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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  June 20, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am PDT

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>> john ossoff gets tonight's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. the breaki covering at this hour. the special election in georgia and what the results mean to national politics in the trump era. most expensive house race in the nation's history is itself history tonight. plus, on the russia front, sean spicer today can't say if the president believes russia interfered in our 2016 election. and five months since donald trump took the oath, spicer says he's never discussed it with the boss. "the eleventh hour" begins now. >> good evening from our headquarters in new york. day 152 of the trump administration and as of tonight, the republican party has reclaimed all of the
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congressional seats that were vacant as a result of members of congress leaving those seats to go serve in the trump cabinet. two special elections tonight, one in south carolina, the other in georgia, that would be the most expensive house race in u.s. history. in both races, the republican candidate has come out on top. as nbc news projected earlier this evening, republican karen handel has defeated democrat jon ossoff by five points in georgia's sixth congressional district. nbc news also projecting earlier that republican ralph norman defeated democrat archie parnell in south carolina's fifth but by less than the expected by three points. in the last 30 minutes or so, we have heard both a victory and a concession speech in georgia. handel thanked the president as chants of "trump" broke out in the crowd. then her husband and her supporters. >> tonight, i stand before you extra narrowly hum biabled and
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at the tremendous privilege and high responsibility that you and people across the sixth district have given to me to represent you in the united states house of representatives. >> at a time when politics has been adopted by fear and hatred and scapegoating and division, this is community stood up. women in this community stood up. you did. you did. and you picked this campaign up and you picked me up and you picked alicia up, and you carried us on your shoulders. >> let's bring in our reporters on the ground in georgia tonight. at the democrat jon ossoff's headquarters our own garrett haake. and at the republican
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congresswoman elect karen handel's ahead quarters robert costa national political reporter from the "washington post" and moderator of "washington week," and pbs. robert, i know during the evening you heard from a white house senior official regarding the trump effect on this election perhaps. >> reporter: brian, it was a taunting tweet. coming out, not a tweet, a text message coming out of the west wing and in short, it said the democrats and the officials view still don't know how to beat president trump. that's the view from the republican side tonight. here at handel's headquarters they feel like this is a republican district. it remains a republican district. but as you see about a mile away with ossoff, democrats in spite of the defeat see some glimmers of hope ahead of 2018. they made this district that's ruby red pretty narrow in terms of handel's victory. >> robert, you spent so much time in that district. i bet you the could have your may forwarded. did you really think this was
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going to turn enough to allow a democrat in? >> reporter: i saw a lot of energy on ossoff's side. i was with ossoff on monday night on his last election event. it was a big crowd. i saw his volunteers everywhere throughout the suburban district. but based on my reporting, brian, at the end of the day, republican voters came home even the suburbanites who are big fans of president trump. they're still support of gop agenda items like overalling the affordable care act, cutting taxes. that's why they came out for handel. >> we should mention, robert, they enforced some team discipline. they noted the number of republicans who sat out the primary in effect and they put out eight plea to get off the bench, get in the game, and come help. and it appears to have made the difference tonight. >> reporter: you know what else made the difference, brian? we got to pay attention to this.
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handle handel did not embrace president trump. everybody knows that. who did she go after? she targeted politically house minority leader nancy pelosi, so did a super pac aligned with house speaker paul ryan. you see pelosi who was an issue for republicans when they swept the house in 2010, she's returning as an issue on the republican side. they may believe ahead of 2018, in spite of all the tides against them, if they can run against pelosi and the democratic agenda they can maybe escape in districts like this. >> that's interesting. i'm sure the national democrats are watching this among other things tonight. garrett, i was watching you this evening. and for a while there, your head quarters had the energy. i could hear chance the and cheers when for a while, ossoff was up. then he wasn't. >> reporter: yeah, brian. they were ridiculously fired up here at this. it didn't look like any other house race i've ever seen.
