tv MSNBC Live With Katy Tur MSNBC September 13, 2017 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
p.m. in washington where we're watching not one but two live events this hour. any minute senator bernie sanders will make an all-out push for one of the most divisive ideas in politics, medicare for all. about 15 democratic senators say they're in, but is this a battle the democratic party needs right now? also this hour, the white house press secretary sarah huckabee sanders is scheduled to take the podium. we'll bring that to you live as soon as it happens. but first, guess who is coming to dinner tonight? senator chuck schumer and democratic leader nancy pelosi take their turn at wheeling and dealing one day after president trump hosted three democratic senators at the white house. daca is on the menu tonight. and, in about 45 minutes trump will sit down with nine house dems to discuss everything from tax reform to infrastructure. this all comes one week after president trump undercut gop
leaders by siding with chuck and nancy, schumer and pelosi, on the debt ceiling. so the question is how long will this spirit of kumbaya last? >> confirmed a bipartisan group of lawmakers heading to the white house today as president trump's administration is ramping up efforts to push tax reform. >> it was a very in depth conversation. went into detail and president basically back and forth what we can do, exciting things that can happen, how we can work together. >> he needs to reach out to democrats on all these big issues and hopefully generate some bipartisan support. >> we need bipartisanship to get things done. anybody who talks to us wants us to roll up our sleeves and make progress on things like tax reform. >> this is a big change. from a president who did no bipartisan outreach, no across the aisle outreach at all in the first seven months, now he's having chuck schumer and nancy pelosi over for dinner. >> it's going to be an
interesting conversation. >> we're going to get to that and more a little bit later, but first, bernie sanders has taken the stage. he's talking about medicare for all. got a big standing ovation for this. let's take a listen. >> -- this afternoon. let me thank our special guests. the media likes to talk about the politics of its event, who's supporting it and why and its impact, blah, blah, blah, but that's not where the american people are at. the american people want to know what we're going to do to fix a dysfunctional health care system which costs us twice as much per person than any other country and yet leaves 28 million people uninsured and even more underinsured. that's what the american people want to know in terms of what we're doing. and that is what we're going to be talking about today.
[ applause ] and i want to tell you that i am just very excited about the kind of support our medicare for all legislation is receiving all across this country and right here in the united states senate. as of today we now have 16 co-sponsors on this legislation. [ cheers and applause ] and in order of seniority, that's the protocol here in the senate, let me mention to you all of the co-sponsors. senator pat leahy, sheldon whitehouse, tom udahl, kirsten gill brand, dick blumenthal, elizabeth warren, martin
heinrich, senator ed markey, cory booker and senator harris of california. [ applause ] and we also have dozens of grassroots organizations all across america who are going to help us pass this bill. let me begin by bringing up to the podium some folks who have enormous experience professionally and personally in terms of health care, and they're going to explain to us and to the many people watching us on live stream as to why we need a move toward medicare for all system. please welcome a pediatrician in southeast washington, d.c. and assistant professor of pediatrics at the george washington university school of
medicine. dr. sariem. >> good afternoon. my name is dr. sanjay sri -- and i'm a pediatrician in southeast washington, d.c. for seven years i've cared for a patient i'm going to call sean. i met sean when he was 13, newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and still adjusting to checking his blood sugar and regularly doing those insulin injections. i earned his trust because i never judged him when he had setbacks and always kept it real. sugar coating is not recommended for diabetics. together, we have -- >> bernie sanders introducing medicare for all among the other democratic senators who have signed on for this. joining me now is nbc's chief white house correspondent hallie jackson. ashley parker is white house
reporter with "the washington post" and an msnbc political analyst, jonathan la mere is a white house reporter with "associated press" and an msnbc political analyst, excuse me, as well. jonathan, i want to start with you. let's talk a little bit about bernie sanders and what he's doing coming out talking about medicare for all, getting 15 democratic senators to sign on. but this is a difficult topic for most of the democratic party. >> that's right. i mean, it's already being sort of portrayed as perhaps a litmus test for some of the party leaders in the advance of 2020. that this is not something that is an easy support for everyone in the party. earlier today on "morning joe" chris murphy suggested he was trying to come up with a bridge to single payer. so perhaps democrats wouldn't have to fully commit to this program. but this is something bernie sanders of course believes in, that he's going out there early with. and with bernie sanders in the news, hillary clinton in the news, it's 2016 all over again, right? >> and donald trump in the news,
yeah. >> he's always in the news. >> feels like we're endlessly reliving 2016. hallie, are you there? i feel like you were just on a source call, hallie. >> reporter: yeah. >> good. is there anything to report from that call? >> reporter: no, let's say there are a lot of people ready for this meeting to happen. a bipartisan group of lawmakers coming here to talk about tax reform, that's going to be the top topic along with some other presidential priorities. and it's interesting because this is something we have seen now develop over the last week or so the president talking a lot more about trying to come to terms with some kind of a deal with democrats. he's having the people he's dubbed chuck and nancy, as you know, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, over for dinner later on tonight. we know some others who will be in the room include for example, mick mulvaney, budget director,
