MTP Daily, Transcript 7/24/2017
Show: MTP DAILY
Date: July 24, 2017
Guest: Hans Nichols, Mike Quigley, Shane Harris, Anne Gearan, Sahil Kapur,
Susan Li, Tom Carper
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: That does it for now. I`m Nicole Wallace.
“MTP DAILY” starts right now with Chris Jansing in for Chuck. Hi, Chris.
CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC HOST: But keep it tuned here between now and the
fabulous Ari Melber
WALLACE: Yes. Yes.
JANSING: Thank you so much, Nicole.
If it`s Monday, Jared Kushner opens up behind closed doors.
(voice-over): Tonight, the Kushner connection. The president`s son-in-law
and top advisor tells Senate investigators there`s no smoke around his four
meetings with Russians during the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR, U.S. WHITE HOUSE: Let me be very clear, I
did not collude with Russia nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign
who did so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: We`ll talk to a House intel member who questions Jared Kushner
Plus, health care blame game. President Trump passes the buck on his
party`s failed attempts at reform.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The problem is we have zero
help from the Democrats. They`re obstructionists. That`s all they are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: And get the message?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK, SENATE MINORITY LEADER: Too many
Americans don`t know what we stand for. Not after today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: How the Democrats are working to get their groove back more than
eight months since their election day druthing (ph).
This is MTP DAILY and it starts right now.
(on camera): Good evening, I`m Chris Jansing in Washington in for Chuck
Todd. Welcome to MTP DAILY and welcome to another manic Monday as the
White House battles yet another flood of Russia headlines.
Jared Kushner breaks his silence. The president slams Attorney General
Jeff Sessions. Senate investigators say Paul Manafort and Donald Trump Jr.
will testify. It`s just a matter of when.
And confusion is growing over the White House`s position on Russia
We`re going to cover it all, but we begin tonight by trying to make some
sense of Jared Kushner`s many denials today. After being interviewed
privately by Senate Intelligence Committee staffers on Capitol Hill, the
president`s son-in-law and senior advisor summed up his defense in public
from the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: Let me be very clear. I did not collude with Russia, nor do I
know of anyone else in the campaign who did so. I had no improper
contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds for my businesses. And I
have been fully transparent in providing all requested information.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: And the denials didn`t stop there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KUSHNER: The record and documents I have voluntarily provided will show
that all of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of
events of a very unique campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: According to his prepared testimony, Kushner told Senate
investigators today that he was totally in the dark about that
controversial meeting he attended, which included Donald Trump Jr., Paul
Manafort and a Russian lawyer who was accompanied by a counterintelligence
officer, a real estate executive and others.
Kushner insists he didn`t read the e-mail from Trump Jr. telling him that
the meeting was part of a Russian government backed effort to incriminate
Hillary Clinton. Even in spite of that e-mail subject line which was,
Russia, Clinton, private and confidential.
He says he arrived late, left early and at no time did he hear anything
about the campaign or have knowledge of any documents offered to them. He
denied wanting to set up a, quote, “secret back channel with Russia`s
ambassador when they met during the transition.” But he did acknowledge
that he asked about using Russia`s diplomatic facilities as a way to
transmit sensitive information.
In his prepared testimony, he also denied covering up his meetings with
Russian officials by leaving them off his security clearance form. Kushner
says that his staff filed the form prematurely due to a miscommunication,
then quickly updated it.
He also denied doing anything wrong when he met with a Russia billionaire
close to Putin. He says they didn`t talk about specific policy or
sanctions or business or real estate or loans or any private business.
Throughout his written testimony, Kushner goes through great lengths to
highlight both his lack of political experience and the chaotic nature of
the election. He says, it was not my initial intent to play a large role
in my father-in-law`s campaign. My experience was in business, not
He talked about receiving the thousands of calls, letters and e-mails. And
he calls parts of transition a scramble.
In the end, Kushner described an operation that is, at times, over worked,
under prepared, inexperienced, disorganized and sometimes easily penetrated
by Russian officials.
[17:05:00] Given that, can we or the investigators put much stock in all
I`m joined by NBC`s Hans Nichols from the White House. Hans, let`s start
with everything that we saw today which is, first of all, you have this 11-
page statement. It comes out 6:00 in the morning. Then, you have him go
behind closed doors. He comes out. He gives less than a two and a half-
What`s the White House saying in reaction to all of this?
HANS NICHOLS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NBC NEWS: We don`t have an
official response from the White House quite yet. Sarah Huckabee Sanders
will be gaggling here in moments. The president is in the air.
I think when you look at the statements from Kushner, the two book ends,
what happened before the meeting and behind closed doors and after, are
consistent. They`re very specific. And they`re saying that he did not –
and he can only really vouch for himself – that he did not collude.
But in the specific, sort of, argument, the legs of his argument, in a lot
of ways, he can`t vouch for the overall cosmic statement, the general
statement that he was making, that there was no collusion by the campaign.
And you`ll notice, you – if you listen to that statement very carefully,
he says, I cannot – none that I know of. I do not know of any collusion.
