tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC November 17, 2017 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
now -- he won't even tweet about me. >> that's fascinating. it's fascinating that he won't tweet about you. what do you have to do to get him to tweet about you? you haven't gone far enough. >> say something nice about him. >> i guess so. that would do it. >> not going to happen. >> steven colbert gets tonight's and this week's last word. "the 11th hour with brian williams" is next. breaking news, new nbc news reporting on jared kushner failing to disclose outreach from a putin ally to the trump campaign. plus the white house on defense today as the president chooses to weigh in on al franken but refranins from condemning roy moore. the president says he'll hold off on allowing elephant trophies to be brought into the u.s. "the 11th hour" on a friday night begins now.
another week comes to a close. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters here in new york. day 302 of the trump administration brings new indications that jared kushner, the president's senior adviser and son-in-law, arguably the closest man to the president in the west wing, appears to have been telling less than the whole truth when it comes to the campaign's contacts with russian officials. settle in, this is involved. new reporting tonight from two of our own, ken dilanian and carol lee of nbc news, it says kushner did not reveal an attempt to reach out to the trump campaign from a russian banker who is close to president vladimir putin and who has been accused of having ties to organized crime. this comes just one day after the top democrat and republican on the senate judiciary committee sent kushner a letter saying that he had failed to turn over documents to the committee requested last month. among those missing documents, communications concerning a russian back door overture and dinner invite.
that will get your attention. nbc news reports that the overture and invite relate to a series of e-mails from the aforementioned russian banker who wanted then-candidate donald trump to attend an event on the sidelines of the nra convention, may 2016. our report goes on, quote, the e-mail also suggests torshin was seeking to meet with a high level trun campaign official during the convention and that he may have had a message for trump from putin, sources said. jared kushner turned down this request. and tonight his lawyer, abbe lowell, in a letter to senate judiciary, included kushner's response at the time. "pass on this. a lot of people come claiming to carry messages. very few we are able to verify.
be careful." bloomberg news reported earlier this year that alexander torshin did meet with donald trump jr. during a private dinner on the sidelines of the aforementioned nra convention in louisville. bloomberg also reported a source familiar with that encounter says trump junior doesn't recall meeting torshin. so far the white house has not responded to any of tonight's reporting. before we break all this down, here is jared kushner from this summer. this came after he met with senate investigators. and remember, as you watch this, he raised eyebrows for speaking from a lectern with a white house seal on the front and standing in front of the west wing. >> the record and documents i have voluntarily provided will show that all of my actions were proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign. i did not collude with russia nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so.
i had no improper contacts. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. >> let us bring in our lead-off panel for a friday night. ken dilanian, nbc news intelligence and national security reporter, one of the bylines on our lead. carrie cordero, former senior associate general counsel for the director of national intelligence, these days at georgetown law. eli stokel is with us as well, an msnbc political analyst. thanks to you, we have another russian name to throw on the pile and now get forced to memorize. break this down for us. what is being alleged here? >> brian, i think you did a terrific job of laying it out for us. what i think the significance of this is really twofold. one, it's another example of jared kushner being accused of failing to disclose, of failing
to be forthright about his russian contacts. recall that he had to amend his financial disclosure forms to disclose contacts that he initially left off, including that famous june 2016 trump tower meeting. now he's being admonished for failing to turn over these documents that show an approach by alexander torshin seeking a high level meeting. his lawyer responds, we rejected the approach so it's exculpatory, but congressional investigators are wondering why didn't you come clean about this in the first place. it's the substance of this. yes, torshin didn't get the meeting with kushner but he got a meeting, according to him, with donald trump jr., and very little is known, brian, about the circumstances of how that meeting came to be, what was said. i'm told congressional investigators are very interested in it. but bottom line, it's another high level russian with ties to vladimir putin who was circling around this campaign, seeking a high level meeting, proposing a meeting between trump and putin.
