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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 17, 2017 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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taiwan. and the natural spring water and bedding comforters are made in america. imagine that. we've actually got something made in america here. we can use that for the week. ivanka trump's clothing line. looked at that last week. zero products in ivanka trump's clothing line are made in america. the rest are made in china, indonesia, india, bapg la desch and ethiopia. that is it for me. i'll be back at 3:00 p.m. eastern time. now for "andrea mitchell reports." and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," family ties. president trump stick up for his son on twitter while his personal lawyer tries to create some distance. >> i don't respect donald trump jr. we don't represent druch jr. we don't represent the campaign. we represent the president. >> stress test. john mccain's emergency surgery forcing mitch mcconnell to delay bringing health care to the senate floor, giving opponents more time to pick off a vote. >> there are about 8 to 10 republican senators who have serious concerns about this bill.
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and so at the end of the day, i don't know whether we'll pass. >> i think the longer the bill's out there the more conservative republicans are going to discover that it's not repealed. and presidential pivot. the white house plans for this week to promote american-made products. >> it won't p long before we see the made in america displayed on thousands of new products all across this great land and exported all around the world. >> but the trump family history of outsourcing has critics asking, is the president really the best messenger? and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where the white house is trying to change the subject from unrelenting headlines about russia. another setback in the health care battle, and the president's slumping approval rating. over the weekend, president trump lashing out on twitter
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defending his son don jr. amid growing questions about that constantly changing story of just who was present at the controversial meeting with russians during the campaign. meantime, the fate of the republican health care bill now remaining even more uncertain after senate leaders were forced to delay a vote as senator john mccain recovers from emergency surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye. when it comes to russia, a special survey by nbc news/"wall street journal," has some interesting results regarding the president's base. a big hint, it's holding. joining me is national correspondent peter alexander, kasie hunt on capitol hill, and nbc news senior political editor mark murray. first to you, peter alexander at the white house, they've tried to change the subject week after week after week. but there's so much reporting, you know, problems that they've created for themselves by having this drip, drip, drip of new information every day about just who was present at the meeting
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and not characterizing the meeting as, you know, it turned out to be. >> reporter: yeah. exactly right. this frustration isn't just from democrats. it's not from the media. it's also from republicans and some of those closest to the president himself, his former deputy campaign manager, a man by the name of david bossie today basically making the point as you just noted that drip, drip, drip is making it harder for them to get anything done here, that they need to let it all out there, put it all out there and just see where the chips may fall one way or the other. the bottom line is, as in the past with the energy week, infrastructure week, tech week, well, this is now made in america week, but the president, of course, the last 48 hours hasn't tweeted a thing about made in america. he's tweeted five times about this russia topic and about his own son. tights only tweet he's posted today, and that just sort of fuels this conversation again, the pushback and again raises more red flags. there's the tweet. most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one don
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junior attended in order to get info on an opponent. th that's politics. i talk to trump supporter, those i met on the road during the campaign, and talked to them again now. there are a lot of things about this president they like. they like the disruptive nature of what he's doing, the changes he's trying to put in place, the rolling back of regulation, one item they hope to highlight this week, but they get frustrated on his tweets specifically as they are off topic, seemingly personally motivated by hi own feuds and not by the larger topics that benefit americans. >> on the legal front, we saw jay sokolow, trying his best to change the subject also. but ty cobb now is not just going to be an outside lawyer. he's also going to be on the white house staff? that seems a bit unusual. >> reporter: yeah. that was unusual, the statement itself by the white house was striking as we received it toward the end of last week. ty cobb is a veteran d.c.
