Show: THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW Date: June 27, 2017 Guest: Mark Warner, Cory Booker
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC`S "ALL IN" HOST: That is "ALL IN" for this evening.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Don`t you think that`s going to be named of the next great cable news show, out the window, with the host, blah, blah, blah?
MADDOW: In unchartered waters with blah, blah, blah --
HAYES: Every hour, jump out of the window.
MADDOW: I don`t like that part of it. But I like the rest.
HAYES: No, there`s a trampoline. It`s like a bit.
MADDOW: Oh, I got it. I got it. Good.
MADDOW: Thanks, my friend.
If anybody does that, I want a producer credit. Anyway.
Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour on what is a really big night as it turns out. We didn`t know this was going to happen on Tuesday, but this has turned into a huge night in practical American politics after a crescendo of politics -- crescendo of protests in Senate offices around the country and in the halls of Capitol Hill and at the Senate last night, both on the floor where Senate Democrats held the floor for hours, and then they went outside and held the Capitol steps, an impromptu protest that started with just Senator Cory Booker and Congressman John Lewis and soon grew to be hundreds of people on the steps of the Capitol deep into the night.
After a score from the Congressional Budget Office that said the Republican bill to kill Obamacare would kick 22 million Americans off their health insurance and not just off the health insurance you`re on now, it would kick 22 million Americans off of all forms of health insurance and leave them uninsured -- after all of that, today, it became too much for the Republicans in Washington to bear.
For a while, I think they thought they could hold the line and they could stop their own senators from peeling off the bill. They knew they had lost Dean Heller of Nevada and they knew they had lost Susan Collins of Maine, and I think they thought for a while they might be able to hold it there. Even with those two losses, they might be able to still pass the bill by having Vice President Mike pence come in and cast a tiebreaking votes.
But not only did they not hold that line at those two senators which would have still allowed them to pass the bill, that line just completely collapsed today. It wasn`t just Heller and Collins. It was a third senator, and then a fourth, and then a fifth, and then a sixth, and a seventh, and an eighth and a ninth.
So, yes, they pulled it.
And again this is not Republicans trying and failing to get Democrats to vote with them. This is not some negotiations between parties that failed because of partisan differences between the parties. That does not apply here. Republicans we`re trying to repeal Obamacare without even talking to the Democrats about it, without even trying for a single Democratic vote.
They probably wouldn`t want a Democratic vote if they could get one. They were trying to do this only with votes from their own membership. And, technically, they could. They didn`t need any Democrats to do this. This is a Republicans-only affair and as Republicans, today, they failed. Which means it remains a strange hallmark of the Trump era in Washington that even with a new Republican president, even with a large Republican majority in the House and Republican control of the Senate, too, it has now been more than 150 days of this new administration, with unified Republican control in Washington, and they have yet to pass a single substantive piece of legislation of any kind.
There is exactly one new bill that this president has signed, that it`s an honest-to-goodness new policy. It involves making it easier to fire people who work at the V.A. That is a bipartisan piece of legislation that was agreed to substantively during the Obama administration and it just carried over. Beyond that though, there has been nothing. They have had no legislation on any significant policy whatsoever.
And now, as of tonight, they`re not able to kill health reform either.
So, it`s a -- it`s a big night in practical politics in America. The Republican effort to try to kill Obamacare once again has collapsed under the weight of even Republicans not being able to support it.
We`re going to have Senator Cory Booker joining us live in just a moment to talk about this big day for the Democrats, big day for people who want to hold on to the Affordable Care Act. Senator Booker joining us live in just a moment.
But I`m also very pleased to say that we`re going to be joined live tonight by the senator who is the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, is going to join us live. This will I think be his first ever interview on THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW. So, I`m very much looking forward to speaking with him, particularly because of the news that has just broken in "The Washington Post" tonight.
As of tonight, there are now two high ranking officials from the Trump for president campaign who have had to register retroactively as agents of a foreign power.
The first one, of course, was Trump national security advisor Mike Flynn. He resigned in February as national security advisor, just three and a half weeks into the new administration. He resigned when "The Washington Post" reported on contacts and conversations he had had with Russian government officials that he had either not disclosed or he had publicly lied about them.
