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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  October 28, 2017 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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sor now arches over... ...200 sites to find you the... ...hotel you want at the lowest price. grazi, gino! find a price that fits. tripadvisor. . that's a wrap of this hour of msnbc live. it's time for "am joy" with my friend, joy reid who has the latest on the reported charges in the mueller investigation.
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♪ >> we are continuing to see day in and day out as this investigation moves to completion, that the same as it started, there's still no evidence of collusion between the president and anyone if any collusion took place, it would be between the dnc and the clintons. >> good morning. welcome to "am joy." ladies and gentlemen, we have an indictment. cnn, the "wall street journal" and reuters all reporting that special council robert mueller has filed the first criminal charges related to his wide ranging investigation that began with the question of whether the trump campaign clueded with russrus colluded with russia in the 2016 campaign. the indictment has been sealed, meaning we don't know who has been charged or for that matter
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whether an arrest could come as soon as monday. joining us is paul butler what do you glean from these reports that it's a sealed indictment. does that mean the target would know they're indicted? >> not yet. sometimes an indictment is held secret until the target is notified in part so that the terms of his or her surrender can be negotiated. that will be important, joy. if this person is arrested, locked up, then that will be further indication of mueller's handling of this case. he's going against trump associates like they're gangsters and thugs. indictment. wow. in prosecutor world this is super quick. mueller has only been empanelled since may. this is a relatively stunning development. remember, the special docounsel
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charge is collusion and obstruction of justice. this is all about the white house. this is all about donald trump. this is only the beginning. >> given the fact you say this is all about donald trump, would you presume that the white house has not been read in on what mueller is doing or on who the target is? >> if they have, that's another crime. again, the attorney general is recused from this investigation. in order to bring charges, mule we're have to go to the deputy attorney general, rod rosenstein. that's where it ends. a question is how did this information come out? the grand jury is supposed to be secret. but if someone is being charged, their defense attorney is notified. the defense attorney has no obligation of secrecy. so i think, you know, there's no reason to think this is leaked by bob mueller. from everything we know, he's conducting this investigation aggressively. but with a highest level of
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integrity. >> i have to ask this, i think it's the question that's on a lot of minds. what if donald trump were to respond who whoever it is being indicted, by getting rosenstein to fire mueller. would that add to the obstruction? >> if the president tries to fire mueller at this point, he's writing his own articles of impeachment. he already has exposure for obstruction of justice based on the numerous ways he's tried to impede this investigation. it's way too late in the game to get rid of mueller now. he ought to be very nice to robert mueller, he's looking like he's going from somewhere to a subject of this investigation to a target of it. >> interesting. stay right there. paul. i want to bring in my panel. sara kenzi.
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david korn, and malcolm nance. i will go around the horn. navid, what do you glean as somebody who has been in the spy business, what do you glean from the idea that this early in the investigation we already have a sealed indictment? >> i think it's telling. it's incredibly fast. i worked under bob mueller. everything i know about bob mueller, speaking to people who know him closely, this is someone -- who is an introvert. he will not be pushed by public opinion if he's doing this, there's probably something serious. i think we can infer this is the beginning of a larger process. >> let me stay with you for one second. the question of how this would have gotten out. all of the news organizations, including nbc, are trying to confirm it. the idea of who would need to know necessarily. i know you on occasion do brief people on ap kcapitol hill aboue
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ongoing sort of russiagate information, typically only democrats show up to it. do you surmise people on capitol hill might know this is happening and who this is? >> we have to assume there's two parallel investigations, both in the house intel committee and the senate intel committee it seems protocol would dictate that both committees would have had to have been informed or should have known. mueller will hold his cards close to his vest. it makes sense for him to inform if one of the intelligence bodies was informed and the other wasn't, that, to me, would seem like something that would raise eyebrows, especially when we have this uranium 1 story handled by the now recused not recused chair devin nunes. it would seem that perhaps, you know, the intel committees may have been told about this in advance. >> the two committees, the house and senate investigations are
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not equal and not the same. there's a distinct difference between what the shows doing under devin nunes and what the senate is doing. dev devon -- david corn, david bente, i believe that's the correct pronunciation of his name, announced his resignation as the u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia. he will stay on until a successor is confirmed. he is also serving as the acting assistant a.g. for the national security division and will remain in that post until a permanent successor, john demers, is confirmed. he was the guy who comey -- who james comey reported to, t.
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what do you make of the fact that he's resigned? >> it's very suspicious in terms of timing with the indictment probably coming on friday and maybe being revealed on monday. you can come up with lots of different theories. he might even be a witness in the mueller investigation, if he's looking at questions of obstruction of justice in the white house and what people in the justice department knew about the reasons for firing comey and other things like that. so, he could be in a couple of different conflicts that would cause him to sleave at this poit in time. i assume we will learn more about this. we are at this weird phase of the investigation, where we know what's happening. we will know soon enough on the indictments, soon enough on a lot of these things. the one thing that naveed said, mule sereller is a serious fell.
