tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 1, 2017 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
and stock market at a record high. if we can't institute fiscal responsibilities in this context, we're never going to do it. >> when you do it is when there is a recession. >> that's right. >> and brought down on the health care spending and things like that. thank you both. that is "all in" for this evening. "the rachel maddow show" starts now. >> good evening. thank you my friend. thanks for joining us this hour. two of the most important stories of the year are unfolding at the same time right now. today what may end up being the two most important stories of the whole first year of the trump administration both at least started happening on the same day. the first, of course, is legislation for the first time. there has been no significant legislation of any kind passed since republicans took control of the house and senate and white house with the inauguration of donald trump in january. well, tonight, the senate
appears maybe poised to change that with the biggest change to the american tax code in 30 years as chris hayes was talking about with his guest tonight, there is no deadline by which they have to pass this bill. there is no procedural deadline. that isn't a big deal but would make things easier for them. there is nothing. there is no reason they need to be rushing to try to pass this bill tonight before administration has even produced analysis about what it will cost while the bill is still partially handwritten, while senators have had no subtantive hearings on it at all but the republicans are rushing to try to do it tonight. and so we've got eyes on that huge news story as the senate floor continues to bustle and as we expect them to move toward a vote at some point, we're going to have live reports on that throughout the hour, i'm guessing. with trump national security advisor michael flynn pleading guilty in washington today to
lying to the fbi, we got our second gigantic news story of the day and entered into uncharted territory for an american presidency. ten months into this administration, ten months and 111 days into this administration, federal prosecutors have now brought multiple felony charges against the president's campaign chairman and another campaign aid. the same prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from another campaign aid and as of today from the president's first national security advisor and in the case of national security advisor and campaign aid, it's the fact that they both plead guilty to a simple charge of lying to investigators that tells you the magnitude of the threat to the president and potentially to the vice president because of those guilty pleas. in the case of both foreign policy advisor george and michael flynn on the left, those guilty pleas from each of those
men to single simple charges, those make clear that both are cooperating with the muller investigation. and in general the way these things go is you don't cooperate to help prosecutors get a fish that is your size or smaller. they get you to cooperate because they believe you have valuable information to offer about fishes that are larger than yourself. when it comes to a campaign aid like george pop dop laos, every fish was bigger than him. when it comes to mike flynn, there just aren't that many people further up the food chain than he was within the trump campaign and the start of the trump administration. so couple things i want to point out about how we got to this flynn court appearance today. i can fast forward ask tell you why we'll end with the president specifically and the vice president specifically may each have real concerns now tonight
about what just happened in federal court today and what has likely already gone down between mike flynn and prosecutors that signed off on his guilty plea today. okay? are you ready? it goes. the important thing for us just as americans as civilians watching this unfold, i think the important thing for all of us to know about today and about mike flynn and his role in this scandal is that none of us should get too cocky in thinking that we understand how he fits into all of this and i think really the most important thing is to stay humble and keep your eyes and years open in terms of what you think you understand about mike flynn and this scandal. what we all understand about what he was doing in trump's orbit, what he knows and may be able to offer prosecutors and we should be humbled because there is a lot about mike flynn about the trump campaign and
administration that is as yet, very opaque. it's stuff that doesn't really make much sense, just logically looking from the outside and there has been no serious effort or no serious success in anybody trying to explain why these strange things happened around flynn joining the campaign in the first place and the way he finally left the white house. you know, part of that was hinted at today when the top russia lawyer in the white house ty cobb dismissed any idea the president, vice president might be concerned with flynn cooperating with prosecutors. the white house russia lawyer ty cobb is dismissing mike flynn i kid you not as a former obama administration official and that was funny when ty cobb said that about mike flynn because that would be announcing nixon's resignation as former california congressman steps down from position in washington. it's ridiculous, right, that the import of mike flynn stepping