We later learned that the acting attorney general of the United States had gone to the White House physically herself in the first week of the new administration to warn the White House urgently that their national security adviser Mike Flynn had been compromised by the Russian government. He was vulnerable to Russian blackmail or coercion, basically because Russia had proof of all their contacts with him and what he had been saying and there -- in his communications with them and Flynn was lying about those things in his public role as national security adviser. So, they had that over Mike Flynn. They could conceivably coerce him to behave in ways that they wanted that would not be good for the United States.
Now, after that warning there remain even today a lot of questions about the White House basically having no response to that warning for several weeks. The White House did not, for example, correct the record on any of the things that Flynn or the White House had been lying about. They apparently did not limit his access to a highly secret and highly sensitive information despite what they just been told about him. They even allowed Flynn to sit in on a call between the president of the United States and Vladimir Putin.
This is after the White House had been warned that Flynn had been compromised by Putin`s government. You want to sit in on our call with Vlad? You know him right?
So, there remain a lot of questions about how the White House dealt with Mike Flynn after the warning that they got and the evidence that they got about his foreign ties, particularly related to Russia.
But, ultimately, 18 days after that warning from the Justice Department, it was "The Washington Post" again that exposed that that warning had been delivered to the White House and that the White House hadn`t acted on it. It was finally in mid-February, 18 days after that warning from the Justice Department, that Flynn finally did resign. It was mid-February.
And then the month after that, in March, Flynn retroactively registered as an -- as a foreign agent. He registered after the fact as having been on the payroll of the government of Turkey during the preceding year when he was working for the Trump campaign.
Now, what compelled Mike Flynn to register as a foreign agent that far after the fact, right? In March, that was not him deciding, declaring that he wanted to become a foreign agent. He was declaring retroactively that he had been one before and he hadn`t said anything about it before. If something happened in those weeks after he had to resign, in a storm of controversy after the Justice Department lit up like a flare gun when they learned what he was doing, something happened in Mike Flynn`s life in March that made him feel a sudden obligation that maybe he ought to go back and retroactively register for this thing that he was legally required to do.
Now, not long after he registered as a foreign agent is when Mike Flynn`s lawyer started saying publicly that Mike Flynn would like to request immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony about Russia. That`s when his lawyer said that Mike Flynn, quote, certainly has a story to tell.
And honestly, we don`t know why Mike Flynn decided in march to retroactively register as a foreign agent. It is not implausible that he just needed to start getting his legal ducks in a row, right? We have since learned that Flynn`s foreign ties, his foreign business ties are not just the subject of congressional investigation. They`re also being investigated by the special counsel Robert Mueller at the FBI.
We`ve learned that Flynn`s business ties and foreign connections have been the subject of an investigation by the Department of Defense inspector general. They`ve been the subject of grand jury subpoenas and out under the auspices of the U.S. attorney`s office in the eastern district of Virginia.
You know, when that kind of thing is going on in your life, I don`t know, it doesn`t seem unreasonable that you might want to tidy stuff up, that you should have legally done that you never took care of before, all right? Burn off all the loose threads with a cigarette lighter and hope nobody notices a smoky smell.
So, that happened with Mike Flynn in March, right? He quits in February. He retroactively for some reason decides it`s time to register as a foreign agent in March.
And then just a couple of weeks after that, in April, there started to be all these news reports that a second person from the Trump campaign had also retroactively registered as a foreign agent. Starting in April, these news headlines started to appear that suggested or in some cases just flat- out said that in addition to Mike Flynn, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had also now registered as a foreign agent. Paul Manafort in fact had not registered as a foreign agent despite all of those headlines in April.
They started in April. They persisted in May and June, all through this month. You`ve still seen headlines that say inaccurately that Manafort had registered as a foreign agent. He actually hadn`t, which was an interesting contrast with what happened to Mike Flynn, right? I mean Flynn definitely had business ties, foreign ties, foreign business ties, for which he should have registered and he didn`t at the time.
He then resigned from the Trump administration and a huge cloud of scandal related to Russia. And then soon thereafter, being presumably because he was getting good advice or good pressure from the people who oversee this sort of thing at the Justice Department, for some reason, he made sure to file that registration. That`s Flynn.
Paul Manafort also clearly has lots of foreign ties, lots of foreign business ties. We`ve all had to learn how to pronounce the names of the Putin linked oligarchs who Paul Manafort has been in business with -- Oleg Deripaska and Dmitry Firtash and Viktor Medvedchuk.
There was his own business partner from Ukraine who ran his office -- ran the Manafort office in Ukraine. There`s a guy who used to work for Russian military intelligence who then met with Manafort multiple times in the United States during the Trump presidential campaign, Konstantin Kilimnik.
