tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 24, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PDT
nick con if he sorry. >> thank you very much, i am chris jansing in today for craig melvin live in washington, d.c. we are following that breaking news any moment now, jared kushner scheduled to give a statement from the white house after just exiting that closed-door meeting with investigators who are working for the senate intelligence committee. >> jared, how did the testimony go? are you confident? >> jared, how did it go? >> did you answer all of the questions, sir? >> yes, i have. >> answered as many questions as they had, he said. this is the first of two days of closed-door questioning for kushner. but clearly his strategy was to get out ahead of all of this. get his message out first. he puts out an 11-page statement early this morning in which the president's son-in-law denies collusion. he did acknowledge a fourth meeting with the russian, and he
details his side of the story about the controversial june 9th meeting with a russian lawyer. let's start with nbc's kristen welker, who is at the white house. garrett haik on capitol hill. we were listening to nick con if he sorry on andrea's show saying how unusual it is to have the seal of the white house outside there on a podium like that, something i certainly never saw in the time i covered the white house. describe the mood, describe what we're expecting here. >> reporter: well, a lot of anticipation, chris, as we await jared kushner. as you point out, this is a unique setting for him to make this type of a statement. what's called the sticks area. this is typically where we hear from officials after they have met with the president. sometimes we hear from interest groups. for example, when he meets with the heads of health care companies, they would come and we shout questions at them after they make remarks. as you can see, there are a crush of reporters here from all the different news outlets, waiting to hear from jared kushner.
and we anticipate he will echo what he told staff members at the senate intelligence committee, which is that he said he didn't collude with russia and he has nothing to hide. and, of course, he gave more details about those meetings that he had with russian officials, including that meeting with donald trump jr., which you just referenced. he said he didn't know what the meeting was about when he went and when he arrived, he didn't feel it was very useful so he left after about ten minutes. let me read you part of his prepared statement, chris. he says, "that e-mail, meaning the e-mail from donald trump jr., was on top of a long back and forth that i did not read at the time. i arrived at the meeting a little late. when i got there, the person who has since been identified as a russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on u.s. adoptions of russian children. i had no idea why that topic was being raised, and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting. no part of the meeting i attended included anything about the campaign. there was no followup to the
meeting that i am aware. i do not recall how many people were there or their names, and i have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted. no "what is significant about this, he didn't know what the meeting was about, and yet the e-mail forwarded to him had a subject line, "clinton-russia confidential." so it begs to reason he had some inclination there was going to be some talk of hillary clinton, of the campaign. we'll try to ask him about that when he steps before the podium. and a couple other points that have raised eyebrows, chris. namely he said he didn't try to set up a back channel with russia, as has been previously reported. and yet he does acknowledge that he did want to have a way of communicating with russia about u.s. policy towards syria. so there are a whole host of issues that we'll get to drill down on with him, if he takes our questions, chris. and that's a big if. because he is set to appear before the house intelligence committee tomorrow, and i am
being told he likely may make a statement, and then not answer our questions today, chris. >> all right, kristen, be stand by. thank you. i want to go to garrett. garrett, i want to get a sense from you. what happened today. what are we expecting then tomorrow. and a lot of people have questions about what it means to be under oath, not under oath. tell us what happened there. >> reporter: sure, chris. so we saw -- i think what we saw today was a very tightly organized defense of a very poorly organized campaign in transition. you saw that statement from jared kushner out this morning, really set the tone. and then every time we saw him coming in and out of that meeting, he was all smiles, talking about how good the meeting went. keeping his head up. staying very much on message for what he wants to say today. i think kristen is probably right. i think you'll probably hear a statement and not questions when he gets back to the white house. as for what happened today, he spent about two hours behind closed doors with staff members of the senate intel committee. about a half dozen people, i'm told. none of the senators present. and kushner was not put under
oath for this. that's common. but it is a crime to lie to congress. so it's not as though he could sort of talk out of school without, you know, possible consequences here. but he's not formally put under oath, like you would see if he appeared at a full open committee hearing or a closed committee hearing. tomorrow it will be more like what we have seen on television lately with these open hearings behind closed doors with the house intelligence committee. he will meet with actual members of the committee, not just staff. so you can expect that those questions might be a little bit more pointed, a little bit more politically tinged, and less sort of the broad fact-finding kind of effort that you would see from the very well-trained staff of these intel committees. and tomorrow the after effects will be different too, because kushner himself won't have the space, if you will, to control the narrative of what happened in that meeting. because you'll have these house members who will likely be eager to come out and talk about
whatever they want to talk about that isn't classified. so unlike today, we'll hear maybe both sides of the story. where as it appears today mr. kushner's narrative will last until at least this evening when maybe we'll hear from some of the senior members of the intel committee. >> let's talk about jared kushner's strategy here. i was looking at the very first page of this 11-page statement and one of the sentences is, "i am not a person who has sought the spotlight." true. a lot of people, frankly, have never even heard him speak. he isn't someone who has gone out and made statements before. to put out this 11-page statement, to decide that he's going to come out and take questions and i was at the white house with you this morning, a lot of us were having an internal debate when we heard rumblings he might make a statement. would he who has so studiously avoided the spotlight go and make a statement, would he answer questions. what do we know about his strategy here? >> reporter: well, i think that's what makes this moment so remarkable, chris. you hit the nail on the head. we really haven't seen or heard a whole lot from jared kushner.
