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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  February 28, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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tonight on "all in" -- >> mr. trump, do you support a special prosecutor on russia? >> the white house tries to kill investigations before they start. >> i guess my question would be, a special prosecutor for what? >> tonight, congressman adam schiff and dick durbin on the growing bipartisan push. >> i think we all need answers. plus, as the investigators work with the white house -- >> what i've been told is by many folks is that there's nothing there. >> why others are breaking ranks. >> you're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statutes. >> then, new reports of a high-stakes obamacare repeal as the president has an aca epiphany. >> nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. >> a protests at a joint session. we'll look at what democrats may
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be planning for tomorrow's big address when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. with president trump set to deliver his first address to a joint session of congress tomorrow night, republicans are trying desperately to bury a story that just won't go away. the ongoing mounting questions over whether there was contact or coordination between the trump campaign and the russians during the presidential campaign when, according to u.s. intelligence agencies, russia was working to boost trump's chances of being elected. to make their case, republicans have been doing something remarkable. effectively clearing the president and his allies of wrongdoing before the investigations have really even begun. this is republican devin nunez which is currently conducting the house investigation into russian influence into the campaign. >> we still have not even any evidence from the trump campaign
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or anyone and we don't have evidence of them talking to russia. the initial inquiries i've made to the appropriate agencies, i don't have any evidence. what i've been told is by many folks is that there's nothing there. >> nothing there. nunes, a member of the trump transition team, made those claims despite the fact that the intelligence committee has yet to review testimony. >> we can't have mccarthyism back in this place. we can't have the government -- the u.s. government or the congress or legislative branch of government chases down american citizens, hauling them before the congress as if there's some secret russian agents and that's what i'm concerned about here that we don't go on some witch hunt against american citizens just because they appear in a press story somewhere. >> nunes is leading the house
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investigation. richard burr is leading the senate investigation. nunes and burr called reporters to challenge stories alleging contacts between the trump campaign and russian intelligence officials. now, remember these two gentlemen are individuals who are supposed to be leading investigations that republicans claim are impartial. senator charles schumer stated the obvious, that burr's conduct gives the appearance if not the lack of impartiality. >> senator burr's on notice because what he did was wrong and this is not the way to conduct a fair, impartial investigation that goes wherever the facts lead. >> the phone calls reporters were reportedly orchestrated by white house press secretary sean spicer who today falsely suggested that the investigations were complete and that the trump campaign has been cleared.
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>> chairman nunes spoke very clearly today when asked over and over and over again about this and said that he has seen nothing that leads him to believe that there's anything there. you've had the intelligence committee look at the involvement and the house and senate both do the same. and so what i'm trying to ascertain is at what point, how many people have to say there's nothing there before you realize there's nothing there. >> nobody can credibly say that there's nothing there. yesterday, former cia director john brennan forcibly rebutted the white house claim that james comey had privately knocked down stories linking trump campaign associates to russian intelligence officials. >> i have tremendous respect for jim comey's competence and integrity and it's been my experience working with jim that he wouldn't do anything that was going to in any way compromise the integrity of an ongoing investigation. and that's why anybody who claims that the facts are
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already known in terms of what did or didn't happen between russian officials and u.s. persons during the election, i think it's speaking very prematurely. >> and there was a snag when republican congressman darrell issa broke with party leaders and called for a special prosecutor to investigate. much more on his political calculation in a bit. as for president trump, he was asked about russia again today as reporters were being led out of a meeting with health care ceos. as reporters left the report, the response said something that was overly specific and yet meaningless. >> thank you. appreciate it. president claimed he hasn't called russia in ten years is odd given the fact that he visited russia four years ago. there he is in the flesh.
