Show: ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES Date: July 10, 2017 Guest: Sam Seder, Betsy Woodruff, Julie Rovner
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on "ALL IN".
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.
HAYES: After months of denials and admission tonight.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Don Jr. has very clearly said he was told that there would be some kind of information helpful to the campaign.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: The Trump campaign did meet with Russian to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Can you imagine what they`re hacking?
HAYES: Former Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta joins me tonight amid new questions of possible collusion.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: If there`s there, there, why aren`t more of these people coming clean?
HAYES: As the undisclosed Russian meetings with the Trump campaign pile up.
DONALD TRUM JR., PRESIDENT TRUMP`S SON: I mean, I can`t think of bigger lies.
HAYES: Then the Senate returns and so do the protesters as Republicans hatch another plan to ram through a health care bill. And what Miss Universe and Azerbaijani billionaire want to be pop star have to do with possible collusion?
TRUMP: I`m really tired of you.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. We now know that despite countless assurances to the contrary some of the most senior members of the Trump campaign did meet with a Russian national before the 2016 election. Since the possibility was first raised of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to interfere in the election, the President and his team denied having any contact with Russian individuals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?
PAUL MANAFORT, TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, there are not. It`s absurd and you know, there`s no basis to it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anyone involved in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians trying to meddle with the election?
CONWAY: Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the President-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was there any contact in way between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin or cutouts they had?
MIKE PENCE, UNITED STATES VICE PRESIDENT: I joined this campaign in the summer and can I tell you that all of the contacts by the Trump campaign and associates was with the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: None of that was true. Because last summer, not long after Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, his eldest son and Campaign Adviser Donald Trump Jr. had a meeting at Trump Tower in New York on a day that Donald Trump was there with a Russian lawyer connected to the Kremlin. Also in that same meeting which was first reported by the New York Times were the President`s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, now White House Adviser, and Paul Manafort then the Campaign Chairman, that meeting arranged by intermediary of June 9th, 2016 directly contradicts what Trump Jr. told the Times just back in March. I`m quoting here, did I meet with people that are Russian? I`m sure, I`m sure I did but none of that were set up, none that I can think of at the moment and certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form. After the New York Times confronted Trump Jr. about the meeting, he then explained its purpose was benign, that they were merely discussing a program for American families to adopt Russian children which had been suspended a few years prior. Within 24 hours, that initial explanation was revealed to be at the absolute very least woefully incomplete. Trump Jr.`s real reason for meeting with the lawyer according to five different advisers to the White House who spoke with the Times was to collect dirt on his father`s general election opponent, Hillary Clinton.
That Prompted Trump Jr. to issue yet another statement. "I was asked to have a meeting from an acquaintance I knew from the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign. I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to attend but told them nothing of the substance. After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information. She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act." Now that act passed by Congress in 2012 imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations. It so infuriated Vladimir Putin, he retaliated by freezing American adoption of Russian children. Now today, Donald Trump Jr. defended his motivations tweeting, "obviously I`m the first person on the campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent, went nowhere but had to listen." The White House likewise insisted nothing inappropriate took place.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY: I`ve been on several campaigns and people call offering information. As I know many of you receive similar calls of people offering information. Don Jr. took a very short meeting from which there was absolutely no follow-up. The only thing I see inappropriate about the meeting was the people that leaked the information on the meeting after it was voluntarily disclosed.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: The Senate Intelligence Committee, however, is already interested in speaking with Donald Trump Jr. about the meeting. He`s now hired a new lawyer who`s formally represented the mafia. I asked former Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta for his reaction to these new revelations.
JOHN PODESTA, FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: Well, you know, it`s drip, drip, drip. We keep learning more information. The story keeps changing. Now it is clear that they had a specific meeting to gather dirt on Hillary with a Russian lawyer, with close ties to the Kremlin. And you know, we - the story again, keeps changing. We never knew about that meeting that Mr. Kushner attended earlier. Donald Trump Jr. said that he was - specifically went to the meeting with the hopes of the soliciting negative information about Hillary. You know, it`s starting to smell more and more like collusion to, I think, the public but most importantly we need to great facts straight on this.
HAYES: One of the defenses today has been, hey, look, you know, someone comes to you, they say you have damaging information about your opponent. You go, you hear them out. What do you think of that?
