tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC June 20, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PDT
broadcast for a monday night as we start off a new week here thank you for being here with us. good night from new york. >> tonight on "all in". >> it's very unfortunate. >> the clock is set as the secret republican health care bill inches closer to the senate. >> nobody's hiding the ball here. >> tonight, the democratic resistance. >> we will fight this bill with all we have. >> my guest, senator bernie sanders. plus, meet the president's new lawer. >> now he's being investigated by the department of justice. >> the ever changing explanation on the russia investigation. >> you have now said that he is being investigated after saying that he didn't. >> no. >> you just said that he's being investigated. and after months and months of silence, jared kushner speaks. >> it's working and it's very exciting.
>> "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the countdown clock is now officially ticking down towards a vote on the secret republican bill to overhaul the american health care system, and right now in the senate at this moment democrats are staging a last-ditch protest that could go deep into the night. mocratic senators are w the middle of a marathon session filled with speeches and procedural maneuvers designed to escalate their opposition to what is by all accounts an unprecedented attempt by senate republicans to remake 1/6 of the u.s. economy with a health care bill they are drafting in total secrecy. >> there's only one reason why republicans are doing this. they're ashamed of their bill. >> rushing something through that fundamentally affects life and we're pushing it to the floor with an insult to our history or insult to our values.
>> this is shameful. >> what senate republicans are presenting is a brazen heist. you just can't point to any precedent. remember, this is a bill that was initially drafted by an all male panel of 13 republican senators, has been kept secret from the american people, senate democrats, even many senate republicans, interest holders of all kinds. virtually nobody has seen a word of it. we don't know what's in the black box yet senate majority leader mitch mcconnell reportedly still claims to hold a vote on the secret legislation before the senate leaves for its july 4th holiday. a time line republican senator john burraso says you can count on. >> i believe we're going to vote before the 4th of july health care plan, a repeal and replacement of obamacare. every republican is trying to get to yes.
>> that would mean a vote in less than two weeks, likely friday, june 30th despite zero hearings and virtually no time for a debate. >> will we he time, more than ten hours since this is a complicated bill to review the bill? will it be available to us and the public more than ten hours before we have to vote for it? >> i think we'll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill. >> will it be more than ten hours? >> i think we'll have ample opportunity to read and amend the bill. >> wait a second. that's senate majority leader mitch mcconnell refusing to agree to a minimum of ten hours for a piece of legislation that no one outside of 13 republican senators has read that would rework 1/6 of the american economy. and over and over on the senate floor today democrats requested the bill go through the normal senate process with committee hearings, public comment, all of
the other things you're supposed to do when you craft legislation, all of the things that were done for the affordable care act and over and over again mitch mcconnell stood in the way. >> so i'm going to ask that we agree today that the bill won't come to the floor until the health committee has had an open meeting and considered amendments from both parties. >> is there objection? >> i object. >> objection's heard. >> i ask unanimous consent. >> is there objection? >> i object. >> objection is heard. >> i'd like to ask for unanimous consent. >> is there objection? >> objection is heard. >> is there objection. >> objection is heard. >> is there an objection? >> i object. >> objection is heard. >> senate bill is based on the already passed house version which is polling at just 17% approval in which the cbo is said to result in 24 million americans be left uninsured while the wealthiest households in the country receive billions of dollars in tax cuts.
president trump celebrated that bill in the rose garden when it passed but last week decried it as mean, mean, mean. reportedly adding it is cold hearted and a, quote, son of a b, in a closed door meeting. democrats are already using it to tar members who voted for that. they're considering even deeper medicaid cuts than the house bill. any efforts to moderate the bill, that is to make it less mean in the president's words, quote, may jeopardize final passage in the house. white house today refused to answer questions publicly. there's a theme emerging here, about this bill or anything else. in fact, sean spicer held an off camera briefing and barred reporters from playing that. he said he's confident mcconnell can get it passed and added the president does not get involved in how the senate conducts its bus. so what is going on here and can can democrats stop it? i asked senator bernie sanders
for his views on the secret gop bill. >> i mean, i am speechless when i try to describe what is going on here because it is really literally unbelievable. chris, we are talking about in terms of health care 1/6 of the american economy, trillions of dollars. you're talking about an issue that impacts virtually every single american in our country and in the midst of all of this you have a process by which right now perhaps a dozen republicans are the only people in america who know what is being talked about, what the new bill might look like. most republicans don't even know it let alone anybody in the democratic caucus. this is outrageous beyond outrageous. this is unprecedented i think in the history of modern america, that you have a bill of such consequence where there is not one hearing.
