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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  July 26, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT

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republican, including rudy giuliani said sessions did the right thing recougs himself. >> elise. >> i just wonder how this is going to evolve since president trump loves testing boundaries and doing exactly what everyone is telling him not to do. >> it's loyalty to country, by the way, for the record. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. good morning, i'm stephanie ruhle with much to cover today starting with a health care cliff hanger. a major republican bill goes down last night, but they're back at it this hour. could a slimmed down repeal actually go through? >> at the end of the day, we are going to see a repeal of the disaster that is obamacare. hung out to dry. the president ramps up his attacks, his criticism of his own attorney general, but not quite firing him. well, not yet. >> we will see what happens. time will tell. time will tell. plus, back on the rally trail. the president putting his first six months in some historical
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perspective, according to him. >> with the exception of the late great abraham lincoln, i can be more presidential than any president that's ever held this office. that i can tell you. >> that's a wow. all right. we begin today with the senate gaggling in 30 minutes from now but that's pretty much the only sure thing on the schedule today. republicans think they have a plan to get rid of obamacare, but as always, the devil is in the details. you're in luck, we've got a great team here to break all of it down, starting with msnbc's garrett haake live on the hill. garrett, nobody knows honestly. nobody knew how complicated it was. nobody knows how this thing is going to ends. where exactly do we stand right now? >> it's going to get more complicated before it gets less complicated. there was a big vote that happened last night on the better care reconciliation act. this was the repeal and replace combo plan that we've been talking about for weeks.
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last night that died on the senate floor. nine republicans turned their back on it. it failed 43-57. this was a procedural vote, but it means almost all of that repeal and replace line, which is essentially out for now. the no votes are people whose names you're used to hearing. the moderates like susan collins, lisa murkowski, some of the more conservative members like rand paul and mike lee but also some folks whose names have not been really involved in this health care fight so far like bob corker and tom cotton, who are usually allies of the leadership. that's something to watch as we go forward. moving into today, the next big phase of this is going to be the vote on the 2015 straight repeal, or repeal and delay. we expect that's going to happen sometime around noon today. that's just a 50-vote threshold, so it should be closer. remember, this is something that was kicked around in the senate last week. you had those moderates stand up and say we're not going to vote for a straight repeal without a replacement plan, so we expect that vote will probably fail too. where does that leave republicans? they're not giving up.
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the latest version of their plan is something called the skinny repeal. this is something we would see them vote on potentially very late tomorrow night. the idea here is to just keep stripping things away from the repeal and replace plan until they get something that 50 senators will vote for. what we on the capitol hill team are hearing, what we think that would likely be would be getting rid of the individual and employer mandates and maybe the medical device tax. this doesn't touch medicaid. it doesn't touch a lot of those hot button issues. but stephanie, it's unclear if even that can pass with 50 votes. >> well, they could just shore up the exchanges, but no, we like to keep it complicated. let's bring in my panel. it's an all star one. betsy woodruff, a politics reporter for "the daily beast," kate kelly, and maya harris. that is some girl power in the building this morning. maya, i want to start with you. repeal and replace didn't happen. repeal and delay, unclear. is skinny repeal the best bet? >> i mean it's anybody's guess
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at this point. when you look at this, it literally is like zombies. just when you think you killed it, they pop up again alive and kicking so i think there's a lot of activity that's going to happen over the course of this week and perhaps beyond. but i think the irony here is that for seven years, republicans did repeal after repeal after repeal under the cover of a president who they knew would veto the bill. and then the american public called their bluff, gave them donald trump and a unified republican government and they still have not been able to get this done. so, you know, i think that at the end of the day we're going to have to wait and see how this all plays itself out. i think as we saw with the vote last night, there are still many individuals who are opposed to the plans that are coming forward. the repeal only plan is likely to go down. but i think the drama continues. >> the drama continues. betsy, maya just likened mitch mcconnell and company to the walking dead. i don't want to see how that
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gets remade. but the skinny repeal basically gets rid of the mandates, that's it. can they get 50 senators to support that? >> it's plausible because by 3:00 a.m. on friday morning after there's been a vote-a-rama for 24 or 48 hours, there's going to be so much pressure on republican senators to just pass something, it's likely some of these moderates on the fence, some of these conservatives who are agnostic about it could eventually come around. but the bigger issue is even if the senate passes a skinny repeal, it still has to go to conference with the house. that is not what house republican leadership was hoping for. leadership in the house was hoping that the senate would pass something that could go straight to the floor, so they would be able to tell their members, look, this is what you get, this is your one shot to repeal the affordable care act. it's this or nothing. but instead, assuming skinny repeal gets passed, which is plausible, although of course we don't know, it still will have a major hurdle to get over if it goes to conference and that itself is going to be a whole other can of worms so this is
