The Rachel Maddow Show Weekdays at 9PM

Help

... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}

Rachel Maddow StoriesRSS

select from:

E.g., 3/28/2017
E.g., 3/28/2017
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton walks off the stage as Republican nominee Donald Trump remains at his podium after their third and final 2016 presidential campaign debate in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 19, 2016. (Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Trump wants a Russia investigation ... directed at Clinton

03/28/17 11:22AM

As the Russia scandal involving Donald Trump and his team advances -- we learned last week that the FBI is conducting an ongoing counter-espionage investigation into the Trump campaign -- the president has a creative response to the allegations. Let's call it the "Hey, look at Hillary Clinton" tack.

Last week, apparently unable to think of a compelling defense, Trump declared via Twitter, "What about all of the contact with the Clinton campaign and the Russians?" In reality, of course, there's no evidence of meaningful contact between Vladimir Putin's government and the unsuccessful Democratic campaign, but Trump seemed to think it was important.

Last night, after going nearly the entire day without tweeting, Trump returned to the subject. The Washington Post reported:
President Trump sought Monday to pressure the House committee investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election, arguing that the panel should be probing Bill and Hillary Clinton's alleged ties to the country instead of those of his own campaign advisers.

In a pair of evening tweets, Trump wrote that the "Trump Russia story is a hoax" and listed a string of alleged financial and other connections the Clintons have had over the years with Russia. He asked why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating the former president and former secretary of state.
"Why isn't the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia," the president declared, adding, "Russian speech money to Bill, the Hillary Russian 'reset,' praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company."

For good measure, Trump also urged his followers to watch Fox News this morning, in advance of a segment on Russia and Clinton's former campaign chairman.

On the surface, little tantrums like these point to a shrinking president, lashing out with pitiful, almost child-like, responses to a serious international controversy. It's easy to grow inured to the stream of nonsense, but having the sitting president of the United States call for a congressional investigation into his defeated opponent, for no credible reason, is alarming.

It's also worth noting that Trump doesn't appear to have any idea what he's talking about: there was no "Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia."
read more

Image: House GOP Pulls Vote On Trump's American Health Care Act

Republicans can't even agree on whether to give up on health care

03/28/17 10:28AM

Irreconcilable divisions within the Republican ranks doomed the GOP's health care plan, leaving Donald Trump and Paul Ryan with brutal setbacks. Complicating matters, party leaders now can't agree on whether the health care fight is actually over.

Friday afternoon:
It was an admission of defeat that House Speaker Paul Ryan probably didn't expect to make just three months into a fully Republican government: "Obamacare is the law of the land.... We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future."
Vice President Pence on Saturday reaffirmed the Trump administration's commitment to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, saying President Trump "won't rest" until the law is dismantled.
On Sunday morning's Meet the Press, President Donald Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney declared that the White House is no longer trying to repeal Obamacare. "We've moved on to other things," Mulvaney said. "The president has other things he wants to accomplish."
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan told Republican donors Monday that he intends to continue pushing for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system by working "on two tracks" as he also pursues other elements of President Trump's agenda. "We are going to keep getting at this thing," Ryan said....
The chairman of the House tax committee declared Monday he is "turning the page" from health care to tax reform....
For those keeping score at home, Republicans aren't giving up on repealing the Affordable Care Act and implementing a conservative alternative. They're also moving on. Except they're not. But maybe they are.
read more

A sign at an Affordable Care Act outreach event in Los Angeles, California, September 28, 2013.

Republican failure in DC changes the game on Medicaid expansion

03/28/17 09:27AM

Once Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) took office last year, one of the very first things he did was embrace Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act. It's worked out beautifully for the state and its residents.

In the national picture, Louisiana became the 31st to implement the Medicaid expansion policy, and it seemed for a while that the remaining holdouts would succumb to arithmetic and do the same. Then Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election -- and everything changed, at least initially.