as well as wilbur ross. the question will be as mick mulvaney said, do democrats really want to come to a deal with the president and what is that deal going to look like? basically getting down to brass tacks. particularly in about two weeks, september 25th when we expect to see the fill-in of the outline for the tax plan initiated or at least made public by house members, the house republican leadership over on the hill. so do democrats, what does a deal look like if they were to find one with the president, or in the words of director mulvaney, is this simply going to be some kind of a political, he didn't use the phrase stunt, but certainly seemed to allude to it. so i think that is going to be first and foremost the topic of discussion later on tonight, katy, when it comes to whether this tax plan can really get democrats on board. i think the consensus from a lot of folks i've been talking to over on the hill is that that is probably not going to happen. that the way this is being done is going to be with republican support only. that said i did have one member
of the freedom caucus say to me they don't think they have 51 votes in the senate on a tax reform plan, which means they miegtd need democrats onboard for that. >> so taxes, daca, infrastructure, debt ceiling. >> reporter: there's a lot. >> also coming up again, health care and whether or not there's going to be another push for that. the president while he was campaigning and then-candidate donald trump talked about universal health care for all. not quite what bernie sanders is talking about now. but there was this approval it seems, not a full endorsement, of senator cassidy's bill that they proposed, does that have a chance? is the white house trying to push this? what's going on? >> that's a good question. i mean, i think on health care more than tax reform it's an interesting contrast. on tax reform the president even though we had very few details, it's an issue he understands. it's an issue he's very passionate about. and it's an issue where there's clear things he wants. so for instance the 15%
corporate tax rate. on health care from the very beginning when it first started in the house what the president really wanted was to kind of get it out of the way and to get a win. so i think on health care what they want is to get obamacare repealed and replaced and i think that's why you're seeing the president be more willing to see what plan does that, if it is that plan that's something the white house could potentially put its weight behind, although i think it's too early to declare one or another. but on health care i think he wants to get something passed so he can move onto issues. >> thank you so much for pivoting from what was our original discussion which was taxes and this dinner deal between the democrats and the president, this deal -- or this meeting that they're having at 2:45 as well, chuck and nancy, all that stuff. and moving over to health care, bernie sanders took the stage immediately we don't usually expect politicians to be on time and yet bernie sanders was on time for us today. guys, thank you very much.
ashley, hallie and jonathan. joining me now is republican senator bill cassidy who represents the state of louisiana. he's co-sponsoring a last-ditch plan to repeal and replace obamacare today. senator cassidy, thank you very much. your ears must be ringing because we were just talking about you a moment ago. there seems to be some sort of approval, at least a tacid approval from the president for this plan that you are pushing. >> yeah, and mike pence is making phone calls for us. the president has privately suggested he's very supportive. so we think the white house will be there as we get closer to the completion. >> what about what bernie sanders is talking about today, medicare for all? do you think that it at least deserves a fair hearing? >> medicare is going bankrupt in 17 years. if we're going to say to those senior who is are right now facing a system which cannot pay for the care they are scheduled to receive going to add 120 million more people, that reminds me a lot that no one's going to lose their doctor and premiums are going to decrease by $2,500. it's just not going to happen. you can't add 100 million people
to a system going bankrupt. we think ours is a better way, it's paid for, gives the patient the power, sustainable. >> he says we're the only country who doesn't negotiate with prescription drug companies. does your plan address that? >> no, that is outside the scope of what our plan can do through reconciliation. by the way, it's outside the scope of a single payer plan. that's a totally separate issue. and absolutely we have to address skyrocketing costs of pharmaceuticals. i'm all about giving the patient the power. i am a doctor. and that's one way to do it. but in terms of health care it's a separate issue. >> so talk to me about your plan. what are you hoping to see? and tell me what it entails. >> yeah, we take the dollars that obamacare would allocate to states and instead of giving it to the states with lots of strings attached, we give it to the state for them to design a system that works for their state. alaska's very different than rhode island, louisiana from new york. allow those states they can only spend it on health care, but allow them to come up with a system. we've had democratic and republican governors and medicaid directors and insurance commissioners testify in the last two weeks they all want flexibility, blue and red
states. they all say they can do better than washington, d.c. we give them that opportunity. >> it also repeals obamacare mandates. do you think that is something the democrats can get onboard with? >> well, jonathan gruber, who helped write obamacare, did a study published in new england journal of medicine, the individual mandate has no effect upon enrollment, according to gruber's study. no effect. what does have an effect is a governor getting behind a project and pushing people to get enrolled. >> so you think just for the governor to say to his constituents or her constituents we need you to get onboard, that's enough? >> no, not at all. in our state our governor enrolled 450,000 people in medicaid in 18 months. whatever you think about it, incredibly effective. we have in our plan the so-called fast track mechanism that allows states to do what they did under c.h.i.p., which is to enroll people quickly. we also give option of automatic enrollment or already have the option under secretary price in which like medicare you're in unless you choose not to be.
