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Trump plots Obamacare cuts Transcript 11/7/18 The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Howard Dean, Allison O'Toole

Show: THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER Date: November 7, 2017 Guest: Howard Dean, Allison O'Toole

CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST, "MTP DAILY": That's all for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow with more "MTP Daily". THE BEAT with Ari Melber starts right now. We're going to cover election night all night long. Remember, it's not just Virginia, New Jersey, it's also Ari's home state of Washington that has big elections as well.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE BEAT: We've got a lot going on. So, Chuck, I watched some of your program as we were prepping over here. I felt like reading between the lines without saying anything we can't say before polls close.

There is skepticism about Democrats in Virginia. What's your final take for us here?

TODD: Well, if I think Democrats woke up nervous, my guess is, they're looking at some turnout numbers right now and these early exits and feeling slightly better. But you know what, exit polls have been known to overstate Democratic performance quite a bit in the first two waves. So, I would just sit back and enjoy the results as they come in at 7:01.

MELBER: Exactly. We're going to have Governor Terry McAuliffe, who I know you've spoken to as well, on the show and I'll tell him, translating your message, every silver lining has a touch of gray. So, we'll keep watching. Thank you, Chuck.

TODD: See you.

MELBER: Donald Trump has downplayed the roles of several aides implicated in the Russia probe, but tonight the people facing Russia investigators are literally some of his closest confidantes.

That includes people who surrounded him long before politics. Trump's longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller, facing investigators on Capitol Hill today.

Mueller's investigators are also interviewing Hope Hicks next week. The White House communications director got her start working with Ivanka Trump's fashion line and she was also a top aide at the Trump organization long before the campaign.

The fact that these aides are being interviewed does not mean they did anything wrong, but it does show where these investigations are going. They're reaching right into Trump's kitchen cabinet.

Hicks was Trump's voice and Schiller was his muscle, protecting Trump from perceived danger, literally ejecting protesters out of Trump rallies. In fact, the candidate would call personally for Keith's assistance on the road.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Get him out of here. Come on, Keith. Go. Get him out.


MELBER: Come on, Keith. It was Schiller actually who physically removed a reporter, Jorge Ramos, from a press conference after that exchange with Trump and later they let him back in the room. And it was Schiller who punched a protester outside Trump Tower.

That is who Trump brought to the White House. Some advisors would even pass material to him to try to get to Trump outside of the normal protocols.

Now, Schiller always had the details on palace intrigue. He seemed to know what was on Trump's mind. Trump even trusted him on trips to Mickey D's.

"POLITICO" reporting when the White House kitchen staff could not match the satisfaction of a quarter pounder with cheese, no pickles, extra ketchup and a fried apple pie, it was Schiller, bodyguard and Trump whisperer, who would head down to McDonald's.

Crowd control, big Macs, Keith Schiller's portfolio matches that of any good entourage member or even hype man.

But when you're president, your entourage can't get out of its lane. Schiller no longer works at the White House, but when he did, he hand- delivered a firing that's now part of an obstruction investigation.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know that the FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to be in Los Angeles tonight. He was there for an FBI event. We also know that the letter, the notification of termination was hand-delivered to the Department of Justice by Keith Schiller.


MELBER: Keith Schiller hand-delivered that termination letter of the FBI director. That put him very close to the action that is now under Bob Mueller's scrutiny. Was the firing part of a wider obstruction plot?

Schiller also was with Trump on that famous visit to Moscow in 2013. This footages of some of what we have from that period of time. Bob Mueller, we now know, is willing to charge crimes that occurred before 2016. If there are allegations to examine from Trump's earlier days, strobe light or not, Schiller is a witness worth talking to.

Let's get right to it. I've got former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman; Natasha Bertran, political correspondent for "Business Insider" covering the Russia issues, and former federal prosecutor Paul Butler.

Nick, I begin with you. The bodyguard in the action, the body man.

NICK AKERMAN, FORMER WATERGATE PROSECUTOR: I think they know a lot. He knows a lot and could really say a lot about Donald Trump. But you're dealing with a person who is a longtime loyalist.

I would compare it very much to the driver of a Mafia boss, who sits with the person all day long, drives him all over the city, but yet those people are not going to talk.

He is not the kind of person that's really going to give evidence. You're dealing with the president here who has probably lied more than anybody in the United States since he's been in office and there's no reason to expect that the person who is his chief loyalist is suddenly going to come in and tell the truth, whether it's before a congressional committee or a grand jury.

This is a person who is going to fall on his sword for Donald Trump.

MELBER: And you say fall on the sword, you mean that he would be willing, in your estimation, as a prosecutor, you're looking at his positioning, you think he'd be willing to take on significant legal risk and still not reveal.

AKERMAN: I think that's right. This is the kind of person - if I were a prosecutor, unless I had e-mails or other kinds of documentary evidence in his handwriting that I could question him about, I don't think this interrogation is going to go anywhere.