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attorn attorney. he'll be working out of the west wing or the executive office building helping try to quarterback the legal response as it were from the inside. as you've noted in the course of recent days and week, one of the challenges has been these sort of competing views right now. nobody's sort of it appears at least been in charge. one of the challenges that does still exist going forward is whether ty cobb would be able to successfully speak to the attorneys for the other clients in this case as it were, don junior, jared kushner, paul manafort, and trying to keep them all on one page so as to avoid this drip, drip, drip from turning into a bigger gusher. >> thanks to peter. kasie hunt, health care. let me just say a word here, a personal word about john mccain. i've known him for decades. there is no one tougher and more resilient. but we all have him in our hearts and minds and prayers today as he recovers from this surgery which was a craniotomy, so it was minimally invasive we're told but it was a blood
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clot that was found. doctors, experts have speculated to "the new york times" and these are doctors not involved in the case, that there must have been some symptoms for them to have done this exploratory surgery and found this two-inch blood clot. we know everything that he's gone through, the melanoma and how he survived so much. that is really a case where the personal and the political are at a crossroads. you're of course, covering the political side of it, the delay now that mitch mcconnell has ordered obviously while john mccain -- it does indicate that every vote counts. we knew that from our own whip count you've been working so hard on. but just so say this is not just a political story, a story about a true american hero sidelined for the time being, and he will be back, we know that. kasie? >> reporter: that's right, andrea. i have not known senator mccain for nearly as long as you have, but i can tell you halls of this place would not be the same
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without him. i think he is very much a force and a presence that makes a real difference around here every day in a lot of different ways. so obviously i think everyone here both sides of the aisle very much holing him in their thoughts and prayers as he recovers from this. >> one other word about him. he has been working nonstop. this armed services chairman has taken on himself with some of his colleagues to circumnavigate the globe in the last six months just to try to reassure allies that this new president is not as uncertain about, you know, military and foreign policy as he sometimes signals on twitter. so he has been a reassuring influence around the world for months and months since this election. >> reporter: and absolutely indefatigable as well. ask lindsey graham, a much younger man, what it's like to keep up with john mccain's schedule when he goes overseas. he is relentless and doesn't
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stop. as you point out from a political perspective, he is obviously important to the overall plan to try to push health care through. he was irreverent about it before he left. he was quoted as saying about the vote coming up, well, looks like we're going to vote next week. yay. some sarcasm. he knew how hard it was going to be. he put out a statement saying he has concerns about the bill but that he wanted to put amendments on the floor. that is the critical step here and everybody is watching to see if mitch mcconnell can get this to the floor. there's a sense that it's tenuous until they actually open that debate and they can't do it without john mccain. i think the speed with which mitch mcconnell and the republican leadership reacted to the announcement from senator mccain that this had happened tells you something about the seriousness of it and the seriousness with which they are taking it. there are a lot of examples, you know, of senators who have been very ill or sick, who have come out onto the senate floor for a
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critical vote like this. but, you know, it's clear that that is not something that's in card right now based on how they reacted and saying, hey, look, we're just going to put this off. so mcconnell of course working furiously behind the scenes. i think on the one hand there may be a benefit of more time to convince some reluctant senators and to let the bill be in public a little bit more, but on the other hand, it's also more time for those governors to call and complain. so always a risk in dragging this out. andrea? >> to kasie and peter before, and thank you all so much. with all this talk about russia, a survey of states where donald trump surged and did better than mitt romney in 2012 by nbc news and "the wall street journal" shows that he is holding firm with his base. mark murray joins us now. mark, let's talk about the numbers here and what you found in this very unusual study that you did of some of these red states. >> that's right, andrea. we take a unique look at the different kind of counties that fueled donald trump's presidential victory in 2016.