i'm a member of the health and education committee. no hearings. no public debate. what will likely happen is that at the very last moment on the day of the vote mitch mcconnell will present a bill, the republicans will, like sheep, vote for this legislation and that's what the debate on the most -- one of the most important issues facing america will be like. it is incomprehensible. >> the closest analog in some ways that i can remember for something like this a little bit is the iraq war vote, and here's why i say this. that vote, there was tremendous political pressure at the moment to vote to authorize the use of force. it turned out that in the end the policy itself mattered a great deal. it was paramount in the end to the political fortunes of the republican party, particularly whether the war was a good idea or not. and i just wonder whether yo colleagues on the other side, if they don't know what the policy is, how can they possibly think it's in their political benefit to vote for it?
>> look, you have -- well, they assume that their base supports the repeal of obamacare. that's what they know, and presumably this is what that will do. i think the analogy with the war in iraq is not quite correct because this is enormously complicated. in the war on iraq, do you go into the war? i chose not to. i voted against it. this one is health care. there are so many aspects to it. it's complicated stuff, as the president reminded us, and that you have republicans out there when asked by media, have you read the bill? do you know what's in it? no, i don't know it. well, you're prepared to vote for it? well, you know, maybe i will. and, again, it is a disgrace. it's a disgrace to the tradition of the senate, to the united states congress, and it really is an insult to the american people. and the reason clearly, chris, is they don't want any debate about it is they know how unpopular and how awful this legislation is.
how do you go home and defend throwing 23 million americans off of health insurance, defunding planned parenthood, cutting medicaid by $800 billion, raising premiums for older workers oh,, and by the way, giving hundreds of billions of dollars of tax breaks to the richest 2% and drug companies and insurance companies? you know what, that's a pretty hard proposal to defend. their view is let's not defend it, let's just do it in secret. >> it also seems to me and this is something democrats know very well, anyone who voted for the aca, american health care is complicated. people have all sorts of mixed emotions about it. a lot of people are frustrated about their health care. >> right. >> when you pass health care, the party owns the entirety of the system, even the parts that they didn't touch. the republicans are on the precipice of essentially doing that. am i wrong? >> yes, and no. ye, ofourse they are going own it, but behind them will be my hundreds of millions of dollars from the koch brothers
and others bombing the air waves with 30 second ads attacking anybody who is critical of what the republicans do. so they say, hey, we can do anything we want. it doesn't matter. >> you think that's the thing that emboldens them? >> i think in the back of their minds is the understanding that they have an unlimited amount of money to defend them and to attack and destroy those people who are critical of what they did. i think that's a very important factor. >> so there's -- there's -- there's tremendous frustration on behalf of a lot of people that follow this issue and not just, you know, folks that have a liberal viewpoint. they kind of can't believe what they're watching. >> that's right. >> the question to you and your colleagues in the democratic caucus is, you know, what are you going to do? can you do? i remember tom coburn back when i used to be on capitol hill covering him could bring the whole place to a stop for, gosh,
the craziest stuff. seemed like the senate would grind to a halt because tom coburn didn't like something. can you do that? >> we are going to -- i can only speak for myself. i will do everything humanly and legally possible to make sure this horrendous piece of legislation, which will be close to what the house passed, never sees the light of day. this is the house passed bill, chris, is the worst piece of legislation by far that i have seen in my lifetime, and i will do everything i can, i think i speak for a number of other people in the democratic caucus, to make sure that legislation like this never, ever sees the light of day. >> all right. senator bernie sanders. i appreciate your time tonight. >> thank you. >> joining me now, health care policy guru and senior policy correspondent at fox.com and msnbc contributor and strategist, steve schmidt. sarah, let me start with you. you wrote this piece that struck me. the headline was basically, i
covered the affordable care act from day one and i've just -- i've never seen lying and obstruction like this. what do you mean by that? >> i mean it's kind of captured in the headline, that it has really been an unprecedented secret effort that's going on with republicans, and you're really seeing that continue today. you have multiple outlets reporting right now that the bill will be released at the end of the week. you'll get a cbo score monday or tuesday, and a vote on thursday. that's just -- it is so different than the process i covered in 2009 and 2010 where you have over a year of debate. we recently counted up all the hearings at voxx. 42 different hearings or public meetings about the affordable care act and its drafting. it is really such a different process, and it makes it quite clear that senate republicans, they don't really want anyone to see their bill, that their goal seems to be secrecy. you don't see anyone out there on the front lines saying, this