There was Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Putin dictator of Ukraine who Manafort worked for, for a decade until he was deposed and had to flee to Moscow. And, clearly, Manafort has tons of foreign ties, foreign business ties.
He, too, like Mike Flynn, had to resign from the Trump campaign under a huge cloud of scandal relating to Russia. He too like Mike Flynn is reportedly the subject of federal investigations, not just by congressional committees, but also by the special counsel Robert Mueller at the FBI, and he and his businesses have been the subject of federal grand jury subpoenas over the past couple of months.
And you would think that that would create for him all the same pressure that Mike Flynn felt to get his legal ducks in a row, to take care of things that the Justice Department oversees -- things like filing his foreign agent registration act paperwork. You think that Manafort would feel that same pressure. But despite all those press reports that suggested Manafort was going to do that registration right after Flynn did months ago, he didn`t, which has been weird over these few months.
It has led us on this show to discover that Attorney General Jeff Sessions who said he was recused from all matters related to the campaign for president in 2016. He said he was recused explicitly from any matter involving a Justice Department investigation of Mike Flynn. We discovered sort of incidentally when we were just trying to pull this Paul Manafort thread that Attorney General Jeff Sessions wouldn`t say whether he was recused for many Justice Department investigation involving Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.
He wouldn`t say one way or the other whether he was recused from any investigation about Manafort. Why is that? I want you to tell us yes or no. It`s been weird all this time.
Well, tonight, "The Washington Post" reports that Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has now officially as of today finally, retroactively registered as a foreign agent. His registration reportedly covers two years from to 2012 to 2014. I say reportedly because we`re going on "The Washington Post`s" details here, we ourselves have not been able to get our hands on the filing yet.
According to "The Post", Manafort reports that he and his firm got over $17 million over those two years from the pro-Putin political party that he worked for in Ukraine.
Now, why Paul Manafort felt compelled today to register for something he says he stopped doing three years ago? We don`t know. What`s going on in your life that makes you want to tidy that up?
We do have reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is consolidating all of the various investigations around the Russian attack on our election last year, investigations that may include people like Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort and others.
So, now, two top Trump campaign folks retroactively registered as foreign agents.
Why it took this long for Manafort to register? I don`t know. What that says about the ongoing investigation? I don`t know, but we`re going to talk with Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee about this in just a moment, and we`re going to talk with him about the one other news story that broke on this today and that is next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: We`ve got Virginia Senator Mark Warner here in just a moment. He is the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee. That Intelligence Committee is leading the investigation in the Senate into the Trump-Russia connection, the Russian attack on our election last year and the possibility that somebody associated with the Trump campaign may have been involved in coordinating or colluding with Russians, with Russia in that attack.
Toward that end, may I introduce you to the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto, in Canada. I should tell you that it will soon not be called that anymore. The Canadian press wire service was first to report today that this controversial Trump branded property in Toronto is about to sever its relationship with Donald Trump, including that they`re going to chisel his name off the building.
This tower was developed as a joint venture between the Trump Organization and a Russian billionaire named Alexander Shnaider. The project has been a financial disaster from the start. They announced this as a joint project -- a joint venture in 2007, the first major loan to develop the property was defaulted on that same year, the very first year of the project in 2007, and financially, this project has not gotten easier since then.
"Wall Street Journal" recently reported though that part of the reason that place might still be standing and might still be up and running is because of an infusion of cash that happened three years into that project. In 2010, after they had already defaulted on their first major loan associated with this property, the property eventually got saved, the project essentially got saved because Trump`s business partner got an unexpected gigantic influx of cash money, and he got it from VEB Bank, which is a wholly government-run bank that really operates less as a bank, it`s not even licensed as a bank. It operates more as an arm of the Russian government.
All of the people who are on the supervisory board for VEB Bank are current officials in the Russian government. When he was prime minister in 2010, Vladimir Putin was the chair, was the head of the supervisory board of VEB, at the time they funneled this huge pile of cash to Trump`s business partner. And that is in some quarters credited with keeping the Trump Toronto project afloat.
That big influx of cash came in thanks to VEB in 2010. The Trump Tower in Toronto opened its doors two years later in 2012. Today, we learn that it will keep its doors open under a new buyer but they will strip Trump`s name off it and sever their relationship with the Trump Company.
VEB also factors into the White House investigation on Trump and Russia because of an undisclosed meeting that Trump`s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner took with the chairman of the VEB during the presidential transition in New York.