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and the previous republican president george w. bush pointedly undercut the white house suggestion that the russia matter has been resolved. >> i think we all need answers. whether or not the special prosecutor is the right way to go tonight, you're asking the wrong guy. i am sure that question, though, needs to be answered. >> joining me now, democratic congressman adam schiff from the intelligence committee. devin nunes basically said repeatedly there is nothing to see here. i have been told there is nothing here. is he right? >> i don't think that any of us on the tell convenience committee could reach any conclusions about the evidence yet because frankly we have heard from no witnesses. we have only started reviewing documents since the very beginning of the investigation. so we shouldn't be reaching any conclusions about what we're going to find and it concerns me that you have the white house
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talking to the fbi and potentially the cia and asking them to push back on stories. it's appropriate for the white house to reach out to republican or democratic members of the house but not on the subject of the investigation and i don't think we ought to draw any conclusion before we've seen any of the evidence. >> is it responsible, in your view, for the chair to be at categorical as he was today? >> i don't think we can be categorical at all. certainly not on the basis of any private conversations with intel officials. the committee is doing the investigation, the committee has yet to begin its work in earnest. we're still in the document-gathering phase and we need to follow the evidence wherever it leads. we have agreed on a bipartisan basis to a scope of investigation that clues the issue, a potential russian collusion with the trump campaign and we can't start that if it's going to be thorough and objective by claiming that there's no there there. first of all, because we don't know that and second, because the investigation is only
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getting under way. i am concerned when i hear statements like this because this needs to be done on a bipartisan basis where it's not going to have value for the american people. >> you said something today about needing the full cooperation of the fbi, which is a big question mark right now. what did you mean by that? >> what i mean by that is we can't become the fbi ourselves as a house committee. we're going to need to know what has the fbi investigated, what leads have they chased down, what information have they obtained, what leads are yet to be investigated so that we can oversee whether they are doing a thorough job and whether there are other areas they haven't explored that we need to. we won't be able to do that if the fbi comes back and says we won't talk to you about that, that's a pending matter. that's unsustainable, in my view, and thus far, i don't know whether we'll get the cooperation of the fbi. i've raised this issue with the director and we're going to need it to be able to get our jobs.
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>> chairman nunes invoked the spectrum of mccarthyism, that there was an air of mccarthyism hanging around this, that people are being called guilty. is there an air of hysteria here? are people getting out ahead of the facts in a way that's dangerous? >> i don't think there's anything here that is comparable to the mccarthy era. we're not prejudging the conclusions. we shouldn't be. in terms of general flynn and i think a lot of his comments went to general flynn, this is someone who lied to the vice president and caused the vice president to mislead the country. that's a serious business. that's not mccarthyism, in my view, to call him out on it and to call out the president. the president of the united states knew that and through that the entire country and what concerns me even more is that the president was okay with that, he was okay with the
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president being misled until it became public and he was forced to fire flynn. that shows the president's willingness to tolerate dishonestly. i don't consider that mccarthyism in any way, shape or form. in my view, it's quite the opposite. >> congressman adam schiff, thanks for joining me. >> thank you. just moments ago, we caught up with richard burr and asked him about his coordination with the white house ahead of the investigation of the trump campaign's alleged ties with russia. >> what's your reaction to the vice chair of the intelligence committee? >> it was appropriate for me to talk to reporters about this?