is why we need to pass it. i used to interview a lot of democratic senators and you ask them why the affordable care act and they generally give you the words, we need to increase coverage and costs. they had a goal in mind. it's not clear, aside from gettinfrom 51 votes, what the goal is onehalf of republican senatorsith their health care ll. >> see, this is my question to you, steve. i guess in some ways there's sort of a devious ingeniusness to the mblg come process. but there's going to be a day after. if you pass this thing and it's successful, you better hope it makes people's lives better. it's not like it goes away as an issue when you manage to remake the american health care system, right? >> the extraordinary thing about it is that republicans who will vote for this, if they do vote for it, will be voting for something that they don't understand, they have no idea what's in it, no idea what it will do. 1/6 of the american economy. now i guess i'm old enough to
remember that we had a process where we would debate legislation, there would be hearings, there would be a committee process, it would pass to committees. senators would go out. they would campaign for the legislation. they would try to convince the american people that it's so complex. it was good for them. apparently the model is now let's take something that's hideously unpopular, 16, 17% approval, no one will read it, we won't talk about it, no public process and we'll jam it through in the dead of night. the problem is is that once the american people have an entitlement, they don't want it taken away from them. there's never been an example in the political history of the country where that's hned and where it's accrued politically to the benefit of the peop who took it away. so i think the politics of this will be very interesting. it will be more interesting tomorrow after we know what the results of the georgia 6 special election are.
this has enormous implications for control of the house of representatives, i suspect. >> sarah, to steve's point, i mean, in terms of why they're sort of all in on this, i think there's a case to be made that maybe they believe that the only way that you can, quote, take away an entitlement is to do a process like this. what is the driving goal here? i mean, the goal is to get to 51 votes, to keep a promise to repeal and replace obamacare and it's to cut the taxes as far as i can tell. what am i missing about why they're so invested in this? >> i don't think you're missing that much. i think, you know, i spend a lot of time talking to kind of health care wonks, liberal conservatives, and this is not really what you would consider like a bill that conservative health care experts like. >> right. >> this is not how they would craft the health care system so i think, you know, the three things you outlined, chris, deliver on a campaign process, cut taxes, that is what is driving this effort. it is true, i think there will
be electoral consequences but it will be after a lot of people get hurt. the election will happen months after people lose alth insuranc a t of vulnerable people on medicaid. yes, they'll pay the consequences, but these poor americans will pay the consequences first. >> steve, do you think republicans are prepared for success? i mean, are they prepared for what it would mean to go to the white house, have the president sign into law a new health care bill and then go out and answer the questions about everyone's health care in america as part of the trump care -- problem of trump care, whether it's related to the legislation or not? >> well, i think clearly not. look, republicans control all these -- both houses of the congress and the white house yet they're unable to move anything with regard to legislation forward. none of it. the domestic policy agenda is completely stalled. i think they've made a calculus that says, if we don't repeal
this, we'll have a depressed base. it will be the biggest broken promise in american history so it's better to repeal something so we can say we repealed it, then we've fulfilled the campaign promises, consequences be damned. we have no idea what it will do to the health care system, what its impact on real people will be, how many people will lose insurance. before you can even get a debate on the merits of it, nobody knows what's in it, no one knows what it's going to cost, no idea. and we're not talking about a small thing, we're talking about a big thing. 1/6 of the american economy. so it's just the incompetence from a governance perspective, just a simple we're in the job . >> i would reiterate i would love to have any member of the
republicans on to talk about this. substance not profits. sarah kliff and steve schmidt, thanks for your time. >> thanks. ahead, president trump's new lawyer tries to explain when he vestigated.t being investigated how that attempted jeddi attempt went after the break. how do you become america's #1? start by taking care of families for 70 years. earn the trust of 32 nfl teams. be there for america's toughest and help, when help is needed america's #1 isn't a status earned overnight. it's earned in every wash, and re-earned every day. tide, america's #1 detergent whuuuuuat?rtgage offer from the bank today. you never just get one offer. go to lendingtree.com and shop multiple loan offers for free!
