as "our beleaguered attorney general. and tonight the "washington post" has a new report headline, "trump leaves sessions twisting in the wind while berating him publicly." it reads in part, "sessions was once considered one of the trump's closest advisers and enjoyed access few others had. now he is left to endure regular
public criticism by his boss." and it adds that some in the white house are going so far as to toss out names of who could replace sessions. names like senator ted cruz of texas and former new york city mayor rudolph giuliani, though both have distanced themselves from this speculation. and then tonight the president boarded air force one and he flew to west virginia to give a speech to 30,000 boy scouts at the annual boy scout jamboree. and the reaction to what he said started as he was saying it. when it became clear he was giving a political speech, a rally speech, an adult speech, to 30,000 boy scouts who tonight got to hear the president relitigate his election victory including how it's harder to win the electoral college than it is the popular vote. the boy scouts heard their president tell them the news media in their country are fake. they heard him talk about the
so-called war on christmas, the effort to pass health care, and then some. >> by the way, just a question. did president obama ever come to a jamboree in? we won and won. so when they said there is no way to victory, there is no way to 270, you know i went to maine four times because it's one vote. and we won. but we won. one vote. i went there because i kept hearing we're 269. but then wisconsin came in. many, many years, michigan came in. so -- and we worked hard there. you know, my opponent didn't work hard there. because she was told -- the polls. that's also fake news.
they're fake polls. but the polls are saying but we won wisconsin. so i have to tell you what we did in all fairness is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for make america great again. and by the way, under the trump administration you'll be saying merry christmas again when you go shopping, believe me. merry christmas. >> secretary tom price is also here today. dr. price still lives the scout oath, helping to keep millions of americans strong and healthy as our secretary of health and human services. by the way, you're going to get the votes? he better get them. he better get them. oh, he better. otherwise, i'll say tom, you're
fired. i'll get somebody. >> on that note let's bring in tonight's starting panel, white house reporter for the "washington post" ashley parker. white house reporter for the associated press, vivian salama. and fresh off air force one traveling with the president to west virginia and back tonight eli stokols, reporter for the "wall street journal." eli, before i toss the first question to you i want to show the reaction that started coming in tonight, some of it from people we know and our colleagues here. we have some of the twitter feeds to put up on the screen. starting with richard painter, the former ethics czar in the bush white house. "boy scouts must distance themselves from that offensive attempt to politicize scouting and turn them into a trump youth organization." steve schmidt of the mccain campaign, "this eagle scout is appalled." mark salter, "i was a boy scout five or six years, the whole point of the experience was to teach kids not to grow up to be
like donald trump." and one more from our own nicole wallace, who was retweeting a twitter rant the president went on just tonight about "washington post." she said, "serious question, mr. president, is this the tweet you started to type as an apology to the boy scouts before your rage toward the media took over?" eli we both covered a lot of events and you're in a hurry to get back to the motorcade and all kinds of things. sometimes it's not readily apparent at a live event exactly what it is you're seeing. was it apparent in real time that this was a very adult kind of campaign trail rally speech? >> yeah, in a way. because you could see the crowd. and after a campaign in which we saw so many times this candidate feed off large crowds, tonight he had maybe 40,000 people packed around that amphitheater. they were giving him a pretty good response cheering loudly and when we walked out on the stage the first thing he did was
criticize the media, said we wouldn't report the size of the crowd. the second thing he did was ad-lib this line about who the hell wants to talk about politics when you're in front of the boy scouts? and that was a big flashing red light. usually when you parse what donald trump says he'll say something like a lot of people don't know this. that's code for i just found this out. when donald trump said tonight, i'm not going to talk about politics, you knew immediately that a lot of political red meat was coming. and you know, this crowd, they may have been young. a lot of people might have thought this wasn't appropriate. but when he was talking about killing obamacare, when he was jokingly threatening to fire tom price, when he was going on and on with an anecdote about levittown that went all over the map to a manhattan cocktail party and back, they were sitting there giving him positive feedback, and i'm sure this president loved the reaction that he got and probably the news coverage to the extent that the networks did stay on it. >> it's starting to sound like he has an obsession perhaps relitigating the electoral college victory.