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>> i'm joined now by democratic senator dick durbin. since your colleague wouldn't answer the question, maybe i'll pose it to you. was it appropriate for him to talk to reporters on background, it appears, to knock down stories when he's the person charged with leading the investigation? >> absolutely not. you wouldn't expect that of a judge, would you, or an investigator trying to be impartial. and what congressman nunes said disqualifies him from heading up an investigation in this area. he's already reached a conclusion and his conclusion is, nothing wrong at all. the crime was the leak itself. let's get to the beginning here. why did they choose the intelligence committees for this investigation? there's a lot of reasons but one of the reasons is they meet behind closed doors, the public can't see what is happening, no witnesses are being called, there's no effort or opportunity to test credibility and if they ever produce a report in some
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distant time, it's going to be classified. so i am really skeptical as to this being the venue for an investigation. >> i've heard of a sort of variety of different alternatives to the two standing investigations happening in the committees chaired by devin nunes and richard burr. darrell issa from california, appointed a special prosecutor. your thoughts on that? >> isn't it interesting that darrell issa who couldn't hold himself back from having weeks and months and years of public investigations of the obama administration now doesn't believe in congressional investigations but wants to have a special prosecutor. well, certainly we don't want to see attorney general sessions who should recuse himself being the prosecutor. a special prosecutor may be in order. but why have the republicans,
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who couldn't with no public hearing on this russian involvement is really warranted. what a hoot. >> let me ask you the follow-up. my sense was there was a consensus in the wake of ken star a bipartisan that had created a fundamentally dangerous unaccountable office. is that still the position of you and your colleagues or is that something that is being kicked around by folks on capitol hill? >> i'm co-sponsoring a bill for an independent commission. i've suggested colin powell, justice from the supreme court, former justice to the supreme court that would be part of this. and that's the way to go. but in the alternative, if we look to the department of justice, i think we ought to have someone independent. clearly, jeff sessions is not that person. >> i want to ask you about
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something that jeff sessions said today. he said he knew about contacts in advance and said no at a brief session. he said they have to remain independent and will do so but not every contact is improper. what do you make of that? >> well, i may comment that there was some contacts with the russians prior to the inauguration of this new president that could have been perfectly innocent. i don't know. let's follow the facts wherever they take us without -- >> we should be clear, that happened in 2015, if i'm not mistaken. i want to make sure people understand the timeline there. >> yes, of course. that's far in advance of any aspirations of president trump to be president. but contact itself is not damning or criminal. of course you'd do that about a person who ends up residing as national security adviser to the president of the united states.
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>> is there a -- it seems to me that part of the issue here is there's a breakdown in some basic levels of credibility to you and your colleagues with respect to things that emanate from the white house. it seems to me that the flynn moment was a watershed in that respect in which numerous people say on the record, including the vice president of the united states, a categorical denial that's revealed to be not true. have they repaired that breach of credibility, to your mind? >> no. and i think the problem we have is that less than six weeks into this presidency -- i ought to repeat that. less than six weeks into this presidency, this president and this white house have set out to discredit the judiciary, the intelligence agencies of the united states of america, the media. i don't know where to go next. the long list of people that they've attacked just in the first 5 1/2 weeks is an indication that anyone who raises a question about their conduct is in for a tough tweet. >> do you think that's the motivation -- some have said they have speculated that these attacks and the series of attacks at the various
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institutions that you just listed have to do with producing doubt against those institutions that might be the ones that produce evidence vis-a-vis the russia story. >> and add to that, an effort to intimidate, try to put pressure on these agencies, trying to put pressure on the media, exclude them from the press conferences. all of this is part of a calculated strategy. put that pressure and intimidation on them in the hopes that they will lay off. >> senator dick durbin of illinois, appreciate it. >> good to be with you. coming up, darrell issa's realtime moment going further than any other republican calling for a special prosecutor to investigate possible contacts between the trump campaign and russian officials. why he's going out on that limb and will anyone else join him, next.
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we're going to ask the intelligence committees of the house and senate to investigate within the special areas that -- >> independent prosecutor. >> you cannot have somebody, a
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friend of mine, jeff sessions, who was on the campaign and who was an appointee. you're going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office not just to recuse, you can't just give it to your deputy that's another political appointee. you have to do that. >> california republican senator darrell issa called for a special prosecutor to investigate special ties between the trump's campaign and the russian government. tonight he's saying that he recommended an independent review. the congressman is still going further on this issue than most republicans right now, which to anyone familiar with darrell issa is pretty shocking. issa has earned his reputation as a hard-right partisan warrior. coming to national attention for spearheading the recall of democratic governor greg davis in 2013 and during his four-year reign during the house oversight committee, issa launched right-wing conspiracy theories
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about the obama administration. but if you look at how congress issa's district voted last year, his new found willingness to cross party lines is not quite as surprising. after all, he eked out a win by just over 1600 votes and crucially he's 1 of 23 house republicans whose districts went for hillary clinton. the congressman avoided meeting with his constituents, skipping a town hall planned by voters who wanted to talk about obamacare. he knows he'll be facing a tougher race for re-election next year. joining me now is rick wilson. rick, i thought that moment was fascinating for issa. he's a fascinating figure. i find him actually quite dynamic and compelling in his own way. >> sure. >> this is a guy who six years ago, even four years ago was not the hardest of the hard core and not sounding the way i expected him to sound.
