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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  August 31, 2017 1:00am-2:00am PDT

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learned a lot. >> thank you. that is "all in" for this evening. good evening, rachel. breaking tonight. donald trump can't escape the russia headlines. new roaring on robert mueller's investigation, paul manafort, trump attorney michael cohen and the trump junior meeting. plus, what putin spokesman has to say about that e-mail on trump tower moscow. also, the president hits the road to sell a tax plan. the only problem, there's not much of a plan to sell. instead, he's warning congress not to disappoint him. and the number out tonight of american who's believe president trump is tearing the country apart. "the 11th hour" begins now.
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good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. i'm ali velshi in for brian williams. there was day 223 of the trump administration and tonight, harvey has been downgraded to a tropical depression after a dramatic day of rescues played out on televisions across the nation. the president had hoped to win the news cycle with tax reform after his speech in missouri, but instead, and again tonight, it's russia providing a slew of dramatic headlines. just in the past few hours from the "new york times," trump lawyer vehemently denies russian collusion. from the "wall street journal," manafort's political work had a patron, a russia oligarch. and perhaps the biggest of all, from politico, mueller's team -- mueller teams up with new york attorney general in manafort probe. josh dosie reports this about special counsel robert mueller and new york attorney general
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eric schneiderman. the two teams "have shared evidence and talked frequently in recent weeks about a potential case, according to politico's sources, it continues, one of the people familiar with the progress on the case said both mueller's and schneiderman's teams have collected evidence of financial crimes including potential money laundering. no decision has been made on where or whether to file charges. nothing is imminent, said one of the people familiar with the case. the report goes on to say, "people close to manafort say the team has pressured him by approaching family members and former business partners." a number of other firms and people who have worked with him have received subpoenas. and a reminder, to date, paul manafort has not been charged with any crime. these stories all come after news from the kremlin, a spokesman for vladimir putin, dmitry peskov could be confirming he received an e-mail from michael cohen about a real estate deal in moscow, but he
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says they did not respond. with that, let's bring in tonight's starting panel, ken vogel, political reporter for "the new york times," mike mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia during the obama administration and an msnbc contributor and former federal prosecutor and msnbc analyst paul butler. gentlemen, welcome to all of you. paul, let me start with you. "the financial times" is reporting that akmetshin gave testimony to a grand jury in the mueller investigation. the headline is followed by this. renat akmetshin, the former soviet army officer who met senior trump campaign aides last year gave testimony under oath for several hours on friday august 11th in a sign that special counsel robert mueller is looking at the 2016 meeting as part of his investigation into links between donald trump's election campaign and russia. paul, this is the thing we keep hearing the mueller
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investigation is coming back to. because it's evidence of information that the president's team was not forth coming about initially. >> yeah, so two things. first is again, it's often the cover-up. so here we know that trump created that false narrative about what happened. so we wonder what's he trying to evade. the other is, this was a meeting in which the russians offered information about hillary, which donald junior eagerly accepted. they have this receipt activity to collusion to, getting information about the russians. now, again, it's only a cimr, collusion is, if it's something else illegal like conspiring to hack e-mails. so just reaching out for information itself isn't a crime but to a prosecutor, it looks suspicious. again, especially when you have the lack of transparency from president trump. >> let me ask you, ken, your newspaper has reported that president trump's long-time lawyer michael d. cohen has given congress a point by point
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rebuttal of a dossier alleging that he has deep ties to russian officials, an effort to clear his name as the justice department and committees investigate russia's attempts to disrupt last year's election. mr. cohen developmentally denies the claims made in the dossier about him which are false and remain wholly unsubstantiated his lawyer wrote. what do you make of this? >> with both cohen and the interest in renat akhmetshin, the bigger thing is intent. what did these folks close to trump want from these relationships? with paul manafort, it's really an investigation into his business ties into potential money laundering, financial crimes, things that don't necessarily have to do with the trump campaign. with renat akhmetshin and the meeting that donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort took with him, they were offering something and that is the context in which the -- in which the trump folks accepted. so it gets to intent.