So, he`s still giving himself an out there if there was collusion by anyone
in the overall Trump campaign. He`s just saying he wasn`t aware of it.
And part of his defense, Chris, is that he wasn`t really paying that
closely attention to this. He actually forgot the Russian ambassador`s
name. He`s almost couching himself as a, sort of, back chair player that
wasn`t really making a lot of these decisions. That seems to be the basis
of his defense – Chris.
JANSING: And the nervousness that`s being created on Capitol Hill as a
result of this drip, drip, drip. There`s new news it seems like every day,
new attention focused every day on the Russia investigation.
When you see how all of this is playing out, it`s hard not to draw a
straight line to where Capitol Hill is now with the Russian sanctions bill.
Something the White House didn`t want to happen. But what are they saying
NICHOLS: Well, it looks like they are comfortable with the sanctions bill
going forward. When you look at the bipartisan support that this has from
on both the House and the Senate side, it`s difficult to see, given all the
atmospherics on this, Chris, how the president could veto it. Especially
after the signaling yesterday that they didn`t have any problems with it.
So, the expectation seems to be that that bill will go forward and that the
president will be forced to sign it – Chris.
JANSING: Thank you, Hans.
I`m joined now by Democrat Congressman Mike Quigley of Illinois, a member
of the House Intelligence Committee which, by the way, is interviewing
Kushner tomorrow under oath behind closed doors. What`s the number one
thing you want to ask him tomorrow?
REP. MIKE QUIGLEY, D-ILLINOIS: Well, just after that brief intro, the
number one thing I want to ask him is what did you talk about with the
gentlemen from the FED bank, the Russia sanctioned bank? There`s a long
list of things they didn`t talk about. Did they talk about sports? I
mean, it defies any sense of belief that he would have a discussion with
somebody like that so close to – so close to Putin and not talk about
Russia and the United States.
JANSING: So, I assume you`ve read this 11-page statement that he sent and
maybe even heard the two and a half-minute statement that, kind of, hit
some of the top points. Was there anything there that made you more or
less concerned about what you want to find out about tomorrow?
QUIGLEY: Well, I look forward to the fact that he`s actually going to be
under oath. He kind of reminded me of my old criminal defense days. I
will tell you this, though, in all those years naivete or attempts at
naivete never seem to work. It`s almost an opie-taylor (ph)-type innocent
naivete defense. I didn`t know anything.
JANSING: So, when he says things like –
QUIGLEY: I didn`t know anybody. Right.
JANSING: I was new to the campaign. I was getting 200 e-mails a day.
Things were moving very fast. That doesn`t fly with you?
QUIGLEY: Well, he also suggested he didn`t read the entire e-mail. He
just happened to show up with Mr. Manafort, two of the most important
people close to Mr. Trump, himself, as anyone out there. And they didn`t
know what this was about? They didn`t notice the Russians in the room? I
mean, it doesn`t seem to work for me.
And I do think it`s possible to be part of a conspiracy to collude and be
naive in your attempts to do so. I mean, when you talk about –
JANSING: Well, what is it that makes you think that there`s proof of
collusion here? We all understand that collusion is not a statement in
law. It usually would be something closer to conspiracy.
But what is your case to prove that? Because when you listen to the
president, he says there is zero evidence that has been found in the Russia
QUIGLEY: Yes. I think you look at it this way. There is a pattern of a
conspiracy that grows. You know, Roger Stone saying over a year ago, they
had a relationship with WikiLeaks. And that he knew Julian Assange and
that he knew Mr. Podesta was next was next in the barrel.
When you start to piece these together, it is evidence of a pattern of
conspiracy. Look, this investigation is way closer to its beginning than
its end. And we`re not jumping to conclusions.
[17:10:02] But there`s clearly enough evidence that there was a pattern of
conspiracy. And we need to complete this investigation.
Tomorrow is one of the first of the main actors here that`s testifying
under oath. The White House narrative changes on an ongoing basis,
starting out without right denials. And then, sort of, well, maybe this
meeting took place and maybe that one but it was innocent.
Let`s see what they say under oath.
JANSING: There are a lot of things you just said and some things I have in
my own notes. Let me just go over them.
So, you`ve got probes on Russian interference, possible collusion, leaks,
Comey`s firing, possible obstruction, Flynn, all of those things. How
confident are you that you`re set up to handle all that?
QUIGLEY: Well, I mean, it`s a very good question. Do we have the
resources necessary? You know, that`s tough. I`d like to think that Mr.
Mueller`s investigation does.
Every – each of the three investigations has its merits. It has different
strengths. But this is a complicated, layered, textured issue to
investigate. The most important investigation of my lifetime. And I
watched the Watergate hearings while I was in high school.
So, we have a ways to go but it`s that important. The American public has
a right to know what took place.
JANSING: Well, I have to just say that when I talk to even with some
Democrats, certainly Republicans, but even some Democrats, they try to back
away from those kinds of big statements, certainly back away from treason,
back away from impeachment, back away, too, from the Watergate comparisons.
What makes this bigger than that for you?