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there are two types of counties, one, the ones that he flipped that went barack obama in 2012 and then for donald trump in 2016, and then those county where is there was a big surge where he way outperformed mitt romney in 2012. andrea, overall, you end up having donald trump's approval rating at 50% in these counties, 16 states, more than 400 of these counties, 16 states, ones that are very competitive ones. so that's a much higher approval rating than we ended up seeing in "the washington post," for example, that had donald trump's approval rating at 36%. there's an interesting story inside these number, andrea, and that is those surge counties i was telling you about, think carbon, pennsylvania, coal country in pennsylvania, where donald trump did really, really well, better than mitt romney, his approval rating is at 56% in those search counties. but when you talk about the flip county, it's 44%, and, again, that's wilkes-barre, pennsylvania, for example, a place that barack obama won in
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2012, but donald trump won in 2016. and andrea, one more piece of data. it shows there has been a little bit of erosion for donald trump in both counties, you know, on the surge, donald trump won by a combined 65% to 29% against hillary clinton as i showed you. his approval rating there is now at 56%. then in the flip counties, you end up having donald trump winning those areas by a combined 51% to 43%. and of course as i showed you his approval rating in those places is now at 44%. >> mark murray, fascinating data. thank you so much. and joining me now from the capital is democratic senator chris van holland. thank you very much for being with us today. >> great to be with you. >> there you see the numbers. the base is holding and outside of, you know, the washington northeast corridor, perhaps the west coast, this russia controversy, which many of you say is so fundamental to our
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democracy, is not penetrating with the donald trump voters. >> i think the erosion you are seeing, primarily in those places, is primarily do to the debate over the so-called health care bill. this health care bill is a betrayal of everything that donald trump said on the campaign trail to his supporters. you recall that tweet when he said he would not cut medicaid at all. well, they have huge cuts to medicaid in order to provide tax breaks to big corporations, pharmaceutical industry. so i do think that the erosion you're seeing in those arias is primarily due to questions being raised about is this guy really with us after all. probably one of the reasons they're trying to pivot to this made in america subject of course there, it would be nice if the president led by example and first daughter led by example because we know that almost all the products that they sell are imported from
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abroad. so it would be nice to see a lead by example there. >> i want to also ask you about the russia investigation. sergey lavrov is calling it robbery in broad daylight, that those compounds, including one in maryland, your state, being held back from the russians as punishment for election hacking. what is your reaction to that? what if there's any move by the administration? and we know that tom shannon at the state department is meeting today with a top russian official. any move to comply with vladimir putin's demand that those compounds be returned? >> andrea, we absolutely should not return those compounds to the russians. they were using those to spy and it was one of the steps president obama did take in december to penalize the russians for interfering in our electi elections. giving them back would be at the same time giving the russians a
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green light to attack our democracy again. we were talking about john mccain and we all wish him a very speedy recovery. he's been one of the people leading this bipartisan effort, united states senate, to pass the russian sanctions bill, which we did. it's in the house now and the trump administration is trying to deep six it. they're trying to undermine it. and when president trump essentially winks at the russians about their interference in our elections, it's a very dangerous signal. and it just says do it again. so we should not give those compound back. the legislation that we passed in the senate would essentially prohibit the president from undoing those sanctions unless there was congressional support for it, which there is not. >> i just also wanted to remind people of what the former head of intelligence, general clapper, had to say to me just the week before last about that compound in particular.
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vladimir putin today says return our compounds in maryland and long island. what would you say to president trump? >> why? as a reward for what? the compounds, particularly the one in maryland, that was a major intelligence operation, collecting intelligence against us. and so i don't see what the russians have done that would merit the return. >> certainly general clapper is making it clear what the intelligence community thought about what was going on in that compound. >> it would just be rewarding putin for both the spying at the compound and undermining or attempting to undermine our elections here. that would be outrageous. it would also tell all our allies overseas that we're not serious about protecting our own democracy and so they'll question our commitment to protecting theirs. >> and the president tweeted today about don jr.'s meeting with the russians that most
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politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one don jr. attended in order to get info on an opponent. that that's politics! you're a politician. is that politics? >> no, it's not. look, this is one of those time where is big flashing lights should have gone up and said full stop, you get an e-mail saying that the russian government wants to help donald trump win this election and they're going to send some emissaries with information about hillary clinton, that is not a meeting anybody should take. they should report that to the fbi. i've heard this excuse that donald junior should have known better. i disagree, but even if that was the case, they had paul manafort there, their campaign manager. a person who's had very suspicious dealings in some cases with russian-supported ukraini ukrainians. they should have said no and reported it to the fbi. the fact is jared kushner repeatedly omitted important