he has at moments held briefings with reporters. they are typically off-camera. he is someone who has sort of been behind the radar. and yet he's also been referred to as the secretary of everything, because he works on foreign policy and a whole range of other issues here at the white house. and, of course, he's one of the president's closest advisers. i think the strategy today is to try to appear transparent. of course, a number of these meetings, he didn't initially disclose as a part of his security clearance form. he addresses that in his written statement. he says, look, that was the mistake of one of his assistants who thought that the forms had been completely filled out, and they weren't. so i think he wants to really try to do things differently. he wants to be as transparent as possible to get ahead of the narrative that, look, he's appearing behind closed doors today with the house, or with the senate intelligence committee members. and tomorrow will be behind closed doors, as well. this is his attempt to address
the public, if you will, and answer some of the questions that so many people have about some of his interactions with russian officials, which weren't initially disclosed, chris. >> i also want to bring in ned price, here with me, former spokesman and national and senior director at the national security council under president obama. and you and i were talking earlier, trying to find something that had this kind of drama, frankly, during the obama administration. very different set of circumstances in public, but maybe it was hillary clinton when she went before the committee, talked about benghazi. there were some critical moments there for her. but what are you looking for here, and what do you think happened inside that room? >> well, chris, i think the fact that we couldn't come up with an approximate example to what we have seen so far in the first six months of the trump administration speaks to the level of drama that has existed in this administration that has not in the trump administration. look, this is a very important day for jared kushner. he went before congress for the first time to speak about this. he wasn't under oath, but as your correspondents have noted, lying to congress remains a crime, whether you're under oath
or not. and so i think what jared kushner will need to do today is to explain his defense, and perhaps put a little more meat on the bones. because as i read that 11 pages, the take-away that i -- that came to me was that his defense was that, look, i was naive, i was inexperienced and i was unprepared for this job. that may be the defense that mr. kushner needs to make. but it's not a sufficient defense in order to forestall any criminal liability or the accusations that he's faced. >> but what he also said, particularly about this meeting with don trump junior, is that it was kind of unusual for them to sort of go in and out of each other's meetings. he didn't look often either at the subject line, although as kristen pointed out, the subject line was "russia-clinton private confidential", he didn't psychologicscroll down and tried to get out when he realized it was something
else. is this a big problem do you think, or does it raise more questions? >> it certainly raises more questions. and i think there are additional questions about that meeting, the answers to which we don't yet have. but jared kushner said something very interesting in his 11-page statement. he said i received up to 200 e-mails a day during my time on the campaign. and i think as reporters, as well as people who have served in the white house will testify to, 200 e-mails a day -- >> is not that many? >> is not that many. especially when the e-mail subject line was so explicit. so i understand mr. kushner's defense on this. but i think this is another area that just doesn't hold water when you look at it through that lens. >> what are you looking for from him? if there was a question -- if you were in that room today, or if you -- if he decides to take questions, what's your question? >> i would ask him why the repeated efforts to obscure these meetings publicly. he has spoken in his 11-page document this morning to the
fact that the meetings with russians were promptly amended on his security clearance form, making the i think somewhat egregious claim that the fbi actually encourages and invites supplements to the sf-86, which i have never found to be the case as a career professional. but i would ask, why then the trump campaign and later the trump administration went to such great lengths to obscure these meetings publicly. for months and months, until very recently, in fact. the trump white house and prior to that the transition team said there were no meetings with russians. there were no meetings that weren't disclosed. and lo and behold, in the past couple weeks alone, we have learned of this meeting in june, we have learned of additional discussions between jeff sessions and ambassador kissly ack, jared kushner in his statement today spoke about a meeting at the may flower hotel that had not been disclosed. this all adds up to the fact that the campaign, transition and now the white house was trying to hide this from public view for so long. and my question would be why.