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hundreds of people pumped up for this. they have not had a democrat represent them in their lifetimes many younger voters here and thought this was going to be the chance. one of the highlights of ossoff's concession speech was this idea that he said we the people in this room, his volunteers and supporters taught democrats in this district how to fight. but the bottom line is they didn't teach them how to win. ossoff was supposed to be this other kind of democratic candidate, not the sort of progressive bernie sanders style like we saw in the montana special election but somebody who could maybe peel off the romney clinton moderates suburban republican voters at the end of the day, they just didn't get it done. the margin being worse for ossoff than it was in the race in south carolina which nobody was paying attention to and didn't have nearly this much money. it's going to send a lot of democrats back to the drawing board. >> garrett, people forget that part of the prize for winning tonight, oh, yeah, by the way, you get to run again with the entire congressness 2018 and
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this time, republican congresswoman elect you get to run on your new voting record. >> well, not only will she get to run as an incumbent on a voting record that will hopefully be pleasing to her base here, but she's not going to face somebody who's got $25 million in the bank. and the entire sort of national political scene watching. so while democrats will almost certainly target this district again because those demographics of sort of a more highly educated voter base, suburban voters they covet will still be here. it's arguable this will be a less tempting less vulnerable target when i the race starts up again in a year or year and a half. >> a tale of two headquarters tonight as it always is. garrett haake, robert costa, gentlemen, thank you both. our national political correspondent steve kornacki has spent his evening at the big board. i've been watching you all night. now is the time for the postmortem what happened
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exactly. >> yeah, let's take you through it. a couple things to explain the result. a couple of big picture questions that emerged from the results we're seeing tonight. you put the result up there, karen handel right now five points ahead of jon ossoff. two things we're looking at here. number one, there was so much attention to the early vote, a heavy part of the vote in this district was cast before today. so much of the media coverage, so much of the story was about democratic enthusiasm and democrats mobilizing coming in from out of the district. the expectation among all the pundits was that he would win the early vote and win it by a pretty big margin. the question was cowithstand whatever handel made up for on election day. when when had we got the early vote in, the mar yin for ossoff was all of 1.4 points. so right then when that came in early tonight, you had a sense where this was going. karen handel as expected did clean up in the same day vote in particular one area in this district cobb county is sort of
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the republican heart of the district. did you not see a big early vote there but you saw a big election day vote. it was overwhelmingly for karen handel. there was not the democratic advantage we expected in the early vote and there was strong republican enthusiasm in their base on election day. that's what propelled karen handel to this margin. this is the big surprise that i think overall tonight. five-point republican margin in georgia six. think of all the focus on georgia's six. you see a republican lead by five points there. look at this did you know this was happening tonight? south carolina the district to replace mulvaney, three-point margin. the democrats came within three points of winning this district. this is a rural district. rock hill is rural around there. this went for trump by almost 20 points. we've got democrats coming in within three points of winning this district tonight while in georgia, the one everybody in the party was paying attention
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to, the margin looks like five right now. big picture. this is the last of the special election season. take the margin for donald trump, he won all these districts. margin that he won all of them by and how did the democrats, how did the republican dozen in these special elections? democrats had gained by 20 points in that kansas one. trump won the district by 27. their candidate only lost by seven. 20-point gain. montana democrats made up 15 points. this is why they were saying these were moral victories. in south carolina, the gop wins by just three points tonight. so again, there is a gain there of 15 points for the democrats but look at the outlier. georgia 6, it looks like the republicans will win this thing again. right now it's five points for the republicans. democrats losing ground there tonight. you see minus four. that's the big picture question. what is ha? what is it that allowed democrats to make huge gains in these big trump districts?