another thing causing congressional investigators and presumably robert mueller to take a hard look. >> carrie cordero, is it because there have been so many misses and attempts to go back to correct the record and so many deletions that this doesn't break as more exculpatory or good news for the client here, in this case jared kushner? >> well, so the one response that he had, i mean, certainly that's in his favor a little bit, that he rejected that particular overture, at least according to that one e-mail that's been reported. but it is a problem that not only kushner but we saw this with attorney general sessions earlier in the week, that they constantly are having to correct the record in terms of the information they are providing to congressional investigators at least. and yet we know also that another member of the trump campaign, papadopoulos, has been charged with lying to federal investigators. this entire group has a truth
telling problem or a problem at the very least of being forthcomi forthcoming. and in that summer press conference that jared kushner had, he specifically said i had no improper contacts. and so that does raise the question as to did he know at the time this summer when he made that statement that others in the campaign may have. >> eli stokol, this is going to seem superficial, but when jared kushner made those remarks, people in the white house community, the media community, even in the white house staff, were surprised because he gave himself the imprimatur of the white house, with the lectern, with the backdrop, with the marine guard opening the door. i remember contemporaneously people that night saying be sure what you say here is correct. >> right. and that is sort of something we've seen from this white house from a number of people, just worrying about that moment,
declaring that everything is fine, no collusion. we heard sessions testify months ago say the same thing. i think carrie is exactly right to draw that line from sessions to kushner and others in this administration who have emphatically denied any collusion or contact. then there's reports and they suddenly remember. sessions said the other day it was a chaotic campaign. the clip you played of jared kushner in front of the white house, he said during the unique campaign, i forget the verbiage, this idea that, well, it was a little crazy, you can't expect us to remember everything. that's not good enough, i think, for bob mueller. >> here we are talking about whether given a memo or an e-mail is exculpatory or good news for jared kushner, nicolle wallace comes back with, i didn't know this many russians live in the united states. we're swimming in russians. >> abbe lowell said in the
letter today, look, there were a bunch of names on this list, this was before there was any idea that russia -- this whole investigation is about russia. it's just a little fatous to say we didn't think this had to do with the investigation. that's why kushner got a letter this week saying do we have all the things, because if you're not sending us all the things that we've subpoenaed, you're going to be in trouble. >> ken dilanian, we've had no shortage of colorful figures in all of this. i'm going to name another one. rob goldstone who came across as a zelig figure in all of this. remind our audience his slice of the story, his role in the story thus far. >> yes, brian.
and this is great reporting by our colleague robert windrom who learned that rob goldstone, a music promoter, who was the go-between between the agalarov family in setting up the meeting in 2016. he wrote these e-mails saying, the russian government is helping your father's campaign and this lawyer has information from the crown prosecutor of russia. there actually is no crown prosecutor but there is a federal prosecutor. those e-mails set in motion this chain of events where we're all scrutinizing this meeting and wondering what was provided and there's been information since then. what rob goldstone that very few others know is exactly how this was set up, what was said that we're not seeing in the e-mails, what was said over the phone as these intermediaries were talking about each other and what the trump team understood was being promised in this meeting. we believe he'll tell his story to mueller and the grand jury.
>> carrie, you're the former fed here, counselor. what questions would you like to ask of a character like mr. goldstone? >> well, the interesting thing, earlier it's been reported there have been a lot of subpoenas that have recently been served by the special counsel's office to the trump campaign. subpoenas or requests, court orders for records, can establish a timeline. but at some point you need either the content of those messages or the people who were in the room or involved to fill in the gaps. some of the big questions that remain are, what other meetings happened, what was discussed at some of these meetings, were there other things on the periphery of the june 2016 meeting that haven't come to light yet. so it's filling in those other gaps and trying to piece together the contents of either conversations, coordinations, or meetings. >> eli stokols, russia has been
called the original sin of this administration and it must be driving them to distraction. certainly to anger. especially to see some of these lesser characters as the way in to a presidential administration dating back to long before it was a presidential administration. >> i mean, just papadopoulos, when his name surfaced. >> the coffee boy. >> they said, "who," right? the problem was he was somebody the campaign trotted out as a foreign policy adviser. >> carter page, ph.d. >> exactly. papadopoulos put it on his linkedin profile, i guess it's helped him out. >> who among us wouldn't? >> this goes back to the campaign, the original sin and the sloppiness we see now stems from a campaign, as jeff sessions said this weekend, as everybody else who was part of it will tell you, was pretty much flying around by the seat of your pants, not really knowing what was going on and sort of disregarding the normal rules, consulting with attorneys, consulting with
ethics folks, with people who have done this before. they relevaished the fact that y were doing something new, they didn't have a lot of experience, they weren't relying on the same old people. but the inexperience and perhaps the -- i just -- the inexperience of this. >> combined with the number of russians in there. >> the hubris of thinking they knew what they were doing and they didn't need to listen to anybody else is where they're in this position. >> ken dilanian, carrie cord other row, eli stokols, thank you very much. next, while the roy moore saga continues, the president throws up a huge distraction by going after al franken. that story and more when "the 11th hour," the friday edition, continues. e. i mean, you got the walk. you got the stance..
