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angry about what happened. >> it would be easy to be angry. >> it would be very easy to be angry. i don't want them to see the bad part of it. i want them to come, turn that bad situation, into something positive. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thank you for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york. it's 7:00 a.m. in the east, 4:00 a.m. out west and here's what's happening. new twists -- the president's latest tweets raising questions what did he know and when did he know it at the time he fired michael flynn? i was in washington, d.c. watching in an incredible way the biggest act of thievery in the modern history of this country. >> class warfare, that's how
some democrats are characterizing the gop tax bill. we'll look at whether they have any options to battle the sweeping changes proposed by republicans. new warning. the white house national security chief says potential for war with north korea increasing everyday. reaction ahead. inside the trump campaign. a new book reveals among other things candidate trump's favorite meals and screaming fits. we begin with new reaction from president trump questioning the criminal charges against his former national security adviser, michael flynn, and whether he ever approached former fbi director james comey about their own investigation of flynn early
in the administration. just moments ago, the president tweeted i never asked comey to stop investigating flynn, just more fake news covering another comey lie. meanwhile, the president taking to twitter last night in one tweet saying -- so general flynn lies to the fbi and his life is destroyed while crooked hillary clinton on that now famous fbi
holiday interrogation with no swearing in and no recording lies many times and nothing
happens to her? rigged system or just a double standard? the president ramping up his attacks against hilary cloig in another tweet, what is the justice department going to do about the fact that totally crooked hilary after receiving a subpoena from the united states congress deleted an acid-washed 33,000 e-mails? no justice. the tweets follow his initial response on twitter appearing to have known mike flynn lied to the fbi. joining me now chief washington correspondent from bloomburg tv and julia manchester. great to have you both here. never a dull sunday. >> never a dull moment. >> the white house may have further added to this confusion about the initial tweet on flynn lying to the fbi, which "the washington post" first reported that it was authored by president trump's personal
lawyer on his legal team that do not want him tweeting or live tweeting the developments of this investigation and this case as it continues forward simply because of what we saw happen yesterday, where there appears to be a discrepancy and major difference in what the president has tweeted versus what his legal team is saying. but the second point that i would make is that the gloves are off. the gloves are off between the president's legal team and general flynn's legal team. and it would suggest that while much of us in the media have been rightfully focussing on the -- on how general flynn is cooperating with bob mueller's investigate, i think we would sals note that the president's legal team is essentially saying game on. they're pressing back hard
against general flynn as this thing continues on. >> jjulia, i want to take a ste back when the white house distanced themselves from mike flynn by calling him an obama official. why is he now giving the appearance that he's protecting mike flynn? >> yeah. this is just another distraction that trump has offered to, i guess, almost take the attention away from mike flynn. we've seen in his recent tweets he's brought hilary cloig into the investigation and called on an additional investigation into that -- we've seen trump do this in the past when he's brought hillary clinton in the past probe into her e-mail server into this equation again. this is trump's equation on how to go about this. >> let's talk about. many the tweets bringing hillary clinton and the justice department into the equation. is this red meat for the base or
something else? >> it's definitely red meat for the base. look, as far as whether or not general flynn is a former obama official, i mean, let's be frank here. general flynn played an influential part in the trump campaign particularly on its national security advisement to then candidate donald trump. i would also raise the point justice general flynn had these questionable putting it mildly business deals with pro russian factions in the ukraine, so has people like tony podesta, so i think that the broader step back and the point that the president seemingly is trying to make is that there's -- the scope of this investigation could get well beyond just the president's inner circle. that said, president trump is president trump and so there are a lot of questions that still have to be answered. >> julia, "the new york times"
have taken e-mails from former nsa official who wrote to a colleague about the obama sanctions in retaliation for the russian election. does this shed any light on mike flynn's contact with russia. >> the white house did say they were referring to how democrats had characterized trump's win, that it was basically thrown to trump. however, it does raise some questions that the trump campaign did know more about this. i mean, we've seen senior officials being mentioned in these various court documents surrounding michael flynn. so i think it's very important to look into them and see what -- how senior officials have characterized this. >> julia, kevin, stay with me because we have much more to discuss on this. >> thank you. >> thank you. now to the gop's victory lap after the senate passed its tax
bill early yesterday morning. hallie jackson on what is next. >> last night at 3:00 a.m. i got a call. >> reporter: president trump describing the moment overnight he found out his first big legislative win looks locked in. >> for years, not since ronald reagan, has anything come close to pass. they couldn't pass them. they couldn't get the votes. >> reporter: but republicans got the vote to pass that massive tax plan to cut individual taxes, cut the corporate rate and do away with some popular tax breaks while adding a new child tax credit. a nonpartisan analysis estimates it will add a trillion dollars deficit. billed as a middle class cut, there's still no guarantee all americans will see their taxes go down in what's now the biggest overhaul in decades, approved in minutes -- >> the tax cuts and jobs act as amended is passed. >> reporter: only hours after senators got their first look at the final bill. that left democrats furious with a process they slammed as rushed