QUIGLEY: Well, look, I don`t – I don`t talk about impeachment. I don`t
talk about treason. I talk about the fact that there`s evidence of
conspiracy that we need to go forward on this investigation to find out.
I`m not jumping to conclusions, and I don`t want the American public to
either. But if they had read what I had read and they had heard what I had
heard, they`d want this investigation to go forward full throttle. It`s
What makes this bigger in theory than Watergate, the fact that there was a
foreign adversary involved. Perhaps none – no foreign adversary since the
cold war that we`ve had bigger than Russia.
So, I think that`s why this is more important than Russia. We`ve got to
ask yourselves –
JANSING: You mean more important than Watergate.
QUIGLEY: I`m sorry, more important than Watergate. And the fact of the
matter is what`s at the gist of this was, were the Russians able to make
this president vulnerable or anybody else in the administration vulnerable?
Were they compromised? That`s just one of the reasons why this matters.
I mean, I know everyone`s looking for whether or not there was a criminal
conspiracy involved, and that`s important. But the – even before we get
to that point, there are other issues, such as whether they were
compromised, that could be just as important and perhaps more so.
JANSING: Congressman Quigley, thank you so much.
QUIGLEY: Thank you.
JANSING: I`m joined now by MSNBC Political Analyst Andy Card who was chief
of staff to President George W. Bush and who`s delayed his little vacation
to sit with me tonight and I thank you for that.
You do, when you read this 11-page statement, sort of get this idea that
this entire campaign, over worked, maybe underprepared, inexperienced. He
and Donald Trump Jr. both talked about that.
Even while they`re saying, at the same time, you know, people who don`t
give us credit for running this great campaign are really doing a
disservice to the voters. What do you take away from it?
ANDY CARD, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I thought his statement was pretty
credible. And I know that he had lawyers helping him with his statement,
so I actually suspect that it`s very carefully crafted. And I read it and
I said, you know, that`s pretty credible.
I thought that he was pretty honest. Look it, he wasn`t a political
operative, political expertise. He didn`t know the ins and outs of a
campaign or even working in Washington.
JANSING: This is somebody who does –
CARD: We had no expectation he was going to do it.
JANSING: – multimillion-dollar deals on a regular basis.
CARD: I can think of lots of businessmen that would not work well in
government and that doesn`t condemn the businessman.
JANSING: So, if that`s who he is, does it worry you that these folks are
running these meetings, that people with ties to the kremlin are going into
them? And to the point of the congressman, could there have been some
CARD: No. You`re trying to read between the lines that were written in
his statement. His statement was about his role. I think that it was
probably quite accurate about his role and how he saw his role.
He wasn`t testifying on behalf of the campaign. He wasn`t testifying on
behalf of campaign workers. He wasn`t testifying on behalf of even the
White House. He was testifying about Jared Kushner`s role in those
meetings and his security clearance.
So, I actually thought that it was a thoughtful response, and it was
responsive to the questions that were likely to be asked. I don`t know
what took place behind closed doors and I don`t know what`s going to happen
tomorrow before the House Intelligence Committee and their investigation.
But I didn`t think that his statement was a hair on fire invitation to say
there`s a big problem. In fact, I thought it, kind of, was reassuring that
he was a busy man. He says he didn`t read the whole memo that his brother-
[17:15:10] JANSING: Even though the subject said –
CARD: Well, he – look it, I`ve gotten e-mails (INAUDIBLE) – Chris,
you`re probably drown in e-mails every day. I don`t read every e-mail as
it comes across my desk.
JANSING: But if I`m going to a meeting, I usually look at what it`s about.
I will absolutely say I don`t read every bit of every e-mail. But if I`m
going somewhere, at least on the way in the door, I`m looking at – I`m
saying, what am I going into?
CARD: I had the privilege of work – I had the privilege of working for
three presidents that were very different than Donald Trump. Very, very
different. I don`t think I could work for Donald Trump.
I worked George Bush, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. And I was
privileged to see how they did their job. I felt that they invited people
to speak truth to power. They had the courage to speak truth to the real
power which is the American people. And I liked that.
So, I`m not saying that I agree with what`s happening in the Trump White
House or how they`re doing their job. But I thought that statement by
Jared Kushner, the one that was published in the newspapers bright and
early this morning or online bright and early this morning, was actually a
pretty credible statement.
And it was going to be delivered under oath. So, I suspect that it was
very carefully considered by his lawyers and by him.
JANSING: Is that a lesson for Donald Trump? Because one of the other
things that Jared Kushner said very specifically, not just in his
statement, but in just the two minutes and 15 seconds, was that he doesn`t
look for the spotlight.
But in that two minutes and 15 seconds where he appeared before the camera,
he talked about this is not – he is not somebody who is, you know, wanting
always to be in the public eye. So, he`s not out there tweeting –
CARD: – for himself.
JANSING: Right. But he`s not out there tweeting. He clearly had a
statement that was incredibly well lawyered. You saw Abbe Lowell who was
standing right by him. Could the president take some tips from him at
least when you`re talking about –
JANSING: – an investigation by congressional committee and Robert
CARD: Well, it was also very unusual to have an assistant to the president
testify before a congressional committee. That`s usually a no-no under
separation of powers.