PODESTA: Well I think when it is a - when it is a foreign national person who, when the meeting`s been set up by the son of Donald Trump`s partner in the Miss Universe Conference in Moscow, someone who`s known to be very close to Vladimir Putin, and when a foreign national is coming in with that kind of information, you have to ask your lawyers, and I think one of the things they would say to you, is that you cannot receive something of value from a foreign national. So I think you would have been - you know, if we had asked that question we would have been waved off it and I wonder why Donald Trump Jr. thought you know, it was perfectly OK to go ahead and take this meeting with someone who`s been operating on behalf of Russian interests, a lawyer in this country, under those circumstances. Seemed inappropriate and I think the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are going to want to get to the bottom of it.
HAYES: You just mention what your - what your protocol would have been if offered something similar, you would ask the lawyers. Did you meet - I mean, just for I guess comparison`s sake. Part of-part of what is strange here, right, is to sort of figure out what`s normal, what`s not normal. Did you have meetings with foreign nationals or lawyers representing, you know, foreign entities over the course of the campaign to discuss the campaign?
PODESTA: Well, certainly not about Donald Trump. You know, I think it`s a sort of a little bit of a cottage industry for foreign representatives in the - in the country to try to figure out what`s happening, what`s the likely result.
PODESTA: So that they can report back to their foreign offices overseas. And we never met with the Russians. I didn`t. Jake Sullivan, our Senior Policy Adviser, Laura Rosenberger who ran Foreign Policy for the campaign never met with the Russians but we met with others. But I think those were you know, what`s going on in the campaign, what are you predicting, you know, how is it going kind of meetings. We weren`t getting information from them about Donald Trump. And we wouldn`t ask for it and I don`t think it would have been appropriate to receive it.
HAYES: Has your - I wonder if you could explain what the trajectory you`re thinking about what has happened is. You`re obviously the center of all this. You`re the person in some ways who was the victim of the most egregious crime which is the criminal entry of your inbox, acquisition and subsequent publication of all of your private correspondences and work- related correspondences. I guess, where do you - what is your theory right now? How do you understand what happened to you?
PODESTA: I think what happened to me is relatively straight forward which is that Russian intelligence agents access my Gmail account, exfiltrated all my e-mails, game them over to Julian Assange at WikiLeaks who tried to maximize the damage to our campaign by 30 minutes following the release of the access Hollywood tape, began releasing them and released them every day for the last - you know, approximately 30 days of the campaign. So I think they, as the 17 U.S. Intelligence Agencies ended up putting out a statement and concluded, they tried to do what they could to interfere with the U.S. election in order to help Donald Trump get elected President of the United States. And the reason they did that was because Donald Trump as we saw over the weekend in Hamburg, seems to have a special rapport with Vladimir Putin and adopted Russian foreign policy breaking rank with bipartisan foreign policy with the United States for many, many years.
HAYES: You just said something interesting which is about the timing of the release of the access Hollywood tapes. This has always been interesting to me, that those first WikiLeaks release was happened on that same day the access Hollywood tapes - also the same day U.S. government released its first official finding that the Russians had indeed penetrated your e-mail. You don`t think that`s coincidence? You think that there was some direction about what would be politically most salient?
PODESTA: Well, look, I think that you know, if, I would say two things. One, if WikiLeaks was just interested in getting the informs out, they probably wouldn`t print Friday night to do it, but they did it right in the wake of the access Hollywood tape release. And secondly, if they really cared about transparency they would have put them all out at once. Instead, they, you know, dribbled them out over the course of the last 30 days of the campaign or to keep the topic of e-mails. There wasn`t anything particularly sexy in my e-mails, by the way, but there - but to keep the topic of e-mails alive. That`s why it is critical that these intelligence committee investigations go on and that Robert Mueller is free to do a full and thorough investigation of what happened, why it happened, was - were there contacts? And I think that most importantly, why do they keep not telling the truth about it? You know, that may be their ultimate vulnerability, which is they can`t seem to get a straight story out.
HAYES: Right. All right, John Podesta, thanks for joining me.
PODESTA: OK, thanks, Chris.
HAYES: I`m joined now by Nick Akerman, former Assistant Special Watergate Prosecutor and Naveed Jamali, former FBI Double Agent and MSNBC Contributor. Nick, let me start with you -
NICK AKERMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT SPECIAL WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: Sure. HAYES: - as former Watergate Investigator. Hearing this new information and particularly hearing the information in the context of them Donald Jr. not telling the truth, what are your investigative impulses and instincts? What would you want to know?
