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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  May 5, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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justice department. that's this sunday. i hope you tune in. up next is "the 11th hour" with micolle wallace guest hosting. with nicolle wallace guest hosting. breaking tonight, news that michael flynn was warned by his own team about contacts with russia. trump transition officials so worried about flynn's ongoing contacts that they reached out to the obama administration for help. also breaking tonight, does this sound familiar, an establishment candidate hacked on the eve of a presidential election. potentially giving an advantage to the candidate putin might prefer to work with. "the 11th hour" begins right now. good evening from our headquarters here in new york. i'm nicolle wallace. brian has the night off. day 106 for the trump administration, and again tonight, more breaking news on the cloud of suspicion hanging
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over this white house and its contacts with russia. the "washington post" was first to report tonight that ousted national security adviser michael flynn was warned by top officials from the trump transition team about talking to russia's ambassador, sergey kislyak. officials were so concerned that flynn didn't understand the motives of russia's ambassador they asked the obama administration for their background information on kislyak. the document was delivered in days but it's not clear flynn ever read it. greg miller is one of the two "washington post" reporters who broke that story tonight and is with us. greg, thanks for being with us late on a friday night. >> sure. thank you. >> it seems like a shocking revelation that the same team that has accused president obama of wiretapping them turned to them for help with flynn. >> well, i think that it's important to understand this was
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a small group of people within the trump transition team who, in some ways, were at odds with the broader campaign and the broader transition team and its sort of impulses to try to make nice with russia. these were sort of experienced, deeply experienced national security officials who were kind of bothered and troubled by what they saw happening around them and tried to find ways to confront it and deal with it. >> this part of the transition team, these were folks that were in the george w. bush administration, they knew they had a problem with flynn. do you have a sense of how far up the alarms and the red flags went when it cape to flynn? >> i have to say i don't have any indication from my reporting of this story that they raised the issue with higher ups, that they went beyond flynn himself. i mean they mostly focused on trying to impress upon flynn the risks he faced in these conversations with kislyak.
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of course, they didn't know that flynn was going to proceed to speak with kislyak about the sanctions and then lie about it. i mean, they are just trying to impress upon him that this is an unusual thing to do on many levels, including just politically. the trump campaign and trump himself had been criticized and questioned because of his effusive praise for putin. how is it going to help him if his security adviser was caught talking with the russian ambassador before they took office? >> do you have any sense or any instinct on the timing of the release of tonight's information? this seems -- it's late on a friday night. yates is testifying on monday. did you have any sense that they were trying to get ahead of what's going on happen on monday or what might be revealed on monday? >> i'm glad you asked that.
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i mean, i really want to emphasize that the answer is no. in fact, we had known about this for some time. and we have spent weeks and weeks, if not longer, actually, reporting this and lining up interviews. and the implication that this was planted by the trump campaign or the trump white house in some way to inoculate themselves for what is coming next week couldn't be further from the truth. >> all right. i'm glad i asked. i'm glad you answered. and i'm really grateful that you stayed up with us. thank you so much, greg miller. it is a wonderful story. everyone should go and read it. with me now, joining our conversation here, nbc white house correspondent kristen welker. former chief of staff at the cia and pentagon, jeremy bash, national political reporter at axios, jeremy swan and matthew nussbaum, white house reporter for politico.