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>> i like darrell issa a lot of i think he's one of the brightest guys in congress and i don't think this was simply him reading the tea leaves. it's going on in the minds of a lot of members that won't come out and say it. they are petrified right now that leadership is going to lose their minds if they upset the apple cart on the most important thing on the universe, which is the tax cut bill. and if they cross that line, they're afraid that a lot of the check list items they've been wanting to accomplish for a very long time will go away. but i think darrell issa was probably having a little more historical memory than a lot of guys in congress looking back at 1964 that realize a lot of republicans, over 40 of them, almost 49, i think it was, lost their seats because the perception was they were defending nixon's corruption. there were democrats in 1994
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whistling past the graveyard and nothing is wrong, it's okay, it's cool. and then republicans in '06 and '08, they ignored these things until it was too late. they placed a big bet that the public had a higher tolerance and if these things go south, a lot of these guys are going to be holding the dirty end of the stick and darrell issa was walking towards doing the right thing on this although i'm sure it sounds like somebody from leadership got ahold of him and said, hey, now. >> i thought to myself, we were having a debate about -- did he go out and say this and then wanting it back and the sort of partial walk-back strikes me as part of what you're saying. my sense is exactly the way you lay it out, which is the thinking around the house republican leadership is, we've got a once in a generation chance to go through this punch
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list, particularly on taxes, which frankly i think is the real priority here. and anything you do to distract -- >> it's the only priority, chris. >> exactly. >> anything you do from that will take away the political capital we need to get that done. >> that's exactly what i'm hearing from folks within the organization. and they are petrified that trump will collapse before this is accomplished. they really look at this as a singular moment. they dread the obamacare question right now, that the dog is caught in the bumper of the car and being dragged pretty hard by that one. >> right. >> they're looking at the tax bill as a single moment where republicans can have a giant take home and say, we did this and it set the economy in the right direction, et cetera. we can argue about that all day but that's certainly what they believe inside. and the fear of crossing this white house is another element right here. they don't want the proverbial mean tweet from donald trump.
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>> on one side you've got the class of 23 house republicans that i have like a file on my desk that i'm always looking at. because they are, in some ways, the most fascinating creatures and then you have the lesson of 2016 which was the people that tried to distance themselves from donald trump, fell by the wayside, the ones that stuck with them did okay and you've got to think they're torn between those two impulses as they are navigating the politics of it right now. >> you know, i've used this analogy before. it's a grizzly one. these guys have to be lucky every time. if it turns out that the intelligence committee knows something about trump's contacts with russia, knows about the communications between his staff and russia, these things are going to end up to the detriment
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of those in congress who say it's cool, we're good. it's fine. no russia. >> they are also hanging themselves on things they possibly can't know which is the larger danger. >> yeah. if you want to make a bet against the intelligence community on this, it may not be the wisest political play because at any moment there are things that have yet to come to light, there are elements of the trump team's communications and relationships with the russians, not just in the intelligence side but also in the business relationships, et cetera, that could come out in ways that with more granularity than they have so far and they are going to be stuck holding the stick on it. but they've made that decision and that calculus right now. they are going to try to ride the lightning on this thing up through and until the moment that transcripts are coming out.
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>> rick wilson, thanks a lot. appreciate it. >> thanks, chris. up next, gop is considering drastic measures to make good on their year's long promise to repeal obamacare but is president trump on board? that's right after this quick break.
