tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC July 12, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
speech about what he was going to give. >> yeah. >> all the illegal things that were going on. >> barry, i want to ask you, yes, no. do you think there's more out there? >> lord knows. >> lord knows. that's all i've got time for. >> former trump campaign advisor barry bennett, joel thank you guys both. that will wrap things up for me. i'm katy ter. my friend casey hunt picks them up from washington. >> thanks to all of you. christopher ray, the man who would replace james comey today on capitol hill senators got the chance to talk to him face-to-face under oath to pep per him with some tough questions. and this was more than just a job sper view. think about it. he's replacing a person who was fired for in the president's words this russia thing. as you might expect, the latest developments in this russia thing were brought up multiple tiemts. so how did he do? >> i will never allow the fbi's
work to be driven p by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice, period, full stop. my loyalty is to the constitution, to the rule of law, and to the mission of the fbi. and no one asked me for my kind of loyalty oath during any point of this process and i sure as heck didn't offer one. >> if the president asked you to do something unlawful or unethical, what do you say? >> first i would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, i would resign. >> i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavor a witch-hunt? >> i do not consider director mueller to be on a witch-hunt. >> let's get right to it. joining me now is my all star panel, my colleague peter alexander is over at the white house this afternoon where we are awaiting an off-camera briefing from sarah huckabee sanders. darren headache has capitol hill covered. and nbc national security
analyst clint wats is back in knock. he's a former fbi special agent, part of the joint terrorism task force and a senior fellow at the research institute. peter, i'm going to get into that hearing in a second, but first we just got word about what president trump has to say in an interview with cbn. it's some of his first words in days. >> that's right. christian broadcasting network. to air tomorrow, but already we are getting some clue about the conversation. a write through from the christian brofting network. the topics included north korea, his recent meeting with vladimir putin that the president in effect zriebld as productive. here is in part what he says. he says of the conversation they had that i think we got along -- we get along very well and i think that's a good thing. that's not a bad thing. people said, oh, they shouldn't get along well, who are the people that are saying that? i think we get along very very well. notably in this conversation
there appear to at least have been -- there may have been questions about donald trump jr., his son, if so those haven't been released yet. there is a little bit of other news the president made on the topic of health care, highlighting the fact that this has been something that the republicans campaigned on, repeal and replace, something they focused on, that they voted on for years. and he said if this does fail, that he would be very angry. bottom line is he says he thinks it would be very bad, but he did again express some optimism, said that mitch mcconnell is focusing ho it very haefl right now. caseyy. >> peter, it sounds like based on an initial read those comments about putin are going to get some traction on capitol hill. the president has already come under a little bit of fire during that christopher wray hearing. did we hearing anything about that e-mail exchange that donald trump jr. had during in that hearing today? >> there are certainly were questions ho that topic.
he was careful not to engage in it specifically. he was preparing for today's testimony. but lindsey graham did press him on something that related to the latest headlines surrounding donald trump jr. and here is part of that exchange. >> let me ask you this, if i got a call from snb saying 89 russian government wants to help lindsey graham get reelected, they've got dirt on his poept, should i take that meeting? >> well, senator, i'd think you'd want to consult with some good legal advisers before i did that. >> so the answer is should i call the fbi. >> i think it would be wise -- >> you're going to be the director of the fbi, pal. so here is what i want you to tell every politician. if you get a call from somebody suggesting that a foreign government wants to help you by disparaging your opponent, tell us all to call the fbi. >> to the members of this committee, any threat or effort
to interfere with our elections from any nation state or any nonstate actor is the kind of thing the fbi would want to know. >> that was just a short time ago in the course of the several hours that he testified before congress, in effect demonstrating his independence from the president, who nominate him. casey. >> peter, another focus today also, something that stood out to me and i think many others watching, that phrase witch-hunt. the president described the investigation of possible collusion between the trump campaign and russian officials. let's take a look. >> the entire thing has been a witch-hunt and there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign. butic only speak for myself. >> i think the president has to have this two front war, on the one hand keeping his eye on these investigations that have so far produced nothing but a waste of taxpayer dollars.
