MTP Daily, Transcript 7/18/2017

Guests:
Heidi Przybyla, Will Hurd, Ruth Marcus, Alfonso Aguilar
Transcript:

Show: MTP DAILY
Date: July 18, 2017
Guest: Heidi Przybyla, Will Hurd, Ruth Marcus, Alfonso Aguilar

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The son going into a meeting hoping to obtain
information from a hostile foreign power that just a week later gives us
the WikiLeaks disclosure and the – and the –

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I wouldn’t have – I wouldn’t have –
I wouldn’t have done the meeting. And I think that – you know, I don’t
think it can be any clearer than that. I wouldn’t have done the meeting.
If you want to use a lot of other adjectives, that’s up to you. But my
view is I try to be dispassionate about this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You wouldn’t call it –

CHRISTIE: I would – what I would call it was you shouldn’t have taken the
meeting.

NICOLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: All right, it’s going to have to be the last
word.

CHRISTIE: That’s what lawyers do. They tell what to do and what not to
do.

WALLACE: Lawyers are still going.

We’re way over our time. Thank you to Gov. Chris Christie, Bret Stephens,
Harold Ford Jr.

That does it for this hour. I’m Nicole Wallace. “MTP DAILY” starts right
now with Katy Tur in for Chuck. Hi, Katy. Sorry about going over.

KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: No problem. That was a riveting interview you did
with the governor right now and a riveting debate. And we’re going to have
more on Russia in this hour so stay with us for that.

But first, if it is Tuesday, another plan bites dust.

(voice-over): Tonight, the GOP’s biggest campaign promise hits not one,
but two more dead ends.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: It’s pretty
obvious that we don’t have 50 members who can agree on a replacement.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA: We should not repeal without a
replacement.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: Let’s try to get bipartisan support.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Democrats will come to us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: So, where does that leave the fate of your health care? Plus, Trump
country trouble. Our new poll shows just how tough it’s been to sell the
Republican health care plan to the president’s biggest believers.

And the Trump Jr. meeting guest list comes further into focus.

This MTP DAILY and it starts right now.

(on camera): Good evening, I’m Katy Tur in New York in for Chuck Todd.
Welcome to MTP DAILY.

It has been a stunning day. In less than 24 hours, we’ve seen the
Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare collapse. We’ve seen a
plan B and we’ve also seen that collapse, too. We have brand new results
from our NBC News-“Wall Street Journal” poll of Trump counties out right
now with new insight into why this effort may have imploded so
spectacularly. More on that in just a moment.

But we begin with President Trump today at the White House basically giving
up on his Republican Congress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I’m certainly disappointed.
For seven years, I’ve been hearing repeal and replace from Congress. And
I’ve been hearing it loud and strong.

And then, when we finally get a chance to repeal and replace, they don’t
take advantage of it. So, that is disappointing.

So, I’m very – I would say I’m disappointed in what took place. It will
go on and we’ll win. We’re going to win on taxes. We’re going to win on
infrastructure and lots other things that we’re doing.

But the way I look at it is in 2018, we’re going to have to get some more
people elected. We have to go out and we have to get more people elected
that are Republican.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: We saw seven years of promises derailed in mere hours. Last night,
the Senate’s health care bill was killed due to a lack of Republican
support when two more senators announced their opposition to it. The White
House says President Trump was caught off guard by the news.

So, McConnell and the White House went to plan B, urging the caucus on a
bill to repeal Obamacare now and replace it later. Similar to all those
symbolic repeal votes they took when Obama was still in office.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Senate actually
passed the very same bill in 2015 and sent it to President Obama’s desk and
they should do it again. Inaction is not an option. Congress needs to
step up. Congress needs to do their job. And Congress needs to do their
job now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: As the White House made its case, Republican senators were already
revolting against it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLLINS: I’m going to oppose the motion to proceed. I voted against this
approach in 2015. And I do not think that it is going to be constructive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, where are you on the motion to proceed on this
repeal and then replace?

MURKOWSKI: I’m not there. An indefinite hold on this just creates more
chaos and confusion.

SEN. BILL CASSIDY (R), LOUISIANA: We have to play that through and I’m
still playing it through.

SEN. ROY BLUNE (R), MISSOURI: My guess is that we’re now headed toward
normal committee activity that will take 60 votes on the floor.

SE. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: I’m concerned about something that would simply
repeal and its impact on costs and choices in health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: At least three Republican senators quickly said they wouldn’t even
allow the plan to be debated. Others signaled resistance, too.

Ultimately, those three no votes are sufficient to kill the bill but before
it even sees the floor. In reaction, McConnell and his allies fired right
back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: Sometime in the near future, we’ll have a vote on repealing
Obamacare. Essentially, the same vote that we had in 2015.

