tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC July 27, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
in the middle of this health care thing for three days. the white house is completely absent from this. there is no white house input on the bill. >> they don't care what is in the bill. they just want it out. >> you will not regreet either of those. thank you both. that is all in this evening. the rachel maddow show starts right now. >> good evening. chris. appreciate it. senator al franken is going to be joining us live in just a minute tonight as the senate keeps wrangling toward and away from and toward and away from the republicans' effort to kill the affordable care act. the current iteration of their plan is estimated -- the estimated cost of it in terms of the human cost said it would take all health insurance away from 16 million americans who have insurance now. that is -- that remains the
plan, such as it is on the table tonight. there's going to be a vote 0 ga on the plan. we've got eyes on the floorp as they go through this strange procedure they're going through to try to do this. we've got al franken here to give us his take on what's happening and why we may need to be flexible in terms of when we bring the senator on in terms of his voting schedule. as you can see, everybody is there in the senate. that said, thanks to the new yorker magazine and the interview they posted tonight with the white house communications director. tonight we learned that the white house is staffed by some sweary staffers who don't mind telling the press in great detail about the human drama inside the white house and the conflicts among white house staffers. got it. i think i knew that before but now definitely got it.
i have to say, though, even though we've got a lot of clear evidence of what i just explained in this new yorker piece tonight, this is the newest proof of that hypothesis that we've understood. this is tonight from the white house communications director anthony scaramucci telling the new yorker that the white house chief of staff is an f'g pair now yak, saying that the white house chief strategist steve bannon is someone who performs an anatomically difficult but apparently not impossible act upon himself which suggests metaphorically that he's more interested in his own self than in serving the president. at least i think that's what that means. i'm not super familiar with all of the implications of the numerous genital metaphors that were employed here so i might have gotten some of that wrong. i might not be the best equipped person to understand all of the different ways he talked about
all of the different things steve bannon is doing to himself. so tonight it is the white house communications director proving that this is the way this white house operates. this is how the president -- the kind of folks that the president likes to surround himself with. this is the kind of environment he likes to create around him, a working environment. these comments tonight from the white house communications director, these are just the latest iteration of this, though, which i think is worth appreciating. before this stuff tonight from the communications director, it was the president's then personal lawyer and top political adviser michael cohen. i remember that, him threatening a reporter at the daily beast on the record. remember that, quote, i'm going to mess up your life for as long as you're on this freakin' planet. you eefl never know how to get out from underneath it. rest assured you'll suffer the consequences. you want to ruin your life at age 20, you do that. i'll be happy to serve it up to
you. i will make sure you and i meet one day while we're in the white house andly take you for every pen new you don't have and i will come after your daily beast ooh and everybody you know. i'm warning you trade very f'g lightly because what i'm going to do to you is going to be f'g disgusting. you understand me? that was on the record from the president's then top political adviser and personal tlaur michamik lawyer michael cohen. very similar to what we heard from scaramucci tonight. it does feel a little different when it's coming from the white house rather than just from some dude associated with donald trump. but that's our life now. two weeks ago tonight the president's then lead lawyer on the russia case, who is apparently disappeared now, two weeks ago tonight it was trump
lawyer mark c kazowitz sending this to random strangers over e-mail. f you. you are just f such a piece of -- i'm on you now. you're f'g with me. let's see who you are. watch your back b --. that was the president's lead lawyer on the russian investigation. although it should be dually noted that he disappeared after those comments. after that he was replaced by this guy. >> get the [ bleep ] out of here. that's what i got to say to nbc. >> so we got some new evidence tonight. but this is what the presidency is like now. we have this new evidence tonight from the white house communications director open all of these things that he said to the new yorker. but we have known this about them for a while. we've known this is the way they operate, we've known this is the environment that the president creates around himself. in terms of what's newly important about this tonight,
though -- actually, do we have that from last night? fired or resigned senior officials. we put this up last night. in terms of what's important about tonight's new evidence for our old hypostasis about the charming gentlemen this president likes to work with. i think what's important about it, rather than the sort of spectacle value of it is the question of whether or not this sort of thing is going to add to this list. is the work environment at the top of this white house disgusting much to the people who are working in senior roles. is the environment in this white house such that it's going to result in yet more senior officials leaving the administration? obviously after what the white house communications director said about him tonight, there are clear and present questions about whether the white house chief of staff, reince priebus might be the next to go.