>> starting. yeah. >> unbelievable that we heard that again tonight. well, ashley parker, then we move on to the fact that one of the eagle scouts in his cabinet was not present tonight. we saw health and human services. we saw energy. we saw interior. we didn't see justice. jeff sessions wasn't there. but jeff sessions is a man in the news. tell us the latest on what you know. >> sure. that was a very pointed absence that jeff sessions, former eagle scout, was not there. but he is sort of weathering a storm of his own right now. which is basically the president is actively incredibly frustrated with him. and according to his aides the president despite making his name on the catch phrase you're fired is not actually that good at firing people. so he's not necessarily going to go out and fire jeff sessions. he also realizes there would be a huge political headache and
controversy if he fires him. but according to aides who have a sense what he is thinking he is doing everything in his power to get jeff sessions to resign. that includes the interview with "the new york times" we saw last week where he trashed his attorney general. and then this tweet today where he called him beleaguered. and also sort of asked in very sort of stark and stunning terms why aren't you investigating hillary clinton, my political rival? and the white house is going so far as the president has been floating names internally of who he might be a good replacement for jeff sessions and that includes senator ted cruz and rudy giuliani. >> vivian, you've probably grown 30 years in journalism experience in six months and long ago learned to toss out the phrase "he would never," dot, dot, dot. as all of washington tries to war game out what this could be about, it could be about mueller. it could be there is someone in
mind for the justice department. and it could be that he is waiting for congress to go on recess to appoint that person and really blow up washington. >> or it could be just that president trump does not really handle criticism and opposition very well. and we've seen that. every single time he's -- someone pushes against him about a policy or any of his views he comes back swinging. and we see that even in the situation now with jeff sessions, and just the fact that jeff sessions would take a step back and recuse himself from the investigation. president trump sees that as basically his way of conceding to the possibility that there could be an issue with the campaign in terms of collusion, in terms of any kind of controversy surrounding them with russia. and so he has taken that very, very personally. and from someone who he once presumed to be very loyal to him. that was a sign of disloyalty. so that really affected their relationship. but what's more interesting now
is what we've seen collectively. what my colleagues all have just talked about. what we saw today in west virginia and what we saw today with jeff sessions. i cover national security. one of the things i hear from so many people here in d.c. and more broadly in the country that i speak to is what this is doing to our country's institutions when you go after the media, when you go after cabinet secretaries so publicly and things like that. it really starts to chip away at the institutions of this country. and it's really starting to alarm a lot of people who feel that this is not the time and particularly when we found ourselves so vulnerable to outside influences such as what happened with russia last year and, you know, and whatnot. it's really starting to alarm a lot of people that the president is really just pouring gas on an open fire. >> eli, since vivian mentioned natural security, it actually plays into part of his twitter fusillade tonight. we haven't i don't think taken the time to make them all graphics because there was a flurry of a couple of them
obviously after the boy scout event. but i know you -- one of them caught your eye because it was about a mission overseas. >> well, about these payments to syrian rebels that the administration has stopped. russia wanted the u.s. to stop those payments. there was a "washington post" story about that and late tonight after he got back to the white house the president tweeting here about ending that program really confirming the program existed. it was a classified program. he's now declassified it, as presidents can do. but he's really upset again like vivian mentioned. an institution, the "washington post," the media. with the courts. he's looked -- today they go back to that tweet this morning about beleaguered attorney general jeff sessions should investigate hillary clinton. his political opponent on air force one today sarah huckabee sanders came back and answered questions for a few minutes with reporters that were on the plane. one of the questions she got was is the president serious? does he really want the justice department to investigate his past political opponent.
and her answer was, well, i would think he wants the justice department to investigate anything that they believe to be a potential crime. and if you just play that back, clip -- set that aside. that is stunning because what we're seeing here is what we've been talking about since the show began is this president's anger at his justice department and attorney general for investigating him because they're not sure whether or not his campaign may have committed some crimes during the last election. it's really just sort of a stunning moment and stunning political tin ear tone deafness, whatever you want to call it. >> ashley at the risk of being accused of navel gaze'll let's take a moment and talk about our profession. i've said around the newsroom for the last couple of months the last thing you want to be this year is a pulitzer prize judge. good luck there because i think we could double the number of them usually awarded for the reporting that has gone on in the first six months of this administration.