SEN. PAUL RAND (R), KENTUCKY: If you’re not willing to vote the same way
you voted in 2015, then you need to go back home and you need to explain to
Republicans why you’re no longer for repealing Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[17:05:07] TUR: But with the Republican strategy in freefall, President
Trump today looked to insulate himself, politically.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we’re probably in
that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail. We’re not going to own
it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you, the Republicans are not
going to own it.

We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us and
they’re going to say, how do we fix it? How do we fix it? Or how do we
come up with a new plan?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: Here is what the president is saying. Don’t blame him or his party
for not being able to pass their own legislation. And don’t blame him or
his party when the health care system collapses. Even though they’re
admittedly allowing that to happen.

But, believe it or not, that might be the more palatable option right now,
for Republicans politically. That’s how poorly the GOP’s health care plan
was viewed by its own members.

According to our new NBC News-“Wall Street Journal” poll taken in counties
that Trump won, a mere 12 percent of voters say the House health care
overhaul, which closely mirrored the Senate’s version, is a good idea.
Even among Trump voters in these counties, the legislation was viewed
positively by just one in four.

I’m joined now by – on Capitol Hill by NBC’s Garrett Haake. Garrett, so
there was a plan A that collapsed, a plan B, that collapsed. What happens
next?

GARRETT HAAKE, CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: Well, it sounds like
Mitch McConnell is going to try to go plan B one more time. They have made
it very clear they want to try to get a vote on this measure to repeal,
delay and then replace this bill.

Mitch McConnell knows that vote will fail, but it seems that he wants to
get these Republican senators, the three that we know about and any others
who might be out there, sort of smoke them out and determine exactly who is
actually against repeal, at this point.

And then, Katy, they’re going to work backwards. The health committee,
which is the health committee that would oversee this bill had it been done
through the normal committee process, announced today they plan to hold
hearings. At least on shoring up the insurance markets which is one of
the, sort of, more urgent needs of anything that would be a repeal or a fix
of Obamacare.

So, it’s clear at least some people in the Senate don’t intend to follow
President Trump’s advice or his call to let Obamacare collapse on its own
and see if Democrats will be left holding bag. Some lawmakers here are
apparently making moves to address some of these issues proactively.

TUR: So, we have Senate Murkowski of Alaska, Senator Collins of Maine,
Senator Capito of West Virginia who have said that they are not comfortable
not voting on anything that doesn’t have the plan for repeal – for replace
already in its language because they’re not comfortable just delaying this
for another two years.

They’re not confident that anybody will come to some sort of agreement.
How is Mitch McConnell going to find a way to convince them that they
should trust that this caucus which hasn’t been able to come to a decision
up until now, while the president has all this political capital would be
able to do so later on.

HAAKE: That’s a fantastic question, Katy. And they just don’t have that
answer. They don’t have it after seven months of this Congress. And they
don’t have it after seven years of discussing what Obamacare replacement
would look like. But I think that’s part of the reason you’re seeing
people – everyone from those three senators you mentioned.

So, even John McCain at home recovering from his surgery was one of the
first people to respond to this in a statement that said, look, we need to
go through the committee process. We need to find out what people want.

And the Republicans are just as committed as ever to repealing Obamacare.
But it’s very clear, and those poll numbers demonstrate it, they have
failed at coming up with a palatable replacement that even their own voters
will say, yes, you know what? You’re right. This is a better plan
forward.

TUR: Garrett, what does this mean for Mitch McConnell’s leadership?

HAAKE: Well, the Republican senators I spoke to today still said very much
that they still trust him. I talked to Lindsey Graham about this kind of
at length this afternoon. He said, look, this is the U.S. Senate. People
are senators from their states. And some of these people, and you see it
with Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, they take their state responsibilities
very clearly.

So, there’s not – and that that’s the opposition here. Not that they
don’t trust Mitch McConnell, not that they are, you know, pushing back
against his leadership per se. But that they take these state issues more
seriously than being a part of the GOP caucus, you might say.

So, there’s big call or pushback against Mitch McConnell’s leadership so
far from in the chamber. But you do hear that frustration a little bit on
the Hill and you certainly heard it today from the White House.

TUR: Garrett, what about the White House? How do Republican senators feel
about the White House’s effort to get this done?

HAAKE: They are very careful not to openly criticize the president for
this, Katy. In my experience, what I’m hearing – you’re not hearing
people say, we wish the president was doing X, Y and Z. They’re trying to
– I think they know that the president can’t necessarily be the chief
salesman for this, especially when you consider who those no votes are.

You know, the president can’t speak to Lisa Murkowski’s – or I’m
conflating people here. Can’t speak to Susan Collins’ voters in Maine and
convince them that this is a good plan for them.