AKERMAN: I would go absolutely crazy here. I mean, I want to know everything. I mean, it`s not just in the context of his lies and his changes of stories but it`s in the context of everything else that`s happening. Look what happened to Paul Manafort three weeks prior to that meeting was appointed the Chairman of Donald Trump`s Campaign.
HAYES: Which was itself a somewhat surprising move at the time.
AKERMAN: Look who brought him to the dance. Roger Stone.
AKERMAN: This is the same Roger Stone who a couple months later admitted that prior to that time, he was having conversations with both ends of the group that was hacking Mr. Podesta`s e-mail. He was talking -
HAYES: Individual named Guccifer who many believe I think -
AKERMAN: Was a Russian.
HAYES: Consensus was Russian intelligence agent.
AKERMAN: Right, and Julian Assange. And he was able to predict when things are going to happen. So what we have here is a real web of collusion that has to be followed up. E-mails have to be subpoenaed, people have to look at computers, You`ve got to look at IP addresses. You got to determine where things went when they went, when they came in. There are a lot - this is going to be a very boring investigation but you need lots and lots of documents.
HAYES: So Naveed, here`s my - here`s what I - you and I have talked for a while and you had a - you had a specific experience working with a Russian counterintelligence and trying to sort of suss out someone that was trying to recruit you and you yourself was a sort of double agent. And you`ve been skeptical of this idea of collusion because it just seems unlikely to you, from your - what you know about how Russian intelligence operated to sort of to lay your cards on the table and say, hey, let`s work together. What is the new information we are getting doing to that belief of yours?
NAVEED JAMALI, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think what we`re seeing Chris, is actually the pattern emerging of what Russian intelligence was trying to do. We look at Peter Smith, when you look as Nick just mentioned Guccifer, what your - and now what we`re seeing with Don Jr., I think what this is, was a sophisticated HUMINT - that is Human Intelligence Operation - using dangle. So with Peter Smith, the Russians dangled out the hope of a 33,000 e-mails, missing e-mail. With Don Jr., they dangled out to be a potential of damaging information on Hillary Clinton. And perhaps with Guccifer and Roger Stone, they dangled out the hopes of coordinating with WikiLeaks. Now when do you that, Chris, what you are attempting to do, HUMINT, HUMINT is also you know, gaining intelligence from human sources but it`s also the target and the recruiting of individuals with the eventual goal of directing them. My concern here is that this was clear attempt of the Russians to essentially try and recruit U.S. persons. Perhaps collusion would have been down the road. I`m still skeptical about that but it seems very clearly that they were trying to gain access with the attempt - and this is why this woman sat down with Donald Jr. and at the end of the day had nothing to offer in terms of Hillary. It was a - it was a clear you know, card move there with a dangle just meant to get a meeting.
HAYES: Are you confident that we - I mean, we have three stories, there was, I didn`t meet with anyone, that we met and talked about adoption, now it`s clearly we - I went into it thinking that I could maybe get some dirt on Hillary Clinton. And there`s some possible legal exposure there because it`s illegal to solicit or accept foreign campaign contribution or anything about, not just money. Are you - of the belief that we now know, the actual story about what happened in that meeting?
AKERMAN: Absolutely not. Not even close. I mean, you`ve got three liars who are involved in this thing. Three people who don`t even know what the truth is. You`ve got Jared Kushner who remarkably had amnesia when it came time to fill out his security -
HAYES: Time and time and time again under penalty of perjury has omitted key meetings with Russian -
AKERMAN: Exactly. So, I mean, we`re not going to get the truth from these three people. I can guarantee that. What we`re going to need is just good old-fashioned gum shoe investigation, going after e-mails and computers and trying to put this together.
HAYES: OK. To Naveed, to your point, this is important, just for context, right? So you mentioned Peter Smith who was a wealthy Republican Trump- backing financer guy who raised money for Republicans who had sort of started his own operation to try to require what he thought were Hillary Clinton`s deleted 33,000 e-mails. Now, interesting note, the first tweet that Donald Trump sends about that, this is a tweet, where are your 33,000 e-mails that you deleted? That is on June 9th. That`s on the day of the meeting. This is the same 33,000 e-mails he looks into a camera and tells Russia to hack. It does seem that at some point, someone placed the idea in Donald Trump head and (INAUDIBLE) said and maybe other people in the orbit that perhaps the Russians had those e-mails.