>> sew that's the white house's take. here is how wray spoended. take a look. >> do you believe that in light of the don junior e-mail and other allegations that this whole thing about trump campaign and russia is a witch-hunt? is that a fair description of what we're all dealing with in america? >> well, senator,a speak to the basis for those comments. ic tell you that my experience with director mueller -- >> i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavor a witch-hunt. >> i do not consider director mueller to be on a witch-hunt. >> garrett, i want to go to you on this since you're up on capitol hill. have you talked to senators who came out of that hearing or others about their reaction to that particular exchange? >> wm, by and large, casey, even the democratic senators were very, very pleased with what they heard from christopher wray today. and in fact, dick durbin mentioned the first part of that exchange that you played, the
back and forth about the donald trump jr. e-mails and essentially defended him for not knowing more about it. democrats i think heard what they wanted to hear out of wray today, just in terms of him going on the record about this not being a witch-hunt, going on the record saying that he would resign if he was asked to do something that he thought to be illegal. they got enough out of them that it sounds like democrats really going up the way up the chain even to the ranking member of that committee, dianne feinstein are pretty much ready to support him. some sound from her coming out of that hearing to talk about this. take a listen. >> well, i'll be very candid with you. i'm going to vote yes. i see him as being a good fbi director. >> do you think you might even have a unanimous vote here today? >> well, the vote won't be today, but i think that we will not have -- i think we can get
this done very quickly, even without the two additional weeks of session this summer. >> so that's the chairman chuck grassley, republican very pleased with how the hearing went. and one little nug get here, part of the reason they have to official sl leave this hearing open, at least until friday, one senator on the committee, ted cruz, did not attend any part of the hearing today. apparently his office says he was in health care meetings all day. they're leaving this moeting technically open so that he can submit questions written for the record. >> sounds like a rare outbreak of bipartisan ship up on capitol hill today. meet, iment to ask you about this, is senators ho both sides of the aisle remarked on how extraordinary this process has been with chris wray, especially considering what happened with jim comey. >> ordinary or extraordinary really. i think the odd thing here is the president's nominee for a job that the president created, the job opening he created by firing james comey, a very unpopular move, this nominee as
you just noted is going to have pretty strong bipartisan support it would seem. incompetent you've pretty well gone over the are basic ground here. the only other thing that i would say that came up during the hearing today of note is he was asked several times about his meetings with the president, because he was interviewed by the deputy attorney general rob rosenstein, the attorney general jeff sessions and the president and others at the white house, and he was asked repeatedly were you ever asked to pledge your loyalty. and he said no, i wasn't, and if i had been asked, i sure as heck wouldn't have done so. so he defended comey's character. he was asked whether he agreed with the president's assessment that he was a nutjob, and he said no, that wasn't his assessment. but on the other hand, casey, he was trying to walk a narrow line, because you had a lot of the republicans asking about comey's handling of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation, in essence kind of saying maybe comey should have been fired, and what christopher wray said today is he would not have done
what james comey did during that news conference a year ago in july in which he said while clinton shouldn't be charged, he was also very strongly critical of her handling of classified information. he said he wouldn't have handled it that way. strong support from mueller saying he'll make sure that mueller gets all the support he needs for the investigation into the russian election meddling, and he also said he had no reason to believe, even though he hasn't gotten any classified briefings yet, no reason to believe that there's anything -- no reason to disagree with the intelligence committee's assessment of the russian hacking. >> pete, you've covered this beat for to many years. what is christopher wray, if he does get confirmed, what is he walking into here with this bureau, moral wise considering the state of things at the justice department. >> well, i think many people in the fbi were very disappointed at how comey was fired, even though some may have disagreed with him. the unceremonyous way it was handled. so they're eager to have some
new leadership. they're eager to have their permanent senate confirmed director in. so they're looking forward to that. on the other hand, chris wray is going to be in a somewhat odd position here, because here else running the fbi, if he's confirmed as we assume he will be, running the fbi in the middle of this very high profile russia investigation, but he won't be the one in charge. the one in charge is robert mueller, who has run the fbi longer than anyone else in history. so christopher wray comes in strangely in kind of a junior are varsity position in that sense. so it's going to be interesting to see how those two navigate that with a much more senior person in essence in a kind of junior position. it will be a novel thing for christopher wray. >> clint, i want to put that same or similar question to you considering you have obviously worked inside those bureau's walls w. what's your sense from stalking to your former colleagues, watching what is