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a lot of these rural districts and yet in georgia 6 where trump almost lost, democrats lost ground from their position in 2016. what is it? here's the theory that republicans i think like. they like two ideas. one they say we saw georgia 6 coming and weren't ready for the other ones. the second thing is this. they said look, you had a national political campaign atmosphere in georgia 6. ads all over the place. the names of the candidates were all over the place. everybody was talking about it in the press. when you got that kind of coverage, it raleighed the republican base. they did not want a democrat winning what had become a national fight. republicans look at that and say if they can replicate that kind of atmosphere across the country in all these districts next year, they see in there maybe for them from their standpoint the makings of how you can combat a wave with donald trump's approval rating so low right now. >> i was watching all your coverage tonight. you were on top of all these trends as they were happening in realtime. busiest man in politics, steve
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kornacki. thank you very much forevthat w comprehensive report. let's bring in our panel. contributor and "new york times" political reporter jeremy peters. donna edwards from the state of maryland and to keep things fair, david jolly, former republican congress man from the great state of florida. welcome to you all. airemy, you get the fastball a little high but still over the plate. the deep thoughtful question to start off tonight, what does any of this have to do with donald trump and with 2018? >> so obviously, with this much money spent in a single congressional seat, the highest amount of money ever for a race like this, the results are going to be somewhat distorted and people are going to extrapolate more than they should from it, brian. but i do think that this is a wake-up call for democrats in the sense that they have still not figured out a message that
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works against donald trump. it is not just enough to be against trump. ask hillary clinton. that did not work for her and that did not work as a motivating factor for ossoff voters. i mean, this was a very and remains a very heavily republican district. so that was always working in karen handel's favor. but democrats need to settle on a broader more effective strategy for 2018. they will be playing in more friendlier districts, of course, but i think at this point, right now, this is going to be a demoralizing blow for them. >> congresswoman, indeed, to take up jeremy's point. i'm looking at the scoreboard. i hear democrats talking about moral victories. you're 3-1 on moral victories. 0-4 on the actual scoreboard. this has to be demoralizing to the national party. >> i think not at all actually.
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special elections tell us a lot they don't tell us everything. what i look at is i see congressional race to congressional race a seat in georgia that was held for 37 years by republicans. it's a solidly republican district. we came within spitting distance. surely that's true in south carolina, as well. what it tells us is clearly we have to have a message and we do go going forward as democrats. i think what it really tells us is a lot of these margeal seats that are not the solid republican seats like these special leekz elections were are going to be completely in play for democrats in 2018. we've got a long way to go from here to there. i take heart in what happened tonight. >> we should also stress, we are all of us in the cheap seats. this is the after action report where we can all afford to be brilliant and having seen all these trends coming.
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former congress mann david jolly here with us, what do you make of what happened tonight and how surprised by south carolina? >> very surprised. listen, i was elected in a special election that at the time was the most expensive in consequential history. >> they broke your record tonight into it was $12 million or $14 million two years ago. i understand what both candidates are going through tonight particularly the volunteers that gave heart and soul and there's joy and heart break. i struggle to find good news for democrats in this. the democrats will say listen, tom price won this, newt gingrich won this. this is a solid republican district. the reality is, this is a district that donald trump won by 1.5%, a metro area urban district that frankly should be trending democrat. >> highly educated. >> highly educated. we saw record number of women voters turn out. nonpart affiliate voters turn out. the reality is the republican congressional candidate outperformed trump. i would have thought as a republican after five months of
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a disastrous trump administration in a district where the president won by 1.5%, oh sof would have won this. as a republican in some ways i wanted him to. i want to see our party hit the reset button. republicans came home tonight. whether they inspired their president or not, they supported their party. that should strike fear in the heart of democrats going into '18. >> jeremy, this must mean that tonight there's a legislative director in the trump white house saying, i've got a plan. here's what our rollout is going to be and we're going to build off this terrific victory, right? >> well, there is some sense of that, yes. i was speaking with two senior white house officials just before we came on air tonight, brian. one of them rather snarkily tweeted sad, texted at me sad exclamation point with regard to the ossoff results. the other one pointed out to me that this buys republicans some time. it gives them a little bit of
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momentum, not a tremendous amount of momentum but a little bit of momentum heading into a stretch in which they need it. they need to get something done on taxes. they would like to get something done on health care although that looks like quite unlikely at this point. they need something on infrastructure. what this does is staves off the pandemonium that certainly would have resulted had karen handel lost. it's a bit of a morale booster for them, as well. this five-point victory is far larger than republicans thought they were going to get. this afternoon when i was on the phone with republican strategists in atlanta, they wouldn't put any bets on this. they said while they saw momentum breaking toward handel in the final days of the race, they still weren't comfortable predict agoutcome. that was at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon. so expect them to take a lot of emotional and psych energy from this. >> congresswoman edwards, none of this is your fault but you're the democrat here. you get this next question, as well. your party came off a plastering