down is he's a former obama administration official. it's funny to see the desperation. but mr. cobb technically is correct that mike flynn worked for the obama administration. he was the top official at the defense intelligence agency during president obama's -- the first part of -- the first part of president obama's second term. and that part of his career is actually the start of some of the important stuff we really don't understand yet about mike flynn and his motivation and state of mind and how he ended up with trump in the first place. as we've covered here on the show recently, while mike flynn was running the defense intelligence agency, one of the things the agency did was sent out an urgent pentagon-wide threat assessment warning the entire department of defense against using any software made by a company. the dia warning about kaspersky
was linked to the government and intelligence services and mike flynn's agency, dia set out this warning against the pentagon, don't use kaspersky software. that was 2013. they put out that report. and overall, mike flynn's tenure running the intelligence agency went poorly. he was fired by obama from the dia in 2014. one of the unexplained and now sort of worrying things about mike flynn is that after he put out that report in 2013 warning everybody that it was a front for russian intelligence, put out that report in 2013, he was fired in 2014, then when he set out in 2015 to start making money as a private citizen, one of the very first places he went to to get paid was kaspersky, that software company they just warned was a front for russian
intelligence. in 2015 flynn also took money from another russian company, an air cargo company that happens to be linked to a bunch of government scandals. that same year he took money from russia today from russian state-run media. that same year he traveled to russia. he went to moscow on an all expenses paid trip and brought his son and famously sat with and met with vladimir putin. so after getting fired from the defense intelligence agency during the obama administration, why in the following year, why in 2015 did mike flynn take that apparent turn toward russia? for what it's worth in the christopher steel dossier, steel says a kremlin official said he brought mike flynn to moscow as part of a kremlin strategy of engaging with high-profile u.s.
players in the kremlin funding flynn's visit to moscow was viewed as quote successful in terms of perceived outcomes. well, that all expenses paid trip to moscow viewed by the russian government as having successful outcomes in terms of mike flynn was mid december 2015. within weeks after he got home from that trip in february 2016, mike flynn started working for the donald trump campaign. he never had been associated with a political candidate before. mike flynn was then and apparently still is a democrat. what was up with his turn toward russia and trip to russia in late 2015 and then very soon thereafter the start of his involvement with the trump campaign? and then once he was on the trump campaign and part of the operation, why did trump behave so oddly toward flynn?
over and over again in the face of incredible danger to the trump campaign and trump presidency. after trump won the election, and he came to the white house to meet with president obama, you remember that incredible photo op of the two of them sitting there in the oval office, we know in person at that meeting, after the election, president obama one on one man to man, eye to eye with donald trump warned him specifically about mike flynn. he didn't take that action about anybody else involved in the trump campaign or transition or trump administration. he chose at his meeting in the oval office with trump to single out mike flynn as a danger to warn him not to bring him on in any powerful role. trump ignored that specific warning. maybe that's not that weird, right? maybe no matter what obama warned trump about, trump will do the opposite. it's totally possible.
but then what happened next? during that transition mike flynn and his lawyers came to the white house and told the top lawyer for the transition that flynn had been accepting money from foreign governments and beyond that he told the white house, his lawyers told the white house that flynn was under investigation by the justice department for having taken money from foreign governments, for having not registered as a foreigning a get when he did so. that's not something we found out months later after the fact down the road. during the transition, the transition knew about it. congress notified the transition mike flynn appeared to be on a foreign payroll and flynn himself and lawyers told the transition he was a on a former payroll and b, in trouble for it during the investigation and once again, the trump transition appears to have just had no reaction to that information whatsoever. despite the fact when they were in the process of installing him as national security advisor. your national security advisor
is on a foreign payroll. and immediately after the inauguration they got more and intense and unusual warnings when the acting attorney general came to the white house twice to have detailed discussions about the fact mike flynn was believed to be compromised by the russian government, vulnerable to blackmail and dishonest in an on going way about his communications with a foreign government. i mean, if you found out information like that concerning somebody who was working in the white house mill room, you would expect the white house version of a swat team to come in, grab that person by the armpits and you'd never see them again after they ran them out the door, right? in this case, the white house appears to have had no reaction about this warning to mike flynn. they allowed flynn to continue with his dutys including participating in national security discussions at the highest level and briefing the press, sitting in on discussions
