tv First Look MSNBC July 20, 2017 2:00am-3:00am PDT
his life back, but that is not the way john mccain is put together. we're about to see the way john mccain is put together. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with those 5 1/2 years of his life back, but that is not the way john mccain is put together. we're about to see the way john mccain is put together. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. the arizona republican has been diagnosed with brain cancer. people around the globe cheer him on as a legendary fighter. plus, president trump voices new frustration over jeff sessions. the president said he would not have made sessions attorney general had he known he would recuse himself from the russia investigation. signs of life for the health care push. after lunch with the president, a group of key senators with a late night meeting to try and revive their stalled health care bill.
good morning. it's thursday, july 20th. vietnam war veteran, presidential candidate, and tough as nails senator john mccain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. the senator underwent a procedure last friday to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. it's revealed he has geoblastoma. the senator and his family are reviewing their treatment options, which could include chemotherapy and radiation. his doctors say the senator is recovering from surgery, and his underlying health is said to be excellent. cindy mccain posted their wedding photo saying her husband is doing well and adding one thing i do know, he is the toughest person i know. he is my hero, and i love him with all my heart. his daughter, megan, asked for prayers adding, it won't surprise you to learn that in all of this, the one of us who is the most confident and calm is my father.
the cruellest enemy could not break him. the aggressions of political life could not beg him, so he is meeting this challenge like every other. cancer may afflict him in many ways, but it will not make him surrender. nothing ever has. here's perhaps his closest senate colleague lindsey graham last night. >> so i got a call from rick davis saying, you know, it's tough news. it is tough. i talked to john and he said, yeah, i'm going to have to stay here a little bit longer. doing some treatments, and i'll be back. we talked about five minutes. you know, it's going to be a tough way forward, but he says i've been through worse. basically then we started talking about health care. literally it went five minutes before he turned away with what most i think would have a hard time absorbing and focused on what he loves the best. so pray.
right after he gets the job, he recuses himself. >> was that a mistake? >> well, sessions should have never recused himself. and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and i would have picked somebody else. >> now, president trump went on to say that it was "extremely unfair and that's a mild word to the president." sessions, of course, was one of the early supporters of his campaign and chief policy advisors, but there have been signs of fracture recently. "the times" reported in june that sessions at one point offered to resign if the president's confidence in him waivered. in this latest interview the president also had a warning for special counsel robert mueller saying there are areas that should be off limits to the former fbi director's ongoing investigation. >> mueller is looking at your finances or family's finances, unrelated to russia. is a red line? >> is that a breach? >> i would say yes. >> the president said he has not
done business in russia other than the miss universe pageant, but asked again if he would fire mueller if he went outside of what is had charge is. he said i can't answer that question because i don't think it's going to happen. in this interview president trump also spoke about depth attorney general rod rosenstein, who is overseeing the russia investigation in attorney general sessions's place. he said after sessions recused himself, he asked who is your deputy? his deputy, he hardly knew, and that's rosenstein. rod rosenstein, who is from baltimore. there are very few republicans in baltimore, if any. trump also said his special counsel should never have been appointed in this case, but in an interview conducted with before the president's comments were published last night, rosenstein stood by his appointment of mueller and defended his fairness. >> i made the decision to appoint director mueller based upon his reputation. he had an excellent reputation. really bipartisan support for his integrity. that's why i made that decision. i'm not going to be able to
comment upon what he may or may not be investigating, but i can assure you if there were conflicts that arose because of director mueller or anybody employed by director mueller, we have a process within the department to take care of that. we have ethics experts who review any allegations of conflicts, so i'm confident we'll reach the right result. >> joining us here on set is politico's daniel lipman, and also from washington d.c. capitol hill reporter for "the hill" molly cooper. good to have you here on set for a change. let's talk about this interview. there's a lot to digest in it. one of the more interesting things is you got to wonder about president trump's advisors, legal advisors watching this interview or reading this interview, i should say. they got to be asking themselves is this going to be good for the strategy of their defense or not? especially on the russia investigation. what do you make of it? >> thief told him in the past to never talk about the investigation to reporters in the public eye, and so -- >> so he did the exact opposite. >> a lot of them didn't know that he was talking to "the