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told me to fire the fbi director. witch hunt. all four of those shows asked sekulow to respond to that tweet and as you saw, he tried to directly contradict the president's own words. he said the washington post put out a story that he was under investigation and he was trying to respond to five unnamed responses. listen to sekulow's response when he was asked to explain the president's thinking. >> he takes the action that they by the way recommended and now he's being investigated by the department of justice because the special counsel under the special counsel regulations reports to the department of justice, not an independent counsel. so he's being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general, deputy attorney general recommended him to take by the agency who recommended the termination. >> you've now said that he is getting investigated after saying that you didn't -- >> no. >> you just said -- >> no, he's not being investigated. >> you just said that he's being investigated. >> let me be crystal clear so you completely understand. we have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of
the president of the united states. >> joining us now, betsy woodruff, politics reporter at "the daily beast" and, betsy, this is a widely panned performance. sekulow didn't have the facts on his side. he is though -- sekulow is a very sort of familiar movement conservative face, and it's interesting to me that he is out there making the president's case. what do you make of that? >> i think the fact that he is such a familiar part, long-term fixture in conservative circles is why he has this job. my understanding why he is the public face of trump's legal team is that he is good at talking on tv. sunday morning there was some doubt cast on that assertion. one of the things he said about the president not being under investigation is that he carefully couched that at differt points throughout this investigation. he said to my knowledge, not that i'm aware of, we haven't been 2346d. that's because if he had said point blank without
qualifications the president is not under investigation he would be saying something that he knew he couldn't know and that could have potentially triggered a legal ethics complaint. there's a lot of artful dodging with varying degrees of success. >> charlie, it's been watching him. sekulow is not at all sort of a criminal trial lawyer. he's also brought on this guy named john dowd who has done high pro 2350i8 cases. this is really interesting to me, u.s. attorney preet bararra, i don't know what this will show, kasowitz, sec low and dowd is not the dream team. >> preet is becoming the twitter king. that's his whole gig.
what he made his movements on is doing that. dowd is a name that's been around legal circles for a long time. i'm beginning to think that trump is simply hiring people he sees on tv the night before. that guy looks good, we'll put him on retainer. i don't know who's actually concocting the legal strategy here. >> betsy, given the way we know the way the president interfaces with the media, he's mediated by the media himself. it seems entirely plausible that that's what may be happening. >> i think the president made campaign staffing more than any other president in the american history. trump loves cable news. that said, i think sekulow's role in his legal defense isn't just that. it shows the growing influence of evangelical christian conservatives. they've made in roads in trump's
world since he was nominated. >> that's interesting. >> sekulow is a part of that. sekulow is part of that world and an indicator that social conservatives, evangelicals don't have a lot of clout. >> is he going to be in the bunker? those are the people he wants to be in the bunker with. >> newt gingrich, you wanted to be there and what he had to say about the obstruction of justice and take a listen. >> technically, the president of the united states cannot -- if he wants to fire the fbi director, all he has to do is fire him. >> he literally impeached bill clinton for obstruction. >> i don't know why everybody is listening to newt gingrich. people are telling hillary rodham clinton to go away. this guy is a monumental
charleton and he still gets invited on tv. i would recommend you the june 17th, 1972 recording at the oval office. if you have the cia turn off an investigation that your campaign -- >> betsy, this is a key point to me at this point. they have managed to maneuver themselves to the situation where as we learn more and more facts about what's going on into the russia investigation itself, it is the case the president's being investigated by a special counsel and that is true every day from henceforth until it's not, and clearly that is something the president is causing considerable legal thoughts about. >> of course. one of the deepest concerns among senior staff isn't just the question of collusion,
whether or not collusion happened. remember, the trump campaign was not the most artfully campaign in american history. a bigger investigation will show up others. there will be financial dealings that some of trump's close associates had tt won't look good when he shines their light on him. it could cause more anxiety for trump and his team than the focus of the investigation as we have heard it thus far. >> i have heard the same concerns. betsy, thank you. after the break, nearly five months into the trump administration, jared kushner one of the most powerful people in the white house speaks publicly for the first time. that after the break. when you're close to the people you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz.