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far from over. >> you get what you get and you don't get upset doesn't work when it comes to the american people, who to maya's point gave republicans the opportunity to offer them something better. kate, this morning, the president going after a fellow republican, lisa murkowski, in a tweet saying she, quote, she let republicans around the country down. how is the republican party standing behind this? anthony scaramucci can say all day long, he's not a politician, he's a new yorker. you know what you and i are? new yorkers. we don't speak to one another that way or to top ceos in this country, publicly shame their own team. it's not just a sign of poor leadership, it's disastrous across the board. this is going to get lisa murkowski to fall into line? >> of course not. it's another page out of the book that he's using against jeff sessions and he used against jim comey and many others. sessions being the best example, perhaps, his own hand picked attorney general who don't
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please him in terms of their actions or recusalrecusals. murkowski and collins are interesting because they're from states where they felt strongly the various measures the senate has put forward would not work for their constituents so they're trying to do the responsible thing. i don't think trump scores political points on class or substance going after her but it's the tactic that he's resorting to. >> what's extraordinary is whether he's going after lisa murkowski or jeff sessions, jeff sessions has never had so many friends in the world than he does today after what the president has done to him. it doesn't make jeff sessions look bad, it makes the president look bad. >> that's absolutely right, because the fact of the matter is, yes, there's been a lot of conversation about whether jeff sessions is going to stay, is he going to go, is he going to resign. the reality of it is whether or not he stays really doesn't matter because what we're left with no matter what under any scenario is a president who is hell bent on undermining the independence and integrity of the justice department and of any investigation into his
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activities with russia. and he's going to get rid of anyone who's not willing to do his bidding and who's not going to stop this investigation. >> when he gets rid of people, it only puts more attention and more scrutiny. i want to bring kristen welker in because we want to focus on this, that deepening divide specifically between president trump and jeff sessions. and i cannot stress enough how close these two individuals are, have been. jeff sessions, the first senator to stand behind him. at this point has absorbed every punch the president has thrown at him and he still refuses to step down. kristen welker live at the white house. kristen, president trump doesn't want to fire him but just wants to shame him over and over. where do we go from here? those who are saying i can't believe jeff sessions can continue to go to work every day. i don't know, standing strong and silent against a bully, that's a pretty strong move. >> reporter: jeff sessions is digging in, he continues to roll out new policies, steph. president trump yesterday pressed on why he was allowing
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his attorney general to twist in the wind, why he effectively continues these attacks against him on a daily basis. the president disputed that characterization. he said i'm not letting him twist in the wind, i'm just disappointed in him and i'm expressing that. the root of his disappointment, he says, because jeff sessions recused himself from the russia investigation. just to put that into a broader context, he did that because he served on the trump campaign. and so you have bipartisan support for that move. you have legal experts who say that was absolutely the right move. and yet the president has said effectively that it was a betrayal, that it was a show of not being loyal to the president. take a listen to a little bit more of what president trump had to say yesterday. >> disappointed in the attorney general. he should not have recused himself. i want the attorney general to be much tougher on the leaks from intelligence agencies. i told you before, i'm very disappointed with the attorney general but we will see what
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happens. >> reporter: and the president went on to say time will tell about whether or not he would actually ultimately fire jeff sessions. now, when we heard from jeff sessions about this publicly in his remarks, he said that he has no plans to step down and our latest reporting underscores that point. at the same time, steph, our sources tell us that the president's jabs are getting to him, hurting his feelings, but they stress that you have a lot of conservatives who are urging him to stay in the job, like chuck grassley just speaking yesterday. steph. >> i need my panel to weigh in. betsy, to you. you've spoken to a number of jeff sessions' friends, closest confidants in your latest article, and said that mr. sessions, he's pretty pissed. give us the dirt. >> exactly. that's the word that one of my sources used. another person i talked to described the view of how the president is treating the attorney general as stupid, cruel and insane. these are not random people,