MELBER: Paul Butler, I want to read you on the 2013 issue. It says, "Friends and advisers outside the West Wing wanted to share a news article gossip or advise with President Trump, they would be advised to send it to Keith, he'll get it to me." This, in a piece, about him potentially testifying on the Moscow visit.

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes. So, this is a man who was the first person Donald Trump saw in the morning and the last person he saw in the evening.

He's an investigator and prosecutor's dream.

MELBER: Hold on, Paul. What about Sean Hannity?

BUTLER: Well, in addition, Schiller was right there with him, waking him up and tucking him and tucking him in at night. And so, I never had a witness this good.

I think that Nick is right. He is not going to flip easily. This is a former NYPD officer. He is used to the blue wall of silence. But there's nothing like 16 of the country's best prosecutors and many more of the best FBI agents in the world looking into everything you ever did to put some heat on you.

So, again, we have no way of knowing whether Mr. Schiller has any criminal liability. But if he does, Special Counsel Mueller, even more than the House Committee, is going to try to get him to say everything that Donald Trump ever told him about why he fired Comey. Schiller was kind of the bag man, delivering the letter.

And that July 2013 trip to Russia, the Miss Universe pageant, the subject of the infamous dossier. It's just too good for an investigator to let go.

MELBER: Yes. And, Natasha, speak to that because the other piece with all of these colorful characters is hiding things that are bad, means you have to know they're bad. And there were meetings in Moscow that Keith Schiller may not realize are implicated by anything else.

It was at Moscow Nobu that we now know Donald Trump met with a host of financiers who were linked, these oligarchs, back to the FSB, back to Putin.

But Keith Schiller is the kind of person that might know things about that meeting and not even fully realize how incriminating it might be. And some of that goes, as you know, as you've reported back to people linked to the offer of dirt from Putin's handpicked prosecutor out there.

NATASHA BERTRAN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "BUSINESS INSIDER": Right. So, I don't think that Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee are kidding themselves when they think that they are going to get a wealth of information out of Keith Schiller about Donald Trump.

But I do think that they realize that there are certain questions that they could ask Schiller that he could answer that could really provide them with a really wide glimpse into what Donald Trump actually did when he met with those Russians in 2013.

I was speaking with some members of - some Democratic members of the House Intel Committee and they say, well, we really want to know whether Donald Trump met, for example, with any Russian intelligence officials, whether at some point or another he met with Vladimir Putin because, in the past, Donald Trump has said that he met with Putin. And then, he kind of backtracked off of that when the Russia investigation kind of started to become controversial.

There's also kind of rumors that the Republicans wanted to bring in Schiller, so that he could kind of throw cold water on the dossier. There are certain allegations in the dossier about things that he did that were salacious in 2013 and Schiller is, of course, likely to push back on those claims and try to further discredit them.

MELBER: Right. And in all fairness, he may have a lot of positive testimony to give about things that either didn't happen or that he didn't see. And that might be, as is always the case, when you gather the facts, Nick, that might be truthful testimony that's helpful. The White House sees him as a helpful witness.

Then there's another witness who falls somewhere between helpful and unhelpful because he falls all over the place. I am speaking, of course, of the one and only Carter Page. And you brought a visual aide.

AKERMAN: This is the testimony. Over 200 pages.

MELBER: This is a lot. And this is the first time we've had a full testimony released, right?

AKERMAN: That's correct.

MELBER: What did you learn looking at parts of it?

AKERMAN: Not a lot, other than the fact that Carter Page doesn't know how to tell the truth.

MELBER: You think he is confused or you think he's lying?

AKERMAN: He's lying. He's asked about meetings that he had in Russia, he will admit to meeting with certain people. But when it comes down to what was said, no recollection. He pulled the old I don't recall trick.

He's asked about his meeting with then Jeff Sessions who was a senator before he went on his trip to Russia. He told Jeff Sessions he was going to Russia. Asked what was said, doesn't remember, doesn't really recall.

MELBER: I try to be as fair as possible, Paul. It is not plausible that the guy chiefly associated with the Russia outreach doesn't remember anything.

And I will say in fairness, when Corey Lewandowski says that he was running a fast paced, understaffed campaign, getting hundreds of e-mails and he may genuinely not remember a single e-mail asking about the trip to Russia, that's entirely possible. I would legally call that plausible deniability. A plausible defense.

Paul, how do you read, though, Carter Page whose whole thing was Russia now saying he doesn't remember these key parts?

BUTLER: I mean, it's hard to believe that it is credible. I agree with Nick. I don't think he's telling the truth. The problem is now he's a lousy prosecution witness.

MELBER: Right.

BUTLER: He is all over the place. He contradicts himself. And he doesn't even exercise good judgment about his lying.