unfolding about where the fbi is today, how christopher wray might change it? and he has deep history with bob mueller and also with jim comey. >> right. it's very interesting. you're really talking about a worl of three fbi directors. you have mueller and comey still there. he'll be walking in as really the junior fbi director in some ways. and there's pluses and minuses to that. one, he'll constantly have to be deal with these questions about other investigations that really he doesn't entirely have control over. and the same point, though, they may give him a window of are opportunity where he's not being pounded on so hardly he can start to set his own direction at the fbi. i think what's most important at this point is that he clearly states his vision for how he wants to gorn and that he tells the fbi, the members of the fbi, i have your back and i'm here to represent and protect you and your best interests as we pursue very independent investigation regardless of the political pressures that are out there. i think that's what the fbi people want is some sort of
certainty, because there's been a lot of attacks launched against them either by the public or by the president himself. >> yeah. we focused quite a bit on the interplay between mueller and wray potentially. i also want to ask you about, it's a relationship that's a little bit more under the radar, but still very critical and that's the one between the fbi director and the attorney general jeff sessions. what do you know about where that stands now and considering what we've heard in public about how the trump administration has interacted with the justice department, what are the risks and challenges for chris wray going into this job? >> he is going to be in a very weird predicament because at certain times with the russia investigation he'll be talking to maybe rosenstein, but at other times he won't be talking to jeff sessions. he'll also have the special counsel that he has to report to. it's a tough position. at the same point there's much more focus on this new administration so going back to criminal, focusing so criminal
investigations. right now we face undid he say precedent and very new emerging cyber national security cases that no one has ever seen before. so he's going to have a lot to catch up on and focus on and he'll have to be managing permits more outside his organization than inside. >> thank you all. we're still waiting for an off-camera white house press briefing with sarah huckabee sanders. we'll bring you any news as we get it. plus, one trump ally describes the situation in the white house to my friends fill rucker and ashley parker at the "washington post" as a category 5 hurricane after news broke hf that meeting between donald trump junior and a kremlin linked lawyer. this as president trump tweeted stowed that the white house is functioning, quote, can perfectly. up next, we'll take a look at a timeline of events leading up to that meeting as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to weigh? zbloop fundamentally americans are supposed to decide american
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wedding reception. he called her a liar and said how can she run. we now know that just a month later, donald trump jr., jared kushner, paul manafort and a russian lawyer met at trump tower. e-mails detailing that meeting now reveal they offered incriminating information about hillary clinton. trump junior replied if it's what you say it is, i love it. let's go back to then candidate trump on the trail starting with what he said just one day before that first e-mail was sent. >> by the way, hillary clinton is missing 30,000 e-mails. they've been deleted. 30,000. i am going to give a major speech on probably monday of next week, is and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the chin tons. i think you're going to find it very informative and very, very interesting. even her former secret service
agent see her under pressure and times of stress has stated she lacks the temperament and integrity to be our president. her server was easily hacked by foreign governments perhaps even by her financial backers in communist china. i'm sure they have it. putting all of america and our citizens in danger, great danger. then there are the 33,000 e-mails she deleted. russia, if you're listening, i hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. i think you will probably be rewarded mightly by our press. >> but the fallout from donald trump junior's e-mails threatens to go beyond the political to potential legal implications. last night he tried to explain why he took the meeting in the first place. >> things were going a million
miles an hour. you know what it's like to be on a campaign. we just won as i understandian a. things were going a million miles an hour again. and hey, wait a minute, i've heard about all these things, but maybe this is something, i should hair them out. >> but even rms at this point are losing patience with the continuing russia story line. >> someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say from the time you saw doctor zbli vague oh until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named bore i say, you list every single one of those. >> and now calls from both sides of the aisle for donald trump jr. to testify. jennifer rogers, executive director. welcome to you both. jennifer, i want to start with you. the president's son is not part of the administration. what are the legal implications for him here? >> well, he's still subject to
criminal law the way that everyone else is. so to the extent that there are statutes that he broke, then he could be held responsible for them. i don't think in this case that this meeting and the e-mails leading up to it in and of themselves are enough for criminal charges or i should just say i don't think the department of adjust would bring such charges, but certainly to the extent that this is kind of the opening salvo in a conspiracy that he joined to help the are russians in meddling the election, he'll be are responsible the way that any person can be responsible. >> robert, you've given a lot of high level legal advice to a lot of people in very important places. what would you be saying to donald trump jr. right now about how to handle this? >> well, to start with, the complete truth. one of the things that harms this administration and any administration is when the facts come kind of are leaking out in a slow drip. and that's happened in this case, and that needs to stop.
