tv MSNBC Live With Alex Witt MSNBC December 2, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PST
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good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt here at msnbc headquarters in new york. here's what's happening right now. party line the sweeping gop tax bill takes one more step forward after passing through the senate with no democratic support w. le tell you why the fight is not over yet. who's next? nike i michael flynn cuts a deal. the question is the special prosecutor targeting others inside the white house. in peril, putting into perspective all the latest news, reaction and analysis coming up next. we look at air force one, the president getting ready to board there for fundraisers. also, new denial, the president says rex tillerson has never been on the firing line. he says reports are false, the latest on that and the job the secretary of state is doing so far. that's next. but we begin with the breaking news, republicans rejoicing this morning after
overcoming a heed in the race to get a tax bill before the year is out. the president taking to twitter to congratulate leaders, as the ledge lative win for the president as the special counsel russia investigation reaches his most inner circle. the white house now in defensive mode. mike flynn pled guilty to lying to the fbi. the president as we mentioned expected to make his way soon to joint base andrews. he will be in new york for three fund raisers. we are covering two big stories with nbc news' garrett haig at the whole and nbc news' jeff bennett at the white house, garrett,ly start with you t. vote kept senators on the hill into the wee hours of this morning. take a listen. >> reporter: alex, good morning. as far as cast their final votes just before 2:00 this morning, on the biggest rewrite of the u.s. tax code in more than 30 years. this is a bill that will affect every single american if it becomes law. and this morning, that's looking a lot more likely.
days of granting deal making and fiery debate ending overnight victorious for republicans. >> the tax cuts and jobs act as amended is passed. >> reporter: in the leadup to the vote, democrats complain they were given hours to read the 400-plus page final bill. packed with late additions, sometimes scribbled in the margin. >> this is the tax bill. i want you to take a look at this this is your deposit work. >> reporter: on the floor a furious debate. >> this legislation will go down into history as one of the worst most unfair pieces of legislation ever passed. >> this bill is about helping americans for the long term. it's about restoring the american dream. >> reporter: but the result of 51-49 republican victory was largely a foregone conclusion. after previously undecided senators jeff flake and susan collins declared their support
for the bill on friday. >> i do believe that this bill will help to promote economic growth and the creation of jobs. >> reporter: bob corker, the only republican to vote against the bill said phone calls from president trump and negotiations with party leadership could not overcome his concerns about the bill's $1.5 trillion price tag. is this the kind of situation where you hope you were wrong about this bill? >> absolutely. i want good things for our country. >> the next step the house and senate have to hammer out, including how many tax brackets there should be, when corporate tax cuts should take effect and how generous to make the child care tax credit. one last round of negotiations on a bill republicans believe the american economy demands and democrats say it can't possibly afford. this bill has been a huge priority for president trump and he wasted no time congratulating
republican senators for getting it done, tweeting overnight, we
are one step closer to delivering massive tax cuts for working families across america. special thanks, to senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, and/or rin hatch for shepherding our bill through the senate. look forward to a
final bill before christmas. >> that may be an optimistic time line, the house and senate have to hammer out the differences, there is only a few working days left in the senate between now and then. >> okay, garrett, hey, thank you so much for that. let's go onto the white house, nbc news' jeff benefit set there for us, jeff, with a good morning to you. so i understand the president, he's heading to new york, but i know that you got a question at him, didn't you, as he was heading across the south lawn? >> reporter: yeah, alex. good morning to you. i asked him as he was headed to new york city for fund raisers, i had said, mr. president, are you concerned about what michael flynn might tell the special counsel, hess response, a hard fast no i am not.