So, that was an unusual act even of itself to have an assistant to the
president go up and testify before Congress. That doesn`t happen very
JANSING: Do you think it was odd that he was standing – some people
raised questions about him standing in front of the west wing with the seal
of the White House on that – on the podium. I couldn`t find anybody today
who had ever seen anything quite like that. That`s usually – you don`t
stand in front of the west wing unless you`re doing government business.
CARD: This was a personal – this related to Jared Kushner. It wasn`t
official White House. It wasn`t official government. It was Jared Kushner
appearing before a committee, looking into tampering by the Russians,
potential tampering by the Russians in an election. It was not White House
Yes, I don`t think that it was entirely appropriate to use the White House
forum as a place to have a press conference. But I don`t think that that
is an impeachable offense.
JANSING: I don`t think we would raise that either.
Thank you for coming in. Safe travels –
JANSING: – as you head to your next location, undisclosed location for
vacation. Thank you so much, Andy Card, appreciate it.
CARD: Thank you, Chris.
JANSING: We`re going to have more on the latest Russia headlines plaguing
the Trump administration ahead with our panel.
And will the president`s latest comments help the Republicans push forward
on their health care plans? That`s next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY, MAJORITY LEADER: The only way we`ll
have an opportunity to consider ideas is if senators are allowed to offer
and debate them. That means voting to begin the open amendment process.
Madam president, it means voting to proceed and that will occur tomorrow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: That was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell making it
official. The Senate will vote to begin debate on healthcare reform
tomorrow. And they`ll be voting to begin debate on the bill they passed in
2015 and that President Obama vetoed, sometimes referred to as repeal and
But, right now, there still isn`t a viable path to passage to be found.
Even with help from the president to get Republican members to fall in
President Trump just wrapped up, speaking an hour or so ago, appearing with
people the White House called victims of Obamacare. And in that address,
he went after Democrats and Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every pledge that Washington
Democrats made to pass that bill turned out to be a lie. It was a big,
fat, ugly lie. Every Republican running for office promised immediate
relief from this disastrous law. If you remember, repeal and replace,
repeal and replace. They kept saying it over and over again.
We have zero help from the Democrats. They`re obstructionists. That`s all
they are. That`s all they`re good at is obstruction.
Any senator who votes against starting debate is telling America that you
are fine with the Obamacare nightmare which is what it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: Remember, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell needs to get 50
votes to pass anything, a repeal bill, a repeal bill with a replacement or
something else entirely. So, far his members can`t reach a consensus on
any of those options.
The president will speak again tonight in West Virginia at an event for the
boy scouts. But, coincidentally, he`ll be appearing in the home state of
Senator Shelley Moore Capito, one of those Republican members standing in
his way on health care.
We`ll be back with more MTP DAILY in 60 seconds.
JANSING: Welcome back.
Let me bring in tonight`s panel. Shane Harris is a Senior Writer for “The
Wall Street Journal,” Anne Gearan, Diplomatic Correspondent for “The
Washington Post,” Sahil Kapur is a National Political Reporter at
OK. So, let`s talk about health care. The president`s going to West
Virginia. All of the presidents, not all of them but many of them, have
gone for the Boy Scout jamboree.
But it just so happens that Shelley Moore Capito is going to be on Air
Force One. What do you make of that?
SHANE HARRIS, SENIOR WRITER, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”: Well, I think he
said it in his speech, anybody who votes against via (ph) a motion to go
ahead on this bill is standing in the way of it.
So, the president is bringing the bully pulpit to West Virginia to try to
pressure her to vote at least on a motion to proceed. Clearly, he wants
senators to be able to at least take a shot at voting for the bill.
Doubtful they could get it across the line.
JANSING: Is he being – bringing the bully pulpit in or is he going to
bully somebody here? I mean, that`s the question, right?
ANNE GEARAN, DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, “THE WASHINGTON POST”: Well, yes,
he gets a 45-minute, you know, uninterrupted shot at twisting Shelley Moore
She`s been pretty consistent all along in her reservations. And it does
not appear – again, we don`t know exactly what they`re going to be
starting to vote on. They don`t know.
But the best we can deduce was what McConnell is going to put forward
tomorrow would not satisfy the concerns she`s expressed in the past.
[17:25:04] JANSING: But she lives in a state, let`s not kid ourselves,
that not only voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump, but I think it`s
number one in deaths from overdoses. So, what do you do?
SAHIL KAPUR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, “BLOOMBERG POLITICS”: And I
believe it was President Trump`s strongest state in the 2016 general
election. He won it by a larger margin than anybody else. Senator Capito
has been pretty consistent in, you know, having concerns about specific
aspects of this bill. She`s talked about Medicaid coverage losses under
It`s very difficult to reconcile with any of the things that Senate
Republican leaders are trying to do. Whether she`s ultimately getting on
the motion to proceed is one question, I think, she`s technically still
undecided on that.
But we might see a little bit of a pressure campaign from President Trump.