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jeremy, i want to start with you. i want to put up something from the ap. it's important to note, following the post reporting. ap is reporting that yates' warnings about flynn in january capped weeks of building concerns among top obama officials and that the president himself that month told one of his closest advisers at the fbi that it seemed particularly focused on flynn. i want to bring you back to greg's final points about timing and if you differ with anything greg said. if you think there's anyone inside of trump's orbit that's trying to get ahead of what's going on on monday. >> i take greg at his word that that's not what's going on in the post reporting and the ap reporting. i've read many of these leadership profiles. >> what is a leadership profile? it seems like a nice word for stuff that spies put together to tell politician about what their
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adversaries are like. >> it is 14, 15 paragraphs that go into somebody's background, educational history, financial positions they have had and positions they have taken on major policy issues. there is usually a couple of nuggets about whether the person likes to smoke cigars or play football, whatever the case may be so wh you are eaginwith someone you have a basis on which toase smaltalk and have in-depth conversation. it's normal to give that to a national security adviser to say here's who you are dealing with. merely asking for a leadership profile is not unusual. but there is a suggestion that there was a group of people who have established long standing concerns about russian foreign policy issues and they were concerned about the direction that the trump transition team was going, particularly mike flynn. i think they need to be talked to by investigators. this will not be under executive
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privilege. this all happened before january 20th. they will have the find out what were your concerns, how did you raise this and what were was the result of your actions if at all. >> what was happening at this time was that the obama administration was getting ready to smack sanctions on russia, to expel diplomats and they didn't tell the incoming administration. that's extraordinary, isn't it? >> they did it the morning of and on the afternoon that they announced these sanctions and expulsion of 35 intelligence officers from russia and the closure of two russian intelligence bases here in the united states, they basically gave a heads-up to the trump team the morning of. i think for many weeks the obama team knew there had been concerning ties between russia and the trump team and they didn't want to tip off russia by telling the trump team. >> kristen welker, you have some
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reporting about the obama administration in those last days. what are you learning? >> i spoke with an obama official who essentially said they handled the trump transition team cautiously because of some of these concerns as they relate to michael flynn. this official confirmed the account of handing over that profile about kislyak. they also discussed sanctions, that they gave the incoming trump team a heads-up by a matter of hours, not ys, because they didn't want them in any way to tip off the russians. that is quite striking and underscores the fact there were not only tensions as this transition was under way but continuing concerns and concerns that continue to dog this very early presidency. >> jeremy, i want to take you back to what was happen with the broader intelligence community. i remember talking to you about the way the president-elect was dissing the intel community. can you go back to sort of the
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posture that everyone was in at the time and maybe expand upon how -- how weird it is flynn was viewed with suspicion from within the trump transition? that to me seems to be the real blockbuster revelation in both "the post" and "ap" reporting and in what kristen is talking about tonight. >> yeah, i mean, in some respects, again, all the professionals were lined up with grave concern with what russia was doing in our election and in elections around the world. and here we had the leader of the transition from a national security perspective mike flynn and the incoming commander in chief who seemed to be unconcerned about that which to this day are not fully explained or explored. on january 5th when 17 intelligence entities including 16 agencies and the director of the national intelligence came forward with a consensus view that russia favored trump they had meddled in the election, tried to undermine trump's
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opponent, that that view was absolutely wiped away and dissed by the incoming president and by his incoming national security adviser. >> we're keeping you all here. i promise i'll get to everyone. kristen, one more for you. how is the white house tonight responding either publicly or privately to the fact that russia has roared back into the headlines tonight in a pretty big way? >> no official response, nicolle. but i can tell you, look, these headlines continue to come back almost on a weekly basis and the trump team continues to try to turn the phage and to say, nothing to see here and i think most importantly to try to distance themselves from michael flynn. that, of course, becomes increasingly more difficult particularly when we are learning that sally yates did give the administration a heads-up. know we will talk about that a little bit more in the coming hour. bottom line is this is a story line they cannot shake despite their attempts to do so. again, almost on a weekly basis. >> jonathan, i want toring you into this conversation, you cover this white house as well.
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are you hearing anything about what kind of footing they are going to be on monday as i imagine everyone will go wall to wall with the yates testimony before the judiciary committee? >> yeah, this is something that they have been concerned about for a long time. frankly, the patience for flynn has dissipated. even folks who you would assume might be sympathetic towards flynn, steve bannon for example, have had enough of him. he is viewed as somebody who was reckless and somebody who with great regret was part of this team. what they will do, what you can expect early in the week is for them to say of sally yates, they're going to say something along the lines of, she was an obama person, she acted politically when she was the
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deputy attorney general and blocked the travel ban. and so they will probably take that political tack early in the week. >> michael, you are in the briefing room every day. does any of this feel like more shoes dropping, or are they tuning it all out? >> i think politically this is all very troubling. next week they'd like to be talking about the victory in the house on health care, about tax reform, what they hope to do in the senate on health care and yet it's going to be russia all over again. >> they're going to be hammered by this revelation it was someone on their own transition team calling the obama white house for an assist. can you look into a crystal ball for us? >> whenever we're talking about michael flynn or russia, that's bad for this white house. i think they'll be on defense and they like to be able to control their message. whenever they've gotten some sort of momentum going, these stories about russia, whether it's connected to flynn or manafort continue to pop back up
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and they've been unable to give a response that makes this story go away. >> do you see anything in the "post" reporting tonight that suggests that they may throw their own transition member under the bus? he's been nominated for a pretty important post, running sanctions at the state department. that's central to their iran policy. do you have any sense he's in hot water for this story getting out, raising red flags with the obama national security team before he had been fired? >> i haven't heard that yet at all, and i don't think it's entirely clear from the story as jeremy was pointing out that his action in and of itself -- >> he's the hero in this story, right? he was on the -- >> right, but i just wonder whether his action is exactly as it was depicted there.
