tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC June 9, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PDT
set. >> she'll get a brand-new one that'll be better. >> have a great day. >> thanks, guy. >> i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie rhule. let's get started. >> the administration then chose to defame me and, more importantly, the fbi. those were lies, plain and simple. >> says, quote, despite somentsl and complete vindlatioication. and, wow, comey is a leaker. >> first, he'll try to charm you. if not, he bullies you. if that doesn't work, he walks away from you. just walks away from the deal. if that doesn't work, he sues you. >> the president's new at this. he is new to government. >> good morn ing. we're doing well. do you have any comments on mr. comey's testimony yesterday? >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> i don't work for the whitoe house or in the white house. i don't know if tapes were made. >> top presidential adviser and the son-in-law jared kushner is
expected to meet with committee staffers this month. >> this has been a ten month witch hunt. >> this is the only thing they had on trump. >> we're under siege, you understand that. but we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever. you watch. >> what did i hear? people heard what they wanted to hear anything, both sides. >> yeah. right now, we're waiting to hear from the president who will speak shortly at the final event on what the white house has dubbed infrastructure week. this is going to be held at the department of transportation in washington. the president has just arrived there. he'll take questions from the press at 2:45 this afternoon. we will have special coverage on that. >> we've already heard from the president this morning. guess where? breaking his silence on james comey's blockbuster testimony. the president tweeting, of course, quote, despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication. and, wow, comey is a leaker. with that, a source inside the
white house tells me this morning there's great concern within the white house that the president has now snapped back into campaign mode. all of this coming today, exactly one month since president trump fired james comey. it is an extraordinary turn of events. joining us now, robert ray, the former independent special counsel who investigated then-president bill clinton and first lady hillary clinton in the 1990s, including the whitewater scandal over their real estate dealers and the president's affair with monica lewinsky. nbc's garrett haake is also with us from capitol hill. >> good to have you. thank you for being with us. garrett, what have you been hearing first of all? yesterday, we finished in the afternoon with the comey hearings and we're starting to get reaction. now that everybody has had a chance to, as stephanie says, hear what they wanted to hear, what has the feedback again? >> both houses of congress have closed up shop for the week, so there's not a lot of folks here other than the tourists. except nancy pelosi, democratic leader, who continued her verbal assault, both on president trump
and today on jeff sessions, the attorney general. sessions has sort of emerged as the person that democrats are mostly focused on after director comey sort of mysterious comments about how he couldn't talk about jeff sessions's role in the case. democrats can get answers from sessions as early as next week. he'll appear on capitol hill for an appropriations subcommittee meeting. already, one democratic senator signalled he wants to talk russia with the attorney general in that meeting. there's a couple other opportunities here for the russia investigation to bubble up on capitol hill. we've got jared kushner, the president's son-in-law, who is expected to meet with intel committee staffers sometime in the next week or two, ahead of a possible hearing in front of the full intel committee. then there is the secretary of state, rex tillerson, who was never part of the trump campaign or trump inner circle early on, especially in the transition. but he could potentially give senators a look at the
president's current posture toward russia and what they're thinking about president putin and sort of the various levels of russian malfeasance now that director comey confirmed forthrightly yesterday. >> the rex tillerson faction wants to move forward. they're not the team that wants the president to be dwelling on james comey, the leaker, or feeling vindicated. the fact that president trump is, again, surround by the steven bannon, stephen miller, who wants the republican agenda, may have a tough time. james comey talking why he leaked. marc kasowitz, the president's attorney, is what he's going after today. take a look. we don't have the sound. i wanted to share a bit of james comey putting into context why he had leaked this information. now, we've already heard from the president's lawyer today saying this is an issue that needs to be taken up. what james comey shared was his own information.