>> i also want to bring in michael mcfaul, former u.s. ambassador to russia. always good to see you, ambassador. so when you look at this statement, i thought one of the striking things was his description of his meetings with the russian ambassador, sergei kisliak, and he said i hoped to arrange the speech by then candidate trump, i met with a lot of officials from foreign governments. i was introduced. we had pleasantries, speaking about kisliak. but he said it didn't stay with me to the point where later i had to ask somebody even what the name of the russian ambassador was. i wonder what you thought as you read this statement today, and anything that might have raised flags for you. >> well, on the one hand, of course, when you're at a big event and there are lots of people there, you don't remember who you're talking to. i can be sympathetic to that rendition. but the more fundamental question is why was kisliak at
the event in the first place. he was the russian ambassador in the election in 2012. i never attended any event of any candidate. it's just -- it's just good not to do those things. so, you know, maybe that is true. but, again, it raises a question, why were they so interested in having the russians and these contacts -- >> i have to interrupt you. here comes jared kushner to the podium. let's take a listen. >> my name is jared kushner. i am senior adviser to president donald j. trump. when my father-in-law decided to run for president, i served his campaign the best i could, because i believe in him and his ability to improve the lives of all americans. and now, serving the president and the people of the united states has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime.
i am so grateful for the opportunity to work on important matters, such as middle east peace and reinvigorating america's innovative spirit. every day i come to work with enthusiasm and excitement for what can be. i have not sought the spotlight. first in business, and now in public service, i have always focused on setting and achieving goals, and have left it to others to work on media and public perception. since the first questions were raised in march, i have been consistent in saying that i was eager to share any information i have with the investigating bodies, and i have done so today. the record and documents i have voluntarily provided will show that all of my actions were proper, and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign.
let me be very clear. i did not collude with russia. nor do i know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. i had no improper contacts. i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses. and i have been fully transparent in providing all requested information. donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign. and that is why he won. suggesting otherwise ridicules those who voted for him. it is an honor to work with president trump and his administration, as we take on the challenges that he was elected to face. creating jobs for american people, keeping america safe and eliminating barriers to achieving the american dream. thank you very much, and i look forward to taking questions from the house committee tomorrow.
thank you. >> a very brief statement from jared kushner. in some ways, reiterating the highlights of the 11-page statement he put out. i don't think it's a surprise. we talked about this earlier, that he decided to go back in, given that he does have more testimony. and as he said, he is not someone who has sought the spotlight. he is not someone who regularly gets in front of a microphone or has to answer questions, either in his public life, very much unlike his father-in-law, or certainly now that he is the senior adviser to the president. certainly one of the lowest-profile people who has access on a regular basis to the president of the united states. let's go back to kristen welker, who was there for that statement. kristen, what's your headline on that? >> reporter: it was succinct, chris, but to the point. it was the message he wanted to get out. you heard him say it, "i did not collude with russia."