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and chose toes re-elect nancy pelosi as the democratic leader. we learned tonight from robert costa and there's been anecdotal evidence, as well during this special election cycle that she is proving a very effective target for republican candidates who are using that to blunt the anti-trump message. that's got to strike fear in the hearts of a lot of democrats. >> well, unlike republicans, democrats aren't going to run away from nancy pelosi. she is the leader. i would note that karen handel actually ran away from donald trump. that's how she won this election very narrowly. so i don't think that that really portends well for republicans in really close districts going around the country. but clearly, the republicans feel like they've found a road map and a playbook but they're not going to be able to run away
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from this president in every single congressional district. they're certainly not going to be able to target the failed health care and economic strategy with nancy pelosi going forward and so i think democrats are going to regroup. we've got democrats certainly have great candidates that they're identifying all across the country. and this is going to be a fight for 201 but it's a fight for america and for the soul of our democracy. i think democrats are going to put up a good show. >> congressman jolly, we should hold all the analysts to account who were insisting all week, canary in the coal mine. this is the bellwether. they've got to believe that in victory or loss depending what team they were backing. a lot of folks do say our politics are a moving targetage administration is changing day by day. >> you hit on something important. i don't think that the democrats on the doorstep of possibly taking over the house tonight changes that narrative a little
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bit. are you really going to go back to the speaker of the house from ten years ago? that's a family conversation for democrats. nancy pelosi the resist movement right now does not have a national leader like gingrich led the contract with america. what we saw tonight also is important. the republican party in georgia embraced donald trump tonight. this is donald trump's party. because republicans did not shy away from embracing their party's platform led by this president. and the last thing the tweets will be amazing in the morning from this president. imagine the victory lap that this president is going to take and the nrcc is going to take. >> he's already started tonight celebrating the victory in georgia 6. this panel has agreed to stick around and join us as we continue our conversation later. up next, however, after our first break, another big story tonight having to do with russia and what sean spicer can't answer five months into this presidency.
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>> welcome back to our broadcast and our other top store tonight, the russia investigation. a story developing still on multiple fronts this evening. special counsel robert mueller was on capitol hill this evening to meet with the top republican and top democrat on the house intelligence committee. tomorrow mueller is set to return to the hill. that's for a meeting with senators diane feinstein and chuck grassley, the top democrat and republican on the senate judiciary committee. the goal, we're told, with the meetings to make sure his russia investigation and those being conducted by congress run
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smoothly while also running concurrently. it's a lot to organize. also today attorney general jeff sessions became the latest member of the trump administration to lawyer up. sessions has hired veteran d.c. attorney charles cooper to deal with all things russia related as his personal attorney. and at the white house today back on camera with full audio and video allowed in front of the reporters the surprise from sean spicer came as it so often has over the past five months of his presidency with a question about russia. >> does president trump believe that the russian government interfered in the 2016 elections? >> i think i have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing. obviously, we've been dealing with a lot of other issues today. >> again ad-libbed answer on the fly. but five months into the presidency sean spicer says he and the president haven't
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discussed the long-held consensus from the intelligence community, senators, house members, cyber security experts, that the russians interfered in our presidential election. and over the past five months the president for himself has deployed decidedly mixed signals on the topic. >> as far as hacking, i think it was russia. but i think we also get hacked by other countries and other people. >> you don't think it's phoney that they, the russians, tried to meddle in the election? >> that i don't know. knowing something about hacking, if you don't catch a hacker, okay in the act, it's very hard to say who did the hacking. with that being said, i'll go along with russia. could have been china. could have been a lot of different groups. >> if russia hacked, if russia did anything having to do with our election, i want to know about it. >> well, there is already intelligence from virtually every intelligence agency that yes, that happened. >> i'll tell you this, if russia or anybody else is trying to
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interfere with our elections, i think it's a horrible thing and i want to get to the bottom of it and i want to make sure it will never ever happen. >> and this from "the new york times" tonight on mike flynn. senior officials across the government became convinced in january that the incoming national security adviser michael t. flynn had become vulnerable to russian blackmail. yet nearly every day for three weeks the new cia director mike pompeo sat in the oval office and briefed president trump on the nation's most sensitive intelligence with mr. flynn listening. meanwhile, tomorrow, the former boss at homeland security, former secretary jeh johnson, heads to the hill where he will take questions in an open session to the house interrogation committee. and similar to what happened on the eve of the comey testimony -- you may recall -- well, johns's prepared statement has been released early. in it he says for the record, quote in 2016 the russian government at the direction of