the president didn't put in place executive privilege before he had a conversation with him. so what's the issue? >> i don't think there is a big one. it is a distraction. the leak, if it is a leak, of the contents of the memos, meaning his mental impressions and recordation of the statements made by the president, if executive privilege was going to be asserted, it would have been asserted beforehand. even if it had been asserted, there is a reasonable argument it was waived by the president by virtue of his public comments about his discussions with director comey. so -- and also, you know, director comey made clear in his testimony that whatever else may have been the case, he anticipated the need for those memos in the future and intentionally made sure there was no classified information contained in the memos. precisely so he could release them. >> if you were watching yesterday, two pieces of information people would like would be the memos and whatever tapes happened. we'll talk about the tapes later, but the memos, are they
something that if they don't have classified information, the rest of us could get access to? >> well, i think it was one of the reasons the senators were trying to explore that. they mentioned the person -- or referred to the person that jim comey had used in order to -- >> to disseminate them. >> the colombia law professor. >> correct. i know who it is. but to the "new york times." at least on the view he might still have them. if he has them, he'll get a subpoena. at some point, i'm certain that the congress will get access to those memos. it may not happen immediately. there may be reasons why the special counsel doesn't want that to happen, at least now. but at some point, they'll get access to those. >> if this leak issue that the president continues to want to press on, as he tweeted this morning, this, again, goes to why so many within his own camp or gop republicans are frustrated. they're saying, let this go and move on. did you feel there was a smoking gun? if the president continues to press on this, he may be taking us back somewhere that
republicans don't even want to. >> i don't think there is a smoking gun. a number of levels here. first of all, the special counsel has authority investigate this with regard to whether there is potential obstruction of justice. does anyone think the president would face prosecution for obstruction? in my view, absolutely not. >> not because there aren't statutes but because he is the president of the united states? >> in part. one, the president certainly is entitled to shut down an investigation if he wants to. he's the executive branch. he's all of the executive power that is conferred under the constitution. >> isn't that why he's been so frustrated? he thinks he is all powerful, which was why he kept saying to james comey, are you loyal? will you be loyal? he wanted that investigation shut down. >> but he is entitled to explore, probe and push. the fbi director similarly is entitled to push back, which is in many respects what, in fact, happened. a new fbi director is not ever
going to pass senate confirmation unless assurances are given that in the event a president attempts to interfere, that won't be tolerated. >> how does a guy like you, or for that matter, robert mueller, separate all of this? the idea that maybe no legal line was crossed, but there are a lot of americans who think the whole episode was unseemly and inappropriate? >> by the way, people don't give full credit to the president about being careful to toe the line there. there is a difference between hopes and intimations about what you'd like the fbi director to do and a direct order to stop investigating. he stopped short of crossing that line. he was careful, i think, to do that, for understandable reasons. also, the president was proven correct about the fact the fbi director did assure him on three occasions, as the president had previously said, that he was not the subject or target of a criminal investigation. >> at that time. but was the president wise then -- can paul ryan continue this argument, saying, well,
maybe it is naivety. he is new at the job. >> nothing naive about president trump. >> the president seemed to understand what the rules and regulations were when loretta lynch has the conversation on an airplane with bill clinton. the president made it clear what she should do. paul ryan makes the argument that he didn't know. >> two different situations. with regard to what happened involving loretta lynch, i think jim comey, understandably, came to the conclusion she was interfering with a criminal investigation for political purposes. that troubled him and caused him to drift out of lane and to exercise his prerogative to not run what he was doing through the higher reaches of the justice department and then speak directly to the public about his findings in connection with the end of that investigation. because he concluded that the attorney general could not do so credibly. i think that's different than what we're talking about here. i understand people trying to draw parallels. i don't think anybody is questioning the attorney general
had the authority, as she apparently thought she did, to try to steer things toward, you know, for public consumption, what are we about here? i think director comey correctly resisted that. i think he felt it was trying to line up too closely with what the clinton campaign wanted. he wasn't going to put up with that. >> the president is going to be speaking to the public in a few minutes. a live presentation at the department of transportation. he's set to speak on infrastructure in about 20 minutes. we're going to have more plans on the new ideas he has around making it easier to bid on federal projects. please stay with us. hey, the future, what's her problem? apparently, i kept her up all night. she said the future freaks her out. how come no one likes me, jim? intel does! just think of everything intel's doing right now with artificial intelligence. and pretty soon ai is going to help executives like her see trends to stay ahead of her competition. no more sleepless nights. - we're going to be friends! - i'm sorry about this. don't be embarrassed of me, jim.