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>> what makes you suspicious? that's interesting. >> i just don't know if asking for that brief -- >> was the only one they asked for. this was the only document they asked for on a foreign leader during the transition. >> that's fine. i just kind of just wanted to hear -- if this guy was so concerned, i kind of just wanted a quote in the story or something. it seemed concerned or something like that. i want something more than obama officials interpreting his body language or something more. i'm not saying he wasn't or he was. i don't have that clearly from reading the story. >> jeremy bash, you've been deep inside the national security apparatus at the highest levels. what would you have done if the transition team from the incoming party had called and asked for information because they were concerned about the incoming national security adviser's ongoing and frequency of contacts between the
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russians? >> back to jonathan's point. it's all about context. there's a lot of discussion between any transition team and the incumbent administration. if i were in the incumbent administration and a trump tansition person called me up and said we want to get that leadership profile on kislyak, i wouldn't think that is, per se, a red flag. if they then went ahead and said because we're concerned our boss doesn't get it or because we're advocating a policy and he's going in another direction, that's what we need to unpack and go back and ask those people further questions. why were concerned? what were you concerned about and who did you tell your concerns to? >> you all learned something. a preview of testimony from sally yates on monday when we come back. let's go, she's a dog.
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[ whimpers ] find ping-pong.
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okay, let's go. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. that's amazing! welcome back to "the 11th hour." more news on the russia front tonight. multiple reports say that the senate intelligence committee has been sending letters to trump associates over the past ten days asking for e-mails notes and records detailing meetings and conversations with russian officials and associates. we know a letter went to carter page. multiple reports also say they went to both mike flynn and roger stone. the "new york times" is reporting paul manafort got one of the letters from senators richard burr and mark warner. nbc news obtained carter page's letter. in it he calls his role with the trump campaign small, unpaid and informal. we are back with kristen welker, jeremy bash and jonathan swan. and matthew nussbaum all with me
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on a friday night. carter page. give me an explainer on this. how could someone have had so many interactions with so many russians, small, informal, and unpaid. >> he was one of the individuals who then-candidate trump specifically named when he was asked by reporters, who are your foreign policy advisors. >> it was the only name he could come up. it was an editorial board meeting and he said i've got a national security team. they said who have you got? he said i've got great people, i've got, i've got, i've got carter page. >> it undercuts his claim now that he had no role at all. i have been watching the senate intelligence committee investigation. i was heartened to see they did send these letter requests for documents, for e-mails, and importantly about financial documents and transactions from those individuals and russian officials.
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it tells me the investigation is in two phases, phase one is how did russia meddle? phase two is what were the coordination points between the trump campaign and russia. they are going on phase two in a bipartisan basis. this is not a democratic hoax as the president claimed. >> when would subpoenas come in. >> if they don't respond to the document requests. >> jonathan, will they respond in a timely manner or do you think we will see subpoenas for the material? >> i can't speak for mr. -- no, mr. page and mr. stone seem eager to do something public. so i can imagine. >> interviews at least. we'll see how public -- jeremy is talking about financial records. carter page likes to go on tv, so does roger stone. >> that's a good point, nicolle.