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vladimir putin himself orchestrated cyberattacks on our nation for the purpose of influencing our election, plain and simple. he goes on, cyberattacks of all manner and from multiple sources are going to get worse before they get better. in this realm and at this moment those on offense have the upper hand. with that let's bring in the second panel of the evening, former fbi special agent on the joint terrorism task force clint watts is back with us. white house bureau chief for the "washington post" philip ruck ser back with us and also with us once again, joe winebanks one of the special prosecutors during the watergate scandal, former general counsel to the united states army. clint, when you hear all of this what are you prompted to shout from the mountain tops that everyone should know and remember about russia? >> they are not our friend. they have attacked our country, 39 different states electoral
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processes were tampered with. the influence was done to the election. the dnc was hacked. military members, u.s. military members were targeted on social media as part of this effort as well. it is across the board. there are 17 intelligence agencies that say that. and there's been no other explanation for where this hacking came from. and yet we still hear doubt from only one individual and that would be the president. >> phillip rucker, what did we witness in the briefing room today? in addition we should point out to being able to witness the briefing. >> well that's a separate issue about transparency. it actually had been eight days until we actually had an on camera briefing from sean spicer, the press secretary. but the clip you played in the opening of the segment was remarkable because that was the press secretary for the president for the u.s. government saying he hasn't actually had a discussion with the president about this russia hacking matter. you know this is something that donald trump tweets about almost every day, every other day, he's
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tweeting about russia and fake news and what happened and what didn't happen. and for sean spicer to not be able to articulate whether or not the president believes what the u.s. intelligence agency's have concluded without a doubt which is that russia did indeed launch the cyberattacks to influence -- influence the u.s. election last year, is really stunning. >> jill, are you a woman of the law all your career. and yet, i'm going to try to toss you an ephemeral question and that is this. can mueller prosecute a lack of concern? can he prosecute an attitude that appears to be normalization and appears to go against the grain of commonly accepted thought? >> i don't think that's against the law. so he probably cannot. but it is something that the house could look at for impeachment because it could put our nation in jeopardy. it's remarkable not only that sean spicer hasn't talked to the president about it. that would actually surprise me
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that he hasn't. but it also confirms everything else that we've heard when we look at what comey was asked, we can also look at what comey was not asked. he was never asked about the underlying crime. he was never asked about the russian hacking. and if that's what happened, that's very surprising. because the president should be very concerned and as we look forward to the next election, we need to be sure. as clint pointed out 39 different states were affected. and it got very serious. so we want to make sure that our vote all counts. and we need to look at that. >> so, clint, at the fbi alone, what, 35,000, 36,000 employees, and down to the interns, people in the mail room, administrative assistants, they are patriots and they believe in what they're doing and where they're doing it. stories like the one tonight about what happens at the
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consumer end of intelligence does this have ac chilling effect? are people going to be less forthcoming about sources and methods until this gets sorted out. >> i think it really it could go two directions. across the intelligence community, one i'm sure they are insulted that no matter what they put forth it's not being seen as evidence or being trusted. i think that's the big thing. then at that point you are also going in wondering how much should i reveal? or how much should i push? am i going to have my back covered by my superiors? oftentimes nominees of president trump? and what level do i want to push the president on these issues? because it doesn't seem he will take -- the most intelligence in the world, the most sophisticated assets are delivering him a finished intelligence product and he would rather consume what he sees on twitter. i think that is demoralizing for our intel services. i'm not sure they know what to do other than be confused at this point. >> so phil, witness our discussion tonight and the new
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journalism tonight about this same ongoing question and issue. you don't work for the white house. but you do cover them. is someone inside the white house coming up with a plan, agenda for tomorrow and the rest of the week that maybe is keyed off their congressional victories tonight and as an attempt to change the subject? >> yeah, they're trying to. what the white house staff are trying to do is help the president compartmentalize everything swirling around him, to try to isolate the russia matter so that it doesn't infect the rest of the agenda. and you have a few other things happening this week. you have the health care bill which senator, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is working on right now. we hope to see a draft of that in the next few days. that will be moving later this week. the president is going to iowa tomorrow, giving a big rally. i expect he'll do a major victory lap. that's his nature of course. but there are other aspects.