so we have different mechanisms that we think will improve enrollment. >> senator cassidy, hate to cut you off here, but sarah huckabee sanders has just taken the podium. she's talking about bipartisanship and this dinner tonight. let's take a listen. >> -- the president will also host senator schumer and congresswoman pelosi this evening for a bipartisan discussion on the upcoming legislative agenda with a focus on tax reform. historic tax reform is one of the most significant ways we will jump start our economy, creating jobs and raising wages for all americans. the president and his team will continue to engage with all members of congress who are willing to work with us to deliver this critical relief for the american people. finally, on a slightly lighter note, i'd like to announce that frank from falls church, virginia, whose letter i read last month offering his services to mow the white house lawn, will be here on friday. he'll work with the groundskeeping crew here at the white house and will help cut the grass in the rose garden. the president is committed to keeping the american dream alive
for kids like frank. and we're all looking forward to having him here. and with that i'll take your questions. john. >> couple of questions. first, can you give us a readout of the meeting that the president had with senator scott this morning? >> sure. this was a very productive meeting that the president and the senator both wanted to have, something to discuss potential solutions moving forward to bring the country together, focus on unity. also talking and touching on some of the priorities for the legislative agenda moving into the fall. >> did senator scott express his displeasure at all with the president's initial reaction to charlottesville? >> not at all. they talked about it pretty indepth, but the focus was primarily on solutions moving forward. and that was what both people came to the meeting wanting to discuss is what we can do to bring people together, not talk about divisions within the country. >> second question, following the meeting he had with the president last night, west virginia senator joe manchin
said in his perfect world you get 30 democratic senators and 30 republican senators agreeing on a plan for tax reform. does the president believe he can get 30 democratic senators and still stick to his principles for tax reform? >> i think america hopes he can. i think for the sake of most americans the goal is -- i would actually set the sights much higher in that you have every member of the senate come together to help pass massive tax cuts and bring tax reform to this country. >> two questions, if i can, the president's dinner tonight with schumer and pelosi, they seem to be getting close, but in the past the president has called chuck schumer a clown, pelosi a loser. but now he seems to recognize that he needs them. how does that work? what changed? >> i think it's less about him needing them but as more about the president wanting to work with them and wanting to help move this country forward. as we've said many times before, we've got a very ambitious legislative agenda for this fall. and the president wants to work with anybody that wants to move america forward.
and if they're willing to do that, sit down, be part of that conversation on both tax cuts and tax reform, responsible immigration reform, the president certainly welcomes those conversations. >> does he view schumer and pelosi as equal allies on the hill for getting things done on par with mcconnell and ryan? >> the president is a republican and certainly i think ideologically that's a much cleaner matchup, but again, if these people and these individuals whether they're democrats or republicans want to come together to push the president's agenda and the agenda that clearly the american people want to see or they wouldn't have elected donald trump, then we're certainly happy to have that conversation and move that ball forward. no. >> i know the president came out for graham cassidy today, but a lot of people believe that may not come to pass. senator alexander has introduced more incremental bill that would stabilize insurance markets. could the president support a bill like that? or does it have to be more of a
full scale repeal? and secondly, what does the president make of democrats' efforts on single payer? >> i think that the president as well as the majority of the country knows the single payer system that the democrats are proposing is a horrible idea. i can't think of anything worse than having government be more involved in your health care instead of less involved. the president's focused on looking at ways where government gets out of the way, people have more control over their own health care and looking at ways to, again, fully repeal and replace would certainly be a priority, but we want to move the system forward. and make sure we're in a place that's actually sustainable and we have a health care system that works that people who are under that health care system actually have a say in. >> but could he sign something that's not a full scale repeal? obviously i'm not just saying single payer, but something -- >> we'd have to see the specific pieces of that legislation before we were going to weigh-in on a hypothetical, bill. matthew.
>> thanks. two questions. first, is vice president pence going to be attending that dinner tonight? >> i believe the vice president's actually hosting another dinner at his residence with other members of congress. we'll make sure we get those more details to you on that later today. >> on a different topic, i wanted to follow up on some statements you made yesterday about james comey. you said some of his conduct likely could have been illegal. i was wondering what specifically you were referring to there? because the one thing you pointed out were the memos given to the "times" but those didn't contain classified information and were handed over as private citizen. >> the memos comey leaked were created on an fbi computer while he was the director. he claims they were private property, but they clearly followed the protocol of an official fbi document, leaking fbi memos on a sensitive case regardless of classification violates federal laws including the privacy act, standard fbi employment agreement and nondisclosure agreement all personnel must sign.