with foreign leaders. they kept him on for 18 days, no change in his responsibilities. until finally, the white house -- the washington post reported on that warning that the white house had within gian then, they allowed him to resign and the president praised him to the heavens upon his resignation and the day after flynn resigned, the president went out even further on a limb for him. personally intervening with the director of the fbi to try to get the fbi to drop any investigation into flynn. >> director, when the president requested that you and i quote, let flynn go, general flynn had an unreported contact with the russians, which is an offense and if press accounts are right, there might have been
discrepancies between facts and his fbi testimony. in your estimation was general flynn in serious legal jeopardy. >> at that time he was in legal jeopardy. there was an open fbi criminal investigation with hiss statements with the russian contacts and contacts himselves. >> senator reach outlined a -- i hope you can see your way to letting flynn go. he's a good guy. i hope you can let this go but you also said in your written remarks and i quote that you had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of flynn. >> well, the context and the president's words are what led me to that conclusion. as i said in a statement, i could be wrong but flynn had been forced to resign the day before. on the 14th, the president makes specific reference to that and so that's why i understood him to be saying what he wanted me
to do is drop any investigation connected to flynn's account of his conversations with the russians. >> what was going on between trump and flynn? trump was warned by the out going president, listen, dude, i'm not going to give you too much advice but don't hire that guy flynn. he brushed off that warning. white house was warned therein was on a foreign government's payroll. warned that flynn was under foreign investigation for being on a foreign government's payroll. they were warned he was compromised by russia while serving as national security advisor, brushed off that warning. when flynn was finally, finally allowed to resign upon that becoming public when it became known he was under investigation, the president then intervened with the fbi to try to make that investigation into flynn go away. the fbi director didn't back off the investigation of flynn when the president was pressuring him do that in february but then in
march, the president asked the director of national intelligence dan coats if he would please intervene with the fbi to get them to drop their investigation of mike flynn. what was it about mike flynn. not like the president didn't have reason to believe something shady was up with flynn. i mean, we have had i guess for lack of a better word, we had generic reporting about the president wanting to shut down or trying to shut down parts of the russia investigation. just last night we got a new dramatic instance of that when "the new york times" reported on the president pressuring the senate and specifically the senate intelligence committee, to shut down their russia investigation. we know the president wants to shut down the russia investigation broadly but there has been nothing like the focus lest had on shutting down the investigation into flynn. if you're looking for a point of focus for something the president was trying to stop for months, it was any investigation into flynn. why was trump willing to tolerate and ignore so many red flags and warnings about flynn
and why was he willing to bend over backwards and risk his presidency to stop flynn from being investigated? i mean, in a million different ways, flynn's tenure during the campaign and national security advisor was a consistent magnet for criminal investigation and trouble. he was secretly on another government's payroll in the campaign and transition. he advocated for the extradition of a turkish cleric. he appears to have been paid to advocate for that and intervened to stop the obama administration for funding fighters taking on isis and syria. turkey didn't want that funding. turkey appears to be paying mike flynn when he advocated they shouldn't do that. when flynn advocated a bizarre plan to sprinkle nuclear reactors around the middle east, that idea he promoted in private life but national security advisor, he appears to be paid to promote that cause, as well. flynn was linked by an effort by
protrump political activist to contact russian government hackers to try to get from them stolen hillary clinton e-mails that the trump campaign could use against them. peter smith is the late operative running that operation. he said before he died that he was working with mike flynn on that operation. it's now a matter of not just journalism record but filings that are attested and true during the transition he held secret conversations about undermining and dropping sanctions against russia including the sanctions leveed by the obama administration in response to russia messing with our election. we know thanks to the guilty plea that flynn filed in d.c. district court that he lied to the fbi about those conversations with russian officials and more. why did this guy end up on the trump campaign in the first place? why did he stay there when it started going wrong so badly and blatantli lly early on?