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i don't believe he would indict anyone with a political campaign or with the white house, this is the first step in a long process to come. people will have an awful time trying to make us think this is not important. >> malcolm nance there are actual concrete developments in the russia aspect of russiagate and the collusion aspect of this investigation. there is a lawyer who we have all come to know, who met with donald trump jr., met with jared kushner and also met with don junior and paul manafort in trump tower, natalia, and she talked about the talking points in that meeting. recently putin and others were repeating the allegations she
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brought in that memo to that meeting, and that was a proffer from russia of dirt on hillary clinton what do you think the significance of that development is in regard to this investigation? >> it adds another lay tore what we already knew. we knew she had this meeting. she had told them she was a liaison, former oligarch and they would be bringing in information from the prosecutor general of russia on information related to hillary clinton. that's why kushner, donald trump jr. and man th manafort took th meeting. now the russian side of the story is more fully known at this point. for the most part i think this is almost lost in the
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indictment. as this story gets fuller, i'm sure they pretty much got that story, they have the translator, every person in that meeting. if anybody lied in that meeting, the russians are giving up more information about what they wanted. this whole uranium 1 story being pushed against hillary clinton, this is the information that russia was trying to push out there. it's a desperate ploy, but it's digging a trench deeper for anybody involved in that meeting. >> on that uranium 1 story, you have donald trump himself apparently personally intervening to try to advance that story and having the gag order lifted on a federal informant related. there's an undercover anybody anybody informant used to gain
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influence in the u.s. uranium industry. the department of justice under sessions saying they would allow that informant to testimony fi in front of congress what does it say to you that you have donald trump himself intervening to make that happen. >> i think this propaganda blitz they're doing to try to smear and slander political opponents was completely predictable. you could have traced this by watching the right-wing media activity that preceded it before the story became big. the story is nothing. it's been debunked a long time ago. two reasons it came out. one, they anticipated the charges that mueller brought and are trying to shift the narrative so that hillary and others in the democratic party are painted as the real russian interference collaborators, as if somehow she would collaborate with russia in order to lose the election. there's something worse going on. he's trying to feed his base. trying to set up prosecution and
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persecution of people who he dislikes. he was not able to deliver. there's no wall. still obama care. so he's shooting for lock her up. i'm worried this lock her up will extend beyond clinton to any opponent. last week he was targeting a grieving widow. there's no limits to what this administration would do. so i think even though it's become obvious this propaganda blitz was due in part to draw attention away from what mueller d we need to watch it in the weeks to come. this is an autocratic administration. i don't think they'll stop with these baseless smears and these attempts. >> would these attempts to distract from the investigation, even attempting to unseal or remove the gag order from an fbi informant in order to further what is essentially a side
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investigation that they're pursuing, is that in itself an element of obstruction? >> it absolutely is. the statute says if you try to impede a federal investigation, then you are guilty of a federal felony. and with donald trump, it's not just that he asked for a pledge of loyalty from his fbi director. it's not only that he asked the national security intelligence folks if there's any way they could thwart the investigations, not only that he reaches out to michael flynn after he's been fired and tell him to keep your head up. i'll see what i can do. it's this attitude that he has. the idea that not only would he try to influence the general direction of federal prosecutions, but that he would go all in in a micro way and suggest that certain persons in an investigation should be required not to talk or actually
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be free to talk? again, that's an incredible level of micro managing federal law enforcement that is out of the pale for the president of the united states. >> let's not forget that donald trump dictated the talking points for his son in that meeting, that it would be about adoption. which we know was not true. thank you all. up next, the coordinated republic effort to distract you from real news. stay with us. i didn't know where i was from ethnically. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry. because it's a hat, but it's like the most important hat i've ever owned. discover the story only your dna can tell.
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the entire thing has been a witch hunt. there's no collusion. >> if any collusion took place, it would be between the dnc and
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clintons. >> russia is fake news. >> russia's involvement into the uranium deal was done several years ago this is just the beginning of this probe. >> they have phony witch hunts going against me. they have everything going. >> all of the things that the democrats had accused this president of doing, they were actually guilty of themselves. >> i actually think that's watergate modern age. >> now, usually on this show as a rule we don't cover fake news stories. we stay out of the realm of conspiracy theories. but the coordinated effort to resurface the long debunked uranium 1 conspiracy seems to deflect from imminent indictments from robert mueller's indictment. on tuesday, devin nunes who in april supposedly recused himself from the investigation of russia's involvement in the 2016 election, announced two new investigations. one into why there were no
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charges against hillary clinton's private e-mail serv servers. nunes said his committee wants to look at a deal that obama's administration approved in 2010 that allowed russia's atomic energy agency to buy a canadian company, uranium 1, which controlled 20% of america's uranium supply. they wanted to know if the fbi investigated the sale and why congress was not informed this seems to be based on a published report on the hill that asks why the fbi and justice department did not publish investigations of misconduct by that russian state-run atomic agency. some conservative media outlets have been promoting this story for a while. it's even made its way on to the twitter feed of donald trump. fox anchors like sean hannity and lou dobbs picked up the bat
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baton. if you're wondering why congress is investigating a 7-year-old deal and why we're talking again about hillary clinton who is not president, donald trump's performance in a 2016 debate may help provide an explanation. it's call prod injection. when you' called projection. when you're in a hole, drag your enemy in the hole with you. >> no pup mpet. you're the puppet. >> joining us is joan walsh, charlie sykes, and matthew miller. the idea they're back with this again, does it feel to you like they knew something was coming, so they were like tick tick, alternate boom. >> sure. it felt that way and it happened last night. i didn't want to go back too far on a limb that something was coming, but apparently it did. the good news about this, those of white house are sad that hillary clinton is not
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president, if you turn on fox news, she's the president. she's being covered 24/7. that's great. this is obvious projection. obvious deflection. the hill story is so weird. they actually did -- the "washington post" wrote this week sort of debunking the until story because the justice department actually did send out a press release. some maryland officials sent out a press release. there were press releases about this. if wasn't if we didn't cover it, that's on us, i guess. it's not like they were trying to hide the fact this they busted somebody it was a successful investigation. >> not only that. there was a review, the typical review that takes place, not at the behest of the secretary of state there was a donation from someone involved in this company in 2000. so seven years earlier than that. none of it ties together. but it has been a valiant attempt -- >> a donation to the clinton foundation that they're insisting this was her payback.