>> that makes sense. so, jennifer, i spent the last couple of days talking to republicans about this meeting, and they're pretty split in how far they're willing to go in criticizing the president or defending his son. i want to show you a little bit of what some of them had to say and then we'll talk about it. >> russia is a threat. they're an adversary, hostile actor. so bottom line this russia issue, stuff keeps dripping out day by day and it's going to get worse before it gets better. >> oh, i'm okay with, you know, let's face it, all politics comes down to opposition research, if you will, and i'm sure this is like many others which will turn out to be much ado about nothing. he did the right thing in releasing the e-mail chain. i have no problem with anything i've heard, because it is part of opposition research. >> jennifer, what's your take on that? do you see a legal difference here? >> i see a big difference. i really don't think it's fair
to say that what happened here is just your average collecting of oppo research. i think that when a foreign power who is our adversary comes to someone and says we want to help you in the campaign, that that is something that you immediately call the fbi about. that is not something that you say, sure, let's set it up and go from there. so that to me is a big difference here. whether it makes a legal difference, again, you know, it has to do with what still remains to come out about the meeting, the phone call in advance of the meeting and how it related, if at all, to the broader investigation into russia's interference with the election. but there's a big difference, i think. >> so i want to show you quickly, robert, something that house speaker had to say earlier today at a press conference when i asked him what he would have done if faced with this kind of an invitation. take a look. >> first of all, let me say this. it is absolutely unacceptable that russia or any other country, but russia meddle in our elections. this is period right there.
second, we have a special counsel that's doing an investigation over at justice department. we have an investigation here in the house. we have an investigation in the senate. i think it's very important that these professionals in these committees do their jobs so that we can get to the bottom of all of this. casey. >> mr. speaker, would you accept a meeting with a representative -- >> i'm not going to go into hypotheticals. >> would you accept a meeting with somebody who said i information from a foreign adversary who would help you beat your campaign opponent. >> i'm not going to go into hypotheticals only because i think it's important that we get to the bottom of all of this. as you all know, i supported bob mueller being appointed special counsel. and i think we need to let him and his team and our investigators here do their jobs and follow these leads wherever they may go and follow the facts. >> robert, given p your intelligence background, what would you say to somebody who received an invitation like this, a politician?
>> i'd say immediately call the fbi. what bothers me probably most about junior's responses that there was no instinct that there was something wrong about this. you don't need to be an authority on federal election law to have an instinct that, wait, there's something wrong with my meeting are russians who may or may not be corrected to the kremlin who are talking about bringing in dirt on mrs. clinton. it's just the wrong instringt. >> robert deets, jennifer rogers. i think we're going to have to lee it there. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> up next, more on today's confirms hearing for president trump's pick to replace fired fbi director james comey. we'll talk to someone who personally knows chris way and get her take on how wray would handle the job. stay tuned.