why was the president so desperate to keep him on and save him from scout knee once the white house could determine flynn was trouble? i mean, big picture, where we are right now, we know as a matter of record, russia intervened aggressively in the election to help donald trump. we know elements of the trump campaign knew about that intervention by russia before the american public did and elements of the trump campaign were enthusiastic about the help they were getting from russia and elements of the trump campaign sought further help from russia in the form of negative information they could use against clinton and there were many, many, many, many, like 19 that we know of, many russian officials and russians linked to the putin government who successfully made contact with members of the trump campaign. we know that russia also had an ask, a consistent ask of the trump campaign and the trump transition. they wanted help with sanctions. we know also that members of the
trump campaign and trump transition were happy to talk to russia about helping them out on sanctions and to make them promises in that regard. we now know not only that the trump administration tried to deliver that help, tried to deliver sanctions relief in a unilateral way, stymied in efforts, they had conversations at a very high level with the russian government about their efforts with sanctions relief that they then lied about and tried to cover up including lying to the fbi. we know all of that now and the government has all of that now. we know from their court filings against manafort and gates and flynn, the government has all of that but we know they have also got flynn and "the washington post" reports tonight that flynn started his discussions about cooperating with muller last month and included his lawyers making what is called a proffer to the muller team about what flynn had to offer, the information he could offer prosecutors for them being more
lenient with him. everybody has been talking about what flynn might say, flynn probably said a lot about it. and so here is two concerns for the president and for the vice president. the first for the president is spelled out very clearly in the statement of the offense filed in d.c. district court today. according to the government and flynn's guilty plea he was not freelancing, which for months they lied to cover up. the statement of offense in flynn's case says he was in communication throughout the negotiations with the presidential transition team, specifically with a senior official of the presidential transition team who was at mar-a-lago while flynn was having those. senior official was k.t. mcelderry f mcfarland. her job at mar-a-lago according to nbc news she was staffing the president on national security matters at that time.
well, whoever was directing mike flynn to discuss sanctions secretly with russia would not have been katy mcfarland. she was junior for him. she wasn't for him. she wasn't telling him what to do. according to the nbc news report is staffing the president, handling communication with mike flynn on those matters while he took those calls and she stood next to trump. if those sanctions discussions happened at the direction of the president, the president personally will have to answer not only for the content of the directive but months of false statement since and for the effort to shut down the investigation into those conversations exactly. that is potentially a very serious problem for the president at a personal level. as for the vice president, this is my last point. vice president pence insisted publicly more than once that mike flynn never talked about sanctions with the russians, that was always a face -- always
a false statement. well, now we know that multiple members of the trump transition team knew that it was a false statement when mike pence said it. so why did they let him say it? honestly, what we learned today raises the question as to whether or not mike pence knew that was a false statement when he said it. we can report exclusively tonight that vice president mike pence has not spoken to robert mueller or team of investigators or been asked to and we can report the vice president has not been asked to hand over any documents to the muller investigation. given what just emerged today in federal court, one has to expect he knows that is coming, which means we should all know that is coming. buckle up. you owned your car for four years. you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad.
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we maybe should have seen this coming. in hindsight it seems clear. special counsel robert mueller piled up enough evidence to bring charges to mike flynn. five days later, november 10th, the wall street journal looks into a new previously unreported meeting between flynn and turkish officials during the transition. at this followup meeting, the two sides reportedly discussed a detailed plan to kidnap a turkish clergy residing in the u.s. and whisk him away to turkey in exchange, mike flynn and his son were reportedly to be paid $15 million. so november 10th. the wall street journal reports that robert mueller is looking into that matter. a few days after that, nbc reported that the special counsel is also targeting
flynn's former business partner at his consulting company. in hindsight you see these things stack up about the pressure mounting on therein and things included in the scrutiny with him, you sort of can see these things happening. now you can sort of see like i can maybe tell where this is going at least in hindsight. we probably should have seen it coming before the very next sign arrived, which arrived the night before thanksgiving that next sign was a dollar sign. remember this? the night before thanksgiving, the president's russia lawyer at the white house told us quote, the president is not planning to contribute to mike flynn's legal defense fund. that was probably a sign, too. then two days ago we learned the special counsel had suddenly without warning delayed the planned grand jury testimony of a witness from a p.r. firm that had been fired by flynn in congestion with the turkish contract. if you knew what to look for. if you were a proin this field, there were signs that trump's national security advisor was about to turn up in court.