there hasn't been this great a time to work for the -- because jeff bezos owns it -- amazon "washington post" or "the new york times" since the pentagon papers, since the mid '70s. with that in mind when you hear a president say to this colorful, spirited audience of 30,000 kids in the most american organization you can think of, boy scouts of america, when you hear him tell them their news media are fake, what effect do you think that might have? >> well, i think it goes back to the point earlier in this program about the president either intentionally or unintentionally or probably some combination of both chipping away at a lot of these democratic institutions. and i would include the media first among that. i think it has a very corrosive effect. it's not good when people don't trust the media which is tasked with -- the media used to be a place where people would turn to
for fact checks, they heard something a politician said and they wanted to know if it was true or not and they wanted to know what's going on with their community. and to be clear that's still the function we're performing. but if the president is for lack of a better term throwing shade i don't think that's good for democracy or for some of these people but i would also add that for whatever he says i don't think as you've seen from these stories coming from sort of all major publications, the media is in no way cowed. and often you find when the president pushes back against a story or tweets about it it just means the reporters and their publications are on the right track. >> vivian, as much as i read the three of you you are often tasked with the fastest version of journalism. i've seen all of you search for ways to put the new normal -- a lot of the old modifiers we used to use when covering presidents aren't enough anymore. >> well, one thing that is really important for all of us and we've kind of learned to do this in real time is fact check. and it's nothing necessarily
personal to president trump in particular. but it's the fact that he is so active on twitter. and that lends a totally different dynamic to covering the presidency than it has in the past. of course i wasn't covering the white house under previous administrations, so it's hard to compare. but certainly from what my colleagues tell me this is a lot faster pace. you're dealing with a lot more information. i get in real early in the morning and i'm usually covering tweets, trying to decipher them. sometimes we're not exactly sure exactly what he's talking about. so we kind of spend our morning really trying to understand and interpret. so that the american people who are receiving his message can better understand what he's saying. all of those things are definitely new challenges, exciting but also you know sometimes very difficult. >> vivian salama, who had at least one war time overseas posting. i'm not sure which was more dangerous or difficult looking back. vivian, thank you. ashley, thank you. eli, thank you very much. great beginning panel tonight. coming up after our first break, jared kushner and the questions
it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. welcome back to the monday edition of our broadcast. the president's son-in-law, senior adviser jared kushner, appeared on capitol hill this morning where he was interviewed by senate intelligence committee staffers behind closed doors. more on that in a bit by the way. earlier, kushner had released an 11-page statement. in it he admitted to four meetings with russians.
he says he didn't know about the russia meeting in trump tower in advance with donald trump jr. and asked to be called out of it early. later, at a white house lectern and with the white house as his backdrop he read a short statement to the reporters in the white house driveway. >> since the first questions were raised in march, i have been consistent in saying that i was eager to share any information i have with the investigating bodies, and i've done so today. the record and documents i have voluntarily provided will show that all of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign. 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. >> joining me now jeremy bash former chief of staff at d.o.d. and cia and importantly former chief counsel for the house intel committee and the former u.s. ambassador to russia during the obama administration. veteran diplomat mike mcfall. guys, i'm going to do this as rounds of questions like a committee. first round to both of you starting with you, jeremy. that wording he just used there and elsewhere in the statement. what was important to you today about his wording and what words weren't in there, perhaps? >> well, it depends on the definition of colluding. i think an important question that bob mueller will ask and that congressional investigators will ask is did anybody in the senior levels of the trump campaign know the russian government was seeking to intercede and help the trump campaign? obviously the nation knew that as of october 7th. that was the date that of course
homeland security and the director of national intelligence said that russia is the culprit. after that i would add jared kushner, mike flynn and others had multiple meetings with russians. that's something to be followed up upon. buts question is as of that june 2016 meeting did jared kushner, did paul manafort, did don jr. know what was stated in the e-ma e-mail, which is that the russian government was trying to help? >> ambassador mcfall, same question. anything stand out to you from the wording or omissions? >> two things. first of all, that email we've all read it, we read the subject line. they said they're going to provide information to help the trump campaign. if the verb collude is not the right one -- is not the one that jared kushner wants to use, what's the right one? because it sure sounds like collusion to me. so's wh what is that act that w described? the second thing -- i don't want to get ahead of my skis, we want to know the full disclosure what he said when we get a chance.