JAMALI: I think that`s absolutely right. And that is clearly - look, human intelligence at its core is manipulation, Chris. And I think what you are seeing is actually how the Russians frankly manipulated Donald Trump. And I think, you know, this idea that you know, Putin was going to call Donald Trump directly and say, do you want us to help you throw the election in your favor? That didn`t happen. It`s sophisticated network of cutouts to communicate indirectly with Trump. And I think what you are seeing the actual apparatus that was used to do that. It is - and look, at the end of the day, what I`m concerned about here, Nick just mentioned the security forms. What I`m concerned about with lying and covering this up is that that to me is indication of someone who potentially was recruited by the Russians and is attempting to cover their tracks. That`s a clear indicator in the counterintelligence world when you lie about those. Even if it`s not a crime to meet with these people, when you try to cover that up, that is a pretty serious indicator that you are attempting to - well, hide a relationship.
HAYES: Nick, of course, the sort of famous phrase in Watergate, when did the president know and when did he know it, right? So the whole thing ended up being what was Nixon read into the whole thing and of course it was as revealed on the tapes.
AKERMAN: Yes, of course.
HAYES: Quite personally, (INAUDIBLE). The President`s lawyer, one of them says the President didn`t know about this meeting. Do you find it credible?
AKERMAN: Absolutely not. Not even close. I mean, first, of all , they had lunch together that day. Paul Manafort and Trump had lunch together.
HAYES: Yes. Trump was in the tower - in Trump tower all day.
AKERMAN: He was there all day.
HAYES: His son, his Campaign Manager and his son-in-law all go to meeting.
AKERMAN: Exactly. And no one talks about it? They don`t know what`s going on. Look, it`s the same thing that Jeff Sessions did. Jeff, I don`t recall, Sessions, over 21 times. Did you have lunch with Godzilla that day? I don`t remember. Did you go to the park? I don`t remember. He doesn`t remember anything. Nor does Trump and Trump is going to take the I don`t remember call defense straight on.
HAYES: All right, Nick Akerman, Naveed Jamali, thank you both.
JAMALI: Thank you, Chris.
AKERMAN: Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, how Donald Trump Jr. ended up in a meeting during the 2016 presidential election with a Russian lawyer that has Kremlin connections and how it`s connected to this music video. That strange tale after this two-minute break.
HAYES: During an appearance on Hugh Hewitt`s radio show two years ago, Donald Trump bragged about all the great contacts he made when he held the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow in 2013.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: I really loved my weekend - I called it my weekend in Moscow. But I was with the top level people, both oligarchs and generals and top of the government people. I can`t go further than but I will tell that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: That pageant was co-sponsored by these two men, Aras Agalarov and his son Emin, real estate developers in Russia who after the pageant a preliminary deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Now. Emin is also a pop singer in Russia, and in 2013 he released a music video that featured Miss Universe contestants as well as a cameo of the future president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Emin, let`s get with it. You`re always late, you`re just another pretty face. I`m really tired of you. You`re fired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Emin says he and the Trump family have stayed close. He told the Washington Post last year he spoke to Donald Trump on numerous occasions, later told Forbes "now that he ran and was elected, he does not forget his friends." And then also saying he exchanged messages with Donald Jr. around the time of the Inauguration. Donald Trump Senior for his part cared enough about the relationship to record a video for Emin to mark his 35th birthday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Emin, I can`t believe you`re turning 35. You`re getting older all the time but you`re a winner, you`re a champ, you`re great at real estate and boy can you entertain.
HAYES: All right. So, this now brings us to John Jr.`s newly revealed meeting during the campaign with a Kremlin-connected lawyer who he says promised damaging information of Hillary Clinton. That meeting was set up by this guy. Now, that is former British Tabloid Journalist Rob Goldstone who had worked on the Miss Universe Pageant. Goldstone says, he set the meeting up at the request of none other than Emin. Emin whose father and business partner Aras is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin`s government has awarded Aras` company numerous contracts for state buildings. Putin personally awarded Aras the Order of Honor on the Russian Federation 2013 and as my next guest reported for the Post, Aras Agalarov has served as liaison between Trump and Putin and was involved in a planned meeting between those two men in Moscow one day before the Miss Universe Pageant. Ultimately Agalarov tell the Post, Putin cancelled the last minute but he sent a decorative lacquered box, a traditional Russian gift and a warm note. Joining me now, Washington Post Political Reporter Tom Hamburger. It is-it is a somewhat complicated story here but you basically got the Agalarovs, the father and son who are both close to Putin and have a relationship with Trump. There`s a sort of one degree of separation there.
