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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 27, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm PDT

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it was a match and oppositional force between equals. that was the simplistic construct of the cold war. despite that simplistic construct the super powers model the u.s. and siet unions were not equal counter parts. they were not equal in terms of their ability to project power. the united states was far stronger in terms of our economy versus there. it is even an accepted leadership role over a much
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bigger portion of the roll. but also on international institutions, that we could look to as friends, all sorts of things. we had more influence in the world. the united states we can also tell in retroe specific was far stronger in terms of our ability to manage our own destiny. we were more stable for all of our faults. we were more stable. the united states did not collapse. the soviet union did. that said, one area where the u.s. and soviet union were quite evenly matched, one other area where both sides had a lot of capacity and neither side could clearly outperform the other one place where it was kind of true
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was in intelligence, our spy agencies. as opposed to almost every other aspect the spy agencies fought each other and tried to beat each other every single day and they were well matched adversaries. it didn't stop at the end of the cold war. one of the ways you can tell it's for russian capacity when it comes to spying intelligence.
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in russia they have a spy college. that's the building. it's a spy university. it was founded in 1922, went through a few different names over the years as russia changed the names of spy and security aj agencie agencies. for a while it was called the central school then kgb. it has an institute like you might expect. i'll teach your everything else you need to know to become a
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loyal spy in russia's intelligence agencies. it is in the news today because it is where this guy went to school. the fsb academy is the alma mater is. he was born in 1968. i think it means he is 48 years old. he'll turn 49 in december, the same year i graduated from college. he graduated from spy college in moscow. he went to the fsb academy. after that he went onto work at the oil company when the russian government came in and took it for themselves. he then landed a really sweet job. it is funny, he was really well connected. he went from spy school to being deputy chairman of the biggest government run bank in russia.
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on friday we learned that it is in trouble in the united states. the federal prosecutors office that until recently was run before the trump administration suddenly fired him, that prosecutor's office brought charges against him. they brought criminal charges against him in conjunction with a granite mining firm. basically the bank is charged with helping to destroy an industry in russia and helping pick a monopoly winner.
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that's a very typical story in terms of how it works in terms of putin. he'll destroy what exists and hand it over to one of his partners and one of his friends. it is kind of the dynamic when it comes to putin. this is the largest state run bank in russia. the reason it made american news on friday is because the bank announced on friday that they have hired an american lawyer to defend them in this case. they have hired one of donald trump's personal lawyers. when the new york times published some of donald trump's tax returns and trump threatened to sue the new york times this is the lawyer that threatened to sue the new york times. when they wrote about all of the lawyers and trump has threatened to sue the paper too this is the lawyer he sent to threaten to sue them. buzz feed reports the same
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lawyer represented him at the casino financing. same lawyer who threatened who have written negative things about trump over the years. this guy who has been a trump lawyer for a decade and a half has been hired by the biggest state owned bank in russia. until last year the guy who went to kgb college, he was deputy chairman of that bank. he is no longer deputy chairman of that bank. he is now no longer deputy chairman of anything. the guy who went to kgb college is now the chairman, the head guy at another government owned russian bank. this one is the one that gets into american politics. january 26th, 2016 at a super market in new york fbi agents
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swooped in at the super market abdomen arrested a dude just doing his grocery shopping. this guy got handcuffed, taken out of there. turns out that guy they picked up was a russian spy and he worked at the bank. federal agents picked up that guy at the super market. they charged him with being an unregistered agent of a foreign power. they arrested him in march of last year, march 2016. the criminal dime was absolutely riveting. he fed home as intell to the russian spy services. he was particularly involved in trying to steal information here about u.s. government sanctions against russia, which russian institutions were going to be
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targeted for which people were going to be targeted. he just worked at this bank. but he was an under cover russian agent. because he didn't have a connection to an embassy he didn't have any overt connection to the russian government other than working at this bank. he didn't have any way to secretly transmit his intell home to the spy hub back home. it is all laid out in the indictment. he would meet and hand off scrap of paper and do dead dlrops and the passive passes things. he and the others would do that around new york. two other spies were charged in the case. they both got out and fled back to moscow before they could be arrested. the one who got caught and put on trial in new york got 30 months in prison when he was sentenced last year, his day job
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when he wasn't being a russian spy is he was the number two official for this bank called veb. it is a bank that is also controlled by the russian government. the prime minister is on the supervise ri board of the bank. this is the bank that put putin famously uses for bail outs and stra teej k assistance. in 2009 that's the bank that paid $4.5 billion to him. he is the billionaire who allege bid put manafort to promote the interest of putin around the world. putin shovelled $4.5 billion through that bank. this is basically put in's in's