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this was our president on twitter last night. quote, the al frankenstein picture is really bad. speaks a thousand words. where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 while she sleeps? he has decided to go after democratic senator al franken of minnesota who is accused of forcibly kissing a woman in '06 and then taking this photograph while she slept. franken has apologized publicly, directly to his accuser in a letter, and called for a senate ethics committee investigation into his own behavior.
although his political survival here is hardly guaranteed, the president is of course well aware of the consequences of his own actions and words. he's been silent on the republican alabama senate candidate roy moore's accusers. moore has said he has never engaged in sexual misconduct. and the president had to know that entering the fray would mean his own accusers would likely get another airing. and with this compilation, as put together by our colleagues at "all in," here they are again. >> it was at that time where he turned to me and embraced me and gave me a kiss on the lips. i remember being shocked, because i would have just thought to shake somebody's hand. >> when we entered the room, he grabbed each of us tightly in a hug and kissed each one of us without asking permission. >> i feel this little grab. it's like, you know, you feel a little cheek lift, almost. and i stand up really tall, i'm
shocked in the moment, and i look and i turn around and i look at him and he doesn't look at me, he doesn't want to make eye contact with me. >> he then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm. then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. >> he then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively and placed his hand on my breast. i pushed his chest to put space between us and i said, come on, man, get real. he repeated my words back to me, "get real," as he began thrusting his genitals. >> the person on my right who unbeknownst to me at that time was donald trump, put their hands up my skirt. he did touch my vagina through my underwear, absolutely. >> somehow or another, the arm rest in the seat disappeared, and it was a real shock when all of a sudden, his hands were all
over me. it was when he started putting his hand up my skirt, and that was it. >> he pushed me up against the wall and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again. and i had to physically say, what are you doing, stop it! it was a shocking thing to have him do this. >> i'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- i just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. and when you're a star, they let you do it. you can do anything. >> whatever you want. >> grab them by the [ bleep ]. >> for the record there it is. for the record as well, the president denied all those women's accounts, they said they were fabricated. he said he would be suing them after the campaign but has not. today his white house spokeswoman laid out what it views as the difference between accusations made about trump and al franken. >> is it fair to investigate al franken and the accusation made
by his abuser, is it also fair to investigate this president and the allegations made against him by more than a dozen women? >> look, i think this was covered pretty extensively during the campaign. we addressed that then. the american people i think spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president. >> how is this different? >> i think in one case specifically senator franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't. i think that's a very clear distinction. >> reporter: is this an uncomfortable conversation about the sexual allegations for this white house, be it al franken or be it roy moore? >> i think it's an uncomfortable conversation for the country. >> here with us to talk about all of it and extend that uncomfortable conversation, the national correspondent for z"th washington post," and assistant managing editor of politics for "the los angeles times." welcome to you all. indira, was the president
looking for distraction by going after franken on twitter last night? >> i think he couldn't resist. i mean, this is one of his political rivals who has not been shy about speaking out against the president and condemning him. and so it was just a target that the president couldn't avoid. what i find really disturbing about the tweet is, this "frankenstein" tweet, he loves to call people, whether it's "little rocket man" or "frankenstein," to make jokes about people. to raise the idea, what happened in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, it's disgusting. it's pulling something else into our minds whether it happened or didn't happen. it's really gross. i don't know why you would make the situation even worse. the other question is people who live in glass houses really shouldn't be throwing stones. i think that's what was so strong about your opening piece there, showing that there are more than a dozen women who spoke out about the president during the campaign, and who now feel in the post-weinstein era
where this dam has broken and people are speaking out so much, that they were never heard back then. so the day of reckoning may still be coming for the president. >> phillip, we aired those accusations because it's been a while since we heard a lot of them and because right now, given the national conversation we're having, they're germane. i know you analyzed the president's reactions to those accusers. >> yeah, i mean, it's been catego categorical since the first day they came out. he was asked during a presidential debate, did you behave in this way that you described, he said he hadn't, and that's when the women first started coming forward. he's been categorical ever since, it's all untrue, to a person. he never said yes, i did this to person x. it was repeated last month by him, earlier this month by his spokespers spokesperson, sarah huckabee sanders. i think what we heard her say today is really the most revealing thing they've said about this, which is that they