but when he said very carefully in that statement i did not rely on russian funding for my businesses, that was very striking to me. because rely is a very strong word. that suggests that he's dependent on them. but did he have business contacts with russians? did he have investments with russians? that sentence left it open. we simply don't know the actual business operations that he had with russian investors. >> jeremy, were you surprised as someone who has been around washington a long time at the stage craft of it? someone pointed out today the new leader of ireland was not afforded a lectern like that when he came out to meet with reporters and used a very ramshackle microphone stand. the marine opens the door, the president's son-in-law comes outs at a very formal -- there's nothing ambiguous about that backdrop. >> no question. he had the full backing and support of the white house both literally and figuratively. he also had i would say a good
day from the perspective of his legal team. they really controlled the narrative. they wrote this 11-page statement. they got all of their facts out on the table in a way they wanted to present. now, of course we don't know what the questions were behind closed doors. but i think ultimately both committees are going to ask him to testify publicly. if he's willing to put out a public statement they're going to want to question him on the record under oath in front of the cameras. >> ambassador, knowing the russians as you do, if i appointed you chief counsel to any one of these committees and brought you in the hearing room having promised you that a strange russian woman wouldn't troll you by sitting behind you with your family, what would you want to ask mr. kushner, again, colored by your knowledge of the russians? >> i have two central questions, brian. one, what was the content of that conversation? what did she bring? it's been alleged that she handed over some documents.
what were in the documents? we don't know the content of that meeting. it's been described to us that he wanted to leave because there was nothing there. maybe he wanted to leave because there was something really scary there and he didn't want to be part of it. the content is still mysterious. second, i want to know why he discussed with ambassador kizlyak the idea of going into the russian embassy to have conversations with officials back in moscow. allegedly, it was to talk about syria. jared kushner has a giant portfolio, but solving the syrian war is not one of those. allegedly it was too sensitive for whom not to hear what was going on? i want to know what was behind that conversation that led him to come up with that idea or led ambassador kizlyak to come up with that idea. >> and jeremy, last question goes to you, this actually was your job. so if you were in your old job as counsel to house intel, what do you want to hear? >> i want to know what role he played when sally yates, the
acting attorney general, warned the white house, warned the president that the russians were able to blackmail the national security adviser. and importantly, i want to know what was his role in advising the president on whether to fire jim comey. ultimately, brian, the issue of obstruction of justice with regard to the president's own actions vis-a-vis comey, that's a much larger issue in this entire investigation. >> after yet another eventful day on this topic we say modestly to our viewers we don't think there are two guests in television better equipped to talk about this day than the two gentlemen we have here. jeremy bash, michael mcfaul, thank you both so much for coming on with us. after another break coming up president trump takes aim at fellow members of his party when "the 11th hour" continues. introducing listerine® zero alcohol™. it delivers a whole mouth clean with a less intense taste. so it has the bad breath germ-killing power of this... with the lighter feel... of this.
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. but so far senate republicans have not done their job in ending the obamacare nightmare. they now have a chance, however, to hopefully, hopefully fix what has been so badly broken for such a long time. and that is through replacement
of a horrible disaster known as obamacare. >> that was president trump today before his trip to west virginia tonight putting pressure on his own party to get a health care bill passed. the senate will vote tomorrow as we said to advance a bill repealing obamacare. however, it's not clear which version of the legislation will be on the floor. as you may know, a little civics, republicans need 51 votes to move forward, but appear a little short of a majority. we learn tonight as we said john mccain who has been in arizona after being being diagnosed with brain cancer will return to washington to vote on something called that motion to proceed. first step toward bringing up the real health care bill. his yes vote is critical. joining us tonight, politics editor for the root, jason johnson back with us and long-time libertarian radio talk show host jim sharp is back with
us from a very germane place of arizona. welcome to you both. jason, in the break i asked you the question i'm going to ask you right now, how does mitch mcconnell approach a lectern and microphones if as people believe this could be a suicide mission? how are you going to move the four -- perhaps more republican defections despite john mccain making this heroic journey back from arizona? >> they really have no chance. and this is a way to somewhat placate president trump and at least look like you're busy. that's pretty much what they're doing at this point. they don't have the votes to even proceed to debate. and here's the thing, brian. and this is what's also key. when rand paul and susan collins and murkowski, when these first one or two people say no, that opens the floodgates for everyone else. >> it makes it okay. >> it makes it easy for everyone else to back out of this bill. i don't see this moving forward. mitch mcconnell's wasting a lot of political capital on a bill that people still don't know what they're going to vote for. >> and people like susan collins