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with as he wishes. if he wants to mess with ukraine he'll have this bank drop $8 billion into the hands of partners to go grab important assets in ukraine. russia's president's friends own all of these critical assets. that means ukraine is tied closer to russia and to him. they have less hope of adhoochig independence. the financially disasterous olympics, they funded all of this stuff through this bank. it is his bank. he controls it. his prime minister is on the board of this bank. the new chairman is the guy who started off his career in kgb school and today we learned that he mutt with kushner which is
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nuts in its own rights. a perhaps the only nuts thing about it is we are only finding out about now. flynn was fire frd not fully disclosing. jeff sessions had to recuse himself from all of the trump rush that investigations because he was not fully forthcoming about his contacts with russian officials. we are learning for the first time today that kushner met and then there was a second meeting to which he sent his assistant. we learned in addition to those two meetings during the transition he also met during a transition with the head of putin's own state-run bank and where he has got just the right guy with just the right training
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at the top to keep things sort of in house. this is a bank that was targeted directly by the u.s. government in sanctions after putin invaded and took crimea. it wasn't neglected. this bank was named specifically, singled out because it acts as an agent, because it is controlled directly by putin. why is he getting a meeting with kushner. he is not that much older than he was when he got out of spy school. maybe they talked about that. they confirmed the meeting took place. no credible explanation thus far for why it was not disclosed until now, particularly when other senior officials were
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getting fired or having to recuse themselves because of their meetings with russian government officials and theiren disclosed meetings were with those than linked to putin and the russian spy surfaces. incredibly this news comes on the same day that he is about to take charge of kind of everything in the white house. i mean he already had an unusually expansive portfolio. we already knew the 36-year-old son-in-law, we already knew he was the white house point person on middle east peace and china and canada and mexico including building a wall. we are also told he was in charge of trade deals in the white house, which is kind of a big responsibility on its own.
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we learned in addition to all of those things she being put in charge of the white house -- in addition to all of those other things he is responsible for did i mention middle's peace is one of them? he will also be in charge of the va, what they describe as reimagining the va. oh, good. after inherenting his dad's real estate company he should be able to handle that one super fast, second largest agency in the agency, one of the largest responsible for the care of tens of millions of american veterans. in addition to reimagining the va he will also be in charge of the infrastructure plan and be in charge of installing data infrastructure for every agency of the federal government and be in charge of bod brand policy
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for the nation and in charge of getting rid of the opiod crisis. that is all his portfolio today. they will be summoning jared for his contacts with the russian spy guy, i mean banking chairman at the head of a putin-controlled russian bank that is currently under sanctions from the u.s. government. i don't know how much time he is going to have to spend preparing for that testimony, but i hope it doesn't cut into the time he will spend on china, the wall, trade deals for the country overhauling the technological for the federal government and reimagining the veterans at minute strags. hope it doesn't cut into any of the time he has had to set assign for those other little projects.
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nancy pelosi called for kevin nunez to recuse himself from the trump-russia investigation he is supposed to be leading in the house. we have had calls from the house democrat that he should recuse himself. we had more that paul ryan should step in and replace nunes in that role specifically or running that committee
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generally. that's lot in motion on this story. it was a week ago today the fbi confirmed there is an investigation into the russian attack on the elections last year and whether or not the trump campaign knowingly colluded in that, whether they cooperated in that attack. that information came at the first open hearing on the trump russia issue held by the life intelligence committee. the second open hearing on that topic was supposed to be tomorrow morning. i was supposed to be tomorrow until nunes cancelled that pup lick hearing. initially he said it was postponed indefinitely. nothing to see her. this isn't a substantive decision. he said he had to cancel that public hearing for tomorrow because he said the committee need today go into a closed session tomorrow where they
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would hear more closed door classified testimony from the guys who testified at the hearing last week. that's how devin nunes explained because that would happen and stay. that closed door session tomorrow has also just been cancelled. and oddly even though that was the excuse for getting rid of the public hearing they didn't reinstate the public hearing. it is weird if it's just a scheduling conflict. you're like have a long standing friend and you're like i'm so sorry. we have to reschedule. i have this thing that comes up. wait. the work thing got cancelled too. we are back on. you have had that in your life? that's exlynn nation he gave for cancelling the public hearing. the explanation for why he cancelled that has fall b apart
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but there's no public hearing and it's still not rescheduled. tts starting to look like it is blowing up. i mean there are screaming calls today from democrats that chairman nunes should recuse himself from that investigation or that paul ryan should replace him as chair of that committee. after he called two press conferences and said he was rushing to the white house with troubling information turning up in american intelligence intercepts there has been a lot of speculation and unclear contradictory information as to where he got that troubliing information that he didn't see, that he rushed straight to the white house with once he got it. today chairman nunes confirmed it was the white house grounds.