Maybe something like he through to Dean Heller in the moments that he still
wants to be a senator, right?
JANSING: Yes. You`re not the person necessarily who wants to be sitting
next to him or, in this case, we understand she`s going to be standing next
to him tonight.
You spoke of the leadership. It was really interesting listening to
Wisconsin Radio today. And Paul Ryan, he`s a little bit frustrated by
what`s going on on the Senate side. Let`s listen to it.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SEN. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We passed our bill in
May and we were hoping to that the Senate would have it done by now. So,
obviously, we`re a little frustrated in the House. You know that.
The frustrating thing for House members is it`s Russia this. It`s Russia
that. It`s tweet this, tweet that. It`s wall to wall coverage and
countdown clocks of what I would call distracting issues and not the issues
we`re actually focused and working on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: I mean, he can say it`s tweet this, tweet that and then puts the
countdown clock. I can`t tell, is he going after us in the media or is he
going after the guy who is doing the tweeting?
HARRIS: Well, I think so. The tweets are pretty indicative of that. And
isn`t this the first time we`ve seen the president going out and putting
muscle behind this. Not engaged and trying to go out and push the repeal
is replace option. He doesn`t even seem to know – we talk about not
knowing what they`re voting on. The president doesn`t even necessarily
know what`s in the bill.
JANSING: What are they voting on? No, I mean, really, what are they
voting on? I feel like that`s my job. I`m supposed to be able to tell
people. People ask me. Literally, people on the street will say to me,
what is this healthcare bill? Somebody stopped by outside this building
last week. What are they voting on?
KAPUT: And we`re supposed to be able to get an answer to that when it`s a
bill this big that`s going to be coming up for a vote in 24 hours. But we
don`t know yet. They have not announced that.
Senator McConnell, about an hour or so ago, announced on the floor that
they will be voting tomorrow. There are a number of options. They could
be voting on the repeal – a repeal only with a two-year bridge for a
They could be voting on some latest version of the BCRA which is a
replacement bill for –
JANSING: They don`t have the votes for any of these.
KAPUT: Exactly. They don`t have the votes for any of those. They can
only lose two. They are already too hardnose for both of them. Susan
Collins and Rand Paul, and we have Senator McCain who seems unlikely to
believe able to make it tomorrow.
So, it`s hard to see a path for any of these things.
JANSING: I was thinking to myself because I think I read a tweet. I don`t
know if it`s true, but I know that there was a town hall eight years ago on
health care that President Obama did. Somebody said in the first six he
did, like, four town halls.
I was trying to imagine. I`m not being facetious or anything. I was
trying to imagine a town hall where President Trump goes up and people just
get to ask him about the specifics of the healthcare bill that he supports.
What would that look like?
GEARAN: It might look a little bit like today, right, where he just, kind
of, was all over the place, saying Obamacare is bad. It`s a disaster.
These are victims of Obamacare. And Republicans are on the hook for doing
That – the doing something part appeared to be the main thrust of today`s
message. But, you know, to your point, there`s not a lot that Republicans
are actually likely to be able to do tomorrow.
JANSING: Speaking of the president, why is he continuing to flog his
attorney general? I mean, we saw in “The New York Times” interview which
was not very pleasant. He said maybe he should never have hired him in the
first place since he decided to recuse himself.
Then today, he calls Sessions beleaguered, criticizing him for not
investigating Hillary Clinton, who is making him beleaguered.
HARRIS: Right. You know, the subtext here almost is can`t you take a
hint, Jeff? You have the feeling that he wants to, sort of, push him out.
What I found extraordinary about that tweet as well where he said, why
isn`t the attorney general investigating criminal acts by my political
opponent? Here`s the president of the United States essentially already
inviting someone and directing his attorney general to go out and
investigate her. That`s extraordinary in and of itself.
GEARAN: I like (ph) Jeff Sessions too.
KAPUR: There was a little bit of a trial balloon floated over the report
on the fact that the president is looking at Rudy Giuliani (INAUDIBLE) –
KAPUR: – for attorney general.
There have been – the only piece of caution I would put out there is there
has been a lot of talk about many of his aides potentially having to leave
at any moment since the beginning of his administration. It`s unclear to
me whether this is just another trial balloon, whether he`s venting and
making amply clear that Attorney General Sessions –
JANSING: But you even have Rush Limbaugh today saying, you know, come on,
President Trump, this guy supported you. He came out there early and he
was passionate. Why are you throwing him under the bus?
GEARAN: Well, I mean, that`s – that is a logical response. Yes. But, I
mean, I don`t know that it`s that complicated, right? And Trump clearly
feels aggrieved that Sessions recused himself and, you know, made the
decision he did about the Russia probe.
Which in – there`s a straight line, in Trump`s mind, apparently, between
that and Bob Mueller looking into, you know, everything, you know, over
(INAUDIBLE) and he`s blamed Sessions for that.
JANSING: Yes. Anne, Shane, Sahil. Stay with us. We`ve got a lot more to
talk about. But still ahead, Democrats unveil their so-called better deal,
but will their re-branding effort put them in a better position for 2018?