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>> everyone former defense secretary robert gates said he didn't know about it. he doubted she did it was seven agencies and handled at a much lower level. the idea that she or gates -- they didn't know as far as anyone can tell. it's always been a false story. it was concocted in the steve bannon laboratory. it was the work of a writer he worked with, peter switzer. >> the times and the post did front-stories about this. >> tragic. but it's been debunked since it came out essentially. >> yet, we're now seeing devin nunes using his perch as the still chairman of the house intelligence committee to essentially launch a full-scale witch hunt against hillary clinton based on this false story on the senate side you have dianne feinstein saying democrats are on their own in terms of investigating the real
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russiagate story because republicans seemed to have closed ranks against the idea of launching witch hunts against hillary clinton. >> that's right. this is devin nunes's second attempt at a counter offensive. he tried to go after susan rice and others. it's clear this is an effort not to just distract from the mueller investigation but to undermine the mueller investigation. we don't know whether they got a specific tip that something was coming for they knew generally. it's been reported for some time that paul manafort would be indicted. it's clear he's not the only one in trump's orbit with legal liabilities. michael flynn has some. carter page has some. this is probably the first of a series of indictments that the special counsel will bring. that's a problem for them. every time these indictments are brought, just as every time a
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news development is reported, it increases pressure on the president and the republicans in congress. those are tough questions to answer so what they've done is launched this campaign not just to distract but also to undermine the special counsel's credibility so people think the indictment's he's bringing and if there is impeachment referral that that is illegitimate. >> to stay with you for a moment. you had the president of the united states, you talked about it in the previous segment, weigh in himself. he personally intervened with the department of justice to have the gag order lifted to get an fbi informant in this long debunked uranium 1 story to get him to testify. the president himself trying to further devin nunes' investigation. >> i cannot overstate how inappropriate that outreach from the president was. i don't have an idea whether it was appropriate to lift that confidentiality agreement or not. it may well be. neither does the president. it's a law enforcement call. there may be reasons that
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confidentiality agreement needed to be enforced to protect other confidential sources in other investigations. that is a law enforcement call. for the president to reach over, i'll say for the president to reach over into a law enforcement decision about any matter is an entirely inappropriate thing, especially in a matter that involves political consequences. when he wants to release someone from a confidentiality agreement to that extent is a gross abuse of power. it never would have been attempted in the obama era, if it had t it would be a months lg scandal, but it's an over and over thing of the president trying to breach that wall. >> hillary clinton is not a political adversary. she's a pure civilian. she's a grandma who writes books
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and is on a book tour. so you have devin nunes, the powerful chairman of the house intelligence community trying to use his pow gore afterer to go civilian to deflect. this is devin nunes talking about the things he's doing. >> has anyone in the white house been in tact with you abocontac this driven by you? >> i have not talked to anyone in the white house about this. i don't know if peter or ron have this is based off our conversation with informants over the last several months. >> it's disturbing. you have a coordination here that includes fox news, other allies on the right, all seemingly coordinating to turn the levers of government against a civilian, hillary clinton. >> i have a slightly different perspective on this. i was very, very familiar with uranium one story because it was the centerpiece of the book "clinton cash."
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i remember reading it and thinking this is disturbing. but the details were sketchy. they were never able to establish a smoking gun. there's no new development on this story that's really worth the controversy that we're having except to create a very juicy side show to basically not only distract but to muddy the water. i got the sense this week, and do not underestimate how effective this strategy has been on the right media. prepping the battlefield for discrediting the investigation and perhaps even firing robert mueller. they pushed this thing right to the floor. but also keep in mind how much trump world is obsessed with ruining hillary clinton, to the extent that they cannot make this about trump's conduct or the real fundamentals of the scandal, but trump versus clinton. they're basically replaying their greatest hits. they keep going back to do this. >> up until friday night they
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wref fekti were effective. >> always play the hits. coming up, republicans want to talk about who funded the trump dossier. okay. we'll bite. that's next. remember that accident i got in with the pole, and i had to make a claim and all that? is that whole thing still dragging on? no, i took some pics with the app and... filed a claim, but... you know how they send you money to cover repairs and... they took forever to pay you, right? no, i got paid right away, but... at the very end of it all, my agent... wouldn't even call you back, right? no, she called to see if i was happy. but if i wasn't happy with my claim experience for any reason,
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. reports of the first charges in robert mueller's investigation come as we learn more about that explosive dossier accusing trump and his associates of colluding with russia. the washington free beacon funded by new york hedge fund billionaire and prolific gop donor, paul singer, now says it was the first to hire the firm fusion gps to research republican candidates during the primary the, including donald trump. treat beacon told house investigators this week it po
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pulled its funding in may of 2016 as trump closed in on the nomination. as the clinton campaign and the dnc begin picking up the tab for the research which ultimately led to the dossier. this week trum trumpetted the dems involvement. >> i think it's sad what they have done with this fake dossier it was made up. i understand they paid a tremendous amount of monday. hillary clinton always denied it. the democrats always denied it. now only because it's going to come out in a court case they said, yes, they did it. they're embarrassed by it. >> they paid a tremendous amount of money, not as much money as donald trump paid to rebecca mercer's data analytic firm but i digress.
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charlie sykes, the washington free beacon said none of the work product of the free beacon appears in the steele dossier. they did not pay for the dossier, never had contact, knowledge or provided payment for work performed by christopher steele. they are trying to distance themselves from the dossier that was released what do you make of this whole thing? it seems opo research is done in campaigns all the time. what's not done is people try to deal with the russian chief prosecutor to get the research. isn't that the real scandal? >> it's also somewhat unusual for a media outlet of any kind to be involved in this. this is one of those extraordinary stories. the real story is what in this dossier is true and not true. the main story is russian interference. it's interesting that david corn reported a year ago that democrats were funding this. this is not exactly breaking news. it would have been helpful, i think, had the democrats not dissembled, had been more forth
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right a right but what matters is not who paid for but what's in the dossier and wloerhether or not true. >> david corn, let's give you some credit by quoting what you wrote in october. this was an opposition research project originally funded by a e republican client. the project's financing switched to a client allied with democrat democrats. >> the truth of the matter here is that they funded this research project, fusion gps had tremendous discretion to look where it wanted to as part of this opo research project. washington free beacon didn't say don't do russia. only look at mafia connections. as the project developed, fusion
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started looking towards possible russian angles. at that point the funding did shift. it was the democratic source that i reported at the time that we now know is the clinton campaign. if they want to mroef themselre themselves from the dossier, the washington free beacon can. it's not a fake dossier as the president was claiming. parts tof a s of it are lining . the first memo that steele sent said there was an exchange of information between the trump campaign and the russian government. he sent that memo two weeks after the june 9th meeting. we still don't know what happened after that. they say they didn't get much out of it. steele is more or less correct on that. and we have robert litt, the director of national intelligence saying the other day that the investigation, the
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fbi investigation that began into trump-russia collusion had nothing to do with the steele memos. to use the dossier to discredit the scandal is patently false. >> you have had every surrogate, every rnc sent out or gop surrogate going on television now shifting the conversation away from russiagate to the -- >> they now have something to talk about. >> it's partly because of the media ken vogel of the new york times is another angle of this. media people are incensed that they were knnot given the information when asked about it. when i tried to report on this story, the clinton campaign lawyer pushed back on this saying you are wrong. >> maggie haberman also said they lied. she's tired of their sank ctamo.