times," and they didn't think he was going to talk to them for a whole hour where he could expound on his views on the subject. there's only one trump aide in the interview yesterday. >> republicans consider she's -- >> she's not a legal advisor. she's smart, but she's not trump's lawyer on this investigation. >> he is going after some of the actual people in charge of the investigation, suggesting that rod rosenstein may be biassed because he is not -- is he from baltimore, and very few republicans are there. >> it's also for him to totally undermine his own attorney general is unprecedented. for him to also say that he wanted an attorney general who could basically direct the investigation. he didn't want someone who would have to recuse himself. he wanted to be able to tell the attorney general what to do on the mueller investigation. >> yeah. to that point, i have to ask you about the relationship between jeff sessions and president trump. they were obviously very close at one point. sessions was one of his early supporters. talk to us a little bit about how that relationship has soured, and i got to ask you,
honestly, do you see jeff sessions lasting his term in office? >> well, jeff sessions is a very courtly man from alabama, sort of soft-spoken, mild-mannered. very thoughtful man. i can't see him -- the fact that he offered to resign essentially, you know, during this reported blow-up a few months ago or recently a few weeks ago, that says a lot about jeff sessions' character. frankly, it's kind of interesting when the timing of this interview because keep in mind, it happened right after donald trump had met with senate republicans on the whole health care matter, and so in this period between an event that he had for made in america with mike lindell, and the senate republicans, he goes and does this hour-long interview, and so if the senate republicans wanted to have some sort of, you know, distraction from their headlines on capitol hill, this is
that hurts trump as well. >> again, we've heard repeatedly the president refer to it as a witch hunt. let me ask you quickly about the end of this week. some big testimony. jared kushner, donald trump jr. will be speaking to lawmakers on capitol hill next week about that june 2016 meeting. what do they expect to come out of it with those two testimonies? >> well, with kushner that's going to happen behind closed doors, and a lot of it will focus on why didn't he disclose these meetings until recently? it's those disclosures that we found out about this june 2016 meeting. donald trump jr. and paul manafort, keep in mind, paul manafort is also going to be at the senate judiciary committee hearing, which will be public, and that will be a blockbuster. you're going to have those players involved in that 2016 meeting. in fact, you know, it's interesting. they are on the second panel of the senate judiciary hearing. first of all, the committee will talk to inspectors general, the doj, and folks in charge of
criminal investigation units, the fbi to figure out this foreign agent's, you know -- this foreign agent's act, whether or not the trump campaign violated that in meeting with or having any interaction with folks from a foreign government. >> all right, molly cooper live in d.c., daniel here for us. we'll speak to you later in the program. thanks for joining us. let's turn to health care. a key group of senate republicans worked late into the night to try to revive their stalled health care bill. just over 20 senators, including both moderates and conservatives, were in attendance at the roughly three-hour-long meeting. the discussion followed a luncheon at the white house where president trump urged members of his own party to get to work. take a listen. >> my message today is really simple. we have to stay here. we shouldn't leave town. we should hammer this out and get it done. the people of this country need more than a repeal. they need a repeal and a replace. we were very, very close, and
then little things happened, but now we're very close again. we have to get it. we never -- if we're weak on anything, it's on letting people know how good it was. >> that statement appeared to be an about-face from what the president said on tuesday when his message was let obama care fail. in an interview with the "new york times", president trump said one of my ideas was repeal, but i certainly rather would get repeal and replace because the next last thing i want to do is start working tomorrow morning on replace. yesterday's luncheon, the president also singled out senator dean heller who was seated next to the president and has voiced his opposition to the senate's bill to repeal and replace obama care. heller is considered one of the gop's most endangered incumbents in 2018. >> this was the one we were worried about. you weren't there, but you're going to be. you're going to be. look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? okay. i think the people of your state, which i know very well.