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same thing with michael cohen. these e-mails we broke earlier this week that showed michael cohen e-mailing with this russian american businessman with whom trump had done business in the past, felix sater is suggesting this project in moscow that michael cohen was working on, trump tower moscow, was potentially linked to obtaining russia's help in the election campaign, that these were somehow linked and cohen was taking him up on his offer and actually trying to get assistance from the kremlin on this offer. that also shows intent. whether they actually got anything or not and all evidence suggests ha they didn't, nonetheless, that they had acted on something they thought was going to involve russia and be of benefit to donald trump's presidential campaign. that is not to be taken lightly. >> mike mcfaul, this is an interesting one. there was actually a denial issued by a man named dimitry peskov, a press an tash shea to vladimir putin in which he says i confirm among a number of e-mails one from michael cohen came to us.
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this indeed happened said peskov during a telephone briefing with russian and foreign journalists. if it goes on to say, but as far as we don't respond to business topics, this is not our job, we did not send a response. you found that unusual that somebody at that level would offer an actual denial of the idea that michael cohen sent an e-mail to vladimir putin. >> i did. because he's not obligated to respond. there's no journalist asking him to respond. and let's be clear who did imytory peskov is. i worked with him. he's not just a press spokesperson. he is a very close confidante of
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the president, president putin. they've been together for a long, long time. he sees putin in a way every day in a way most others don't. he is a senior person. somebody obviously gave mr. cohen the advice he's the guy you need to contact to get to putin. sick imagine somebody telling him that. but that he would respond i think is very unusual and maybe it suggests that you know, they no longer think that president trump is useful to them and they're not concerned about undermining him. >> paul butler, former prosecutor here, put your prosecutor hat on and put this all together for us because it does become hard for people to connect the dots on what appear at first blush to be a bunch of disparate matters >> yeah, so again, what prosecutors do is to trace leads. and public corruption cases, there's rarely smoking gun evidence because politicians are too crafty to do anything that is blatantly illegal. these prosecutors are following a bunch of leads. a lot of cliches are true. follow the money. that's what they're doing with
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manafort, his real estate transactions often involving donald trump, the other cliche, it's always the cover-up, again, when president trump and his boys are creating these false narratives, you know, you wonder what it is they're trying to hide. >> paul, ken vogel, let me ask you about this. there has been talk to the pardon of sheriff arpaio was a sense that if people have something that they have done, president trump may be in a position to pardon them. what we are learning tonight is that bob mueller may have been talking politico is reporting with eric snyder the new york attorney general. the underlying matter is that the president can't pardon people convicted of state crimes or he cannot issue a pardon for state crimes. when you take that into the mix, what does that mean to you? >> that is the take away from that bit of news, which is significant, that there is an effort to potentially lay the groundwork to bring a case against paul manfort somewhere else. now, that said, i agree with
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paul butler in that the financial crimes related to manfort they may be the sort of furthest along. this actually suggests that the following the money vis-a-vis manafort is the part of the case furthest along -- both because there's a lot there going back many, many years and because the new york attorney general had already been looking at some of this stuff. so it doesn't necessarily relate to the core issue that motivated this investigation in the first place. that being potential collusion or coordination between the trump campaign and russia. but what it does do is put a lot of pressure on a key guy who might have some information about that core part of the case, the core motivating part of the case that, being potential collusion. and so paul manfort under pressure for something that's not totally related could
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potentially be leveraged by these prosecutors either in new york or at the federal level to give something. not necessarily to flip in but to be cooperative in a way that could help build towards that core case. >> ambassador mcfaul, an interesting development again on the paul manfort side. reporting from "the wall street journal" that manfort's overseas political work had a notable patron, a russian oligarch. paul manfort's political consulting firm was doing working that often dob tailed with russia's political doctors in georgia, montenegro and other countries that the kremlin considered to be in its sphere of influence. they often involved one principal figure, oleg deripaska international operator whose ventures have sometimes aligned with russian president vladimir putin's foreign policy objectives. the question here, ambassador, donald trump said for a long time he did this in his february press conference that everybody knew that paul manafort worked for proposal-russian ukrainians and work ford pro-russian entities and bodies. that part isn't a surprise. does this part supplies you he's tied to a russian oligarch? >> it doesn't surprise me. i've known about it for a long