So, he refuses to turn over documents citing the Fifth Amendment. There's no Fifth Amendment privilege virtually for voluntarily prepared documents. And yet, he testifies before the Intelligence Committee for hours, doesn't cite the Fifth Amendment there and doesn't even bring in a lawyer.

And so, again, I think that people are going to be interested, investigators will, in what he has to say. But he is never going to appear before a jury in any prosecution.

MELBER: Right. And that goes to some of those issues. Paul, stay with me. Nick Akerman and Natasha Bertran, thank you both for being a part of this.

We have a lot more on this, including the revelations about the private conversations with a top official in Putin's government.

Carter page was in Moscow. What was he doing? I have a special guest on that. Our live interview, as I mentioned, with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

This is minutes before polls close later tonight. Stunning news. People signing up for Obamacare at a record pace despite claims of Trump sabotage. We're going to talk to an official running Obamacare exchanges.

And Chris Hayes, our Carter Pageologist, live onset tonight on THE BEAT.

I'm Ari Melber. Stay with us.


MELBER: The first Kremlin-backed leaks of those DNC documents happened all the way back in July 2016. Now, today, we are learning that it was a high- ranking Kremlin official who met with a very prominent Trump campaign adviser two weeks beforehand.

That is one of the takeaways out of this testimony from Carter Page that he gave. These are his accounts to the House intelligence Committee.

The testimony details how multiple Trump aides knew about that trip and that includes, and this is potentially important, a claim that Jeff Sessions, Corey Lewandowski and Hope Hicks were all in the loop.

Page testifying, he met with Putin's deputy prime minister, saying they had a private conversation and that the deputy prime minister expressed strong support for Mr. Trump and the desire to "work together" on a range of current international problems.

Today, the ranking democrat in the House Intel Committee says this new testimony raises several issues, and one of them is that it actually contradicts Carter Page's own previous public statements that he had no meetings with Russians during his trip.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D), CALIFORNIA: It was apparent right from the very beginning of the hearing that what Carter Page had been saying publicly was completely at odds with what he would later testify to. And the documentary evidence that we were already in possession of.


MELBER: As we were reporting on THE BEAT, that issue cuts both ways. As for Corey Lewandowski, he says, look, I have never met or spoken to Carter Page in my life. Also, reminiscent of how one Trump ally dismissed former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos, who, of course, was indicted last week, they called him coffee boy.

Paul Butler, former federal prosecutor, is back with me. Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official under Obama dealing with Russia.

Evelyn, I don't know what your coffee access would be or what the right term would be, obviously, on that campaign, coffee boy carried with it some pretty high diplomatic privileges because he was famously sitting at the table with Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump.

But walk us through the Kremlinology side of this, the type of meetings Carter Page was getting and whether or not there's wrongdoing. As I've been careful to point out, Carter Page has proven so non-credible, it is not even clear when he is incriminating himself. But on the Russia side, what would they think they were getting in those meetings?

EVELYN FARKAS, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR RUSSIA/UKRAINE/EURASIA: Yes. First of all, I think we have to note that Carter Page was invited over there. It was very similar to the George Papadopoulos invitation.

So, the Russians knew that he was already - he was already publicly identified as associated with the Trump campaign. And then through connections that they had to him, they invited him to come and give a lecture. So that was the tease. That was the invitation.

Once he got over there, of course, the place that he was invited to, like most educational institutions in Russia, had had connections to high level officials and the deputy prime minister of Russia actually was there at the same time as Carter Page.

Carter Page initially told the House Intelligence Committee that he just sort of exchanged greetings with the deputy prime minister. It turns out, of course, that it appears they had a little bit more of a conversation.

And then, of course, he had other meetings with one official he admitted to later, who was a high-ranking corporate executive with Rosneft. And that gets into the whole issue of whether there was money involved, whether the dossier was correct about Carter being offered a potential cut of business. And I think there's a lot of open questions about quid pro quo.

But, clearly, if you are Russian, you invite him over there because you're trying to influence him to do the number one thing they care about, whether you're a Russian government official or whether you're a head of a Russian oil company, you want the sanctions lifted.

And, Paul Butler, it's important for folks to keep in mind, whatever Carter Page's character study is, for people following Russia, he also is doing all of this knowing that he was previously a target of Russian spies in New York.

I mean, for some people, they can say, hey, I'm new to this, what's going on? In his case, he had literally, by this point, seen an investigation with the FBI involved of people who saw him as an asset. So, you would have hoped he would wise up. He certainly was on notice.

BUTLER: And the FBI had slapped a FISA warrant on him in 2014, in which they have probable cause to think there's something criminal going on with his dealings with the Russians.

But this special counsel investigation is about collusion and obstruction of justice. And they are - I think they're interested in what Carter Page has to tell them about those issues.