and opaque. >> this is the tax bill. see how thick it is? i want you to take a look at this, folks. this is your government work. >> reporter: back in 2009, republicans levelled the same criticisms at democrats during debate on the affordable care act. >> this massive piece of legislation is being written behind closed doors. >> reporter: that was then, but now -- >> but the argument that this was not an open process is ridiculous. sure, they were changes as we move aid long, but the core of the bill, everybody was familiar with. >> reporter: it's not a done deal just yet. the senate still has to square its bill with the house version, to figure out, for example, the number of tax brackets, whether individual tax cuts are temporary or permanent, how generous the child tax credit should be and whether corporate cuts should start immediately or later. that process will take some time, with democrats now promising to use that window to fight. senator bernie sanders -- >> they have significant differences that have to
reconcile, which gives us three, four weeks to rally the american people. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell says republicans hope to get a final bill on the president's desk before christmas, but remember what else congress has on its plate, especially the next week, coming up with some kind of a deal to avoid a government shutdown before that deadline on friday. dara, back to you. >> thanks so much. kevin and julia back now. kevin, let's start with you, the president left open the possibility that the corporate tax rate could end up at 22% instead of the 20% right now in both house and senate plans. what is the significance of a that and would it happen? >> huge significance. he wanted that corporate tax rate lowered to 15% and then he budged to 20% and said that was a political red line. now we're up to 22%. the bottom line is that full steam ahead for this tax reform package by likely the end of the year. i think what's really
interesting, though, as we saw in hallie's report, lower income americans or middle class americans will actually see a tax break when they fill out their taxes in just a couple of months. and i think what you're going to see -- this is where the politics impacts the policy, dara, about 70,000 voters in states like michigan, wisconsin, pennsylvania where the president won those states in which they could be impacted by this. they're going to have to square whether or not not seeing a tax break but also seeing gains in their 401(k)s and also seeing a lowering of what's called the pass through rate on small business companies is going to influence them in their economic confidence. so, all of this -- the sources i talked with in the democratic party say there could be this interesting energy in which the same way republicans made gains after the passing of obamacare, look for democrats to try to do that in reverse this time and run against this tax reform plan in 2018. >> lot of changes under way.
julia, the joint tax ation committee says -- it's difficult to say that but mitch mcconnell says it's revenue neutral or even a revenue generator. what is the public supposed to believe here? >> yeah. so it's difficult to say what the public is supposed to believe, however it's important to see when these conference committees come together from the senate and the house they're going to be trying to almost fit a square into a circle trying to reconcile these two tax bills. we see while a lot of republicans in the house and the senate agree on the major points within the tax bills, there's a lot of disagreement especially on the deficit. we're seeing deficit hawks in the house and senate who are concerned that this does raise the deficit and isn't fiscally conservative. so i think republicans are going to really have to focus on this messaging in order to get that
message across to their core conservative, fiscally conservative base for 2018. >> but they lost. the deficit hawks lost. the so-called trigger provision, no, it's not going to work. i think what's interesting here is that folks who have been concerned about the deficit for a long time, people like senator ted cruz, people like in the house of representatives are saying, wait a minute, that trigger provision is just another tax. so you have this situation where republicans right now from president trump down to house members are banking on economic growth, 3% gdp economic growth as paying for this tax reform plan. if that doesn't happen, then when they get to next spring and start talking about entitlement reform and welfare reform, that's like six months before the election and, oh, yeah, the same time as paul manafort's trial, it's going to be very, very contentious as we head into next year. >> a lot going on. kevin, julia, please stick around. we have more to discuss. >> thank you.
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fast, and easy. download the xfinity my account app or go online today. it's a rather unsettling assessment of the senate's tax plan cut, but the brooks institution researcher claims the plan's reduction on taxes on beer, wine and spirits would cause an increase in deadly drunk driving accidents. the bill currently would lower federal alcohol taxes by 16%, their lowest since at least 1950. adam luny writes cuts to the taxes will lead to more drinking and more alcohol related deaths and violence. he estimates the bill could lead to 280 and 600 more drunk driving deaths a year and 1,500
alcohol related deaths in a year. new today, white house national security adviser h.r. mcmaster says the potential with war with north korea is increasing everyday. mcmaster signaled a march towards war with the north at a gathering at the reagan national defense forum in california yesterday. he said every time kim jong-un conducts a missile test like this one on wednesday, he improves north korea's weapons technology adding that the u.s. is in a race to solve this problem. >> the greatest immediate threat to the united states and to the world is the threat posed by the rogue regime in north korea and his continued efforts to develop a long-range nuclear capability. >> so has the potential with war with north korea increased since this latest launch. >> i think it's increasing everyday, which means that we're in a race really. we're in a race to be able to solve this problem. it is a race because he's getting closer and closer. and there's not much time left.