and i think that was the entire purpose, to let people hear him say that, to state it definitively and very firmly. it was a brief statement. we were hoping that he would get into a few more of the details that he shared in that 11-page written statement that he released earlier today. and, of course, you heard all of us try to shout questions. he decided not to answer any questions. again, he said he looks forward tomorrow to answering the questions of the house intelligence committee. i think this was aimed at being very direct and at the same time concise. that was part of the strategy. clearly he wanted to stay on message, wanted to be very firm. and yet not get into the nitty-gritty, which presumably he was pressed on earlier today, when he met with staff members of the senate intelligence committee, chris. >> kristen, thanks very much. let me go to capitol hill, if we still can go there. do we still have garrett haik there? so garrett, give us a preview of what we're expecting tomorrow. >> well, tomorrow's questions
will be given by the members themselves, not just their staff. so it's going to be a little bit of a different animal. i think you might see members more intentionally, and again, this is all behind closed doors, not for the cameras, about but some of the democratic members may be more aggressive in trying to push kushner off his talking points, off his specific answers and see if he can be rattled. i can't help but think about the fact that this morning you had the president tweeting about adam schiff, the democratic head of the house intelligence committee, attaching a nickname to him, calling him out. the president sort of getting into the fight here that jared kushner is going to be walking into tomorrow. and i think you saw kushner here not say really anything beyond what was in his statement this morning. the less he says in front of the cameras, the less he has to remember, the less he has to remember specifics when he goes back in front of the house intelligence committee tomorrow and gets a lot of the same questions. but, again, i do think he will be pressed a little bit harder on some of the political specifics here. and, chris, i just feel i can i have to point out, the political
optics of all of this. this afternoon, right now, the senate -- several senate democrats are out in virginia, trying to unveil their new economic plan, their new push for 2018. we're talking about jared kushner and talking about russia. so even in an arguably not great moment for the trump white house, they are stepping on the democratic attempted message of the day. >> yeah, attempted message of the day. and knowing that jared kushner was going to be coming out, you might question why the democrats decided to continue to hold that at 1:00. but unless you know, did they consider changing the timing? >> reporter: i don't know, chris. i think that's -- that will be a good question to ask chuck schumer when he gets back here on the hill today. i don't know. i it's possible they thought they could have the spotlight for a moment. i don't know if it's something they took into consideration or not. >> okay, well, thank you so much, garrett. i know you will get back to us if you have a chance to talk to chuck schumer.
also joining us -- we still have ned price with us and ambassador mcfaul is with us, as well. joining us is bill crystal, founder and editor at "the weekly standard." so it was brief, succinct, as kristen welker said. he talked about, you know, working on everything from middle east peace to reinvigorating america. but he said i did not collude with the russians and i don't know of anyone who did. was he effective? >> i guess so, in the very short term. but what i've learned watching these things over the years is, you know, the facts matter, and we don't know the facts. we don't know what he said in private. we don't know what other information people have. so -- >> what do you make -- >> he got good legal advice, and in terms of writing his very carefully worded statement. he was very precise and restricting really what he said to himself. he asserted that no one else -- he didn't believe anyone else colluded. but if you look at his actual statement, it's striking how much it's about him. that's legally appropriate. how does he know what donald trump jr. did in other meetings. how does he know what paul
manafort did in other circumstances? how does he know what his father-in-law did in other circumstances. he couldn't speak to any of that. my only caution would be -- we tend to judge these things as sort of dance recite tales or operas. that was at a good performance, that was a bad performance, but that isn't really how this works. this is about reality and about facts and they're going to come out. >> there are two realities here, though. one is the legal reality. the reality of what's going on on capitol hill. the reality of what's going on with the mueller investigation, bill. but the other reality of it is the public perception, right? and is there pressure, for example, more pressure, on the administration because he seems to be losing more of his base? or the democrats are getting riled up again? so from this is all of what you're seeing here is more about the politics of it, obviously, than the legality of it. >> i think the russia investigation and the sense of disarray in the administration has done damage to the miles an hour. i don't know there is more damage now than 24 hours ago. but there is a lot of damage. and what one shouldn't kid ones self about that. i suspect kushner did nothing
that made things worse today. >> i had a feeling there was a statement that was aimed at those of you who were in the obama administration, those of you who supported hillary clinton when he said, you know, they won because he had a better message and a smarter campaign, and to suggest otherwise ridicules the voters who voted for him. >> well, what he's really doing is echoing the message we have heard consistently from donald trump. frankly in continuing to publicly doubt the fact that russia meddled in our election. what jared kushner did is what donald trump did in the "new york times" interview and other discussions, is try to erode the belief that russia was behind this. because he feels that it undermines his legitimacy as president of the united states. donald trump, of course, did not win the popular vote. but he did win the electoral vote. donald trump is president of the united states. but there is still this deep-seated insecurity on the part of donald trump, and i think we saw a reflection of that in jared kushner today, that perhaps this whole russia scandal is chipping away at that
sense of legitimacy. >> yeah. and politically what he's trying to do is keep his base. that's been their strategy from the beginning. i'm not sure it was wise. if you are at 46% of the vote, you would think you would want to reach out to voters. basically, it's always been a base strategy. and certainly on the russia investigation, a base strategy. how do you keep your base. it's totally politics. they're not investigating hillary clinton. and to question whether there's inappropriate russia engagement in the election, interference in the election, is to question you, the voters, and that you made the right decision. so in that respect, it's reasonably intelligent, if your strategy is to keep the 40, 41% or whatever who approve you. that obviously doesn't prove anything about the actual fact of what russia did in the election. >> what is the impact, as you're seeing it, ambassador mcfaul, on u.s. policy toward russia? we're already seeing that congress is going to get through the sanctions, and in a way that the white house did not want it to happen. they didn't want their hands to be tied. and yet there does some to be a sense now that congress feels