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time. i know mr. deripaska and everybody you just said is true about him. he's closely tied to the kremlin. you don't work for the former ukrainian president yanukovych without dealing with the kremlin. and i just want to pull back a little bit here on all these stories. you know, you raised a very good point how do we connect all the dots and, of course, you know, we have investigative committees and mr. mueller that's going to do that. but let's be clear what we're talking about here. the russians were involved in trying to influence the outcome of our elections, and people were coordinating with them from the trump campaign. that may not be illegal but it's wrong. and number two, during that period, the trump organization appears to have tried to take advantage of their candidate to
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try to do a business deal in moscow. that to me also seems wrong. and so irrespective of where it lands legally, let's be clear what happened here. this is not something that we should approve of. this is something we should be very upset about, and some day maybe have laws that prevent it in the future. >> that's worth thinking about. for the purpose of this prosecution, that is an important matter to underscore that what may not be right isn't necessarily illegal and that's the work that bob mueller and perhaps a new york attorney general eric schneiderman have to figure out. thank you for joining us for great analysis. coming up, the president gives a speech on taxes, but he doesn't really have a tax plan. what's going on here? we'll get some answers ahead. plus, while the president was talking taxes, rescues like the one you're looking at were unfolding in path of harvey. more on the critical situation in texas still ahead on the 11th hour. ♪
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[ music plays again ] a smarter way to wifi is awesome. introducing xfinity xfi. amazing speed, coverage and control. change the way you wifi. xfinity. the future of awesome. we believing that ordinary americans know better than washington how to spend their own money and we want to help them take home as much of their money as possible and then spend it. >> president trump in missouri today. as he gave a policy speech on his tax plan that was heavy on populist rhetoric but remarkably light on details how it would actually work. his trip came after a morning of tweets starting by saying talking to north korea is not the answer. then writing about the firsthand horror and devastation he says he saw in texas.
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then about dying magazines, and then telling his millions of followers he was heading to missouri. once he arrived in springfield, the president talked taxes and made it pretty clear who he would hold responsible if the bill that does not yet exist fails. >> i want to work with congress, republicans and democrats alike. i am fully committed to working with congress to get this job done. and i don't want to be disappointed by congress. do you understand me? congress. i think congress is going to make a comeback. i hope so. so today, i'm calling on all members of congress, democrat, republican, and independent, to support pro-american tax reform. i'm calling on congress to provide a level playing field for our workers and our companies. >> joining me now are julie pace, washington bureau chief for the "associated press," ashley parker white house reporter for "the washington post" and heidi przybyla reporter for "usa today." i hope nobody was playing a drinking game taking a shot every time the president said congress today because heidi, the president seems to be setting this up in the same way that he set health care up.
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this is congress's bill. this is congress' problem. congress will be to blame if it doesn't work out. >> i believe trump when he sent out a tweet this week that said, i just want tonight #maga. make america great again. the problem is he wants congress to figure out how to do this. this is circa health care where donald trump went out to the american people. he made all kinds of promises during the campaign about health care and then he patted paul ryan on the back and mitch mcconnell and said you guys figure out how to get me a win and get back to me.
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it's the same thing with tax reform except he's being very clear with the politics with all the comments about congress. trump will be very happy to claim credit if they succeed but the odds are and i'm afraid to say this, but it's true. that they are not going to succeed by the time christmas rolls around on tax reform and he's made very clear who is going to be to blame for this and it's congress. i will add i was in a trump district just about a week or two ago, and he set this up perfectly because many of those trump slow theers do already blame congress. they say well, mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, these republicans, these democrats, they're just giving him a hard time. if they would only do what he says. he's not giving them any kind of direction however and he is setting it up with speeches like this for congress to take the blame in the end when somebody has to take the blame. it's not going to be the democrats because they're not in control of anything. >> but the blaming congress trick does kind of work. they rank in terms of popularity somewhere around car dealers and journalists.