[17:10:00] So, you know, Mitch McConnell’s drawing a line in the sand. He
said he’s not going to change the rules of the Senate. He wants the Senate
to get to get thing done. And so, it seems, at least for now, they’re
happy with President Trump keeping his distance.

But, look, historically, big things don’t get done on Capitol Hill without
presidential leadership. Sometimes, they don’t get done even then. But it
usually takes the president to push big things like this over the finish
line, and we have not seen that from this White House on this bill.

TUR: Garrett Haake, thank you very much.

I’m joined now by a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, Patty
Murray of Washington. She’s a member of the Senate Health Committee which
Garrett just mentioned will be holding hearings on health care.

Senator, thank you very much for joining us, first off.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: Well, nice to talk to you, Katy.

TUR: Wonderful. And then, secondly, we know you oppose the GOP health
care bill. We know that you’re not going to get on board with those as
they stand right now. But what are the Democrats doing in order to come up
with a solution to fix the areas of Obamacare that are not working as
smoothly as people might have – might have wanted?

MURRAY: Well, I’m glad you asked that because Democrats have been clear
for a very long time that parts of the ACA that aren’t working as well as
we would like them to, we want to work on solutions to that. We’ve offered
a number of positive steps to take that.

But let’s be clear, since the day after the election, this administration
has said, we are going to make Obamacare fail. All way up until today
which is what the president has said. They have not been working to make
it work. They have been working to make it not work.

TUR: What are the –

MURRAY: But on top –

TUR: I’m sorry.

MURRAY: – but on top of that, we have now spent the last seven months
going through this debate about what they would replace it with and they
have not come up with something that is not only sellable to the American
public, but that would actually work.

TUR: What are those fixes that you have offered, Senator?

MURRAY: Sure. We’ve talked about making sure that the payments are paid
to the – to the market so that it is secure. And this president has said
he’s going to have lawsuits, not make the payments. He’s making that
uncertainty in the market create problems.

We have talked about offering public options in places where there aren’t
enough options for people to buy insurance. That will help bring the cost
down to American families.

We are more than willing to debate all of those in between and to offer
those as suggestions. But what I would say to my Republican colleagues now
is what are – what is the choice you’re going to make? Are you going to
join with the president and continue to create chaos and work to make
Obamacare fail? Or work with us to get the market re-stabilized after the
last seven months of uncertainty. And we are willing to work with you if
that’s the route that we can take.

TUR: So, I was talking to a health care expert a little bit earlier today,
and I asked her what the fix was for Obamacare. And she said, ultimately,
without strengthening of the mandate, you’re not going to get anywhere on
this. The Supreme Court doesn’t really agree with the mandate. Given
that, is single payor the only viable option at this point?

MURRAY: I think there are a number of options. And I think the challenge
we’ve had is because we haven’t had any hearings. We haven’t had any
debate. This was a bill written in a back room by 13 men, as we all know.

We haven’t had those options out in the open so we can analyze them. Get
scores. See what the – how the market would respond to them and be able
to put forward good positive ways to create a strong stable market for all
the counties in country.

TUR: So, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirstin
Gillibrand, others all say single payor is the way to go. Does Democratic
leadership agree with them?

MURRAY: There are a number of people who are talking about a lot of
options. One of the things I’ve talked about a lot is the public option
that allows people to be able to have different options. There are people
who are talking about allowing people to buy into Medicare at a younger
age. And, of course, there are other options as well.

Again, none of those have had public hearings or debates. So, we know what
we are voting on, what the impact to the market would be, what the cost to
families would be. And that’s what I’m hoping we can now all really focus
on as we move forward because health compare is so important to families.

TUR: Yes, no doubt about that. But you say that there are a number of
people with a number of options. But my question specifically was, does
Democratic leadership agree with the more progressive wing of the
Democratic party right now. Remember, that they’re the wing that’s getting
a lot of attention at the moment about having single payor health care.

MURRAY: I think we’re all willing to have a conversation. But what we
want to know is what will be the impacts of that and the implementation of
it. The cost to families. What it would mean, in term of people who have
health care today.

And we don’t have the answers to that because we’ve never had any hearings.
The American public deserves to know what they are getting.

And what our problem with the Republican alternative has been so far is
that we only know what we know. And that is that millions of Americans
would lose their health care coverage and that they would give a tax break
away to many Americans that are in the top one percent.

[17:15:12] And that they would cut Medicaid and cut off insurance for so
many people. We are not for that.