have moral authority, they have standing. she is not a bomb thrower in the back of the u.s. senate. she is a prominent member of the republican party. >> they're not back ventures and on top of that they're not afraid of donald trump. they're not afraid -- they're not heller in nevada. they're not on these marginal seats. these are people who outperform trump in their own states. so he can threaten them, he can tweet them, he can say whatever he wants, they can vote their conscience and the voters will have their back. >> jim, we were thinking about you, a, because i'm sure it's been an emotional time in your state, especially for republicans who love john mccain and are wondering how this is going to play out. but be your party, your political party, and trump's choice of words. he rarely chooses words by accident or on a whim. there's usually a reason for everything. and today in his remarks he more than once called the republican party they, third person, as if not to be a member. >> yeah. brian, thanks. first off, is john mccain just a
tough son of a gun or what? >> yeah, he is. i'm going to close the show tonight with some of the best comparisons i've heard on how tough he is. so. >> yeah. and you know, even though i'm not a republican, i worked during my political time primarily with gop candidates. you know what? this kind of makes sense because donald trump is kind of a johnny come lately republican. he garnered a lot of his support from people who were really truly populists. and i think he's hoping to draw on his base to get them to push republicans, who by the way shouldn't be doing this to appease donald trump, they should be doing this to appease voters. they promised voters this for years and years and years. they said they were going to repeal and replace obamacare, and now they don't seem to be able to do it. they did it in 2015. they took this same vote in 2015. but they did that knowing that president obama at the time was not going to sign this. so you know, they need to do this for the voters.
they need to do this because they promised they were going to do it, not because they need to appease donald trump. >> jason, this is another way that this presidency upends the rules. when you're trying to get something passed on the hill you go out on the road and you talk to the customers and you sell it to them. he has not taken that ownership and listen to who's missing in our conversation and he err woo guilty of this too often, we're not talking about the customers, the anxiety in states like arizona, what's going to happen to our health care premiums, to our availability? >> you know it's two years ago at this point obama has a townhall. he goes to ohio. he answers questions. the number one salesperson in this country right now should be donald trump and he is failing. he's hiding up in the bleachers like two muppets just making fun of his own party rather than being out there shake hands and making people feel safe and secure. he doesn't vuft have to sell this to the american public. he's got to go to those marginal senators and say i'll have your back. if your governor, if john kasich gets mad at you rob portman for helping take away medicare i will go and campaign on your
behalf. instead he's throwing tomatoes from the sidelines. that's not how you run this government p and i completely agree with your other guest. the republican party owe this to their base. the american people may not like what they're doing but this is a pledge and the fact after seven years they still don't have a plan it's an embarrassment. it's an embarrassment to how democracy's supposed to operate. >> what if the president turned this just crazy pie in the sky thinking what if the president turned to the governors just to name a couple, colorado, ohio and tennessee, and said, you three levelheaded governors put your heads together and the senate has promised me that we're going to coalesce around what you, where the rubber meets the road, you think are the health care challenges and we're going to try to do the best for your folks. >> boy, i don't know. i don't know how that would go to be honest with you. he might want to consider talking to our governor. we've seen the worst of what obamacare has to offer.
it's unfortunate. you know, we've seen huge premium increases. we're going to have only one choice in each one of the obamacare exchanges in all of our counties this coming year. and we're going to see another increase even though we saw 116% increase previously. so i think it's a great idea. especially because medicaid happens to be a big sticking point on this. and that's -- that's distributed at the state level. so i think it makes a lot of sense for him to bring governors in. i just don't think -- as much as his base likes to think he does, i just don't think he's very good at working with a lot of other people, to be honest with you. >> yeah, there is that. hey, jim, how can our viewers hear you on the web? >> available at ktar.com. and they can listen on the good old fm dial, 92.3. 5:00 to 9:00 a.m. thanks. >> thank you for coming on. jason, always a pleasure. thank you, sir. another break for us. back with a member of the senate intelligence committee. and still ahead as we continue,
tonight, new reporting on the president's new communications director. and another possible shake-up at the white house when "the 11th hour" continues. oh, look... another anti-wrinkle cream in no hurry to make anything happen. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair works in just one week. with the fastest retinol formula to visibly reduce wrinkles. neutrogena®.