i think that's pretty clean and clear that that would be a violation. >> what do you want to see happen? >> that's not up to me to decide. i'm certainly not an attorney, but i think the facts of the case are very clear. >> just following up on that, so you're not saying that the justice department should look into this, but you do believe that comey did -- that his act of leaking those memos was illegal? >> the department of justice has to look into any allegations of whether or not something's illegal or not, that's not up to me to decide. what i've said and what i'm talking about are facts. james comey, leaking of information, questionable statements under oath, politicizing investigation, those are real reasons for why he was fired. and the president's decision was 100% right, which we've said multiple times over and over. and in fact i think the more and more we learn the more and more that's been vindicated. >> and just on another topic, do you have any details on where the president will be going
tomorrow in florida? any details on that trip? >> he will be in the naples and ft. myers area. and as soon as those final details about specific stops are locked in we'll certainly keep you guys posted. sarah. >> two questions. the first one, after meeting with senator scott, is the president's mind changed at all about the initial statement? should he have been more forceful? and will he sign this bipartisan resolution condemning the violence in charlottesville as well as hate groups like the kkk and neo-nazi? >> the president was clear in his initial statement that he condemned hatred, bigotry, racism of all forms. he continues to stick to that message. he's been very consistent in that fact. he and the senator talked about that and discussed that. and agreed that that was the appropriate place to be in terms of whether or not he'll sign a joint resolution absolutely and he looks forward to doing so as soon as he receives it, which he
hasn't done, as i came out here earlier. >> one other topic, his meeting with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi tonight. this is the kind of thing that conservatives who ran against him in the presidential race warned about that he would be cutting deals with chuck and nancy that would not uphold the ideals of conservatives. so why is he meeting with just the two of them this efbing? is he hoping to -- an immigration deal? >> i think it's pretty disingenuous to say he's only meeting with democrats. the president is the leader of the republican party and elected by republicans. he beat out 16 other candidates to take that mantle on and certainly i think one of the strongest voices and so the idea the republican party ideas are not represented in that room is just ridiculous. >> is immigration going to come up? and would the president consider a deal with the three-month extension working with democrats on the issue? >> i wouldn't be surprised if it
didn't come up tonight but i'm not going to get ahead of the conversations they're going to take place lalter this evening. as always we'll keep you posted on what those look like. >> i want to ask about the withdrawing his nomination for consideration, did the white house know about the i.g. audit when the president decided to nominate him? >> we're not going to get into the back and forth. particularly at fema right now is the safety and security of those affected by the hurricane. we're not going to go down rabbit holes on personnel and our focus is on that right now. steve. >> this morning on cbs senator manchin said last night at dinner the president was adamant that the tax reform would not be a tax cut for the rich. do you know on what basis the president was able to make that promise? is he pledging to hold the top tax rate at 36.9%, are we not going to see a reduction in that ralt? how can he assure americans the rich will not get a tax cut? >> the president's priority when it comes to tax cut and tax
reform is on helping grow the middle class, helping create jobs, simplifying the system. he's laid out the system and that's where his focus is and that's what he's going to push for as we moved throughout the process. >> ask about bernie sanders health plan, when he wanted to see a program allow for insurance for everybody and would leverage medicare and medicaid's ability to control drug prices. bernie sanders seems to be offering a plan that would do that. why does the president not support it? >> i'm pretty sure that not only does the president not support it, but america doesn't support it or bernie sanders would be sitting in the oval office right now. he pushed these ideas forward during the campaign. they were rejected not just by america but democrats. he didn't make it through the primary. he didn't make it into the oval. i think that's a pretty clear indication of what america wants to see and it's not a single payer system. alexis. i'll come back to you. >> thank you. go ahead. >> two quick questions, on tax reform, there are some democrats
who are confused if the president was serious about creating a bipartisan tax plan. theiring th their thinking is that the president would also be meeting with ranking members of ways and means and finance committee in advance of the disclosure of the consensus outline that's going to come out at the end of september. can you describe the president's view about how to create a bipartisan tax plan? and does he want to get ideas from democrats? or does he just want democrats to buy into the plan that will be revealed? >> i think by the mere fact he's been sitting down yesterday and today with multiple members of the democrat party shows he wants to have that conversation with them. i don't think you can make that any more clear than to have those ongoing conversations with multiple members of the democrat party. >> i have two questions. quick question on florida. how soon will the federal government be able to estimate
with any kind of precision what kind of additional aid might be necessary for the duress the destruction in florida in terms of what congress may be presented. >> we're still in the recovery efforts right now. until we get a little bit further into the process it would be premature to put those estimates out there particularly with precision. i would imagine that that takes us a good bit more time and once we have those numbers we'll let you know. >> i'd like to ask, the united states is spearheading a meeting at the u.n. on monday on u.n. reform. could you give me some specifics on what the united states hopes to accomplish in that meeting? >> i'm not going to get ahead of the meetings that are going to take place, but i can tell you that on friday general mcmaster and ambassador haley will be here at the briefing to talk in more detail about the u.n. general assembly events and meetings that will take place. decker. >> thanks so much, sarah. just to follow up to the
president's meeting that he had with senator scott this morning. after the president's response to that white supremacist rally in charlottesville, senator scott said that president trump's moral authority was compromised. in terms of the conversation they had, does the president understand what troubled senator scott in regards to his response? >> they had a very open and honest conversation and committed to continuing those conversations and making sure that today was just the first step of many of those meetings where i think that will be an ongoing process and ongoing conversation that they have. >> and then on tax reform, with the meeting that's taking place this evening, with democratic leaders from congress, what has been the reaction that you've seen from the supporters on board sort of the trump bandwagon from the start? this new tact the president is taking in reaching out to democrats. >> this was something the president talked about on the campaign trail of being a good
deal maker and being able to sit down with members of both sides and be able to bring a deal and bring good legislation for the american people. this isn't new. and people listened and heard the president and learn si supported him and that's why he's here today. john. >> thank you, sarah. two different questions, two subjects. first, your earlier remarks about the nature of repeal and replace legislation would seem to rule out the white house support for flat out repeal. are you ruling out or discouraging a flat out repeal measure first? >> we haven't ruled out anything that helps move this process forward. we're grateful for the efforts that are continuing in congress. and we hope that they do what they campaigned on and what they promised the american people they would do, and that's not just repeal but it's also replace. i think both of those parts are very important moving forward.