TUR: Senator, let’s take a listen to Chuck Schumer a little earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The door to
bipartisanship is open right now. Not with repeal but with an effort to
improve the existing system. The door is right – open right now.
Republican leadership only needs to walk through it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: So, skeptics say, hey, listen. House Democrats were on the House
floor after the House passed their version of the bill and they were
singing, hey, hey, good-bye. Skeptics says that the Democrats don’t really
want to work with Republicans on this. They want to watch Republicans
flounder.

So, prove the skeptics wrong, Senator, and tell us –

MURRAY: Sure.

TUR: – where exactly the Democrats are willing to work and negotiate with
the Republicans. What issue exactly are you willing to come to the table
for?

MURRAY: I think that’s a really important question, Katy. And what we
have seen is that the Republicans have come forward not with a way to
assure people have lower health care costs or that we have a market that
works.

But with plans to give a tax break away, to cut Medicaid and take health
care away from many Americans with disabilities, kids with disabilities,
senior citizens, and a system that would not work.

We want them to say, we’re not going down that path anymore. We’re not
going to cut Medicaid dramatically. We are not going to give tax breaks
away. We’re not going to work to make Obamacare fail.

We want to work with you to provide health care assurance for all Americans
that they will have health care when they need it, that is affordable, and
quality and provides them what they and their family needs.

TUR: Senator, I ask all high-profile Democrats that come on this show and
talk to me who the leader of the Democratic party is right now. So far,
not a single person can give me a name. Can you give me a name today?

MURRAY: Look, I think what’s important right now is that, as Democrats, we
work together to show the American people we are on their side.

TUR: So no?

MURRAY: We have done that –

TUR: You can’t give me a name?

MURRAY: – through health care. I will tell you that what’s important is
that we allow a lot of ships to sail so that we can say who the leader of
the party will be that we all get behind and we need to listen to them.

But what’s important right now today is for Democrats to continue to show
the American people we’re on their side. Again, when it’s – comes to
health care or when it comes to fighting against tax cuts for the wealthy,
or when it’s moving to make sure that Americans get the jobs and the
security that they deserve.

TUR: Senator Patty Murray, thank you very much for your time.

MURRAY: You bet.

TUR: And we’ve got a lot to dissect with the panel ahead. Plus, the one
thing we know President Trump wants when it comes to health care.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[17:20:00] TUR: Welcome back.

Republicans in Congress have gone through a number of versions of their
health care bill. And, so far, nothing has made everyone happy.

But while Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have had trouble appeasing all the
factions in their caucus, they do have one thing going for them. One
critical person has remained with them the entire time. President Trump
wants a win and he has indicated he’ll sign whatever he’s given.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Repeal and replace. I am
sitting in the Oval Office with a pen in hand waiting for our senators to
give it to me. We have a president that’s waiting to sign it. I have pen
in hand. I’m sitting in the Oval Office right next door, pen in hand,
waiting to sign something and I’ll be waiting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: But the president is left with nothing to sign. And as Garrett
mentioned just a few minutes ago, some critics say the president hasn’t
done enough on his own to sell bill. We just found out the president will
do a rally in Ohio next week, but he hasn’t held any kind of nationwide
tour with rallies in states with on the fence senators.

He never gave major speech outlining why the various Republican proposals
were the right policy. He never held a health care town hall. And we
haven’t heard that he ever personally reached out to any Democrats to even
try to get them on board. So, what are the next steps from here? We’re
back in 60 seconds.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When we win on November 8th,
we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And there’s going to be a period if you repeal it and
before you replace it when millions of people could lose –

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, we’re going to do it
simultaneously. It will be just fine. That’s what I do. I do a good job.
You know, I mean, I know how to do this stuff.

It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially simultaneously. It
will mostly likely be on the same day or same week but probably the same
day. It could be the same hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: Welcome back to MTP DAILY.

Let’s bring in the panel. Heidi Przybyla, MSNBC Political Analyst and
senior politics reporter at “USA Today.” “Washington Post” columnist and
deputy editorial page editor, Ruth Marcus. And Alfonso Aguilar, the
President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

Heidi, let’s start with you. The president made a lot of promises on the
campaign. He’s made a lot of promises up until this point. They’re going
to repeal and replace. The repeal is going to come. Replace is going to
come immediately. Maybe repeal now and replace will come later. Don’t
worry, we’ll have universal health care for everybody. I mean, does it
matter what is sent to his desk?

HEIDI PRZYBYLA, SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER, “USA TODAY”: It was going to be
better. It was going to be cheaper. And it was going to cover everyone.
And then, he essentially handed it off to Paul Ryan and patted him on the
back and said, good job. Get back to me with something. I want to win.
And that’s how this went down.

Katy, I think this says a lot more about Trump’s leadership than it does
McConnell’s. Because remember the promise of Trump. You know well. You
were on the campaign trail. He was supposed to be a transformative
political figure because he’s not an ideologue.

