tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC May 24, 2017 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
the great laura linney and richard curtis. thank you. >> tune in tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. for the red nose celebration on nbc. you can donate at rednoseday.org. that's hart ha"hardball." "all in" with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on "all in." >> everybody has got to be covered. this is an unrepublican thing for me to say. >> the trumpcare scare. >> what we have is something very, very incredibly well crafted. >> tens of millions to lose coverage. higher premiums next year. and massive tax cuts for the rich at the expense of health care for the poor. >> seniors could see their premiums go up by as much as 800%. >> tonight, full analysis of what trumpcare would mean for america and why it could cause a political earthquake. then "the new york times" reports american spies recorded top russian officials discussing how to influence trump aides.
and the "washington post" scoops that russian disinformation may have inspired comey to intervene. >> it makes me mildly nauseous. >> when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. on the eve of the special election in montana, which was already way too close for comfort for republicans there, we have breaking news at this moment. from bozeman, montana, where the republican candidate for congress has reportedly assaulted a reporter covering the race. greg gianforte is the republican candidate for montana's lone at large congressional seat running in tomorrow's special election against democratic candidate rob quist. guardian reporter ben jacobs has been out in montana covering that race. and just after 7:00 eastern, jacobs tweeted the following. greg gianforte just body-slammed me and broke my glasses. ten minutes later, jacobs tweeted, there was a local tv
crew there when gianforte body slammed me. audio is posting soon. naturally we reached out to jacobs, confirmed this was not a joke. we've also reached out to the gianforte campaign to get their version of events. we await a response. there were witnesses, however, and we have one of them on the phone right now. alexis levinson of buzzfeed was in bozeman and saw the confrontation. alexis, are you there? >> hey, i'm here. >> okay, alexis. what did you see? how did this go down? >> so ben and i drove over to this event. it's at the gianforte campaign headquarters. we walked in. it's a bunch of people making phone calls. we had both been requesting time with him. it was clear they were not psyched to give ben time and not entirely clear on why, but one of gianforte's aides indicated there was some sort of issue with some prior -- they had taken some sort of issue with
something the guardian had written about the race previously or done about the race previously. and then gianforte went into kind of a side room off this little area where people were making calls. there was a tv crew set up in there, a local tv crew. ben kind of walked in as we all do to kind of listen in on everyone's interviews. and i wasn't really paying attention. all of a sudden, i heard this huge crash, like really alarming. this is 15 people in like a small kind of room. and i saw someone's feet fly in the air. then i heard yelling, and it was pretty clearly gianforte a voice from what i've heard him say before, and he said something to the effect -- and i gather ben has audio, so he'll have a more accurate read on this. but it was something to the effect of, get out of here, get out of here. are you from the guardian? this is the same damn thing the other people did. and then someone slammed -- i may be a little off on the timeline with the rest of it, but in some particular order
someone slammed the door and then opened the door. ben came out. his glasses were broken. he said, he just body slammed me. he sort of stood there stunned for a second. an aide went into the room, came back out, told ben, you need to leave. and gianforte and an aide walked into another room, closed the door. everyone just sort of sat there silently because everyone in the room had heard all of this. ben went outside. cops were called. paramedics were called. on the way to the hospital, the police or sheriffs are interviewing people. i have to go do like a formal witness interview. >> police and fire came. ambulance came. ben was taken -- >> ben is in an ambulance. they were saying he's fine. you should definitely talk to him about this, not me, but they were saying he's fine. they obviously advised everyone to go to the hospital after something like this.
and gianforte went into a room with aides. everyone kind of went behind closed doors. there were a lot of aides coming and going. gianforte went out. i didn't see him for a while. my understanding is i think he might have been talking to the police. there was the police -- the emt guys said someone was talking to the police. they didn't specify who. he disappeared for a while. i started to go back inside and saw that gianforte was in the passenger seat in a car with two of his aides. i asked the aides what was going on. they didn't answer, and got in the car and drove away. the sheriff's department is still here interviewing people. >> i just want to make sure i have this right. this was a campaign event that was in just a campaign headquarters, so it's just volunteers around like making calls, right? >> yeah. so this was -- it's on his official press schedule. this was supposed to be just his final campaign event before election day, a thank you for volunteers. it's at their campaign headquarters in bozeman, which is in sort of this office park in bozeman. it's just a lot of volunteers sitting and making calls. >> they're sitting there makes calls. the side room that he goes into
is a side room which a local tv network had set up, a short of shoot for an interview. when ben went in that room, was in just ben and gianforte in there or were a bunch of other people in that room? >> i believe the tv crew was in there. they were in there when i saw before. >> so people saw this? >> ben sort of -- it was sort of like a -- you know, we all do this when tv crews interview a candidate. you sort of like stand there if you c -- so you can get the audio as well. they tend not to want to give endless interviews on the same thing. the door was wide open. so -- >> he doesn't even duck in to like go ask a bunch of questions. he's there to lurking to listen to the interview? >> i saw him duck in. >> not that asking questions would mean that he deserved what happened, but just to clarify -- >> i can't speak for what happened in the room because i -- i didn't try and go in. i was sort of just standing there. but i heard the crash, and i saw his feet fly. >> and he came out and said,
with broken glasses in his hand, he just body slammed me? >> yeah. >> and then the candidate went into another room with an aide and was behind closed doors for a while? >> yes. >> and then the police came. ambulance and fire came, and the police -- the sheriff's office are now taking witness statements right now? >> they just took one from me, and they said they had to tell me to come somewhere to do a formal interview. >> all right. thank you so much, alexis levinson, live from bozeman, montana. we should note we have talked to ben jacobs. we expect him to call in at some point in the show. now, it was already a bad political day, i think it's fair to say, for republicans on capitol hill. big news tonight on the efforts of the republicans to dismantle the affordable care act. the non-partisan congressional budget office just released its analysis of the latest gop health care bill. almost three weeks to the day after republicans passed it out of the house. with no cbo score and in some