he said there was no collusion between him or members of his campaign team and the russian government. and then i asked him, alex, i said, do you still stand by michael flynn? his response was, we'll see. i believe we have that. >> we do, indeed, jeff, let's listen to it and take time. >> last night we passed the largest tax cuts in the history of our country and many other things along with it. tremendous tax reform, but it was the biggest package in terms of tax cuts ever passed in our country. now, we go on to conference and something beautiful is going to come out of that mixer. people are going to be very, very happy. they're going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief and that's what this country needs. one other thing, business tax, all the way down from 35 to 20, it could be 22 when it comes out, it could also be 20. we're going to see what ultimately comes out. but we now go into what i call
the mixer. and the mixer is conference. and out of that, the house republicans and the senate republicans are going to pick something that will be truly spectacular. in addition, though, we have other things that we approved last night, which really make it some package, so these are the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country. >> mr. president, can you tell us about michael flynn special counsel. >> no, i'm not. what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. there has been absolutely -- there has been absolutely no collusion. so we're very happy and, frankly, last night was one of the big nights. >> inaudible question ] >> we'll see what happens. thank you all very much. thank you very much. thank you. >> well, we heard it there, you got the money question in there, so does that reflect the mood you think honestly of how things are in the white house? >> reporter: it reflects the
public mood. you heard the president talk at length about taxes. we are told he has focused more on the gop tax plan, less on michael flynn. people privately tell us, alex, this development, this plea deal between flynn and the special counsel is very bad for the trump white house. also that the president was blindsided by the latest development, learning about it in the news yesterday and the other thing worth noteing is that the court documents kind of read like a road map to people higher up in the food chain. as well know, there are very few people at the time who were higher than michael flynn in the trump transition and the campaign. we know nbc news has reported, of course, jared kushner was one of the trump campaign officials at the time who instructed michael flynn to reach out to the then russian ambassador sergei kislyak about one instance, relating to a u.n. security council resolution. there was one between flynn and
kislyak. we understand that before flynn reached out in that instance in 2016, he called trump campaign officials in mar-a-lago and spoke with k.t. mcfarlands. we do know when michael flynn was having these conversations with the russian ambassador, there were trump transition officials who were aware of it and the president will certainly need to answer for that. >> all right. jeff benefit net at the white house, thank you so much for that. what you are seeing there live, marine one landed at andrews air force base. the president will be departing and boarding air force one bound for new york city in a few minutes. we will stay on this picture. a couple areas to go over. we will talk about taxes and the russian investigation. first with taxes, let's bring in heidi pryzbilla, and josh pharaoh, senior editor for business insider. guys, this will probably be short and sweet, a question to each of you. heidi, walk us through what you think it took mitch mcconnell to score this victory, what still
needs to be hashed out within they go to conference. >> reporter: alex, he gave away basically what the senators asked for in terms of senator ron johnson wanting more relief for small businesses, senator susan collins said she got assurances that they will come back and patch up only things on health care. essentially, they added more money to the price tag to bring over some of these reluctant senators. there was one senator that held out on debt concerns and called eight deal. what will happen is it will go to conference and, yes, there are big differences to be worked out with the house, for example on when these rates take effect, like the corporate rate on the state tacks, on the number of brackets, even the most cynical people in the house will tell you they think this will event whole become law. >> before i get to josh, the way this was all done, it was done behind closed doors, there are few that have seen the entire bill, the fact that there were scribbleing in the margins, crossing things out, some things
even in illegible there in the margins, what do you think of that? ? >> reporter: on steroids the things they complained about eight years about the passage of obamacare. actually, alex, if this had gone to extended debate and we had actually seen the full effects of this and looked at their even in-house examination by the joint committee on taxation, which shows that even under growth estimates, that they insisted be a part of the estimate, we'd still have about a $trillion dollars increase in the debt. so they were trying to jam this through. there is no question about it. because they didn't want a real debate on it. >> all right. i want to pick up on the debt with you, josh. i want to play what senator bob corker told him about his decision to vote against the bill. here it is. >> it just came down to sort of the bump up between fiscal issues and my concern about the, you know the long-term debt. i do think a lot of people believe the growth is going to
overcome. i hope it does for the good of our country. and it could well do so. just based on the information i have today, it doesn't lead towards that end. but we'll see. >> josh, what happened to the deficit hawks? >> reporter: it's very strange the way bob corker reacted to this joint committee on taxation report that came out that said the bill would grow the debt by a trillion dollars, basically said you could have pediatric what happened the report will say. the joint committee has done estimates of previous bills and they don't find ridiculous things like the enormous tax bates pay for themselves. they say it will be somewhat positive but not nearly positive enough to offset the 1.5 trillion tax cut that will caught the debt to grow t. thing is mitch mcconnell is out there this morning saying he is confident it's a revenue neutral bill. the republican, some decided they will stick with the strategy of guessing, guessing in a way that's favorable to
them, gee, we think it will grow the economy so much it won't grow the deficit at all. bob corker seems in the ends very bothered by it. >> how does mcconnell rec same that with these independent studies that say this is not necessarily revenue neutral. revenue growing is really a reach. >> reporter: in two ways. the economy is hard to predict when you get these predictions, they give you a point estimate. they say we think it will grow the economy by .8 of a point. there is huge uncertainty in other directions. there are economic events over the next few years, it will be impossible to say what caused it to grow over the next several years. i'm sure if the estimates the rosie estimates are under performed the republicans will say, oh, there were other world events that caused the economic projections to under perform. you can never fully prove or disprove a claim about what a specific piece of legislation ought to do to the economy. it allows people to say what they are saying. >> it's good to see you both.