TUR: Yes.

PFRZYBYLA: He would come to Washington as a businessman and he would bring
people together to get things done. But what we’ve learned from this
exercise was that he either doesn’t have the discipline or the knowledge,
the policy expertise to navigate those threads to thread that needle and to
bring people together.

And so, what happened was he essentially outsourced this very important
policy item to the very establishment that he ran against and completely
abandoned this populist mantel that, essentially got him elected.

TUR: It’s clear he’s not an ideologue because he’s jumping around on all
sides of this issue. First, he was for the House health care bill. Then,
he thought it was mean. And – but the question I’m having, Alphonso, is
why was he so on board with having the Senate Republicans do whatever they
could to get something passed.

[17:25:00] After all, you know, he did say he wanted health care for
everybody on the campaign trail. Then, there’s also just this poll where -
- which shows that even in places that Donald Trump won with his own
voters, that this was not a very popular deal.

Look at this, good idea, 12 percent. That’s it. Bad idea, 41 percent. No
opinion, 45 percent. And this just among his voters. Only 25 percent
could say it was a bad idea.

So, why is the president so hell bent on getting this done at the expense
of his own personal promises?

ALFONSO AGUILAR, PRESIDENT, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES:
Because I think he’s desperate for a win. He has to really accomplish –

TUR: But what does a win mean if it’s – I mean, is it just a win in
legislation? What about the people who are affected by this legislation
who lose their health care?

AGUILAR: Well, I agree, but I think many would agree that passing
something is better than not doing anything. Doing away with many of the
regulations from Obamacare individual mandates. That’s a step forward. I
think he wants to get something done to show that he can win, that he can
govern and start improving things.

Now, having said that, look, I don’t blame only Trump. I think there’s so
much that he can do. There’s a reality here and that’s that within the
Republican caucus in Congress, there’s a great deal of ideological
diversity. There are divergent views on how to deal with health care.

If you accommodate moderates, you antagonize conservatives. And if you
accommodate conservatives, you antagonize moderates. It’s very difficult
to achieve consensus. But at some point, Republicans in Congress have to
govern, have to come together and pass something.

And I have to say, Donald Trump was meeting last night with a group of
senators. He had been making calls. I don’t know what more he could have
done, in terms of Congress. I really blame Congressional Republicans for
an inability to actually get something done and pass legislation.

TUR: Hold that thought, Alfonso. I want to come back to it.

Ruth, passing something better than passing nothing.

RUTH MARCUS, COLUMNIST AND DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR, “THE WASHINGTON
POST”: Well, that’s been – you know, that’s been the, sort of, to be or
not to be lady or the tiger question of health care, both for congressional
Republicans and for the president.

On the one hand, this is all they’ve campaigned on. They want to win. They
need to deliver on what was their core promise to voters.

On other hand, the more they looked at the consequences of what they were
doing, the impact on people who would lose coverage, higher premiums, less
coverage, medical – you know, incredible Medicaid cuts, the more
problematic it became.

And I think that, you know, which is – which is worse? Passing or not
passing is a very difficult question. And it actually helps explain why
they couldn’t get to passing something.

TUR: So, this president is the most transactional president we’ve
certainly ever had. Probably one of the most transactional politicians
we’ve ever had. That’s the way that everybody describes him. Even those
in his inner circle.

He doesn’t care about ideology. He is all about getting things done. He’s
called himself this wonderful deal maker.

So, alfonso, if that is – if that’s the case and if the Republican caucus
is so varied in their – in their ideologies, why not go down the middle?
Why not say, hey, listen, we have to find a better system of health care in
this country. Obamacare isn’t working.

Let’s work with the moderate Republicans and the moderate Democrats to find
something brand new. We’re not necessarily going to call it repeal because
we know that is a bugaboo for the Democrats and they won’t sign on for it.

But we’re going to find a way to come together. After all, he is supposed
to be the deal maker. People elected him to get things done in Washington.
And not just to work with the Republicans.

AGUILAR: Look, the problem is that you’re assuming that Democrats want to
work with Republicans. Look, this began when Obamacare was passed. It was
ran through Congress without consulting, without any Republican votes. So,
they began this.

And I don’t see a genuine effort by Democrats to really want to sit down
with Republicans to work on something. Again, I don’t think this is over.
I think it’s going to take time.

You know, legislative process is a messy process. I think we have to give
it time.

However, what I would say is that let’s start working. Let’s start
debating on other pieces of legislations like tax reform. We can’t –

TUR: You can’t get tax reform without getting the tax cuts from this.

AGUILAR: Well, I know that a lot of people felt that tax reform is
dependent on health care reform. But I think we’re going to have to, at
the same time, start debating tax reform.