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it's technology week at the white house just as it was infrastructure week a couple weeks ago. there are a lot of initiatives at the white house and meetings they're trying to put on the president's schedule to keep him busy, keep him preoccupied with substantive issues and not fretting stewing over watching the cable tv coverage of the russia matter. >> jill i'm coming to you after a break. our conversation is going to continue. our panel is going to remain in place. when we come back, what to infer from the top lawyer in the land, the attorney general, needing -- requiring and hiring a personal lawyer. much more when we come back. will you be ready when 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,
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welcome back to our broadcast. we'll continue our conversation. we're back with clint watts, philip rucker and jill winebanks. i promised to come to you and i have a two-part question for you. >> number one, what is mueller likely saying or sharing on capitol hill? is it a progress report? what are the chances he is sharing anything that's classified? and number two, we've seen the president lawyer up, the veep, his son-in-law, the attorney general. does this keep going on through the ranks of white house staff? >> i think in terms of what mueller would have shared it would not be a progress report. i would expect that he was trying to negotiate with the members of congress a way to proceed concurrently without stepping on each other's toes.
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it's very important that immunity not be given to prime targets for prosecution. and that's one of the things they would talk about. they might talk about who would be able to testify in public, so that the american people can know what's going on. not just the prosecutors. i think that's more likely what they talked about. in terms of your second question, i think that the number of people in the white house who will get lawyers is going to be extensive because anyone who has had anything to do with this is at risk. and they need to. i think that the fact that sessions has now gotten his own lawyer speaks highly of his intellect for getting one. because given the facts we know the number of times he said, i don't remember, i don't recall, the fact that he left the room when asked and many other issues that involve him and the russians, the fact that he did not disclose when he was under
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oath the meetings with the russians is something that should cause him concern. and it's good to have a lawyer who might be able to help him. these all could be explained. but they also do appear suspicious enough to justify having a lawyer. >> so clint, we've got jeh johnson, former hope land security secretary tomorrow. if you were on that panel, if you had one question, what line of questioning would you pursue with him? >> i'd want to know how early did they see -- specifically with johnson he knew about meddling with the electoral systems. i'd want to know how early were they on to the fact that there could be tampering both with either machines or more relevant data rolls, you know, voter rolls. that's really what the russians were picking at. so to see the idea that maybe the election could be rigged or that it was fraud. they could then push that as an influence line.
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i'd like to know how early he knew how well was that integrated across the government? did intel share process? was it shared with the states? how well was it known or did we figure it out only after the election. >> philip, during the break, i was thinking about the point you made. the president is going on the road. >> yeah. >> going to iowa. if you think about this in terms of risk and reward and exposure, he will probably be on twitter to have a few more things to say about. >> yeah. >> georgia six. and tomorrow in his rally, let's presume there's a teleprompter. he hassell dom met the end of a sentence that he feels can't be improved on with a little ad lib. tomorrow that's potential exposure to give us a whole new lead for tomorrow night's conversation just like this one. >> i think that's right. this rally is going to be so different from the kinds of speeches that he's been giving the last few months. it's actually been awhile now since he's had one of these campaign style rallies.
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i don't believe he's had one since firing comey and since the russian news explode in this way. and so he is going to be in arena with thousands of die-hard iowa supporters cheering him on at night. he will be feeling like he is back on the campaign trail. his juices are going to be flowing. and i wouldn't be surprised if he, you know, lets the public in on what he's thinking. >> phillip rucker with the "washington post", clint watts, jill winebanks. our thanks to our panel tonight. terrific conversation as it always is. we'll fit in another break. when we welcome back, the urgent issue of health care where it applies to republicans in the u.s. senate and before long to all of us. also steve kornacki with a deeper dive into some of the numbers, the lessons we're learning from tonight. stay with us. zed for her compassion and care. he spent decades fighting to give families a second chance. but to help others, they first had to protect themselves. i have afib. even for a nurse, it's complicated... and it puts me at higher risk of stroke.