Now, given what VEB is, given that it is a bank sanctioned by the U.S. government, it is wholly controlled by the Russian government. It is linked in multiple ways, including through its chairman who met with Jared Kushner, to Russian intelligence services, and that includes an operation that was apparently run out of VEB`s branch in New York to recruit Americans to become spies for Russia in New York City.
Given who VEB is and what their history is, Jared Kushner meeting the head of VEB, that is a very notable meeting for him to have taken. In terms of the investigation, it is all the more notable that Jared Kushner did not disclose that he had taken that meeting until after it was publicly reported in the press.
We learned this week that Jared Kushner also did not disclose a massive $285 million loan that he got one month before Election Day from a company called Deutsche Bank.
But Deutsche Bank is also the single largest lender to Donald Trump personally. The president`s last financial disclosure says he owes over $100 million in outstanding loans to that bank, it`s way more than he owes to any other institution. This is the same bank that is refusing to answer congressional Democrats` questions about the terms of its loans with Trump.
Deutsche Bank is also reportedly the subject of a Justice Department investigation for a multi-billion dollar Russian money-laundering scheme that was run out of their offices in Moscow and New York and other places. They have already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines in conjunction with that Russian money-laundering scandal. The Trump Justice Department reportedly considering whether or not to go after them on that as well -- which is awkward.
But we can report tonight that in the middle of these new revelations about the nearly $300 million in undisclosed personally guaranteed loans that Deutsche Bank gave to Jared Kushner right before the election, in the midst of these questions that Deutsche Bank is facing about its loans to Donald Trump, in the midst of the potentially massive exposure that Deutsche Bank has as a bank over their facilitation of Russian money-laundering to the tune of multiple billions of dollars -- in the midst of all of that Deutsche Bank has just made a really interesting new hire. We can report tonight that yesterday was the first day of the job at Deutsche Bank for a very accomplished lawyer named Richard Weber.
Where they got Richard Weber from is the IRS. For the last five years, Richard Weber was the chief of the Criminal Investigation Division at the IRS. Before that, he was the chief of the Major Economic Crime Bureau in the Manhattan district attorney`s office. Before that, he was the chief of the Asset Forfeiture and Money-Laundering Section of the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice.
Why do they need him?
Maybe he`s also good with like mortgages?
Frankly, he sounds like the kind of lawyer who Robert Mueller has been hiring a lot of lately for the special counsel investigation. But now, he`s going to this bank. This bank that is starting to look like it`s the bank on the corner at the intersection of all the roads you have to go down if you are an investigator who is following the money in this scandal.
One of the men leading one of those investigations joins us next.
MADDOW: Both Robert Mueller and James Comey are lifelong Republicans. Neither are seen as particularly partisan, but both were high level George W. Bush appointees. Bush made Comey his deputy attorney general. Bush made Mueller his FBI director.
Above and beyond that, they are both, of course, lifelong law enforcement officials. That background makes it hard for Republicans and the conservative media to inveigh against these two men and try to discredit them as terrible liberals, but that`s what they`re trying to do now. People got to make a living I guess.
One of the problems with the conservative efforts to smear James Comey in particular, to discredit what he says happened in his interactions with President Trump is that not only does Comey say he took contemporaneous detailed notes of his interactions with the president right after those interactions happened, notes which he has now handed over to the special counsel. Comey also testified that he were briefed other people on what happened in his conversations with the president at the time those conversations happened. He says he told a whole bunch of senior FBI officials at the time.
Those senior FBI officials, we know who they are. We know their names. We know their titles, and today at a completely unrelated hearing in the Senate, we got a confirmation that those guys are going to be witnesses for, at least, Comey`s side of the story. He did tell those other FBI officials what happened in his interactions with the president at the time and they can therefore testify as witnesses as to Comey`s side of what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8th about one- on-one conversations he had with President Trump. Director Comey said that he discussed some of these conversations with his FBI leadership team.
Without getting into what was said, were you involved in any discussions about President Trump`s interactions with Director Comey? A yes or no would be sufficient.
CARL GHATTAS, FBI OFFICIAL: Yes, Senator.
FEINSTEIN: I don`t want to get into detail now, but the committee may want to talk more with you about this. Will you commit to getting us the information that we need?
GHATTAS: We`ll work with the committee, Senator.
FEINSTEIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Ghattas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: Thank you very much, Carl Ghattas, who is the top FBI official at the national security branch of the FBI. Today, Carl Ghattas confirmed that he did talk to James Comey at the time about what happened between him and President Trump and he said he will work with the committee that is investigating that.
Now, tomorrow, the Intelligence Committee in the Senate is going to have their next open hearing on the Russian attack and the issue of whether there were American confederates who helped the Russians in that attack. The committee will take testimony tomorrow on other countries in Europe that have dealt with Russian attacks on their elections and how it`s affected those countries, how those countries have responded to slightly unsettling things. When you think about how other countries -- how they`ve responded, it`s slightly unsettling that the respond so far to the attack on us, at least by our executive branch, the response is basically limited to top White House officials securing the services of private defense counsel. That`s pretty much the only thing they`re doing to respond.
But that`s where we are. That`s what they`re doing in the executive branch. The Senate at least is investigating what happened.
And joining us now tonight for the interview is Senator Mark Warner. He`s the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee in the Senate, which is investigating the Russian attack.
Senator, it`s really nice to have you with us tonight. Thank you for taking the time.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), VICE CHAIR, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Thank you, Rachel. Thanks for having me.
MADDOW: So, you`ve said that your committee is at a relatively early stage in your investigation. We mentioned tomorrow`s hearing on how other countries have dealt with Russian attacks on their election. Should we expect to see a series of public hearings, more public hearings through the summer?
WARNER: Well, I think you will see more public hearings. We`ve gone through initially reconfirming what I think most of us believe that clearly the Russians intervene their elections in a massive way. All of the intelligence community believes that, frankly, all of the senators as I know, Democrat and Republican, believe that.
The one official in Washington that still says it`s a witch-hunt or a hoax or whatever term he uses depending on the day seems to be the president.
We`ve shown that 21 states were -- had their election systems attempted to be hacked into. We`re trying to get -- make sure those states are fully revealed. Only two states have gone public, Illinois and Arizona. We think the country is not made safer by keeping that information secret.
And, obviously, I wish we were further along in terms of talking to some of the Trump affiliates and associates, some who talked about tonight. But none of us could have predicted that the president would have actually fired the guy in charge of the investigation, Jim Comey. So, we had to bring him before our committee, as well as the attorney general who as you`ve also reported has had to recuse himself because he didn`t disclose as well some of his connections in Russia.
MADDOW: I play a clip a moment ago from Senator Dianne Feinstein, who`s on your committee. who`s also on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
She expressed in very strong terms about a week and a half ago her concern that she felt like the president was going to start firing more people, that he might try to start -- he might try to fire Robert Mueller. That he might try to fire the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who the president has publicly attacked. That would also obviously start going through the ranks of the Justice Department instead of who was still in charge.
We`ve also seen this week, conservative media just in the last couple of days really starting to train their fire not just on Director Comey and Robert Mueller but also on Andrew McCabe who`s the deputy director of the FBI. And I don`t know how much conservative media telegraphs the president`s actions.
But do you share Senator Feinstein`s concerns that the president may be gearing up to not just discredit these people involved in the investigation, but to fire them?
WARNER: Well, I would hope that would not be the case. But I also thought this administration couldn`t surprise me anymore and then they went out and fired Jim Comey and they talked about firing Bob Mueller -- Bob Mueller who uniformly, Democrats and Republicans alike, when he was named special counsel got rave reviews and I think special counsel Mueller is going about this in a methodical, appropriate way.
And my hope would be, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who has said that he would not fire Mueller, unless we`re going to see a repeat of a Saturday night massacre-type Watergate approach, I hope and pray that would not be the way the president would go about this.
Let this investigation go forward. Let us go through our effort which is a fact-finding, counterintelligence investigation in that special counsel Mueller go, he has a different standard, a criminal standard. He`s got a lot of -- a lot of a lot of threads to follow.
We`ve still got a lot to follow and we`ve got to do this in a way that I still hope and pray at the end of the day, we`ll have a bipartisan consensus because there`s an awful lot of facts that we need to get out to the American public.
MADDOW: Senator, I want to get your reaction to tonight`s news that the former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort today has retroactively registered as having been a foreign agent. He`s registering for having been the agent of a foreign power between 2012 and 2014.
What`s your reaction to that? Particularly your reaction to the timing here obviously this is a declaration for something that ended three years ago. Why now?
WARNER: Well, great question. It`s why we have got a request for documents. We received the first round of documents from Mr. Manafort. I think we`re going to ask for more.