Because, if not, we may end up this year without any legislation. And I
think tax reform is essential to get the economy running to get the economy
to grow at an over three percent – at over three percent.

[17:30:00] TUR: Heidi, quickly. Do you buy that, that Democrats didn’t
want to work with Republicans, period, on this president? No matter what
the president did, they weren’t going to support him in any way.

PFRZYBYLA: No. Katy, the strategy from the beginning was not to work with
Democrats because they chose to do it by this procedural move called
reconciliation which means that you can do it on a party line vote because
Republicans are very invested. Remember, they got about eight years
invested in this of saying that Obamacare is utterly failing and that it
must be repealed.

It must be ripped up by its roots. Democrats know that is not true. That is
not true based on studies by impartial group like the Kaiser Family
Foundation. And we’re talking about in terms of their alternative is
millions of people losing health care versus working on the flaws in
Obamacare which is that you have this individual market where a small
number of people, a few million people and to them it means a lot, they are
paying a lot more for their health care, that that needs to be addressed.

But the reason why this never happened from the beginning was ideological
because Republicans couldn’t support Obamacare, they didn’t want to see a
real mandate and the reason why it can’t work or isn’t working, the
problems that we have right now are structural because there isn’t a real
mandate that requires everybody to be in including the sick and the
unhealthy.

TUR: All right. Heidi, Ruth, Alfonso. Stay with us. We’re going to have
more time later on. Don’t worry. Still ahead, the Russia connection. New
details about who else was in the room when Donald Trump Jr. and the
Russian. You are not going to want to miss that. Plus, we’ve just learned
that President Trump had a second, you heard me right, a second meeting
with Vladimir Putin at the G-20. What happened in that meeting? Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Next on “MTP Daily,” new details about who attended Don Jr.’s meeting
at Trump Tower. But first, Hampton Pearson has the “CNBC Market Wrap.” Hi,
Hampton.

HAMPTON PEARSON, CNBC WASHINGTON BUREAU CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Katy. We had
stocks closing mixed with Netflix helping to lift the Nasdaq into record
territory and Goldman Sachs weighing heavily on the Dow. In fact, the Dow
lost 55 points. The S&P gained just a point. The Nasdaq added 30 points.
Shares of Netflix jumping more than 13 percent with an all-time high.

The company said it added 5.2 million total members during its second
quarter. Goldman Sachs fell however after reporting a 40 percent drop in
second quarter bond trading revenue. It’s the top and bottom line quarterly
results still topped trader’s expectations. That is it from CNBC, first in
business worldwide.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back to “MTP Daily.” NBC News has confirmed the identity of
another person in that June 26 meeting at Trump Tower with Donald Trump
Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner. So we now know of eight people who
were in the room. According to a source with direct knowledge of the
meeting, an American-based employee of a Russian real estate company was
there.

He reportedly was there to represent Emin and Aras Agalarov, the Russian
developers who hosted the Miss Universe pageant in Russia in 2013 and who
helped arrange the meeting along with publicist Rob Goldstone. But it’s
where the information came from that might hint at a big development in the
entire Russia investigation. Here’s what I mean.

The developers’ lawyer confirmed he received a phone call from a
representative of special council Bob Mueller over the weekend. They want
to interview him but no date has yet been set. That could mean if nothing
else the special council was looking into this meeting at Trump Tower. And
also breaking today, Ian Bremmer, a friend of the show, was the first to
report of a second meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin at
the G-20.

The White House confirms NBC News that the president did speak with Putin
towards the end of what they’re calling a couples only social dinner. There
is no read out of that discussion and no staff or cabinet members attended
that dinner.

Joining me now is Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd. He sits on the
House Intelligence Committee. Let’s focus on Russia specifically that
meeting between Don Jr. and the Russian lawyer. Congressman, there has been
a discrepancy on when the intelligence committee found out about this. When
did you guys find out about the meeting?

REP. WILL HURD (R), TEXAS: I think most of us found out at the same time it
was being published in the press. But what happened is Robert Mueller is
going to be talking to everybody that was probably in that meeting. He is
going to decide whether there was any violation of the law and how this
fits in the broader criminal investigation.

TUR: You’ve said that you wouldn’t have taken that meeting, the one that
Don Jr., the Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, veteran of the campaign,
and Jared Kushner were all in, the senior advisers to the candidate Donald
Trump. Are you worried at all that had this could turn out to be criminal?

HURD: Well, I wouldn’t – I agree with that statement, Katy. I wouldn’t
have accepted that meeting. Part of that is based on the fact that I spent
9-1/2 years as an undercover officer in the CIA and I dealt with Russian
intelligence pretty much in most of my tours.