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let me ask you, ashley, there's a great story in axios today taking a big picture of everything that hasn't worked for the president or isn't working right now. the headline is the incredible shrinking president. some of the examples they quote is that speaker ryan, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell are going their own way on tax refor, james mattis didn't embrace the president's full ban on transgender troops immediately. the justice department won't crop the russia probe. congress isn't pay for the wall. senate didn't pass his health care reform bill. the point of the article written by mike allen was that had the president perhaps done something differently on charlottesville and now faced with harvey, also treated that differently, we might all be talking about this late summer pivot that president donald trump has made. but in fact, what we are seeing is more of the same that we've seen for the last 223 days. >> yeah, that's exactly right. it was a striking list. i will say that it sort of gets at something a lot of us noticed going back to earlier this summer in sort of june that a
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growing number of people from people in his own administration from ceos and especially and perhaps most devastatingly members of congress don't trust this president, don't respect him, and don't fear him. so at the beginning there were people who didn't want to cross hip because they didn't want to get that devastating donald trump tweet. they still don't love the tweet but it's something they're willing to deal with especially in the wake of charlottesville. a lot of people have said look, he had a moment when he could have come out and done what presidents do which was immediately condemn the white supremacist groups. he didn't. he lost the moral high ground. that is something very difficult for him to recover from. i will say he's face two major crises one at home in the form of harvey, one abroad in the form of north korea. it's unclear how those will play out yet. that is an opportunity for the president to potentially handle them well, elevate himself to the sort of sober responsible methodical leader that everyone wants him to be.
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>> let's talk about how the president has handled hurricane harvey, julie. the washington bureau chief for the dallas morning news responded to the president's tweet about witnessing firsthand the devastation by posting this tweet that says our reporting does not match claim that potus witnessed any horror or devastation firsthand. what's your evaluation both of this particular message and of the president's handling so far of hurricane harvey? >> well, it's interesting. the president went down pretty early in terms of the scale of when presidents tend to go onto the ground in these natural disaster situations and he voided houston, the hardest hit area. that was prone a smart decision because houston is still underwater. there are enormous law enforcement resources being dedicated to the recovery efforts and dealing with the devastation there. so he chose to go to corpus christi and went to austin, two
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areas corpus christi in particular did have a lot of damage but he chose to go to a place that wasn't at the center of what we're talking about here. you're not pulling law enforcement resources away. the downside in terms of optics is you are not dealing necessarily with people who are the hardest hit. so this idea though that the president still felt the need to claim na he did witness the horror and the devastation is a little bit odd because it was obvious to any reporter that was on the trip, anybody who was following that trip that he didn't, and it's just this sort of oddity of trump that even though all evidence pointed in another direction, he still felt the need to make that claim. he is going to travel again we're told on saturday. he may get more of a firsthand look at what happened. but you did see his staff kind of twisting themselves in knots to try to explain what was essentially a second hand look at the whoever horrors and devastation and trying to make it into the firsthand look he was claiming. > ashley, the president is going to go back, he's going to be in
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washington. congress is going to be back in session. and before the end of september, we have a massive problem. we have a budget resolution that has to be passed. otherwise, the government could shut down. that has now been complicated by harvey because there is going to be a need for not just federal assistance but this stuff doesn't come easily, these bills that should be fairly simple to provide assistance are always more complicated than they intend to be. this is going to be a difficult six weeks ahead for president trump. he is still in the words of my colleague stephanie rhule, donkey kicking congress. what has to happen differently in the next six weeks before we see yet worse things happen. >> first, not just complicated by the relief package for hurricane harvey but by an open question what the president plans to do with bothered wall funding. he's signaled before he plans to attach it to potentially raising the debt ceiling, make them intertwined. that further complicates things and it's a campaign promise he knows he has to keep.