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huh? on the night before his breathless press conferences last week where he insisted they had to deliver this damming information we now know that he went to the white house or to the white house grounds to receive that information in the first place. if that sounds to you there's nobody on either side who says they have any idea what nunes is talking about or what that i are up to. it includes other intelligence committee officials who are supposed to have access to the same information that he has. so there are all of these calls for him to recuse himself. it is in a very weird place. we'll have more on that in just a moment with one of the senior democrats. the senate intelligence
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investigation of trump and russia proceeds. it will include this bizarre new information that we got today, belated inexplicable about taking a meeting with a russian state owned bank that is both linked to the russian intelligence service and headed up by a chairman who started his career at the fsb academy. he is the one who met with jared. the first public hearing on this issue will be on thursday. we will get one public hearing this week. by god, i mean every news day it's like another -- who knows what we will have reported by then. joining us now is jim hines.
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it's nice to have you. >> thank you for having me. >> i imagine it is not how you want your investigation to be described. >> no. that is not. we are in a bizarre moment. not only is the investigation frozen for obvious reasons but the committee is frozen. we have a meeting at 5:00 p.m. on the day we all return to go over the previous week's activities and that was cancelled. we had a thursday meeting to talk about something totally different and that was cancelled. we are in suspended animation right now. >> and let me confirm it. you received no information in terms of what nunes was talking about last week that he said he was so concerned about. you haven't had an internal meeting and there hasn't been a rescheduling of what was originally going to be another public hearing tomorrow and the
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closed door hearing that was scheduled for tomorrow, that has also been cancelled. >> that's exactly right. i arrived back and went to our offices and discovered not only have democrats received not one single fact about the rather bizarre behavior but it appears none of the republicans have been staffed on any of this. in the meantime we are left kind of with a situation where two things are going to happen here. one is because of the chairman's behavior how is the american public going to react when he says here is our report. secondly, an investigation relies on people from the intelligence community coming forward and saying here is what i know. you hope they do it legally through wlishistle blowing chairma
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chairmans. can you imagine if you're an intelligence officer? do you want to sit in a closed room with the possibility that he may then jump into a car, not one car but two car and show up to brief the exact entity that is being investigated? it will put a chilling effect on the ability to do this investigation. >> congressman, i know you have said that the democrats should not back out of this investigation because if you're not there there won't be an investigation. i heard you articulate that argument. it also seems to me that chairman nunes is beyond the point of no return in terms of whether or not he could lead the investigation. is there anything that could reinstate him as a trusted abdomand appropriate leader or is the only way out of here that he gets replaced or that the whole investigation begins? >> it is exactly right. we are sort of in a box.
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by the way, we could wake up tomorrow morning and discover that some harebrained activity tanked the senate. we are hoping to make the kind of progress we did. it's not progress that the white house articulated but i think you're right. i think the only way after all of this bizarre behavior and acting in the interest of the very group being investigated, the only way for us to proceed with any credibility is for devin nunes to recuse himself as chairman for this purpose. you know, it is something a litt little reminiscent. >> it was apparently tied to the senate investigation that kushner had this meeting with a
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guy with very close ties to president putin, did you learn that today in the new york times or is that information that has been surfaced already in your investigation? >> it was pretty rapidly breaking. i think i knew a little more before the media had it. you have been covering it. we have seen this movie before. we saw it with paul manafort. they have had extensive contacts. i have run five campaigns. i would be shocked if anybody had any contact what so ever with russia. again, we get back to the reason for this investigation in the first place, which is this bizarre intensity with the contact of russia coupled with the president's completely solid refusal to level any sort of criticism at the country that all of his people have been happily meeting with for so
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long. >> jim himes, thanks for helping us. >> thanks, rachel. >> i will say what he was just saying about how these things all fit together, the part of this right now that beggars belief for me is that we are still at the end of march still learning about new contacts between trump officials, trump campaign officials, trump administration officials, new contacts, we are still learning about now with russia. if you're in the trump administration and you're sitting on contacts you know you had with russian government officials and you haven't said so by now, time is running out when it stops to feel like a scandal. it is remarkable to me that somebody could be sitting on that this deep into the story. who knows what's going to come out next? we'll be right back. but mobility itself.
