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tv   MTP Daily  MSNBC  March 15, 2017 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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class, butts up to black neighborhoods in richmond. they pushed back on that pretty hard. >> michael bender an interesting profile. that is going to do it for this hour here in new york. "mtp daily" starts right now. it's wednesday, the president is back on the campaign trail. tonight, health care revival. can president trump breathe life back into his crumbling health care plan and does he want no? we're all the to asa hutchinson of arkansas who says his state cannot survive on the plan as it stands today. >> it's not a bad beginning process but terrible ending process. plus no evidence. >> i don't think there was a tap of trump tower. >> as the bell is committee throws water on the wiretapping claims we talk to the breitbart columnist who first wrote about the bugging theory.
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and what is behind president trump's andrew jackson obsession? this is "mtp daily" and it starts right now. good evening and welcome to "mtp daily" back in washington. where the republican draft bill to repeal and replace obamacare is been assailed from almost all corners of the gop with no simple solution in sight. but prident trump has an opportunity to do what he can do best tonight, sell his vision to a large, boisterous group of supporters. the president is set to hold a campaign rally in nashville, tennessee tonight with a chance to use the bully pulpit for the first time since the plan was put on paper. and mike pence was dispatched to the hill today to get the deeply divided republican conference on the same page. the question tonight, how how
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much political capital is the white house willing to spend to get a win on this bill? conservatives don't think that the house plan goes far enough. some spoke at a rally on capitol hill today. >> you need to tell them you want them to stand firm, you want to bring down the paul ryan plan. and that what we want is freedom. we want to be free of obamacare completely. >> when we were campaigning, and we talked about repealing obamacare, we didn't say we were going to keep part of it. we said we were going to repeal it all. don't you think now is the time do that? >> republican moderates think it's going too far, slashing things that are helping their constituents. i plan to vote no on current ahca bill as the written plan leaves too many from my district
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uninsured. and only governors are against the bill including a former conservative republican congressman turned governor, asa hutchinson. >> i do not support this bill as it stands. it's okay if it passes out of the house we just have to remedy this in the senate. this cannot be the end product. account be a beginning of the process. >> then there are conservative senators like ted cruz who say it would be dead on arrival in the senate if it makes it there. and despite winning elections by running against obamacare, public opinion does not seem to be on the republican side at least not right now. a kaiser health tracking poll shows more americans now have a positive view of the current affordable care act, aka, obamacare than a negative view and the a slight majority of respondents are opped to repealing the law.
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sometimes politic groups can get desperate enough they just want to win and do whatever it takes to get a win. republicans and president trump both want to put up a "w" on the scoreboard for health care. but legislative victories like this take a united front and right now they don't have anything close to that. i'm joined now by arkansas's republican governor asa hutchinson. you just heard from him yesterday saying he's okay if it passes the house but wants changes in the senate. so let me start with that. if the house version is what passes the senate then you can't support this bill? >> that's correct. that's a bad idea. it's not a bad beginning process. but it's a terrible ending process. >> so let's get to what changes you want to see made. i assume on the medicaid front you want to see changes. explain. >> i do. first of all they're doing the right thing by replacing
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obamacare. that's important because it's not working here in arkansas now but it's in terms of the house bill, the challenge is first of all, a shift from the federal government to the states in terms of costs. secondly, they've got to readjust on the subsidies for that are at poverty level and low income. right now, they've increased the limits in the subsidies so it goes up to twice the welcome limits that was under obamacare. that needs to be narrowly focused on those trying to move up the economic ladder, trying to get back to work but need health and health coverage. that should be the focus on the plan. the subsidies should be more narrowly focused. right now there is a disincentive to move off medicaid and go up the economic ladder because there is a cliff they would not have any help. those the kinds of things that need to be corrected.