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a very good point. i retract that entire spiel. >> took me until 11:21 to get a retraction. do you think this escalates to the point where the intel committee is subpoenaing these folks? >> we haven't seen anything concrete from these people. it's been a lot of -- the thing i don't understand is carter page keeps talking and it keeps getting worse for him. he's like the last person who should be talking. but he keeps talking, and talking on television. i can't fathom it. it's really bizarre. >> it's not funny but it's friday night so i'm laughing. kristen welker, how do you think the white house is going to say lead into monday, carter page being in the news again, roger stone being a loose cannon that never goes away. sally yates could be asked about all of this. >> absolutely. i think in terms of the carter
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page/roger stone story, we've already seen the administration try to say look we barely had any contact with them. they make the case the president never actually met carter page. carter page said that himself and he cast this all as a political witch-hunt which is how the president has cast the entire thing. in terms of sally yates i think that becomes a problem on monday. in terms of when we are expecting. she is the former acting attorney general who was, of course, fired for not enforcing the president's travel ban. she is set to testify that she warn the administration, the white house counsel, about michael flynn's contacts with russia days before he was fired. and frankly, nicolle, days before the administration made vice president pence aware of this. so, remember, you had the vice president out defending him. and yet within the white house there was this sense that what he was saying publicly was not accurate. i have been talking to former national security officials who say they will be listening very closely to her testimony, particularly to see how big the
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flair was that she set off. specifically, who did she tell? what specifically did she say? this could be a real problem for them. again, as we were talking about they want to be focusing on health care, tax reforms, what they see as a big victory this week in terms of getting their health care plan passed through the house. but this is going to dominate the headlines on monday. >> here's what adam schiff expects we could hear from sally yates on monday. i think we have that sound. >> she has important information the public ought to hear about what led to the firing of michael flynn. that testimony involves flynn's secret conversations with the russian ambassador on the subject of sanctions. those sanctions dealt with the russian hacking of our elections designed to help donald trump. sally yates can shed important light on that. i think for that reason the white house does not want her to testify. >> i'm going to let you get the last word of the week on this subject. what do you think the white house -- what do you predict? you follow them, you cover them
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every day. what is their next move on this drum beat? >> continuing dismissal of this story and continued attempts to distance themselves from the players involved. >> do you think they escalate? he accused obama -- do you think they go on offense and accuse the obama -- >> we know trump likes to hit back. >> they like to h first. >> thrown up distractions along the way. an spicer said manafort played a minor role in the campaign. >> by the end, he will never have met michael flynn. >> so far that hasn't proven effective in dismissing the stories. >> as jeremy pointed out you have got the senate intel committee and now the house intel committee working in a bipartisan manner. it's hard to dis the intel community once the house and senate are knitted together. >> if past hearings are any help, more story lines are going to develop. more details will emerge. as people have said, this is going to continue to dominate the headlines when the white house would like to be talking about anything else.
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>> we'll get to some of that anything else. but thank you to everyone on my panel. up next, election hacking, this time in france, and a candidate forbidden to respond to those leaks. i got a mortgage offer from the bank today. whaaaat?! you never just get one offer. go to lendingtree.com and shop multiple loan offers for free. free? yeah, could save thousands. you should probably buy me dinner. no. go to lendingtree.com for a new home loan or refinance. receive up to five free offers and choose the loan that's right for you. our average customer could lower their monthly bills by over three hundred dollars. rates could rise again. go to lendingtree.com right now.
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welcome back. now to the breaking news out of france. reports of a massive hack against the front-runner. the "new york times" described it tonight this way. on the eve of the most
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consequential french election in decades, macron said the campaign has been targeted by a massive and coordinated hacking operation, one with the potential to destabilize the nation's democracy before voters go to the polls on sunday. jeremy bash is still with us. let's get the latest from philip krouther, white house correspondent from france 24. can you tell us what you know about what has been released to the internet? >> very difficult to say because there are so many documents and there simply hasn't been enough time to look at all of them. add to that that the campaign that was targeted by this hack in the first place, the campaign of emmanuel macron are saying there were some original documents in this hack but there were false documents added to it and then distributed. it's pretty much impossible for us right now to verify what is actually real in here and what is not. at first view, looks like these documents are rather innocuous,
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nothing all too scandalous in there. and add to that, the timing that seems to be very important because it's so close to election day. but this is actually happening during a media blackout of the french election, meaning there is actually in france itself zero coverage of this very important hack, it seems. seems strange, doesn't it, but during these last 48 hours of the french election -- because people are voting right now in overseas territories -- there is no media talk about it. in other words, whoever released these e-mails at this precise time might have got it completely wrong. >> explain the extent of the ban. they can't talk about it on french tv but can voters access it on the internet? or are there laws that govern internet in france? >> the ministry has come out to say that people should not be distributing these documents and shouldn't be publishing them on
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social media. i have listened to the latest radio broadcast at the top of the hour and watched the latest tv broadcast also at the top of the hour. all they are allowed to say at this moment is there is an election under way in france. and that is pretty much it. you cannot talk about the candidates. you are not supposed to talk about their campaigns. and the candidates themselves are also not supposed to talk about the election. now what happened tonight in france is this. the emmanuel macron campaign just about managed to release this statement a few minutes before the start of the blackout. they were able to say, look, we were hacked. these e-mails are out there. and they are actually most of them are true. there are some false onethrown inhere with them. this didn't give the campaign of
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his opponent marine le pen of the national front enough time to respond. she is not allowed to talk to the media during the last 48 hours before the french election. this is all we will hear about the hack in the french media. the voters, yes, they can go on several website where these e-mails seem to be available. again we don't know which are true or false. they can talk about it on social media but that is pretty much the extent of it. >> jeremy bash we have a "new york times" report from april 24th that talked about researchers at a cyber security firm called trend micro who claim that on march 15th they spotted a hacking group that they believed to be a russian intelligence unit turning their weapons on the campaign of mr. macron. is this, to you, a sign of russian meddling in the french election? >> it sure seems like deja vu, nicolle. that's french by the way for deja vu.