And this is – the Russian intelligence is notorious for trying to set up,
trying to get people in compromising positions. You know, I think I trust
Robert Mueller to go over this with a fine tooth comb to determine whether
there was indeed anything violating the law, but I would also like to get
all these details out.

TUR: Yes.

HURD: Let’s stop hearing drips and drab because this takes away from –
this is a distraction and it takes away from broader conversation we should
be having like how do we be prepared for the Russians to do this again. It
was clear the Russians tried to influence our elections. They are going to
try to do it again in 2018. Do we have a strategy to deal with counter
covert influence?

TUR: Yes.

HURD: And also we should be talking about other countries like China as
well while we’re focused on Russia. We know the Chinese have been involved
in getting into our systems and the private sector as well. And we still
believe that they should adhere to some agreements that were made under the
last administration.

TUR: So you have brought up two things I want to follow up on. First that
you want all this information to get out, Congressman. Do you think that
the White House and that Don Jr. have been as forthcoming as they should
be? Should there just be a complete list of everybody, every foreign
national they might have met with during the campaign, the transition?

HURD: Well, I think that the public provision of e-mails is a pretty bold
step. I think with folks that are current –

TUR: But we’re still finding out who was in that meeting. We’re still
getting names (inaudible) as you say dripping daily.

HURD: When it comes to the Russia investigation, oversharing is probably a
good thing. And that everybody should be reviewing anybody that was
connected to the campaign or to the administration. Should be overshare
when it comes to contacts with the Russians. I think that is not a bad
place to be in order to prevent these kinds of reactions when information
does come out.

TUR: So the other thing you brought was your 9-1/2 years at the CIA. I did
a long piece about this meeting for Sunday night with Megyn Kelly and I
talked to a former Moscow station chief John Sipher and he said that
essentially this meeting to him given his experience in Moscow and his
experience in the CIA looked very much like human fishing, like the Kremlin
was trying to dangle something in front of the Trump campaign to see
whether or not they would be interested in it and we found out from the e-
mails that, yes, they were interested in it.

HURD: It is indeed a tactic that the Russians have used time and time
again. Whether that was indeed the case in this specific meeting that we’re
talking about, we have to leave that up to Robert Mueller to try to
investigate and understand the motivations behind the Russians reaching
out. And I think that is an important thing to understand. But it does reek
of Russian intelligence motivation and tactics.

And again, when it comes to Russia, they are not our ally. They are our
adversary. And we need to treat them that way. And they are going to resort
to asymmetrical warfare to try to undergerd trust in our institution. And
we can’t let that happen. And I think there are many of us that have been
exposed to Russia trying to prevent that from happening in the future.

TUR: Congressman Hurd, thank you very much.

HURD: Thank you.

TUR: And just ahead, the two politicians that Americans like less than
President Trump.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back. While President Trump is facing historically low poll
numbers, a new poll shows his 2016 rival is fairing even worse. A new
Bloomberg national poll shows President Trump with a higher positive
favorability rating than former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary
Clinton. Mr. Trump’s favorability rating is 41 percent. Clinton’s is 39
percent.

That is the lowest number posted by Clinton in the Bloomberg poll since
2015 in the midst of the Democratic primary fight. Of course the 2016
election is over, but President Trump still uses his former foe as a foil
from the White House. He has tweeted about Hillary Clinton twice in the
last week and several times since taking office.

The only person polled by Bloomberg with a lower net favorability than
Clinton? Russian President Vladimir Putin. His 15 percent favorability
rating is actually up five points since last year. Look at that. We’ll be
right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: Welcome back. It’s time for “The Lid.” Let’s turn to the panel. Heidi
Przybyla, Ruth Marcus, Alfonso Aguilar. Ruth, let’s start with you. The
president had another meeting with Vladmir Putin. This is about this
couple’s only dinner. It seems to be from what we’re hearing a one-on-one
conversation with Vladmir Putin. We don’t know the extent of it though.
What do you make of that? Is that unusual?

RUTH MARCUS, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: So much for transparency. It
seems pretty unusual to me. I cannot remember another time and maybe I’ll
be proved wrong, when the president of the United States had a bilateral
meeting with a foreign leader especially a foreign leader as important as
Vladmir Putin and it was hidden from public view in this way.

I mean, one minute last week the president is praising his son Don Jr. for
transparency. And now every day we learn something else that we didn’t know
previously. If you’re going to have another meeting with Putin, why would
you want to keep it hidden? Why not just tell us about it? Things leak out
any way. This is a lesson this administration has been slow in learning.

TUR: We did see an image of Melania sitting next to Vladmir Putin. So I
guess it makes sense the president might have wondered over there. Alfonso,
are you concerned about the transparency of that?