the whooutbursts were followed blind quotes from people at the white house saying reince priebus is out. he's cooked. maybe. we'll see. while the white house is clearly enjoying that speculation about the chief of staff, reince priebus, i think it's worth watching another couple of jobs. today the boy scouts of america issued an apology for the president. it is unbelievable to think this the president would behave so unbelievably that the boy scouts would have to apologize and reconsider their age old tradition of asking the president to address the jamboree. one cabinet official we haven't heard from since then is the very recent president of the boy scouts of america. their past national president is secretary of state rex
tillerson. and while i think there are a lot of reasons why rex tillerson is in the job of secretary of state, it's also not impossible that the culture and environment of this white house, including the behavior of this president himself, may be rising to levels that rex tillerson finds objectionable on a personal level. if secretary tillerson does surface anytime soon, he will at least be expected to put that possibility to rest if it's not true. also keep an eye on another cornerstone of the cabinet, james mattis, the secretary of defense. the president waited until james mattis was on vacation until he announced -- for him to announce this major controversial disruptive policy change for the military. the president wanting to suddenly ban transgender troops from serving even though thousands of transgender troops are serving on duty. james mattis has been silent on the president's announcement of that policy change since the
president said it, even as one by one the service chiefs have started to announce they're not going along, not until at least they get further direction. it is worth noticing i think that the white house seems to be in meltdown mode in terms of its senior staff. they appear to be in tantrum mode. we shouldn't see that as surprising given what he knew before tonight about the charming culture mr. trump creates around himself and the behavior expectations for the people who work around him. i do think it's worth keeping this long list in mind though, keeping eyes open for more high profile hirings or firings as they continue to tremble and the in-fighting is put on display for everybody's pleasure. swearing insults aside, though, here's what i'm most focused on
tonight. do you remember when james comey testified in the senate about the president firing him and the president pressuring him to stop the russia investigation. remember the president, he said, pressured him to lift the cloud of the russia investigation that was looming over the trump presidency. when james comey testified about that, he testified that he contemporaneously shared that information, he described his interactions with the president and the president's words to him with senior people at the fbi. >> and i discussed the lifting of the cloud and the request with the senior leadership team who typically, and athink in all of these circumstances was the deputy director, the general counsel, the deputy director's chief counsel and in a number of circumstances, the number three in the fbi and a few of the conversations included the head of the national security branch. so that group of us that lead the fbi when it comes to national security. >> that group of us that lead
the fbi when it comes to national security. that's the group of senior fbi officialing he clued in contemporaneously to what the president was doing leading up to firing him after pressuring him to stop the russia investigation. that list of people he just gave not by name but job title, that's an important list of people. if the president is going to be on the hook in a criminal sense or obstruction of justice or anything else improper about his interfering with the fbi, that list, those people are going to be important witnesses as to the president's behavior. and so if the white house is at all worried about that line of inquiry about the president, they've got to be worried about this list of senior fbi officials. well, look what's happened so far to that list. the fbi director, james comey, fired. not just fired but smeared and disparaged and insulted by the white house, by the president, by the president's lawyers, by
conservative media, by republicans in congress. also the acting fbi director, andrew mccabe, not fired but the president now increasingly campaigning against him by name, deriding him by name, accusing him of corruption saying that mccabe never should have been hired as the acting fbi director. that attack on andrew mccabe now being joined by conservative media, by republicans in congress. and now tonight a conservative news source, one that's own by sinclair broadcasting, emerging as a breitbart, they are reporting as to night that a third person on this list, the fbi general counsel, another one of these senior officials on this very short list, this right wing media outlet, reporting tonight that fbi general counsel james baker is under a department of justice criminal