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house speaker paul ryan has said that this would be the week republicans introduce legislation to repeal obamacare. but there is still, somewhat remarkably, no sign of a consensus plan for what comes next. one draft proposal leaked to politico would shrink the
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medicaid expansion making it more expensive for sicker and poorer and older people. here's the thing. house conservatives have already come out against that bill for not going far enough. according to an analysis, millions of people could lose their coverage. things are getting more desperate for the gop that republican leaders are betting the only way for congress to actually repeal the affordable care act is to set a bill in motion and gamble the fellow gop lawmakers may block it. on friday, the president met with his one-time rival john kasich who opposes the drastic changes posed by hard liners in his party. his views made an impression on president trump. the governor made his pitch while the president called in top aides and then got health and human services secretary tom price on the phone. at one point, jared kushner
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reminded his father-in-law that house republicans are sketching out a different approach. "well, i like this better," said trump, according to a kasich adviser. trump revealed himself in remarks this morning, he's just now discovering what everyone knows who knows anything about health care already takes for granted. the policy is hard. the politics are even harder. >> we have come up with a solution that's really, really, i think, very good. now, i have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. >> nobody knew that health care could be so complicated. the biggest obstacle of republicans seeking to repeal obamacare are the millions of americans that continue to benefit from the law. they're not going to let it go quietly and one of them joins me, next. the urinary symptoms o.
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i could tell you three members of my family, including me, that would be dead, dead and homeless if it was not for aca. [cheers and applause ] >> one of many angry constituents who confronted their lawmaker last week over republican plans to get rid of the affordable care act. that was at a town hall with tom
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cotton. today, president trump dismissed the people who say they've been fitted from the law. >> people hate it. but now they see that the end is coming and they're saying, oh, maybe we love it. there's nothing to love. it's a disaster, folks. okay? >> joining by a survive of breast cancer. general see, i thought of you when i saw that clip. i follow your writing about surviving breast cancer and the role that the aca has played. when he says maybe they love it, there's nothing to love, what do you say? >> there's nothing to love about cancer and the experience of going through cancer, if we're lucky to survive it, it's brutal. but the affordable care act or obamacare for me meant that i was able to get the life-saving treatment that i needed. you know, it's funny. here's where i just got a blood draw today at my oncologist. i actually came from my cancer doctor to talk to you about this. i asked my wonderful cancer
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doctor, who was an nih researcher and chose to go into clinical practice what she would say if she could talk to president trump. she's saved so many lives in the clinic. she said two things. it's really important that, for instance, planned parenthood, other clinics that offer low cost and no cost cancer screening. if that gets wiped away, we're going to see a lot of people that don't get diagnosed until much later stage when the treatment options are limited. i remember this vividly. drug costs. when i was receiving cancer treatment, i remember there was one very important drug that kept me from vomiting. and when you're going through cancer, if you aren't able to keep down food, it's not a good thing. that drug costs 800 bucks a pill before the affordable care act and right now those kinds of prescriptions cost something that i can afford. look, the bottom line is this.
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this is an imperfect system, the affordable care act was a compromise as everything in politics is. this is better than no protections at all. i know men and women who died early, who died bankrupt and whose quality of life was destroyed by the fact that they did not have access to affordable care. when you have to choose between your rent, your food, your children's food and your cancer treatment, you're not living in a civilized nation. i remember in america where we cared about the lives of our people. it's not okay to turn cancer into a political football. >> do you think -- two things. one is, do you feel that -- i feel like i've watched an activation happen among the folks who have interfaced with the law who, before this election in some ways, didn't have reason to mobilize. the law was the law and they had to navigate it and lord knows
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it's always frustrating. do you feel there's a change in the posture that folks like yourself have in their political engagement on this? >> you know, what president trump said about, well, nobody knew, nobody knew that health care was so complicated, i don't want to mock him about that because frankly i felt the same way before i was diagnosed december 1st, 2011. i was tweeting the whole experience to the world like i do with everything. don't be afraid, i'm a little too young for a mammogram but i thought i would go ahead and do this since two of my other friends, you know, in their late 30s and 40s were diagnosed around that same time. i was diagnosed that same day. i had no idea how brutal the costs before the affordable care act would be. but i've learned. i've had the experience of cancer before and after aca and there's a very big difference. i no longer wonder when i show
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up to the clinic if somebody is going to have to come out and say from billing, your insurance company thinks you might be engaged in fraud, maybe you had a pre-existing condition that you didn't tell us about because they did that within the first couple of months of my diagnosis. i had no idea that somebody like me, a good, clean living vegetarian yoga doing health nut could get cancer. that's why it's so important that everybody have equal access to health care. it is demuhammeddehumanizing. and it doesn't just affect people with cancer now. many of your viewers will be affected by it. some of your viewers who think this will never touch them, i want there to be access for them, too, not just me. >> this is a key point to think about. part of what i find really worrisome but on moral and political levels, this idea that, well, if we can just put the sick people into their own sort of system, the higher pools
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or whatever, the rest of us, the healthy ones, we can pay lower premiums. of course, those are not fixed categories. >> no. >> people move between them, which is the entire point. >> yes, it certainly is. i mean, i don't know what they want to do. have leper colonies for those not able to afford chemo. we're not going back. and i'm grateful that because -- thanks, obama, for helping me live. thank you to all of the politician who is decided that political expediency was less valuable than american lives. i believe there's enough sane, compassionate people alive. aca is not a handout for lazy people. i didn't work so hard for chemo to have this taken away. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you, chris. still to come, what will it be like in the room during president trump's first joint address to congress? we can expect how democrats might react.