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he posted nearly an hour long video out lining secret properties owned by the russian prime minister. the group flew drones over the walls of his 45,000 square foot
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mountain. they sent another over this country house complete with its own large manmade lake. there was also this 30,000 square foot mansion that also had its own lake. they also got this footage of his villa in tuscani complete with its own vineyard. it's not like two yachts, a vineyard and your own 45,000 nice. it's not that kind of nice. it turns out there's more. there's also this estate.
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this has very notable features. see that? it looks like a sort of water slide. it is cascading swimming pool. a big greenhouse. it also has a modest little house built specifically for his ducks. the duck house is a little island in the middle of one of his manmade lakes. for some reason that particular piece, the fact that he had an a home for his ducks, that has really annoyed people in russia. the reason i know that is because tens of thousands of russian citizens took part in protests all over the country, sparked in part and lots of people at these protests were carrying ducks, rubber ducks, inflatable ducks, ducks on sticks. it's all a nod to this add gags that putin's is living in such
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excess he can afford to build a house for his ducks at one of his many many mansions. foreign reporters estimate that about 60,000 people took part in this weekend's demonstrations in dozen of cities across russia. these anti corruption protests were the biggest protests to sit hins 2011 and 2012. those were so threatening to putinthat the country passed new laws there after that said basically you're not allowed to protest the government anymore unless the government allows you to have a protest against them which doesn't happen all that off. the murder, the exiling, the mar raszment of opposition figures, everybody thought it had stomped the life out of people being
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willing to visibly oppose putip. it also took place in st. peters berg and 82 town and cities. russia without putin. russia will be free. at the large protest in moscow the most visible opposition figure who plans to run against putin was arrested in moscow. that man is the guy whose anti corruption group put together videos. he is also the guy who was dyed green. he was campaigning and somebody came up to him and threw a chemical all over him that literally dyed him bright green. he was arrested at the protests he helped organize. a lot of people reported he got sort of a slap on the wrist. he got 15 days in prison.
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keep in mind about him. one of the things they do to opposition figures is they bring all sorts of different criminal charges against people in the opposition. right now he is serving a suspended sentence over an embezzlement charge related to timber futures. the charges, the trials is something they believe to be nonsense charges to give him a criminal conviction that would keep him from qualifying to be on the ballot, to run against putin for president. it cooked up embezzlement charge. he is on a suspended sentence for that already. when he got arrested this weekend they gave him a 15 day sentence for illegally protesting. that on top of him already having this suspended sentence could be a pretense for them to -- as we say in this country,
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police say more than 500 people were arrested but human rights group says it was closer to 700. >> joining us now the michael mcfall.
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he is now a professor at stanford. appreciate you being here. >> sure. glad to be here. >> we are very focused in this country on the russian attack, the investigations into that, continuing rev lauelations abou unexplained contacts. that's an area of intense focus. in that light as we are thinking about that what do you think is important for americans to understand about these protests in the streets against putin at home. i never thought i would see the day when somebody would go into detail to talk about it. it was quite brilliant. >> you did just great.