thank you both so much. let's get reaction to michael flynn plea deal, joining me now, elizabeth holtzman acclaimed for her role during the watergaethje, john morrow, former prosecutor with a welcome. good morning to you both in studio. what do you make of this development in the russian investigation? >> well, it's a big deal, it's not totally unexpected because we had some intmation last week that there was going to be that flynn -- when they stop talking, when the flynn people stopped talking to the white house that something was happening, that flynn was cooperating. but it's still a very big deal because you have someone close to the president who has now pleaded guilty of committing a crime. this is a law and order administration and flynn was extremely close to the president. the other thing that's a take away here. of course the white house is lying again about this. they say, well, the flynn guilty plea doesn't implicate anyone
else, but in the court proceeding that morning it showed, yes, there were others who directed flynn to do what he did and who knew about it. >> that, so, number one statement that it doesn't implicate anybody else is a lie t. third thing from my perspective is that this is a red zone for the president. because there is no question that the president, not just his closeness to flynn but that he was following this very carefully. i want to go back to water gate, if i can. >> sure. >> one of the thing i learned, to know it from the beginning of the house judiciary investigation, but the white house tapes ultimately showed that president richard nixon orchestrated the criminal activity. the coverup from the get-go, personally orchestrated. he didn't delegate it to anybody else. he gave the orders. and i think what we are
beginning to see now is a very closeness of trump, himself, to the actions. remember, one of the things that flynn is being, pleaded guilty to, was telling the russian ambassador, don't overreact to the sanctions. basically, suggesting that if and when we become, when we take officer on january, those sanctions will be removed. that's the implication of. that right after that phone call,ion how many hours, a few hours after that, trump tweets, putin, because putin didn't react, putin's very smart. he didn't react. so it's clear that trump is following this like a hawk, suggesting that he is totally involved in what flynn's conversations are with the russians. >> which means are you echoing the sentiment that general mccaffrey told me in the last half hour, there is no way the
head of the national security agency would not have an open door pipeline any time day or night, that he would be telling the president exactly what was going on. >> right. but we have seen evidence of that and not only a one-way street but the suggestion that it's a two-way street. it's not just that flynn is reporting to trump. but that trump is reacting to that and is accepting that and is following through on that so that it's clear that flynn is not rogue when he's telling the russians, don't overreact. >> and you take from the trump tweet about vladimir putin as being the proof of part and parcel here? >> we can go a little further on when he rewrote, remember the meilutyting that donald trump jr. had with the russian lawyer and other people in the campaign. >> june 2016, right? >> donald trump sr., the president, re-wrote the press release to make clear that -- which was a lie, to cover up the
nature of that meeting. so we know from at least these two instances really close involvement of the president of the united states and these actions by flynn. and the russian investigation. >> from a legal perspective, john, we got a few points to look over here, first of all, michael flynn leaves no bail whatsoever, which is unique t. fact is that his son was not named in any charging documents. we know that was something he may have been concerned about, given his son's, you know, being with him and present with a lot of things with regard to russia. he faces just one charge of lying to the fbi. >> exactly. >> so put all this toke, how are you interpreting there? >> he got an amazing sweet heart deal. >> because? >> he had to offer something. that itself the million dollar question. now the prosecutorial theory here is not talking to the russians. >> that itself not a crime. it's obstruction of justice and lying, that's what mueller is focusing on. flynn is going to come in. he has to spill his guts. his life is now an open book.