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), for example, was moving forward with plans to bring Medicaid expansion to his own state, but Mike Pence reached out to the Republican governor personally, and persuaded him to abandon the idea, since GOP officials were gearing up to destroy "Obamacare."

Now that the Republican plan has itself been derailed, interest in the Medicaid policy is suddenly on the rise once more. The Kansas City Star reported overnight:
Kansas lawmakers ignored Gov. Sam Brownback's wishes Monday and gave initial approval to a bill that would expand Medicaid to thousands in the state.

The Kansas Senate voted 25 to 13 to expand KanCare, the state's privatized Medicaid program, after a lengthy debate Monday afternoon.
A final vote in the state Senate is expected today, where it will pass with bipartisan support, thanks to cooperation between Democrats and more moderate Kansas Republicans.

The news coincided with news out of Georgia, where Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is suddenly showing an interest in the ACA's Medicaid expansion policy, and in Virginia, where Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is renewing his push for the same idea. In Georgia, the change would bring coverage to roughly 300,000 low-income people, and in Virginia, the number is closer to 400,000.

Yes, as a matter of fact it is rather ironic that the failure of "Trumpcare" may actually lead to hundreds of thousands of families gaining health security.
read more

Image: House Votes On Trump's American Health Care Act

Is the House Intelligence chairman trying to discredit himself?

03/28/17 08:55AM

Yesterday was not a good day for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). The beleaguered Republican publicly acknowledged that the day before his bizarre press conferences last week, which was intended to bolster an odd Donald Trump conspiracy theory, Nunes made a secret trip to the White House.

In other words, a top Trump ally, eager to defend the president, quietly visited the White House and talked to a Trump administration source. He then leaked ambiguous and secret information intended to help Trump to the media, then briefed the president on the findings before sharing it with his own committee colleagues.

A growing number of officials have decided they just can't work with this guy anymore.
Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called for its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from "any investigation" into President Donald Trump's campaign and transition team after news of the Republican's secret White House meeting on the issue emerged.

"This is not a recommendation I make lightly," Rep. Adam Schiff wrote in a statement of his counterpart on the committee investigating Russia's inference in the 2016 election. "I believe the public cannot have the necessary confidence that matters involving the President's campaign or transition team can be objectively investigated or overseen by the Chairman."
Other Democrats on the Intelligence Committee have reached the same conclusion, as have the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate, who also believe Nunes' gavel should be taken away. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee described Nunes' bizarre antics as "more than suspicious," which seems quite fair given the circumstances.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of Nunes' committee, went so far as to say this morning, in reference to his panel's chairman, "[T]his is what a cover-up to a crime looks like. We are watching it play out right now."

As of this morning, the House Intelligence Committee has reportedly scrapped all meetings for this week, which comes on the heels of Nunes cancelling scheduled public hearings related to the Russia investigation.

All of which raises the question: is this Nunes' elaborate attempt at self-sabotage?
read more

Image: US-POLITICS-TRUMP-ORDER

As his presidency falters, Trump's support hits new lows

03/28/17 08:00AM

It's only natural to wonder whether the public at large is noticing Donald Trump's failures as president. For people who follow current events fairly closely -- folks, I assume, like you -- the Republican's many troubles probably seem obvious, but what about the electorate in general?

The latest report from Gallup suggests Americans are, in fact, noticing.
President Donald Trump's job approval rating fell to 36% for the three-day period of March 24-26, following Republican House leaders' failed effort to pass a new healthcare bill that would have replaced the Affordable Care Act. [...]

Trump's current 36% is two percentage points below Barack Obama's low point of 38%, recorded in 2011 and 2014. Trump has also edged below Bill Clinton's all-time low of 37%, recorded in the summer of 1993, his first year in office, as well as Gerald Ford's 37% low point in January and March 1975.
While this is only one poll among many, note that polling aggregators also show the president's overall approval rating slipping to new lows.

There is no precedent for this dynamic. Public support for various presidents has always waxed and waned, but since the dawn of modern polling, no national leader has seen support this low, this early in his presidency, as Donald J. Trump.