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we need have to have less of the cost shift to the state and more of the subsidies focused on the low income. >> where does the money come from then? they have gotten rid of some of the tax revenue that they had raised in obamacare. in the affordable care act, which that was making up some of the money where they got the subsidy now they're doing tax credits. where do they get the money to increase the tax credits. do you want to see it done by income instead of age? >> the cbo numbers indicates there is a savings under the house plan. so that's good news. but let's just readjust those numbers. and so on the subsidy side of 9 let's congress trace the subsidies at poverty levels. >> you want means tein you want a means test comings something that i know some have called for and the administration and house
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republicans have resisted. >> there is -- means testing when you have the subsidies up to 800% of poverty level. that is means testing. i just want to have it lower so we concentrate those resources on those who are really struggling at poverty level and a little above trying to move from medicaid on to the employer insurance or moving on to their own individual insurance. that's where they need the help. and in terms of savings, i want the states to share and reducing the cost curve for medicaid and for health care. we will share in that. we just can't bear the bulk of that burden. >> when you became governor why did you decide not to undo the medicaid expansion? >> well i decided not do undo it because it's part of the fab rick of the health care sum in arkansas. all of the systems we had in place previous to it had been
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dismantled. i'm talking about many of the charity clinics that provided free health care. those have gone away. so we shifted and you can't reverse that. secondly, it has helped us in terms of access to health care in arkansas. many benefits from it and we need to control the numbers better. that's why i wt move 60,000 off the medicaid expansion but you can't do that if there is not any place for them to go. that's the challenge we face if the house plan was adopted. >> do you think, frankly your party is too caught up in the word "replace" that it is so fixated on being able to say and you went out of your way, let me just say replacing it is a good idea. what's wrong with just saying what you just said now, the system, there are some things that are better about it, why not just embrace the repair and you might get more people on board trying to fix this thing in washington?
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>> well, repeal and replace is the right language. you're doing away with the individual mandate and the employer mandate. you're putting restrictions on the medicaid expansion and more flexibility to the states. these are dramatic reform changes. i want to increase the reform, improve the replacement but the right direction to go to repeal the affordable care act and do something to control costs, have access, work with the states and listen to the states as you develop the replacement reform. >> if the house bill passes the senate you couldn't support. that would you rather have the system in place now than the house bill? >> i will phrase it differently. my sense is there will be changes whether in the house or the senate, they're listening to the governors and we're communicating to them. i'm confident there will wll be
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changes. this will be improved as it goes through the process and i'm looking forward to that. >> but do you think the system you're running in arkansas right now is better than what the house bill would be mandating on you? >> we have to have help from the house bill. for example some of it can be done by waivers requesting from the trump administration but we need fundamental change and reform. i want to move 60,000 right now off of our medicaid expansion on to the exchange. i need to have a replacement in order to accomplish some of those objectives and know where we are going in the future. >> you would still take the house bill as is over the current system you're running now? >> i would take the house bill as is as long as it's changed in the senate. you're giving me a false choice, there, todd. >> i'm not trying to give you a false choice. this is the bill that mike
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pence -- the vice president, the president, the speaker, they're saying, no, this is the vehicle. this is what you do. i understand you want it changed. but what if it doesn't change? at that point would you rather see them fail to the this replacement? >> i'll make that decision down the road. clearly we need to repeal the affordable care act and replace it with something that works for the states that gives us more flexibility than what's in the houspl rht now. we'll help you control costs. we've got somethinged good goi in arkansas. i just need help to do it the right way. >> thank you, mr. hutchinson. let me bring in the panel. michael steele and molly ball, politics writer at "the atlantic." >> i get it.