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so, yes, there's all this anger. the mainstream media gets its feelings hurt that they weren't told the truth. i think some people in the clinton campaign legitimately did not know this was being funded or going on. it all depends on who you ask and talk to. >> charlie sykes, there was a point made obvious to anyone who worked in a campaign, brian fallon says i'm sorry, i didn't know about christopher steele's hiring pre-election fichlt ha. if i h i would have went to europe and tried to help him. if the clinton campaign had nobody about it, they should have probably used it. >> >> yeah, you would think so. and that's certainly one of the most puzzling aspects of this did they have the information and not share it with the campaign. i want go back on this.
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if, in fact, some democrats, mark elias or others did lie about this, we shouldn't gloss over it. it's personally when we live in an age of "what about-ism." let's follow the evidence, hold everybody accountable to the same standards. everything will come out at some point. don't try to cover anything up. you will be exposed before this is over. >> a key point, a piece of new information here, is that mark elias held on to this information very tightly for a number of obvious reasons. the information was not confirmed. he did not want the campaign to possess the memos out of fear the campaign people would send them out to reporters. we do know that fusion and others did try to get reporters looking at these angles. i think what they wanted to do was to get other people reporting in the same type of
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subjects to get it out that way. so this was material that, you know, hillary clinton could not use. that the campaign could not use. i'm not saying this is right, that elias should not have told people in the clinton campaign about this, this explains why he held tightly to this information and why i think it's kind of credible that some of the people in the campaign had no idea about the details of this. >> i think it's important to reiterate, too, david corn i think will you back me up on this the memos that we call a dossier, really a dossier, it's a research document. >> it's a series of memos like a reporter would send to an editor. i resisted the term dossier. i didn't call it that. it's a series of memos. i can see why elias would not want it circulated. >> it's notes. the research done by christopher steele and others. joan walsh, charlie sykes, david corn thank you very much. don't miss joan's new show, it's called "we're all in this
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together." a show to help us all manage the emotional fallout from the 2016 election. congratulations. >> it's actually called "sunday calling." >> yeah. >> i screwed up. >> "sunday calling." >> you get to call in and talk to me and tell me what a great job joy is watching. >> can we say our feelings, also? i twoontd swant to say my feeli >> joan doesn't do enough sharing. >> "sunday calling" congratulations. coming up, the real roush russiagate and the dnc in disarray. i just got my cashback match,
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we must stop pretending that
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the degradation are normal. they are not normal. reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused and count nae -- as tel it like it is when it is actually undignified. when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else. it is dangerous to a democracy. >> jeff flake condemned donald trump as he also made the surprise announcement that he will not run for reelection next year. of his remaining time in office, he says, quote, relieved of the strictures of politics, i will be guided only by conscience. it is interesting that jeff flake feels he needs to be freed
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from the constraints of politics in order to speak the truth to the president of the united states. that's just my opinion. what do you make of it kwe? >> we need people in the room that are speaking the truth. this is not a civil war over agenda. they stay unified with trump on health care, over living wages, over pushing voter fraud and denying voter suppression. these are the policy agendas of white nationalism evangelicalism. this is not some great civil war. these are not abraham lincoln republicans or ted roosevelt republicans. these are southern strategist republicans. i believe their concern is trump's antics, his acting out. they want him to be cool, calm and collected extremists like they've been. they want him to be a wolf in
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sheep's clothing. that's the division in the gop. it's not over principle. it's not some rethinking of moral values. it's simply they don't like the actor, but they're in line with the agenda. i believe what holds them together is what i call mrc, money, race and greed. >> to that very point, jeff flake got a lot of from the med about his attack of donald trump. he has voted with donald trump 90% of the time. let's go to bob corker, who's now famous for saying trump was in essentially adult daycare. he too votes with donald trump if you round it up, 90% of the time. 86.3% of the time. you then have hatch.
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he votes with trump 96.2% of the time. >> yeah. i'm glad they are disagreeing with his antics, but that's not enough. i'm from north carolina, where we had racist republican gop operatives who passed racist voter suppression law. they were all cool, calm and collected. they didn't act out like trump. i'm glad they're against the acting out. it's just like with white nationalism or supremacy or evangelicalism -- a civil war would mean there's a difference in agenda. that's not what we have here. it is simply, we don't like that you're pulling the covers off of this stuff. we don't like that you're out in the open. you're too brash, you're too bold. if you would just cool down and be calm, we'd be with you, because our voting record shows
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we're with you. >> i believe jeff flake just voted for the budget, which has a lot of cruelty embedded in it. it's interesting because part of what jeff flake has been saying is that he's couching his objections to donald trump in his mormon faith. he says we are taught to stand up for what we know is right and also to be decent. there were some opportunities this week for him to show that kind of compassion. there was a story this week about a 10-year-old mexican girl with scerebral palsy. i haven't heard any republicans standing up for decency for someone like her or against this border wall. you've been down to the mexican border. where are they against that? flake is from a border state. >> those are the kind of questions we have to examine when we examine policy and race. there's a scripttuure that says
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you say, lord, lord, but your heart is far. i was at the border. we walked into the rio grande. we watched families walk into the rio grande to touch family members they hadn't seen for 16 years. i went to the wall. we saw children reaches through the wall. i didn't see rapists and criminals. these politicians are not speaking out against that. not just them. the preachers, frankly graham, tony perkins, joel osteen, none of them are speaking out against that. to say i'm compassionate but mean spirited in policy is a fraud and a contradiction of our deepest moral values. >> indeed. up next, the real
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i think the uranium sale to russia and the way it was done so underhanded with tremendous amounts of money being passed, i actually think that's watergate modern age. >> all signs point to the likelihood that robert mueller's investigation is drawing to a conclusion. cnn and reuters have reported that special counsel robert mueller has filed his first set of charges in a sealed grand jury indictment. anybody charged could be taken into custody as soon as monday. donald trump must certainly feel the heat, which could explain why he was back on the offense this week, claiming hillary clinton sold out our national security by supposedly personally approving a 7-year-old uranium deal with russia in exchange for a donation to the clinton foundation. to use a popular presidential phrase, that story is fake news,
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debunked by a long time ago. >> i think that our position hasn't changed since day one. and i think we are seeing now that if there was any collusion with russia, it was between the dnc and the clintons and certainly not our campaign. >> trump is trying to discredit the most defining controversy of his presidency, using a fake russia gate scandal to put the blame on, who else, a woman leader. cambridge analytica reached out to wikileaks founder julian assange with an offer to help them colate clinton e-mails.