investigation. saying that he leaked national security information. now we have no way of know fg that reporting is true. the fbi wouldn't comment to us about it, the doj wouldn't comment to us about it. our efforts to do our own reporting about this were not met with me confirmation one way or the other. it is possible that the front page of this protrump media conservative outlet looking like this tonight, exclusive top fbi lawyer allegedly under investigation for leaking classified information. and a picture of him. it's possible that the front pa page looking like this is designed to make the fbi general counsel think he's under investigation or that the news outlet is right and they've got a source in jeff sessions justice department who told them about this criminal investigation. and when jeff sessions said in the last couple of days that he was able to make a announcement soon about leak to the media, maybe what he's going to announce is that he expecting
the fbi general counsel is a leaker, just like comey is a leaker. but either way, right, whether it's just a protrump conservative media threat or whether it's a true report of a real criminal investigation launched by sessions in the justice department, this means that of the six potential witnesses against the president in terms of his firing of the fbi director and what that fbi director says with the president's totally out of bounds request to shut down the russia investigation before that firing, of the six men on that witness list three of them are on the barrel. the director comey fired, the acting director smeared daily by the president and the top lawyer at the fbi baker at least threatened if not under investigation by sessions at the justice department. if the fbi investigation into the president, now led by the special counsel, if that is the biggest threat to this presidency, then not just the
special counsel but the fbi must at least be discredited, disparag disparaged, taken apart or somehow scrambled by this white house. and it appears that's what they're working on now. the president tipped his hand about this last week when he told the "new york times" that as far as he understands it, the fbi should report directly to him. the fib director personally should report only personally to him, the president. immediately after saying that the president immediately enthused about how excited he is about this new fbi director he's nominated, apparently with that understanding of how the fbi director will henceforth be employed. that is a huge thing to be proposing. but the fbi is part of the department of justice and is kept independent of the presidency and the white house for a reason. are they really going to undo that? are they really going to put the
fbi under the president reporting only to him? the president says that's what he's going to do and he says he's excited about his new fbi director. unless and until the president makes that kind of a radical change, which he now says he's going to make, unless and until that happens, the fbi still reports to the justice department, to the attorney general at the justice department. of course this attorney general is recused from his investigations related to the presidential campaign, including the russia investigation. attorney general sessions has been the subject of days and days of public abuse from the president who started criticizing him in that "the new york times" interview for having recused himself from the russia matter. but the president hasn't stopped criticizing him about that sense. if the president does find a way to replace jeff sessions or if jeff sessions somehow figures out a way to unrecuse himself from the russia investigation, since apparently that's the president's beef, well it's interesting. what could happen this then.
charlie savage from the "the new york times" lays out what an unrecused attorney general could do to shut down mueller and the fbi's investigation. quote, an attorney general who is not recused from the trump hch russia information could fire mr. mueller either by declaring that mr. mueller has overstepped in some way or by changing justice department regulations to eliminate the rule protecting special counsels. and then once he's gotten rid of the rules he can fire him for whatever reason he wants to. or an unrecused attorney general could declare that, you know what? the regular justice department can handle this investigation after all. we don't need a special counsel. an unrecused attorney general could disban bob mueller's staff or direct the investigators to swiftly wrap up their work, get this done, or they could tell them to narrowly interpret their jurisdiction, s
jurisdiction. t if any of that is going to happen, the fbi and the fbi's investigation of the trump campaign and russia needs to be discredited as much as possible. and so watch those forms of pressure. we saw a number of those forms of pressure emerge today. we're watching this short list of high ranking fbi officials who apparently were able to corroborate james comey's testimony, who could potentially be witnesses in an obstruction of justice probe against the president. we're watching already as politically they're getting picked off. and we don't know where this thing wu publicly berating the attorney general from the russia investigating is going. and today chuck grassry and lind si graham they're opened up a new wing of this as well. today graham and senator grassley started a counter attack against the russia investigation, claim that the fbi's whole trump-russia