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a member of your party cannot say they would prefer any part of obamacare. they can't say it. >> they can't say it. >> but he basically said it. >> he basically said it and laid out the parameters under which it would make sense to do a repair and what to repair. but when you pressed him back on why don't you just say that? they have to stick with the nomenclature that has been on the street for the last six years and that's what is getting them in this box. repeal and repair language is deadly at this point. >> i feel like it's a political argument that they're having right now. that they just got to fulfill the political semantics. >> you know, i think if the problem was as simple as messaging you'd hear them start to change the messaging but i do think the messaging reflects a deeper policy problem which is that there are -- i thi the "wall street journal" editorial page may be the only institution in the right that likes this
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bill. the problem is that republicans, conservatives, there's no constituency outside of paul ryan and a few people in the trump administration who like and support this bill. and governor hutchinson, you have to have some sympathy for him because he's a republican governor who is governing a state where his democratic predecessor expanded medicaid. he's in a very difficult position. i will give a shoutout to the conservative health care expert with a piece in this month's "national review" that said house republicans took a middle road where they repealed the taxes and the two paths he suggested are a more aggressive and less aggressive pass. he said they took the worst one possible which was the middle road. >> i think -- it just -- it sounded like to me that governor hutchinson, if you can't bring yourself to say i'm willing to
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shrink the medicaid expansion and it does sound like there's not a republican governor in this country that are willing to the that. even bevin can't do it. >> and i think that what elian that was saying is right. the devil is in the details here. the problem is what is in the bill. i don't think the bill has no constituency. and because president trump has gotten behind it and because -- >> is he behind it? >> is he? >> nominally he has gotten been it. republicans are on tender hooks, particularly as he does this campaign swing whether he can throw his weight behind it more aggressively. that would help them. the activists in the party, not the conservative institution but the activists out there in the country are tentatively for it if the president is for it. but they want to -- >> he didn't do it today in michigan. he didn't -- granted that was a different type of event.
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maybe he does it tonight. >> i don't think he will. >> but his constituents -- that's why in michigan -- the fact he didn't bring it up in michigan. is he afraid to bring it up there, there the people that voted for him, they don't like how much it costs. >> i don't think it's a matter of fear for trump. i don't think he really wants to put his brand on it. >> you may be right. >> when you have his senior adviser saying why would anyone want to put the president's name on a health care bill. that tells you everything you need to know on where the president's head is on this. in my estimation there is no convention difference that the breitbart hit on ryan occurred two days ago and this sudden let's take a closer look by the administration tells me that ryan's on the hook for this. this is ryancare in the land of trump and that's perfectly okay for them. and my bet is on the back end of
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this when the wheels come off he will cut his deal with chuck schumer and the democrats. >> you are me viewing a conversation i have later in the show from breitbart who believes in that theory. >> this is a president who campaigned on health care for everybody and said people were dying in the streets who didn't have health care. i don't think that trump cares very much one way or the other about the particulars of the bill but this bill is not what he campaigned on. i think there is a reason he is not putting his name on. and i would be hard pressed to think that steve bannon is not giving approval to these attacks coming from breitbart on paul ryan and the health care bill. >> very quickly. kentucky, arkansas, west virginia, some of his strongest states, that's where he is meeting some of the most resistance, or this health care bill is meeting the most resistance.
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>> but if he does decides to disown the bill the buck stops with him not only because he is the president. if this thing falls apart in congress that's the opposite of the type of leadership he promised. bringing people into a room and getting things done. that was the leadership he promised. he promised to repeal obamacare, talked about how terrible it was with the cost comes up. >> it is a competency problem for him. >> absolutely. it's hard to get bipartisan agreement on anything on the hill. but one thing they can agree on they want answers from the fbi on whether there is any proof of the president's wiretap claims. stay tuned. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced. our senses awake. our hearts racing as one.
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welcome back, the justice department announced charges today against russian government officials in one of the largest cyberattacks in u.s. history. this is not about the election. two russian spies are charged
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along with to hackers. one of whom is a russian national and cybercriminal. this is the first time that the u.s. has filed criminal charges in a cybercase against the russian government. hackers stole personal data associated with 5 million yahoo accounts. they targeted russian and u.s. officials and journalists and diplomats. federal authorities continue to investigate russia's hacking into the 2016 u.s. presidential election. by the way one of the hackers was among the russians sanctioned following the election hacking efforts. but right n there is known tie between this hack investigation and the election-related hack investigations. keep in mind these are two very different kinds of attacks with different motives. the dnc hack was aimed at impacting the u.s. election.