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i've seen the tweet about tapes. lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> can you say definitively whether there is a taping system that allows the president to record his conversations here at the white house? >> i have no idea. >> i can't comment on that. actually, the president himself has said he won't comment any further on that. >> in what has turned into a trump/comey, he said/he said, it's those tapes that could reveal who is telling the truth about a bunch of the issues we just discussed. the white house is not saying whether a taping system exists. back with us now is former independent special counsel robert ray. nbc's peter alexander also joins us from the white house. >> i don't know if it is a sideshow, but it is definitely a circus. i want to share the tweet that the president himself put out on may 12th. james comey better hope there
are no tapes of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press. peter alexander, to you first. we showed a bit there from sarah huckabee sanders and kellyann conway. no one is confirming the tapes that the president threw out there. >> you're right. let's be clear about the significance of these tapes or even the suggestion that these tapes exist. as you noted by reading that tweet, james comey testified that after he read that tweet, he thought to himself, perhaps there is corroboration of these conversations that i had with president trump, which is what he says led him to provide the memos, the leaks as it is described, to his friend at colombia, the law professor there, with the effort of trying to make sure there would be a special prosecutor. we know with the appointment of robert mueller, there is a special counsel here. this is why this all matters. beyond that is the question of whether, in fact, the tapes do exist, how the white house would push back on it.
sarah huckabee sanders, you played here in the introduction, some of the conversations she had yesterday with reporters, when asked if she'd try to find out if there were tapes, she said, i'll try to look under the couches here. the president and his press secretary, sean spicer, have been pressed on this. president trump last month said i won't talk about it. i'm not going to talk about it. sean spicer said of that tweet, he had nothing further on that. suffice to say, at the end of the day, if the president wanted to put this to rest, if the dispute as communicated by marc kasowitz, the president's personal lawyer, is one they wanted to identify, that their case was the factual one in the argument, where both sides are saying the other is a liar, the easiest way to do it is produce the tapes they have yet to provide. >> ali velshi, the argument that peter alexander is making is deja vu all over again to the wiretapping claims. if the president was wiretapping, show us. >> marc kasowitz, you mentioned him, peter alexander. here's what he had to say about
the dispute. the idea james comey said the president asked him to stop investigating michael flynn. here's what the president's personal lawyer had to say about it. >> never in form or substance, directed or suggested, that mr. comey stop investigating anyone, including the president never suggested that mr. comey, quote, let flynn go, close quote. the president also never told mr. comey, quote, i need loyalty. i expect loyalty, close quote. he never said it in form. he never said it in substance. >> robert ray, this could be solved very quickly if somebody, the special counsel, the house intel committee, the senate intel committee, could figure out whether tapes exist. >> form/substance, i'm not sure what we're arguing about here. at bottom, let's start with the first thing. before we get to the tapes, bottom, both men could be telling the truth. the president is correct to say
i didn't order or direct the attorney -- >> he hoped. >> -- the director of the fbi to stop investigating. jim comey can also be correct to say, this is what the president hopes and intimations were, which i took as a direction to stop investigating michael flynn. >> is it fair to parse what hope means? when my children say, i hope santa brings me a train, they're hoping. when i say to them, i hope you get your homework done. nobody is hoping. i'm the boss. the president is the boss. >> with your children, you're absolutely right. i faced this issue before. with regard to hillary clinton and the ordering of the firing of the white house travel office, she claimed and asserted later under oath, i didn't direct anybody to fire the white house travel office employees, except for the fact that she made very clear she was unhappy and she wanted the issue addressed. so they got fired. is she telling the truth when she -- >> she hoped they would be?