investigation is suspect because it stems from the dos way in january. they started claiming today in this senate hearing that that dossier is somehow a russian plot. they have a new counter argument that explains what is going on. there isn't a real russian plot to help donald trump in the election. the russians are faking that there was a russian plot and they're out to hurt donald -- it's a little nutty. but that was the subject of a congressional hearing today in the united states senate. and conservative media is jumping on it now. and the fox news channel is jumping on it now. and the republican party blasted out talking points about it now. it's on. they have come up with their counter narrative here. and all of these different things that they're doing are all designed to discredit the fbi and the trump-russia investigation, going after senior fbi officials, calling the acting director of the fbi corrupt, firing the director of the fbi, insisting that the fbi
must report directly to the president. raising the prospect that this attorney general was wrong to recuse himself of an fbi investigation into a campaign he was involved in. pressuring him to the point where nobody would be surprised if he tried to get rid of that recusa recusal. and now launching a counter narrative that the whole fbi investigation is fruit of a poisoned true. that the fbi investigation is itself a russian plot. all of these attacking all attacking and trying to undermine and discredit the federal bureau of investigation while they investigate this president. what is if fbi going to do about that? i have just the guy to ask. he's here next. oro. ♪go your own way copd tries to say, "go this way." i say, "i'll go my own way" with anoro. ♪go your own way once-daily anoro contains
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this keeps happening. it's starting to make me feel that somebody is spying on the inside of my brain. just because i'm paranoid doesn't mean it's not happening. i told you a moment ago that the new counter narrative is taking shape on the right to try to discredit the fbi from a number of different angles, going after senior fbi officials, going after the fbi trump-russia investigation in general. right on cue we have this new from 20 house republicans. they're calling for a new special counsel, a second special counsel in addition to bob mueller because they believe bob mueller isn't doing the real job that needs to be done and they now are behanding a new special counsel be appointed to investigate hillary clinton and james comey, the fbi director
and president obama's attorney general loretta lynch. lock her up. lock her up. lock her up. house republicans sent this letter to attorney general jeff sessions and deputy general rod rosenstein tonight. it says, quote, while we presume that the fbi's investigation into russian influence has been subsumed into special counsel robert mueller's investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by count elmueller includingfigure. then they list 14 specific items they want investigated we lated to the individuals by this new special counsel they demand to be appointed by the justice department. that letter signed by 20 republicans on the house judiciary committee. the reason you haven't heard anything about that house
judiciary committee recently is that committee has shown zero inclination to look into anything having to do with the russian shan attack let alone obstruction of justice questions. joining us is time winer, a historian of the fbi and the cia. the author of "one man against the world", before that he wrote "enemies." thank you for being here. >> hi, rachel. >> i feel like i'm observing the fbi facing basically a campaign of discrediting at a bunch of different levels, senior serving fbi officials, this call for the second special counselize say would be part of that. do you see it that way? >> the fbi can take care of itself. the fbi is conducting a major
counter intelligence and counter espionage investigation into what the russians did during the last election. more importantly for the fate of the trump administration, the special counsel, robert mueller, is conducting a broad based criminal investigation into the conduct of the president and his team. nothing can stop bobby mueller, unless the president wants to create a situation that would be somewhere between the saturday night massacre and the stag fire. >> you raise that knowing how inflammatory it is to hear it because i can see it in your eyes when you say it. >> we're fatalking about a constitutional crisis that he could provoke with two or three tweets. >> if the president does take steps to try to shut down the investigation, and it does not seem far fetched to me in terms of his history from having asked
so many officialing to shut done that investigation, having fired james comey, having gone after his own attorney general, going after robert mueller, talking to people in his administration enlawyers trying to impugn the credibility of mueller. i don't know if they've figured out how to do that but they are aiming to do that. why do you believe that the mueller investigation itself can be fired. >> under the law only the person who appointed him, rod rosenstein with dishis him and only if he commits some impropriety. bobby mueller doesn't do improprieties. he does investigations. he's one of the best legal minds in this country and he loves investigations. in order to get rid of him, the president of the united states has to get rid of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general, somehow install two useful idiots in their place and