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welcome back to "mtp daily" james comey was on capitol hill today as everyone is asking about russian interphoenix in the 2016 election and president trump's claims that president obama wiretapped him. comey just wrapped up a meeting with chuck grassley and his democratic counterpart, dianne feinstein. the setors were tighlipped about what they learned from mr. comey. >> did he confirm that there is an investigation ongoing into russian -- >> i'm not going to answer any questions on it. >> before this little briefing, senator grassley was peeved and at the same time, lindsey graham and sheldon whitehouse want comey to them them about the
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wiretapping accusations. they heard back from the fbi today that they will get briefed but it won't be in public. something graham is not happy about. >> from my point of view, i don't think the answer is a classified answer. there is a warrant or there is not a warrant. i don't know how divulging. once you get that base information it allows you to move on to other areas like is there a criminal investigation or not. >> and we learned that comey will testify on monday. we'll see if he answers questions in front of cameras. the democratic leaders say they haven't seen any evidence of any sort of wiretap related to trump tower. joining me is the former chief
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of staff at the cia and department of defense. welcome back to the show. >> hi, chuck. >> why -- can you explain the -- answer lindsey graham's question. why is this a national security secret? >> fisa warrants are an investigative tool of the fbi that is usually kept secret. you don't want to tip off the subject of your investigation or the russian handlers who are running a spy operation in the united states. these things are usually not made public however they are from time to time briefed in very sensitive discussions in those secret rooms in the capital and i suspect when you saw senator feinstein and senator grassley emerge today they had been briefed on something sensitive by the fbi. i think this is a further indication that there is some sort of fbi criminal or count
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counterintelligence investigation looking at the trump-russia connection. >> why is it at some point important to inform public that there is a criminal investigation? >> what i think it is important that president trump's tweet storm from two saturdays ago was an epic presidential lie that there was essentially a politically meet investigated wiretap of him, his campaign and office. that we can take off the table. the ranking member of the house intelligence committee says he has seen no evidence, so there is no evidence. i think we know that is not accurate. but as to whether this there is an underlying investigation, that's something the fbi is going to do in a sensitive and careful way. >> they didn't do that with the hillary clinton e-mail situation. so you do have some partisans on
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capitol hill that say wait a minute it was deemed a point in the public interest to give a lengthy detailed speech about something that wasn't active. so it is not even clear if policy was violated or not? is there two standards? >> what comey did in the hillary clinton case is he spoke about after -- he cleared her. he said will is nothing prosecutable here. i think he went too far in his statement but he indicted her character and approach. i think that was inappropriate and he took the further inappropriate step talking about it publicly. but two wrongs don't make a right and i do not want to see the fbi step out here and speak about a sensitive investigation. i think they have to follow the facts and i think it's clear that the facts are leading them to the president's inner circle. >> i understand that. but we are at a point where you
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have elected leaders on capitol hill who don't know what's going on. this is a highly sensitive matter. we have a foreign government that may have infiltrated the new government of this country. that seems to be something that the american people ought to know that there is concern about that. and i guess at what point does the public interest overtake national security secrecy? >> i think the broad issue of russian interference in the election or work covertly with the trump team that is something that should be known. it was part of the intelligence community assessment made public. >> assesment without evidence. they did not -- >> correct. >> they did not provide how they came to the conclusion. >> it was a set of conclusions with a little bit of detail about the open source information from russia today and propaganda arms.
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and on monday when comey testifies he may talk about russian interference and hacking and collusion with the president's people. >> but isn't the reason why there are so many conspiracy theories is because the fbi is not giving clarity to this. their silence is causing more confusion. >> it is but in some ways he will be able to say some things on monday. but what is he going to do? lay out all the evidence? it's an active investigation. and people need to read between the lines here. there is an active investigation going on. there are concerns. deep concerns held by our law enforcement and intelligence professionals about potential contacts between the russian federation and people acting on behalf of the president and people in the president's inner circle. that is alarming. for some people in the white house to say there's nothing to see here, that's inaccurate.
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there is something to see but we can't know all the facts yet. >> thank you, sir. still ahead, i'll talk to the man that wrote that article that may have been what prompted president trump to tweet he was being wire tapped. stay tuned. america's beverage companies have come together to bring you more ways to help reduce calories from sugar. with more great tasting beverages with less sugar or no sugar at all, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labels, and signs reminding everyone to think balance before choosing their beverages. we know you care about reducing the sugar in your family's diet, and we're working to support your efforts. more beverage choices. smaller portions. less sugar. balanceus.org. at bp's cooper river plant, employees take safety personally - down to each piece of equipment, so they can protect their teammates and the surrounding wetlands, too. because safety is never being satisfied. and always working to be better.
