tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 8, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
whole thing. that's what it's going to look like, apparently, with the trump budget. average people paying for it. tax cuts for the rich. the 11th hour with brian williams starts right now. still no evidence about the wiretap claims. powerful member is taking up the president's challenge to investigate. also this meerng, with friends like these, the open revolt on capitol hill. republicans push back against their own party's plan to replace obamacare. can the president close the deal? and who's ready for dessert. formal rival and family get the white house treatment after incredibly rough treatment on the campaign trail. the 11th hour begins now. well, good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. 12 days until the march 20th house intelligence committee hearings on russia. it's now been four days since donald trumpccused barack
obama of a felony. and as predicted on this broadcast last night, as will be the case again tomorrow, the questions about the president, demanding any and all proof, any evidence that he was wiretapped are not going away. >> is the president the target of a counterintelligence investigation? >> i think that's what we need to find out. >> the president said he was tapped. as a fact. >> i understand that, and that's why we are very -- no, no, that's not what i said. what i said was -- hold on, mark >> wires were tapped. >> one at the same time. i said that the president made clear on sunday he has asked the house and senate intelligence committees to use their resources and their processes to examine the facts and come to a conclusion. >> now that right there, perhaps sensing he left a big if hanging out there during that exchange, 12 minutes later, as he wrapped up the briefing today, sean spicer issued this clarification. >> i just want to be really
clear on one point which is, there is no reason that we should -- that we have to think that the president is the target of any investigation. whatsoever. the tweet dealt with wiretaps during the thing, thesore an investigation. they are two separate issues. and there is no reason to believe that there is any type of investigation with respect to the department of justice. >> also today, two senators, democrat sheldon white house, rhode island, and republican lindsey graham, south carolina, formerly asked the doj to provide quote kieps of any warrant applications or court orders related to wiretaps of president trump. the trump campaign, or trump tower. our own kasie hunt talked more about this today with senator graham. >> the president trump claims that president obama administration tarkted his campaign, trump tower, and the tweet. i have no knowledge of that. but he's challenge ld the congress to help him, so let's help. there's no reason for them not to give it to us.
all we're asking for was a warrant issue. and if they don't give it to us, yeah, i'll subpoena it. this is a major deal for the country. i want to get to the bottom of it and the doj and fbi director, that's the reasonable request. and i hope they comply. >> meanwhile the head of the fbi, james comey, who has been requested to appear on the house intelligence committee did make a public appearance today while declining to comment on any of this. and remember, we learned yesterday from the top democrat in the house intelligence committee, adam schiff of california that the intelligence committee's investigations into russia's election hacks could also deal with this wiretapping allegation. with that in mind, we turn to today's news on russia. the top republicans and democrats on both the house and senate intelligence committees have been making trips out to cia headquarters in langley, virginia. the reason is, they're being shown raw intelligence, the kind of material that says, eyes only. having to do with russia's
interference in the u.s. election. after he returned, the top democrat and the senate intelligence committee, virginia's mark warner also talked to kasie hunt. >> in many ways, we have more questions now. we have more information we have to get access to. >> reporter: did you see evidence obtained from wiretapping phones in trump tower? >> i'm not going to get into any of the specific documents. those are classified. we're going to follow the truth, but what we have right now is a -- absolutely no basis and fact that anyone from the intel community or anybody in the staff in the white house light up. there's some of that -- if there's evidence to follow, we'll follow it. >> and in a new development on the russia front. the president chose a mainstream republican, former presidential candidate john huntsman as his ambassador to russia. huntsman served in the obama administration as ambassador to
china. donald trump mentioned hid ten yush in china back in 2012 says john huntsman called to see me. he gave away our country to china. time to introduce our panel tonight. all three, msnbc analysts, welcome to you all. nicole wallace gets the benefit of real estate tonight. you're here, you're first. let's talk about what's happening at the white house. there are two tools of your craft that we saw, one we saw today, one we haven't. the note to the podium, the calms rector sitting in the west wing sends a no out to the press secretary which is handled discreetly. that happened today. number two is a washington
classic, the walkback. what my boss meant to say. this is where it gets serious because we have seen days consumed by this incredibly weighty, historic charge of one president to another. >> yeah, and i don't buy the excuse that we shouldn't take the president literally anymore. that's like -- i have a five-year-old, and we take him literally. leader of the free world, it's time to take his words literally. and what he said literally was exactly what you started to show. accused the former president of committing a crime. what con funds to me as a former senior staffer and a white house is why this staff is so profoundly weak that nobody can walk in and say, mr. president, we got your back. and we love you. but you stepped in it today. and what we're going to do, here's the plan, sir, you've got two choices. one, we can say, you know, i don't know, you were still asleep, you rolled over, reached for your phone, the whole thing was a blur and you didn't mean any of it.