TOM HAMBURGER, THE WASHINTON POST, POLITICAL REPORTER: That`s true. You have the meeting being set up apparently by the agent for Emin Agalarov, the Azerbaijani-Russian would-be pop star. His agent calls Donald Trump Jr. whom he knows through past negotiations regarding the Miss Universe Pageant and asks for a meeting at Trump Tower and he gets it.
HAYES: And this meeting, this is what the lawyer who has - was sort of the kind of Kremlin`s point person on this piece of legislation, the Magnitsky Act back when the U.S. was going to pass it. Is that correct?
HAMBURGER: Yes. Natalia Veselnitskaya is a lawyer in Russia who was representing - who has worked in lawsuits for individuals who are challenging the Magnitsky Act or who were charged as violating some of its rules and charged with money-laundering. In the course of doing that, she became a fairly well-known figure advocating for basically the repeal of the Magnitsky Act saying that it was doing harm to Russia and that it was established under false pretenses, false claims.
HAYES: And what`s important to me, it strikes me here is you got two things that sort of come together in this meeting, right? We`ve had a lot of reporting about possible connections between the Trump family and Trump associates and Russia. And there`s also the question of like what Russia wanted, right? Here those two things seem to have been put together. The connections were operationalized in favor of a meeting with a woman who has a very clear policy agenda that`s very connected to what Vladimir Putin`s policy agenda which is getting rid of the Magnitsky Act.
HAMBURGER: Well, that does seem to have been her priority both in court and in arguments she presented in Washington. She attended a House Foreign Relations Committee hearing just four days after that meeting in Trump tower in which U.S.-Russia relations were discussed and the effect of sanctions. That evening, there was a showing of a film that criticized William Browder who is the financer, active in Russia, who helped argue and make the case for the Magnitsky Act honoring an auditor he, Browder in his company had hired in Russia who died in prison under mysterious circumstances.
HAYES: So this intermediary who sets up the meeting as a person who knows Don Jr., Mr. Gladstone. He also is the one who is - he represents Rob - I`m sorry Rob Goldstone who represents Emin the pop star also real estate heir. So there`s something you know, something in common they have there. He - did he - do we know from him if he told Don Jr. the nature of this meeting? It just seems so strange to be like, hey, will you take a meeting with a person whose name I won`t give you, bring the top people in the campaign and sit down with her.
HAMBURGER: Well, as you and your guests have described this evening, there have been changing stories about the nature of this meeting including the statements from Rob Goldstone. He told my colleague at the Post Rosalind Helderman on the phone Sunday morning as he was boarding a cruise ship in the Mediterranean that he had set up the meeting to discuss the issue of adoptions and Vladimir Putin`s restriction or limitation, prohibition on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens, something he implemented in retaliation in response to the Magnitsky Act because he did not care for those sanctions and wanted to create a sort of political opposition to those sanctions. So Rob first told us that that`s what it is about. Today he sent an e-mail to the Washington Post and other news organizations explaining that in fact his initial appeal was made on behalf of Emin Agalarov and the appeal was to Donald Trump Jr. and the appeal was related to offering information, negative information, about Hillary Clinton and Democratic donors.
HAYES: We should note that both these stories, the Goldstone story, and Trump Jr. story both evolve in the same way. They both initially had their sort of stories straight with each other, that this is an adoption meeting. They both then move to the story that they have now which is about Hillary Clinton. Tom Hamburger -
HAMBURGER: An evolving story.
HAYES: Thank you for your time tonight.
HAYES: Health care protesters filled Senate offices in the hall of the Capitol today. Tonight, we have new details on what Republicans are now planning to pass and when they`re planning to vote, that`s ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t kill me!
AMERICAN CROWD: Don`t kill me!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kill the bill!
AMERICAN CROWD: Kill the bill!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kill the bill!
AMERICAN CROWD: Kill the bill!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Or lose your job!
AMERICAN CROWD: Or lose your job!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Senate is back to work today welcomed by a fresh round of protests against the Republican health care bill there on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed to rush through the health care bill before they left for the July 4th recess. So, he went back to the drawing board and he`s decided to try the very same thing all over again. Craft another version of the bill entirely in secret, drop it on the public and push for a very quick vote. Senate Leaders are aiming for a vote by the end next week. Still haven`t seen the bill.
We`ll bring you the latest right after this break.
HAYES: Senate can see a revised health care bill as early as Thursday. Politico reporting a CBO score could then arrive on Monday with a vote by the end of next week.