>> the other thing is the president recently appointed 42 u.s. attorneys and it's been reported fairly widely that only one of them was a woman, u.s. attorney for the district of columbia. joyce vance, former democratic appointed u.s. attorney in alabama called this, and i quote, a slap in the face, unquote. what is the reaction of the white house to that comment on this wave of appointments of u.s. attorneys? >> i think that the president has certainly surrounded himself with a lot of strong women in various positions including myself in a pretty high position and senior position in the administration, as well as kellyanne, a number of others, he's continuing to add numbers to his staff at senior levels every single day, i think that's a very positive step forward considering particularly in the communications as the first time in history that's happened. trey. >> thanks, sarah.
it was reported today that mike flynn jr. is the subject of a federal investigation into election meddling. is the president concerned that someone who served on his transition team is now the subject of a federal investigation? >> i haven't had a conversation with him about that, but i'd refer you to outside counsel on matters like that. >> follow up on a comment hillary clinton made this morning. she said she wished president trump was the president for all americans. do you have any reaction to this characterization of the president's role in the white house? >> i think that type of misunderstanding of who this president is and frankly a misunderstanding of what he's been doing is exactly one of the reasons that hillary clinton is not the president and is instead pushing a book with a lot of false narratives and a lot of, i think, false accusations and placing blame on a lot of other people instead of accepting it herself. phil. >> thank you, sarah. a little over a week ago canada, u.s. and mexico closed up second
round of negotiations on nafta. next round in ten days in ottawa. has the president been briefed on the second round? is he happy with the result, if he was brief snd and is he still considering canceling the entire agreement? >> those negotiations are still ongoing. and a final decision hasn't been made. and they're going to continue to push forward to make sure that the best deal possible for americans and american workers happens. hallie. >> sarah, two questions. when was the last time the president spoke with -- >> i'm not sure. i'm not aware of any conversation that's taken place in quite a long time. >> and i also want to ask about tonight's dinner. why not also invite mitch mcconnell and paul ryan? >> look, you've got the leader of the republican party sitting at the table. this is the president's opportunity to have a very open and honest conversation with members of the senate. and i think anybody that tries to distort it into something other than that is just misunderstanding what the purpose is. >> let me clarify because i don't want to get it wrong
either. are you saying if mitch mcconnell and paul ryan were there that conversation would be distorted? >> that's not what i'm saying at all. i'm saying if anybody thinks that the republican viewpoint isn't being represented is completely misunderstanding that the president is the leader of the republican party. >> so is the president negotiating on behalf of the republican leadership on this hill in this meeting? >> the president is negotiating on behalf of the american people exactly what he was elected to do. the idea you guys keep trying to distort this into a bad thing is i think exactly why this president was elected. they were sick and tired of business as usual. they wanted somebody who would break up the status quo, that would bring people from both sides of the table to have conversations. this president's done more for bipartisanship in the last eight days than obama did in eight years. >> sarah, i want to go on the
scott meeting, what other topics were on the table with the president beyond charlottesville? >> they talked about tax reform, they talked about moving to a -- looking at different ways to bring the country together and about continuing ongoing conversations making sure that they stayed in constant contact with one another and having a pretty open and regular conversation. >> were dl discussions about hbcus? >> they were not today. >> a source said there was a conversation about a request from black republicans to have a high ranking black republican in this administration who knows issues, that understands how to -- how washington up and down pennsylvania works. was that a conversation in this meeting? >> there's certainly conversations about adding additional personnel that can tap into the african-american community, that did come up, yes. >> so where did that go?
>> a commitment to absolutely work with senator scott to look to do exactly that and for the two of them to continue to have those conversations for his viewpoints to continue to be expressed directly to the president. >> certain issues or certain people as related to the topic of bringing new -- >> specific people didn't come up. blake. >> let me bring back to taxes and a couple questions there. the president campaigned on corporate tax rate of 15% however steve mnuchin yesterday said i don't know if we'll be able to achieve that given the budget issues. you were asked about mr. mnuchin's comments, you said the president is prepared to push for as low a rate we can get however mick mulvaney said he had spoken to the president and the president was adamant about a 15% rate. so is the official position from the administration that a 15% rate needs to happen, or that all of this is subject to negotiation? >> the 15% has been the goal. it's always been the goal. we're going to continue pushing for that. that certainly hasn't changed. >> and secondly, with working
with or at least talking tonight with pelosi and schumer, one of the things they want is not one penny, their campaign, to the wealthiest americans. that is a mark they have drawn in the sand. at this point is the president open to not having tax cuts as deep as once were maybe thought for the wealthiest of americans? >> again, the president's focus has never been on the wealthiest of americans. it's been on tax cuts for the middle class and tax reform as a whole. that continues to be his priority and will in tonight's discussion come through. >> sarah, thank you. two questions if i may, one is since you raised the issue of mrs. clinton's book having false narrative and false accusations, could you point us to a couple specific accusations in the book that you believe are factually incorrect? >> i think probably the biggest one is any place within the book where she lays blame for the loss on anyone but herself. >> can i just follow-up separate topic. the president issued a strong statement the other day on myanmar and the persecution of the minority muslim population.