So, Evelyn is right, with the Trump campaign, we see this pattern of foreign aides, officials coming in. And if he's got dealings with foreign policy, the Russians reach out to them.

Happened with Papadopoulos, happened with Carter Page. And the campaign seems receptive with regard to obstruction of justice.

What I think is really fishy about the Trump campaign and Carter Page is this non-disclosure agreement. After they learned that Carter Page had these dealings with the Russians, they said, we want to know about it, but you have to promise you're not going to tell anyone else.

Again, that raises a prosecutor's suspicions.

MELBER: And then, Evelyn, you have the question that Carter Page wouldn't answer. He was asked by Jackie Speier, congresswoman, have you ever met the special counsel. And he says I would prefer not to speak about that. That's one of the shortest answers in this very long transcript.

FARKAS: Yes. I mean, look, he is everything but forthcoming in this transcript. I mean, first of all, it is very odd. I don't want to get too much into atmospherics. But you read it and you just wonder because he is full of hyperbole and he uses words like dodgy, dodgy dossier. He talks about the Clinton-Obama regime. He is trying to mirror image the whole time.

But when they come right to the bone and ask him questions where he knows that he might get in trouble because he might lie under oath, he won't answer. He'll plead the Fifth Amendment selectively. I'm sure Paul has more to say about that.

Throughout, he's saying, well, I will give you some information, but I won't give you this other information because I need to protect myself.

MELBER: Evelyn Farkas and Paul Butler, on a busy news day, thank you both.

Ahead, a journalist whose news making interviews with Carter Page have a very new investigative relevance. Chris Hayes is here live coming up in this hour.

Up next, the first big governor's race in the Trump era. Virginia polls closing, as you heard, within the hour. I have the current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe right after the break.


MELBER: The big news in politics right now. The most pivotal statewide election since 2016 are happening in Virginia. Polls closed.

In just minutes, this morning, Trump tweeted up a storm about the highly- contested race saying Democrat Ralph Northam will allow crime to be rampant in Virginia. "Weak on crime, weak on great vets". Northam, though, is a US Army veteran.

And Democrats say under the governorship of Terry McAuliffe, Virginia is actually ranked the third lowest in the country on violent crime and it's one of the ten safest states. That's per " U.S. News & World Report".

Republican Ed Gillespie ran towards Trump issues, hammering gang violence, touting Confederate monuments, while avoiding campaigning with Trump himself. The dance showing Republicans might welcome Trumpism, while fearing its leader already has approval sinking to record lows.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you will regret not campaigning with him?

ED GILLESPIE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: Look, I appreciate the president's support very much. If I'm elected today, which, obviously, I hope to be, it will not be my job to be always for President Trump or to be always against President Trump, but to be always for Virginia.


MELBER: And joining me now is the current Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. You won the governor's race by 2.5 points. Clinton won this state last year by 5 points. Why do you think todays' race looks tight at all?

TERRY MCAULIFFE, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: As you know, it is an off year. So, everybody comes out in the presidential year and we always have a drop- off by about half this year.

But this year, I think we're going to have a record turnout. I've already seen some early numbers in Northern Virginia and Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax. They've already exceed what we did in 2013.

So, I'm predicting we're going to win all three statewides, a bunch of house of delegates. It's been a great race. Ralph Northam is going to be the next governor. Everybody is happy in the state.

As you say, we are a safe state. A record amount of economic investment. And Ed Gillespie has run really a racist, bigoted campaign, horrible ads. Donald Trump today is now doing robo calls.

Donald Trump is at 31 percent in Virginia. We're going to reject that and we're going to move forward as a commonwealth. And Ralph is going to be the next governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

MELBER: What is your examples or evidence of Gillespie running a "racist campaign?"

MCAULIFFE: Oh, my goodness. The ads that he ran. First, he ran ads on sanctuary cities. Virginia law does not allow us to have any sanctuary cities. They don't exist. We don't have them. And he ran these ads with MS-13.

And in the ad, he had some prisoners from a prison down in El Salvador. They weren't even part of MS-13. Just horrible racist ads. And that's just not who we are.

Donald Trump, gutter politics. Ed Gillespie has brought that to Virginia. But folks are happy here. Unemployment now the second lowest of any major state in America. A record amount of economic investment. A record amount of K-12 investment. A billion dollars.

Folks are happy. We're safe. We have jobs. And we're just going to reject that horrible politics of Donald Trump and Ed Gillespie. Tonight, you're going to see a sweep here.

MELBER: Ed Gillespie is someone who, I think, even you would agree at other points in his career has worked with a wider range of people or even at times across the aisle. Does this look to you like a different Ed Gillespie? Do you think Trump sort of ruined him?

MCAULIFFE: I do. I've known Ed for a very long time. The campaign that he has run is not the Ed Gillespie that I have known for many years.

But to run the ads that he has ran - he couldn't run on the economy. He couldn't run on education. He couldn't run on healthcare. He couldn't run on transportation because we've had record success here.