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another key development this week is the one receiving the least attention, that the trump white house belatedly took its first steps toward new russia sanctions this week, far past the deadline and only after facing public scrutiny from top senate republicans bob corker and john mccain. thank you all for being here. this question of sanctions that were supposed to be implemented on october 1st belatedly, according to reuters, just on thursday the trump administration began its first steps ap implementing them. this comes after we learned that rex tillerson, the secretary of state, actually closed the office that's actually charged
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with implementing those sanctions. what does all of that say to you? >> in fact, it has been a pretty long tradition of u.s. policy towards russia that the executive branch has always been very reticent about the sanctions. five years ago the u.s. administration in place at the time was very much opposed to it and tried to stop it and block it. you have such a thing as separation of powers in this country and have a strong and independent congress. now we see again pressure from members of congress on the administration to implement the new sanctions that are in place. i think one of the most important milestones that certainly a lot of people in moscow are not looking forward to is the deadline in january and february of the publication of the names and information about oligarchs and other persons of interest close to vladimir putin involved in official corruption. this is what's been mandated under section 241 of the new
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sanctions act. it sufficed now in russia just to say the name of that article, section 241 and everybody will know precisely what you're talking about. i've heard in recent days in weeks there have been many representatives of those oligarchs and financial groups, political financial groups close to vladimir putin that have sent their emissaries to washington to try to see if it would be possible somehow not to name them and their associates in this report. i think that's the issue and that's the deadline that a lot of people will be watching for. >> it cannot be said enough that the sanctions are a very, very important issue to vladimir putin. it is thought to be the motive behind this sort of coordination with the trump campaign. that's the motive. >> i don't know anything about the coordination. we do know that the sanctions get to him. i think the sanctions are absolutely brilliant. the brilliance of the sanctions are that they challenge his
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power directly. he is a mafia boss who distributes money and power. the sanctions take power directly away from putin. he perceives them as a personal threat. >> absolutely. you have of course become at the center of part of the push back against the act. you had your visa actually recently pulled. if you could just explain briefly. i think it has been restored but explain briefly to the audience what happened with you personally regarding your visa in the past couple of weeks. >> so i've been working for a number of years on getting the act passed, the sanctions. i got it passed in the united states in 2012. and last week the canadian government passed sanctions. and vladimir putin was public school furious. he put me on the interpol most wanted list. as a result, i wautomatically hd my u.s. visa cancelled.
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each a britis i'm a british citizen. it tells you something when putin goes so vindictively against people instituting these sanctions. >> you've been reporting some of the components of what is thought to have been potential coordination between the trump campaign and wikileaks. tell us about what you learned this week about what cambridge analyt analytica was doing. >> we learned that last june the ceo of cambridge analytica reached directly to julian assange and asked him if he could help find hillary clinton's e-mails.
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this was before cambridge analytica actually started working with the trump campaign. we know this interest lasted well through august, because the mercers were asking the ceo of cambridge analytica if they could help organize all the the hacked dnc e-mails as late as august. at that point we already knew the information had been stolen by the russians. >> in addition to that, you had the revelation this week that ms. veselnitskaya, who was the lawyer who met in trump tower with various members of the trump campaign was using a memo of talking points that had actually been previously shared with the chief prosecutor in russia, correct? >> right. so when this memo came out, the one that veselnitskaya brought with her to trump tower, i noticed there were remarkable
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similarities between that memo and the one that the russian prosecutor's office had given to donna ror backer two months earlier. he told me this looks hike t-- like the strongest evidence to date she is an agent of the kremlin. >> it's one of the more direct links we've had so far between this proffer of help taking down hillary clinton and someone who might have been working directly with the kremlin. >> yeah. i would actually go one step further in that. there's three different people who are quoting from the same talking points. there was the veselnitskaya memo, which you just mentioned. there was the memo that was passed to congressman rorbacker. then vladimir putin last week on thursday night was asked a question at an academic conference in sochi and he went through exactly the same talking points word for word that all of
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those other two memos had. what does that tell you? that tells you that natalia veselnitskaya was not an independent actor. she was in the trump tower meeting on behalf of the kremlin and she was there on a very important government mission. it's an absurdity to think anything else based on the navigation that's become available. >> why this fixation not just on the clinton e-mails and trying to get dirt on hillary clinton but apparently also on democratic donors? can you help us understand from vladimir put vladimir putin's point of view why that would be? >> all of this comes back to one thing. that is the absolute obsession from the kremlin and vladimir putin personally to try to get rid of or reduce the effectiveness of the act. for all the similarities that exist between the putin regime and the regime we had back in
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soviet times, there is one crucial difference. that is that the people who are in charge of russia today, they want to steal in russia but spend in the west. members of the soviet didn't keep their money in western banks or buy high class reality and luxury cars. these guys do. they want to undermine and attack and violate the most basic norms of democratic society but they want to use the privileges that democratic society offers for themselves and families. the sanctions put a stop to that hypocrisy and double standard. this is why they have been obsessed. within three hours of his inauguration, vladimir putin signed a decree trying to stop the act from being passed. now there have been several countries since then who have followed the u.s. in adopting similar measures.
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we also saw this past week the parliament in lithuania taking steps. it could potentially become the second country in the european union to adopt these sanctions. we see what happens to political opponents of vladimir putin inside russia. they're harassed, they're in prison or they are dead. boris nemsolv -- the second thig they're mortified up, apart from us protesting in the streets of russia, are those targeted individual personal sanctions against them, their wallets, their financial interests, their bank accounts. i want to stress not sanctions in russia in general.