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still ahead on "mtp daily" the deep divisions in the gop on full display. and my interview with the
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man who may have sparked the president's wiretap tweets. first for the rest of the day's financial headlines here's susan li. >> the stocks are soaring. the dow up 112 points at the end of the day. the s&p rising 19 and the nasdaq gaining 43. as expected janet yellen hiking short term interest rates by 1/4 percentage point. and two more hikes are expected this year. home builder confidence is at its highest level in 12 years due the roll back of environmental regulations. that does it for cnbc. here's to the wildcats 'til we die...
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welcome back, the deep divisions in the republican party are on full display as the health care bill unravels. the republican health care plan is having an identical crisis because the republican party is having an identity crisis.
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conservativism versus nationalism or populist versus tea partier. whose party will this end up being? joe pollack co-wrote a book about president trump's campaign called "how trump won: the inside story of a revolution" he said i believed he could win i did not think he would. and he revealed the conclusion that would have been if trump lost. he wrote the populist and nationalist movement will not simply disappear after his defeat. of course a trump victory would have made resolving these contradictions much easier. but is that wishful thinking for republicans a it this point? the author joins me now.
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welcome to "meet the press daily" here is the book. since we are in the middle of the health care bill let me ask you this, do you accept nationalism versus trump conservativism that this is what the debate is about? >> i think there's to some extent. i think the conservative option was easier to take when it wasn't about governing and easier to formulate an opposition. and the new task of governing which the coalition brought includes a lot of people from blue states. he reached right into the heart of the democratic coalition and brought them under the republican big tent. and many of the voters are from working class backgrounds and get their insurance from an employer or on the expanded
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medicaid policy. it has to take care of a wider constituency. >> there is a battle to define conservativism? >> there is always a battle to define it. some people they it is a meaningless term. >> i feel that way sometimes because it's just an umbrella word to people. >> i think the consensus is with regard to obamacare is small government. health care is not run by the government and there are different versions of what that would look like. the point that paul ryan keeps emphasizing is we want individuals to choose their health plans and doctors. so choice defines small government and conservativism in that sense. >> a lot of folks like to read breitbart and try to interpret is there a message being sent over here or there. i think that people do control f ryan to see what you are writing
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about paul ryan and what to read into things about paul ryan. are people overreading it or is there a concern in that white house about ryan eeps handling of this bill? >> i'm not sure what you are asking but with regard to paul ryan we have a lot of perspeive inside breitbart. this is no secret. i'm historically and in the past in favor of a lot of the policies that ryan has done. all trump has so do is take a lot of ryan's bills and sign them. a lot of paul ryan's ideas have been good. a lot of problems that conservatives have is that this isn't the one that passed previous congresses. it's almost as if house republican leaders anticipating the need to compromise later on compromised in this version of the bill. so i think that's where it has been a bit of a problem for conservatives who are now saying that if we let obamacare fail on its own we would cover more
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people than by passing this bill. so, look, i'm -- very much a fan of ryan and the approach he takes to these things. i think that politically, trump wants to see something more. and that does play out in the pages of breitbart sometimes. we have voices that are more skeptical and voices that are more supportive. >> since you were the author of the article that supposedly triggered the president's tweet that said obama had me wiretapped, did you overright write that? >> did you overwrite this issue? did you unintentionally mislead the president about -- >> i see what you're asking. no, the story about how this article was written is i was washing dishes listening to mark eleven's show earlier in the day. i had seen the articles and no one had put the case together that way.