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welcome back to the 11th hour. our lead story tonight, remember in all four of the house races
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to replace republicans who are now serving in the trump cabinet, the republicans have held, 4-0. all four seats as of tonight. we had special elections in south carolina and georgia, and helping us in our coverage all night tonight, the indispensable steve kornacki at the big board with more on the how and the why and, steve, the dnc, how for example will they take this apart tomorrow? >> yeah, well, this is the interesting dilemma potentially this poses for the dnc and democrats nationally as they look ahead to 2018. i want to give you a different way of thinking about what happened tonight. this takes you back to one of the themes we were covering during the campaign last year. we talked about white suburbanites, traditionally republican voters they had traditionally been republican voters in presidential elections and there were all sorts of signs last year they had a lot of reservations about donald trump and donald trump came as close as any republican ever has
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to losing them against hillary clinton in the general election. you can see right now one of the most recent polls of his approval rating 39%. it is even worse among college educated white voters white suburbanites. democrats looking to 2018 have been keying in on this group of voters saying these are the types of voters we can win over. traditional republican who's don't like trump who break who defect. georgia six was a really good test of that theory and that idea because this is a traditionally republican district where donald trump only won by a single point last fall. so the question was, well, if he could only win by a point then after six months with all the troubles he's had, you can see, the republicans still win. jon ossoff's number is basically right where hillary clinton's was in this district. the big picture question that poses for democrats they on the couldn't get the win. that's not what was supposed to happen. they have been looking basically at 23 districts around the
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country where republicans hold them, where hillary clinton won. these are suburban districts. if they couldn't do georgia six, these might not be as ripe targets as they hoped they would be. >> thank you so much for going back through the numbers, what happened tonight and why. another break for us. when we come back, the urgent issue of health care. what's going on in the senate that's about to be the nation's business. that's when "the eleventh hour" continues.
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the reason the american people didn't accept this health care bill is because they knew it had no bipartisan support. in addition to the fact that it was an awful proposal, you know, cooked up behind closed doors with a whole lot of special deals. everything about it turned the american people off. that's not the way to operate. the president ought to take this as a message to
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recalibrate how he wants to govern. if he wants to govern in the middle, i think we'll be happy to meet him there. >> the most critical piece of that video was the date in the upper left hand corner. welcome back to our broadcast, by the way. obviously, mitch mcconnell talking in january of 2010. that was in an interview with chuck todd about the affordable care act, which became known as obamacare that he says was being cooked up behind closed doors. the problem is, he is currently being accused of doing that very same thing with the senate version of the health care bill by members of both parties. republican senators are due to get their first look at the contents of the bill on thursday as mcconnell's office pushes for a vote before they want to get out of dodge for the july 4th holiday recess. don't get between a member of congress and national airport during the july 4th recess. it is unclear from today's press briefing if the president even knows the contents of the bill. >> has the president seen a
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draft of the senate health care bill? >> i don't know that. that's -- i know there was some chatter today. i know the president has been on the phone extensively with the leader and with key senators. i don't know if he's seen the legislation or not. but i know that they've been working extremely hard and the president has been giving his input and ideas, feedback to them. >> do you know if anyone on the staff has seen a draft of the bill? >> i don't. they are up there working hand and glove with them. to the extent -- i don't even know where we are in terms of a final plan. >> sean spicer was also asked about complaints from democrats about the secrecy surrounding the bill and he turned the blame back on the democrats. >> but let's not mistake ourselves with how they approach this thing. their leader, senator schumer made it very clear on at least two the separate occasions that they didn't want to be part of this process. they didn't want to repeal and replace obamacare. they were happy with obamacare. they chose not to -- made it clear they didn't want to engage
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in this process. to turn around now and second guess, that's something they should take up with their own leader. >> back with us tonight, jeremy peters, donna edwards, david jolly here in new york. jeremy, what to make of this. what do we think the comment period is going to look like, and give us a little bit of a viewer's guide to how this will work. the senate version comes out and perhaps mcconnell can put together an afghan of 50 votes somehow, but then what happens? >> well first of all, brain, just to correct what sean spicer said there a couple seconds ago in the sound byte, republicans are upset about the secrecy of this whole process. they have been complaining. mike lee took to periscope today or online social media and made a video complaining to constituents he hadn't seen it.