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i don't think it makes much sense to try to punish an entire country for the actions of a small group of unelected people in the kremlin, but targeted sanctions against them personally. >> that's very important. when we talk about russia-gate, we talk about russia in general. it isn't russia. it is the small oligarchy that sits on top of it. you think of vladimir putin, this guy who was a kgb agent, this guy who's got this background in doing the sort of disinformation campaigns we've seen. this was particularly ham handed. the proffers of information were essentially given away in e-mails to donald trump jr., replies, great, if you've got dirt. natalia veselnitskaya goes on tv and says, no, this was about adoptions. why so ham handed? >> i think we're overstating the
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evidence a little bit in the sense that, yes, they're all using the same talks points. that doesn't mean she was actually commissioned by the kremlin to go reach out to the trump campaign. i think she was quite sincerely representing her private client. it so happens that her private client has extremely close ties to the prosecutor's office. the entire affair has extremely close ties to the prosecutor's office. they're all in it together, but they're all in it together in a very messy way, not in the way where they get orders and clear instructions and do it el ganegt elegantly. elegant is the last thing they are. >> on the trump side of the ledger, they're replying in e-mails saying, yes, we'll take it. >> experts are suggesting that may have been on purpose, that perhaps there was some element of the russian influence campaign where they wanted everyone to know they were doing
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this. they left fingerprints on the dnc hacks. they made it very very obvious to cyber security researchers that, yeah, this originated in russia. there is kind of a sense that perhaps this was largely a trolling operation. >> absolutely. >> sometimes people are just incompetent. >> that too. sometimes people that have sort of an outsized reputation, take supposed being a great business person for instance. not necessarily proof of competency. do you feel that the government of the united states is acting contra your interests? >> at the moment i have been threatened the murder, i've been threatened with kidnapping, arrest. putin is coming after me anyway he can. having said that, the government of the u.s., the government of the united kingdom, the
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government of canada have all been quite helpful and robust in fending off these extradition attempts and so on and so forth. but because of what i'm doing and the damage i'm causing, i'm a high value target for vladimir putin. so i've got to take precautions that normal people wouldn't have to take in order to try to stay alive. >> we wish you well. please stay safe. thank you all. really appreciate it. coming up a veteran of the ronald reagan white house has had enough of our former party and he has some choice words for trump and his followers. bruce bart let joins me next. with my moderate to severe crohn's disease i kept looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay. then it hit me... managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor, i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms
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they put on stories that are so false. they have so-called sources that in my opinion don't exist. they say sources have said. they make it up. it is so dishonest. it is so fake. and you know, i have come up with some pretty good names for people. i think one of the best names is i started this whole fake news thing. >> donald trump's claim to have invented fake news is of course fake news. there's nothing new about the term. trump is right about being a fake news innovator to the extent he started this whole president who routinely invents facts out of thin air thing. one of the latest being his claims about his tax plan. >> i call it tax cuts. it is tax reform also but i call it tax cuts. it will be the biggest cuts ever in the history of this country. >> joining me is bruce bartlett, author of the new book, truth
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matters. bruce, it's really great to talk to you. your new book, which i have been reading through, it tries to disseminate for people sort of how to sort of protect yourself from fake news. but you also do talk about the fact that there are two silos of information, the conservative silo where they're getting their media from one place and everyone else getting their media from another. >> i don't think they want to be protected, unfortunately. you've got a huge number of people in this country who get virtually all of their news from fox where they listen only to talk radio where you really only hearing the right wing point of view from rush limbaugh or sean hannity. if they're looking on the internet, they're reading the drudge report or breitbart. they're in closed loop where they never hear many facts.
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they hear lies. and so when they hear the same lie over and over again, we know this is called the big lie technique that joseph gerbills invented back in the 1930s. unfortunately it works. >> people within the conservative base want their news directly from donald trump. they rely on his twitter feed, what he says himself. in some cases that may wind up biting some people. i want to talk about this 401(k) situation. the republican members of congress are trying to write a budget in which they want to have a massive tax cut for the wealthy. part of the way they want to pay for that is potentially go after the amount of money people can put in their 401(k)'s and reduce that. this was donald trump talking about that issue and literally reversing himself on it mid sentence. >> 401(k)'s to me are very
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important. they're important because that's one of the great benefits to the middle class. [ inaudible question ] >> well, maybe it is and maybe we'll use it as negotiating. >> what do you suppose that people in trump's base hear when they hear that? he just admitted that 401(k)'s could be on the table after saying they're not going to be on the table. >> a more interesting question is what are republicans in congress thinking when they hear him do this sort of thing when when they can't even put forward a coherent piece of legislation without trump just pulling the rug out from under them. this is not the way tax reform is done. i'm very familiar with the tax reform act of 1986. believe me, president reagan did not go on tv and just unilaterally take certain options off the table. he allowed his treasury secretary to do the heavy lifting so there was some coherence to the administration
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position. >> at the same time this idea of tax cuts -- i'm glad you mentioned the budget reform act in 1986. you were very much involved in tax policy during the reagan era. it does seem that taxes cover all sins on the republican side, that because they are all united in this idea of cutting taxes for the wealthy, they will literally excuse any behavior by donald trump. it's all fine with paul ryan and mitchell mcconnell. they seem to have an incredibly high tolerance for aberrant behavior. >> there's two reasons for it. one is that people who contribute the vast bulk of the money to the republican party are the ultra wealthy people like robert mercer, the kochs. they would save millions upon millions of dollars a year of taxes if they can get the top
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rate cut. and secondly, a lot of republicans such as paul ryan, i think in their heart of hearts they really believe in a sort of ayn randian in which the people at the top just carry the rest of us on their backs and their incentives, their taxes are extremely important whereas the taxes on the rest of us really have no economic significance whatsoever. >> there seems to be a codicil to that where they also seem really determined to cut back on the great society and fdr social safety net programs for the poor. >> one of the great things about the republican party is they never learn but they also never forget. they're still fighting the new deal. they're still fighting the great society. they're going to keep fighting them forever. i think one of the problems for democrats is they think they've given up, that is the republicans from given up some
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of those creusadecrusades. and they kind of let down their defenses to concentrate on more current problems. and then they're blindsided when say president george w. bush tries to prioritize social security. >> another thing this happened this week -- you did tweet out that you will not be able to vote for your old friend ed gillespie. the reason you said his pandering to confederates and supremacists is reprehensible. isn't that causing the republican party to cuddle up to this ideology that's crept into their base? >> it's been said many times that not all republicans are racists, but virtually all racists belong to the republican party today. and i'll make the point as well that these people used to be democrats. the democrat party used to be the party of the south.