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what has to happen is the president so far has not proved himself particular adept at legislator or even understanding sort of the nuances of the legislative process. i think you're going to have to see him more engaged and also him going out and selling whatever it is that he wants to pass. and we saw him today in missouri, you know, not getting into the specs but selling his tax relief plan. but the one way the president can pressure lawmakers is a lot of people in their districts still do support the president. still do support a lot of his policies. he has this is bully pulpit and more than a tweet. if he can get voters and constituents on board with his plans which is something he hasn't been willing to travel and do, that might be some of the pressure needed to get some of these things across the finish line. >> that is an interest point because while -- we'll see new polling later in the show that
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indicates continued diminishing report for the president, he has a base of support and it does show to be solid at some level. and in.cases that base of support is greater as you mentioned than the support that many members of congress have. today in a taxpayer funded speech about taxes, he took a swipe at claire mccaskill, the senator from missouri. >> yeah, well, that was something that i guess got a lot of criticism just because it was a taxpayer funded speech but he's making clear that part of what he's going to do is not only sell his agenda but try to go out and begin campaigning against some of these red state democrats. he thinks that the problem really is the democrats even though what happened with health care and what is likely to happen potentially with tax reform is that they can't get the votes within their own party.
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and yet, he's going to try and assign blame to the dras. part of the question will be whether he also goes after continues to go after some members of his own party like jeff flake, but to get to the previous question about what to expect over the next several weeks, i actually think this hurricane harvey funding is going to make things a little bit easier because the president is the one threatening to blow up the process by insisting on border wall funding. what's going to happen is that that will be politically untenable even for the president to do to hold up this funding for hurricane harvey. we're going to get a short-term spending bill. what that is going to do is insure there will be a fight over government funding well into the rest of this year which is going to crowd out a lot of other stuff like the tax reform talk. >> julie, i remind people earlier this year, the treasury secretary said we would have a tax reform bill by the august recess. he recently said it will be the end of the year. there are going to be all sorts of fights. it is almost the end of august. saturday will be three weeks
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from charlottesville. is the president better off or worse off than he was at the beginning of august? >> i don't think he's better off. certainly, and if you look at his relationship with republicans over august, it seems to have, if not gotten worse, then i think the damage that had been done previously to the relationship is at least more public. a lot of us in washington have been hearing a lot of these tensions privately and certainly now it's spilling out. but they are headed into a really difficult stretch. and in talking to republican operatives who are running 201 races, the thing that they say is they need to get something done on tax reform. it might not be the kind of big package we've heard paul ryan talk about for several years. it might be a tax cut. they need something to run on in 2018 and know how damaging it would be to the republican brand if they go into the midterm election year having control of the white house and congress and have nothing major to basically put in front of voters and say they've been able to accomplish. just from that political
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perspective, the imperative is pretty high on the gop regardless of their relationship with trump to get something done. >> julie pace, ashley parker and heidi przybyla, thank you for joining me tonight. coming up, when is a tax plan not really a tax plan? more on what was missing from the president' speech today when "the 11th hour" continues. your big idea... will people know it means they'll get the lowest price guaranteed on our rooms by booking direct on choicehotels.com? hey! badda book. badda boom! mr. badda book. badda boom! book now at choicehotels.com