they're going to drill down on why he lied. did anybody tell him to lie? did anybody know he was going to lie? was there anybody else who was aware of lies to investigators? fbi agents? that's where this is going. that's really the similarity to watergate. it's the obstruction case the special prosecutor is going to make. >> that is what sent down president nixon. >> correct. the point is nixon was orchestrating those lies, that effort to obstruct from the get-dpochlt that's all i'm saying. the president didn't happen by rogue people. the president, himself, was orchestrating the coverup. that's the danger here, because trump is in the red zone now t. red lights are flashing. if he was involved and he was knowledgeable as we just said, if he was aware of lies, failed to correct them or instructed lies to the fbi, then he's in deep trouble there okay. elizabeth holtzman, i know have you got to depart. thank you so much. we will see you in a few minutes. thank you both. coming up, we got ideas on
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there has been absolutely no collusion. so we're very happy and, frankly, last night was one of the big nights. >> inaudible question ]. >> do you stand by michael flynn? >> we'll see what happens. >> president trump giving his first reaction to the guilty plea by his former adviser. it was way too short guys last time. josh i will start with you this time. does that really reflect the mood at the white house and how the president is processing all of this? what do you think? >> reporter: i mean i rather doubt it. what's in the flynn indictment itself is not that alarming. it's for lying to the fbich but that's what he's pleading to. the previous guest noted the fact that he was allowed to plea to something so minor suggests he was offering something up fairly major to the prosecutors. there was a story in politico how the white house freaked out because mueller's team doesn't leak. they didn't know this was
coming, the george papadopoulos was coming t. people around trump assumes everybody operates like them and if mueller's people had something interesting, it would have leaked out to the press. i think that's not true. they won't necessarily know what he has and is working on. they ought to be very nervous. >> that said, this weird aspect ty cobb one of the lawyers in the white house has been saying publicly and seems to mean it and saying this for the president as well, that he expects the probe will wrap up by the end of the year and flynn and manafort will be in trouble, but that none of this is going to touch the president. he will be exonerated soon. so that i think is an unreasonable thing to expect. i think it's something the president at one point was convinced of. i have to imagine it will don on him that's not true and he will be pretty upset. >> heidi i want to replay for you general mccaffrey said about the significance of this plea deem. here it is. >> i have been in and out of three administrations in the white house and dealt directly
with national security advisers. it is my personal opinion, not based on evidence, that there is no way that every aspect of his contacts with the russians, he wasn't directly communicating to the president of the united states. >> what's your reaction to all this heidi? is this what we should reflect flynn to reveal to mueller's team? >> reporter: look, mueller spared flynn several years in jail and he did it not because he's being a nice guy. he did it because there is somebody higher up in the food chain who knew something and was directing all of this. what we know is that why trump was so nervous, why was trump so nervous about having this investigation about flynn specifically dropped? well, we know that flynn was in regular contact with the russians and with trump dating back to about april of 2015. so it is highly unusual like the general says, that flynn would be down during this period at
mar-a-lago and have the -- be freelancing essentially and not have the entire transition team or at least the officials up high knowing about what he was doing. so the question is, who are those other people? i doubt it's just k.t. mcfarlane, so who are the other high up people? it leaves three people the president the vice president and jared kushner. when the vice president, for example, came out and said that he was misled by flynn, is that true? did the vice president who was heading the transition really know nothing about what was going on? did jared kushner, who we know tried to set up a back channel with the russians really not know that flynn was essentially trying to cut some kind of deal to cuss the russians down about the sanctions and say, hey, don't worry about it. we'll take care of this later. then the president, himself, that he would be in both places. both at trump tower when you had
this major meeting and down at mar-a-lago when all of this was being orchestrated and the president, himself, didn't know about it. so there is the obstruction case. then there is also the collusion case and was there anything quote/unquote of value traded after the russians try id to interfere in our election? was that in the form of sanctions? or something on the side in terms of business deals? those are all the questions out there. >> is this a pr deal, collusion, is there no collusion, he says there is no collusion, at this point there is no evidence of collusion. you heard elizabeth holtzman that helped prosecute nixon, she says it's all about obstruction of justice now. >> reporter: i think an interesting aspect of the flynn plea is it all relates to