But there does seem to be a pattern here, whether it`s Paul Manafort not disclosing ties to a Ukrainian government that was very close to Vladimir Putin or Michael Flynn not disclosing ties to the Turkish affiliates or perhaps others. But there seems to be a pattern of folks that are not coming clean in terms of their ties to Russia.
We`ve now got Flynn fired. We`ve got the attorney general accusing myself and obviously Mr. Manafort now coming forward. Why it`s taken him so long? Those are the very questions me and other members of the committee want to ask.
MADDOW: Senator, I want to ask you a question about the way your investigation works. And I don`t mean to -- I don`t mean to cast aspersions of the way I`m asking this. I`m actually asking out of position of complete ignorance on this subject. So, don`t hate me for asking it this way.
WARNER: Rachel, you`re saying complete ignorance and you in the same sense -- I`m not sure I`m going to fully buy that or your audience is going to buy that. But fire away.
MADDOW: All right. This is about -- this is about banks and money and real shape deals and money laundering. And we`ve been trying to follow this trail for example just VEB Bank, that undisclosed meeting with Jared Kushner.
MADDOW: The ties to this Trump property. The other -- the ties that it`s got -- the direct ties it`s got to Vladimir Putin in the Russian government. We`ve looking at this money laundering stuff, this case involving Deutsche Bank. The Deutsche Bank loans to Trump and those -- the undisclosed loan to Jared Kushner.
We`ve been trying just as observers to follow the money trails here, and it`s hard as just an observer to do it. Is your committee staffed in such a way that you`ve got the kind of expertise, the kind of professional staff that you need to be able to follow those very complicated money trails?
WARNER: Well, first of all, Rachel, the Russians have a playbook and they -- we`ve seen this in other countries where whether it`s officials of the Russian government or in the case of VEB, a quasi bank or quasi agent of the Russian government, or in certain cases, Russian oligarchs that may be close to Mr. Putin who in other countries have found ways to try to gain influence by investing in or investing with individuals where they then hope they can lure people into some level of financial compromise.
We`ve got questions in terms of some of the individuals affiliated with the Mr. Trump and we made requests to the Treasury Department who has responsibility. It`s called FinCEN and we`ve received over 2,000 pages of documents just recently that we`re reviewing, and there`ll be an additional tranche as well.
I believe we have that expertise, if we don`t we will obtain it, to make sure that we can go through this in an appropriate way. When we`re talking about something this serious, we`ve got to do it right, and if it takes a little bit more time than frankly I would like or others may like, getting it right is better than getting it done correct, and getting it done quickly. And I think we`re proceeding ahead.
MADDOW: Senator Mark Warner, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, vice chair of that committee, mounting this investigation -- sir, thank you very much for talking with us. I hope you`ll come back and keep us updated.
WARNER: I will as well. But, you know, we`ve got to -- the main thing is end of the day, we`ve got to get the facts out. End of the day as well, we`ve got to prepare ourselves because the Russians will be back. The one thing we know is that this was not a one-off event. They will be back in 2018, 2020, and it`s why we need to hear not only from the president but frankly from this administration, a willingness to take this issue with a level of seriousness that unfortunately we`ve not seen so far.
MADDOW: Senator Mark Warner of Virginia -- thank you, sir. I appreciate it.,
WARNER: Thank you, Rachel.
MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: A note went out tonight to members of the anti-Trump activist group Indivisible. Members were given two tasks.
Number one, celebrate big tonight. You won this. You earned the right to celebrate. This is a real victory against Trumpcare that Senator McConnell desperately wanted to avoid. You deprived him of it.
Quote, have a drink, end quote.
How often do you get a political directive to please go have a beer?
But that was just task of a two-task list. Number two, quote, start planning for July 4th recess actions, and immediate feedback now is crucial.
Immediate feedback they mean to your senator.
So, the message from this activist group that thought to save the Affordable Care Act is basically be happy right now, but then get back to work because -- that`s because the effort on the Republicans part to kill the Affordable Care Act, it is dead tonight, but it doesn`t mean it`s dead forever.
Chuck Schumer basically said the same thing tonight, minus the beer. He said, quote: We know the fight is not over. We are not resting on any laurels.
Nancy Pelosi in the House tweeted something similar. Quote: This fight is not over. We must continue to pour on the pressure.