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the russia investigation and the wide range of issues he'll need to contend with on the job. >> my loyalty is to the constitution and to the rule of law. >> if the president asks you to do something unlawful or unethical, what do you say? >> fist i would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, i would resign. >> i'm asking you as the future fbi director, do you consider this endeavor a witch-hunt? >> i do not consider director mueller to be on a witch-hunt. >> do you realize that you're stepping into the role of a director at fbi in one of the most contentious times in the history of american politics. >> as senator nunn said there have been a lot of are contentious times, but i think this one certainly ranks up there. >> for more insight, congresswoman, thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. >> you have worked with mr. wray. the what's your take on how he would handle the job as fbi director? and what's he like as a person?
>> well, you know, i worked at the justice department with chris wray and he was the chief of staff to larry thompson. he was one of the counsel's on larry thompson's staff. and he was the consequence mat chief of staff. he was there to do the work, to be responsible, does not look for the flash and for the light, is really about the grind, really getting the work done. he is a consummate law enforcement officer and has made a life career of that. that's who he is. >> sounds like that may explain some of why so many of your colleagues, democrats, have come out already and said they'll vote for him. and i hope you're forgive me. i want to change gears on you just a little bit because we have some new video of president trump. this is the first time we've seen him in public in several days. he did an interview with cbn. let's take a look and then we'll talk about it on the other side. >> you went to the g20 and you met for the first time
face-to-face with vladimir putin and george bush had once said he stared into his soul and came away satisfied. what do you think? can we trust him? >> well, look, we had a good meeting. i think we had an kplechbt meeting. one thing we did is we have a cease-fire in the major part of syria where there was tremendous killing. and by the way, this is now four days. the cease-fire has held for four days. those cease fires haven't held atel all. that's because president trump and vladimir putin made the deal. maybe as we start speaking they start shooting again. this has held unlike all the other cease-fires that doesn't mean anything. so that was a great thing that came out of that meeting. i think a lot of things came out of that meeting, but i do believe it's important tow a dialogue. and if you don't have a dialogue, it's a lot of problems for our country and for their country. i think we need dialogue with everybody.
>> sure. >> it was a great g20. 20 countries. i got along, i think, really fantastic well the head of every country. >> that assessment from president trump about how the g20 went for him, saying he gets along. but a lot of observers, long-time observers came away from that conference thinking that the president was really a man alone, some calling it the g. 19. what's your take on what the president just had to say? >> well, you know, i think that we have to be extremely cautious with vladimir putin. he has lied at every turn with every president in every administration. and so the fact that he may have -- there may be a cease-fire in syria right now does not mean that he is not behind the scenes doing other things to approximate thwart the efforts of america in the middle east. i think that the president was right in that he has to have a discussion, but i think we need to be very clear i'd about who vladimir putin is and who the russians are. i'm disappointed that the president did not really go into
or take at face value with vladimir putin had to say about their meddling in our elections, and i think that that's something that we're going to have to deal with, that the special prosecutor as well as the fbi, our cia, our intelligence agencies and indeed this administration and congress are going to have to take note of and move forward with. >> congresswoman, in some ways the paradigm has shifted here as this russia story as sun folded. republicans often traditionally russia hawks while sometimes your party has maybe not taken as harsh a stance. and it seems democrats much more willing to say things publicly. what is your sense about where your party is? have they moved? and what's it like behind the scenes in the halls of congress? what is the conversation like? do you feel like republican colleagues that you have that you may run into are a little bit taken aback by any of this? >> when you say taken aback, which breaking news are we talking about right now? >> i mean the story at large.