behavior, after the election, nothing has to do with pre-election collusion. you would think if the white house had been above board, they could have talked about improving relations, to work together on isis, they kept lying ab it. why did flynn get fired so quickly into the administration and an administration that usually lets people fester for a long time t. president doesn't fire anyone for pre tlethree we. there had to be something in february. >> michael flynn's conversations with that ambassador matters so much t. flynn plea deal asks, next? the "time's" says well, well, well, we know why the president went to shield michael flynn. it states the russia affair just
but we're only as strong as our community. who inspires and pushes us to go further than we could ever go alone. sofi. get there sooner. and i am a senior public safety my namspecialist for pg&e. my job is to help educate our first responders on how to deal with natural gas and electric emergencies. everyday when we go to work we want everyone to work safely and come home safely. i live right here in auburn, i absolutely love this community. once i moved here i didn't want to live anywhere else. i love that people in this community are willing to come together to make a difference for other people's lives. together, we're building a better california. . >> new details on the mike flynn details. several reports say he was caught off guard, literally blindsided yesterday. congressman quickly, a former
rather member of the house intel committee is making this prediction. >> my concern today, number one, that this is going to panic the white house and they're going to enhance their existing efforts to investigations that are taking place or at least impair them. >> let's bring in natasha bertram and john morrow, former special prosecutor. you heard him, it will cause panic in the white house. what are you hearing? >> it really should not come to a huge surprise to the white house. flynn's team cut off contact with the president's team weeks ago. it has been very clear that flynn was laying low under the radar. we didn't know anything about him. he has been cooperating with federal investigators. it's starting to shed light on why the president tried so hard in february to get james comey to lay off michael flynn. you know the white house has every reason to be alarmed now,
michael flynn has pleaded guilty to something so minor in exchange potentially for something major that he might give to prosecutors about trump. or members of trump's inner circle. >> so, john what do you think the mueller team is more interested in now, the fact that you had interaction the trump team interfering potentially with foreign policy before the administration literally took over on the 20th of january or the fact there was lying about it? >> they put aside the questions of discussions with russia, what they're focusing on are people that have come in, spoken to investigators and have lied. the question i have with respect to mike flynn is why did he lie? he didn't have to. he could have been honest and transparent and said, of course, i talk to the russians, so what. >> if you have a client, why do they do this? >> let me say this, i represented a general in high ranking military officials telling the truth and integrity is paramount to them. there had to be some higher purpose that he felt in terms of why he lied.
not just for personal reasons, but for some other very, very significant reason. i have to believe that. >> so, natasha, where do you see flynn taking this investigation right now? do you think there are things that flynn can give him which helps to make on obstruction case? >> it's important to not view this entire episode in a vacuum, you have to look at russia's interference to help the campaign. flynn was basically trump's right-hand man. he was really working you know in the campaign at a very high level. so he probably has a lot of information about the inner workings of the trump campaign and whether or not they colluded with the russians. he probably has a lot of information about jared kushner, too, if you recall, they met with sergei kislyak at trump tower on december 1st, where kushner allegedly proposed this back channel plan to moscow that has since come under scrutiny by
federal investigators. so whether or not jared kushner has told the entire truth about why he wanted to set up that back channel. there has been talk that there was perhaps an effort to coordinate more with russia and terrorism and kushner's spin on it. flynn may have more perspective. then, of course, she probably going to tell the truth about whether or not trump knew or even directed him to talk to sergei kislyak about the sanctions issue. >> so are you certain as you look at mueller, that he is holding back more potential information? unequiffally? >> certainly. >> so if that's the case, does he then leave room to bring more charges against flynn if there were a presidential pardon? that would be a pardon on this one lying, this one charge at this point? could there be more afterwards? >> his plea agreement immunizes
him from anything else. what they will be looking at is whether or not somebody has lied to an investigator. that's really critical. they're going to look at all of the public statements, everybody in the administration, including the president is making, what's clear now, what mueller wants to do is bring an obstruction of justice case. that's the theory of his investigation. >> okay. a lot more to come. that's for sure, we will see you both again, thank you so much so the latest get out the vote effort in alabama now just ten days to go before that senate election. we got a lot to put on that next. nice man cave! nacho? [ train whistle blows ] what?! -stop it! -mm-hmm. we've been saving a lot of money ever since we switched to progressive. this bar is legit. and now we get an even bigger discount from bundling home and auto. i can get used to this. it might take a minute. -swing and a miss! -slam dunk! touchdown! together: sports!