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welcome back. in syria president trump has decided a covert program aimed at -- this according to reporting by the washington post. now, the program, which is separate from the one run by the u.s. military, which trains militants who are fighting isis, was initiated back in 2013 under president obama as a way to arm, fund, and train a moderate opposition force to syrian president bashar al assad. joining us now nbc news bureau chief ali arrouzi. if true, this will be -- appear to at least be a big win for both russia's vladimir putin and syria president bashar al assad
to see one of the major players pull out of that fight. >> that's right, if the reports, as you said, from the washington post are correct, it will certainly tip the favors even further in favor of putin, assad, and the iranians who shared militias have been fighting the rebels on the ground there. as you mention, the cia began the covert operation in 2013 and trained some 10,000 fighters, but a u.s. intelligence official tells nbc news that the program wasn't particularly successful because numbers of fighters it diminished over the years and many of the arms supplied by america ended up in the hands of al qaeda and its affiliates. the rebels made some limited gains in 2015, but that's when russia got involved and started pounding them with air strikes. now, even though the program wasn't really effective, some u.s. officials both past and present see it as a concession to russia and where america will lose even more leverage in a region where their influence is
already limited. now, officials said that the phasing out of the secret program reflects trump's interests in negotiating a sort of limited cease-fire with the russians on the ground and not much more beyond that. whatever the outcome of this new strategy is, it will unquestionably be welcome news to putin, as well as assad, and the regime in iran who both call for america to leave the region and stop backing sunni rebels. >> not to mention probably be a big disappointment to some of the arab countries who have been harming some of the exact rebels as well. ali, thank you. let's switch now and take a look at what is being reported as a severe heat advisory across almost one-third of the country with nbc meteorologist bill karins. >> as advertised, today is going to be the peak and then we cool off slightly over the weekend. it's one of those days you have to check on the elderly and watch those kids outside playing too. especially getting plenty of water. so we have about 17 to 18. we keep adding more people. 71 million people are under
southern minnesota, southern wisconsin. this is round two that's now sweeping through, and this has its eyes on chicago for the peak of the morning rush hour. we'll see if the storms hold together. if they do, could have travel delays out of chicago early today. then this afternoon watch out detroit, buffalo, pittsburgh. isolated severe storms with wind damage possible for you. there is a little bit of beautiful weather out there. that's only the northwest and the west coast. l.a. is looking good in san francisco too. a peak of the summer heat, and it's right here. the good weather is literally on the opposite side of the country. >> bill, thanks for that. the quest for gold continues for the u.s. national team, and the game of a lifetime for arguably the best third baseman in baseball. sports is next.
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the running of the bulldogs? surprising. what's not surprising? how much money aleia saved by switching to geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. >> to philadelphia. team usa taking on el salvador in last night's gold cup quarterfinal matchup. the americans almost give one away early. look at that. howard is out of the goalkeeper's box. oh, nice play there. saves that one. breaks up the play. turn it around. it turns out to be a good first half for the u.s. a header into the back of the net. another off the foot of eric lehigh who sends it through the keeper's legs and gives the merngz americans a 2-0 lead. that earns them a semifinal trip
against costa rica. let's turn to major league baseball where the rockies clobbered the padres. to denver where the ball seems to fly a little further in that thin air. third baseman nolan with a five-hit game, including three home runs. in three consec tiff innings. that's the key there. it's just the ninth player in major league baseball history to do that. mike barnacle was pitching last night. the rockies to an 18-4 softball style win against san diego. to chicago where the league hitting dodgers stretch their run to 31 wins in the last 35 games. that's now 11 straight wins for the dodgers, using four home runs to power past the white sox in last night's 9-1 rain-shortened victory. finally on tuesday, the houston astros put carlos beltran to rest. they staged a mock funeral because he hadn't played the field in, like, three months. well, looks like that was short-lived because beltran's glove is back from the dead. resurrected. beltran's start in left field
against the mariners yesterday, a 4-1 loss. >> i think, bill, that was an insult to mike barnacle giving the way the padres right back playing. >> you think barnacle can do better than 18 runs? he has a nasty knuckleball. >> so i hear. all right. still ahead, why one top republican senator is staying far away from the white house. plus, president trump's voter fraud commission kicks off. the vice chair of the panel is already raising doubts about the result of the 2016 elections. we'll be right back. [music playing] across the country, we walk. carrying flowers that signify why we want to end alzheimer's disease. but what if, one day, there was a white flower for alzheimer's first survivor? what if there were millions of them? join us for the alzheimer's association walk to end alzheimer's. register today at alz.org/walk.