What's more, the trend isn't the result of a national crisis or an economic collapse; this is solely the result of the American public disapproving of what they're seeing from the White House. And under the circumstances, it's not hard to understand what's driving those attitudes: Trump's health care push was a fiasco; his campaign team is under an FBI investigation; his misguided Muslim ban has flopped in the courts (twice); his National Security Advisor was forced to resign; the Russia scandal continues to raise questions about the legitimacy of his presidency; he's alienated a wide variety of U.S. allies around the globe; and his assorted conspiracy theories have contributed to questions about his stability.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told the Washington Post the other day, "This is the most failed first 100 days of any president.... I don't know how it can get much worse."
read more

Monday's Mini-Report, 3.27.17

03/27/17 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Russia: "Tens of thousands of people gathered in Moscow and other major cities across Russia on Sunday to protest against official government corruption in what certainly looked like the largest show of anti-Kremlin defiance since 2012. Hundreds of people were arrested, including prominent opposition figure Alexey Navalny, who was one of the main organizers of the rally."

* On a related note, Putin's government responded to the protests by accusing the demonstrators of being paid protesters. You know, that argument sounds kind of familiar.

* Iraq: "The American-led military coalition in Iraq said Friday that it was investigating reports that scores of civilians -- perhaps as many as 200, residents said -- had been killed in recent American airstrikes in Mosul, the northern Iraqi city at the center of an offensive to drive out the Islamic State."

* A mass shooting in central Florida: "A gunman shot four people in a Florida home Monday and then began randomly shooting people on a nearby street before being subdued by police officers, Sanford police said."

* These tactics make sense, given the circumstances: "Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee forced the delay of a vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Monday. The one-week delay in sending the nomination to the full Senate comes as the partisan battle lines over his final confirmation votes begin to harden."

* North Carolina: "Despite Republican assurances that North Carolina's 'bathroom bill' isn't hurting the economy, the law limiting LGBT protections will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over a dozen years, according to an Associated Press analysis."

* This hasn't gone away: "Nearly three years into the war against ISIS, lawmakers have ducked their constitutional responsibility for making war by not passing legislation authorizing the anti-ISIS fight."

* Trump told reporters Friday that he never vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act quickly. That's hilariously untrue.
read more

U.S. President Donald Trump looks at Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S.

With Trump, the buck always stops anywhere but with him

03/27/17 04:30PM

When Donald Trump's Muslim ban failed miserably in the courts, the president was quick to assign blame -- to everyone but himself. Now that the health care plan Trump wanted has also collapsed, he's desperate to avoid responsibility, though he seems unsure who to point the finger at first.

Trump's first instinct, evidently, was to call the Washington Post to blame Democrats.
"Look, I'm a team player," Trump said of the Republican Party. "I've played this team. I've played with the team. And they just fell a little bit short, and it's very hard when you need almost 100 percent of the votes and we have no votes, zero, from the Democrats. It's unheard of."
Don't brush past those last three words too quickly: "It's unheard of." Republicans pushed a bill that would have stripped tens of millions of Americans of their health coverage, slashed Medicaid, and handed massive tax breaks to the wealthy. Democrats were unanimous in thinking this was a ridiculous plan, and Trump thinks it's "unheard of" for a party to stand together in opposition to legislation they find offensive.

The president occasionally offers us a reminder that he's quite new to politics, and has no real familiarity with recent history.

Trump was, however, quite intent on giving Democrats credit for derailing the wildly unpopular GOP plan that House Republicans couldn't pass despite their largest majority since the 1920s. In relatively brief White House remarks on Friday afternoon, Trump said, "We had no Democrat support. We had no votes from the Democrats. They weren't going to give us a single vote, so it's a very difficult thing to do.... With no Democrat support we couldn't quite get there.... This really would have worked out better if we could have had some Democrat support. Remember, this, we had no Democrat support."