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information from his security clearance process, which is also a serious issue. >> and in terms of north korea, let me quickly a ask you this, because there's talk now from south korea that they are going to launch negotiations. is this a good idea? is this something the white house should sign on to is bilateral talks between north and south? and should we have talks with north korea given how poor our military options are? >> well, i think talks are okay. but you have to back up your talks with real leverage because the north koreans have a history of talking but not delivering on the commitments they've made, which is why i've teamed up with senator toomey, a republican senator from pennsylvania. we're introducing north korea sanctions legislation to get serious about enforcing the sanctions that are in place on north korea. there was a report back in february from a u.n. panel of experts saying there was lots of
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leakage in that, lots of companies, financial firms around the world are violating that, doing business with north korea. so we're sending a very simple signal. if you want to do business in north korea, you're not going to get access to the u.s. financial markets. that was very helpful at getting the iranians to the table. that secondary sanctions legislation says -- makes it so that the united states is leveraging its own market access to make sure that people comply around the worrell. and i should say, you know, north korea did cross a very significant threshold. they continue to develop nuclear weapons. and of course recently they tested an icbm that most people believe can reach alaska and on that trajectory, they will have one in a matter of years that could also hit the mainland united states. so we need to ratchet up that economic pressure on north korea. so, yes, talks, okay, but they're only going to be
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successful if you back it up with leverage including leverage on the chinese banks that continue to do business with north korea. >> senator, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> and coming up, the commander in chief test, more on the president's new challenges in north korea and russia. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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south korea today announcing it is hg to hold military talks with north korea to reduce tensions. president trump this month escalated pressure against the north koreans rhetorically, at least, saying he was considering some, quote, very severe things in response to the regime's ballistic missile test of a long ra -range missile. no sign they're taking the threat seriously. you are the best military expert we've been able to talk to in a long time. the long-range missile could very quickly, we believe, within a year or so, be actually weaponized with a miniaturized nuclear warhead. at this point, their missile launches are hard to detect by satellite. they're mobile. they're buried. what are our military options if we're talking about preemptive strikes or severe things? >> well, i think the first and most important military option is defenses. so we need to shore up our missile defenses in the region
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and here at home to make sure if there were a launch we could shoot it down with confidence. >> but that's not 100%. >> no, it's not, but there are things we can do to increase the confidence and effectiveness of those systems. so that should be priority number one. i also think we need to look at other coercive measures, both sanctions and potential military options. but we should be pretty sober in doing so. when you look at the military options, one of the challenges is we don't have perfect intelligence about where the nuclear weapons are and eve wherein the missiles are. and so it's not clear that we could actually destroy the capability in its entirety in a preemptive strike. the other challenge is that a preemptive strike would be very high risk of provoking a north korean response. e shelling of seoul, rocketing of seoul, put 25g million south korea civilians and u.s. forces on the peninsula at risk. there are no easy or good options here and we need to be
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cognizant of that as we -- in terms of how the president -- the kind of rhetoric he yous in this situation. >> and returning to the russia investigation, there is a lot of loose talk about who was at that meeting, we didn't know initially all of the players. but just the fact that we had during the campaign a meeting with a russian lawyer and a russian former counterintelligence official who are so closely connected to vladimir putin's agenda, which is basically repealing those magnitsky sanctions, what alarm bells should have gone off within the campaign structure? >> russian intelligence is famous for trying to contact, engage with any american that has info in our political system. the mere request of the meeting should have set off alarm bells of what's really going on here,
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what's their intention, how do i avoid being manipulated and how do i avoid violating both the rules and the norms that are governing our political process. we should .allowing foreign countries, particularly adversarie adversaries, to med until our elections. so for me, i would have never taken the meeting. i'm just amazed that people chose to do so. >> there is a report, susan glasser, an experienced editor at politico, interviewed you and apparently you were considered for a top job in the pentagon and turned it down in this administration as well. >> well, i am an enormous admirer of jim mattis and when he reached out to me i, you know, was certainly -- wanted to do whatever i could to support him, but i didn't think that my open values and policy positions were aligned enough to serve in this administration. >> what are your concerns going forward as you see the way in the first six months the administration, not jim mattis, but white house has handled some
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of thee critical issues? >> well, my concern is that we seem to be in a very reactive mode, sort of going fromish s i to issue, meeting to meeting, crisis to crisis, and not having a clear strategy for sustaining u.s. leadership in the world. i think if in the next four years we don't proactively and positively sustain that leadership, we're going to face a much more dangerous world. every administration since eisenhower has faced a major foreign policy crisis in their first year. and i'm just worried that without their team in place, without a clear strategy, this administration will have a very hard time if history repeats itself. >> michelle, thank you so much. coming up, a new line of defense. should the secret service have stopped the donald trump jr. meeting as the president's lawyer suggested? democratic congressman on the house intelligence committee joining me next.