get those people to somehow do his will and fire bobby mueller. >> at which point what happens to his investigation? >> the fbi takes it over. there are so many ways in which to block this from happening. in the senate, in the courts, that the president would essentially have to say the rules and the laws that have governed american democracy since the 18th century are over. i'm the king. i get to say what happens. i am the law. and bobby mueller isn't. >> in terms of what the president describes as his understanding of the fbi. i feel like one of the most underreported -- not underreported, sort of -- it hasn't received enough focus. the president speaks in infla toir ways, he picks fights that get news coverage. i think the thing that he said
about how the fbi works has been underplayed in terms of the amount of attention we've given it. he expressed to the "new york times" that the fbi director is accountable to him, should answer to him and in the next breath he started praising his new nominee to be fbi director. what was your reaction to that? >> he's mistaken. he does not understand the role of the fbi. when he went to jim comey and said, i want a loyalty oath from you, i want you to pledge loyalty to me. i want us to have a patronage hip a relationship and i want you to drop the russia investigation and leave mike flynn alone, comey was horrified because the rule of law in that conversation was being broken like a dry twig. the president does not understand what the rule of law is. the president in his previous
existence as a businessman, growing up here in new york, doing real estate deals consistent lly flouted the law d now he's under the mistaken impression that he's above it and the fbi is there to do his bidding. bobby mueller is independent. he's a special counsel and under the law he can work his will without the president's interference. the president goes after him, that's a second obstruction of justice. firing jim comey is one, messing with bobby mueller is two. >> your title is getting better all of the time. get better with age. tim, thank you for being here. appreciate you time. >> anytime. much more to come here tonight. senator al franken is going to join us live as the senate continues whatever it is they are trying do on health care tonight. stay with us.
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cory gardner has been a u.s. senator a little over two years. his constituents have not seen much of him in that time. he has not down a town hall with his constituents in 486 day, 7 hours and to minutes, not that they're counting or anything. so his constituents dragged this cardboard cutout of him -- see, he's flat. they drag him all over the state and they let ran don coloradoans
vent their frustrations since their life size version will not come home and talk to him. he's been in three different colorado cities just today as his constituents came out to tell their two-dimensional stand-in senator to please vote no on killing the affordable act? arizona, the heat index was 210 degrees. constituents of bill cassidy stood outside his offices in the heat, their umbrellas went with the theme of keep us covered. in blam there was a protest outside senator shelby's offices today. they put tape over their mouths and said no voice. at least some version of the republican bill to kill the affordable act got scored last night. it said 16 mel onpeople who have health insurance now will lose
all health insurance if the republican bill passes. tonight four republican senators said they would torpedo the republican bill if their demands weren't met. their demands are fascinating though. they want a promise from the house before the senate votes tonight that the bill they're voting on in the senate won't ever become law. but the house and the senate will make changes to it later and that this thing that they eesh vo they're voting on won't be real. speaker paul ryan released a statement tonight saying he's open to making the changes after the vote if it passes the senate tonight. senator mccain says no, he wants a commitment to that. the statement from paul ryan isn't sufficient for that. republican senators are supposed to start the process -- oh, they've started this process of tacking on a slew of amendment to this bill. control room , are they startin? they're gearing up to tack on a
gazillion amendment to this bill. you see what time it is now and the fact that they're milling around there, this thing is expected to tgo on all night until tomorrow morning. one photographer today caught this cot being truck into the capitol earlier today in case any senator needs to take a nap between votes. before the night is over we are told to expect a vote of some kind of mitch mcconnell's mystery meat health care bill. we have no ynd whidea what is i bill and we think senators don't either. we also don't know if he's going to have the votes when it comes down to it. anything can happen between now and then in terms of the substance and the politics. the only thing i can tell you for sure is it's going to be a long night and senator al franken joins us last next. ♪
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there are protesters outside the u.s. capitol tonight who we just a second ago had a live shot of and then the live shot disappeared. we'll try to get that back up. protesters are there trying to persuade the senate to not vote for the republican plan to kill obama care. there we go. it is hard to follow exactly what the republicans are doing tonight inside the senate to try to get their repeal bill passed. it's hard to follow, the chances, the prospects that these efforts might succeed. as we watch the protests, as the we watch the senate floor,