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these are some of the most influential folks in the washington legal conservative community. these are people who have spent decades in d.c. and the way they see the president relating to the attorney general truly shocks them. they were expecting things to be a little weird when trump became president. they weren't expecting stuff to get this, as they would characterize it, insane. the important takeaway, though, is that sessions has absolutely no plan to resign. remember, sessions didn't get on board with trump because he thought trump was an admirable person. sessions endorsed trump back in the summer of 2015 because he supported trump's agenda. as attorney general, sessions understands that the best thing he can do to advance the trump agenda is to stay in that post. yesterday he actually announced in the afternoon that cities that don't let i.c.e. immigration enforcement agents into their jails will lose funding. so sessions isn't going anywhere. >> kristen welker, i want to bring you back in. you've got new reporting from the white house? >> reporter: some remarkable
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tweets coming from president trump, steph. let me read them to you. we're still trying to break down exactly what this means. this is breaking at this very moment. the president tweeting out after consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the united states government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military. our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruptions that transgenders in the military would entail. thank you. this is as far as i can tell a reversal of where the military had been headed, opening up its ranks to transgender individuals. steph, i am anticipating these tweets will get a very sharp backlash from not only members of the lgbtq community but also from civil rights groups as well. obviously they had been pushing for transgender people to be able to serve in the military.
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so this is a pretty striking shift in policy that the president is announcing at this hour, steph. again, we're still drilling down on exactly what it means on the particulars. this is just breaking at this very moment so we don't want to get ahead of these tweets, but very important announcement effectively coming out via twitter just moments ago. >> dear president trump, i'm guessing you're going to be hearing from one of your supporters, kate lynn j supporters, caitlyn jenner at some point. maya, the president was back on the trail last night at a rally, that's where he's comfortable with that base. is this announcement today coming off of that where the president has spoken to his base, things that resonate with them but doesn't necessarily resonate with the country or the commitment he made since he won the presidency? >> absolutely. this just goes right to his campaign slogan make america great again which for him and for sessions' justice department and many of the other policies
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we've seen is taking america back to a time when not everybody had equal rights and liberties. i think it's a sad day that he's taking us backward on this issue after so many years of making progress on lgbt rights in this country and on so many other rights. voting rights, on reforming the criminal justice system. making america great again for donald trump and playing to his base means taking us back to a time when we are not all equal. >> is this move, though, also playing to breitbart news, to rush limbaugh, to some of those conservatives who in the last 24 hours have come down hard on the president and sided with jeff sessions? >> absolutely. and i think this is what we've seen the president do again and again. he sort of -- when he's facing fire from his own party, from the centrist wing of his own white house or the congress or the senate, he sort of retreats to his corner and goes back to the sort of more conservative ideology espoused by someone like steve bannon, who's still a key architect of strategy in the white house, despite all the tumult that we've seen, and he goes to an issue that will
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please the conservative base. i think he needs it psychologically in order to feel mobilized to go forward and feel empowered. as you see, it's extremely divisive. when you look at the polling on some of these issues where the broad american citizenry stands and the more centrist republicans that he needs to coral to get health care done. steve bannon and reince priebus feel like they're on the ropes. scaramucci is in. hey, guys, don't forget, i'm still loving you, maybe it's a message to them right there. extraordinary, extraordinary. up next, much more on this breaking news this morning. president trump reversing the stance on transgender individuals in the military. we're going to go live to the pentagon for reaction. (vo) my name is bryan.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. you are watching msnbc and we've got more now on breaking news. president trump officially reversing obama policy and not allowing transgender individuals into the u.s. military. let's go to hans nichols at the pentagon. hans, here we are, american heroes week and it sounds like the president has just defined who he now believes are heroes. >> this has been a complicated process for the pentagon to work through. there are about 250 currently transgendered individuals that have indicated they want to go through some sort of transition
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process. just at the end of last month, there is sort of asked for a delay from the navy, the pentagon, the army, the air force, asking for a delay for new recruits, those that identified as transgendered and haven't -- actually want to join the military, want to serve the country, but they're trying to figure out a way how to do that. it appears that president trump is going to put all these discussions on ice. right now the discussion is still at the pentagon between the deputy secretary of defense and the service chiefs. we'll see if president trump's short circuits all this. just to give you a quick overview, it was the previous secretary of defense, ash carter, last fall made this mandatory, wanted to have the pentagon, wanted to have transgender individuals be able to serve their country. now, for those that were already serving at the time, they had protocols on how to go through transitions, what their support would be, but for new recruits, ash carter gave them a timeline. that timeline was the end of last month, june 30th.