this is something that has twists and turns that, you know, a lot of us are every minute you have to try and keep up with something new. i'm just trying to get a sense from you of is there a sense that you all can't keep up with it. >> sure. >> or do you feel like you understand where things are? >> i mean, i think that there is -- we are looking to our leadership on both sides of the aisles to really direct us in the messaging and where we're going to be pushing our efforts. but i think, have to say that i think on both sides of the aisle there's a great deal of frustration that we as members cannot get to the business of congress that we have been brought here for. i from the virgin islands am really concerned about economic issues. listen, we have military authorization, reauthorization bill coming on the floor. we're talking about our armed services this week and how do we fund that properly, the mechanisms that are in place. we all have amendments on those issues. and i think every member is concerned with that. i'm grateful that members are still working with each other
across the aisle. this meeting i'm going to be having a working dinner with my sister jennifer gonzales who is the representative of pour toe recobecause we have issues that are in common and we want to support our people, both republican and democrats and i think that's the case with all members of congress. and sink that we're very frustrated by what's happening with the administration, with the russian hack, with the ongoing issues and the lack of transparency. we've heard trump junior say that he's being transparent, but en that that's not in fact true because what he said previously about his interactions with the russians is not in fact now that we learn from our press having been the case. and so i think that members are looking for this to completely be over so that we can get back to the business of legislating and taking care of the constituents that have brought us here. >> congresswoman stacy thanks so much for juror sometime. >> thanks so much for having me.
>> senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is moving full speed ahead on health care. we're expecting it to be released tomorrow morning. this as some senators have been meeting with doctors who are express right leg concern about the current approach to health care. up next, i'll be joined by senator debbie stag now to discuss the republican healthcare plan. stay tuned. then the chronic, widespread pain drained my energy. my doctor said moving more helps ease fibromyalgia pain. she also prescribed lyrica. fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. lyrica is believed to calm these nerves. woman: for some, lyrica can significantly relieve fibromyalgia pain and improve function, so i feel better. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness,
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to you. i do want to bring you one of the highlights, though. a reporter just asked sarah huckabee sanders if president trump had any communication with his son donald trump jr. over the last several days. this is the reporter speaking. and was he involved in helping donald trump jr. craft his statement over the weekend on air force one, as was reported in "the new york times." now, sarah huckabee sanders responded as follows, quote, i'm not sure about specific communications and the nature of those conversations. i know that they've spoken at least some point over the last few days, but beyond that, i don't have any further details. sanders also said when asked if there was a response, not that i am aware of, but i don't know the answer to that, phil. so a little bit of a twist and turn here. we were, of course, trying to figure out if donald trump jr.'s statement had in fact been crafted by the white house. but to change gears, we are just one day away from learning about the senate republicans latest effort to repeal and replace obamacare.
senate majority leader mitch mcconnell planning to replace his updated healthcare bill tomorrow morning. he says he's still planning on holding a vote the following week. the previous plan was opposed by at least nine republican senators you can see them there and one of those senators, rand paul of kentucky doesn't seem very happy even with what's in this new bill. >> so when we looked at the bill a week ago and i said or two weeks ago and i said i couldn't support the bill as it was, is they have now taken the bill and made it worse. they've taken any pretense that this is a repeal bill and they have made it a bill that basically is a spending bill. >> i'm joined now by democratic senator been by stab now, the senior senator there michigan, and doctor john megz, the president of american academy of physicians. one of the major groups opposing the republican plan. senator, i want to start with your reaction to your colleague rand paul's comments just there