i know that topic came up yesterday in his meeting yesterday with the malaysians, i'm wondering if the president feels that aung san suu kyi as the de facto leader of that country should be more forthright in condemning what's happening in that part of her country? >> i think any time anyone sees something like that taking place, public condemnation is certainly appropriate. we're going to continue working with our allies and partners to be part of the process in whatever way we can moving forward. david. >> yes. you mentioned couple times today emphasizing diversity and the president being very clear after charlottesville in denouncing -- i want to read a comment from an influential african-american sportscaster on espn said donald trump is a white supremacist largely surrounded himself with other white supremacist direct result, period, unfit and unqualified to be president? do you have reaction to that?
is the president aware of that comment? >> i'm not sure if he's aware but i think that's one of the more outrageous comments anyone could make and certainly i think a fireable offense by espn. >> if the president was so clear having said why do you think influential african-american figures -- >> i'm not going to speak for that individual. but i know that the president has met, again, with people like senator scott who have highly respected leaders in the african-american community, he's committed to working with them to bring the country together. i think that's where we need to be focused. not on outrageous statements like that one. >> thank you, sarah. you said before that the president has done more for bipartisanship in the last eight days than president obama did in eight years. are you basing that off of meetings that he's held with democrats here at the white house? >> i'm basing that on the fact that he's actually willing to sit down with members of the opposite party, something that president obama rarely did. and certainly didn't listen to members of the opposite party. i can't think of a single time
where he made a deal with anybody from the opposite side of the -- you know, from anybody beyond the democrat party. again, this president is committed to do that. he hasn't done it just once but continues to do that as we move into one of the most ambitious agendas we've had in a long time. we're working with democrats he's stated publicly and in the meetings he's going to continue to have. >> thank you. does the president believe it's a mistake not to have invested more time and energy in the schumer-pelosi relationship at an early stage in his term? >> i don't think so. i think right now we're at a critical time where we have some big things on the agenda, tax reform, responsible immigration reform, he's committed to working again with both republicans and democrats to push those through and hopes that they'll come onboard to do that. thanks so much, guys, the president will be having an event here just momentarily. thank you. >> sarah huckabee sanders of course talking about that meeting that the president will be having with a number of democrats to talk about a number
of issues. lots to cover there in that press briefing. she came out and said right off the top that the president is a republican. she said that he doesn't necessarily need chuck and nancy, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi, but he does want to work with them. also a moment ago you heard her say, you heard hallie jackson ask why mitch mcconnell or paul ryan was not invited to this dinner tonight and she said because the leader of the republican party will be at this dinner. very clearly saying that why do you need other republicans when you have the republican, donald trump, there to negotiate at this dinner. a lot of people will take a lot of stock of that, parse it through and wonder whether or not this is an admission from the white house that they don't believe that mitch mcconnell or paul ryan matter. hallie jackson asked that question. hallie, that will certainly be a debate to come. >> i think so, katy, forgive me
as i juggle my notes and phone and microphone. sarah huckabee sanders made her point very clear from the podium as you've been talking about. interesting that from the podium we are hearing the declaration that the president is a republican, he is absolutely a republican, sort of the need for the press secretary to reaffirm that here publicly. but her point is that, hey, republican conservative views are represented in this dinner despite the absence of mitch mcconnell and paul ryan, obviously the two top republicans in the house and senate. and that is the line. now, obviously it is we are reporting this throughout the day, we're going to be going back to folks on the hill and some of our sources asking is that satisfactory to you, are you confident that the president will in fact present these and uphold these conservative views. paul ryan was asked that by our other colleague here in d.c. this morning, are you confident the president will uphold conservative views when it comes to tax reform. the response from paul ryan was brief, yes, i am. then he moved on to the next question. >> hallie, you know this just as well as i do from being on the
trail, when you talk to donald trump voters and you ask them if they believe donald trump more than the republican party or democratic party, they say they believe donald trump more. you could say they were bent in a more conservative or republican way, but they weren't necessarily tied to the party or tied to donald trump sticking to the party. you'll remember he talked about, you know, not necessarily -- it took him so long to sign that loyalty pledge. you were at that press conference. >> right. >> so, i mean, is the president just waking up and saying to himself i got to get things done? >> listen, sarah huckabee sanders kind of talked around this today, katy, saying the president always said on the campaign trail that he would be a deal maker and do what he needed to do and get things wrong. she's not wrong in that, he did. it's something that did resonate with people who supported him. we talk to him all the time when we go to these events that he holds around the country as he'll be doing more rallies on tax reform, you know who people don't love at those rallies all the time? frankly mitch mcconnell and paul ryan and some of the rest of the republican leadership, people that have been in town for a while, meaning here in