I`ll talk with Delaware Democrat Tom Carper. Keep it here.
JANSING: Tonight, we`re welcoming a new neighbor to the MSNBC line up at
6:00 p.m. Eastern. Keep it here for the premiere of “The Beat” hosted by
MSNBC`s chief legal correspondent Ari Melber. New Jersey Senator Cory
Booker plus filmmaker and activist Rob (INAUDIBLE) will Ari for his
inaugural show. That`s tonight at 6:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.
Next here on “MTP Daily,” Senator Tom Carper joins me to talk about the
Democrats` new message and whether this re-brand will resonate with voters.
But first, Susan Li has the “CNBC Market Wrap.”
SUSAN LI, GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORTER, CNBC: Thanks, Chris. The Nasdaq
hitting another record high as the market gears up for a busy week of
earnings. The Dow losing 66 points at the end of it, S&P shedding two, and
the Nasdaq gaining 23 points.
Google`s parent Alphabet reporting a drop in the second quarter. Its
profits falling sharply from a year earlier after Google got slapped with a
record $2.7 billion antitrust fine in Europe.
And all eyes on the FED tomorrow for the start of its two-day policy
meeting. The Central Bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold.
That`s it from CNBC, first in business worldwide.
JANSING: Welcome back. Facing massive losses on the national and local
levels the last couple of years, Democrats are looking to gain ground in
2018. Today they unveiled what they`re calling their, quote, better deal
agenda, a message blueprint for democratic candidates who are running for
election next year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Too many Americans don`t know what we
stand for. Not after today. We stand for three simple things. First, we`re
going to increase people`s pay. Second, we`re going to reduce their
everyday expenses. And third, we`re going to provide workers the tools they
need for the 21st century economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JANSING: So if you look at the president`s low approval number, you might
conclude the national climate next year should be on their side. Add to
that the ongoing Russia investigations and the lack of major policy
achievements in the Republican congress and White House. But the fact is,
Democrats face a tough road in the senate.
There are democratic incumbents in 10 states that President Trump won in
2016, and there`s only one Republican up for re-election in a state that
Hillary Clinton won. On the other hand, for Democrats to retake the house,
they need a net pickup of 24 seats. Well, there are 23 districts with a
republican that Clinton won in 2016.
So is this, quote, better deal that Democrats are promising actually going
to resonate and are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer the right faces for this
agenda or does a new message need new messengers? Joining me now,
Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware. Senator, good to see you. Thanks
for coming on.
SEN. TOM CARPER, (D), DELAWARE: Chris, nice to see you. Thank you.
JANSING: I listen to this today and I`m trying to figure out for the
average American as they listen to it. What is it about this new message
that says this is something new, this is something different and maybe more
to the point, this is being said by people I can count on, because I think
a lot of those people who left the Democratic Party and didn`t vote or
voted for Donald Trump did it because they didn`t think you guys came
through for them?
CARPER: Let me just back up a little bit, if I could. Remember when Bill
Clinton was elected as president, he took over as president during a
recession and eight years later more jobs had been created and during those
eight years in history of the United states of America. Fast forward eight
years after that, George W. Bush stepped down as president, left us in the
worse recession since the great depression.
Succeeded by Barack Obama eight years later, longest running economic
expansion in the history of this country, 16 million jobs created.
Sometimes, we forget that. I think it is important to remember that. People
in my job, governors, presidents, senators, we don`t create jobs. What we
help to do is create a nurturing environment for job creation.
A kind of modern infrastructure that includes roads, highways, bridges, and
move people where they need to go, when they need to go. Broadband fully
deployed. The ability for people who are sitting on the sidelines don`t
have a job, don`t have the skills, and all these jobs looking for people
who have certain skills.
What we have to do is figure out how to tool or retool these millions of
people who would like to do the jobs that are simply not being filled. So
those are some of the things that we want to do, we need to do. Access to
capital, access to foreign markets. All of those things are part of
creating the nurturing environment for job creation.
JANSING: And look, I think that`s a message that we heard in many ways from
Hillary Clinton. We heard in many ways from – actually from Donald Trump
and even from Bernie Sanders.
I think as you look at the pictures and it got mopped, frankly, a lot on
social media which doesn`t mean that they`re right but it did get mocked a
lot because you have there, you know, 66-year-old Chuck Schumer, 77-year-
old Nancy Pelosi, the faces of people who frankly didn`t look tremendously
diverse. Is that the image that the Democratic Party wants to put out
CARPER: Well, they are our leaders and there are a lot of us behind those
leaders who have been governors, who have been mayors, and who have done a
lot of work in creating that nurturing environment. Again, I don`t care if
you`re the speaker of the house, I don`t care if you`re the leader in the
senate, Democrat or Republican, you don`t really create that many jobs.
The key is creating the nurturing environment. What are the tools and what
are the things that we need to have, including work force skills, access to
capital, access to foreign markets. That`s how you create jobs. And whoever
can present that kind of I think program and actually relate it to when we
had eight great years with Bill Clinton, we`ve had eight years with Barack
Obama where 16 million jobs were created along its running economic
expansion, what did Harry Truman used to say –
JANSING: But people – people are aren`t going to be voting for Barack
Obama, they are going to be voting for Bill Clinton.