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and now the republicans are the party of the south. a lot of people refuse to admit there's been any change. i feel sorry for establishment republicans, people like ed gillespie, who i used to work with in the 1980s or mitt romney or others who have to be silent. they're afraid to speak out in their own party for fear of being excommunicated. >> indeed. this would be quite a time to speak out given what's going on. bruce bartlett, one of the great twitter follows. everyone should follow bruce on twitter. congratulations on the new book. >> thank you. coming up, with trump in free fall, where's the democrat party's fight plan? anywhere? do they have one? ♪
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our country depends on it. so right now democrats should be coming together to plot their strategy for the 2018 midterms. their next chance to take back the leavers of power in congres and maybe impeach donald trump. instead they're fighting each other. news from last week's dnc meeting centered around squabbles over two would sit on committees within the dnc. what gives? joini this sort of dust-up at the organizing meeting, what was supposed to be a positive sort of organizing meeting for
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democrats wound up centering around who was getting purged, bernie sanders or plaqblack wom. what happened? >> well, that meeting, that organizizing meeting sort of is an example of what's going on with democratic politics all across the country. there are multiple factions or groups within the party. bo this is both the democratic party and the republican party. there are multiple groups that you have to keep happy. but particularly for the democratic party, it has a large communication and branding issue. there's the democratic party the infrastructure and then there's the democratic party, the party and the democrats. at this meeting you have this perception that the democratic party was leaving at the expense of women of color and going forward with another agenda and going forward with other people who may not be democrats, act l
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actually. even though that wasn't true at least to give credit to the current chairman at this time. he wasn't trying to do that. his slate included women of color. but the perception got out, right? so because of that, you already had a problem with women of color and with the base of the party not believing that the party has their values or has their back. and we'll talk about later how that also plays out in different states. when you don't have a communication infrastructure, when you don't have trust between the communities or the base their supposed to represent, it's easy for those things to take legs. >> and marcus, i feel like in a lot of ways the republican party is fighting to protect donald trump at all costs and the democratic party is still fighting the 2016 election forever, right? it seems like an endless feedback loop that will never end. that is sort of reverberating in what should be exciting races. you have staci abrams running
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for governor in georgia. there was a jason johnson story where he wrote about some of the fractiousness. you actually got caught up in it as well. what in the world is going on in the party? >> we have nazis running around with tiki torches and we're not talking about issues. that's what's going on. we're not having a both and conversation whenparty. we're having an either/or, african-american american women or progressives. what's going on in georgia is very interesting. staci evans and staci abrams are running for governor of georgia.
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it has been sort of a smear campaign against her by some of the powers that be in the state of dpgeorgia. this is all to discredit an african-american woman. she was blamed for colluding with jason johnson, the senior editor for the root political. and also they actually blamed me for being a russian contributor because i showed up on a station that actually a democratic presidential candidate was on that was owned by a russian company. but this is not about russians. this is not about jason johnson or the root. this is about one thing and this is to smear an african-american woman. i've got an even more important point. i am more excited about the primary in may than i am about the black panther release next month because the democratic primary in georgia is almost 70% african-american with two-thirds being african-american women. who do you think they're going to go with when it comes down to
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the point of these numbers? you almost have to go nuclear against stacey abrams for her to win the primary. >> a governor's race in new jersey and virginia are sort of important milestones to show democrats are able to win elections in these off years. you have this infighting. chris jansing did a round table with democratic voters in racine, wisconsin this month. >> how many of you think the democratic establishment is doing a good job right now? one tentative hand. how many of you think the democrats could blow a real opportunity in 2018? >> i do. >> absolutely. >> all five? >> jimmy, what's going on? >> oh, well, we don't have much of a message, then you can't
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really talk to people. look, can we just focus on this thing about the dnc? can we go up 30,000 feet? two men of color run the dnc. there was an effort to purge three women of color from the dnc. at what level was that smart? that's the kind of thing where i as a progressive southern gay male want to slam my head up against the wall and go who thought that was a good idea? it doesn't matter. what matters is this. if we're going to sit around and fight each other, the crazies on the right are going to win. and by the way, they did win in 2016 because of the infighting. i was asking some folks this person i morning, i said, is this nothing more than just a rehashing of 2016, of the bernie versus hillary thing? they all said no. i think it is. i think that the fact of the matter is that you have the left of the left pissed off that they
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didn't get their candidate. i get that, i understand that. when you don't win, then you don't get to name the people. when you don't win, then your ideas didn't win. last time i checked hillary clinton won the nomination. she did not win the white house. and if we would like to win in 2018 and we would like to win in 2020, i would suggest democrats stop this inane infighting and learn that it doesn't matter who's the most progressive. it just matters that we beat them. get off it. it's just so dumb. >> it only matters if you win. call a pollster. i've got to call you on this one. the thing that's really confounding is that the democrats are winning handily in the generic ballot. and that is a fox news poll. in a fox news poll the democratic -- 50 h-35 they're winning. on paper democrats are doing
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well. but people are very dissatisfied and angry. >> i think it's fair criticism that the democratic party doesn't have much of a message. if they're asking, i've got a message for them. here's a quick one. the house impeaches and the senate convicts. i think a lot of the attention of the world right now is focused on getting the donald trump presidency over with, the cancer that he represents. we've seen these periods before in recent american history. i'm old enough to remember 1989, a period where democrats were supposedly in the wilderness, they'd never capture the white house again. three years later bill clinton a two-term president. same phenomenon takes place in 2005, another wilderness period when democrats win congress and then you get eight years of barack obama. i saw david corn speak to you last night talking about the mueller investigation. he said indictments have a way of focusing the mind. i think impending elections have
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a way of unifying political parties and i have little doubt that a lot of these internal skirmishes that are legitimate and real right now, i think those will be resolved especially as we get into the all important election year next year in 2018 where i think you're going to see a presidential level type turnout. >> we need twice as much time to talk about this. up next, trump's holy grail, tax cuts. the devil is in the details.