emboldened. they feel emboldened by his poll numbers. they feel emboldened by this ongoing controversy. how is all of this, including what you see with jared kushner, including donald trump jr., going on, you know, talk shows and news shows and, you know, mounting his own defense. how is this affecting very real foreign policy, particularly as it relates to russia? >> well, you use the verb "embolden," which i think is part of it. but i think the other part of it is nervousness. squeamishness about what the president wants to promise to the russians, because of some unknown facts that we still haven't gotten to the bottom. so i see this as a way to constrain the president from doing things that are not in the national interests. and i think it's quite appropriate. i actually support it. but it means very practically that the ambitious agenda that maybe those in moscow had for u.s./russian relations after donald trump was elected last
november have to be tapered. and i see that as good for national security. >> and when you see someone like jared kushner, who has this extraordinary portfolio, i -- you know, there are probably very few people who have been close to presidents who have had the range of a portfolio that he has. and i found it interesting that the first thing he said -- i'm senior adviser to the president, and he says middle east peace right at the top of it. >> yeah. >> what you make -- >> that's enough! >> for most people -- if you can fix that -- >> i know the senior director -- you know, i know the people that worked on that. they got nothing done. it is a really, really hard portfolio. focus on that one and get that one done. that would be a great achievement. >> well, we're all waiting for that, because the president said he thought that could be done, and that it would be done indeed by his son-in-law. having said that, i want to ask you two, who are with me now, where does this go from here? so tomorrow, yet again, you have
another -- you're going to see the shot of jared kushner getting out of the black car. he's going to go into congress, he's going to come out. he may or may not make a statement tomorrow. he may or may not put out an 11-page statement. my guess is he has said this morning what he is going to say. but how do you move this administration forward when every day, bill, there is something? >> well, they can try to move forward, and they can make progress or not on other issues. i'm not sure how much these things really affect one another. i would say, though, look, we're going to learn much more about that meeting at trump tower. >> well, certainly in the sense if you look at what the president -- the tweet storm he was on today, that's where his focus is. >> well, no -- >> on defense. >> he has. ask that's either because he's hyper sensitive about the russia charges because he thinks it delegitimizes the election or there is something there he knows is wrong, and that he is hyper sensitive to because he's worried it will come out. i think people are a little too
kind in psychoanalyzing trump and maybe they should take him more seriously -- literally -- literally and seriously, i guess, and see if he's very concerned about this russia investigation, maybe he has reason to be. we know what jared kushner's account is, his own account is that he left after a few minutes. and we don't know about the december meeting. i'm very struck by that. where he says, you know, the ambassador came to me, and -- peace in syria, the syrian crisis, so serious. when he suggested there's some more information that the generals wanted to transmit, i said, why don't we go over to the russian embassy to do that? it's so jaw-droppingly inappropriate if you've been in government. and maybe he's just naive. i don't know, he's not that naive, is he? and michael flynn was in the room. i think that early december discussion will be -- people will be interested to get more detail about that. >> i'm out of time, but i have to ask you. what do you make of the democrats? while they know all of this is happening, they say they have this big message that they need
to get out there on the economy. they're going to unveil this, and they're doing it at the same time they know that jared kushner is going to be walking in the microphones. >> we have to get to the bottom of the russia scandal. >> you're not answering my question. >> i'm getting there. there is obviously smoke, and i think we see the first sign of flames. the point, though, is that democrats have to continue to work for the american people. they can't put their agenda on hold, just because this administration is enmeshed in this russia mess. they need to continue doing the work that americans elected them to do. >> although, maybe they could have done it for an hour or two and gotten more air time. anyway, thanks to my guests. meantime, democrats at this hour are indeed unveiling that new economic agenda. the senate minority leader, chuck schumer, house minority leader, nancy pelosi, working to win back working americans. schumer said that democrats need to make it clear that they are the party of working americans. >> when you lose elections, as
we did in 2014 and 2016, you don't flircnch, you don't blink. you look in the mirror and ask, what did we do wrong? the number one thing we did wrong was not present a strong, bold, economic agenda to working americans so that their hope for the future might return again. >> let's bring in yahoo! news and business reporter kwor the "wall street journal." the democrats outlining three goals here. increasing wages for the country's workers, reducing people's everyday expenses, give the workers the tools they need to compete in the job market. and they have been seen up until this point, if you believe the polls, as mostly the anti trump party. but is there anything new, different, exciting, something that's going to break through all of the other noise that you see from what they're introducing today? >> once again, they were
overshadowed by russia and the trump administration and whether or not there was collusion. obviously, jared kushner even having a dig there, saying that once again donald trump was elected because he had a better message, and a better campaign. so democrats were hoping to get their message out today, even briefly, on their economic ambitions going forward. and once again, they were sort of usurped by the trump administration and its ties, potential ties, to russia. i think this speaks to a broader issue, though. and this goes back to whether or not chuck schumer and donald trump would and will decide to work together. these two men know each other. this was something that early on in this campaign, and early on in this administration, chuck schumer said he would work with the president on things like infrastructure. obviously, the president, whether through his tweets about chuck schumer or whether through wanting to focus more on health care, sort of diverted away from that. so the democrats are in sort of a wait and see mode.