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we is lower taxes for middle income americans so they can keep more of their hard earned paychecks. and they can do lots of things with those paychecks. and that really means buying product ideally made in this country but that means they'll go out and they'll spend their money and it will be a beautiful thing to watch. >> welcome back to the 11th hour. president trump laid out what he described as four principles for tax reform in his missouri speech today. those are a simpler tax code, a more competitive code, tax relief for middle class families and the return of wealth that is parked overseas. however, the president offered very few specs on how he plans to execute those goals. joining me now jared bern teen steen, adviser to vice president joe biden and cnbc contribute ker ron insana. ron, i'll start with you. interesting time to be talking about corporate tax cuts. one of the reasons we talk about it it might be an area easier to get agreement on than personal income tax cuts. what is the real truth about american companies and the rate
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of taxes that they pay compared to those in other countries? >> well, the stated highest marginal rate that corporations pay is 35% which around the world would be high. the actual rate that they pay is considerably lower. again, if you're holding some of your profits offshore, you're not paying taxes at all. so at the end of the day though, when you look at corporation share of taxes as an overall component what the government takes in, it's near historic low relative to what individuals pay and yes, what we're probably talking about here is not comprehensive tax reform. we're probably talking about a package of corporate tax cuts, maybe cuts for individuals who have their own businesses, those would be like limited liability companies, s corporations and things like that. but again, not your average worker making 40,000 or $50,000. people making 700,000, $800,000 a year. the average earner probably see much of a tax cut despite what
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the president had to say today. >> that's interesting because the president was talking to a crowd full of middle income workers talking about how it's time to give the american worker a raise. >> interesting is one word for it. i'd say phony is another word for it. it's exactly as ron said. if you're looking for a tax cut and anything we've learns so far, you'd better have a stock portfolio, not a paycheck. if you you're talking about eliminating the estate tax, taking a foreign profits of u.s. multinationals down to zero, that's the territorial piece that trump's recently been talking about, corporate tax cut, the pass-through piece that ron was talking about, all of these disproportionately benefit those at the top of the scale. if you kind of put what we know and there are big holes in what we know -- into one of these tax modeling blenders you come out with the fact that something to the tune of 50% of these
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benefits go to households in the richest part of the income scale. if you go up to the top 1%, it's 30 or 40% of the benefits just go to the top. again, this is not unlike the health care getting back to your last -- it's not unlike the health care play where trump says there's a great plan out there going to make you and the middle class better off. he doesn't know what the plan is. congress starts coming up with plans. we'll find out the kind of things ron and i are saying is the disproportion of benefits are the case. >> the idea is out there that companies have a lot of their profits stashed overseas and if we somehow just make it easy for them to bring it back, it will trigger remarkable economic growth in america. they'll bring these $1 trillion, $2 trillion, or $3 trillion back to america, build plants and do things that will trigger greater economic growth than we have right now.
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>> the corporations have no short and of capital or cheap sources of funds. if they wanted to invest in plant and equipment they could do it right now with the cash on hand. they're running profits at $1.8 trillion annual rate. and then paid about $400 billion in taxes at an annual rate. there's no shortage of capital. there's no shortage of cash. not a single company out there right now is making decisions on hiring or expanding based on the tax code. they're basing it on whether or not there is strong enough demand domestically and globally and there is growing depend at help and around the world. that's what drives those decisions. the off shoring of those profits we talk about and repatriation holiday to bring those monies home and the government gets 10% of the $2.5 trillion believed to be out there, the president also talked about using that for an infrastructure plan. the only problem is, that money goes into the general fund. they would have to actually earmark that $250 billion for infrastructure to create jobs. so we really don't know how the die nap micks of that will work. to put it more simply, capital is there. companies have money.
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if they want to expand, they can do it now. they don't need a tax break to make that decision. >> out of time for a complicated discussion. imagine what would happen if we had a tax plan. >> we will get you both back. thanks, gentlemen. jared bernstein and ron insana. coming up in june, donald trump said i was elected to represent the citizens of pittsburgh, not paris. well, we talked to some pittsburgh voter who's had an earful for the president. we're back after this.