understand that politically speaking, as long as they maintain that air of doubt, he can keep denying it and his supporters will give him that presumption of doubt for as long as he keeps denying it. as soon as they admit it happens, if he were to take that stand, then that whole house of cards falls apart. >> christina, is the president going to be able to have this vow of silence on roy moore all the way up to and including election day? >> i mean, i'm not sure about that. you never know what the president is going to say, when he's going to say it, whether it will appear on twitter. these are two distinct issues. you have to think about sexual sexual assault, sexual harassment, as one conversation. the political maneuvering that the white house is doing, that national republicans are doing, enjoying that it's a democrat of such prominence who ended up winning his seat in a long, costly and contentious recount
in 2008, they don't like al franken. they have not liked al franken. before he was a senator he wrote a book calling a bunch of conservative media liars. so in some ways there's a little bit of political delight in this. it's also important to look, we're not just talking about one senator in congress. we had a member of congress testify this week that there is a republican and a democrat serving in congress who has engaged in very inappropriate behavior with people that work on capitol hill. and we don't know who those people are at this moment. and i don't believe that that's senator al franken, that's not who she was talking about. so this is a bigger picture cultural issue about what kind of behavior we're seeing out of elected officials, celebrities in the news, people that are held up to a different standard. we know that people have made accusations against george h.w. bush and things that he did while he was posing for pictures with women. so it's a bigger picture issue.
and so the political part of it, the roy moore situation, establishment republicans are against him. the roy moore faction is enjoying that. they want to be at war with establishment republicans. so for president trump to kind of take a step back, he's in some ways straddling both sides of that. i can't predict if he's going to weigh in or not but it's a long time until that election in alabama. >> indira, we've touched on this tonight. what do you make of what's happening in america and is this what a permanent change in american culture looks like in its painful and formative stages? >> i think it is a permanent change or at least it is a watershed moment. i've thought a lot about this since the roy moore allegations came out, but why harvey weinstein sort of broke this dam open in a way that bill cosby did not or bill clinton did not. and part of it is of course just a different time in history. but i do think part of it is the
overhang of the election. many people, many women feeling frustrated that the allegations by some 14 women against the president, the now president, many -- most of those women who came on the record and showed their faces and their names for no benefit for themselves, these are not women being paid for their stories, these are women for whom this is embarrassing, all of these women, to come forward and admit to this, that they were humiliated and harassed. i think there is this overhang of feeling frustration that donald trump got away with it and that he was teflon, that this just slid off him. also the fact that harvey weinstein was so powerful in hollywood and that he could come down, i think has sort of pulled the difficulty away for a lot of women and now coming forward and sharing their stories. so i do think it is a cultural moment that is shifting. i do want to say there is a range of actions of course from inappropriate comments to actual assault. so i don't think we can lump them all together as one thing.
but i do think that more reckoning is going to be coming in congress. i want to cast a little bit of doubt on those polls we're seeing in alabama showing the democrat ahead. i'm not entirely convinced that people are telling the pollsters the actual truth. they may be willing to support roy moore despite these allegations. >> i must say i join you in that, i'm not sure i trust these numbers. phillip, back on the alabama front, the governor of the state came out and said i'm a moore person. >> she articulated i think the calculation that really is why roy moore still has a chance in this race, which is that yes, she has no reason to doubt, she said, the accusers of roy moore but at the same time she would rather have a republican who goes to the senate and votes the way that republicans vote on things like supreme court nominees which she called out specifically and other issues we've heard raised in that race. this is a calculation that's being made.
we're in an extremely polarized moment from a partisan standpoint. a lot of people are trying to decide between someone accused of essentially child molestation and a democrat. in alabama, that choice is choice that people are trying to reckon with. what this race is going to come down to, it's such a hackneyed, hoary phrase, do republicans still come out to vote for roy moore and the way we expect republicans to vote in alabama or do they not? all this mishigoss about what's happened during these allegations may not matter. >> christina, this is a wave that's breaking up against everybody, knows no political party, knows no bounds, and will keep going. what of the democratic party, the resistance portion of the democratic party that's all kinetic energy and is sitting by necessity on the sidelines because they're not in the majority right now?