>> well, was she telling the truth when she claimed i had nothing to do with it? same problem. also, when we do things with regard to your children, we don't do it under penalty of prosecution of obstruction of justice and put them in jail for it. >> i hope not. >> can anybody find out if there are tapes? >> let's be careful there. i can tell, i'm watching what you put up for the viewers. >> right. >> just generally speaking, without getting into too much more, the president's movements and conversations as a matter of security are monitored within the white house. period, full stop. >> got it. >> now, but let's not go beyond that for safety and other reasons. that's why they're being so careful about what they're saying here. >> interesting. >> now, whether things are recorded is another question. but in today's world, we're not talking about a watergate era, when you had to put a tape into a machine and turn the thing on in order to make recordings of
conversations. >> we need to put a thing under robert ray that says, shades of gray. everything you told us is interesting. >> let's not go there. >> understood. understood. >> okay. he is making a totally different reference that only happens after 5:00. >> i didn't say 50 shades of gray. >> this is msnbc. >> this has gone somewhere unusual. i will tell you what there are recordings of. president trump is going to speak at the department of transportation. we'll bring it live and record it as soon as it happens. stay with us. we're going to wash our mouths out with soap. >> robert started it. it was all robert. >> i did. i admit it. dear son, i know you worry i can't keep up with our weekly tee times. but i've been taking osteo bi-flex ease. it's 80% smaller but just as effective. which means you're in big trouble, son. improved joint comfort in seven days. osteo bi-flex ease. made to move.
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welcome back. you are watching msnbc. nbc news has learned that jared kushner, white house senior adviser and, of course, son-in-law of president trump, will meet with the senate intelligence committee staffers as early as mid-month. this, of course, is part of the committee's investigation into russia meddling in the 2016 election and any potential collusion with the trump campaign and its associates.
kushner has come under fire over the last few weeks into the probe around his dealings with russian officials. >> now, this isn't testimony. this is him meeting with staffers. kristen can tell us what the difference is. like magic, kristen welker appeared on the lawn of the white house. kristen, what is happening there, first of all? what is the distinction between meeting with intel committee staffers versus testifying? >> ali and steph, an important point you raise there. look, first of all, there is no firm date set yet. it is not clear when this is going to happen. our understanding is that mr. kushner will meet with committee staffers. that'll sort of be like a first round of this. this is going to be in a closed door session. very different for what we saw yesterday with former fbi director james comey. we also understand he is going to turn over some documents and ultimately he is going to undergo questioning by senators. the timing of this still very much in flux. the bottom line here is that the senate intel committee wants
more information about what you pointed out, his meetings with the russian banker, as well as the russian ambassador. now, this all comes, of course, amid that reporting that jared kushner tried to set up a back channel with russia. so i expect he would get some questions about all of that, as well. it underscores the extent to which the russia probe is an expanding cloud that really hangs over this administration. tough questions for jared kushner as well as attorney general jeff sessions. ultimately, i anticipate a number of top officials are going to have to answer questions about all of this. in the meantime, at the back drop is a president who wants to be focused on his agenda today. he is going to be talking about infrastructure. i anticipate that that's going to continue in the coming weeks and months. remember, the other big thing they want to get done, health care reform. republicans say they want to get a vote on that by july. all of these russia-related headlines really complicating the equation. >> they've told us -- >> infrastructure week.