the senate race in alabama now, neck and neck, the electric split over sexual behavior over republican roy moore. democrat doug jones feel they may be a deal breaker and msnbc vaughan hillier joins us, a good saturday morning, pretty heavy campaigning under way. we have about ten days until this special election, what's going on? >> reporter: good morning. we are ten days, a little over a week, we're down to the fact we don't know where this race is going. doug jones was on the campaign trail. we were at a fish fry down the road in montgomery, roy moore on the other hand nowhere to be found. he had no campaign event yesterday, no campaign events scheduled this weekend. nothing in the near future we are aware of at this point. it comes down to looking at
these two campaigns. you got the democrats who raised $10.5 million dating back to october. his opponent the rub raised $1.8 million. doug jones, he has a campaign operation, canvassing telephone banking across the state, roy moore on the other hand doesn't even have a campaign office where anybody can go into. er that calling this an organic campaign at this point. we were out on the campus of the university of badge bam birmingham yesterday talking with students, because not only is doug jones going to have to get republican crossover voters. he is going to have to turn out young people. black voters, we were talking with many of these students on the campus, there was such a fluuateing scope. we have been here now three-and-a-half weeks. the other thing i want to note, there was an interesting comment last night by dug jones at the fish fry. i asked him, how will you pull
this off? the other senator from alabama who told nbc he wrote in a distinguished republican's name, not roy moore, it was interesting to hear doug jones say others should follow his lead in not voting or writing in a candidate. he didn't explicitly say, vote for me, just don't vote for roy moore, whether that works in the long run, december 12th is our day to find out. >> can i ask you? an extraordinary difference in the fundraising. to what do you attribute that, ultimately? >> reporter: well, roy moore lost his operating apparatus, the nrc is not behind him. he has a staff of six here on the ground, republicans, even in alabama are hesitant. you compare that to doug jones, there is national fervor, democrats are looking for a victory, where will they send their money? they will send it here. republicans by and large are not going to send it to an alleged pedophile. >> thank you so much. coming up at the top of the
hour on "am joy" joy will talk about the chickens coming home to roost from mike pam flynn. -- michael flynn. -- michael flynn. m flynn. -- michael flynn. flynn. -- michael flynn. flynn. -- michael flynn. lynn. -- michael flynn. ynn. -- michael flynn. nn. -- michael flynn. . -- michael flynn. . -- michael flynn. -- michael flynn. - michael flynn. michael flynn. michael flynn. michael flynn.michael fly. . . . and we'll donate two hundred fifty dollars more. (victoria) ♪ put a little love in your heart. ♪
republicans and the -- >> all right, a tale of two political dramas for the president t. best of times after a major legislative win as he passed the gop tax bill via the senate 51-49. also potentially the worst of times of times in the russia investigation with michael flynn pleading to one count of lying to the fbi. joining me now is jonathon alter, and tara setmeyer. welcome and good morning to you both. tara, i'll reach out to you first. assess the president's day. overall bad because of the flynn news or overall good because of the tax plan win? >> yes, i think some would try to categorize it that way it would seem that the flynn newsovnew s overshadows what is being done with the tax bill. and the gop has not done a good job selling the tax bill for middle class families.