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july 1 was the date. then they asked for a delay. so the pentagon had been trying to work through all this. they wanted to make it work. you heard a lot from people here on just the imperative of implementing this social policy, making sure the pentagon did this correctly, and that's why they asked for that delay. it looks like now, though, from president trump this has all been short circuited. stephanie. >> were we anticipating this in any way? at least here this wasn't on our radar. was this something the president or his team had been reviewing? >> well, we don't know the discussions that had been taking place between mattis and the president specifically on this issue. we know that at one level below that, i believe between the deputy secretary of defense, at the time bob work, and the service secretaries, many of whom were acting, that's where the process was here at the pentagon. they had asked for a delay. they wanted another six months. it was granted. you know, mattis -- secretary ma mattis' north star has been readiness and lethality.
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if that included transgender, it seemed as though mattis was all aboard but he wanted to make a little bit more time for new recruits. at least that was the feeling we got. although to the extent this had bubbled up to the secretary of defense in a formal way, as of two weeks, we have been told no, that this was one level below him. but whether or not he or any of the other generals had conversations with president trump, i can't tell you. steph. >> so just to reiterate, just to be clear, the only person that we've heard from on this is the president. there's been nothing we've heard specifically or on the record from general mattis. >> mattis has not weighed on this on the record to my knowledge. but the official policy had always been let's try to make this work. again, the north star is lethality and an effective force. if that included transgender individuals, they were going to try to make a way to get this to work. it was the last administration to set this into policy.
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there are about 200, 250 individuals currently serving that are transgender. that's one thing we have to figure out now, what happens to those individuals who have come forward, who have said they're transgender because of the old policy, and what their future looks like serving their country. stephanie. >> interesting. joining us now, former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and civil rights lawyer, seema ire along with kate kelly and maya harris. what's your take on this? >> it's shocking because your question was why now, right? the policy has been that if you're openly transgender and you're able to serve, you can serve. so when you say why now, i am suspecting that perhaps there was some impetus, that something happened on the battlefield or something happened during training to cause other members of the military or civilians some type of harm and then there would be a reason to change the policy. but without a reason to change the policy, there's no reason to change it except for the fact that he's looking for a
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distraction from russiagate, right? >> you have to also put this in the broader context as well, which is this is part of a pattern. at the beginning of the administration, the administration also stepped back on the protection of transgender students and so i think that you really do have to put it in the broader context. i'm sure there's no doubt that the timing of this could potentially be because there's a reason or because it helps to show the base that don't worry, i'm still working on your agenda even though i'm berating your beloved attorney general, you know, in public. but in the broader context, this is part of a pattern of actually removing protections and undermining the rights of lgbt people. >> wouldn't this be more extreme than what he did with students? with students it was we're going to take it off a federal level and move it to states. >> in this case you're fired, you cannot have reassignment surgery, therapies or treatment. >> not only as a student do you have a right to an education, but here you have a right to serve in the military and you
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have a right to be whatever gender you want to be. so he's infringing upon both of those rights in the civil rights context. >> if you want to have gender reassignment in the military, ask the u.s. government pay for that? >> usually it does, but it depends. and, for example, if you're incarcerated, they could pay for it, so it really does depend on whether it's medically necessary or not. >> which makes me think of chelsea manning. barring some incident that you alluded to that we don't know about, and i agree knowing just what i've observed of the president's psychology, there could very well be something behind the scenes going on that we're not aware of that spurred this kind of policy reversal today. but chelsea manning, probably someone will see as the subject of twitter railing within the next 12 hours, i wouldn't be surprised. >> and caitlyn jenner. >> but that's somebody who was obviously in the military, committed serious crimes and went through this process as well. so maybe that's a lightning rod. >> well, the story is not going away. we're going to take a break. next, we are minutes away
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from the senate -- let's just break this down. we've got to talk about health care today. it's american heroes week if you haven't forgotten and now this. it is another big day of health care votes. focus on that. plus, much more on this breaking news. president trump's dramatic policy change on transgender individuals in the military. it's not just what he's doing, it's why is he doing it? remember what we haven't talked about yet, russia. you know what doesn't want to talk about that? the president. democratic senator, ben cardin, of maryland joins me next. at panera, a salad is so much more than one thing.