do they do something on their own, knowing they need some sort of republican support? or do they wait for things to change, potentially, in the 2018 mid terms? >> we got a little preview of this, shelby, with the twitter from chuck schumer. not quite as colorful as the president of the united states. he said, democrats have a clear message. the american people deserve hash tag, a better deal. is this going to work? >> well, i think if you look at the continue piece chuck schumer wrote this morning that came out in the "new york times," a lot of the point he is making seem to be coming straight from the trump playbook. he's talking about getting rid of money in politics. that's something trump hammered on the campaign trail. whether or not you believe him, and it really appealed to people, he wasn't beholden to anyone. you also see chuck schumer talking about investing in infrastructure, paid family leave, policies that the trump family has promoted. he is talking about some issues that differ from republicans, in a sense they want to increase
regulations, break up companies if they're not working for the american people. but i would say that one thing that was really popular on the campaign for trump's message was that he wanted to unleash american businesses. that really resonated with people, working people, all the way up to the ceos of companies. and so i'm not sure that this message really clears anything up for the democratic base, and it also does seem to be coming from the trump playbook, which could be problematic for democrats. >> and it's interesting that the president is going to west virginia today, because that's a place that was, of course, once democratic. it voted overwhelmingly for donald trump. i mean, if those are his most solid supporters in a state like that now, where do the democrats think that they might break through with this kind of talk? ohio? wisconsin? pennsylvania? what are we looking at here strategically? >> well, two things. i think you're looking locally. i think you're seeing a lot of these sort of rising star mayors of small towns that are focused on their own personal issues,
locally. whether it be the economy, whether it be infrastructure, what have you. and jobs and training and education. it's interesting, though, you mentioned west virginia. because i remember covering the campaign about a month before the election and going to west virginia, where they were soundly for donald trump. and you would see trump signs everywhere. and i remember speaking with a trump voter who lost his job, worked in a coal mine, and i asked him what about donald trump resonated with him, because hillary clinton did, in fact, whether you like it or not -- spoke about it enough or not, did have some sort of economic plan for out of work coal workers. he said, listen, i don't hear a plan out of donald trump, but i really do like the fact that he's focused on us, and he's talking about bringing our jobs back. so there weren't specifics, but there was hope that they were relying on. so it will be interesting what democrats do differently now, if specifics necessarily aren't enough. >> and shelby, in terms of the economy, so much of the way that
the trump administration decided that they were going to roll out what they were going to do was based on getting health care through, right? they were going to take some savings from that, for example, and they were going to use it for tax reform. >> right. >> so, you know, you've got this health care debate. it's ongoing. the problem is that the president is going to be in between now and west virginia, he's going to be talking to what he and his administration call victims of obamacare. they like to bring out people who they say have lost coverage because insurance companies have pulled out or whose premiums have gone up significantly. he likes to quote the states where they have had big increases in premiums. but where is the health care debate going when you have a president who his spokespeople say he's going out there to really push for this, but we don't know what he's pushing for? >> right. and we don't know if he knows what he is pushing for, because he has not used twitter, for example, or the press to really articulate what exactly these bills or this republican plan
would do for the people who voted for him. we haven't heard from the president details about how this would help american people. we have heard a lot about how obamacare is failing, how he wants to let it fail. but it would be helpful for him to articulate some of the reasons why he wants to promote this plan. i do think beyond his example of west virginia is really interesting, and i would just go back to will democrats' plan work. democrats are in the minority, so all the policies they're talking about right now can't necessarily be implemented. they have no control over what happens with health care. they can just hope that it -- that the republicans can't do anything with it. but i would say going back to the special election in georgia, i know a lot of people say don't make too much of special elections. but there was a candidate in georgia who did a great job of expressing an economically conservative message, but socially liberal values. and that brought a lot of peo e people, a lot of republicans on board, who were skeptical of donald trump, and they typically vote republican, but they were willing to vote for this democrat. and i think what we're seeing from the democrats today does not line up in that message in