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the president's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner is headed to the west bank to restart peace talks between israelis and palestinians. this is one item in his expansive portfolio which is unlike any other white house official. the former real estate mogul, kushner now advises the president on both domestic and foreign policy. he's managing diplomacy with china and russia. he checked in on the campaign on isis and he's heading up efforts to make the government run more like a business. ordinarily when a public official has this much responsibility to deliver on promises made to the people, he has a profile to match. he hasn't given a single on
camera interview or speech, that is until today. this afternoon kushner spoke at a white house summit with tech ceos and his remarks were notable less because of what he said than it was because it was the first time many of us had heard the sound of his voice. >> our goal here is simple. we are here to improve the day-to-day lives of the average citizen. that's a core promise and we are keeping it. together we will unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizens rvices in a way that has never happened before. we will foster a new set of startups focused on gov techs and be a global leader in the field making government more transparent and responsive to citizens needs. >> he has an enormous white house portfolio. now he has something else to do on his to do list. staffing up a legal team to handle a criminal prosecution. more on that next.
special counsel's russia probe expanding, the president's son-in-law and adviser is trying too beef up his legal team. they've contacted high powered criminal lawyers about representing him. his current lawyer jamie goralich worked at the same law firm as the special counsel. it raises potential conflicts of interest. goralich's specialty, a well
known lawyer who has involved government investigations, she is not primarily a trial lawyer. the outreach to other attorneys began last month according to the "new york times." investigators were examining kushner's meetings during the transition with the head of a sanctioned russian bank and the russian ambassador which kushner had initially failed to disclose. now the special counsel is examining kushner's business dealings. the times cites abby lowell, a prominent trial lawyer who represented jack abramoff. i'm joined by jill banks. jill, did people back during watergate, did people get criminal defense attorneys early on and did individuals get them to defend them? >> yes.
i would say of course our case started at a sort of later point when they were getting lawyers, but the staff got fired or resigned and immediately had their own lawyers. it's an important step. it's interesting what you noted about the type of specialty. trial lawyer means that you think there is going to end up being a need for a trial lawyer. the banking and financial crimes is certainly something that is of great concern, and it sounds like the parallel to watergate, which is follow the money. and when you meet with a sanctioned bank and don't report it, follow the money seems like a good way to go. >> well, the sanctioned bank. we should also say the secret meeting with the russian ambassador in which jared kushner having hired some of the best, most expensive lawyers in washington who would help him fill out his security clearance form failed to notice that. under penalty of perjury do not
lie or omit anything from this form and he did that. that seems to put him on some hook for possible criminal exposure off the bat. >> absolutely. and remember that obstruction of justice includes perjury and that is one of the first articles of impeachment against president nixon. so when i'm hearing tonight at you cannot have the president ever obstruct justice, that he simply can't do it, he can and he can be impeached for it. that's what happened to president nixon. there seems to be the difference between two crimes. one is could he clugs with the russians who clearly had an impact on our election and that's one crime and the other crime is stopping an investigation of flynn, stopping an investigation of russia and that's what we're looking at now as best i can determine from what i'm reading.
>> in any complex prosecution and in any investigation, getting people to cooperate is a huge part of that prosecution. sell done whitehouse, a senator from rhode island, he believes it's possible that general flynn may be cooperating with fbi investigators. was that a key part of how watergate came together? a lot of people came up with doing criminal time. were people making calculations about when they were going to cooperate? >> absolutely. the first real break came when james mccord, the security chief for the committee to re-elect nixon, started to cooperate by writing a letter on the eve of his sentencing when he realized he could get a deal at his sentence. he wrote a letter saying there was perjury, there were higher ups involved. this was something that the judge had believed throughout the whole trial but -- and which woodward and bernstein had probed throughout the whole trial.