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. time now for your morning primer, everything you need to know to start your day. breaking news. just a few minutes ago, president trump reversed an obama policy and is barring transgendered individuals from serving in the u.s. military. now to health care. the senate will be gaveling in any minute now with a vote on an amendment to repeal and delay obamacare today. the house has overwhelmingly passed a bill to toughen sanctions against russia while limiting the president's power in lifting those sanctions without congressional approval. the bill heads to the senate where it's expected to pass. and u.s. intelligence officials estimate north korea could have a nuclear missile
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capable of reaching the united states by next year. according to a new classified report first obtained by "the washington post," that's two years earlier than officials originally estimated. and take a look at this incredible home run from the minor leagues last night. one of the dodgers top prospects hit a ball deep into right field where it bounced off the outfielder's head and over the wall for not one, not two, but a three-run homer. talk about a headache for that guy. moving on, as we just mentioned, the senate just gavelled now to debate a plan to repeal obamacare. joining me now, democratic senator ben cardin of maryland. senator, before we get to health care, i do want to ask you about the breaking news. president trump's tweets a moment ago saying he will not allow transgender individuals to serve in the u.s. military. your reaction? >> stephanie, this is very disappointing. the president is sanctioning discrimination. our nation is not safer when we
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sanction discrimination. it should be all about the security of america and the president's policy is very political and is wrong. >> now we've got to move forward. how concerned are you that republicans -- we've got to talk health care -- will eventually manage to get enough votes to pass some form of a repeal of obamacare? at least as of yesterday they have picked up some steam. >> well, certainly we're going to do everything we can to make sure that does not happen. the train is moving in the wrong direction. republicans are debating whether it's going to be 33 million people lose their coverage, 22 million, 15 million, but all their proposals people lose coverage and we're moving in the wrong direction. we've got to work together, democrats and republicans, to bring down the costs of health care and to make health care premiums, insurance premiums more affordable. with the train moving now and all the amendments that are being considered would weaken our current system. so we're hopeful that we can block it in the senate, but quite frankly the train now is
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moving and we have to see how these votes take place. >> well, if bipartisanship to your point is the answer and it's also the point that john mccain made yesterday, how can you do it? >> well, first give up reconciliation and this process. this bill came to the floor without one day of hearings, with no markup in committee. let us have committee hearings, let us use the regular committee process, and i'm quite confident that you'll see democrats and republicans come together with ways that we can deal with the cost of health care, bring down prescription drug costs, look at better ways to handle people's total health care needs rather than their individual diseases, find ways to bring more competition into the individual markets -- >> senator. >> yes. >> we have to listen in. please stand by. mitch mcconnell is now speaking on the floor. >> americans continue to suffer under obamacare's skyrocketing costs and diminishing options. i thank every colleague who
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voted to begin the debate. i thank the president, his administration and our friends in the house for the roles that they have played. now we have to keep working hard. we're determined to do everything we can to succeed. we know our constituents are counting on us. we'll work through an open amendment process. i know members in both parties have health care ideas they'd like to offer. if you've got one, bring it to the floor. last night the senate considered a comprehensive obamacare repeal and replace substitute. that amendment was subject to a 60-vote threshold because the congressional budget office had not provided a score for that provision as yet. but it represented a number of important health care reform ideas developed by our members. later today the senate will vote on another alternative that is based on the obama repeal legislation that passed congress in 2015 and was vetoed by