saying that he is going to oppose the new version or suggesting that he's going to oppose the new version of this bill. >> well, casey, first of all, it's always great to be with you and to have doctor megz in town. we've had such wonderful support from physicians and nurses and everybody in the health care field. i think what rand paul shows is how difficult it is at this point. he wants something that does, in my opinion, makes it even worse by repealing, taking away more health care, and i'm not sure what he's objecting to. but, you know, this is the dilemma that they have in their caucus. every version i've seen, though, and what i fully expect to see tomorrow is something that still raises costs on families, takes away their health care, and uses the money to pay for tax cuts for the very wealthy. every version they've had is a bad deal for american families. i know it certainly is for people in michigan. >> senator, i've heard some suggestions that there are republicans who have maybe made
for az across the aisle, made phone calls to try to see if there might be a way to move forward in a bipartisan way on health care. have you been on the receiving end of any overtures from your republican colleagues? >> i have. i've talked to colleagues and from my perspective and i know that from other democrats as well, if you take the gutting of medicaid, which funds our nursing homes as well as children and families, if you take that off the table, there's nothing wrong with that system. it's working and actually saving taxpayer dollars, take the tax cuts off the table, and then focus on the insurance end of it where there have been situations wrrl copaying, premiums, are too high, lord pz prescription drug costs are too high, then we can talk. and so that's what i'm interested in doing. that's what democrats want to do, fix the problems, not take away health care for tense of millions of people to pay for a tax cut. >> doctor megz, you wrote a letter to the senator along with other groups urging senators to
oppose this bill. walk me through how you think the republican bill as you've seen it and understand it so far would affect the patients your group treats? >> kris, first, thank you for allowing me to be here today. and i'm here representing over a half a million physicians who collectively do more than a majority of primary care visits in this country. this unprecedented collaboration of physician groups is for a single issue. that single issue is to tell the senate that the senate healthcare bill is flawed, its failed. they must reject it. it cannot pass. we cannot support anything that's going to knowingly and deliberately take insurance away from patients. this proposal, if passed, would cost millions of people their insurance, including the most vulnerable, including medicaid, children, pregnant women, our elderly in the nursing homes and
in long-term care. we just can't stand for something that does that. in addition to that, they have also talked about allowing the states to opt out of the essential health benefits. and if they do that, you're going to be left with plans that basically provide meaningless coverage that do nothing to protect the patients they're supposed to serve. that's just something that we physicians have to stand against. >> doctor megz, this process for the republican plan has been abbreviated, at least during the legislation session, compared to what happened when they passed obamacare back in 2009. what's your sense of how republicans have approached this differently? have they tried to engage the group that you're a part of or not? >> we have not been -- we've tried to engage them. this is our sixth trip to washington this calendar year trying to talk with senators and congress men to let them know our concerns and the concerns we
have for our patients and how patients must be protected. our whole point is coverage for our patients, effective meaningful coverage of essential health benefits. and when you do something in secret and don't share it and don't ask for input, not from physician groups, not from concerned parties, it's just not the appropriate way to do something. >> senator and doctor, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. >> thank you. >> up next, concerns over a popular russian security software prompt the trump administration to take action. we'll bring you the details after the break. stay tuned.
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now, off camera white house press briefing has wrapped up. let's listen to what happened as questions to sarah huckabee sanders got under way. >> president trump had any communication with his son donald trump jr. over the last several days and was he involved in helping donald trump jr. craft his statement to the press over the weekend on air force one as was reported in "the new york times"? >> i'm not sure about specific communications. and the nature of those conversations.
i know that they have spoken at least some point over the last few days but beyond that i don't have any other further details. >> -- a response? >> not that i'm aware of. i don't know the answer to that, phil. >> is that not true? >> i'm telling you, i'm not sure. i don't know the answer. i have to check and let you know. matthew? >> thank you. you opened today by talking about the strong character and integrity of christopher wray. he said during the hearing today he does not consider mueller's probe to be a witch-hunt. neither does rob -- the justice department. why does the president continue to call it a witch-hunt even when they sought that russia was interfering in the election? >> i think the president's position has not changed. >> any reason why? >> the president knows very specifically any action or inaction that he's taken so i think that's pretty clear. >> does that include members of his campaign?