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i wondered why the secret service, if this was nefarious,
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why did the secret service allow these people in? the president had secret service people with him at that point. that raised a question with me. >> president trump's perm lawyer jay sokolow saying the secret service should have prevented the meeting even though don junior was not under protection at that point in the campaign. thanks for being with us, congressman. you may have seen that the president's lawyer was on all five networks on sunday, pushing back very hard, raising issues about jim comey, about whether jim comey had leaked, whether he's getting a book deal, and everyone tried to get him back to the subject of whether don junior should have had this meeting and what about all these subsequent stories which are different from the initial version? ? >> the president will get a big bill from yesterday. >> why don't we try to get through some of this point by point with you. from what you know about what has been said publicly about this meeting now, do we know everyone that was in that
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meeting? do you know everyone who was in ta meeting? was it six, eight? how many russians were there? >> thanks for having me back. we are seeking in our committ committee's investigation to understand exactly who was many the meeting, what -- who was involved in setting up the meeting and what follow-up took place. it's very hard to imagine that this was just a one-off meeting. when you read the e-mail correspondence it seems that there's prior knowledge that exists. and you certainly would have to think that they would have followed up, especially with don junior saying in one of the e-mails that we would like to have this information later in the summer. i also want to point out that as you said, the secret service is not -- was not responsible for protecting don jr. even if they were, they protect candidates and their family from violence and threats of violence, not against bad judgment. and this is just the latest agency or public servants who the trump family have chosen to throw overboard. we saw this with the intelligence community after the
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russian report came out and sadly now the secret service, their own protectors, are being thrown overboard as well. >> there were reports that your committee is going to interview the digital director from the trump campaign, brad pascal. has that been scheduled? why would you want to talk to him? what could he tell you? >> andrea, this was a hacking of data. so not to go into witnesses but we are seeking to understand what broadly, what bay dey ta was taken by the russian, how that data was used, if it was given to any u.s. persons, and whether it was used by the campaign to reach out and connect to voters. so we will be interviewing any witnesses who are relevant to that part of the investigation. >> and which side of this -- of the debate are you on? there's an ongoing debate in the community between those who believe that the russians are sophisticated enough to have
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done the very precise data mining of work from the e-mails, from the john podesta e-mails, to target specific voters and specific precincts or others who think this they had to have some american help. >> well, andrea, we certainly know the russians have vast capabilities. however, what we want to understand is, you know, how far do those capabilities go and then we also know that they did work, you know, with americans to disseminate those e-mails. and that's why we will be bringing in individuals like roger stone, who was communicating with gusifer 2.0, and we want to know if he knew he was working with russians, why he put out that john podesta would be spending his time in the barro months before john podesta's e-mails were released. we do know that, you know, trump campaign supporters were amplifying the leaked e-mails
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and trump himself said i love wikileaks, who was being used as a cutout for the russia intelligence services. >> and there were reports that one of the interviews this week is going to be susan rice. can you dispute that report? >> again, i can't do into individual witnesses. we've agreed, you know, to bring in all relevant witnesses. majority, republicans, i think, have an unhealthy focus on what they call unmasking. there has been no evidence put forward at all that anyone did anything wrong in reviewing intelligence. the white house has the power of declassification. and so i would expect that if there was wrongdoing by anyone in the obama administration, they would have declassified that already. i think this is a distraction, but i understand that it's part of the investigation and we'll do our part and, you know, i think the american people can decide. >> i know that if that were to take place, it's a voluntary interview, not public testimony. thank you very much. thank you. >> my pleasure.