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president obama. we'll consider many different proposals throughout this process from senators on both sides of the aisle. ultimately, we want to get legislation to finally end the failed obamacare status quo through congress and to the president's desk for his signature. this certainly won't be easy. hardly anything in this process has been. but we know that moving beyond the failures of obamacare is the right thing to do. we put a lot of hard work already into this. we've had important successes like we saw with the vote to proceed yesterday. we have to keep up the work now so we can get this done. >> all right. senator cardin, apologies for that. mitch mcconnell saying he's open to ideas, he's willing to work with others, but there's been some criticism towards democrats
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saying you can't just be anti-republicans here, you need a plan. would democrats look to get behind a bernie sanders idea of single payer. >> we certainly want to move forward. i just want to comment when the majority leader says this is going to be an open amendment process, nothing could be further from the truth. working under what is known as reconciliation, there is no opportunity for us to have input into what is on the floor. absolutely democrats will get behind areas in which we can improve our health care system, expand coverage, bring down costs, working with republicans because it should be a bipartisan bill. but you've got to get off of this bill first. the process that's moving forward only, only can lead to people losing their coverage and premiums going up. there is no other result from the process that was put in place yesterday. get off of this process, let's work together. whether it will be senator sanders' idea or other ideas
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that expand coverage and bring down costs, all should be considered. >> before we go, your advice to jeff sessions right now? >> well, i did not support senator sessions for the attorney general, but he did the right thing when he recused himself. he put the integrity of the department of justice first. there are rules about recusal. he certainly shouldn't yield to the president. the attorney general is the people's attorney, not the president's attorney. >> senator, thank you for joining me and sharing your thoughts. again, isn't it amazing, jeff sessions never had so many friends as he does now. up next, markets opened about seven minutes ago. across the board hitting record highs. what is fueling the economy? eric trump likes to say thanks, dad. what he's not looking at is central banks buying up paper right and left driving the markets higher. but you know what, we'll just say thanks. things than rheumatoid arthritis.
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i realize that ah, that $100k is notwell, a 103fortune. yeah, 103. well, let me ask you guys.
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and with immune therapy we've had such a positive result. i'm back to working hard. i've honestly never felt this great. i believe the future of immunotherapy at ctca is very bright. the evolution of cancer care is here. learn more at cancercenter.com appointments available now. welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. happening now, the dow, nasdaq and s&p all seeing record highs. let's go live to cnbc's dominic chu on the floor of the exchange. we don't have dom just yet. you know, when i look at the market, i think just yesterday eric trump looked at these markets and said, thank you, dad. now, it is true on election night there was a priming of the pump. the idea of deregulation, a pro business environment. you saw stocks across the board, specifically in sectors like
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financials, like industrials really take a leg up in a very big way. but the market has also had a realization that we might not get to tax reform, we might not see deregulation. and what it really has been this push driving the markets higher has been central bank intervention. so if you want to thank someone in washington, the person to look to really is fed chair janet yellen. across the board, across the world, we have seen central banks continue to buy up paper. so investors don't have a choice, if they want to keep up with the market, they are turning and they have to buy stocks. if you look at the economy, this is a huge earnings week. you take some sectors out like retail, for example, and we are seeing strong earnings. the economy which has been on the incline, improving for the last eight years, is slowly churning higher and higher. in terms of regulation, while we don't know if we're going to get broad-based deregulation, there was a large threat looming, fears that we would face more regulation under the last administration. that is certainly not here.
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but the idea that it's going to be happy days are here again in a booming pro business environment from this administration, we're not quite seeing that yet. but from those who are invested in the market, and that's not everybody, clearly they're having a big day. up next, what exactly is sky ridge, the company anthony scaramucci founded, and why it could cause major issues for mr. scaramucci in the white house.