people who knew this stuff knew it was coming, if not today some time soon. for us, just regular civilians trying to keep track of these things, i feel like what happened today ties up a lot of loose end stories we've been watching and wondering about, wondering if they are important and what they meant. now that flynn is cooperating and entered a guilty plea, a lot of stories about pressure on him start to make sense. but if you're a pro, if you're familiar with this world, if you know how this stuff works in real life, i don't -- one, were you less surprised than the rest of us this happened today but two, are you able to see with any chlarity what is likely to happen next? let's ask a pro. great to have you here, sir, thank you. >> nice to be back. >> were you surprised? >> i wasn't surprised mike within the cross hairs and given apparently the strength of the case he lied to the fbi that he
ultimately ended up pleaing guilty and a lot of things that come out that were quite significant. the first is we have -- as you said at the top of the show, four individuals associated with the campaign and some at very high levels who have now been charged with federal felonies and two of them pled guilty. it's fair to say you can't call this a witch hunt anymore. if it ever could fairly be called that, it's not that. the second thing is that bob muller takes lying to the fbi very seriously. we now have two people who have been prosecuted and plead guilty to lying to the fbi. the third is that jeff sessions recuse l was entirely necessarily not only because bob muller may be taking a look at jeff sessions' own statements to congress but also because all of these people who are being charged had relationships with jeff sessions during the campaign and transition. he was the head of the foreign policy team. it's not fair to say that jeff sessions decision to recuse was in any way the wrong decision. it was exactly right.
next, these things take time. what we know from today and we already knew this from some sally yates' team earlier this year is that when -- is that michael flynn was interviewed by the fbi on january 24th. on january 24th, the fbi knew that he had lied to them because if what's been reported is right, they listened to the phone calls from three weeks earlier so they knew he lied. even so, even with an aggressive talented team of investigators and prosecutors, it takes ten months to get to a place like this and so to the extent that people like ty cobb are saying this will be over by christmas or by january, that's just laughable. this is going to take a long time as this prosecution team goes through the evidence against mike flynn and other people to figure out what charges can and in fact should be brought or what shouldn't be brought. the last thing is i would say that the idea that you can say now the president is not a subject to the investigation is also wrong. if you add up his decision to
fire jim comey and repeated exhortations to comey and cooperation of mike flynn, if you have the draft letter that the president apparently dictated when he was at his golf club in new jersey about why he wanted to fire comey, if you look at the fact that the press reported that the president's lawyers sent to muller's stuff a long memo of why obstruction of justice charges wouldn't be appropriate. if you draw that together, you have to say that bob muller is definitely looking at whether the president and people around him also helped obstruct justice. >> let me ask about one specific point you raised there about when sally yates acting attorney general went to the white house to tell them -- issue them a warning about the current national securitied a vy ed a a white house counsel who was the person who sally yates met with on january 24th saying he's angry that salary yates didn't tell him at that meeting that flynn created a crime and lied
to the fbi and if what you're saying is true, that the fbi would know he lied to them after they had spoken to him, in that first -- in that first week of the trump administration, should sally yates have told the white house that the fbi believed that flynn had lied to them? is she -- was she at liberty to do that given the on going investigation. >> at liberty is one question but whether it's appropriate or not is the right question. i think she made the right call. she waited until the fbi -- she had concerned about flynn before that. they knew he had talked to him. the fbi had come to her with the allegations and said they were investigating mike flynn. the documents filed today report that the fbi had been investigating flynn and contact with the russians and in any situation like that, somebody in sally yates' position, whether she's the deputy attorney general, attorney general at the time has to make a calculations about how you tell about an on going investigation because you don't want to risk compromising
the investigation. i suspect, though, i don't know this because i haven't asked her. the people in the justice deputy want to make sure that the white house knows what it needs to know but also, as a prosecutor and fbi together with her and the agency and prosecutors handling the case don't want to risk compromising. so they waited until the fbi did that interview before she expressed any concerns and two days later went to see don mcelderry began. she went to see him on january 26th. gave these concerns to the white house about those. he said he shared those concerns with the president and the next night, jim comey is invited to the white house for dinner and asked for a pledge of loyalty. >> former u.s. attorney for the state of new jersey. can you stay with me another second? i have another question i want to ask about the fact flynn pled guilty to lying and how that may affect his viability as a witness. >> absolutely. >> we'll be right back. g guy in. the ford year end sales event is here. i can guide you in. no, thanks , santa.