If that process sounds extremely rushed and very familiar, there`s a reason good reason: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried the exacxtly same thing last month, but he ended up having to delay the vote amid defections from both moderates in his caucus, relative moderates, and conservatives.
So, now that Senate is back from recess, the majority leader is back at it again. This time, armed with an amendment from Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Mike Lee proposal the sale of plans with much more limited coverage than the law now permits.
While that might win conservatives, it`s unlikely to appeal to Senators like Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, and even Jerry Moran uran of Kansas, all of whom expressed concerns over the bill`s previous incarnation with its enormous cuts to and transformation of Medicaid.
Because of budget rules, the bill needs at least 50 out of the 52 Republican Senators on board to pass, with Vice President Mike Pence with the tiebreaker. And he is doing his part to get the bill to the floor, calling into Rush Limbaugh today to rally the base.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have one message for your tens of millions of listeners around America, is this is the moment, now is the time. If you are one of those Americans who want to see Obamacare repealed and replaced, we literally are are days or maybe just weeks away from being able to accomplish that historic objective.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now, Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser health news who has covered health care battles going all the way back to the Clinton campaign, the Clinton presidency.
My understanding of the big development over the week was this attempt, essentially, to craft something, Cruz and Lee, that would allow insurers to sort of get out of the some of the Obama regulations, sell plans that don`t qualify now, as a way of getting the conservatives.
Where is the bloc of votes right now, according to your reporting?
JULIE ROVNER, KAISER HEALTH NEWS: Well, this has been really the effort all along. The conservatives, both in the House and in the Senate, don`t like the insurance regulations in the Affordable Care Act. Their big problem is that they probably can`t get at most of them because of the budget process that they`re using. They`re not primarily budgetary. So, they went through these contortions in the House to get these, you know, the possible waivers. And this is what Ted Cruz is trying to do to allow states to get out of some of these insurance regulations.
It`s now at all clear that this would actually make it through the parliamentary process. But now we`re waiting to hear what the Congressional Budget Office says about it. And of course earlier today it was reported that the CBO didn`t even get the Cruz amendment. They didn`t have language on it. They might not be able to score it. Apparently, they have it now, but it`s not clear how long it`s going to take.
So, you know, the Senate, as you pointed out, has about three weeks before they get over there. It`s supposed to go out on the August recess. It could get very tight.
HAYES: Well, and so you`ve got this -- I mean, again, we`re back to the same process here, right. And you and I`ve spoken about this, right. Keep in secret. We don`t know what it is. Send it to CBO in secret, but before people see it. Get a score back. And then basically try to get people to vote before anyone can kind of digest the score, right.
This was the gambit the last time around. I think the score comes out on a Friday or something. It`s like, let`s vote on Wednesday. He still has -- he can only afford to lose two votes. What is your read of that group of senators who aren`t in the sort of Cruz-Lee group, but folks like Heller and Collins and Murkowski and others, on what can be down to bring them on board?
ROVNER: Well, it`s going to be very hard. apparently they are sort of becoming more firm about this is that they are having trouble with the cuts and the redoing of the Medicaid program. That`s, of course, one of the things that`s critically important to the conservatives. So, if he does anything that`s going to get those moderates back on by ameliorating the Medicaid cuts, he could lose the conservatives even if they do get the Cruz amendment. And also would have a lot of trouble getting back through the House if that were to happen.
Remember not only does this have to pass the Senate with 50 votes, but presumably the House has to pass the same bill. They don`t want to go to conference, that could take months.
HAYES: What about the deadline here? It`s still a moving target to me, you know, it was this idea of introduce it and hammer it through. That didn`t work, largely I think because of constituent pressure, because the CBO score came back with 22 million, because the bill is polling at 14 percent, somewhere around there. They`re going to try it again. What happens if you hit the recess?
ROVNER: If you hit August recess? Nothing good. I think we go back to opposite t2009 when the Democrats went home with the Affordable Care Act sort of out there, but not passed by either the House or the Senate yet, and all those very disruptive townhall meetings that I think we all remember where the Democrats got hammered.
And I think the exact same thing would happen, except this time for the Republicans. That is their worst -- this was a bad case scenario going home for July 4th without a bill, going home for the August recess without a bill would be much, much worse.
HAYES: Quickly, Donald Trump today said they should get rid of recess and stick around Washington. "I cannot imagine congress would dare to leave Washington without a beautiful new health bill fully approved and ready to go." What are the odds of that happening?