washington for a while. that is just the reality on the ground when you get outside the beltway here. now, that's not to say that is not going to present the president political problems here in washington. given that he needs some of these folks to be able to move on his agenda. that is where kind of the conflict lies and why tonight's dinner is going to be real interesting on how it goes. remember, too, who else is going to be in the room. it's not just the three of them. the president's top advisors on the economy including as our colleague peter alexander is now reporting gary cohn, top economic adviser here at the white house, who will be sitting in as well along with director mulvaney along with wilbur ross, et cetera. so i think there will be more people, of course, than just the three of them. the question will be does he serve ice cream for dessert and is it in the shape of an egg as joe manchin has been talking about all day he loved at his dinner here last night. >> does the president get two scoops while everyone else gets one from that "time" interview? let's talk for a second, hallie, about jim comey. sarah huckabee sanders being pretty clear on what she thinks
jim comey did. she thinks he broke the law when he leaked those memos to the "new york times" or had them leaked to the "new york times." she said it doesn't matter whether or not they are classified, he did them on fbi property and they were done in official fbi format. but she stopped short of saying whether or not she's recommending anything be done about it. >> right. as she stopped short yesterday and the day before on that as well. but walking right up to that line on, yep, we think this happened. not saying that, but getting about as close to it as you possibly can get when it comes to what they have described, this administration, over the last several days as something perhaps illegal done by jim comey. the issue here that the white house has been kicking it over to the department of justice, essentially, saying, hey, it's up to doj to decide and to prosecute if in fact james comey did break the law. we've obviously reached out to the department of justice on that and so far the agency's
simply referring us to that original rod rosenstein memo, you remember from back in may, laying out the reasons for the firing, essentially. so that is sort of the comey piece of the puzzle. one, i got to say a lot of topics that came up today at the briefing including notably that meeting with tim scott earlier today and a little bit of news there too, katy. the president will sign that joint resolution condemning violence, racism, hatred in the wake of charlottesville up until about 20 minutes ago we had not heard from the white house definitively either way as to whether the president would sign this bill once it gets to his desk. >> hallie jackson, one last thing, at the end of that news conference, sarah huckabee sanders said the president is more bipartisan president than we've had in year, more bipartisan than the last administration, said she couldn't think of an area where he had bipartisan effort or bipartisan approval on any legislation. our crack team behind the scenes here, the 2:00 p.m. team, has gone back and looked at a couple examples, at least a few examples of the obama administration working with the
other side of the aisle to do just that. so a bit of a fact check here, the recovery act, the economic stimulus law that blunted the recession, only passed after obama accepted the demand from three senate republicans to reduce the size of the package by about $100 billion, mostly by pairing back spending proposals. the dodd/frank wall street reform bill also squeaked through the senate with three republican votes. obama sealed the deal after making a key concession to newly elected massachusetts republicans senator scott brown scrapping an outright ban on commercial banks investing in high risk funds in favor of allowing limited investments -- i'm sorry, i'm reading, one more, and second term obama withstood the civil libertarian outcry that followed the edward snowden leaks and shaped a bipartisan surveillance reform law. hallie, that's just obviously a couple examples. i'm sure people will find some more. but there is an effort by this administration to paint this president as a deal maker
regardless of whether or not their facts line up perfectly. if he does come out of this tonight, do you foresee from what you know the president ending up working with democrats more? >> i would say in a room when the conversation was happening and the quote from sarah huckabee sanders was something like, the president has done more on bipartisanship in the past eight days than the prior administration did in the previous eight years, people in the room were laying out examples wait a second in a moment or two in that discussion. you asked about bipartisanship, i think to this point until -- you mentioned legislation that was passed under president -- then-president obama, the question is will there be legislation under president trump that is in fact bipartisan, significant legislation like what you referred to. and so, again, this appears to be -- or i would imagine this is an example of watch what the president does and not necessarily what he says. so we'll see. >> legislation actually passed. hallie, with a good distinction there. remember a lot of those
reporters in that room, including our own peter al alexander and kristen welker both covered president obama and know what they're talking about when it comes to that. thank you for going through the headlines with us. we appreciate it. >> sure. we've got breaking news in the investigation into the alleged russian interference in last year's election. current and former government officials tell nbc news that fired national security adviser michael flynn's son, michael g. flynn, is now a subject of the federal investigation. this comes as we get new evidence that the elder flynn, the national security adviser formerly, may have mixed his personal business dealings with his work on the trump transition team. politico reports that he pushed a private sector plan to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the middle east and talked about it with other transition officials. and that the plan backers paid him at least $25,000.