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plus, thing 1 and thing 2 starts right after this break.
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thing 1 tonight, president trump clearly still smarting over the sheer number of people who keep turning out to protest his presidency, tweeting out over the weekend, "maybe the millions of people who voted the make america great again should have their own rally. it would be the biggest of them all." and then bernie sanders said, "they did. it wasn't." today, trump fans have a do-over called the spirit of america. it was built as massive. so just how massive were they? looking at some of the footage, it turns out, maybe not so much. thing 2 is in 60 seconds. from the minute i wake up...
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it was meant to be a rallies of nationwide and billed as a massive show of support for fans for president trump. the rallies may have been nationwide but massive, not so much. these are photos from sunny stewart, florida, and a wet bellingham, washington, and a cloudy atlanta, from south carolina to north carolina to illinois. none of which appeared to show that many people. organizers say a couple hundred people did show up in denver. "the new york times" puts the total number of rally goers around the country in the quote, hundreds. to put that in context, the day after trump took office, an estimated 3 million plus people took to the streets across the country.
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tomorrow night, the president will go before congress not with the state of
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the union address. he won't make another one of those for a year but with a joint address to congress. such an address is sometimes made in special circumstances as when president barack obama not yet eight months into his term after the town hall craziness of that summer went before congress to present his health care plan and this moment ensued. >> they're also those that claim that our reform efforts would ensure illegal immigrants. this, too, is false. the reforms that i'm proposing would not apply to those who apply here illegally. it's not true. >> not only was congressman joe wilson not right on the substance, the president was telling the truth and wilson, was, well, lying, that moment was widely condemned by both parties as an unprecedented breach of decorum. the house approved a resolution of disapproval after wilson refused to apologize to his colleagues on the house floor.
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wilson ended up fundraising on that act. and now a similar situation is facing republicans in the fall of 2009. it's fair to say that this president is unlike anyone in history. how democrats deal with that reality, next. this is the silverado special edition. this is one gorgeous truck. oh, did i say there's only one special edition?
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as you know, more than 60 democrats either boycotted or skipped the president's inauguration. what kind of reception do you think the president will get tomorrow evening from democrats in the house and senate when he gives this joint address? >> well, i hope a robust and applause-filled reception. >> it's being billed by the white house as optimistic. >> i forgot who said this. someone said that there's going to be a huge amount of political incentive for somehow democrat to have their own joe wilson moment tomorrow night because fevers are very pitched, there is tremendous desire on the part of the democratic base for outward signs of resistance.