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i do think that the leaks are a problem. people are suggesting i'm going to try to get the leaks down to zero. that is absolutely impossible in washington. i'm learning a little bit about this town. >> that, of course, was white house communications director this morning speaking about his effort to stop the stream of leaks coming out of the white house. this comes after the white house accepted the resignation of one communications staffer. during that interview, scaramucci also confirmed attorney general jeff sessions will launch investigations into criminal leaks. i want to talk money, power and politics with my panel, kate kelly and maya harris. maya, first, we need to separate things out. in terms of criminal leaks, what makes the president the most angry are not leaks that would be considered criminal about classified information, it's the palace intrigue.
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it's bannon, it's reince versus the other side of the house. so criminal leaks, what exactly are they talking about here? >> you're absolutely right in what they're focused on. i think scaramucci, trump, they can go around intimidating and firing people, you know, to put the fear of god in them around leaks, but at the end of the day they're not actually dealing with the underlying problem. you have a situation where you have a president whose publicly undermining his political staff, who's undermining intelligence agencies that have their own independent credibility, and he wonders why people are out there leaking. i mean there are people out there leaking i'm sure in part to correct the record because so much of what this president says and tweets is simply not true. and so i think that if the president and scaramucci want to see the leaking stop, i think that's the problem that they need to fix. >> is this not window dressing? we know that early on sean spicer brought in the communications staff, looked at their phones, said you leak and you're out.
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it's not just the kids in the communications team. you've got people in the highest positions in the white house who are leakers. president trump himself, one of his closest friends is david pecker, who owns "the national enquirer" who now owns "us weekly." how do you think those two became friends? >> to put it in a strange way, the president himself is a leaker. he often gets out in front of major policy announcements via twitter as we saw this morning. who knows if that was coordinated with the team or not. but he'll reveal things unexpectedly in interviews, on social media and in many context. >> some people say. >> so i think that free wheeling atmosphere has pervaded the administration. i think you're right, it's not just the comms team that might be an issue here, it's people at all levels and it's because of the environment that's been created. >> it all starts with the leadership. what is the example that the leadership is setting. >> it's interesting seeing scaramucci, we know him from wall street circles. i was surprised by the pick
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bought of the slow start that he got because of his china sale and reported tension with reince priebus, which exploded into public view in the last week or so. he's definitely got a strong personality and he's doing this sure he's empowered by the president right now because he is the new guy on board and he has pledged loyalty in a variety of ways. so for the moment, he's in power. >> he is certainly empowered by tpt. he's not reporting to reince priebus. he's reporting directly to the president. in terms of free-wheeling, think about this for a moment. on friday when anthony scaramucci stood at the podium, he said i'm not going to be starting at the white house for a few weeks because he's got a conflict of interest. you mentioned the sale of skybridge. the company has not yet been sold. it's not clear. months ago, we learned when he wanted to join the administration, he was selling skybridge. >> his stake in it. >> dan nathan of cnbc even wrote selling a fund of funds, this is like a true financier business. you are not investing directly
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in hedge fund. it's a fund of funds. he's in the process of potentially selling his stake to hna, a china conglomerate also under major scrutiny for potentially having ties directly to the chinese government. anthony could make $125 million. i'm not saying there is anything that lacks scruples but it's not done. he has to get regulatory approval. on friday he said i'm not going to be working here for another few weeks. in the last five days, it's scaramucci all the time. is that not dangerous territory when you need to get regulatory approval from an agency which is run by the treasury? >> it would seem to be concerning, certainly. i would note the closing seems to have been delayed a few times. i think they were originally expecting may. here we are practically august. maybe there is additional regulatory oversight being put on the deal. i can't explain why he said he wasn't going to be here for a few weeks and he seems to be there around the clock.