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welcome back. it's the bottom of the hour. let's start with the morning's top stories for you. senator john mccain has revealed that he is being diagnosed with brain cancer. he underwent a procedure last friday to remove a blood clot from above his left eye. in a statement released by the mayo clinic on behalf of the senator, doctors say that subsequent tests revealed he has a geoblastoma, which is an aggressive brain tumor. doctors said the senator and his family are reviewing their treatment options, which could include chemotherapy and radiation. o.j. simpson is set to learn today whether he will be released from prison. simpson is set to appear before a nevada parole board this afternoon. he served more than eight years of a 33-year prison sentence after being convicted in the 2000 kidnapping and armed robbery charge. in a new interview president trump vents his frustrations at attorney general jeff sessions over the ongoing russia
investigation. the president expressed his disappointment with sessions over his decision in march to recuse himself from the justice department probe into potential ties between the trump campaign and the russia government. well, some of president trump's top 2016 campaign advisors will go to capitol hill next week to speak about their recently uncovered meeting with russians who had promised damaging information on hillary clinton. the president's son-in-law, senior advisor, jared kushner, will be interviewed by his staff. the senate intelligence committee in a closed session on monday. donald trump jr. and ex-campaign manager paul manafort are scheduled to speak at an open meeting at the senate judiciary hearing. that's on wednesday. both trump jr. and manafort have yet to confirm their appearances. this as the "new york times" published their financial records filed in seep russ, and they -- as much as $17 million. now, the records were certified as accurate by an accounting firm as of december 2015. just a few months before manafort joined the trump campaign. now, responding to the report, a
manafort spokesman did not address whether the debts might have existed at one time. he maintained that the cypress records were stale and do not pir port to reflect any financial arrangements. joining me here is daniel lipman, co-author of political playbook. also with us capitol hill reporter for "the hill" molly cooper. daniel, good to you have with us. tough diagnosis for john mccain. obviously, this is going to be a personal setback. a difficult situation for the senator. we wish him well. what are the implications of this for legislation on capitol hill? particularly the health care debate. >> it deprives republicans to get health care through. mccain's departure from the scene right now, that only makes it harder. i think people are really pulling for mccain.
he is widely respected on the hill. he is always helpful to reporters. he mentors young aides. this is a guy that, you know, is an american legend. when people meet him, they're amazed by the public service. >> i had a chance to bump into him oversea says on a few trips in egypt and ecrane, and it's amazing how much time he makes for the press, and he is well respected by his colleagues. molly, i want you to weigh in in a little bit on senator mccain as well. his reputation, his spirits. how important he is to capitol hill. not just to the public, but to the political process as well. >> well, you know, he is elected. he has been there for decades. he is one of the senators that new senators look to. he is a veteran. keep in mind, you know, when this happened, you know, sort of the current theme of these comments, the well wishes that people are sending towards him is, guess what, you know, you have -- if somebody can defeat this and beat this, it's john
we expect to see on the senate side. how open do they expect those aides, manafort, trump jr., jared kushner, to be when they actually appear on capitol hill? >> for jared kushner, he is going to appear behind closed doors, has offered his testimony. there's no indication that he will plead the fifth. basically on those disclosures that he had meetings. in terms of paul manafort, don jr., they are going to be out in the open, and it's going to be a blockbuster marquee hearing in the senate judiciary committee, and i think that, you know, given the fact that don jr. is not a politician, as one former republican lawmaker said to me, what kind of politician a politician's son would ever e-mail reply, yes, this looks great. i love it. you just go and get the
information from somebody. you don't put it in an e-mail. we'll see. it remains to be seen what we will hear from him, but i think that's one of the reasons why official washington will be watching. >> needless to say, it is going to be must see television. the two leaders met and were not accompanied by any personnel. >> i went to say hello, and while i was there i said hello -- really pleasantries more than anything else. was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. just talked about things.
actually, it was very interesting. we talked about adoption. >> you did? >> russian adoption. yeah. i always found that interesting because, you know, he ended that years ago. and i actually talked about russian adoption with him, which was interesting, because that was part of the conversation that don had in this meeting that, as i said, most other people -- they call up and say, by the way, we have information on your opponent. i think most politicians -- i was just with a lot of people. they said who wouldn't have taken a meeting like that? >> republicans are working feverishly to revive their -- they work late into the night to try to find common ground on the bill. it follows yesterday's luncheon at the white house where president trump urged members of his party to get to work. nbc news's halle jackson has more. >> reporter: senate republicans facing failure on a bill that looked all but dead are now getting a booster shot from
president trump and a warning shot. >> we shouldn't leave town until this is complete, until this bill is on my desk. we're very close. >> he hoped to sway -- the most vulnerable republican up for re-election, with a jab, couched as a joke. >> look, he wants to remain a senator, doesn't he? >> president trump deploying his bully pulpit and holding on to hope that the health care reform will happen. monday's message? repeal and replace. >> we will end up replacing it. >> turned into repeal now, replace later that night. but by tuesday -- >> we'll let obama care fail. >> now -- >> we have no choice. we have to repeal and replace. >> are you experiencing some political whiplash here?