or we can clarify it and said that what you intended to say that that was if anyone in your other bit was september up in a surveillance of any russians who were regularly listened to, we to want get to the bottom of it. and the fact that white house staff is so profoundly weak or so profoundly timid is the most troubling piece. we are now at day five where they've left this -- it's a lie, and it's an accusation that's indefensible. they've left it out there. >> meantime, no sales trip after the joint session speech. none of the regular machine ri, the mechanics of the presidency is getting accomplished. >> he's had two really good days. one was the announcement of his supreme court nominee. someone widely respected. not just in conservative circles, but even among people who disagree with his conservative ideology, had the knowledge that he was a qualified nominee. and the second really good indisputably day that marked progress for this president was
that address to congress. and the fact that he stepped on his own capacity to sort of build on that message is the fault really in a symptom to me of the weakness of this white house staff. >> robert costa, what do you hear the west wing is like these days? >> based on my reporting tonight, the president is really working quietly behind the saenls to try to sale this health care plan to skeptical conservatives. and it's a different kind of strategy for the president. you don't see him having the same bravado that the angry tweets, the furious news conferences. instead you see him huddling in the roosevelt room and in the oval office with conservative groups like heritage action and members of the freedom caucus. because he knows he's taken all this executive action so far, but this is the first legislative test of his young presidency. he has to get it right. he cannot fail. >> jeremy bash, a term of art for you, lindsey graham is
asking fbi for a warrant applications. describe those and what senator graham is likely trying to figure out here. >> he wants to see the documentation that's been assembled by the fbi, by the justice department, they're voluminous, they are detailed applications to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and they basically say, please issue a warrant to a phone company or to an internet company to provide e-mails or phone calls of the target of the surveillance. ie, the foreign power that they're suspected of being engaged in espionage. but brian, i was chief council of the house intelligence committee. we used to get reports on these warrant applications all the time. this is a five minute investigation. investigations go something like this, was there a warrant, the answer is yes or no. and the investigation, that phase of the investigation could be dispensed with. over a cup of coffee. so this really is not going to be a big focus area for the march 20th hearings or for what
chairman nunes or burr are doing going forward. >> jeremy, room for a grayer area of something nicole touched on, something i inartfully tried to describe as my prison yard spotlight theory the other night, that in the sweep of other ongoing intelligence gathering that scope passed through trump tower and it inhas been tans briefly. >> it's possible that people who have worked in the trump organization were caught on -- not caught, they were communicating with people who were in russia or in the united states, but who were working on behalf of russia. and their communications were part of routine surveillance or targeted surveillance. and that happens a lot. i think that's far different than i had my wires tapped. and suggesting that president obama did something that was extralegal outside the bounds of law. >> nicole in the ussr, if we went a couple of days not seeing the leader, they would start to play marshal music on the radio and find out what happened.
in this case, we are seeing snippets of the president dropping in on a tour group yesterday, quick what are called camera sprays. would you counsel the president to say something, go to an event, give a speech, get out? >> you know, from covering his supporters, you know, these are democrats that voted for him, he doesn't have any problems with -- among his voters, but we know that that's not enough for donald trump. what fuels his rage on twitter in the middle of the night isn't that his base is losing enthusiasm, they're not. what fuels his rage is that the media, his former friends in the media are not as enthusiastic about his presidency as he hoped they would be. and his critic in the democratic party, i think he feels get a lot of air time. so dng all of the things are always good, they accrue to your benefit and give the country a better rounded image of the man. and i used to feel this way about dick cheny who was caricatured to the ridiculous. he is being caricatured to the
ridiculous. it would serve him well just as a political figure to show some of these other sides of him. but, the sort of known unknown is what is his patience for doing those things? those things, if he enjoys them and thrives off them and it's glad handing and helps fuel him to sort of meet people that like him and admire him, they should absolutely do more of that. but if it drains him and makes him feel like he's selling himself to people that think he's great, it's not going to contribute to greater success. >> and robert, any reason to think this current drum beat, our conversation tonight, our conversation last night won't continue, at least, up until perhaps through march 20th when lights, camera, action, the hearings under way. >> there's a sense inside of the white house that they're under siege and while trying to move on to health care and other issues, the russia investigation, the questions about possible connections between trump associates and russian intelligence officials, it's continues to linger.