ROVNER: They`re very small. The August recess is pretty sacrosanct. The one time in my 30 years that they actually violated the August recess was when they were trying to do the Clinton health care plan in 1994. That didn`t go so well. They stuck around for two weeks and then gave up.
HAYES: All right, Julia Rovner, thanks for your time tonight.
HAYES: Still to come, a pattern arises of more accidental or forgotten meetings between Russia and people in Trump world. The record of under oath omissions and on camera lies ahead.
Plus, President Trump, Vladimir Putin and the cyber. Tonight`s Thing One, Thing Two next.
HAYES: Thing One tonight, the president has a habit of sawing the limb off the tree after his surrogates have clamored out on to it to defend him. Remember what happened after James Comey was fired? White House advisers dispatched that night pushing a message President Trump fired the FBI director based on the recommendations of the attorney general and deputy attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president, when given these recommendations, made a decision to accept their conclusions and to remove Director Comey.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: He took the recommendation of Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: And pretty quickly after I believe receiving that recommendation, the president made the decision to let Director Comey go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Did you see that? It was all about the recommendations until it wasn`ttwo days later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: He made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation I was going to (inaudible). When I decided to just do it. I say (inaudible). I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This has become a kind of pattern. I think of it as sort of ritual humiliation the president puts his surrogates through. And it`s happened time and time again.
So, when Treasury Secretary Mnuchin was tasked to defend a widely criticized idea by President Trump, an idea one Republican Senator called pretty close to the dumbest he`s ever heard, can you guess how this story ended for Mnuchin? That`s Thing Two in 60 seconds.
HAYES: Early Sunday morning, President Trump declared on Twitter, Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded.
That idea received widespread condemnation and -- including from Republicans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: It`s not the dumbest idea I`ve ever heard, but it is pretty close.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: i AM sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort since he is doing the hacking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In fact, the idea was so widely ridiculed that just 12 hours later even President Trump was against it, tweeting "the fact that President Putin and I discussed a cybersecurity unit doesn`t mean I think it can happen. It can`t. But a ceasefire can and did."
But before the president`s reversal in that 12 hour window, there was time for one cabinet member to defend that very same idea partnering with Putin on cybersecurity.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think this is a very important step forward that what we want to make sure is that we coordinate with Russia, that we`re focused on cybersecurity together, that we make sure that they never interfere in any democratic elections or conduct any cybersecurity. This is about having capabilities to make sure hat we both fight cyber together, which I think is a very significant accomplishment for President Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign, and Putin and his regime?
PAUL MANAFORT, FRM. TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: No, there are not. That`s absurd. And you know, there`s no basis to it.
JOHN DICKERSON, ABC NEWS POLITICAL DIRECTOR: Did anyone in the campaign have any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?
KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Absolutely not. And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened.
JEFF SESSIONS, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I`m not aware of any of those activities. I have been told a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.
TRUMP: I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.
CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No collusion whatsoever? And anybody involved with Russia in the 2016 campaign?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
DICKERSON: Did any adviser or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who are trying to meddle in the election?
PENCE: Oh, course not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Of course not.
From last July through early March of this year, President Trump, and members of his campaign made at least 20 denials of communications with Russians, according to USA Today. We now know about numerous interactions and a pattern of Trump associates failing to fully disclose their meetings with Russian nationals either on the record or even under oath.
I mean, just this weekend over the course of 24 hours, Donald Trump Jr. gave two different explanations for his meeting with a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did not disclose meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition, and reportedly lied to FBI investigators about his phone conversations with Kislyak.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he had not met any Russian officials last year when asked about the possibility of such a meeting under oath during his confirmation hearing in January. It later turned out that in fact he had.
And then there`s the president`s son-in-law. Jared Kushner`s Russian paper trail next.
HAYES: Interesting detail buried in the New York Times story that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The meeting was disclosed to government officials when Jared Kushner filed a revised version of a confidential form required to obtain a security clearance, that form is called an FS-86. And it reads, quote, have you, or any member of your immediate family in the past seven years had any contact with a foreign government or its representatives.
The reason Kushner had to filed a revised version of that form, because not only did he fail to disclose the meeting with the Russian lawyer, he also managed to omit meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in secret at Trump Tower, and a meeting with the head of a sanctioned Russian state bank.
Now, false declarations, or omissions on FS-86 can be punishable by fines or imprisonment.
Joining me now, Betsy Woodruff, policial reporter for The Daily Beast; Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report and MSNBC contributor.