>> we're waiting for more details around it. to stay on the russia thing for a moment and jared kushner, just yesterday, we saw angus king ask about veb bank. during the transition, jared kushner met with the head of a russian sanctioned bank. when the head of the bank happened to be in new york for his road show. i want to share james comey's response when asked about this bank. >> what do you know about the russian bank veb? >> nothing that i can talk about in an open setting. >> okay. he's a private citizen. there isn't a scenario where he should -- as a private citizen, why would the answer be, nothing i can talk about in an open setting unless he knows -- >> two different reasons that were given. let's put up a screen that shows what jared kushner's contact with various russians have been. this will help us understand this. he met with the russian ambassador. we know that. sergey kislyak at trump tower in december. then met with the head of veb
bank, gorkov, in december. he said, i was meeting with him as the head of the kushner company. >> real estate company. >> it's a banned bank, a bank that has been sanctioned. he shouldn't have been doing that. we're trying to get to the bottom of what that might have been. kristen, is there some sense that there is any traction on that conversation, getting answers? we've got opposite answers from the bank and from kushner's lawyer. >> there's not yet. as you point out, look, jared kushner is a business person who comes to politics. he's a real estate guy. so i do think whether it is jared kushner or the president himself, there was a business sensibility when they were going through the transition. there still is, as they run the government. so i do think that has, in some instances, created some of the confusion here. i anticipate he is going to get questioned about all of that, methods, practices, why did he have the meeting, how was he approaching? what was his mindset at the time? >> there is a difference between having a business sensibility,
jared being the person who runs the office of innovation. we're going to see tech ceos sit down. that's one faction. another, he runs a family real estate business. one we already know is in need of financing. he has a building on fifth avenue that's been under water. to meet with a russian sanctioned bank that wants the sanctions lifted, and mike flynn had been speaking about the sanctions, it begs more questions. >> yeah. >> it begs a lot of questions and, again, i think it underscores the bottom line about all of this. which is that this is a controversy that isn't going away. this is an administration on defense. the president himself has privately acknowledged to some of his top advisers o, outside friends, that this cloud needs to lift for him to do his job. again, steph and ali, we'll hear from the president later today. he's going to hold the joint press conference with the president of romania. typically, each country gets two questions. you can bet the questions will
likely be in relation to all of this. >> depends on who is asking. >> fair point. >> our team will be there ready with questions, as we always are. great to see you, kristen. >> thanks. right now, we are waiting for president trump to start speaking at the department of transportation. expecting that any minute. seeing activity in the room. we'll bring it as soon as it starts. please stay with us. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara® just 4 doses a year after 2 starter doses. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tuberculosis. before starting stelara® tell your doctor if you think you have an infection or have symptoms such as: fever, sweats, chills, muscle aches or cough. always tell your doctor if you have any signs of infection, have had cancer, if you develop any new skin growths or if anyone in your house needs or has
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any second now, president trump is going to take the podium at the department of transportation. he's set to speak on his new plans to revamp the federal bidding process. this all has to do with this infrastructure week he's on. >> until then, you guys have got to see this. ready? quote, i want to burn the white house down. yup, that's a direct quote. those are the words allegedly written by nsa contractor named reality winner. a note found inside her home. gabe gutierrez is live in augusta, georgia, with more. >> this changes the narrative a bit. >> absolutely. in the beginning, it was open and shut. now, hmm. >> yeah, exactly right, stephanie and ali. a lot of eyebrows raised in the courtroom yesterday behind the dramatic testimony from the government. you mentioned that quote, i want to burn the white house down. that was allegedly found in one of the notebooks the federal agents picked up from reality winner's home. the debate yesterday in court was, is that what she really
wanted to do? was she joking? they're trying to figure it out now. the judge denied her bail in part because of some of the writings. >> you know, there is some discussion about more documents. what's the allegation here, that she was not supposed to have the documents, they're in her home and she was going to be feeding more of it to the media? >> well, ali, what we knew a couple days ago when this story first came out is that she was accused of taking this document -- she worked as an nsa contractor in georgia, this company based in augusta. the allegation was she fed that document about russian meddling in the u.s. election, classified information, and she's accused of giving that to an online publication, the "intercept." what we learned yesterday, the government went much further and said, look, she may have had plans to release more documents. why is that, guys? stephanie and ali, the government says there is this essentially mystery flashdrive.