CARPER: Yes, that`s okay. This is what we did when we really went on a
roll, not 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago. This is like 20 years ago. This is like
10 years ago. And you have to have a program – have to have a prescription
that`s relevant for the current time. The real problem here is we`ve got so
many people who don`t have the skills.
We have all these jobs that are looking for people who need skills that
they don`t have. And whoever can come up with a way to retool people so
that they can better fit into the jobs of the 21st century, they`ll do them
a favor and will also do our country a favor.
The other thing, I think one thing we can all agree on is transportation
infrastructure and deployment of broad bands. We got all kinds of people
including people who don`t have college degrees but who got to do the work
and want to do the work. That would be smart.
JANSING: Do you see that getting them in this atmosphere?
CARPER: What did Wayne Gretzky used to say? Why do you take so many shots
on goal? I missed every shot I never took. We got to take the shot. We need
roads, highways, bridges. We need rail. We need investments in all those
things and airports as well –
JANSING: Let`s talk about what`s coming up before that if we can, and that
is health care.
CARPER: – help people move faster and goods and service move faster as
well. Go ahead. I`m sorry.
JANSING: You`ve got health care coming up tomorrow. So that`s the immediate
issue that if you`re like most of the members of congress, both on the
senate and the house side that I`ve talked to, they`ve been inundated with
phone calls from people, people are very nervous about what you guys are
going to do about this.
You have said that this is a perfect time that the Republicans and the
Democrats have got to work together. And I`m wondering, are there members
of the Republican Party that you have spoken to about this? What are those
discussions with those Republicans? Where can you find some common ground?
CARPER: I think a lot of us agree on this. This is a good time to hit the
pause button. This is a time for us to fix immediately what needs to be
fixed immediately. The administration seems to be had been on destabilizing
the exchanges which is actually a Republican idea in all 50 states –
JANSING: And you`ve had that discussion with Republicans, senator?
CARPER: Oh, sure. Sure. We need to stabilize the exchanges. There are about
three simple things we could do to actually do that. And the next thing we
need to do is take up what I call regular order, regular order. John McCain
calls it regular order. Let`s do hearings. Heaven knows what they`re going
to bring to the floor tomorrow.
We don`t know. We`ve not had hearings on it. I don`t know the CBO
(INAUDIBLE). We don`t know if the Cruz proposal is in or out. That`s a
crazy way to do business. This is one-sixth of our nation`s economy and
we`re going forward as if like with our blinders on. I can`t believe we`re
JANSING: I hear in your tone the frustration that I hear from a lot of
folks on Capitol Hill in both parties. Are you going to run for re-
CARPER: I`m running for re-election –
JANSING: You are.
CARPER: Yes, yes, yes. And you go back to the election, just before the
election last year, Hillary was going to be president, Democrats were going
to be in the majority in the senate, and I was ready to say okay let them
do that, and I`ll go find some other counties (ph) to do.
I don`t think I`ve ever been as motivated and energized in my life in the
senate. And I come to work – people say you must – it must be a terrible
job you do these days. And I say no, I love coming here, I love the folks I
work with, and what we`re doing is important. We need to make progress.
JANSING: Senator Carper. Good to see you. Thank you.
CARPER: Nice to see you, Chris. Thank you.
JANSING: And we`ll have more “MTP Daily” right after this.
JANSING: Welcome back. The 10th victim of that gruesome human smuggling
case in San Antonio died in the hospital today. Dozens of suspected
undocumented immigrants were hospitalized after being crowded into that
tractor trailer that was found in a parking lot. Eight were pronounced dead
on the scene. Two more people died later.
Investigators say the discovery was made after one person in the truck
asked a security guard at a nearby store for water. The driver of that
truck, James Matthew Bradley, has been charged with smuggling. Bradley said
he had no knowledge that people were inside the truck until he reached the
San Antonio parking lot.
ICE issued a statement saying in part, quote, by any standard, the horrific
crime uncovered last night ranks as a stark reminder of why human smuggling
networks must be pursued, caught, and punished. No statement at this time
from the White House. More “MTP Daily” after the break.
JANSING: Time for “The Lid,” and just to clarify what are still a lot of
unknowns in senate on health care tomorrow. Is that procedural vote to move
on to the bill the house passed in May and use that bill as essentially a
shell to replace it with whatever they can get 50 votes on which could be
repeal and replace or repeal and delay basically anything?
The panel is back. Shane Harris, Anne Gearan, Sahil Kapur. One of our
producers on Capitol Hill got these three comments just very recently. From
Murkowski, I would like to know more as I`m sure all of you would, too.
When they asked Republican Ron Johnson, I don`t have a clue what we`re
going to be voting on. And then Richard Burr, I`m not knowing specifics on
health care motion to proceed vote. It doesn`t concern me, as I said, I`ll
vote for anything.