joining us now to help us understand the floor and what may happen tonight is senator al franken. it's really nice to have you here tonight. thanks for making time. >> it's great to be with you, rachel. >> where do things stand tonight and what should we understand about what's going to happen over the course of the evening in. >> we don't know. democrats don't know. i don't know if mitch mcconnell knows. we don't know if they're going to present their bill. we have no bill that we've seen yet but we expect there will be what's called the skinny bill that has preliminary score from the cbo that 16 million fewer american wills be covered, that the cost of coverage would go up 20% above what the current law is. every plan that the republicans have come up with have millions and millions and millions of americans not covered, losing
coverage. and costs more. this is exactly the opposite of what donald trump promised during the campaign, what republicans promised they would do. this is why the american people hate all their plans. i think 17% approval rating on the latest iteration of the senate bill, just everything they said they were going to do they haven't done. every version they've come up with is terrible. and we -- we're here to defeat it. >> senator, as you just said, there is no bill. the fact that we don't actually have the substance of this thing, one of the consequences for that is that we don't know under senate rules exactly how many votes would be required to pass it, whether they would need 50 votes to pass it or 60 votes to pass it. is it clear to you that they've figured out some combination of
things to introduce that would give them a 50 vote threshold which they might conceivably meet? >> i think they may be running elements past the par men traine parliamentaryian. i think they'll offer what they can believe they can pass with 50 votes and then pence, vice president pence casting the tie-breaking vote. >> and in terms of the republican senators, obviously that means that they can do this without -- they don't need democratic votes at all. this has within their strategy from the beginning. >> they can afford to lose two. >> and we have heard different types of rejections from different republican senators tonight, most of which seem to be about process and not necessarily about what they want to be in the bill. is it your understanding that if they've got a 50-vote threshold there height be a question as to whether or not they can get enough of their members on board? >> absolutely. i don't think he has 50 votes. i think if he had 50 votes he
would have presented this bill. >> what do you think has been determinative in terms of the difficulty the republicans have had here. on paper since they only need their own members, we would have expected them to be able to pass this or some other version of this a long time ago. they have a hard time doing that in the house and the senate. obviously you're very much against the bill. we've been covering the protests outside the capitol tonight and around the country against this thing. do you think the protest movement about this issue has slowed them down? >> yes. i think the fact that americans hate this bill, i'm cowhat ir of the rural health caucus. i've been all around rural minnesota. a lot of trump voters hate this. obviously. if you have 17% approval for this. trump's approval ratings are in the mid to high 30s. that means most of trump supporters hate this bill
because they know it means that they will -- may very well lose their coverage. and to keep their coverage it will cost them a lot more money. this is the exact opposite of what they were promised. they hate this. and that's why they're having trouble getting 50 bills -- 50 votes. >> senator al franken of minnesota. i know it's going to be a long night tonight, sir. thank your for making time to talk to us. >> thank you, rachel. >> much more ahead tonight. stay with us. yeah, 103. well, let me ask you guys. how long did it take you two to save that? a long time. then it's a fortune. well, i'm sure you talk to people all the time who think $100k is just pocket change. right now we're just talking to you. i told you we had a fortune. yes, you did. getting closer to your investment goals starts with a conversation. schedule a complimentary goal planning session today. [ intense music playing ]
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this year, only two states are holding elections for governor. one is virginia where democratic governor terry mcauliffe is being term limited out. the other one is new jersey. who's the governor of new jersey? oh, yeah. two-term republican governor chris christie finishing his second and final term in office, finishing out with approval ratings so low they look like shoe sizes, not poll results. there have been a lot of bad headlines for chris christie in his second term governor but the bad news that started all the rest of the bad news was bridgegate. this is when he was running for election. his campaign and administration tried to pressure the democratic mayor of one new jersey town into endorsing chris christie's re-election. he said no. they struck back. that mayor's town had a trafblg lane that fed cars from that town onto the george washington bridge, which is the busiest bridge in the world. the christie administration shut that lane down to punish that town and its mayor for not endorsing christie.