>> well, it's pretty obvious we've had difficulty in getting 50 votes to proceed, but what i want to disabuse any of you of is the notion this that we will not have that vote next week. >> senate leadership leaving the door open to either repeal only to repeal and replace in that vote next week. despite concerns neither option will get enough support to pass unless at least some senators change their minds. >> nobody said it was going to be easy. obviously, it isn't, and we're still working hard at it. >> thanks to halle jackson for that report. well, the commission on electoral integrity, which has faced widespread criticism is getting down to work. the president addressed the committee's opening meeting yesterday, and while he continued to raise the possibility of substantial voter fraud in the 2016 election, he did not repeat past claims that millions of illegal ballots were cast. the president did raise the possibility that turned states refusing to cooperate fully with the request for voter information may be trying to hide something. >> i'm pleased that more than 30
states have already agreed to share the information with the commission, and the other states that information will be forthcoming. if any state does not want to share this information, one has to wonder what they're worried about, and i ask the vice president -- i asked the commission what are they worried about? there's something. there always is. >> the commission's meeting is vice chairman and secretary of state chris -- who raised new doubts while speaking with msnbc over whether hillary clinton actually won the popular vote. >> do you think he won the popular vote by three million to five million votes? >> we will probably never know the answer to that question because even if you could prove that a certain number of votes were cast by ineligible voters, for example -- >> is that why you guys -- >> -- you wouldn't know -- >> because the president brooefz he would have won the popular vote. >> i'm glad you asked that question. that is not the reason the
commission exists. it's not to justify to validate or invalidate what the president said in december or january about the 2016 election. >> so are the votes for donald trump that led him to win the election in doubt as well? >> absolutely. >> secretary of homeland security -- i should say homeland security general john kelly said the u.s. tested two prototype bombs to determine their effectiveness prior to establishing new restrictions on electronic devices in the inbound flights originating from several countries. secretary kelly says the test bombs were based on new technology supposedly being tried by terrorists. the tests were conducted on a real airplane on the ground that had been pressurized and that the bombs destroyed the plane. he adds that while the bombs can be hidden in laptops and other small electronic devices, they are unlikely to be remotely detonated wrrks hence, why the restrictions are limited to the cabins and not cargo holdings. still ahead, a quiet day at the beach quickly turning dangerous as a waterspout comes ripping on to shore sending people
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visit booking.com. booking.yeah! explore your treatment options with specialists who treat only cancer. every stage... every day.... at cancer treatment centers of america. learn more at cancercenter.com/experts a skiery scene for beach goers after nearby storms created a waterspout right near the shoreline. this was video captured yesterday in surf city. look at that. incredible. about 30 miles north of wilmington. the national weather service confirmed the waterspout came ashore as a tornado with winds up to 70 miles per hour. now, officials say it caused damage to some homes nearby, but thank. lyful -- thankfully no reports of any injuries. let's get a check on your weather with bill karins. about one-third of the country under severe heat advisory. >> this time of year, you're
hot. everywhere from st. louis to kansas city to wichita to omaha, you're under an excessive heat warning. that means consecutive days of really dangerous heat. especially for people the elderly and children, and then areas to the south little rock to dallas, we're under heat advisories, including d.c., new york, and also areas of southern new england. today as advertised, 102 in st. louis. it will feel like 110. 98, washington d.c. it looks like today and tomorrow are going to be two of the hottest days of the entire summer for the lower 48. >> that's a whole lot of bright orange on that map. thanks for that, bill. still ahead, from an awkward white knuckle handshake at their first peegt to a budding bromance. the new eyebrow-raising comments from donald trump about his relationship with president macron. to making waves in the new industry. details on the company's next big move. other stories driving the business day when we return. stay with us. boost. it's about moving forward, not back.
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are they covering the pool area? >> yes, everything. they're looking everything. >> synchronized swimming is always such a crowd pleaser as these home events. so are they excited -- >> yes, they're very popular in hungary. we're trying to get it top rar ton they are from a so a lot of judges comment yrks --
here in washington and try to get something here on health care. senator mitch mcconnell said we're going to be here next week. but will it be on a vote to repeal only or repeal and replace obamacare. back to you in new york. >> thanks to hallie jackson for that report. the senate judiciary committee is set to vote on whether to advance president trump's pick into a vote. they hope to confirm christopher wray before lawmakers leave for the recess. >> and house speaker paul ryan will head just north of boston to tour a new balance sneaker factory. he's will take place in a roundtable discussion. >> and that does it for us on this edition of "first look."
"morning joe" starts right now. >> good morning and welcome to "morning joe" on this thursday, jum july 20th. today is the six-month mark of the trump presidency. and in true trump fashion, he just gave an interview that's taking all the attention away from his agenda. with us, mike barnicle, senior political analyst, mark halperin, column iist christa sanderson and michael schmidt. joe, we'll get to that in just a moment but first the news that senator john mccain has been diagnosed with brain cancer. the senator