And it`s interesting point but, you know, in one sense something important did end today -- this effort by the Republicans to kill Obamacare. I mean, before the CBO score came out showing that 22 million people were going to lose their health insurance from this thing, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada had already said no to the bill. As soon as that score came out, Susan Collins said she would be a no vote as well. Those were already all the votes they could spare and still pass this thing.
But it turned out those were not all the votes they were going to lose. A bunch of other senators started to say no, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, Mike Lee -- I`ll talk publicly about opposing it, and then Moore came out today and said they would oppose it after the vote was -- after the vote was pulled.
So, Senate Republican leaders today yanked it. As I say, they continued to lose more Republican support after they yanked it today. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, last night, we highlighted the protests going on across West Virginia, outside her offices and inside her offices. Shelley Moore Capito said today she is now a no vote.
Rob Portman of Ohio has also been the focus of anti-Trumpcare saved the ACA protest. Rob Portman also came out and said no against this bill today.
Jerry Moran from Kansas -- he was not on the D.C. radar in terms of being a potential no vote against this bill but you know what people in Kansas who have Jerry Moran as their senator, they have been letting him know what they think on this subject and Jerry Moran surprised everybody by also coming out against this bill today when the Republicans started to fall apart on this.
So, this isn`t like the Republicans getting close and then losing. This is them losing badly. This was them getting worse by the minute and it continued to get worse over the course of this day.
So, there are going to be some drinks tonight for people who have been fighting to save Obamacare because as of tonight, they`ve saved it.
But there is also a real worry because people who`ve been trying to save the Affordable Care Act have seen this before. Same thing happened with the Obamacare repeal in the House earlier this year, right? Republicans did have to pull the bill before a vote in March because they knew they were going to lose even among their own numbers.
Remember that classic "New York Times" headline on that at that point? Republicans land a punch on health care to their own face, right? That too was seen as a big victory for everybody who`s trying to save Obamacare. That was a big defeat for Republicans.
But after that, after everybody thought that victory was won, House Republicans one away, stop talking about it worked on it entirely behind closed doors, they brought it back -- surprise six weeks later, with no warning and no fanfare and that`s when they passed it.
So that`s what happened in the House. The question is, is anybody going to be able to stop the Senate Republicans from doing what the House Republicans did just a few couple -- just a couple of months ago?
Joining us now is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. He has been very vocal in his opposition to the Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate. He held a rally on the steps of the Capitol until very early this morning.
Senator, I really appreciate your time tonight. I know this is a tiring time. Thank you for being with us.
SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I`m grateful, Rachel. Thank you as always for having me on.
MADDOW: So, what do you make about the balance between happiness on your side`s part that the bill was pulled today by the Republicans and worry that they`ve got some other trick up their sleeve to pass this down the road, the same way the House Republicans did?
BOOKER: Well, clearly, again, this is happening in the same way in the House because a public protest and credible outcries of folks and they`re not a partisan way. This is people who are Democrats, independents, Republicans really just telling the truth. We don`t want to see Medicare gutted, in this case, tens of billions of it for giving tax breaks to the wealthiest amongst us.
But remember in the House, what they did is a regroup and they came back and they punched it through. And so, I`m not -- I don`t feel a sense of celebration right now. I feel this is a pause, a lull in a fight, but there`s going to be another -- another round of this.
And know this -- Mitch McConnell didn`t just pull this bill because he was going to fail, he pulled the bill to give himself more time, not more time to hold hearings and invite experts and listen to what the American public has to say. He didn`t ask for more time to pull this bill crafted in the shadows and invite Democrats to the table to craft a bipartisan bill. No, he`s getting more time so he can put more pressure on Senate Republicans who said they were voting no, to twist more arms, to cut more backroom deals.
So, if anybody knows Mitch McConnell, you`re making a mistake when you underestimate him. So, this thing is not over, and this should definitely not be a time where we think that this battle is through. We need folks to put more pressure on.
He`s going to whip more votes, we need more public pressure. He`s going to twist more arms, we need to wake up more folks and get them into this fight.
MADDOW: When you say more public pressure, let me ask you about this. My theory on what is happening here strategically for the Senate Republicans is that they didn`t work all that hard to get it passed this week. They didn`t throw everything they had in it. They didn`t twist all the arms as hard as they could this week because it`s failing this week means that Senate Republicans are not going to now go home for the Senate for the July 4th recess and face angry constituents who are mad at them because they voted to take health care away from 22 million Americans. This will relieve some of the pressure on Senate Republicans who I think have felt more susceptible to it than they want to.