they deliberately bricked traffic for days in order to punish that town. and, you know, it's not like anybody has a constitutional right to an access lane onto the george washington bridge, but public officials closing down that traffic lane, that public accommodation as a form of political revenge and then lying about it, trying to cover it up, that is an abuse of power. that's corruption. and sure enough, the department of justice decided those were grounds for federal charges. the bridgegate scandal ended up with three of governor christie's appointees or staffers pleading guilty or getting convicted on federal corruption charges. one of the people whose name came up hundreds of times at the bridgegate trials, a person who was never actually charged with anything but who was fired by the governor for his role in the scandal, was christie's campaign director, a man named bill steppian. bill steppian did avoid bridgegate charges, but you know what became of him two months after the bridgegate trials?
white house. white house, baby. after the bridgegate trials, bridgegate figure bill stepien became the white house national political director. the person in the white house who has been designated at at national political director is the guy who chris christie fired for his behavior during the bridgegate scandal. i was reminded of this turn of events all over again today when news broke in alaska's biggest newspaper, the alaska dispatch news this morning. quote, trump administration threatens retribution against alaska over murkowski health votes. republican senator lisa murkowski of alaska, he's been one of the holdouts from the republican party on the health care bill. she is senator susan collins ever maine haven't joined the rest of their party in trying to repeal the affordable care act, at least the way the republicans want to. now in response, the trump administration is threatening
alaska. quote, early wednesday, trump took to twitter to express displeasure with lisa murkowski's vote. by that afternoon, each of alaska's two republican senators had received a phone call from interior secretary ryan zinke letting them know that that vote from lisa murkowski had put alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy. the president had his cabinet secretary call alaska senators, specifically in response to murkowski's health care vote, to tell them that stuff they're working on for alaskans is now on the line because of her vote. nominating alaskans to posts at the department of interior, a road that the alaskans want built through some federal land. the administration is basically saying, nice state you got here. shame if something happened to it. i mean this is -- this is
bridgegate north, right? this isn't just something that governor christie's staff got dinged for in new jersey. some of them were investigated and federally prosecuted with prison convictions and all for doing basically this exact same thing. of course not everybody got a prison sentence. one of them got to the white house. and now i should mention another bridgegate figure, governor christie's personal lawyer. he represented him through bridgegate. he's about to become fbi director pending a senate vote. maybe the fbi will look differently on these matters in the future. now we're starting to see what happens when christie politics enter the white house. watch this space. at panera, a salad is so much more than one thing.
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nbc's chief foreign correspondent richard engel is in moscow right now. he is putting the finishing touches on another episode of his new show "on assignment." he's back in russia, and he's done some really, really interesting work about russian interference in our election and some of the ongoing questions about what happened there and what happened in the aftermath there, specifically in russia. you might remember after the election, one of the stories that we covered in terms of strange dealings in russia that maybe as americans we should start to pay more attention to, was that after our election -- i think it was in december -- we
found out after the fact, several weeks after it happened, that there had been a handful of arrests in russia, including a couple of senior fsb officers. remember the story about there was a meeting, a senior high-level fsb meeting in december, and officers burst into the room where there was this fsb meeting happening. they threw a bag over the head of a senior russian intelligence official, and they dragged him out of the meeting in front of all the other fsb guys. well, we later found out that that guy who they dragged out of the room with the bag on his head, he, a senior fsb official, another fsb official, and two other russians, including one who worked for a very controversial software company, not only were all those folks arrested in december after our election, they were all charged with treason, which is very rare and which means the russian state is saying absolutely nothing about the accusations against these guys or the trial. richard spoke with a lawyer for one of them, who was afraid to
tell him very much. he wouldn't seen say which of the four men who are arrested is his client. >> i can be completely clear with you and say much about this case because it's quite dangerous. it's quite dangerous for me, for my client, and even for you. >> reporter: why would it be dangerous for me? i understand for your client. he's in jail. >> it's a quite sensitive information, and it's still considered like a state -- state secret in russia. >> i'm telling you, whether or not you have watched the other richard engel series in the "on assignment" thing, you need to watch what he's going to show tomorrow night. tomorrow night, right here, 9:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. on assignment with richard engel. i hereby order you don't miss it. that does it for us tonight. i will see you again shortly. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> good evening, rachel. richard engel is reporting tonight that in capitals around