>> mcmaster said armed conflict is not the only solution. he urged china to enforce an oil embargo on the north to make missile tests more difficult for kim jong-un. let's bring back kevin and julia. kevin, those are really strong words there. so what is the strategy at this point and as this calculation on the role that china and russia play shifted in recent months? >> strong words from general mcmaster and i think the policy in the midst of those strong words, particularly his urging of the chinese to start to play ball, not just on economic sanctions but on oil sanctions because the economic relationship between china and north korea at more than 80%. think about that for a second. more than 80% of north korea's exports and imports, imports in emphasized here come from china. so, yes, while people like u.n. ambassador nikki haley have gotten the chinese to play ball here and the russians, just as the obama administration tried
to do, oil is really where it's going to cut off and really hurt north korea and this brazen 30 something dictator who seemingly is just absolutely insane that he is not fully reading the writing on the wall here about what's coming unless he backs off, knocks it off and starts cooperating. >> well, he obviously has his own idea of what's going on because they've been trying to have this negotiation for months no such julia, let me play for you what mike pompeo said yet on whether president trump's tweets undermine the c.i.a.'s work. listen. >> i have seen things the president put on the twitter account have a real world impact on our capacity to understand what's going on in other places of the world. our adversaries responding to those tweets in ways that were helpful to us, to understand command and control issues, who is listening to what messages, how those messages are resonating around the world. >> how does this square with the
thinking by career officials at the c.i.a. and the rest of the intelligence community? >> yeah. i think trump supporters and those in the administration will publicly say that his tweets are simply him trying to, i guess, break that fourth wall and connect with people in the, i guess, send a message on foreign policy. however, his tweets have also to critics say that these tweets also kind of present a risk when he goes off and calls kim jong-un little rocket man. to kevin's point, kim jong-un seems a bit, i guess, very trigger happy. he's very bombastic, so i think you have two men with two very strong-willed men at this point going at it. and i think these tweets really do push kim jong-un to the edge in this respect. >> hence the real world impact that he might be talking about there. >> yes.
>> julia, kevin, stay with me. we will be back because we have more to talk about. stemming from the wrinkles from the president's suit and other random tales, where a new book recounts adventures on the campaign trail with candidate trump. that's up next. more people shop online for the holidays than ever before. (clapping) and the united states postal service delivers more of those purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. ( ♪ ) because we know, even the smallest things are sometimes the biggest. even the smallest things 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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a new book debuting tuesday from two trump campaign insiders recounts among other gems that current white house communications director hope hix steamed the wrinkles from the candidates suit while he was wearing it and reveals some of president trump's favorite meals including big macs and fries with one captured here and posted on instagram. kevin and julia, welcome back. let's talk about this. "the washington post" got a sneak peek of the book. what did you find most fascinating in the short snapshots? >> the most fascinating thing i would say is the episode where trump reaming out manafort saying he shouldn't go on tv anymore.
it gives us a snapshot with his obsession with the media and his need to be on tv. and i think that honestly helped him in his campaign. clinton did not go on tv as much as trump did and i think this was a way for trump to connect with voters, but it definitely reads into his fascination and his love for the press and being on tv. it also shows us how he treated the second -- his campaign chairman at the time and maybe some tension between them. we see that manafort didn't last much longer in the campaign. he left right after the convention. >> kevin, what's your biggest take away from all this? we're talking about him lowering the helicopter to yell at manafort. >> i was having deja vu because i was criss-crossing the country with a very small group of reporters back when no one gave then candidate donald trump a chance. he was the long-shot candidate with the scrappy reporters chasing after him. and it was very interesting. i can tell you, though, that hope hix plays a far much more
influential role in the president's inner circle than steaming pants. and look, no matter what corey lewandowski in this book is writing, i think the bigger take away is that he and paul manafort never got along. they never liked each other. that's no secret. and it's interesting that cory is now writing a book and it will be interesting to see what other tidbits are in there. but bottom line, corey and paul never got along. >> kevin, what do you think is the motivation behind this? do you think it puts the president in a good light? >> well, i mean, i think that another funny it bit is just the president's eating habits on the campaign trail. fast food to say the least. i mean, that's honestly -- being really honest on sunday morning, my mom watching at home outside of philly isn't going to like this, i'm a big fast food guy myself. so that was one of the things i actually liked about the campaign trail. >> big macs and filet of fish.
>> mcdonald's for everyone. >> great to have you here this morning. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that will do it for me. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching. "your business" is up next followed by "politics nation." tr was enlightening. ♪ you don't like my lasagna? no, it's good. -hmm. -oh. huh. [ both laugh ] here, blow. blow on it. you see it, right? is there a draft in here? i'm telling you, it's so easy to get home insurance on progressive.com. progressive can't save you from becoming your parents. but we can save you money when you bundle home and auto.
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