twenty thousand dollars. at lendingtree, you know you're getting the best deal. so take the power back and come to lendingtree.com, because at lendingtree when banks compete, you win. welcome back to "the 11th hour." earlier tonight we talked to a critical member of the senate intelligence committee, senator joe manchin, democrat from west virginia. i started our conversation by asking him if jared kushner's statement today outside the west wing in the white house driveway was enough or if he, senator manchin, wants to see him in front of his committee in a public setting. >> well, today he appeared before the stat of the senate intelligence. that's the procedure they go through, the intelligence committee with our chairman and vice chairman. the procedure is the staff goes through the different questions and tries to put the puzzle together the best that they possibly can.
then we had an informal briefing at 2:00, the members. so we had an informal briefing on what they talked about. until we get the transcripts in front of us at the formal meeting that decision will be made to bring him forward. and i think there's enough interest where jared would come before the full committee, the intelligence. >> what will your reaction be if the president fires mueller or if the president tries to pardon members of his own family? >> let's talk about mr. mueller first. i just -- i think there would be a severe reaction up here because of the person doesn't have a stellar reputation and a stellar career and gives so much service to our country at the highest level and have the -- have the total cohesion of republicans and democrats believing that this person will exercise the rule of law, protect the rule of law and act upon the rule of law. i don't know of anybody else that fits that category. so saying all of a sudden he doesn't fit that or he is unfit
for serving and he would not be respectful of the decision he makes, i don't think that would be accepted 59 all, or very well at all on both sides of the aisle. not just democrats but democrats and republicans alike. as far, brian, as the pardon, i think it's just premature to talk about any of this. i don't know why this is even coming up. we're just trying to find the facts. and people talking about these pardons, it baffles me now to even be speaking about that. >> let's talk about your constituents, the people of west virginia. the president as we've already noted traveling there tonight. >> right. >> first of all, do they all believe obamacare, the a.c.a., is dead? if you ask them. because we sure keep hearing that from the president and most republicans. and secondly, how many trips home can you make without a deliverable, without something to say we're doing this for you because we share your anxiety over your health care?
>> well, every demographic of my state is affected. if you're old, if you're young, if you're in the middle somewhere, if you had opiate addiction, if you have mental illness. i mean, we're helping so many. senior citizens, nursing homes. you name it we are affected by this, the same as other rural states are too. so i have said, a vote to proceed tomorrow if that's where mitch mcconnell and his leadership from the republicans is taking us i would say a vote to proceed is a vote to repeal. and the reason i say that, brian, there's no way that they can say, well, we're going to go ahead and proceed to get on the ball so we can fix it. if you want to fix the affordable care act, i want to fix it. put it in committee and let's work it through the process. we have experts coming in. we can dissect that bill. we can find out what makes it better from the people who've worked it before, the things that have failed, and let's get the private sector, the private
market if you will, stabilized. and let's make sure that people that got health care for the first time, the expansion, 20 million people, are now going to learn how through education and through management we're going to show them how to use it much more effective and efficiently and save money along the way. >> do you think the attorney general should resign? do you think he will resign? >> i don't think he should. he did exactly what he was supposed to. he recused himself from being involved in the michael -- in this whole investigation because he and michael flynn had a relationship and they were campaigning together and they were on the campaign trail. i think rudy giuliani said it, he did the proper things by the rules of justice. i don't know what the reason would be. but i will say this. the president or the chief executive -- i was governor of my state and i wanted to put my staff together and have people around me. and the president has that prerogative to do. that's part of the job and he has to have a team that he believes in. and he will make that decision. but i don't think what jeff has
done by recusing himself, he did exactly what he should have done. >> joe manchin, democrat west virginia. thank you, senator, very much for being with us on the broadcast tonight. >> always good to be with you, brian. thank you. >> thank you, sir. up next the late headline from the "washington post" on the man whose friends call him mooch. also known to the rest of us as anthony scaramucci. the new white house communications director. this includes what new changes may come. we'll have the writer of the piece on with us next.
he. it's a complete bogus and nonsensical thing. the kid took a nothing meeting. i think reince priebus called it a nothing burger -- >> would you take that meeting? >> since that's been overused -- would i have taken that meeting? i'm not sure. >> white house communications director athens scaramucci calling the president's 39-year-old son a kid and the russia probe completely bogus.