>> he comes through on the eve of his sentencing to spill the beans that there's a larger conspiracy in the hopes of saving himself in a sentencing standpoint? >> absolutely. i'm sure that john dean saw that if he got in first with a good deal, because it's always known among the criminal defense bar, that the first in gets the best deal. >> right. >> and so i'm sure he was motivated by i really believe by his remorse of what he had done and also by the recognition if he came in first he would get a good deal as a witness. >> we don't know what the underlying facts are. it may be that the case that everyone is innocent of any conceivable crime when the facts totally come to light. you're smiling at that but it's possible. you've got, you know, a literal prisoner's ddilemma, right? you have paul manafort who has high profile attorneys and investigations, michael flynn, jared kushner.
all of whom are going to be making individual calculations about what is best for them. >> absolutely. and part of the question will be who will flip first? and what is in it for them in terms of flipping? and what are the countervailing factors. i'm sure that jared kushner, as the son-in-law -- >> of course. >> -- may have a harder time turning evidence than would mr. flynn even though president trump has gone out of his way to protect flynn. >> jl winebank, thanyou. >> thank you. still to come, democrats looking for their first big win in the trump era when they can flip a house seat tomorrow. election day finally here. why this can decide the future of trump care next. plus, a real time fact check after the break.
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american history according to president trump. >> he's an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more i guess. lincoln signed the law that built the first transcontinental railroad. great president. most people don't even know he was a republican, right? does anyone know? a lot of people don't know that. we have to build that up a little bit more. let's take an ad. let's use one of those pacs. and i said, when was andrew jackson, 1828, that's a long time ago. >> i love -- >> had andrew jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the civil war. he was a -- he was a very tough person but he had a big heart and he was -- he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the civil war. he said, there's no reason for this. people don't realize the civil war --
>> yeah. >> -- when you think about it, why. people don't ask that question. why was there the civil war? why could that one not have been worked out? >> today there's an addition, another instance of historical musings. the president's comment that provoked a live footnote from the president of panama. stay tuned in 60 seconds. the moment turns romantic? cialis for daily use treats ed and the urinary symptoms of bph. tell your doctor about your medicines, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, or adempas® for pulmonary hypertension, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess. to avoid long-term injury, get medical help right away for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have a sudden decrease or loss of hearing or vision, or an allergic reaction, stop taking alis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis.
and get medical help right away. with tempur-pedic.t our proprietary material automatically adjusts to your weight, shape and temperature. so you sleep deeply, and wake up feeling powerful. find your exclusive retailer at tempurpedic.com president trump welcomed the president of panama to the white house today and speaking before cameras president trump said the two leaders had many things to discuss, but there was just one issue he made sure to bring up specifically. bragging about a project that began under a previous president after the turn of the century, the turn of last century, that is, completed in 1914, something that was not lost on the president of panama. >> it's our great
honor to have president and mrs. morella from panama. we have many things to discuss. we're going to spend quite a bit
of time today. the panama canal is doing quite well. i
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one person is dead, at least ten others injured after an attacker drove a van into a crowd of muslims gathered near the finsbury mosque during the holy month of ramadan. a 47-year-old man from wales yelled that he wanted to, quote, kill all muslims. he was wrestled to the ground in the midst of bystanders and held by a local imam and others until police arrived. they're treating this as a terrorist attack. >> this was quite clearly an attack on muslims who looked like they were probably muslims and they were coming from a prayer meeting. we treat this as a terrorist attack.