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i reported the way he put it together and added the historical events that happened in between to basically show that the government you should the obama administration had done some surveillance of individuals close to trump or computer server in trump tower and that somehow the result of -- >> none of that had been confirmed. you haven't confirmed. it was speculation. we have been trying to confirm some of this and we never had. >> "the new york times," the "washington post." >> the times didn't. allusions to it but no one confirmed it. >> the times had former and current government officials talking about some of the conversations that had been listened into. you know, so -- if what you're saying was true, it was being treated as established reality because all of the pieces were being used to build a case about russian hacking and influence. and all of a sudden like a jenga tour that case fell apart and
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now it's a question of how did the government get the information and the press find about it and suddenly people were not interested in talking about russian hacking any more. but what i found interesting is that there was all this reporting from main stream sources that seemed to indicate there was some monitoring or surveillance legal or illegal. we didn't know. but the most disturbing part about it was that the rules of the nsa had been relaxed so that the intelligence they gathered could be shared among government agencies and that it seemed to be something more than a coincidence that after -- >> should your article have been interpreted by the president as fact base order you were basically laying out a potential scenario. >> i don't know if the president was reading my article in particular. but that was a scenario -- >> you were not saying this is cold, hard fact. >> it's a set of facts lined up to make an argument about what
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happened which is how many legal arguments are -- you have all these different things that happened and the sources were unimpeachable. this wasn't a conspiracy website. this was stuff being reported and no one put it together. and the question is how did this intelligence -- how was it collected and why was it being used in the way it was? and i think it looks like we are going to start to get answers about that. >> i think we're all looking for that. >> the book is "how trump won" interesting that you put out both conclusions. the conclusion you wrote and the -- >> i don't mind admitting i was wrong. there is a knee tension in the book between that and my perspective. >> fair enough. we'll catch you later. >> thanks for inviting me. why i'm obsessed with the republicans who are co opting the andrew jackson legacy. stay tuned.
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(vo) do not go gentle into that goodight, old e should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light. do not go gentle into that good night. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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dearthere's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced. our senses awake. our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden, but they say...if you love something set it free. see you around, giulia welcome back. tonight i'm obsessed with andrew jackson. these haven't been the best of times for the seventh president of the united states. the musical alexander became a smash hit and we decided to wipe jackson off the $20 bill. and the fact that jackson kept slaves and in some cases
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democrats have decided that the jefferson/jackson day dinners might not be a good thing after all. enter president trump who will lay a wreath at jackson's tomb to honor his 250th birthday. trump prefers to remember his glossier side, the first president of the people, the man who stood up to south carolina when the state decided to nullify laws on its own. the real story is that jackson's legacy is switching parties. it's republicans who prefer to remember the man. and democrats who are uncomfortable with jackson's racial history. it's a strange turn of events for the man who has for two centuries been credited with creating the modern democratic bert. we'll be right back. is mom didne to worry about a cracked windshield. so she scheduled at safelite.com and with safelite's exclusive "on my way text"
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but wiretap covers a lot of
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different things. i think you're going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks. >> time for the lid. the panel is molly ball. that was president trump. he taped an interview with tucker carlson at fox earlier this afternoon while in michigan. that was the wiretap question. interesting way that he worded it. president trump sounded like jeremy bash. saying, like, i think you're going, there is something interesting going on here. okay. what do you think the president was implying? >> well, i still think he doesn't know. i still think he is relying on the congress to find something to support a claim that he made based on unstanted reports and that's based on, you know -- >> based on a report -- >> reporting. >> written by somebody who was watching -- >> alluded to on this show. >> yeah. >> but you know, so it feels like a fishes expedition, may
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find something. the president's tendency to shoot first and ask questions lat later. if you're going to make the add g allegation as the president, you should have the evidence to back it up. he did not at least at the time he made it. >> that's an important moment, though, that interview, that is the beginning of trump's walkback of his tweet and i think it shows he psychologically has begun to realize that the claim in his tweet is unsupportable and so when he says, oh, it's -- essentially it's him admitting that this can cover lots of different things, i didn't precisely mean i personally was wiretapped by the president. sean spicer did it in his briefing. coming out of trump eegs mou's the beginning of his own rson walkback. it's rare. >> it is rare. >> very rare. >> any sort of walkback. >> he'll never admit he's doing it. >> that's a pivot point. >> usually he'll just stop talking. >> yeah. >> he'll stop talking about the issue. >> look, i think there's mounds of evidence to the contrary. in terms of his allegation. i mean, when you have the dni