she allegedly inserted it into a top secret computer while she was in the air force. they can't find that flashdrive. >> they have some way of knowing that a flashdrive was inserted. >> that is a whole heck of a lot more than receiving a document that six other people did and sharing it with a publication. she also wrote she'd like to meet taliban and al qaeda leaders and researched traveling to tel-aviv. it is more complicated than what was presented a few days ago. >> her attorneys, we should point out, yesterday, look, the government here is making a mountain of a mole hill. her attorney said they're heavy on insinuation and little on facts. another exchange we should point out -- and this had some sway with the judge, apparently, as well, when he denied her bail -- the government says in a recorded conversation that winner had after she was taken into custody, she was speaking with her mom, right. she said, quote, according to the government, mom, those
documents, i screwed up. so the u.s. attorney here says she had documents, pleurural. that suggests maybe she had more documents. they're not sure if released she'd release more to the media. interesting case unfolding. >> interesting case that isn't open and shut, which is what people were saying a few days ago. thank you so much. we're going to take a quick break. president trump is about to speak at the department of transportation. i keep saying any second now. i'm going to stop saying that. >> it is infrastructure week. end it on a high note. >> weir going to be bringing you the democrtestimony. we'll also be talking about the comey testimony. >> in the speech, will he 100% stay on message? >> that is why we're staying on to listen to this. >> we want to talk infrastructure all day. >> happy infrastructure week. you doyou'll see whatet but in you're really made of. after five hours of spinning
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we gotta go. [ tires screech ] any airline. any hotel. any time. go where you want, when you want with no blackout dates. [ muffled music coming from club. "blue monday" by new order. cheers. ] ♪ how does it feel the travel rewards credit card from bank of america. it's travel, better connected. welcome back. we woke up to a piece of news today, or if you were up late last night, you heard it. theresa may called an election in the united kingdom, trying to sure up her conservative party support. it didn't work.
she ended up losing seats. if you don't get half the seats, you either are a minority government or you're not. you have to go to the queen and you have to say, i think i can form a government. i'd like to try. this morning, theresa may went to the queen and said she could do just that. >> came to see her imagine elma queen, and i will now form a government. a government that can provide certainty and lead britain forward at this critical time for our country. >> all right. nbc's lucy is following the story in london. without giving us too much of the sausage, which i like because i come from a parliamentary nation -- >> i thought you just like sausage. >> i do, actually. tell us what this all means. she didn't win a majority. her party didn't win a majority, so she has to try and cobble together a coalition. >> yeah. talk about a shock result. her party not winning a
majority. there is now a hung parliament. basically, what usually happens in a sit yigs liuation like thi party with the most votes will try to team up with other parties to form a coalition government. that's not happening this time. theresa may is going ahead with something called a minority government. that means the conservatives stay in power. she gets to keep her cabinet, by and large. in order to legislate, in order to get things done, she'll be turning to help from a small party from northern ireland, the dup, to rule and govern. this is tricky. this is a right-wing party. they're socially conservative. they will want favors for northern ireland in exchange for their support. it is a shaky alliance and one that doesn't necessarily hold. just to give you a sense of the mood here on the ground, the afternoon headline in the evening standard, may hung out to dry. knives out for the prime minister after the poll disaster. her party was supposed to be trong and stable. that's been the mantra. this is anything but.
ali? >> lucy, thank you so much for that. interesting thing about when you have a minority in parliament, you can do all sorts of things. put bills forward, lose them. if you put a bill that requires spending money forward and you lose it, the government has to resign immediately and a new election is called. that's why minority governments in a parliamentary system are shaky. >> it is a different system. i with ana want to talk about o a moment. the senate will soon take up a bill meant to erase consumer protection rules and banking reforms under the dodd fr/frank act. they were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis. the controversial bill faces resistance in the senate despite passing the house. kind of sounds like health care. >> similar model. >> didn't stop the president from tweeting in the last hour. congratulations to jeb hensarling and the republicans on successful house vote to repeal major parts of the 2010 dodd/frank financial law. growth! let's dig deeper into this.