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mike lee isn't a moderate republican. he's about as far right as you can get. there is definitely anxiety on the right over this because the attack ads write themselves. remember all of those clips that we saw in 2010 of nancy pelosi saying you have to pass a bill before you know what's in it? those type tafz ads will be made all over again this time starring mitch mcconnell and nat republican leaders and i know that there is a lot of republican anxiety over that. >> congressman jolly, i don't want to get lofty but this conversation should be about the people watching us tonight. >> of course. >> who are worried, they are scared they will lose their health care and any uncertainty when you're depending on the affordable care act or its newer relatives is a devastating thing. >> it is. this is a historically unpopular bill that the president celebrated at the white house, and what the senate is doing in secrecy is very hypocritical. but let's also consider something.
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i don't know that the house will be able to embrace the senate bill, right? president trump said the house bill is mean and told senate leaders don't pass a mean bill. what that means is the senate to pass it will likely have to continue medicaid expansion and will likely have to fund planned harnt pood. and the biggest block of house conservatives this week said to the senate, we're not going to consider that if we do that. we could be looking at a greater impasse. the lost opportunity for democrats now offer a fix and repair plan. listen, i sat through the meetings where democrats said we're happy to work with you to fix and repair it. but i've never seen a single proposal to do it and that's a lost opportunity. it's less of a criticism than saying step up. somebody lead with the fix and repair plan and the american people will embrace it. >> congresswoman, what do you think about that? >> i was there in 2010 and i remember those fights. i presided over the passage of the affordable care act with hours of debate, hundreds of
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hearings, a lot of public discourse about the affordable care act and we've had none of that with the senate bill. 13 senators have seen this bill, and that's it. not the american people who are about to have 23 million people kicked out of their health care who are going to lose coverage for preexisting conditions. you know, the same charges that were levelled against democrats in 2010 will be levelled against republicans in 2018 with the passage of this bill and, you know, frankly, i can't see how they're going to cobble together the votes and then pass that out of the senate and out of the house of representatives, but either way, it's going to be a republican health care bill that takes health care away from millions of americans and deals with one-sixth of the economy where we haven't even seen what the cost is going to be. >> jeremy, i know you're not a
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progress nosty gator but you write and beautifully so for a national newspaper and this is your rem, your bailiwick. how can that be the outcome of this process and the greater question to you, what is the net outflow from congress signed by the president by the end of 2017? what moves on health care do you think? >> i think this ultimately ends up going nowhere for one big reason, and that's because donald trump is rapidly losing interest in it, brian. he understands how politically toxic it is. late not forget, he told republicans in a closed door meeting last week that he thought this bill was, quote unquote, mean. so this is not something he wants his legacy tarnished with when he could be moving on to aspects of his agenda he's far more interested in, tax reform and infrastructure. i think one likely outcome is that the senate passes
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something with 50 votes. mike pence casts a tie-breaking vote. they kick something over to the house and this dies in a conference committee never to be heard from again. and that may be the best result for republicans because this bill is so overwhelmingly unpopular right now they don't want to be tarnished with it. >> david jolly, jeremy peertz never promised us a rose garden but that's the most depressing prognostication i've ever heard. >> the president is scared to death to sign a repeal of obamacare even though he ran on it. >> congresswoman, you get the last word. >> you know, i think the democrats know that the affordable care act has problems and needs to be fixed and if republicans want to sit down and do that, that's a conversation but repeal and replace is not going anywhere with the american people. >> it has been an eventful tuesday night already. remember, our lead story where these two special congressional
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elections, russia and health care looming large, as well. our great thanks to jeremy peters, donna edwards, david jolly, thank you for the discussion and being part of our panel. that's going to do it for this edition of our broadcast. our coverage, however, continues


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