Sam, there`s this interesting theory floating around that the sources behind this story, putting things on Donald, Jr., are actually people around Jared Kushner. And the reason for that is that this appears to come from someone showing or reading off the new FS-86. Because the biggest, most obvious problem in all of this here is that Kushner now has a third meeting left off a form that says at the top if you omit things you are committing a felony.
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: Yeah. There`s a distinct someone`s getting thrown under the bus quality to this, because this isn`t -- you know, unlike the leaks that we supposedly received from the national security apparatus, this comes from the White House. And it`s very difficult, I think, looking from the outside in to get a real sense of the various constituencies inside the White House and what they gain out of this.
But, clearly someone is trying to protect somebody here. And, you know, the idea that three top officials of a campaign would meet someone who they don`t know about something that they`re not aware of in the heat of a campaign is really hard to believe.
HAYES: Betsy, you seem to agree with that, do you?
BETSY WOODRUFF, DAILY BEAST: I think -- yes, I think without a doubt. It`s certainly -- tests the credulity to make that argument. That said, what`s important to bear in mind with the Jared Kushner side of this is that any possibility that he could be prosecuted for omitting those meetings from his forms is a bit of a stretch, as of where we`re at right now.
I spoke about this just a few minutes ago with a former federal prosecutor who explained, Renata Mariatti (ph), who explained that, look, just the fact that he omitted those statements doesn`t necessarily mean any prosecutor would bring charges.
To bring charges in a case like this you would have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Kushner knowingly and willfully left those meetings off his security clearance forms. Kushner`s attorney, Jamie Gorelick, has been adamant that it was just a mistake, and unless a prosecutor or an investigator can prove otherwise, Jared could be in the clear.
HAYES: In terms of practice of how SF-86 prosecutions happen, that appears to be correct in terms of what -- who actually gets prosecuted for omitting things, although I will note that sneaking Sergey Kislyak into Trump Tower and, you know, floating the idea of a secret back channel in which you use Russian diplomatic facilities is a sort of thing you might remember.
But the bigger thing to me, Sam, is that there`s just this unbelievable thematic unity to the mistruths, the falsehoods, the deceptions about this one topic time and time and time and time again.
SEDER: Well, you know, the real sort of fundamental particular about this meeting which differentiates it from almost every other sort of narrative of lying and then revealing is that this is the first time that we`ve actually seen -- we`ve crossed this sort of threshold where we see a willingness to get information from the Russians, right?
In the past, there`s always been this sort of like possibility for an argument of well, we were making rapprochement, we were involved in policy, we didn`t want to discuss it with the American public because we knew from a political standpoint maybe it`s not that popular and we wanted to have this unfold at our own timing.
But this is a situation where Donald Trump Jr., had this meeting because he thought he was getting some type of oppo research from a lawyer who is both closely associated with some Russian mafia type scandals and also the Russian government.
And certainly Paul Manafort would have known this as soon as he walked through the door, it seems to me.
HAYES: That is an excellent point about Manafort, who is quite read into all this $10 million contract with -- as a foreign agent for a while, also representing as a foreign agent the Ukrainian president who was sort of chased out alive at the Kremlin.
Betsy, it seems to me that there`s a really interesting shift today where all of a sudden, as soon as Don, Jr., admitted the meeting everyone led by him came around to so what, it`s not a big deal. You meet with a Russian foreign adversary to maybe get some oppo research. And to me it was telling about how they`re going to deal with new revelations, which is whatever is revealed isn`t a problem.
WOODRUFF: Right. Exactly. And that`s kind of been the Trump MO over the course of his campaign. What struck me about Don Jr. making that admission is it seems like he`s clearly getting some pretty mediocre legal advice.
The fact that he would come out and say I had this meeting. This is what we talked about. She didn`t give me any usable information. That`s a pretty astonishing statement to make.
It`s also pretty astonishing that he made that in his own voice, that he didn`t have a lawyer making that statement for him.
Typically, if someone is going to give a revelation like that, you have your lawyer do it. That`s why reporters have to call Trump`s legal team to get comments on this stuff rather than the White House.
He`s -- whoever is giving him legal advice is giving him advice that`s quite perplexing.
HAYES: Yeah. And -- or in the case of Jared Kushner, Jamie Gorelick and the folks at Wilmore Hale (ph) who are sort of, you know, running interference for them and representing their clients with everything having to do with this.
I will say that he did retain a lawyer today and still continued to tweet in spite of himself which I actually found humanizing and deeply relatable. Betsy Woodruff and Sam Seder, thanks for joining us.
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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