tonight the "washington post" is reporting that scaramucci may be pushing a staff purge at the white house. "he is meeting one on one with aides in an effort to understand each person's contributions and weed out those he determines are not working hard enough to defend the president. that's within the communication shop. scaramucci's plan to overhaul is likely to leave priebus even more isolated in the west wing. the coauthor of the article, ashley parker, has agreed to stay even later with us tonight. she's back with us. ashley, thank you. as i ask you this next question, since you are all over social media, i want to show you something that tonight is also all over social media. psychiatrists call this mirroring. when someone mirrors an important person they have to deal with. whether conscious or unconscious. "the daily show with trevor noah" has put together this mashup of the symmetry in hand gestures between the boss,
donald trump, and anthony scaramucci, his communications director. and it's stunning to watch. it's just fantastic. having said all that, your piece drops while washington is watching this per significant rumor that scaramucci, how to put this politely, may be a trojan horse to be the next chief of staff and may be the priebus replacement in the parking space of head of the com shop. do you address that? >> that's certainly what some allies of scaramucci have been floating. to be clear, if that does end up being the case, and i think we are very far from knowing this. he's just four days into his job as the communications director. it would add insult to injury to reince priebus, who fought this appointment vigorously and basically lost. and it was a clear sign the president was choosing someone else over reince's wishes and also notably a communications
director reports to the chief of staff but in this case anthony scaramucci, as he made very clear several times, reports directly to president trump. so it's a tough situation for reince to be in. >> so do you have evidence that these staff reviews he's conducting -- and again, west wing employees in the name of the president have the right to have a loyal staff of nonleakers, though it will be tough to be in the ashley parker business after that. do you have the feeling it's all in the com shop or is his purview a little bit broader to encompass the west wing? >> he has a very broad purview. and one of the things that was striking, this white house can sort of be divided into the family and the help. and the family is president trump and his actual family, his daughter, ivanka, his son-in-law jared kushner, and then the family, his aides who have been with him since the campaign, hope hicks and dan scovino and
they're very close with him. and the help is the rest of the staff who works hard for him but feels very expendable as we're seeing this week even with attorney general sessions. one thing that was striking is that anthony scaramucci comes in for whatever reason as family. so in terms of the shake-up and the overhaul he's doing what we're hearing most about now is the communications shop. that makes sense because he's the communications director. but i do think in theory his mandate, especially if he does a good job for the president, might end up being quite broader. >> ashley parker, we cannot thank you enough. your day starts earlier than ours. i'll just put it that way. we cannot thank you enough for agreeing to stay late and talk about the piece you wrote with phil rucker. thank you so much. we'll be looking for your byline again tomorrow. coming up after our final break, we heard reference to this earlier. just how tough is john mccain? we'll take on that question when "the 11th hour" continues.
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last thing before we go, it was john mccain's best friend in the senate, his constant wing man lindsey graham of south carolina who said cancer has never had a more worthy opponent than john mccain. and we've said repeatedly in this space john mccain doesn't scare easily. and so with that in mind, noting he is needed and his arrival will be used to great dramatic effect in the republican caucus, john mccain will in fact arrive tomorrow in the capitol building.
he will take his seat in the senate representing the great state of arizona. and while the vote is simply, again, to move a health care bill closer to being the real thing, it will be a real moment. he had surgery that later revealed that malignant brain tumor just 11 days ago, after all. and he vowed or, better yet, warned his colleagues he'd be back. in recent days we have heard people call john mccain "tougher t than a boiled owl" and "tougher than a $2 steak." those are good ones. you're free to use them. in that toughness, in that way we will see what john mccain is made of tomorrow and in the days to come. that is our broadcast for a monday night. as we start a new week, thank you so much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters here in new york.
tonight on "all in" -- >> let me be very clear. i did not collude with russia. >> denials on the white house driveway. >> i had no improper contacts. plans to ask kushner next. and is the president about to fire his attorney general? >> how do you take a job and recuse yourself? >> new speculation on possible replacement. >> you know who you are! >> and new questions about pardon power. >> he brought that up. he said but he doesn't have to be pardoned. >> and countdown to confusion. >> for the past 17 years obamacare has wreaked havoc. >> unprecedented deception and deflection as republicans prepare it take a health care vote that no one can explain. >> the first rule of medicine is, do no harm. >> "all in" starts right now.