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what are you expecting? >> well, here's the thing, chris. if someone on the democratic side decides they're going to go with trump, this is not barack obama. this is not george bush. trump was likely going all to attack the person for seven minutes. you have to be careful if you go after donald trump. he can spit. they boo when necessary, they don't stand when they say certain things and leave their comments afterwards. i don't think you want to get in a battle with trump when he's in his element on national television. >> i continue to be fascinated by the weird hybrid of sort of paul ryan, mike pence republicanism and the bannon, steven miller stuff. what ratio are you expecting in this speech tomorrow? >> by the way, steven bannon is hanging down in a close set
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because trump feeds on overreaction. i remember about a year ago when then nominee donald trump were amazed by how little he understood the concept of article 1 of the constitution and the specific powers of congress. i think a lot of them are going to be sitting there wanting to know, hey, is donald trump actually going to be talking to us, is he going to be working with us, is he looking to provide us guidance, is he going to cut our tires, is he going to kneecap us on all of this? we're in a very interesting moment where the president is going to try to showcase all the things he's done and there's no legislation, there's no infrastructure package. there is no tax reform. not just not pass, not even propose. and you can really sense the uneasy -- >> there's not a one-sheeter. there's not three bullets to put on my screen on my show to say this is what the white house is proposing.
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>> exactly. as a result, all of these congressional republicans are holding their fire. they're being pounded at the town hall meetings but can't turn around and say, well, this is what we plan to do because apparently they haven't gotten the call from the white house yet. >> there's two things i wonder about here. how problematic this is, do they have the wherewithal. there's something sort of vaguely comical about bill clinton famous for these long and involved granular wonky speeches, risk corridors and high-risk pools. that seems like completely off the table, right? >> yeah. yeah. it's not likely. look, trump is at sort of a school house rock level whereas clinton and obama were sort of at a dissertation level. i believe the 11 points that the republicans have put out now, he's going to talk about america, making it safe, revitalizing jobs and infrastructure. i think it's going to be a general campaign speech. because as of right now, it
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doesn't appear that donald trump can give anything other than a campaign speech. and i think at some point, maybe not tomorrow night, maybe not in a week, congress is going to get tired of that, republicans and democrats, because they need an actual plan, not just more commercials. >> that's the point. >> but nobody knew. >> here's the things, charlie. most speeches are performance. they're not really acts. right? so usually it's rhetoric. there's actually some thing that needs to be done tomorrow night from the president if he wants to kickstart any kind of legislative agenda. >> yes. he wants to kick start it but there's no indication that he's about to roll something out. the fact that today he's saying nobody had any idea how complicated health care. really? nobody? here's a guy who said how easy it was going to be. you can imagine how that played with the mike pences and the
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paul ryans on the world to hear this president say, whoa, who knew this was going to be this complicated? he's got to make up his mind on all of this because, again, the theme is going to be the time for rhetoric is done. we now need to act. okay, mr. president, where is the beef? have you actually made up your mind? and there are these reports that steve bannon is concerned about the political price of doing something meaningful with obamacare. it's got to ramp up the senate and house republicans. >> this is so indicative of the kind of thing that's happening in congress. take a look at richard burr not answering questions about the russia investigation. >> what's your reaction to the concerns from the vice chair of the intelligence committee? >> was it appropriate for me to talk to reporters about this?
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>> you guys have great timing. >> jason, they are taking politically bullets for him right now and that's the other subtext of tomorrow night. >> yeah. and i think a lot of this -- you know, every member of congress, there's fireworks and everything going on in the background when it comes to russia and what they really need tomorrow, if there's one thing the president can do, he can say i will have your back. i will not take advantage of you. i won't attack you and i will understand this process because they're defending him on the wall. >> right. >> they're defending him on the immigration. they're defending him on russia and at some point they're the ones facing the consequences. they are not hiding out in washington. he needs to show republicans that he supports them. >> charlie sykes, jason, thank you. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now.
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>> thanks, chris. and thanks to you at home for joining me at this hour. happy monday. i'm going to join you, this a block, the show has evolved where i've done a big a block and it ends with an exclamation point. this is one of those a blocks. you have not otherwise been hearing about this in the news, but stick with me. this is worth it. check this out. okay. let's say you are a thief. you've stolen a bunch of money or maybe you're a crook and you have obtained a bunch of money through illegal means through drug dealing or fraud or prostitution or something. or let's being very discrete about it. let's say you somehow have amassed a large amount of money and you just don't want to talk about where it came from. in any of these hypothetical circumstances, you're no