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outrageous. >> dishonest. >> disappointed. >> narcissist. >> abject disappointment. >> unique. >> not ready to be president. >> off the scale. >> crazy. >> completely unfit to be president. >> unbelievable. >> contemptible. >> that's how a room of pittsburgh voters described
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president donald trump and many of those people you just heard from vote ford donald trump calling him eight months later things like outrageous, crazy and contemptible, fort of a focus group conducted by veteran poll sister peter hart. here's some more what they had to say about the man they helped put in office. >> what most disappoints me is he's such an incredibly flawed individual that has articulated many of the values that i hold dear and the messenger is overwhelming the message. i wish he was on the opposite side of where i hold dear because it would be better for the causes that i like. >> as much as i thought he would be a quick learner and delegate to topnotch individuals, he hasn't done that. >> we know he's a nut. everybody knew he's a nut. but there comes a point in time where you need to become professional. he's not even professional. let alone presidential. >> this thing was 90 minutes
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long. there's a lot more of that. joining me is former maryland congresswoman donna edwards and radio talk show host charlie sykes, now an msnbc contributor. charlie, that thing the gentleman said that he is -- he wishes that donald trump were on the opposite side of the causes that he holds dear because it would be better for the causes he holds dear. let's unpack that a little bit. >> well, you get that little sense of embarrassment that he's not only not advancing those causes but he's actually toxifying them, he's actually hurting the cause. and i really got that sense you know, we've talked before about the cult of personality around donald trump, the fact his base doesn't move. but you get that sense of that creeping disillusionment, disenchantment. they're clearly paying attention and even though some of the numbers might not move as dramatically as you might expect, there's still some
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cracks underneath that because again, people are paying very, very close attention. i was also struck by their disillusionment wasn't so much about specific issues or accomplishments. they're not talking about charlottesville or other specifics or health care. they're talking about his demeanor, his personality, his character and that's coming through loud and clear to them. >> right, donna, that did come out loud and clear those adjectives were not about his prowess in getting things done. one woman said i wish he would be professional about it, but everything else sounded like a bunch of people around a table talking about somebody they just don't like. >> they were. the words that they used were striking because they were so staggering in their precision about president trump's character. and describing him in ways that i've never heard a president described before. and it really does show both their disappointment but also their disillusionment. they were willing to vote for this same guy who said many of the same kinds of things and displayed the same demeanor and
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i think somehow just like you know, a first date, they thought the second date was going to be different and it turns out that it wasn't at all. >> what would you say the opportunity in this is, donna, for anyone else? not just democrats but anyone else? what's the take away here, if you are a professional and you don't conduct yourself in the way that donald trump is, your chances for success are greater? >> well, i think it's really clear from what these voters described is that they want a president they can be proud of. and that they can look to and especially in times of crisis. and what they've described is someone that just doesn't fit that bill. and so i think whomever the next one up is and i know we're going to find a great democratic candidate to go up against this president should he make it through this term, but we'll find somebody and we already have plenty of people who demonstrate those qualities of character that are befitting a president and i don't think that there's anything that this president can do to recover from
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that. he might be able to get you know some legislation or other passed but i don't think that he can recover in this deficit of character. >> so that, charlie, is the problem that that gentleman was just talking about. it's rel continually ez for a democrat to say we can find a candidate who doesn't have those character traits of donald trump's but if you're republican, you've got to worry whether there's ability to get a candidate and challenge the president. >> again, if you listen closely though, as harsh as ha language was, not everybody there was prepared to abandon donald trump. so you still have poll numbers showing the overwhelming majority of trump voters are don't regret their vote because they're so deeply invested. and also, you know, how does he recover? >> he capital change his character, but he can blame other people. he can say that no matter how bad i am, i'll not as bad as hillary clinton or the democrats.