>> a terrorist attack is the fourth in london since may. they say they were all an assault on british london bridge westminster bridge are all an attack on our shared values of tolerance and freedom and respect. and we will not allow these terrorists to succeed. >> world leaders expressed their shock and solidarity with london. the prime minister of canada pledging his country's support. the new president of france macron extended condolences and chancellor of germany. while the department of state condemned the attack the president is silent and that's a marked contradiction after picking a fight with mayor khan and used the violence to promote the muslim travel ban. president trump has yet to say anything about the latest attack in london.
georgia six special election, most expensive house race ever is pimly here. democrat jon ossoff would have had the seat outright and now facing republican karen handle tomorrow. vying for a seat that's not held by a democrat since carter was in the white house. it's taken a while to get to this point considering that the primary in georgia was on april 18th. britain called for and held a
national election in between those two. yet in some ways a national race is exactly what this local contest feels like. for democrats, the race is seen as a referendum on the president and crucially the republican health care bill, the most important piece of legislation of the trump era crafted in the senate. while for republicans a win gives them room to continue supporting the president and a bit of breathing room before the 2018 midterms. heading into election day, the polling average has the race looking like an absolute dead heat. joining me from georgia, jason johnson. and "the washington post" reporter robert costa and analyst at a jon ossoff rally. robert, let's start with you. i want to start with the article you did a few days ago about republicans in this district. what were you hearing in interviewing the republicans in this district, a district that trump barely won but tom price, who's being replaced, won by a huge margin?
>> republican voters i've spoken with here in the atlanta suburbs are frustrated with the stalled legislation on capitol hill and frustrated with the republicans on capitol hill as much as they are with president trump and it's important to note that these are not trump style republicans. these are more surn republicans who come out of the m price mold, the jonny isaacson mold here in georgia. >> reading robert's piece, it is a kind of traditional base for republican party. it's affluent, white, southern, suburban. those are districts tend to be very, very strongly republican and yet this one is a dead heat. what is your sense from being on the ground there? >> well yeah. these are jeb bush, marco rubio republicans who held their nose and voted for trump. i'm surprised by the lack of passion of either candidate. this is very much a national election. usually the republican party
would want it to be local. i heard people, they constantly wanted to talk about health care, national issues. it is actually a race that could be considered a referendum. plus nine for republicans. the fact that they're this nervous and run some ads they have says it wouldn't be surprising if jon ossoff pulled it off early tomorrow night. >> the reason so much money poured in strikes me for your point. the health care bill crafted in secret. polling at 17%. how big is the health care on the districts? the fate seems quite tied. >> they're intertwined, chris. i'm here at the campaign office in ross well, georgia, and there is energy not so much about russia or president trump but it's about stopping the republican effort on health care. >> that's interesting. >> democratic voters here, they know that they have to move forward, a spark here in georgia could spark that effort to protect the current law.
>> jason, it is amazing in some weird way it almost feels like this is right now there's a kind of glide path because of mcconnell's secret strategy that a win there could be something because health care and correct me if i'm wrong is key to the ground upon which this campaign is contested. >> right. look. if ossoff pulls this off tomorrow, it's a record strap for every single republican in the senate. there have been 50,000 new people who have registered since the primary in april. people that didn't vote in april that registered now. most people think they're people not happy with president trump, concerned about the health care bill. very much has national reresch yagss and democrats seem to believe they have a decent chance tomorrow. >> robert, the money coming into the race is astounding and one of the things that's interesting about the money is in this sense, most of the ossoff money raised through traditional party apparatus in the campaign.
most of the republican money is outside the campaign, that's come in, and you have to think bernie sanders saying that there will be someone having their back. that's been the case in the district so far. >> that's true. ossoff's raised $23 million. handel has been boosted by house speaker paul ryan's affiliated superpac. they poured money into the district, people on the ground and the republican side. republicans know they have to protect this district. ossoff might be a political novice but he has energy around his candidacy because of health care and the stakes. >> jason, seems like he is political novice and careful and care so far has largely gone to his benefit. some ways because it's so nationalized a generic republican and democrat and handel has a long history and got some issues herself. >> oh yeah. i mean, look.
this is not a district that sees this much attention. chris, the intensity on the ground is bizarre. i have talked to volunteers, nonpartisan get out the vote volunteers spat on and i had a woman call the police on me. they want it to be a symbol to go forward. >> thanks for joining us. polls close at 7:00 p.m. we'll have race coverage at that time. that's all for this evening. good evening, rachel. >> tonight donald trump and team for ready for fight over the special counsel. can they fet on the same page on the investigation? plus senate democrats stage ago protest at this hour pledging to go all night to fight republicans on their repeal and replacement of obamacare. we'll talk live tonight with one of those democratic senators. and finding his voice.