>> look, i think we have been extremely clear. i know don jr. was and discussed at length last night as did the president's personal counsel. the last couple of days. and they have worked through that very detail. if there's been any evidence of collusion in 2016 that's come out at all or been discussed that's actually happened it would be between the dnc and the ukrainian government. i don't often quote "the new york times" but even one of their reporters tweeted earlier today that why this example provides evidence of collusion, quote, cooperation was between dnc officials and officials from the ukrainian government, not just some associate. ukrainian actions was successful unlike anything from don jr.'s e-mails. information passed to the government directly targeted the trump campaign in an attempt to undermine it. the other big news was the dossier that the president's
political opponents funded in december -- and disseminated widely. and the only collusion i have seen and that's certainly been proven would be between those people. >> so just the -- the senate republicans have made to retain all of the tax increases on upper income investment earners and health care ceos and if so why? >> i haven't talked about the specific breakdown of the three things. i think the president has been very clear about his priorities when it comes to the health care legislation. that's what he's focused on and beyond that i haven't gotten into the details with either he or -- >> the increases which the republicans criticized since their enactment fulfill the repeal when they're the tax increases -- of the very law? >> i'm not sure on that specific piece, but the president is fully committed to replacing and
repealing obamacare. >> can he do that without the tax increases? >> i haven't seen those, major. >> -- those who admit or concede contacts with russians. flynn, jared kushner, the attorney general and now don jr. can you explain to us why there's a plague of amnesia that affects all these people associated with the campaign and one country and one country only? >> look, i think if you want to talk about having a relationship with russia, look no further than the clintons. bill clinton u.s. with paid half a million dollars to give a speech to the russian bank. hillary clinton allowed one-fifth of america's uranium reserve -- >> that's not the question.
>> the clinton campaign campaigned and failed to report it. i think if we look at -- >> let's get right to nbc's peter alexander at the white house. break it down for us. what were your on the headlines, take aways from the briefings? >> you heard a couple right there. one of the more notable moments in that briefing a short time ago was pressed about as one of our colleagues as the plague of amnesia that exists in this administration. their inability to remember so many meetings that took place with russian officials or operatives through the course of the campaign. sarah huckabee sanders said when it comes to collusion with russia you should be looking at the clintons. separately on the topic of transparency, sarah huckabee sanders said this white house is being as transparent as humanly possible, trying to push back at the idea that the president has been hiding, that the white house is under siege given the headlines about his son. the white house is functioning perfectly, you heard earlier. and sarah huckabee sanders aid
that the white house behind the scenes that the president has been taking all sorts of meetings on cyber security, on health care, and on trade. that he doesn't have to come out and communicate those to the american people to be working hard on their behalf. there was one notable exchange where i pressed sarah on one particular topic. i asked her about the drip drip drip and how it's undermining the credibility of this administration. she shot back that it was undermining the credibility of the media and i told her that that quote was from the republican congressman trey gowdy saying the drip drip drip was undermining the credibility of this administration and she basically stuck with her previous statement. as for the president, right now remember he leaves later today for france. we'll finally get an opportunity to pose some of the questions to him directly tomorrow when he meets with president emmanuel macron of france. there is as we describe in the business what's called a two and two where each side will make a statement before reporters and then they'll take questions each from two individuals from both the u.s. and from france. >> we have seen that a little
bit before. peter, really quickly i noticed that sarah huckabee sanders said near the top when she was explaining that statement that came out, quote, i think we have been extremely clear. do you feel like they have been extremely clear through this? >> it's clear that they have not been clear on so much of this. not the least of which let's go to the narrative of the moment. which is donald trump jr. the chain being released yesterday, go back to march where the white house was asked about this by "the new york times" and at time, donald trump jr., the eldest son said there was no such meeting. over the weekend on saturday as nbc news as i have confirmed, the president -- some of his aides on board air force one gathered together helping craft the initial as it would turn out incomplete statement that donald trump jr. would put out at the time only it was about russian adoptions. 24 hours they amended the statement and then they released the e-mail chain. in terms of clarity i think it's safe to say they have often not been very clear. kasie? >> peter, thanks so much.
that does it for me this hour. "deadline: white house" with willie geist in for nicolle wallace starts right now. >> good afternoon. it is 4:00 here in new york. i'm willie geist in for nicolle wallace this afternoon as she enjoys some time away. the white house still regrouping after this week's news of donald trump jr.'s meeting with a russian attorney. deputy white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders appearing in an off camera briefing last hour as the president prepares to leave tonight for france. sanders telling reporters trump and his son have spoken recently but once again the president failed to fill in the blanks about his own involvement at large. >> i'm not sure about specific communications. and the nature of those conversations. i know that they have spoken at least some point over the last few days but beyond that i don't have further details. >> president trump did appear for an interview with the christian broadcasting network and he has not touched on the