the sense it would not attract those key suburban voters who are educated, who tend to be wealthy. it would not bring them over to the democratic side. and i think that's an interesting sort of split screen you have with the democratic plan today, and what we saw was nearly a success in georgia, even though the republican did win that election. >> and we're out of time. but there is also the intrigue of watching shelley moore capito, one of these republican senators they would love to win over, standing next to the president today. but i'm not sure given what they're doing for -- a number of levels with these plans, that he's going to just be able to stand next to her and win her over that way. we'll see. >> it doesn't help he keeps bashing republicans publicly, as well. >> right. >> twitter. >> shelby holiday, thank you both. appreciate it. >> thank you. and pardon me? president trump tweeting about his power to pardon me. a day before his attorney says he is not considering pardoning anyone implicated in the russia investigations. what's behind the mixed messages, and could the president actually pardon
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will he or won't he? the administration sending mixed messages over the weekend about whether president trump is asking about pardons or not. >> we have not and continue to not have conversations with the president of the united states regarding pardons. pardons have not been discussed, and pardons are not on the table. >> i'm in the oval office of the
president the last week, we're talking about that. he says he brought that up. he said he doesn't have to be pardoned. there is nobody around him that has to be pardoned. >> is the white house prepping pardons for everyone? >> the answer is no. and i discussed this with the president directly. that's another part of the hoax. his point is exactly what he says at the end of that tweet. which is that why are we talking about -- there is nothing to pardon! >> joining me now, msnbc legal analyst, katie phang, and michael allen, managing director of global strategies. and that tweet you heard referenced is this. while all agree the u.s. president has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is leaks against us. fake news. michael, if pardons aren't being discussed on the team, why are a couple people saying pardons are being discussed on the team. it's a little confusing. >> it's confounding. you did hear scaramucci sort of admit that the topic had come up within the general vicinity of the president.
so clearly the topic has come up. it's much discussed here in washington. i think the key point here is that we are on legal ground that we have not gone over before. i mean, this is the reason god created law review articles and constitutional law professors, to try and figure out whether indeed the president could pardon himself and indeed whether he were to pardon his son-in-law or anyone else in his family, would that launch an impeachment proceeding. my view is that that is the sure-fire way to get impeached and maybe even removed. and that is to abuse the pardon power. >> what they're all saying, though, is that even if they're saying we may have mentioned it or talked about it, we don't need to really have that information, because there's nothing here that's been done that's wrong. katie, let's talk about his statement that he as the president has the complete power to pardon. who can the president pardon? >> well, trump likes to speak in
absolutes, chris, that we're familiar with. there is no legal precedent as to the self pardon of trump to himself and there is also nothing in the united states constitution that says he specifically is prohibited from doing it. so weighing those two things, could a self pardon happen? the answer is yes. would it be challenged all the way up to the united states supreme court? most definitely. so then, chris, what becomes important about that analysis is, can trump stack the justices on the united states supreme court to be such they would be ruling in his favor, should that ever get -- >> we're talking about the supreme court justices? i mean, it feels like it's six months into an administration. >> pretty outrageous. >> well, i don't want to, you know, categorize it in one way or another. but let us talk a little bit about the strategy of pardoning. the courts judge upheld pardons in situations even where no charges have been filed. >> that's right. >> you wonder could he preemactively, michael decide,
i'm going to give a blanket pardon. is it possible? >> i think it's possible. and i wonder all of the time if that's not what he has up his sleeve. he's clearly so deeply annoyed by this investigation. indeed, you and others have stated on air on numerous occasions, he feels like this is fake news. it cuts to the core of his legitimacy as president. i could easily see him going there. i mean, the president is not one for norms or traditions and the rest. and i think i can see him taking an absolutist reason here. >> here is jonathan turley's take. pardons would not end the investigation. even if everyone were pardoned, mueller could and probably would issue a report to congress. likewise, the congressional investigations would continue. indeed, with pardons, witnesses could lose protections against self-incrimination and could more easily be forced to testify.