first, what they've put forth is the financial choice act. the goal here in this bill, which has passed the house. it's got to go to the senate. it will be a massive challenge. why? it wants to do two things. replace dodd/frank. go after the consumer financial protection bureau. why is all of this -- >> designed by elizabeth warren, public enemy number one to a lot of senate republicans. now she sits with them. rather than letting her become the head of the financial consumer bureau, they didn't. she ran for senate and now sits with them. >> this is classic politics. the dodd/frank act was put into place after the financial crisis, when angrier. this was around lending practices and deposits. the president said people aren't able to borrow money. banks are being strangled. that's not really the case. we're going to interrupt this conversation. as soon as we cover what i love -- >> now the president is coming out at the department of
transportation. let's listen in. ♪ >> thank you, secretary. thank you, everybody. this is very nice, by the way. beautiful. i want to really thank you. you have been so amazing as the leader of this department. and the progress is being made so quickly. leaders and officials gathered here from across the country have all praised the work that the secretary is doing, to create a safe, modern and reliable transportation system for the united states and for its great, great, great people. i also want to thank secretary zinke for the fantastic job he's doing at the department of the interior, to clear the way for new infrastructure and economic development.
both secretary chow and zinke joined us at the white house yesterday for a meeting with state and local leaders to develop plans to replace america's decaying infrastructure and construct new roads, rails, pipelines, tunnels and bridges all across our nation. we are here today to focus on solving one of the biggest obstacles to creating this new and desperately needed infrastructure. that is the painfully slow, costly and time consuming process of getting permits and approvals to build. i also knew that from the private sector. it is a long, slow, unnecessarily burdensome process. my administration is committed to ending these terrible delays once and for all. the excruciating wait time for permitting has inflicted
enormous financial pain to cities and states all throughout our nation. and it's blocked many important projects from ever getting off the group. many, many projects are long gone because they couldn't get permits and there was no reason for it. we've already taken historic steps to speed up the approvals, including the approval of the keystone xl pipeline, which was very quickly approved. it was sitting there for a long time, saying, well, that project is dead. then i came into office and, all of a sudden, a miracle. i guarantee you, the consultants went over to the heads of the company and told them what a great job they did. they asked for a lot of money, most likely. but we got it approved. we got it approved fast. i'm also very proud to say that the dakota access pipeline is now officially open for business. it was dead 120 days ago.
now, it officially just opened for business. very proud of that. hi, bill. [ applause ] we're also excited to be joined by representatives from our labor unions, including the north american building trades union, which i know well, and the laborers international union of north america. you will play -- go ahead, fellas. take a little credit. come on, fellas. [ applause ] you will play a central role in rebuilding america. very important. we're also joined, as well, by many distinguished members of congress who share our total passion and desire to repair and restore america's highways, railways and waterways. in the audience is a man that i've gotten to know well and who
is doing some job, and it is not easy but it is going to get a lot easier. chairman bill schuster of the stand up. thank you, bill. great job. who is working very closely with us, including on our proposal to dramatically reduce airport delays by reforming air traffic control. we have an obsolete system, and i have to say before elaine got here, they spent close to $7 billion on the system. boom, a waste. all wasted. but we're going to have a great system, great new system. the top of the line. it will be the best in the world. right now we're at the lowest part of the pack. it will be the best in the world for a lot less money than we've been wasting for years. for too long america has poured trillions and trillions of dollars into rebuilding foreign
countries while allowing our own country, the country that we love and its infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair. we have structurally deficient bridges, clogged roads, crumbling dams and locks. our rivers are in trouble. our railways are aging. chronic traffic that slows commerce and diminishes our citizens' quality of life. other than that, we're doing very well. instead of rebuilding our country, washington has spent decades building a dense thicket of rules, regulations, and red tape. it took only four years to build the golden gate bridge and five years to build the hoover dam and less than one year to build
the empire state building. people don't believe that. it took less than one year. but today it can take ten years and far more than that to get the approvals and permits needed to build a major infrastructure project. these charts beside me are actually a simplefied version. it includes 16 different approvals, following federal agencies being governed by 26 different statutes. as one example -- and this happened just 30 minutes ago -- i was sitting with a great group of people responsible for the state's development and roadways. all of are you in the room now. and one gentleman from maryland