In reality, no one in the Republican leadership even tried to earn Democratic support; Democrats weren't consulted before the bill was crafted; and there was nothing in the bill Democrats could tolerate. The GOP plan was to rely on its massive Republican majority, ignoring Democratic concerns, which (a) didn't work; and (b) makes it kind of hilarious to hear Trump whine incessantly about the one group of people in Washington who didn't have any real power over the process.

If Republicans liked the bill it would've passed. Trump tried to persuade them; he failed; and the bill died. It's nice, in a way, for the president to give Dems credit, but it's also laughable.
read more

Image: Rep. Devin Nunes Briefs Press On House Intelligence Cmte Russia Investigation

Before his strange announcement, Intel chair went to the White House

03/27/17 12:58PM

It's entirely possible that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is deliberately trying to derail the investigation he's ostensibly leading. The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza posited last week that the California Republican found himself stuck pursuing a Russia scandal in a way that would do real damage to Donald Trump, so Nunes "essentially blew up" the investigation.

And if that is the GOP lawmaker's goal -- to compromise himself and the investigation his committee is conducting -- it's almost certainly working. Today the story took a truly bizarre twist.
The day before he announced to reporters that Donald Trump may have been incidentally monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies during the transition, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes met with the source of that information at the White House, a Nunes spokesman told NBC News.

"Chairman Nunes met with his source at the White House grounds in order to have proximity to a secure location where he could view the information provided by the source," said his spokesman, Jack Langer.... Nunes has declined to say who provided the intelligence reports he referenced, but his admission that he met with his source at the White House is fueling suspicions among Democrats that his source was someone close to Trump.
For those who haven't been following this, let's back up for a minute.

On Wednesday, Nunes held two fairly breathless press conferences to suggest he received secret information -- from a source he would not identify -- that there were incidental recordings of Trump transition officials, after the election but before the inauguration, conducted by intelligence agencies as part of legal surveillance. The congressman struggled to keep key details of his story straight, including whether Trump was personally recorded -- a point he initially confirmed to reporters, before reversing course.

Nunes made matters worse by going to the White House on Wednesday afternoon to brief Team Trump -- in the process undermining his own investigation, stepping all over separation of powers, trashing the process he's supposed to be honoring, and acting as if he were somehow a presidential employee -- without bothering to talk to his colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee.

Today's revelations, however, deal with what happened the day before.
read more

Monday's Campaign Round-Up, 3.27.17

03/27/17 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* The American Action Network, a PAC backed by the House Republican leadership, aired some pre-bought ads on Friday, praising Republicans for having passed their health care bill -- which, in reality, did not pass because it lacked GOP support.

* On a related note, a pro-Trump group called America First Policies, created to promote the White House's priorities, played effectively no role in the debate, in large part because of internal turmoil. The organization was led by Rick Gates, a former Paul Manafort deputy, who resigned last week.

* Further abandoning his 2016 campaign promises, Donald Trump went golfing again over the weekend, making his 13th trip to a golf course since taking office two months ago. In keeping with the recent pattern, White House officials "tried to hide" the president's activities on the links.

* On a related note, he specifically went to the Trump National Golf Club in northern Virginia, which carries its own significance: "For the eighth weekend in a row, President Trump has visited a property that bears his name. He has done so on 21 of the 66 days he has been in office, meaning that for the equivalent of three full weeks of his just-over-nine weeks as commander in chief, he has spent all or part of a day at a Trump property -- earning that property mentions in the media and the ability to tell potential clients that they might be able to interact with the president."

* Apparently eager to align himself with the White House and congressional Republican leaders, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) resigned yesterday from the House Freedom Caucus.

* Democratic successes in state legislative special elections continued late last week, with an interesting win in Pennsylvania, where a Dem won a state House race as a write-in candidate.

* In Nevada, voters will now have an opportunity to approve an automatic voter-registration policy on the statewide ballot in 2018.
read more

Pages

About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life - as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise.

MaddowBlog_Appendix_logo

#Maddow

Latest Book