>> well, if roy moore wins that senate race, i think you'll see an even more emboldened group of democrats. i will say you saw across every spectrum of democrats, people condemning franken yesterday and today. that was not a party line situation. and i think, referring to back to something we talked about before, comparing trump and moore, what we know after the election is that a lot of people did believe the accusations against then-candidate donald trump and chose to vote for him anyway. and that's something that gets right back to what phillip was saying, you know, will alabama voters make a decision, we're going to send a republican to the senate and we believe this is true or don't believe this is true but we are going to make this decision anyway. >> and that's going to end up defining part of our era as well. our thanks tonight to our friends, phillip bump, indira, christina, we appreciate it very much. interesting conversation even given the topic. ahead, on a busy friday
night, what was the president supposed to be doing on wednesday when he gave that glowing review of his own just-concluded asia trip? some answers when we continue. every day, on every street, in every town, across america. small businesses show their love to you. with some friendly advice, a genuine smile and a warm welcome they make your town... well, your town. that's why american express is proud to be the founding partner of small business saturday. a day where you get to return that love, because shopping small makes a big difference. so, on november 25th get up, get out, and shop small. hblack friday savings event.c get the limited edition tempur-legacy queen mattress set for the best price ever. or save up to $500 on select adjustable sets. ♪ find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com. helping small businesses.ut, jamie --
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the overachievers. we know our best investment is in ourselves. we don't take no for an answer. we fight for what we want. even for the things that were once a given. going to college... buying a home... and not being in debt for it for the rest of our lives. but we're only as strong as our community. who inspires and pushes us to go further than we could ever go alone. sofi. get there sooner. it was the longest visit to the region by an american president in more than a quarter century. from south korea, melania and i
traveled to china, where as in japan and south korea, we were greatly honored by the splendor of our reception. >> it went kind of like that. president trump was eager to boast his accomplishments on returning from his 12-day trip to asia. so much so, as the associated press reports, quote, white house officials said president donald trump countermanded chief of staff john kelly's guidance to take the day off when he recounted his 23-minute recap of his trip to asia. if you saw it, you know his speech was alternately rushed and halting, and the dehydration from a trans-pacific flight was evident in the epic two-handed water bottle incident. jill, you were on the trip. i don't mean to call for a judgment on your part, but did the trip match the review? >> i mean, it was undoubtedly an
exhausting trip, it was as he said the longest trip to the region by a president in a generation. i think that the question here is, you know, you look at that this was a speech the president gave where he was trying to emphasize to the american people all he had accomplished on the trip. and if you look at the deliverables i think kind of objectively, he came home without much to brag about. he gave a day by day review of what he had done, the great things he had seen, his reception there, but when push comes to shove, the actual deliverables were pretty minimal. the white house has talked about how he built relationships that will wind up being important in the future, and also kind of warning especially countries like china that things are going to change now, especially when it comes to trade, there's a new sheriff in town and from now on we'll do things differently, but it's hard to tout to the american people who you accomplished when there aren't
specifics to point to. >> matthew, i don't want to sound like anybody's parent here, but when your chief of staff says take the day off and more than working that day, you give a speech in front of a live national audience but then that speech is remembered for the dehydration that came from the reason the chief of staff suggested you take the day off, is that a net gain at all? >> the whole water bottle incident i think sort of speaks to the silliness of our politics in 2017. of course president trump has sort of asked for that by making fun of marco rubio's habit of drinking water in the past. but i think the point is there wasn't really a lot to show for this trip, as jill said. so when the president came out and talked for 23 minutes and it became clear he was more giving a "then i went to this place, then i went to this place, and oh, the grandeur of it," aside from the tangible release of three ucla basketball players from a chinese jail, it's hard to see what was really gained by this trip. of course the white house says
the relationships developed will pay off in the future. but there aren't really any deliverables yet and i think to anyone who watched that 23-minute speech, that was clear. >> matthew, i want to ask you about something that happened late that afternoon that sure got our attention. the white house put out their revised list of the people they will turn to and consider for the next supreme court vacancy. again, it got everyone's attention, it did its job. but why today, why at 4:00 on a friday? >> yeah, that was a little bizarre. it sort of had me scratching my head as well. it came out shortly before one administration official or someone connected with the administration spoke at the federalist society, which is having one of their gatherings this week, of course the very conservative legal group. but for the white house, it's always a win to remind republicans, hey, for all you've taken dealing with this president, at least you've got someone who will appoint justices you like. today with the federalist society gathering, that gave