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tweet, democratic strategist mike feldman, who served as senior adviser to vice president al gore, also as vice president gore's traveling chief of staff during the 2000 election. and michael gersten, former lead speechwriter for george w. bush. thank you both. what's wrong with the president's tweet, mike gersten? >> it makes sense from a certain perspective. he wants to keep running against hillary clinton and the media and it's because he's pursuing a base strategy. lock at the recent polling. strong support amongst republicans. if that were to collapse, he would have no support and so i think it's a rational approach even though it sounds irrational on the surface. >> and, mike, mike feldman, talk about going back to hillary clinton and first of all it was cnn giving -- it wasn't even one of the regular debates. it wasn't a debate with him. it was an internal cnn town hall
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meeting. but that has all been asked and answered. this has nothing to do with don junior at the height of the campaign meeting with the russians. >> yeah. look, i agree with michael that this is a somewhat rational strategy for him of the strategies that are left. in other words, of the base -- he is now -- everything the being geared towards the core of the core because it's all he's got left. in other words, independents have essentially fled him. he's not doing anything from a policy perspective or from a leadership perspective to reach out and broaden the base of his support or govern from a broadened base. and so everything is geared towards trying to rev up a narrow sliver of even the ele electorate that brought him into office. on the substance, it doesn't jive. what he's talking about was unique. yes, it's true that campaigns do
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do research on their opponents. yes, it's true that information is trafficked from a variety of sources. but at no point would it make sense to anyone, just an ordinary person, let alone seasoned campaign vets like paul manafort, to attend a meeting where information was being trafficked by a foreign government, specifically stated to undermine your opponent in a presidential race. that doesn't make any sense. >> when you were working with al gore in the 2000 campaign and had a similar instance, what was al gore and that campaign's response to the issue? >> well, at the time, and michael may remember this, a member -- it wasn't ooh a member of the campaign but an associate and a longtime friend of al gore's, tom downey, received a package in the mail of material that looked -- purported to be debate prep material for at the time governor bush. and i think to his credit, tom
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downey realized right away that this wasn't being sent with the approval of the campaign or the candidate. there's no way that would happen. therefore it must be stolen material, therefore, he reached out immediately and contacted the fbi. that was the right thing to do. you can only imagine if that package had been delivered and the return address said "the kremlin in moscow." it's an even further leap to then depsi that you should be in receipt of information from a foreign government or supervised by a foreign government. >> mike gerson, you may remember that. >> i do. tights right thing to do and also by the way the smart thing to do. i've been in two presidential campaigns. in a campaign, you have to imagine that everything you do might eventually be public. you have to calculate not just is this worth it if it doesn't get out, is it worth it if it does get out. i don't want to sound sip cal about this, but it really shows that they're not pros when you approach issues that way to
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accept an egregious case of, you know, influence from a foreign government that could have hurt the campaign very badly. and now is hurting the presidency very badly. it just shows that there's a confluence of the ethics i think here and the practicality. >> and mike feldman, i just wanted to share with our viewers also that in the other part of your life, the major part of your life, you were also the spouse of one of our good friends and colleagues, savannah, and savannah is double timing you clearly from what we saw on the "today" show today. let's play it. >> i don't know if you know this, but my 2-year-old daughter, lovious very much and i just wanted -- we were watching your semifinal. i want to show you that piece of tape i took. >> okay. >> you missed it. >> roger, roger, roger, roger!
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>> oh my gosh. >> i just want you to know -- >> she's a roger federer fan too. >> it's in her dna. thank you so much and i'm glad to see you holding the trophy. i wanted you to know i've been holding my tennis racquet during this entire interview. >> so, mike, you've got a problem, clearly. how do you compete with roger federer? >> let's just say i'm glad that interview was remote. that's all i have to say. >> well, thank you. we hate the fact that you're remote, but we hope to see you again soon. if you'll talk to me again. mike feldman from new york. >> of course. >> and michael gerson here. and speaking of roger federer, because i am second only to savanna perhaps as a fan girl, the federer victory making history, a record eighth men's singles title at wimbledon at the age of 35. the oldest man to win in the open era, further cementing federer's status as one of the greatest ever to play the game by not dropping a set during the entire tournament, something
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which had not been done since bjorn borg in 1976 and he was much younger. his opponent in the final, marin cilic, began to faulter in the second set then taking two extraordinary medical time-outs including one he was visibly crying from pain. it was only after that match, after the match was over that it was explained he was suffering from a very painful blister. roger's biggest fans besides savannah, of course, that would be his wife, his two twin daughters and twin sons in their first appearance on centre court. federer said afterwards it was seeing them that made him finally tear up while celebrating his victory. and we will be back soon. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis like me, and you're talking to your rheumatologist about a medication... ...this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain... ...and protect my joints from further damage. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira works by targeting and helping to...