and it haunts this white house. and i talk to my sources there every day. they just wonder how can they escape the shadow. >> and what are you hearing? especially among republicans who must wake up and have a catch before they take in their first breath and look at their device. >> well, they know that this president is driven by his gut instinct. and while he's working with members of congress and house speaker paul ryan said tonight to his friend bill bennett he's spoken to the president, this is still a president who operates in an isolated fashion in many respects. he is digesting the news, cable news, newspapers, print editions, doesn't use a computer on his own. making his conclusions on his own. and those who deal with him day-to-day, privately acknowledge to me that this is the dynamic, they're confronting. as much as there are a lot of people swirling around him, it's trump himself making the decisions. trump himself really analyzing information on his own.
>> jeremy, let's talk about john huntsman. he is a lot of things. he was a very refreshing politician for people who saw him on the national stage. he is a patriot. i think moderate republican is the way to put it. this must be reassuring, especially to fellow republicans who wanted to see a hint of normalcy going back to normalcy in the u.s./russia relation. >> yeah, he's considered an independent. i visited him when he was u.s. ambassador in beijing. he carried that portfolio very responsibly. real adults, real people who understand the responsibility of moving the russia relationship forward without capitulating to russia. what's so confusing and confounding is that everything the president has said would be a capitulation on syria, nato, that's why the policy makes no sense, even while other people in his orbit, we think, would actually carry forward a responsible policy. >> jeremy, if you wait long enough, the areas of concern to life's work are going to become serious and relevant again in our conversation as we saw
today, jeremy bash, thanks, rest of the panel, stick by us. we're going to take our first break and coming up, some conservatives in revolt. president trump takes an uncaseworkistic approach to what has been the art of the deal. robert costa has more reporting on that when the 11th hour continues. ♪ choose your civilization. china. ♪ america. ♪ korea. ♪ japan. ♪ europe.
is this bill going to pass? >> i think it's got a real problems right now, greta. we had our meeting last night and there was a strong opposition against our members last night. >> remember him from the benghazi hearings. republican representative jim jordan of the state of ohio talking about the health care bill. his own party just introduced. this bill is exposing a deep divide that puts the white house and congressional leadership at odds with many rank and file members of their own party. president trump just sent -- set a meeting rather loudest critics of the health care bill, the freedom caucus. he has invited them to go bowling at the white house. robert costa and nicole wallace still with us. robert the headline to your piece, you touched on this in the first segment, trump goes into deal making mode, works behind the scenes on health bill. and boy are you right. that is not the way we are used to seeing him operate, but none of this is the way we are used to seeing anything operate.
imagine a bill being walled d.o.a. by some republicans on day one, day two. >> it's a striking situation. it's a tough situation for house speaker paul ryan and president trump. you have a group of 30 to 40 lawmakers. the hard liners in the house gop who in spite of all the pleas from the president, there's part of them, because of their convictions with, they just don't to want come along. and with democrats holding firm, you just wonder, where are the votes? >> and you have this odd dynamic, robert, that people have a funny way of deciding things like this. no matter how red your district, so many members are going home, the ones on the east who can get home for weekends.