was talking about an 18 mile road, and he brought with him some of the approvals that they've gotten and paid for. they spent $29 million for an environmental report weighing 70 pounds and costing $24,000 per page, and i said do me a favor. i'm going to make a speech in a little while. do you mind if i take that and show it? so i'm going to show it. >> the president has gone off his mike, so if you are in the room, you can hear this. he is demonstrating how difficult it is to get infrastructure projects done. he mentioned that there are 17 different permits to get a highway made with ten different agencies, and that's what he is going to do. >> here's what's interesting. it's tough to hear him right
now. this is sort of that argument we saw sean spicer make early on during this administration where he said look at this small list. this is -- ours is only a few pages. theirs is so many. this is what president trump specializes in saying what we currently have is the worst, i'm going to make it the best. this is so much, i'm going to streamline it. what we're missing is what the actual plan is. let's listen. >> millions and millions of dollars. when i said how long is this short roadway been talked about, the gentleman said, well, if you say 20 years, you're safe. i said, yeah, don't say any more because i have to be exactly accurate with these people. i was off by two months, it's a major front page story. but these binders on the stage could be replaced by just a few simple pages. it would be just as good. it would actually be much better because these binders also make you do unnecessary things that
cost billions and billions of dollars and they actually make it worse. the 23, if you look at it in ohio, the ohio river bridge, $2.3 billion. a project amassed a 150,000 page administrative record. 150,000 pages is a five-story tall building. if you put the paper together, it's a five-story building. how can a country prosper under this kind of nonsense? i know it. i know it's the well being of the private sector, but, you know, in the private sector, you move and you wheel and you deal and you hope and you pray.
it maybe goes a little faster, but it's a remember ho thing in the private sector. we're talking about reducing that for the private sector. likewise. why should we continue to accept what is so clearly unacceptable? oftentimes for consultants that are making a fortune because you can't do anything without hiring them, paying them a tremendous amount of money, having them write up this nonsense. you can't get approvals. and there in the case of albany, the state capital or here they go to washington for federal, and they want to make it really tough because that way you have to hire them. it's a group of people, they work really hard to make it difficult. some are believers. most aren't. most want to make a lot of money
they want to make a simple roadway or whatever you want to be building a very complicated subject and they make it more expensive, and they make it worse. it's not as good as it would have been. i was not elected to continue a failed system. i was elected to change it. all of us in government service were elected to solve the problems that have plagued our nation. the petty partisan squabbling of washington d.c. we are here to take action. it's time to start building our country with american workers and with american iron and aluminum and steel. it's time to put up soaring new infrastructure that inspires
pride in our people. when i approved the keystone pipeline, i said where was the pipe made? unfortunately, they had purchased a lot of it, but i put a little clause at the bottom. you want to build a pipeline in this country? buy american steel. let it be fabricated here. very simple little clause written in hand, but it does the trick. it is time at last to put america first. americans deserve the best infrastructure anywhere in the world. they deserve roads and bridges that are safe to travel and pipes that deliver clean water into their homes. not like what happened in flint, michigan. they deserve lanes of commerce that get people and products where they need to go on time.
most of all, it americans deserve a system of infrastructure that is looked upon not with pity. the world in many cases is so far advanced that they look at our infrastructure as being sad. we want them to look at us with envy. a system worthy of our magnificent country. no longer can we allow these rules and regulations to tie down our economy, chain up our prosperi prosperity, and sapp our great american spirit. that is why we will release these and release the full potential of the united states of america. to all of our state and local leaders, i appreciate your being here today. thank you. thank you.
the help is finally after many, many decades on its way. we are giving control back to the cities and the states. you know best how to plan your communities, analyze your projects, and protect your local environment. we will get rid of the redid you understand answ-- redundancy an duplication that waste your time and money. our goal is to give you one point of contact to deliver one decision yes or no for the entire federal government and to deliver that decision quickly, whether it's a road, whether it's a highway, a bridge, a dam. to do this we are setting up a new counsel to help project managers navigate the bureaucratic maze. this council will also approve transparency by creating a new on-line dashboard, allowing everyone to easily trackor