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>> even i know that. >> it really has echoes of what we saw in our own election, where russian intelligence officials went into the e-mails of the front-runner, someone who they did not prefer, to try to embarrass that person and hopefully give a boost to this person's opponent. i do think it's important to note a couple of similarities. one is the website where this information was disclosed is emhackleaks. and one of the website used during the leaks in our election were d.c. leaks, like washington or political leaks. it's a seemingly innocuous website even though it was a russian intelligence front. second, it was the disclosure of information that could be embarrassing to them. it's unclear whether these people did it in a competent way because we are up against the blackout deadline. this is familiar, and it is a classic tactic of russian intelligence. >> james comey testified this week that russia is the greatest
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threat, the greatest adversary to the world. why are they getting better at this instead of worse if it's out in the open this is what they do to meddle with elections in the west? >> i think the really important point which is that we have not made russia pay any price for this. rt of it is because our government is someat in denial about what russia did during our election. this is to go to the previous point about the intelligence assessments and the warnings from the national security professionals that have been ignored by the senior most levels of our of the go. your previous guest said this is going to be a bad political story for the white house. i don't care if it is a bad political story for the white house. it's a bad story for america. if we ignore russia and their capabilities it will undermine our security. >> phil, i have been told that french pollsters are better than american pollsters, which isn't a high bar, do you think this affects the outcome? do you have any predictions
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about the outcome. >> it shouldn't really. by the way, polls are not allowed in the last 48 hours. what we are playing with here is what came out just a few hours ago. what we saw two weeks ago were incredibly accurate polls in france. not many people expected that. they don't have the best history either, but they pretty much exactly predicted what was going to happen in the first round, the runoff between le pen and macron. what the latest polls are showing is that emmanuel macron is supposed to, according to the polls, get just over 60% of the vote. which means that 38% or 39% would be left for marine le pen. of course there could be some last-minute changes and maybe some hidden le pen supporters who might come out and might not have admitted they would vote for her. those are things we've seen before. we have seen that before, here
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in the united states with the election of donald trump. and in the brexit vote in the united kingdom. but the track record of the polls in france at least for this election is very, very good. and it indicates a pretty clear victory for emmanuel macron. but not an emphatic one. 60-40 is not seen as an emphatic victory. when marine le pen's father was in a runoff with jack chirac in 2002, her father got only 15% of the vote. she is set to get around 40%. so this is a political party, a far right political party, that is doing better and better. >> thank you so much for being with us. our thanks to philip krouter and jeremy bash. i'll going to go home and practice my french accent. coming up, steve kornacki back by popular demand. at our big board with the high wire act in the senate on health care.
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everywhere we look, obamacare is collapsing. the house bill is a plan that will save americans from this disaster and replace it with more choices and more freedom for american families. most importantly, it will be great health care and your premiums will come down and your deductibles will come down. so you will have better health care at a lower cost. >> that was president trump today reiterating his guarantee that under the gop health care plan premiums and deductibles will go down. but this plan has a long way to go. msnbc's steve kornacki is here. navigating the republican factions in the senate may be more complicated than getting it through the house, right? >> yeah. it took them two shots to get it through the house. they did it by the skin of their teeth. let's look at the senate. all sorts of different factions on the republican side. bottom line, keep this number in mind. three. they are not going to get any democrats votes.