the others on a break, and hearing about health care. rising up. it's been compared to the rise of the tea party years ago. >> it's so true, brian. and that's part of the real skiddishness among house republican leaders. is they know that these members are going to go back to their districts and think about all of the organizations that are out there on the left of center side of politics. and they have become a new tea party of sorts. organizing at town halls and so, they want to make sure the members can try to move quickly on this to have a vote so they can get it through the house and over to the senate, but there's still very little consensus of what exactly should be in the plan. >> nicole, can you believe what you're seeing? >> well, it's such a conundrum for, you know, i guess what we used to call traditional republicans. they've been clambering and promising -- >> repeal and replace. >> i might have heard that some place. >> now off president who revealed on the republican primary. the other thing you live by in washington is that once you've
given someone and entitlement, it's near impossible to take it away. and while the rising premiums made obamacare a political weapon used rather effectively by republicans, taking away someone's health care is a loser, 1,000%. not just politically, but messing with health care is messing with people's lives. so this is sort of become the new third rail. we used to talk about social security as a third rail of american politics. i think obamacare is the new third rail in republican politics right now. >> and robert, while we're burning the rule book of past behavior, presidents used to go
out -- we touched on this in the first segment and sell big initiative. sell big ideas. especially early on and especially after either state of the union or speech to a joint session. >> it's the question i'm asking too, brian. i just got off the phone a few hoursing away house majority leader kevin mccarthy and house whip steve scalise on the record conversations. how is the president going to be used here? he's playing behind the scenes right now. he's having everybody over to the white house, but eventually doesn't he have to go on the road. the whole conversation getting people in line on some of the ma knew that before trump starts making some wholesale argument. and that's why trump also knows he's open to negotiation on this. there is a plan out there, we see the draft, but it's open to be changed because trump at the end of the day, he wants success. he wants passage. >> robert, nicole, we're so lucky to have you both. thank you both for coming on tonight. coming up, tonight's edition of guess who's coming to dinner. when dinner is at the white
house. here's a hint, a year ago, they were tearing into each other. how can we say that this spring guests can earn a free night when they book direct on choicehotels.com and stay with us just two times? spring time. badda book. badda boom. or... badda bloom. seriously? book now at choicehotels.com
but they didn't know they were all tobacco products.e... ooh, this is cool. it smells like gum. yummy! this smells like strawberry. are these mints? given that 80% of kids who ever used tobacco started with a flavored product, who do you think tobacco companies are targeting? do we get to keep any? our last thing before we go tonight is the reason why foot in everyone is cut out for politics. picture tonight's dinner at the white house. the president and mrs. trump, senator and mrs. cruz.
politicians can't afford to have social anxiety if they did, they'd never leave the house. after all, think about what transpired between trump and cruz. think about what these two said about each other, and family members. in case your memory needs refreshing, here now a brief look back. >> cruz, it's hard to say anything bad about cruz, he says such good things about me. >> most people know exactly what new york values are. >> is the bromance over now? do you like ted cruz? >> he hit me, i didn't hit him. i hit him after the fact. i guess the bro mans is over. >> that guy lies. he does not tell the truth. you know, he holds up his bible, and then he lies. that guy lies. he is a liar. he is like a little baby. soft, weak, little baby. i want to congratulate ted on maine and on kansas and he should do well in maine because it's very close to canada. let's face it. >> trump threatening cruz's wife on twitter.
be careful, lying ted or i'll spill the beans on your wife. >> lying ted cruz came here, never stand up like that. i can tell you. his father was with lee harvey oswald prior to oswald being, you know, shot. i mean the whole thing is ridiculous. >> donald trump alleges that my dad was involved in assassinating jfk. now, let's be clear. this is nuts. this man is a pathological liar. the man suterly amoral, morality does not exist for him. the idea of our daughters coming home and repeating any word that man says, horrifies me. >> and tonight, we are told he brought those daughters to dinner at the white house. well, look at the time, who has room for dessert? we had a lovely evening. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with us. "hardball" begins right now. tapped out.
let's play "hardball." >> good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight as we meet, donald trump's unfounded claim that he was wiretapped at trump tower by president obama flips around like a fish out of water. republicans in the congress refuse to pick it up off the floor and put it out of its misery or throw it back where it came from. and since friday, president trump has offered zero evidence to back up that absurd accusation. instead, his people say congress should investigate. here's sean spicer today. >> is the president the target of a counterintelligence investigation? >> i think that's what we need to find out. part of the reason that we have asked the house and senate to look into this is because of that. the concern that the president has, and why me asked the senate and house intelligence subcommittees, to look into this, is to get to