Best state in America for veterans. Best state for active duty military. So, he went in and tried to divide people. It was really a hurtful, hateful campaign. It's similar to what Donald Trump did in 2016.

And the great news tonight, when we stand up on this stage behind me tonight, this is the comeback for the Democratic Party. This is how you win. Focus on economic issues. Lean in and help people. And at the end of the day, that's what voters want from us.

MELBER: And you mentioned that some of the issues Gillespie injected. He took the Trump issue of Confederate monuments. Exit polls showing 60 percent of voters today in Virginia say they should be left in place. That's 60 percent of your voters. Are they wrong?

MCAULIFFE: Listen, what everybody says here in Virginia, let's focus on the living, let's focus not on the bronze statues. We've got to focus - everybody wants to make sure they've got a quality education.

But Ed went in it. In fact, Donald Trump leaned in the other day, talked about the statues as well. But I can tell you, what folks are voting on today, they love where we've been. As I say, a record amount of economic investments; $6 billion more than any governor in history of our great commonwealth.

That's results. They want results. They're tired of all this gutter politics. We have unified folks. That's why you're going to see a record turnout today.

MELBER: Governor Terry McAuliffe, a big race to replace you. We'll be watching tonight. We wish you and you all the candidates good luck.

MCAULIFFE: Thank you.

MELBER: Now, I'm going to speak to another former DNC chair. Democrats are still reeling from these allegations from the former chair Donna Brazile, who said the Clinton campaign essentially bought control of the DNC. She also said this on "The View" today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know that this book is being used --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- against the party.

BRAZILE: Say it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm trying to say it.

BRAZILE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Against everybody. So you know, people are upset.

BRAZILE: First of all, I never used the word rigged in my book. I said that -- I used the word cancer. That I was uncomfortable with the cancer that I found when I became Chair.


MELBER: I'm joined by Howard Dean, the former DNC Chair as well as a former Governor of Vermont. Howard, you look at this dispute. It is not yet resolved. Was the Democratic Party too friendly to Hillary Clinton who you supported in its early days there in the race as Donna Brazile alleges?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: First, he have no way of knowing because I haven't been in the DNC for eight years. Second of all, I think this is -- something we ought to stop talking about and start talking about what Governor McAuliffe was talked about. We need to move forward in this party. And these endless recriminations about what happened in 2016 is not good for anybody. I personally believe that what happened in the 2016 is in the rearview mirror. If you want to win in 2020 --

MELBER: But Governor --

DEAN: -- which is a matter preserving the country that's what we ought to do.

MELBER: But Governor, as you know, this goes to the allegation now made by someone who was Party Chair, just as you were, that this was not run fairly, and that like the Russia investigation, very different issues but it's not just backward looking. If there are people involved, making serious claims, that somehow the election may have been either impacted or that the DNC wasn't run right.

DEAN: I met with Tom Perez today. He's already done a number of things to prevent anything like this from going on in 2020 including naming all the times of the debates. So before any candidate gets in, making sure the primary schedule and convention selection is way ahead of any candidate getting in. So there can't be an accusation of favoring anybody. All you can do is look forward. This endless complaining about what went on in 2016 is not going to help us win in 2017, 18, 19, or 20. So we got to focus on the future and stop all the backbiting and bookselling.

MELBER: I'm not trying to get you -- give you a hard time and you make a point that one of the people making allegations is trying to sell a book, I get that. But clearly, if there were problems, that fact that they were in history, isn't the issues right? I mean, if there were issues around the fairness, then that's got to be looked at. It can't just be that it's bad for the electioneering or campaigning to talk about a problem.

DEAN: There's a committee called the Unity Commission at the DNC which is doing exactly that. One of the interesting question is this, how do we make our primary and caucuses more democratic? One suggestion is to open the primaries to anybody who wants to vote and get rid of the caucuses which is clearly undemocratic. These things are all going to be talked about. That's fine. That's appropriate going forward. What's silly is for us to be looking back and banging Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or any of their supporters, enough of that. We want to win. That's the one thing we want to do is win. We don't think Donald Trump is good for this country and that means the Democrats are going to have to be strong and not attacking each other all the time.

MELBER: You talk about not attacking. And we were looking at this today because that's what I've heard he from a lot of party elders like yourself, a former Chair. But as you know, when you were running, and when you were out there, you were very tough on things you thought were wrong with the party. In 2003, McAuliffe, who we just have on before you, you said if we had strong leadership in the party, they'd be calling out other candidates and saying somebody's going to win. You said if Ron Brown were Chairman, this wouldn't be happening. And of course, your famous speech which I remember I think inspired a lot of people. It took on the Democratic Party at a DNC meeting. Let's take a quick listen to that.