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then three republican no votes in the senate would sink this thing. they can afford two defections, anything more and it sinks. let's take you through what some of the different faction looking for here. start here the sort of libertarian wing, mike lee, rand paul. they want full repeal of obamacare. they don't want subsidies or the government working with insurance companies. they are the free market purists on this. they are off on the right. on the other ends, collins, murkowski, moderate republicans here. they don't like the idea of defunding planned parenthood. that's in the house bill. that could be a show stopper for them. dean heller and jeff flake, they are up for re-election in 2018 in battleground states, nevada where heller is, clinton won that one. flake came within a couple of points. do they want to run on this? ohio, west virginia, states that
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expanded medicaid under obamacare. they want protections there. their going to want changes. bill cassidy says it has to pass the jimmy kimmel test on pre-existing conditions. ted cruz, a wild card. what do they all have in common? to get them on board likely you are going to have to move this towards the middle. you are going to have to make compromises that make it a more moderate bill. what happens if you do that? if you do that to get them on board, do you then risk mike lee and rand paul? if you lose them, that's two right there. if you add in ted cruz, then you are at three. then you don't have the votes. that's the kind of delicate balancing act they are looking at here. then, whatever they do, if they can possibly get to a majority they have got to turn around, merge it with the house, and then convince those same folks in the house to go along with the new version.
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all sorts of problems and challees here nicolle. >> i'm most intrigued by the 2018 group. you have already seen dean heller on planned parenthood take a not very republican party line. he said he is not so much behind defunding planned parenthood. do you view those two as the softest part as far as the appetite for doing something dramatic and drastic? in terms of repealing obamacare? >> heller is on an island on the republican side. he is the only republican senator running for re-election in 2018 in a state that hillary clinton carried in 2016. he's the only one in a blue state. she won that state, nevada, by three points. so he has got some electoral calculations here that nobody else has. flake of course, arizona was competitive, at least if you are flake you could look at that and say, well trump did win it. he did win it by three points. but heller is going into this election knowing his state didn't vote for donald trump to start with.
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does he want to be saddled with a vote on trumpcare in a state that went for clinton? >> all right, steve kornacki, the only man who has been awake as long as i have today. we were both on the "today" show. now you are stuck joining me at the table. >> the homestretch. >> exactly. steve is going to join the panel when we come back.
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on september 9, 2010, pg&e learned a tragic lesson we can never forget. this gas pipeline ruptured in san bruno. the explosion and fire killed eight people. pg&e was convicted of six felony charges including five violations of the u.s. pipeline safety act and obstructing an ntsb investigation. pg&e was fined, placed under an outside monitor, given five years of probation, and required to perform 10,000 hours of community service. we are deeply sorry. we failed our customers in san bruno. while an apology alone will never be enough, actions can make pg&e safer. and that's why we've replaced hundreds of miles of gas pipeline, adopted new leak detection technology
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that is one-thousand times more sensitive, and built a state-of-the-art gas operations center. we can never forget what happened in san bruno. that's why we're working every day to make pg&e the safest energy company in the nation. welcome back to "the 11th hour." as republicans celebrated the house passing the bill to dismantle obamacare, minority leader nancy pelosi warned them, this vote will be tattooed on republicans' foreheads, she said. now the cook political report which tracks how likely a race is going republican or democrat is writing, we are shifting our vote in 20 districts seeing enhanced opportunities for democrats. heidi prezbla joins us. matthew and steve are still here. did the politics shift overnight
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in terms of who might actually control the house of representatives two years from now? >> actually, david was the first person i called. i could hardly believe it when he told me two dozen -- he was working on the numbers at that time, seats he would be shifting the ratings on these seats. david wasserman is the dean of house ratings. but, yes. and i think that's because it's not too hard to tell when you look at a plan that has 17% approval rating and you make only minor adjustments to that, throwing in this $8 billion to offset some of the costs in the high risk pool, people don't view that as a huge change and the likelihood that that approval rating change is not very high. at the same time you look at the approval ratings for the obamacare system that we have, and those have been on a steady uptick. we are now at about 49% approval rating. i think what is happening is that people are seeing what the alternative is because for all of these years, i mean, seven
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years of passing repeal plans, people assumed that whatever that replacement plan would be wouldn't just be cheaper and better, but it would continue to cover the same number of people. and what we are seeing now is that while you may get a plan that's cheaper and better, it's for some, not for everyone. >> heidi, why were the republicans so blind to what seemed so obvious the morning after? i mean, the politics have clearly shifted. obamacare is more popular now than it was when obama was president. why were the republicans compelled to deliver this for a president who seems so utterly ambivalent about repealing obamacare? >> part of it is the promise, because they said they would do it. it was the one thing that they promised over and over they would do. let me add this in. i really believe from covering all of this that republicans thought this was their last
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chance to save us from, in their words, barreling towards a single payer system. you are already having some conservative commentators say obamacare -- what we are learning is that obamacare really changed the culture in our country. it changed the attitudes of the american people who up until this point before obamacare did view health care as a commodity. but that has changed with obamacare. people now view that more as a right. and this was a last chance, a hail mary, if you will, to keep our health care system more to the free market model versus moving towards the system that so many other countries have, like donald trump himself said, australia has a great system. towards their worst nightmare of a single market system, single payer system. >> matthew, what is your sense of how emotionally invested this white house is in seeing the senate follow the house's lead. >> i think what donald trump is most interested in here is geing a win.