SHANE HARRIS, SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY WRITER, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Just
kind of reach into a bag and pull it out and vote for it? I mean, this is -
- no wonder that this health care bill is already so unpopular with the
process through which is this is gone is feeling nutty. I mean, here we are
right now having no idea, lawmakers have no idea what they`re going to be
voting for tomorrow. It`s just pretty astounding.
JANSING: You would think between health care, what`s going on with the
Russia investigation, we could go on and on, all the things that have not
happened, that the Democrats would really see this opening.
But what did you make of their little gathering today, Anne Gearan, when
they stood there and they said, this is their slogan, by the way, a better
deal, better skills, better jobs, better wages, doesn`t exactly roll off
the tongue because I had to read it, which a lot of people say sounds like
Papa John`s better ingredients, better pizza.
GEARAN: There are at least some Republican activists showed up with pizza
boxes with that printed on it and it said, and still Pelosi. I mean,
Democrats may have handed Republicans something to make fun of them with.
But you`re right, it doesn`t roll off the tongue. It`s reminiscent,
frankly, of the main pillars of the Hillary Clinton campaign, the economic
pillars of Hillary`s campaign last year which, you know, she spent a year
and a half talking about and obviously were not enough and obviously didn`t
resonate with people in the way that Trump`s much simpler and more direct
economic message did.
JANSING: I mean, some of this actually sounded like it came out of Sanders`
camp. So, where are the Democrats on all of this?
SAHIL KAPUR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, BLOOMBERG NEWS: They certainly
are moving in that direction. You know, one of the people out there was
Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts –
KAPUR: – who favor the progressives. One of the big things that this
document highlighted was antitrust issues. That is a centerpiece of
Elizabeth Warren`s economic philosophy. They creat this trust busters what
they call it to review mergers beforehand, to bust them after the fact if
they`re deemed as not good for consumers. I think that`s –
JANSING: I`m not sure though if you`re a voter in Ohio or Pennsylvania who
didn`t vote for Hillary Clinton, that that`s going to win you over. Is it?
I mean, that seems to be what they`re banking on.
KAPUR: It`s complicated. It`s technocratic.
KAPUR: But this is kind of where the Democrats are a little boxed in
because the president is fond of proposing a lot of very simple solutions
that are not quite workable like Mexico thing for the all and things like
that or like, you know, trade deals going away, and then American workers
getting their jobs back.
It`s not that simple. The Democrats do have – are confronted with a
choice. You know, do we come up with simple slogans that win over voters or
do we try to go in this direction that we think we can stick with?
JANSING: Whether or not the slogan catches on, the bigger problem really is
for the Republicans, right? Tomorrow, we keep saying that, you know, this
is their last chance to do it, so maybe we should stop saying that. But it
sure does feel to me, Anne Gearan, like at some point, they`re going to
have vote after vote after vote after vote and they`re going to have to
say, uncle, I mean is tomorrow it?
GEARAN: I don`t know. It doesn`t totally feel like it`s it. I mean, I think
a version of that same question is, at what point is there a tipping point
for Republicans where they have done enough in Mitch McConnell and other`s
minds to be able to say, look, we did everything we possibly could to
repeal and replace or whatever slogan they want to apply to it, as an
antidote to being primary.
JANSING: Can they go back and say the Democrats are the obstructionists? Is
that what the voters are going to buy?
HARRIS: (INAUDIBLE) buy them. The president`s been pushing that line but
they can`t get their own party in order for this. That`s not going to wash
at all. The Democrats also, the problem is they don`t have a standard
bearer for this new message that they`re pushing. So I don`t know who is in
– Republicans are (INAUDIBLE) in the short term. But no, I don`t think
that washes at all.
JANSING: What happens tomorrow? Anybody want to venture a guess?
KAPUR: On health care? It`s just very hard to see a path that can get them
to 50 votes on anything. It`s not guaranteed that the motion will proceed
pass. I would give that probably a little bit of a better shot than a
particular bill, but this is an extremely rough road.
And the reason is, as you mentioned, you know, Republican voters are not
going to buy this. Members are boxed in from both sides. You have to win a
primary to get to the general election. This bill is extremely unpopular
with the general electorate.
JANSING: Sahil, Anne, Shane, thanks to all of you. After the break, a line
from one of the president`s recent tweets that needs a fact check.
JANSING: In case you missed it, President Trump had an active Sunday on
Twitter. But one tweet was not exactly square with the truth. The president
wrote, it`s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the
line on my back, do very little to protect their president. If you look at
the vote tallies, there is little evidence Republican members of congress
were carried to victory by the Trump campaign.
The GOP won the national popular vote in the house by about 1.4 million
ballots. President Trump lost the national presidential popular vote by
almost 3 million votes. Pretty much the same story in the senate.
Republican candidates put up larger margins in states where President Trump
just squeaked by. The only state where President Trump outpaced his party`s
nominee in relatively close senate races, Indiana and Missouri.
So, yes, while the Trump base is powerful, there is no proof that
Republicans on the hill owe their jobs to the president`s coattails. That`s
all for tonight. The premiere of “The Beat With Ari Melber” starts right
now. Ari, we are totally psyched. Good evening.
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