DEAN: What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the President's unilateral attack on Iraq. What I want to know is why are Democratic Party leaders supporting tax cuts. We're going to change this party and then we're going to change this country and we're going to take back the White House.


MELBER: Today the Democratic Party's approval is at about 37, the lowest in a long time. Are Democrats too afraid to have these debates in public?

DEAN: I don't think so. That -- you know, that speech that you just showed was looking forward. It was saying to the old party, enough of voting for Bush's tax cuts which caused huge deficits. We're not going to make that mistake again as Chuck Schumer has said. Enough voting for wars that we have no business, that which were actually started under pretentious, dishonest presumptions. We're not going to do that anymore. Going forward, we're looking forward. We can have a debate going forward. It's fine for Democrats to disagree about what direction we're going to.

I just don't think it makes sense to attack each other for stuff that's going on in the past. Let's look forward. Let's get our message together. Let's get our field operation together. And there's a lot that's going on. If win in Virginia tonight, that's going to be just exactly the step that we took when I was Chairman in 2005. That was the first thing we did. One in New Jersey and Virginia and that was the set-up for winning back the House, the Senate and the Presidency in four years. So that's what I'd like to see out of the DNC and I think it can be done.

MELBER: Well, and tonight is a big night in Virginia. We're going to see how Democrats do. That's a state Hillary Clinton carried and it will be very interesting to see if there is momentum. Howard Dean, thank you as always for taking the questions and having the conversation.

DEAN: Thanks, Ari.

MELBER: Ahead, more on the revelations about Carter Page. We're learning he was told not to appear on this network at times. That didn't stop Chris Hayes though from making news. Chris is here live. And later, Trump has been telling you ObamaCare is dead. We have brand new news today about why it's alive. Stay tuned.



CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Did you meet Sergey Kislyak in Cleveland? Did you talk to him?

CARTER PAGE, FORMER FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER: I'm not going to deny that I talked to him. Although I will say --

HAYES: So you did talk to him?

PAGE: -- I will say that I never met him anywhere outside of Cleveland.

HAYES: The only time you that you met him was in Cleveland?

PAGE: That I may have met him possibly, what it might have been in Cleveland so --

HAYES: But you're not going to deny that you talked with him in Cleveland.

PAGE: I do not deny that.

HAYES: OK, good.


MELBER: It might have been in Cleveland. It's the kind of suspicious answer lawyers love to pull from a witness on the rhetorical run which is how Carter Page sounded on that March interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes. The interviews were revealing. That may be good for journalism, if not for the White House, which apparently some Trump advisers realized. In newly released testimony today, Page recalls that Steve Bannon told him not to do a scheduled MSNBC interview in January. And today we know Page's response. He said to Bannon, I won't do it. That's fine. No big deal. No biggie. But Page did do the March interview and he was back last Monday talking to Chris Hayes who is here live to break down Page's testimony and his story which includes this parsing of his trip to Russia in 2016.


HAYES: So and you Papadopoulos, you probably were on e-mail chains together right?

PAGE: Perhaps, yes.

HAYES: OK. Those probably included discussions of Russia.

PAGE: It may have come up, yes.

HAYES: You went to Russia but you are confident that the footnote about sending a low-level staffer is not in reference to you?

PAGE: I definitely did not represent anyone from the Trump campaign during that trip.


MELBER: Chris Hayes, Host of "ALL IN" is here. What did we learn today from this man that you spent time with?

HAYES: Well, look. The question here is always, how much was he interacting with the campaign itself, right? The status of this group of people that were announced in March, right, the Papadopoulos and the Carter Page and the J.D. Gordon and others, was always a little unclear. And the status with Carter Page with respect to his relationship with the campaign was unclear.

What's pretty clear is like yes, he was connected to the campaign, that he -- that the trip was signed off on, that he sent a dispatch back after he met people on the trip to campaign officials on campaign e-mail saying, hey, campaign, this is what I learned. I talked about Donald Trump with high ranking officials there, that he got sign-off to do it, and also that he's e-mailing them about the platform fight over arming the Ukraine at the RNC. These are all -- these all placed him in the orbit of the campaign, talking about the issues related to Russia and explicitly sort of trafficking in with his connections with Russia and the Russia trip.

MELBER: Right. And what did Russia get? We don't know but one thing they benefited from was that platform change. You mention, I mean, any lawyer will say if you have the quid and the quo, you're in more trouble. As for his lawyering, let's talk a listen to you and Carter talking again.


HAYES: Do you have legal representation?

PAGE: I have some people that are helping me. My main --

HAYES: Do you have an attorney?

PAGE: I have some informal advisers and a formal adviser on the --

HAYES: Did you have -- did you bring an attorney to you when you spent five hours before the Senate Committee.

PAGE: No. I'm very, very open and happy to give all the information that I can.