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clapper go out there and go, would have known if we did a fisa request because it would have come to my office if you have members of congress particularly republicans going, well, oh, i don't think there's a there, there. at some point, it doesn't make sense anymore. and i think you see what you saw in this interview, where we just kind of brings it back in a little bit. >> the most important news of the day is clearly what comey briefed senators grassley and feinstein about. i think jeremy bash was right, when you see the less the senator says the more they just learned. >> yeah. >> pretty good rule of washington. >> but if you say, i think that may be the big news of the day but it's not really news yet because we do not know. >> fair enough. >> we may not find out. it does -- it does sound like based on the noncomments from senator feinstein that there were some substantive discussions in that. >> i have a feeli ining the com testimo testimony on monday, elian, a is going to be frustrating for
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anybody that's hoping for clarity. >> i think it's absolutely true. i think there part, there's a public relations aspengt ct to he's doing, trying to recover from his perceived meddling in the election. on the other hand, the trump administration for all of trump's perceived political strengths and he's very talented political actor, he and all the people around him have so mishandled this russia thing, could have been put to rest easily. hasn't been treated -- by people acting innocently like jeff sessions, hasn't been treated like something potentially politically explosive, with the care, in terms of communications, the way anybody is talking about mike flynn to jeff sessions to mike pence to the president, himself, so i think comey's testimony will be really important for somebody who also politically fumbled this during the election. >> yeah. i agree. i think the handling of the russia story for me is all about getting in front of it. if there is no there, there,
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then fine, you get out in front of that. but given the fact that you have major actors from manafort to flynn around the candidate and now the president, who have ties to russia, that's even more reason to get in front of that. >> there's a big problem they have there, where you might be able to empathize with the team. think about who is in that white house. none of them, when this may have occur re ered is between februad august. >> yeah. >> okay? steve bannon didn't join until after february. kellyanne conway didn't join until after february. sean spicer didn't join until after -- so, molly, they're in this unknown territory of spinners, basically they don't know the truth. >> exactly. >> they have not talked to manafort or stone to find out, did you? >> well, they do not have the investigative resources of the fbi at their disposal. i mean, the real issue here, i think, is what the russians did. not necessarily what the trump people did.
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and i do think that -- some democrats now are starting to worry they may be overreaching on this because their base is so expecting for there to be some kind of smoking gun. >> they think it's going it be -- >> that takes him -- they think this is going to be the thing that takes him down and may well fall short of that. >> reminds me of the way the right felt, like every irs disclosure. they're getting obama now. the impeachment proceedings begin. anyw all right. eliana, michael, molly. thank you all. after the break, the explanation behind an x-rated trump trademark that's been approved by the chinese. stay tuned.
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finally, in case you missed it, because i did earlier this week, president trump likes, of course, to see his name on things and now china has given preliminary approval for 38 new trademarks that have been requested by the trump organization. these businesses include spas, hotels and get this, trump escorts. not making this up. yes, trump escorts is what you think it is. but then again, not really. so let me explain. the "washington post" reports that last year, trump inc. sent trump escorts trying to capitalize on the trump name. they dropped the name. it trump doesn't own the name, could any other escort service stwoop swoop in and claim it? in china, it has been put on everything from toilets to condoms.
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to make back t to take back the president's name, they are fighting back. yes, trump attorneys secured the trump escorts trademark for protective reasons. guess, thank you, chichina. that's all for tonight. speaker of the houses paul ryan, will be my guest tomorrow right here live on "mtp daily." can't want to miss that, "for the record" with another wisconsinite begins right now. take it away. >> a cheesehead, no less. i'm here on capitol hill tonight covering the breaking news on two major stories developing right now, vice president mike pence here on capitol hill meeting behind closed doors with republican lawmakers. the vice president making the case for the gop health care bill, trumpcare, or ryancare, or whatever you call it. one thing is plain, this gop facing significant opposition within the republican party. and we expect to hear from speaker paul ryan later in the hour. and also later tonight, president trump on the road in nashville. why nashville?

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