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my truck is something new... it's an 811 truck. when you call 811, i come out to your house and i mark out our gas lines and our electric lines to make sure that you don't hit them when you're digging. 811 is a free service. i'm passionate about it because every time i go on the street i think about my own kids. they're the reason that i want to protect our community and our environment, and if me driving a that truck means that somebody gets to go home safer, then i'll drive it every day of the week. together, we're building a better california. i called him to hold for a second segment because i can. thank you. sorry, i didn't warn you i would ask you to do two segments. >> that's fine. >> everybody is talking about how flynn may be cooperating and testify about other people in the campaign and administration, now that he pled guilty to lying, doesn't that undermine his credibility as a witness on any context going forward from here? >> it certainly detracts from his credibility and also not
fatal. there are a lot of cases that i prosecuted personally that people i supervised and prosecuted in which a witness testified and one of the things the witness said was by the way, in previous testimony or in another context, i lied. what prosecutors like to do is what they do here which is say if i end up being somebody who is going to testify on the witness stand that you lied, we want you to own that in your guilty plea. we want you to plead guilty to that so on the witness stand you can say yes, i lied. it was a felony. i admit it. i am responsible for it but i'm not lying now. that's a typical thing to happen. >> in the statement of the offense today, pros kau to-- prosecutors describe flynn's misstatements. but it doesn't appear to me they charged him with that. they charged him with lying to the fbi and specific things about talking to the russians. why did they mention that stuff about his filing without charging him on that? >> i suspect because it's less relevant to the substance of the
investigation overall. >> okay. >> the things that they actually prosecuted him for, the lies he told were like the russia stuff and israel stuff. the things he was in communication with the guilty plea with members of the president elect's transition team and the far stuff, which happened later is not quite as in the main stream as these allegations are. what is interesting about the plea agreement in the first segment of the show, you were talking about the turkey stuff and money flynn got from the russians and whether it was a failure to register and whether or not there might have been a kidnapping plot. >> it's not in there. >> it doesn't protect him from being prosecuted from that. one of the things e kni noticed plea agreement says you'll plead guilty to a, b or c and in exchange, you won't be prosecuted for everything we know about as of right now. everything you've told us about as of right now. this plea agreement does not say that. it says the only thing they are not going to prosecute for are
the false -- things related to the false statements in the statement of facts that you eluded to and that's a much narrower protection for him. there is is speculation he would come because of risk to his son. there is nothing in the plea agreement about his son. i wonder how this protection for mike flynn is right now in exchange for his cooperation. >> appears to be very, very narrow. quick question briefly in your experience, once an investigation has a big time cooperating witness and everybody knows it, does that change the calculations about people that may be charged in the same case and whether or not they cooperate? >> sure, in any situation, once somebody -- once somebody knows that the government is getting information about him or her from somebody else, then that person has the stakes raised and may say it's time for me to come in. here is the thing, the best deal goes to the people who are first in the door and so people like you said earlier in the show, paul manafort could cooperate. he might. the charges against him are
multi multimillions of dollars. if he comes in, he has to eat that and we'll see whether he's willing to do that or not. >> paul manafort, may be the guy saying -- >> or launder the money to begin with. >> or there is that. >> paul, thank you very much. >> thank you. a lot more to get to on this blockbuster news day with news that continues to develop right now in washington. stay with us. ♪ it's red lobster's new ultimate surf & turf event. get ready
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we're going to have more on mike flynn and his guilty plea today and what it means for the president and vice president in a moment but first, take a look at this. this is a proposed piece of the u.s. tax code. it's a page from the final version of the republican and the final version, an entire clause written in the margin in ineligible chicken scratch. if you listen, you can hear the senate holding the bill up to the light now adjusting reading glasses trying to figure out if that's a d or a p, is this what you kids call it? republicans spent all day doodling in the margins of their federal tax overhaul. making last-minute changes behind closed doors without involvement from democrats and this is what they ended up with. what you're looking at here, this is not a draft. this is parts of the bill they are putting to a vote on the
floor of the united states senate tonight. a 479-page bill that no one has read. a bill that was written partly with a sharpie. a bill that will have major effect on the world's largest economy. we've been expecting mitch mcconnell to bring this to a vote all evening. so far, that's not happened. we're getting reports that republicans are still, still now making last-minute touchups to the bill. nobody knows for certain when the senate will vote on this or actually what they will be voting on when they finally do. this whole thing is supposed to happen to believe the because of the late hour right now, it may not happen until tomorrow. whenever it does happen, though, this bill if you can call it that, it is expected to pass. the only republican senator who said he'll vote no is bob ko corker. every other is expected to vote yes to take billions of dollars from middle class families and shift them to the rich.