ALFONSO AGUILAR, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LATINO PARTNERSHIP FOR CONSERVATIVE
PRINCIPLES: Certainly. I’m concerned how the White House is handling this
whole Russia thing. I don’t think they are being transparent, the case of
the meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had with that Russian lawyer. I think
they haven’t been totally transparent and come forward. We get drips and
drips of information coming out. I think it creates a terrible perception
they are not being forthcoming.

TUR: Yes.

AGUILAR: Having said that, you know, we are – we have a diplomatic
relation with Russia. I see no problem with Donald Trump meeting with
Vladmir Putin. The irony here is that when we look at our policy towards
Russia right now, I would argue that it’s tougher than the policy that
President Obama had toward Russia. We stroke in Syria. We bump Syria.

I’m sure Vladimir Putin was hopping (ph) about that. At the G-20 Summit,
President Trump said that he was looking at selling natural gas to central
European countries. I’m sure Vladimir Putin is not happy about that. And he
also said he is willing to sell an anti-missile battery to Poland. I’m sure
Vladimir Putin is not happy about that. Nobody is talking about that.

TUR: But what about the Russian diplomatic compounds that we might be
giving back? What about, Heidi, the Russian sanctions bill which has held
up in the house that the president and the White House have said that they
will not sign?

PRZYBYLA: Right. The reports are that the White House is heavily behind
that lobbying effort to stop the sanctions bill which really breezed
through in a bipartisan basis in the senate. He makes a number of good
points but overall the one thing that Russia cares most about are those
sanctions. The indication that we have based on the reporting is that the
Trump officials shortly after the election, Mike Flynn, did discuss trying
to lift those sanctions for Russia.

That is the most important strategic goal. And because of this firestorm,
the Trump administration has had its hands tied and has been unable to do
anything like that. The Russian compounds story would be another gift to
the Russians that would be important to them because we know for instance
that they were conducting a lot of their spy operation out of those
compounds.

So I think for the most part, the Trump administration just had its hands
tied because of this backlash to what we’re now learning about what went on
during the campaign.

TUR: So there’s still a lot of news coming out about the Don Jr. meeting
and people are still being forced to answer questions on it. Nicole Wallace
had Chris Christie on just before this. Take a listen to their
conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLLE WALLACE, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: You’re a prosecutor.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Yes.

WALLACE: You prosecuted people.

CHRISTIE: Where’s the crime?

WALLACE: Is there a campaign fine? I mean, how do you know that nothing of
value?

CHRISTIE: I don’t know. I’m sure Bob Mueller is going to try to find out.
But the fact is, what I do know as a prosecutor is, you don’t prosecute
people until you have the facts. My problem with a lot of what’s been going
on is that people are prosecuting folks before they know the facts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUR: Ruth, is the media prosecuting people before they know the facts as
Chris Christie alleges?

MARCUS: Well, I don’t think we get prosecutorial authority. But I do think
we do –

(CROSSTALK)

MARCUS: – authority that is in the constitution to try to find out facts
and the facts that have come out have not been very attractive for the
Trump campaign or Don Jr. in particular. There was another part of that
conversation that was very interesting with Governor Christie where he
said, well, I wouldn’t have taken that meeting. Well, you know, he don’t,
but I’m a prosecutor, he said, so I would have known that’s a problem.

I don’t think you need to go to law school or have years in a prosecutor’s
office to know it’s a bad idea to have a meeting with foreign official or
foreign attorney who is described as representing a foreign government. The
fact that the president of the United States has so far been unwilling to
say that, in fact he said that most politicians would have taken that
meeting, that’s just – it’s wrong and it’s troubling.

TUR: Most politicians have said that they would not have taken that
meeting. But ultimately, Chris Christie is right about one thing and Bob
Mueller will figure out whether or not there’s any criminality involved in
this meeting. If “The Washington Post” is correct, it looks like Bob
Mueller is looking into it the very least. Thank you. Heidi, Ruth, Alfonso.
Appreciate your time, guys. After the break, it’s great to throw like a
girl.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

TUR: In case you missed it, there was ease in Kasie’s manor as she stepped
into her place. There was pride in Kasie’s bearing and a smile on Kasie’s
face. When responding to the cheers, she took a look around. No stranger in
the crowd could doubt it was Kasie on the mound.

Mudville jokes aside. In case you missed it, NBC’s own Kasie Hunt got to
throw out the first pitch last night for her beloved Orioles. This is so
awesome. We’re going to give Kasie the credit for the O’s 3-1 win over the
Rangers. She got to hang out with the mascot too. Congrats to our pal, my
buddy, our awesome road warrior Kasie Hunt.

That is all for tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow with more MTP Daily. Have
a good night.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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