HAYES: That is true. I should say, I'll correct myself, the House Committee. That is true. Clearly, from the transcripts released, he is very happy to talk. But what you see in the transcripts of that talk is the peel back layer by layer, that many of the sort of key questions are answered in the affirmative. So, did you meet high ranking officials? I met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia. If you and I went to another country and met with that country's Deputy Prime Minister, that would be a notable highlight, low light, something would you remember?

MELBER: I don't even know if I could get that to you.

HAYES: I mean, I probably couldn't either but it's something that like you would remember. There's also the fact he met with someone who's -- Rosneft, which is sort of a Russian energy firm. The significance of Rosneft is, of course, is that it comes up in the infamous Steele Dossier, reporting that Carter Page is meeting with officials from Rosneft. He did, in fact, meet with an official from Rosneft, though apparently a different one than mentioned in the dossier. So again, he goes to Russia, he is meeting with folks in Russia. The Russians know because they've seen his name in the paper as one of the advisers to Donald Trump. And clearly, this is the thing that's so clear both from the case of Papadopoulos and Carter Page. They are clearly being approached. They're being approached specifically --

MELBER: Cultivated.

HAYES: -- proximity to Donald Trump there being cultivated. And it's clearly the case particularly this early in the campaign, particularly in that Springtime of the campaign, where Russians are trying to figure out how to get closer to Donald Trump.

MELBER: So what have you learned sitting across the table with Carter Page?

HAYES: I am as flummoxed I think as most people are. Like I don't understand what his game plan is. He clearly wants to talk. He feels incredibly persecuted. He's got the whole manifesto about how this is essentially a weaponized use of the judicial system and investigations to come after him. He's talked to the FBI multiple times. He has a tendency to do this thing where he minimizes admissions. So he will say, yes, I met Sergey Kislyak very briefly. Yes, I got the OK from Jeff Sessions, I just ask him in passing. Yes, I met the Deputy Prime Minister but it was very, very brief. But when you add all these up, it looks like maybe the minimization is disingenuous or dishonest.

MELBER: Right. And I think there are two competing titles for the Carter Page memoir. One is the minimization is dishonest.

HAYES: Right.

MELBER: And the other is that it might have been in Cleveland.

HAYES: It might have been.

MELBER: It might have been in Cleveland.

HAYES: Or the Carter one.

MELBER: If -- I want the Carter one. That's for everyone who's listening closely. I want to thank Chris Hayes for stopping by. It's a busy period because he's prepping for tonight including a big interview with Donna Brazile who has been on many people's mind. This is our first cable news interview since igniting this controversy. I will be watching Chris Hayes talking to her at 8:00 p.m. tonight. Up ahead, Trump's ObamaCare sabotage has a new phase. We're learning about a new record for ObamaCare and it's positive. And later, Governor Chris Christie confronted by a voter in New Jersey today. He had a response. We'll explain.




ObamaCare is dead. It's a dead health care plan.

ObamaCare is dead. It's a disaster, it's a complete disaster.

ObamaCare is dying. It's essentially dead.

ObamaCare is finished. It's dead. It's gone.

ObamaCare is a disgrace to our nation.

ObamaCare is a disaster. It's virtually dead.


MELBER: If you build it, they will come, but if you say it, will it die? Apparently not. We have a new report for you tonight. ObamaCare sign-ups are now surging. They are setting a new record. This is during the Trump era on the first day of enrollment. More than 200,000 people signed up. That's actually double from last year, 33 percent increase in traffic, also compared to 2016 the last of Obama's presidency. So Trump is continuing sabotage while the numbers steam show resistance to those efforts. Now, he is prepping an executive order that could go further trying to gut the individual mandate. The White House though saying Congress should resolve the issue.

That is, of course, the same Republican Congress that has a new plan out that would try to hold health care hostage for 9 million children, something we've been reporting. And they would hold it hostage until they can gut funding for, you guessed it, ObamaCare. I want to turn now to an expert we've talked to before. Allison O'Toole the CEO of MNSure, that's Minnesota's health care exchange program. We've talked about CHIP. We've talked about the other programs that intersect. I have to begin with this Presidential question. Is ObamaCare dead in Minnesota?

ALLISON O'TOOLE, CEO, MNSURE: No, it's not, Ari, and thanks for having me back. It's far, far from dead in Minnesota and I know the same is true around the country. We have just completed our first week of open enrollment this year and we're off to a strong start. We had you know, more that -- we've had more than 200,000 Minnesotans in our Web site. We have strong call volume and we've bring new into coverage more Minnesotans than we've ever had before. And this good news isn't just in Minnesota, I know from my colleagues it's the same as true in other states across the country, and that's good news.

MELBER: Allison, do you know why? I know sometimes on the news we ask for immediate explanations and a lot of factors, but it is wild that after months of not only rhetorical attack but also very real measures that the White House has taken that we've reported on to gut or hurt or make ObamaCare hindered, that it does seem to be going up in this enrollment period?