the bill is a massive tax increase on the poor and middle class specifically written so americans at the lower end of the economic spectrum will pay more taxes and people at the top will pay much, much less. if the bill becomes law, 13 million people that have health insurance now will have it taken away. for the people that are still able to afford health coverage, your premiums will spike. all along, republicans have been insisting this bill will pay for itself, the economic growth will offset the price tag. turns out the math is off to the tune of a trillion dollars. a fresh report from the taxation just yesterday says the bill will not pay for itself. it will add a trillion dollars to the debt. despite that forecast, senate republicans are expected to approve this plan sometime late tonight then it will go back to the house and matchup their version before sending it off to the president. the bill is wildly unpopular on its substance.
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intelligence investigation before they got to the end of their first year in office? has there ever been a new presidency where four members of the presidential campaign ended up charged with felonies before the end of the new president's first year in office? has there ever been a presidency when the national security advisor or somebody at that level flipped to become a cooperating witness? even before the first year of that new presidency was up? joining us is nbc news presidential historian, a man who tends to know these things. thanks for being with us. >> thank you, rachel. i'll try. >> i have a feeling the answer to all the questions is no. >> i think you're absolutely right. >> i wanted to ask you if you do see anything that would be help -- helpful to us, understanding anything like this. what are you looking to in terms of history for understanding the
magnitude of what happened today? >> really the speed. you know, just as you're saying, we haven't seen a scandal that unfolded so quickly and also, we haven't seen an investigation that was this fast. you know, this is during the first year and this reminds me very much as it has others of john dean at the time of watergate because in the spring of 1973, richard nixon was doing a pretty good job of covering up watergate. it was only because his white house counsel john dean was worried he would be the scapegoat and he decided to cooperate with the investigation and he was the one that was able to go to the senate, go to the prosecutors and say, this is what the president said in private. he is the architect of the coverup. >> when john dean flipped, at that time in the watergate investigation, did everybody know what a big deal that was? did people know he started to cooperate? did people knowed ed in advance kinds of things he would be able
to testify to? how big did it feel? was the reaction to his decision? >> he flipped in april of 1973 and began cooperating with the feds. his testimony was at the end of june. the senate watergate committee hearings and began by saying, it's so memorable. he said before i start, i want to say i hope that the president is forgiven. and there had been some advance notices what he would say would be important but what dean said was, you know, this is ns nois distant scandal distant from an olympian president. this is something that's been run out of the oval office and once more, i'll tell you what nixon said to me and others. >> ondean testijohn dean testif appears that mike flynn's testimony is going to be to the muller investigation to the
special counsel office. i wonder if there is anyway to -- i don't know if there is anyway to look to history or analogy to figure out the import of the testimony if we never hear it. >> yeah, i think that's right and there is a very good chance decades from now we may look back on this day because if mike flynn ties to fences to donald trump or the vice president or people around them, that is something that makes this a very pivotal day, very similar to what we saw with john dean in '73. >> nbc news presidential historian. i've been looking for it all day. thank you. >> i've been looking forward, too. thank you. >> more ahead. stay with us. i saw the change in rich when we moved into the new house.
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and he's to espionage what she is to terrorism, a veteran prosecutor with the justice department and it had been interesting enough when we learned he had been leading the grand jury in the eastern district of virginia into michael flynn when muller took overall matters involving flynn in may, brandon was the only prosecutor from that investigation who muller kept on. he dismissed everybody else, kept the spy guy. so you've got famed terrorism prosecutor, famed espionage prosecutor working with muller for months now. we haven't known where or when they would turn up. look look, the statement of offense signed brandon, l. van kbrks gr.