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tax reform, tax reform, tax reform. >> mm-hm. paul ryan and the republican party are bending over backwards to achieve tax reform. they came one step closer on thursday when house narrowly passed the senate's 2018 budget which means the senate only needs a filibuster proof simple majority to pass their tax cuts for the rich. details are hard to come but, but regardless of what the legislative details come to be, most americans know what already stands to gain. 60% say it will help the wealthy. it does seem that paul ryan's sort of whole life has been organized around the idea of repealing the 20th century and passing ining very, very deep ts
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for the wealthy. >> it's tax cuts. it's not tax reform. if there were tax reform, there would be something to talk about. when they talk at cutting the corporate tax rate, it's clear, corporations have a very high statutory rate.that. if you lower it and get rid of the loopholes, you're going to see that really affect companies, affect consumers. but you're not getting rid of the roop holes. the loopholes will still exist, still employ specialists, tax shelters and lawyers and they'll pay even less. >> how can it be that 401(k)s and limiting the amount that ordinary people can put in their 401(k)s is on the table? >> it's on the table, but this also could be a first dance. currently you can put $18,000 in, they're saying $2400. my mom and dad, that is their retirement plan. so when you actually at nuts and bolts, getting rid of the estate
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tax, cutting taxes for the richest of the rich and corporate tax reform, the thing that's stunning is anything for middle income people is trickle down hope. no hard benefit. when sarah huckabee sanders says on twitter americans are going to get $4,000 to $9,000, don't you want that? show me can in writing where they're going to get that. they're not. it's an assumption. >> if i have ten people and give one person $1,000 and nine people zero, you can average it out, but nine people got zero dollars. >> howard dean, we're in an era where most people don't have pensions. my godmother was a new york city school teacher. it's rare for anyone to have that kind of dignified guaranteed retirement. if we're now putting on the table all the cuts to medicare, medicaid, perhaps limiting 401(k)s, i don't understand how there isn't a middle class uprising against this kind of tax reform. >> i think there will be.
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you saw 20 republicans in the house vote against this. this is going to cost the republicans enormous number of seats, probably six or seven in california, four or five in new jersey, a couple in new york. these are high-tax states. what the right wing nut jobs, is that what they are really, this is not tax reform. this is craziness, adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit at minimum. that's only if they cut a trillion out of old people's health care. these people are nuts trying to do this stuff. they believe their own crazy stuff. it's not going to work. it's going to cost a lot of seats and they know it. >> take the nut jobs out, bring the lobbyists in. think about all the lobbying efforts that are going to break down on the republican party. they're not going to be able to simply say, for example, the asset management business. >> when they lose trillions of dollars to a 401(k), they don't want to lose those lobbying dourds. >> to howard dean's point, it's
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hard to believe they'll be able to put enough of a constituency to pass this. the cuts to medicaid total $473, subsidies and medicaid, $1.3 trillion. to your point, howard dean, it's not a trillion and a half they're adding to the deficit. it's 2.2 to $2.7 trillion. when did the republican party stop caring about deficits? >> they never cared about deficits. george w. bush and ronald reagan ran the two largest debts in history. republicans care about getting their friends tax cuts. >> it is sort of -- >> hold on a second. we can't just say they just care about giving their friends tax cuts. >> they do care a lot about it. a lot of excuse a lot of behavior from donald trump, look aside, a lot of things he's doing as long as they're able to make these tax cuts. paul ryan says that's his
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mantra. >> it's too broad to make the broad general statements that these are nut jobs who want to hook up their friends. >> when you elect a republican, you get deep tax cuts for the wealthy. why is that? >> they have a deep belief that trickle-down commission works. here is the thing, it doesn't. >> why is it it's so difficult for democrats to win on the issue of taxes? people somehow still believe, if you give wealthy people a tax cut, they'll get jobs and tax cuts, too. >> i think democrats have not good messaging. the republicans are at least as good as the communists were in russia on messaging. they are incredibly good. they have their own television station in fox. there's no examination of the truth at all. they keep repeating this stuff. i don't believe most working class people in this country think the republicans are
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telling the truth anymore. the poll numbers joy talked about early on showed that. >> at the same time, the drain the swamp question -- not to completely derail our subject here. you have things happening like the whitefish situation which you and i are a bit obsessed over. clearly ryan zinke's hometown company. >> where his son worked. >> a major contract to rebuild in puerto rico. yau can't ignore it. >> ryan zinke has said leave it to i'm from jersey. in jersey we're familiar with paybacks and we know what a stinky fish smells like. a $300 million contracted to this company. whitefish only has a go daddy website in mid october. for them to say over and over this is about entrepreneurial spirit and we were the only ones who went down to puerto rico and offered a no-strings-attached
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deal. that's a flat out lie. other agencies did. >> when it's this cartoonishly obvious, howard dean, why is it so difficult to message against these people? >> why do we have such bad messaging? >> yes. >> partly because we don't have a central message. in fairness to the democratic party, it's very hard to have a message when you're not in power. we're not really going to get one until we have a candidate who is for president of the united states. which is okay. we're going to win in 2018 because the trump brand is so awful and the republican brand is really awful, too. this whitefish stuff has real legs. the average person who we're trying to reach and haven't been successful, looks at this and smells corruption. >> cobra electric in scott pruitt's home state of oklahoma specializes in fracking and drilling. they got a $200 million contract. >> a lot of swamp not getting
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drained. >> stephanie ruhle and howard dean, thank you. don't miss stephanie ruhle at 12:30. you must watch it. "am joy" will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. keep it right here on msnbc. the military family, and it really shows. we've got auto insurance, homeowners insurance. had an accident with a vehicle, i actually called usaa before we called the police. usaa was there hands-on very quick very prompt. i feel like we're being handled as people that actually have a genuine need. we're the webber family and we are usaa members for life. usaa, get your insurance quote today. discover card. i justis this for real?match, yep. we match all the cash back new cardmembers earn at the end of their first year, automatically. whoo! i got my money! hard to contain yourself, isn't it? uh huh! let it go! whoo! get a dollar-for-dollar match at the end of your first year. only from discover.
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good day everyone. i'm alex witt and msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's high noon in the east, 9:00 a.m. in the west. here is what's happening. report of an indictment in the robert mueller investigation. big questions this hour about who is being charged and what it means for the white house. a new poll on president trump is affecting the u.s. political system and how this country is divided. >> congressman al green on word of a mueller indictment and his much-talked-about exchange with hud secretary ben carson. we begin with the key development in the robert mueller investigation. the special counsel has


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