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if i fail, it's not my fault. it's paul ryan, it's congress, sheets you've opened the door to talking about poll numbers. we have to fit in a quick break. come up, who do trump voters think is a bigger threat to america, white supremacists or the media? some incredible new poll numbers when "the 11th hour" continues. crohn's disease. you're more than just a bathroom disease. you're a life of unpredictable symptoms. crohn's, you've tried to own us. but now it's our turn to take control with stelara® stelara® works differently for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. stelara® may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before or during treatment, always tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have flu-like
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welcome back to "the 11th hour." we just heard a sampling of some of the things voters would like to see changed about the trump presidency, or donald trump himself. tonight, a new fox news poll gives us an even closer look at the mood of the country. it's not great. on the heels of things like trump's handling of race relations, following violence in charlottesville and the battle over a border wall with mexico, 56% of americans say the president is tearing the country apart instead of drawing it together. donna edwards and charlie sykes are back with me. picking through that poll, i
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want to go straight to another part of it, where people are asked, who is the greater threat, white supremacists, or the news media? of all respondents, 47% said white supremacists, 40% said the news media. when you break it down into democrats and republicans, the news media loses very badly to white supremacists among republicans. >> you look at the poll numbers and you understand why donald trump attacks the news media so off, because among his base, they're toxic. i think he's very comfortable running against the news media in 2018 and 2020. but again, you know, comparing white supremacists, just the premise of the poll question is a little bit disturbing. but also, maybe it reflect says the fact that when donald trump lashes out, where is his passion? you know, he'll read off a teleprompter and denounce the white supremacist, but you know the attacks on the media, they come from the heart. and that obviously is reflecting, but it's also
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shaping attitudes among his supporters. >> donna edwards, i want to sharpen my language a little bit, that 75% number that we just showed, it's trump supporters, not democrats and republicans. i don't want to be unfair to republicans in saying that, but the way i want to read that result with that many trump supporters saying that white supremacists are less of a threat to america than the media, is they're saying that white supremacists can't possibly pose as much of a threat as the media, give the relative power and size of the two groups. >> that may be true. i think what you see here is the danger that happens when you have the president of the united states day after day repeating the charges against the media, as though the media are the enemy. the fact is, if you're an elected official, you never really like all the media that you get. but it's really dangerous to the system and to democracy when you attack the media. because there are times when we
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need to depend on the media. you know, look at what's going on right now in the houston area and along the gulf coast, we need a robust media presenting what the truth is, so that we can step up as americans, so that people can go to safety. and so it's a really dangerous game that the president is playing, and clearly that's having an impact, because at least among trump supporters, they seem to be believing it. >> donna edwards, thank you for joining us. charlie, same to you. coming up, the side by side images. while the president took the stage to talk taxes today in missouri, about 700 miles away, the floodwaters continued to rage in texas. we're back after this.
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there was something missing if what president trump said, that's the empathy for the people who suffer. that, in my opinion, should have been the first thing he said, was that his heart goes out to those people in houston who are going through this, and that the government is here to help them to recover from this. >> the last thing before we go tonight, a strong thought from former white house press secretary under president george w. bush, ari fleischer. that was yesterday. but today in missouri, the president did mention the victims of the storm, calling it a deeply tragic situation. >> to those affected by this storm, we are praying for you and we are here with you every single step of the way. to those americans who have lost loved ones, all of america is grieving with you, and there hearts are joined with yours forever. >> but for a rally not pegged to a rollout of a bill or at least
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an in-depth outline of a plan, it seemed like odd timing for a split-screen moment of the president pushing for lower corporate tax rates, while people were being rescued from the deadly flood water. authorities and neighbors alike have rescued more than 18,000 people across southeast texas. 28 people have died. the storm has already made landfall three different times, in every town and city neighbors did anything they could to help each other out. here are just a few examples from just one town, natterland, texas. a group of people helped carry someone from the back of an suv to a nearby helicopter. one family used their pickup truck to drive a man from a nursing home in port arthur, texas, even having someone sitting in the back with him so he would not be alone. another group prayed with a woman as they drove her to a safer and drier town. that's our broadcast for
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tonight. thank you for being with us and goodnight from nbc news headquarters in new york. i saw it a couple of times tonight when these first responders and the volunteers came back on the boats, you led the crowd in cheers. >> yes, i sure did. it's a blessing. it's a real blessing. we thank them so much. harvey has weakened, but the flooding threat in texas is still high as the death toll rises. brave rescues continue. this morning officials are keeping their eye on a dangerous situation at a chemical plant. plus, president trump pushes tax reform in missouri, but lays out a vague plan for the overhaul. defense secretary jim mattis contradicts the president on

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