joining us now to talk about this former washington newsroom nbc news national political reporter carol lee and political white house reporter josh dosy who wrote about flynn's business dealings. carol, first to you, what do we know about the investigation into flynn's son? >> we know that investigators are particularly interested in flynn's son's work, flynn intel group, which was flynn senior's lobbying firm which was involved in a number of different activities. and we also know that flynn senior investigators have looked at his dealings with foreign governments including russia, including turkey. and flynn junior was essentially, you know, his father's right hand man. he served as chief of staff, he worked very closely with him, he traveled to moscow with him when general flynn gave that speech before the russian sponsored
news organization rt and sat at the table with vladimir putin. so what investigators are looking at are these business dealings and whether and what flynn junior's involvement in them was. >> and flynn junior was not without controversy himself. remember he was one of the main people who pushed that pizza gate story. josh, talking about your scoop today. this deal that he was involved with, it also had russia as one of the deal makers, right? >> right. there was a consortium of folks in the united states who wanted to build these nuclear plans. it was going to be a united states and russia joint venture, or at least one idea for them. michael flynn was heavily involved in it, even traveled overseas trying to, you know, find out how to do it and how to push it. and then when he joined the transition he worked behind the scenes on a marshal plan to make this thing happen while talking to former officials he'd worked with and paid him without disclosing it. so there was this consortium of
nuclear folks who wanted these done overseas and michael flynn was pushing it and, you know, working with them and working inside the transition to make it happen. >> and what do you think this means for the scope of the russia investigation, josh? >> well, we're certainly seeing mueller as nbc reported today on michael flynn jr. and flynn's work during the transition and in the 24 days he was in the white house. looking at other payments. the flynn intel group had with companies and, you know, what ties they had in the transition and doing. this work during the transition and the white house is really becoming a key focus of the investigation. >> and thank you both. sorry it was truncated. and sarah huckabee sanders and bernie both squeezed us today. and next, hillary clinton placing some of the fault in james comey's lap in her loss in
2016. but is the blame game good for her party? and comments about the debate moment. you know, that one, with donald trump. >> a young man who played trump practiced stalking me. >> really? >> oh, yes. oh, yes. >> wow. >> stalking me, and saying really nasty things to me, because i wanted to keep my composure. >> the man she's speaking of is felipe rimes and he joins me next. stay with us.
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as we mentioned a moment ago, breaking news out of the state of washington. reports of a school shooting. this is happening about 40 minutes outside of spokane in roquefort at freeman high school. there are not many details now, but here is what we wedo know. one person dead, three others injured and authorities confirmed a suspect has been contained. we'll continue to follow this story and bring you any new details as we get them. right now we don't know much about the victims or the status of those who were injured but will have that at some point and bring it straight to you. hillary clinton says she's responsible for her loss to donald trump in the 2016 election, but for the democratic presidential nominee, there's plenty of blame to go around. one person she says shoulders plenty of it is former fbi director james comey. >> i think the determining
factor was the intervention by comb comey october 28th. it drove voters from me. this is not about the voters saying, wait, what does this mean and how do i evaluate it? that in terms of my personal defeat was the most important factor. >> and in live television interviews since the release of her book, hillary clinton described to nbc's savannah guthrie and matt lauer -- >> i was dumb founded. i thought, what is he doing? the investigation was closed. i know there's no new information. i certainly had given everything of any relevance to them, and then it became clear. this was not necessary. >> joining me now, philippe reines, former adviser to secretary of state hillary clinton who played the role of donald trump to prepare for the
debates. i remember that moment when comey reopened the e-mail investigation, looking at my produce around saying, that's it. donald trump won. >> it was shocking to everyone, and i think everyone's first thought was that was out of line. how do you go from a tradition, and actually doj, department of justice rules, that you do not insert yourself into a presidential election to doing so within the last two weeks of it? >> do you think that is ultimately what changed the election, though? and i -- i quibble with that because i was on the trump campaign and i saw the political devotion every single day. those voters were hell-bent on casting their ballot for donald trump. >> obviously, donald trump won 60 million votes. people want theed change he brought. not taking that away. to the extent people were undecided they would factor in information that came from the
fbi. that information came to be incorrect which comey himself said, oh, never mind. that's something that absolutely played into it. now, the flip side to that is, at the very same time the fbi is investigating donald trump, his organization, his campaign and his associates for possible collusion and other acts with russia. that never gets mentioned. i would think, if the other way around, if jim comey on october 28th had said, by the way, everybody, we've been looking at donald trump to see whether he's colluding with russia. i have a feeling donald trump would be sitting in this chair right now saying that jim comey blew the election for him. >> the election, the popular vote. hillary clinton won it by a lot. she did. >> yep. >> but we -- rules we play by in this country are electoral college rules, and she lost by a small margin but a margin in michigan and wisconsin and minnesota. do you think that those voters,
that she lost by, were looking for at jim comey or were looking more at her calling trump voters deplorables? or looking more at whether or not she was there? or were looking more at whether or not the democratic party had lost -- they'd lost the confidence of the democratic party? or was it a combo aal of all of this? >> all of the above. secretary clinton said she regrets saying deplorable. no question it did, and she understands that there was an anger among the electorate that donald trump personified and amplified and rode to victory. she's not taking away from that in the sense she's not respecting -- not disrespecting people who held those views, but when you get down to the numbers, you're talking about 70,000 people, spread across three states. it is hard to argue when you look at the numbers that what
jim comey did, did not have a dispositive detect and we all kind of dumbed down all of this into the word "comey." it's a little broader than that. the original e-mail issue was, frankly, silly. and the scandal, quote/unquote, made of it was even sillier, and they came to the conclusion that there was no "there" there, and under doj rules, he should have just said, we're done. instead, he goes on and on that she's a terrible, terrible person. >> we're out of time. yes or no question on this. because of everything you just said does that mean any democratic challenger that goes up against donald trump in 2020 will win? >> if the election were held tomorrow i don't know who would win. >> philippe reines. thank you so much. sorry you were squeezed today. >> blaming on sanders and bernie sanders. >> more on rachel maddow, 9:00 p.m. eastern.