new crimes, such as perjury, could fall outside of the pardon, and such a pardon would not protect against state charges. katie, what do you make of that? >> well, that's true. that's a good point. because pardons do not cover state offenses. and so if you end up perjurying yourself, you could also look at exposure for that, which is why it's important to also look at why did jared kushner not take the oath today when he went to speak to the senate intelligence committee. frankly, you don't have to take an oath, as we have heard already. and the analysis is there is a federal statute under which you can be prosecuted if you lie to congress, even when you haven't taken an oath. so, you know, it's a really squirrelly area of the law. and charlie is completely right, that is exposes not only trump, but people around him to further criminal and civil liability if they're caught in some type of wrongdoing. >> one thing that is consistent, a lot of the time we're talking about uncharted territory here. katie phang, michael allen, thanks to both of you. and coming up, he speaks. jared kushner defending his actions during the campaign to reporters just an hour after
jared kushner just a short time ago, speaking to reporters outside the white house for the first time, repeating some of what we believe he told congressional investigators this morning. >> my white house this morning. >> my name is jared kushner, i'm senior advisor to president donald j. trump. when my father-in-law decided to run for president, i served his campaign the best i could. now serving the president and the people of the united states has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime. i am so grateful for the opportunity to work on important matters like middle east peace and reinvigorating america's innovative spirit. every day i come to work with enthusiasm and excitement for what can be. i have not sought the spotlight.
first in business, and now in public service, i have always focused onseting and achieving goals to work on media and public perception. since the first questions were raised in march, i have been consistent in seeing that i was eager to share any information i have with the investigating bodies and i have done so today. the record in documents i have voluntarily provided let me be very clear, i did not collude with russia and i know of no one else in the campaign that did so. i had no improper contacts, i have not relied on russian funds for my businesses and i have
been fully transparent in providing all requested information. donald trump had a better message and ran a smarter campaign and that is why he won. suggesting oregon ridicules those that voted for him. we take on the challenges that he was elected to face. creating jobs for american people, keeping america safe, and e limb fairing barriers to achieving the american stream. thank you very much and i look forward to taking questions from the house committee tomorrow. >> let me bring in nbc news hallie jackson and it was about 2:30. a much abridged version of the
11 page statement we got this morning, what stood out to you. >> two things on the substance and two things on the fact that we heard him say it at all. on all of our nightly newscasts, i had no improper contacts. he is making it explicit. earlier this morning, he is now saying a -- to his knowledge, neither did anyone else on the campaign. again, those words to his knowledge. that 2:29 second statement suggesting otherwise that the president significanting that anything other than the people that put him in office ridicule
those that sported him. this is something you have seen from this administration since the beginning of the questioning beginning to be raised about russia. perhaps the issue of the worry that it's concludes or the media working to delegitimatize the president. i would think that will have some play moving in here. we don't often see him speak at all. the fact that he is trying to get out in front of the message is significant for him. >> as i'm watching this, it instruct me that he could not be different from his father-in-law. >> i saw abbey lowell with him,
and the key question is donald trump. think about this, he is behind a white house it reminds us that he went into the white house, that was not the idea. three people who would have just been a campaign skanlle. it's a white house scandal because jared jusher in is in the white house, do you see it as an embrace by the white house? >> it is what he has done, think of the iran contra. the president stays away. they can't prove he knew anything. that has been the opposite here.
he says it is a hook, a fake news scandal, so trump is all in on this. did jared kushner talk to donald. what about after the early questions. >> that there will be many questions for him on capitol hill tomorrow. thank you for sticking around, hallie jackson, thanks to you as well. tune in tonight for premier of "the beat." that is at 6:00 eastern here on msnbc. and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory.
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that does it for this hour of msnbc live, kacie hunt picks things up right now. >> good afternoon, i'm in for katie turr. it is 2:00 here in washington and we're following breaking news. jared kushner delivering a rare statement before cameras just a few minutes ago. >> let me be clear, i did not collude with russia and i don't know of anyone in the campaign who did sho. i had no improper contacts. i did not rely on improper funds for my businesses. i have been