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>> defined by what, full repeal of obamacare? >> no, i think by getting a bill on his desk that he can sign and then say we repealed and replaced obamacare. i don't think he's as worried about whether states will have waivers. >> do you think he understands -- >> i think he has a grasp of these policies. he wants to be able to say, i repealed obamacare. he's going to be pushing in the senate to find whatever way they can to thread the needle to get this thing through. what he wants at the end of the day is a win. >> steve, watching your bucket of senate republicans, i thought of my trump coalition and the softest part of donald trump's coalition are the democrats that voted for him. the vast majority of them are in union households and not really the kind that want to go without. what do you think the politics are for donald trump on full repeal of obamacare? >> i think the politics are what they are for anybody in the last
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generation of politics who has tried to do a major overhaul. in '93 and '94, democrats got full control. hillary clinton was deputized to lead the health care reform effort. they didn't get it through. a big public backlash. no small reason why republicans got the congress in '94. 2009, 2010, democrats did get it through. now republicans have full control. now they're trying to do an overhaul. health care is one of those complicated, sensitive issues to voters. the idea of a political party touching it in a traumatic way unnerves people and the politics almost automatically work against the party that's trying to do it. that's on top of all the other things structurally that are already working against trump and the republicans. this just becomes another burden they'll have to bear in 2018. >> do you have any sense that
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the republicans or paul ryan and his staff are aware of the rich irony that they finally kept a promise and the politics may bite them in the butt? >> i think many people on that floor felt like they were looking at the ghost of 2010. i was watching it from the balcony. they looked joyless. like it or not, when the democrats broke out into their song, there was a little bit of a spring in the step of people who run the campaign committees. >> you could see that. you have any sense that democrats overplayed their hand by taunting them on the house of the floor? >> i don't know that people are going to remember that and hold it against them. i don't know if it helps in terms of comedy within the chamber itself. i'm not sure there's a big cost to it. >> thanks for staying up with us, especially on a friday night. >> yeah, i want some credit there. i did "morning joe" this morning so i'm in the club. >> in the sleepless club with
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kornacki and i. thank you. coming up, the only grandman of president john f. kennedy speaks out.
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the last thing before we go tonight, president obama heads to boston this weekend to accept the president john f. kennedy
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profile in courage award. he is the third president to receive it after gerald ford and george h.w. bush. tonight on "hardball," president kennedy's grandson explained why he backed candidate obama. >> he inspired me with his vision for america. he is a hopeful candidate who had a bold vision for this country and knew that we could succeed if our politics were a little less cynical and a little more productive. i think my uncle teddy and my mom recognize that vision in him, and they saw a leader who could get the job done and of course we are all so happy to be proven right. president obama was tremendous president whose list of accomplishments is long and distinguished. i don't think that -- i think if my uncle teddy were here, he would be proud to stand by the endorsement. >> chris matthews will have full live coverage sunday night here on msnbc.
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tune in at 8:00 p.m. eastern time as president obama receives the profile in courage award. that is our broadcast for tonight and this week. thanks for being with us. i'm nicolle wallace in tonight for tonight on "all in." >> this really is the group. what a great group of people. >> the party is over as the trumpcare fallout begins. >> you have every provision of this bill tattooed on your forehead. you will glow in the dark. >> tonight, new projections of a political earthquake, but will republicans pay before the senate passes a bill? plus, shades of 2016. a brazen last-minute hacking of french election, and all signs point to russia. then, "the washington post" reports the trump transition team warned michael flynn about contact with russians. and as the federal investigation of fox reportedly widens -- >> thenl

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