them another chance to do that. >> and to cheer that we'll always have gorsuch. jill, how much stress is there in the west wing, speaking of deliverables, about delivering something, that the president signed something real for americans before the close of 2017? >> i mean, tremendous. at this point all the focus is supposed to be on tax reform. they are just crossing their fingers, hoping that this gets past the finish line. and it doesn't look like it's going to be easy. this is a president who right now is really concerned about maintaining the loyalty of his base. and you see things like releasing the supreme court justice list as an example of ways that they're looking kind of on the margins, on the sidelines, to continue to appeal to those people, and remind them, hey, we're still here, we're trying to get this tax cut done, we're trying to get this stuff past the finish line. if they don't deliver on the tax reform, on the tax cuts, i think that 2018 is going to be an incredibly difficult year for republicans. >> for our fellow aficionados of
print journalism, our thanks to jill colvin, matthew nussbaum, appreciate you coming in at the end of another long week. coming up, after a blowup on the hill that we showed you last night, the political fight over the republican tax plan, still raging, may get worse. more on that when we come back.
republicans are doubling down in the face of an unpopular tax bill. internally they can't seem to agree on cuts. then there is concern that lower income americans will lose associated tax breaks. so far only one no vote, from republican ron johnson. but the gop cannot afford much more. only two defections from the senate then puts them in a tough spot. it's a race against the clock as the house is in session for only 12 more days. and the senate for 15. republicans promise to have this one on the president's desk by
the end of the year. let's talk about this with two terrific guests. the national political reporter for bloomberg. and lonnie chen, research fellow at the hoover institution and former policy director for the romney/ryan 2012 campaign. am i right in saying forget about the house version, it doesn't matter what was in that, this is all about the senate version? and second, what's in this that's going to stand out, put it into trouble, be controversial? >> you're right that all eyes will be on the senate version. republicans can lose 22 in the senate, they can only lose 2. all expectations are any version of this tax bill that gets through the senate will be pretty much the final version. it's unlikely the house will be able to make many if any changes. the big issues between where we are right now and success of this bill are going to be, number one, the obamacare
individual mandate. this has ratcheted up the fires of the progressive base and various health industry groups that don't want this to be repealed, they say it will lead people to drop coverage and raise premiums. there's the issue of the deficit, there are still republicans who worry about red ink and there is a trillion and a half of this in the first ten years. ron johnson, the senator from wisconsin, wants a smaller delta, a smaller gap between what small businesses pay, which would be a little north of the 30s in tax rates, and what big corporations get, which would be 20%. >> lonnie, it's as if someone didn't think that if they threw obamacare in there, anyone would notice. what's going on here? and what's going to emerge that can possibly unite senator johnson and senator collins from maine? they have two different problems with this. >> yeah, and we saw this play out during the obamacare debate. it's like rolling a grenade into an already volatile situation. the reason why they did it is
because they needed some additional money to dole out for middle class tax benefits as well as to meet some of the requirements of the senate in terms of keeping the deficit impact of the tax plan below a certain amount. but unfortunately what they've done is they've created certain constituencies, animated certain constituencies, like insurers and doctors against a tax bill they may not have cared about. >> what's the chance that something emerges, honest to goodness, that we can get under the wire before the end of 2017, given the senate's hectic work schedule remaining this year? >> well, i still remain optimistic. i still think they're going to get something out there, because as you have a noted, the political necessity of republicans doing something still remains. and this is a topic republicans are fundamentally comfortable with. i still think they're going to get there at the end of the day. i think the senate version is going to be closer than the house version to the final product. >> the final question, has the dynamic changed with republicans in the senate, meaning do they
look at this and say, what is this president going to do for me, what do i have to bring home to my folks in my state, is it a one-sided relationship where the white house is always on this constant ask, constantly prodding those senators on the edge to get their votes? >> well, the one thing that republican senators and the president agree on is the desperation, the sheer desperation to end this year, to go home for christmas after having done something, some victory for their constituents. this congress has not passed major legislation. this is desperation like i've never seen before in congress to get this done. this is a very ambitious, complicated task. through sheer force of will they might be able to get this done. >> that's a lot of votes to ask for. >> indeed. and the president does have a tendency to throw a wrench into things by offering some tweets in the last minute that will disrupted carefully crafted negotiations. that's something that republicans constantly fear. >> i have noticed that that has happened in the past. gentlemen, thank you both so much for being with us. we appreciate you as always.