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it is what the russians is done internally here forgetting about the nature of this regime. i think what you saw on display on sunday was, a, as you rightly pointed out before the break the protests movement that was bigger than anybody predicted, but two, how they were just smashed. literally hundreds of people arrested. he is in jail for 15 days. he may be facing future sentences. that's the nature that mr. trump wants to be friends with. >> in terms of the threat to putin here, we have talked about how part of of this influence campaign that they apparently ran on our election last year may have been putin's intense
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fear of being toppled or uprisings at home, his intense hatred for hillary clinton. >> you know, i teach about democracy here. it would be easy to negotiate and open up and your regime would be fine. but that's never been his tacti tactics. his tactics have been to crack down. i think it shows extreme insecurity by the way he respond today the protests. it shows he is not comfortable. we have seen the official public
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opinion polls. this shows there is something else going on inside russirussi. this was a bit of banter in twitter with me and others. he can't blame hillary clinton or me for these protests. these are russians protesting against him without any support what so ever from the outside. >> appreciate you being here with me tonight. >> we have much more ahead tonight. do stay with us. you've got mail! what did you think i'd look like? i'm wire-y. uh, i love stuff. give me more stuff. (singing) we're no strangers to love i love that! hey, i know a bunch of people who'd like that. who's that? the internet loves what you're doing. so build a site in under an hour. start for free at godaddy. ♪...run around and desert you [ om[ sniffs ]c ] little girl: daddy! trapped by your unrelenting nasal allergies?
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tomorrow the administration is expect today roll back the power plan rule. trump is due to kill that tomorrow. while everything is chugging along on the white house's environmental policy's side there appears to be unexpected an unexplained drama around how the personnel side of things is working when it comes to environmental stuff. there appears to be real drama in the epa. it has vsh dishy article. i say it in the best possible way. it is about white house back biting, suspicions that senior add main strags officials to ask those reporters if other administration officials have been talking to those reporters
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and talking smack about them. not a healthy dynamic. in the middle of all of this dish there is this specific news from a trump official who has just quit the epa. the back story to my resignation is extremely complex. it is a story about a much more interesting set of events involving misuse of federal funds, failure to honor oaths of office and lack of loyalty to the president. misuse of federal funds? tell me more, mr. former epa appointee who has just quit. we do not know what that is about. we waited for his back story which he promises is coming soon. while we wait for that we do have one other story, one last story which includes what really appears to be quite blatant corruption on another issue that's in this same wheel house
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ukraine and russia. at the time it seemed weird that the trump campaign would pick that one thing to change when they didn't care about anything else in the whole party platform. it was weird. we also know it was kind of telling given all of the stuff that has immerged since then. it is the same dynamic. right after the inauguration the administration declared a freeze on all new government regulation, stopped them all except one. they made one exception for one pending irs rule which they did allow to proceed and go into effect. it is the qualifying with respect to minerals or natural resources rule. super obscure tax rule. who on earth would care about that? >> we have carl icahn endorsing
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me. >> i will call i want carl icahn negotiating for me. >> he loves him some carl icahn. >> carl icahn loves that obscure irs rule. he says that's why he bought an 82% stake in an oil refinery business in 2012. he saw that rule coming and that would make it all worth it. it has been only one problem with that investment. there is a renewable fuel standard. last year carl icahn fire aufd an 11-page letter complaining about that rule. he said the rule is broken and needs to be fixed immediately. the obama administration did not pull the rule. that was in august. four months later carl icahn got himself appointed as a special
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adviser to the president for regulatory reform. it is not an official white house position. he is not taking a salary. he is not bound by any disclosure agreements. he gets to keep all of his assets including his oil refining business. in his new role he has been working triple time to get that regulation overturned that's keeping him from making money. eliminating that rule should earn him nearly a quarter billion dollars a year. the stock price is up since that election with expectations of what carl icahn will be able to do for that company. this is the kind of thing we point and laugh at when we explain why it is frowned upon because they are so corrupt, but we are not immune to this kind of thing, not now. seven democrats sent letters suggesting he may be breaking federal conflict of rest laws.
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we'll see where this goes. maybe he will decide they are right, he shouldn't be in this position from pushing a rule change that lines his pockets. that might happen. it might. we don't know. it does it for us work. >> uh-huh? >> donald trump has too. he has been tweeting. >> oh. >> i'm just saying because i know you're going run off the set and immediately check twitter to see what donald trump says -- no? >> no, it burns my eyes. >> many tweets in the last hour, including one where he is attacking once again the republican house freedom caucus for basically defeating his health care bill. and when he did that this weekend, i kind of tweeted a reply to him saying please keep doing this because these are the people you need to pass legislation. who does he think -- who does he think he is going to get if he can't get these guys? >> he could possibly just be trying to keep you happy. >> oh, man, on these tweet, he ne

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