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another set back, sadly because of john mccain's situation. and at least a week, perhaps longer. what is the prospect they can peel off another vote, the opponents? >> it was going to be tough to do this, even if they were proceeding as they expected to do this week with debate and perhaps a vote on the republican alternative to the affordable care act. but i think that the fact that there is going to be a delay because of senator mccain's surgery makes it all that much harder, because there is a lot of opposition to this bill. and the longer that the opponents have to study the bill, to dissect it, to look at the repercussions it would have for various groups of americans, i think the harder it is to hold republicans together. they're not together yet. they're delaying things for john mccain. there's no assurance that john mccain would vote for this bill. he hasn't said he would. he hasn't even committed to voting for the motion to proceed so the bill could be debated. >> and medicaid is a big issue in arizona. and we have seen already what jeff flake's wavering at the time was.
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yamish, we had over the weekend this letter from bluecross blueshield saying the ted cruz amendment would be a disaster. it would create a pyramiding system of collapse of the insurance industry. >> and essentially what you have here is a convo ruins of groups saying it's bad because it doesn't have the same teeth as obamacare had. and it doesn't require healthy people to really buy into the same things that really paid for all of the great coverage that people loved in obamacare. so i think that republicans, as you said, the fact that they have the longer to study this bill, that's one problem. also the fact this gives time for more and more people to come out and against this, and more and more constituents than voice their opinions and say this is really bad and you can't do this. >> and in the middle of all of this, where he's trying to get republicans to hold, you have this word leaking out of the white house that they are considering the -- the president is considering primarying jeff flake? >> if you're looking to hold congressional republicans with you so that -- walk the plank on
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a tough vote and stick with you, this is not the way to do this. this reminds me a little of the president at first encouraging house republicans to pass their version of the new health care bill, and then calling it mean and unacceptable after they had done that. that does not build the kind of trustful relationship that you need when things get tough. and the fact is, things are always tough. if you are trying to pass big legislation, whether it's health care or tax cuts, or an infrastructure bill, you're going to need your party to be with you and to feel that you have their back. >> and when we have this week supposedly focusing on made in america, the headlines showing how the family, the trump family businesses, especially ivanka trump's businesses, outsource so much of their products to china and other parts of asia. that is not helpful when they're trying to point to american-made products. >> it's not helpful, and also, i think, as a reporter, i was always really baffled in some ways when people really believed -- they kind of ignored the stories about the business
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issues, about the debt. just like problematic things about his character as a businessman. because he really did sell very well and in a smart way the fact that he was a great businessman and somehow created all of these jobs for americans. and i'm not sure if it really changes his base but i think for people looking more closely at trump businesses and really looking at how he became president and this reputation he built as a businessman, it really hurts this idea that he's going to put america first. >> and susan, just the final note on that. a lot of these made in america stories and the outsourcing is exactly in red states in the rust belt, where his supporters are. >> well, of course, those are the places where there's the most sensitivity to the idea that we've lost so many american manufacturing jobs to other places, and that it's probably american companies that haven't been, you know -- kept the needs and futures of american workers at the top of their mind. they have kept profits at the top of their mind. so it is part of that. and that is where donald trump needs to maintain his -- that is
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the source of donald trump's continued political strength, that he continues to have the support of those people who put him in that office. >> thank you both so much. more ahead. we'll be right back. [car tires screech] [bell rings]
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and that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." remember to follow the show online on facebook and twitter at mitchell reports. chris jansing is next here on msnbc. hi, chris. >> hi, andrea, thanks so much.
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good afternoon, i'm chris jansing at msnbc headquarters in new york on this monday afternoon. health care stalled. senator john mccain's emergency surgery to remove a blood clot brings the gop's hopes for a fast vote on their health care bill to a screeching halt. will republicans be able to scrape together enough senators to back the plan, or will this delay kill the bill? that's politics. president trump doubling down on defending his son's meeting with a kremlin-linked attorney and a former russian counter intelligence officer on twitter this morning. should the president keep backing up don junior amid multiple russia investigations? and off message. some democrats overreaching? are they, with the russia controversy? are those attacks helping them, or are they hurting them? a lot to talk about. we're going to start with just two hours to go before president trump kicks off yet another white house theme week. even as he is facing record low poll numbers and a stalled health care effort. the administration

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