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