they're behind the curve on this. they have been on the messaging for quite some time. there's some good things in the packs bill but also a lot of bad things. it looks like the ugly swampiness of washington that the trump administration claim that they would drain. >> your reaction to the same question, good day or bad day? >> i think it's a bad day for him overall even though they had to have this win. otherwise they didn't have a party. moving forward, the flynn news opens a whole new can of worms. maybe 5 or 10 cans of worms on that story. and the tax bill is kind of a ticking time bomb politically for the republicans. it's going to be very hard for them next year to go out and defend a vote on the campaign trail that is reverse robin hood that takes all kinds of money from middle class and poor people and shoves it at people who are enormously wealthy. that's what this bill does. i don't see how they can reverse
that take on this bill. also they will never be able to say again for the rest of their political careers that they're deficit hawks. this adds by nonpartisan estimates $1 trillion to our national debt. they cannot say, oh, we care about the debt and the deficit. they can never say that again. in that sense this is a watershed moment. >> that's been so confounding. the deficit hawks, where have they gone? >> the president, as you heard earlier, he came out on the south lawn and said there's no collusion, no collusion. this in response to ra questia asked by jeff bennett there. is the president emphasizing the wrong syllable or is this a pr thing? collusion may be different than obstruction of justice? we had somebody say obstruction of justice is what she's
focusing on. >> sure. of course there's a pr battle going on here. the administration, this is bad for them. michael flynn flipping is very concerning for people in the white house. they know it. for the president to come out and say that, he has to put a spin on this. he has to continue to tell his constituents out there, his base, oh, there's nothing here. this is a nothing burger. that's not the case at all. it's very serious. michael flynn has been with the president from day one almost. right at his side what michael flynn is accused of doing, pretty serious things concerning his contacts with the russians and lying about that at a time where everyone was wondering what is going on with the trump administration or trump campaign. this is a nothing burger, this is concerning. to get a deal that flynn did, pleading only guilty to one charge and leaving open the
possibility of charging him with other things, means he must have given up serious information in his proffer for robert mueller to go this easy on him. he's a wealth of information. surely trump can continue to do that. collusion, they can focus on that part, but the obstruction of justice aspect, concerning james comey, firing him, asking him to go easy on flynn, bragging to the russians in the oval office the next day about how this weight of the russian investigation is off his back, go to senators, intelligence committees, these are all a concerning pattern. if there is nothing there, this is not the behavior of someone who has nothing to hide. >> the president said there was no collusion, there was no collusion. usually with this president, if he says something didn't happen, it's a good bet that something did. there's been a lot of talk this morning about obstruction of justice which is a threat to jared kushner and now possibly
to the president as well. there's also something called the logan ability. the logan act is a very old bill. >> i think 1799. >> right. over 100 years old. so the point of that bill was that you were not allowed, if you were not president, you were in the allowed to conduct foreign policy of the united states. and what they did in november and december and early january, when donald trump was not yet president, he had been elected, but he was not yet president, it's now becoming clear that he was undermining president obama's foreign policy, vis-a-vis the russians. obama imposed sanctions, and the trump people, quite clear now, they were saying to the russians, don't worry about that. that is a -- on its face, that's a very serious and clear violation of this legislation. that's old, but it's still a law. >> they have not been
prosecuted. >> they haven't. the law is still on the books. there can be an education process in this country to show this is quasitreasonous activity. that's why the law is on the books. you don't do that to the president of the united states. we only have one president at a time. they violated that clearly. and we'll have a great national debate now on that violation. >> the logan act may be something that becomes part of the american vernacular. we have to wrap it there. good to see you both. thank you. >> thank you. dan rather will join me at noon eastern tomorrow to talk about the latest developments in the russia probe. at 1:00, tina brown will talk about her new book, "the "vanity fair" diaries." did or interviews tomorrow. (♪)
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i'll see you again at noon eastern, right now it's time for "am joy" with joy reid. >> on this vote, the yeas are 51, the nays are 49. the tax cuts and jobs act as amended is passed. good morning. welcome to "am joy." there's a reason why republicans, many of whom did not want donald trump to be their presidential nominee dutifully