O'TOOLE: Yes, that's true. And you know, those headwinds are stronger than ever from Washington. And so we're working extra hard, I know my colleagues across the country are working extra hard. And guess what, Americans are showing up. They want and need coverage and they're coming to our doors and getting the help they need and they've taken advantage of those tax credits. And again, that's good news.

MELBER: And finally on the children's health care program, your view of the Republican version of the funding that's making its way through Congress?

O'TOOLE: Yes, well, you had a guest on last night I think from Minnesota who knows a lot more about that than I do. But we have our eyes on that, anything that hurts Minnesota, children, and Minnesotans, in general, is bad and we're going to continue to watch it and critique it as it comes our way.

MELBER: Allison O'Toole, we always like to talk to people who are actually doing this in this policies space and we always learn from you. Thanks for making time tonight.

O'TOOLE: Thanks so much.

MELBER: As Chris Christie votes for his own successor, naturally, there are confrontations. You might have seen some over the years. I got it all for you next.



GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: It's serving folks like you that is really such a unique joy. It really is. You're fabulous.


CHRISTIE: Any other questions?


MELBER: Polls in New Jersey closed in an hour and departing Governor Chris Christie making some friends there on Election Day. Now, we do not have projections on the winners while polls are open but we project Chris Christie will no longer be governor. In fact, he came to power back in 2010. As Jerry Garcia would say, what a long, strange trip it's been.


CHRISTIE: Didn't I stay on topic? Are you stupid? On topic, on topic, next question. Good. Thank you -- thank you. Thank you, thank you all very much and I'm sorry for the idiot over there.

Let me tell you something after you graduate from law school, you conduct yourself like that in a courtroom, your rear end is going to get thrown in jail, idiot.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was wondering why you think it's fair to be cutting school funding to public schools.

CHRISTIE: What's her name? Hey Gail, you know what, first off, it's none of your business. I don't ask you where you send your kids to school. Don't bother me about where I send mine.

You're a big shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I appreciate that.

CHRISTIE: Well, you know what, then you don't have to do it.

So if you'd like to -- if you'd like to conduct a respectful conversation, I'm happy to do it. If you don't, please go and sit down and I'll answer the next question. What's your choice?

I work the cones actually, Matt. (INAUDIBLE) to everybody, I was actually the guy out there. I was in overalls and a hat so I wasn't -- but I actually was the guy working the cones out there.


MELBER: Busted, down on Bourbon Street. Two of Christie's aids, of course, were convicted for crimes in Bridgegate even if cones were not personally moved. The Governor though never charged in connection with that plot. As a national figure, Christie put his cards down for Donald Trump, including that infamously unbelievable press conference with his intense look.


TRUMP: We are going to make America great again, folks. We're going to make it great again. And you know, I watched Hillary's speech. Since she's talking about wages, I've been poor, and everything is poor, and everything is doing badly. But we're going to make it -- she's been there for so long. I mean, if she hasn't straightened it out by now, she's not going to straighten it out in the next four years, it's just going to become worse and worse.


MELBER: He stood guard, but Christie's loyalty was not returned. No big job in the Trump administration. To quote Jerry again, Christie was betting his cards weren't worth a dime if he didn't lay them down. But it turns out for Trump, they weren't much either way. Now, Christie also had moments of leadership when he appointed a judge in New Jersey who faced attacks for being Muslim, Christie slammed anyone who suggested a judge couldn't uphold American law because of religion.


CHRISTIE: Sharia Law has nothing the do with this at all. It's crazy. It's crazy. The guy is an American citizen who has been an admitted lawyer to practice in the State of New Jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of New Jersey, the Constitution of the State of New Jersey.


MELBER: Credit where it's due. You add Christie's punchy attitude there to a good strong principle and you have a strong moment. But by the end, Christie's attitude began to be invoked for a far narrower agenda, it's like his choice to close the beaches for everyone but his family.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christie was captured on camera, taking his family to the beach Sunday. But they were the only ones there. Thanks to a budget standoff, hundreds of would-be beach-goers were turned away by police. The Governor stayed at a residence provided by the state a decision he's defending.

CHRISTIE: That's the way it goes. Run for governor, then you can have the residence.


MELBER: Then you can have the residence. That's where it ended. We look at that as kind of late-stage Christie and almost broke period as the Governor basked in the ultimate lesson from the whole trip. Sometimes the light's all shining on me, other times I can barely see, and lately, it occurs to me Governor Christie with a long strange trip it's been. We thank you for the memories. That is our show for tonight. If you want to neck check us out on Facebook or Twitter, we're @THEBEATWITHARI. You can talk to us about any of the segments tonight, or the results in this big night of election races, which will be covered continuously for the rest of the night. Keep it locked down at MSNBC. "HARDBALL" starts now.



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