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president trump has paused a plan to ban elephants from being killed in zimbabwe and zambia from being put in this country. he wrote, put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as i review all conservation facts. under study for years. will update soon with secretary zinke. thank you. also, jermaine to this discussion, the fact that the president's sons eric and don jr. are big game hunters. don jr., especially, has posted a slew of photos with former
wild animals, including one where he's just holding a tail in case we missed the point. obviously, we have no idea if this played a part in the ruling. but jeff corp wynn, wildlife biologist, conservationist and emmy tv host of "ocean treks." jeff, it is hard to make of this issue. it is hard to know what is going on here. >> well, here's the story. the backstory of africa is that of the 54 countries in africa today, only six of them allow hunting, big game commercial hunting. and the reason for that is the complexities, the controversies, the graft that comes with africa and the challenge of regional populations of locals that live in these countries do not have access to these resources, particularly to hunt them as big game hunters, yet rich, wealthy
people of privilege from europe and the united states can go to these countries and hunt these animals and take these resources back as trophies. in the united states, brian, we have a long history of a partnership between hunting, land management and conservation based in regulation enforcement and in science. but in countries like zimbabwe, which recently just underwent a potential military coup with president mogabe recently under house arrest, where is the checks and balance system in place to manage this lethal activity? >> theory works out there's a group in the united states, ducks unelectricitieunlimited. duck hunters who are making sure there will be ducks for everyone and a healthy duck population in the united states. but to your point, in the middle of a coup, do we really think as a secretarial matter that
permits are going to get paid and delivered to the right people in zim basketbazimbabwe their military leader just got carried away? >> yes, you hit the nail on the head, brian. there are men and women that like to go out and hunt ducks, but through that activity they raise millions and millions of dollars. hunters in the united states raise over $34 billion every year. and a portion of that will go to habitat reclamation, species conservation. ducks unlimited has helped to lock up millions of acres of wet habitat. look at zambia which until now was looking to open the status for the importation of the elephant trophies. zambia in a very short period of time, just over 30 years, the population of elephants has dropped from 200,000 animals to 21,000 animals.
in africa, at the turn of the century, brian, there was more than 1,200,000 lines. today, only 20,000 remain. i bring this up because unlike a wild-tailed deer, which is hunted recreationally in the united states with a robust population, when you're an endangered species and there's only 20,000 white rhino left, a handful of cheatetacheetahs spr throughout africa, they are too precious to be exploited for the idea of hunting. the idea that conservation plays a role in this, you want to protect the species, protect the money. be a part of the conservation solution. >> be a part of the solution. jeff, thank you. some of this is just too difficult to think about if you're an animal lover, as we both are. jeff corwin, we'll have you back on this broadcast. i think this issue will
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before we go tonight, there's a reason "the washington post" editorial board reminded us that the people of puerto rico must not be forgotten. here's what we know about puerto rico tonight. most of the residents are still without power, period. so many families have lost everything. and so much of the economy is gone. something they have already started calling the great migration has begun. so far, just under 200,000 puerto ricans have arrived in florida since the storm. 100,000 more are booked on flights from now until year's end. cities like orlando are expecting nothing less than a transformation as these americans arrive on the mainland anxious to work but arriving with a lot of needs, including shelter and schools for their children. to their credit, florida school districts are hiring teachers from puerto rico to make the trip over and help educate the children also arriving.
this week the army general who was in charge of the recovery effort left puerto rico. he says, because the military role of opening roads and ports and search and rescue is coming to an end. and fema will take it from here. as "the washington post" puts it, puerto rico is now in the grip of the largest and belolon blackout in history. they have to ask themselves every day if they are doing what they can for our fellow americans in puerto rico. that's our broadcast for tonight. thank you so much for being with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. tonight on "all in." >> senator franken as had mitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't. that's a clear distinction. >> from the glass house white house, the president is chucking rocks. >> i'm automa'tically