And then, if they bring it back thereafter, once there`s less pressure, once senators are not facing a long period of time where they`re going to have to face pressure, they may be able to get it through without senators having to worry too much about their reelection efforts.
If that`s what`s going on, if he`s just trying to save them the pressure over the recess, does that change at all what kind of public pressure should be brought to bear on Senate Republicans here?
BOOKER: I think we need more of what we`re seeing now. I was so buoyed last night when just a few of us were sitting on capitol steps and spontaneously, hundreds came out, buoyed by rallies we had in front of the Capitol today. There are thousands of people down in the Capitol protesting this.
On top of that, as you showed earlier, in states all across this country, there are folks who are protesting and pushing and calling and letting their voices be heard. There`s an old saying that you know. The only thing necessary for evil to be triumphant is for good people to do nothing.
There is a sinister cravenness in this bill. It is really a moral moment for this country about who will we stand for, the rich and the powerful or the health care of all of us, whether it`s seniors in nursing homes, children being born people with disabilities? This is a moral moment and we can let a bill that is truly a injustice rein in our country or we can do something about it.
And for people to sit on the sidelines in this defining moment in American history, for people to sit back and hope somebody else stops this or wait on their senator to make the right decision, that`s never how great moments like this have been crafted in this country. It`s been grassroots activists demanding change fighting against evil, standing up.
And now, more than ever, we need Americans to understand that democracy is not a spectator sport. You have got to get into this fight and you now have an extension of two more weeks of fighting, two more weeks of protesting, two more weeks of getting folk woke, so that they to get into the game. And let folks -- let every senator know, Democrat or Republican, that there`ll be consequences if you don`t fall on the right side of this, if you don`t fall with the people.
MADDOW: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who has been a leader on this subject in not just inside the Senate but in creative ways, including what we saw last night -- Senator, thank you for being with us tonight. I really appreciate you being here.
BOOKER: Thank you very much for having me.
MADDOW: Senator Booker.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: So, it`s been a big night here. We just had Senator Mark Warner of the intelligence community break the news here on this show that the Treasury Department`s Financial Crimes Unit has handed over more than 2,000 pages of documents to the Intelligence Committee investigating the Russia attack. That news just broken here moments ago.
And Senator Booker moments ago alluding to the big impact, the big political impact that this protest around the country have had in stopping the Republican effort to kill the Affordable Care Act today. We`ve got news on that front next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott are both Republican senators. They both represent South Carolina, and they`re both bachelor`s, which is neat Senate trivia.
But now, South Carolina`s two never married bachelor senators, both of them suddenly have a lot of people who want to marry them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONG: No, we aren`t in love, just want your health care plan, I`m that scared Lindsey, I think I got to marry you --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: A local South Carolina Indivisible group posted this today, a swarm of sing-along marriage proposals for their two state`s unmarried senators.
Senators get awesome health insurance. If the Republicans are going to kick 22 million people off of health insurance? Quick, everybody marry a senator! That will work!
Protests happened all over the country today, not just in South Carolina. This is the office of Senator Thom Tillis in Raleigh, North Carolina, today. Thom Tillis` constituents mocked up rejected insurance cards of people who got kicked off their insurance if the Republicans` bill passed. They strung them on a wreath to give to the senator.
Outside Senator Pat Toomey`s office in downtown Pittsburgh, about 100 people stood on the sidewalk today, chanting, ACA has got to stay.
In Colorado, Senator Cory Gardner`s constituents picketed outside his office while inside his office, members of the local chapter of ADAPT were refusing to leave. ADAPT is the legendary disability rights group that was founded in Colorado and they do not mess around.
Folks in Gardner`s office shot video of the senator`s phones ringing off the hook while they were there. They asked him to sign a pledge not to cut Medicaid.
Protesters also made it inside Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton`s office as well. They wedged their "Save Medicaid" signs right behind a framed portrait of the senator, using it as a paperweight, basically. That all happened today.
Senate Republicans have been signaling a vote on their bill could come as early as today, but by this afternoon, they pulled it because they did not have the votes.
For Republicans in the Trump White House, this was a pie in the face today. For the protesters who have been hammering their senators for weeks in opposition to the bill, this was a huge victory. But, caution: there is a reason why people celebrating tonight are also conceding it might be too early to celebrate. Watch this space.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again tomorrow.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL."
Good evening, Lawrence.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END