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yeah, it will be something that continues to be an issue. on the other hand, i think they have bigger concerns in the administration when it comes to russia, when it comes to any number of ongoing questions. the policy issues looming large and the time running out on this calendar year on health care, on tax reform which is the next priority, supposedly, and they are hoping to get a bill ready to introduce on the house floor in early september. >> in terms of free-wheeling, it is stunning. i heard from sources inside the white house, the president himself is very happy with the job anthony has done so far. that comes as no surprise. he's done exactly what would suit the president. he's moved the ball forward. until that company is sold, you said it, it's been delayed. there is more and more scrutiny on these types of deals. in 2016, hna spent $20 billion investing in companies around the world. this year alone, they spent almost $6 billion. if that deal doesn't go through, like anthony or not, he can't take the post, that would be such a mess. it's this white house, this
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administration, whether you want to talk about russia or anything else, that doesn't seem to cross their ts and dot their is. this will get a lot of scrutiny. >> i agree. >> my goodness. how do you think this all is going to play out? sean spicer saying you know what, i'm ready for my summer vacation. we will take a break. next, are you -- right now, you are looking live at the senate floor where debate resumed on health care. a vote on repealing obamacare expected in about 90 minutes from now. with so much going on, you can't be by your tv, head to snapchat's discover tab. nbc news just launched stay tuned, a twice daily news show that will quickly catch you up on top stories. ♪
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i'm gonna just go back to doing what i was doing. find your awesome with the xfinity x1 voice remote. welcome back. you're watching msnbc. in just a few minutes the senate judiciary committee, isn't it mind-blowing how much is going on, scheduled to hold a new hearing on the russia hacking of last year's u.s. he lelections. paul manafort set to appear at this morning's hearing by issue of subpoena but that subpoena was withdrawn late last night after manafort met with senate intelligence committee staff yesterday morning. let's go live to garrett haake on capitol hill. walk us through the logistics of why that subpoena would be pulled. >> reporter: sure. this was supposed to be the hearing on foreign agents and their registration, that includes paul manafort.
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after the june 26 meeting became public, they tried to put manafort, donald trump jr. and glenn simpson, founder of this fusion gps group, to come to this same meeting. the goal was to get this all done voluntarily. over the last few days it became increasingly clear manafort and donald jr. did not want to be here voluntarily. there was a subpoena issued by the committee yesterday for paul manafort but even then, they are tying to work in good faith to get this settled without a subpoena. now we are told there's a behind the scenes conversation still ongoing about trying to get the documents they need and paul manafort into this building to talk about these issues, whether or not it's in an open and closed session, still up for debate. those negotiations continue we are told oeven now. >> what's the word on don jr.? >> reporter: well, same general rule applies here. as long as the committee feels like he's negotiating with them in good faith, they will wait for an opportunity to get him here without issuing a subpoena. they like that as sort of the last ditch effort. they like to leave that threat,
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if you will, hanging out there without being realized. same thing applies. they very much want to get both of those two gentlemen into some seats in one of these committee hearing rooms but they don't want to use that subpoena and force the issue unless they absolutely have to. >> mother of goodness. if you thought you were taking summer vacation, here we are on wednesday morning, we got russia, health care, a jobs announcement coming, don't forget it's american heroes week. amidst all this, the president going after jeff sessions via twitter and a surprise announcement on transgenders in the military. and it's not even 10:00 a.m. that wraps us up this hour. thank you to garrett and to my panel this morning. i'm stephanie ruhle. i will be back at 11:00 a.m. with ali velshi and all day long on twitter. more news now with hallie jackson. we will pick up where you left off because you are looking live at the senate floor right now, where one health care vote in about two hours is expected to fail. then another later this afternoon, also expected to fail. after that, who knows? as the gop looks to avoid a
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final fail on whatever bill they end up with tomorrow. the president today turning up the heat on one defecting republican and keeping up the heat on his own a.g. even with new signs that won't fly with his party or his base. it comes as the president now makes that new move that could be aimed at his base. just last hour, reversing the military's policy on transgender soldiers, banning them all together. we are headed live to the pentagon where we are also watching what you are seeing on your screen. north korea with military officials telling nbc news the country may be getting ready to launch a new missile test any minute. think we got enough going on? our team is here ready for all of it. i want to get right now to hans nichols and that new policy announced via twitter. just last month, the pentagon was saying no review of this transgender soldier policy which seemed like a signal of no changes. what happened? >> reporter: well, the president decided to change his mind is what happened. the pentagon is scrambling to figure this out. the secretary of defense is

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