cases no time for members to even read the legislation. and now weeks later, the bill is finally coming due. according to the gop, the republican plan would increase the number of people without insurance by 14 million? just one year. that would go to 23 million over a period of ten years t. would reduce the deficit by $119 billion over ten years, slightly less than an earlier version would have done, while premiums are projected to decrease somewhat overrule, they would skyrocket for many people in states that opt out of certain coverage requirements under a late compromise added to that bill. as vox's sarah cliff pointed out, the cbo estimates that in state requesting ahca waives, premiums for low income elderly enrollees would go up 800%. even before these numbers came out, the republican health care bill was already deeply unpopular. just 32% approved of it compared to 55% who disapproved. the cbo score comes little more than 24 hours after the white
house releases their budget proposal generating negative headlines. rural nebraska would take a hit under the trump budget. trump budget axes program that funds west virginia infrastructure programs. and in alabama, cuts in trump budget proposal would slash some local programs. as we noted yesterday, something for nearly everyone to dislike, including republican lawmakers. on capitol hill today, white house budget director mick mulvaney faced a grilling from gop congressman mark sanford over the proposal's unusually creative accounting. >> you have said that the foundation of your budget is 3% growth, and i have looked every which way at how you might get there, and you can't get there. and what this does is it -- it creates real debates. myself and democrat colleagues can see things quite differently. but for us to have a real
debate, we have to base it on real numbers. this budget presumes a goldilocks economy, and i think that that's a very difficult thing on which to base a budget. >> the trump budget is also taking heat for a massive $2 trillion math error which uses the same pool of money twice for two different purposes. amidst a special counsel investigation into possible collusion between the president's campaign and russian meddling in the 2016 election coupled with mounting evidence the president may have committed obstruction of justice by trying to impede that investigation, republican lawmakers would love nothing more than to get back to their domestic policy agenda. but that agenda may carry an even greater political cost than the president's russia scandal. for the first time in the trump era, democrats just flipped two state level seats winning special elections in new hampshire, and new york state. we're now less than a month away from the special election in georgia's sixth congressional district in which the republican health care plan has been a central issue. new polling there puts democrat
jon ossoff at 51%, seven points ahead of republican karen handle. as we mentioned earlier, voters go to the polls tomorrow in that montana special house election. it will be an uphill climb for democrat rob quist. the president won the state by 20 points, but as politico reports, republicans are concerned the race is much closer than it should be. quist was campaigning with bernie sanders, and health care was at the top of the agenda. >> to my mind, in the greatest country on earth, people should not have to go bankrupt due to health issues. people should not have to go bankrupt. >> rob understands. you understand, and i understand that health care is a right, not a privilege. >> joining me now, senator bernie sanders of vermont. senator, you were just in montana with rob quist. big rally venue for this special election. and i'm just curious what the core issues that campaign are turning on right now.
>> i'll tell you what it is, chris. it's health care. in montana, if the republican health care plan goes through, not only will 23 million americans lose health care, but 70,000 people in the state of montana, and that is a real concern for older people in america, in montana, premiums would soar. people would lose access to planned parenthood. 2.5 million women. and medicaid would be cut by over $800 billion. so i think rob quist, by the way, is running a great campaign, and i think he's been focusing on this disastrous what he calls un-american health care plan. >> do you think -- i mean the cbo score out today is in many ways appreciably different from the first one, about what everyone expected. but what do you think about the political ramifications for these numbers coming out after they already voted for and passed the thing? >> i think it's a disaster for
the republicans, you know. i think what it's about is that they're going to have to go back to the drawing board. i don't know how, if you're a republican congressman, you go home to montana or anybody else, anyplace else and say, look, the cbo has just said we're throwing 23 million people off of health insurance. you're an older worker, 63, 64 years old, your premiums are soaring. you're a woman. you have gone to planned parenthood for years. we're not going to allow you to do that anymore. so i think that this is a disaster for the republicans, and i think quist is quite right in campaigning on this. >> so there's also the budget, right? and the budget is -- >> that's right. >> the budget is interesting because it shares a lot in common with the acha, and all of it is very paul ryanism. it's what you would expect. >> no, no, no. chris, let me beg to differ with you. this is not paul ryan. this is the koch brothers. this is the ending in their view of 70, 75 years of programs designed to help the working people of this country, the
elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor. that's what this is about. this is about massive, massive, massive tax breaks to the top 1%. trump has 3 trillion -- that's with a t, $3 trillion in tax breaks over a ten-year period that go to the top 1%. listen to this. this is unbelievable. the walltton family, the wealthiest family in this country, would get a $53 billion tax break as a result of the repeal of the estate tax at the same time as they're going to throw millions of children off of health insurance. they're going to do away with the meals on wheels program. they're going to do away with or cut significantly the wick program for low income pregnant women and their newborn babies. can you imagine? $53 billion in tax breaks for the richest family in america. massive cuts in nutrition,
education, health care for working families. >> i want to ask you about, you say the koch brothers and obviously they sort of funded a huge part of this movement, produced these kind of ideas and also politicians individually. but it also strikes me someone like mick mulvaney, who wrote this budget by all appearances, genuinely believes in what he's doing. i mean the republicans who are proposing this, it is not politically popular, and it just seems to me they have affirmatively chosen this because they genuinely believe in the project they are engaged in. >> well, i wouldn't go so -- the answer is yes and no. they believe in it, but it doesn't hurt that the koch brothers, over many, many years, have spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars propping up and creating think tanks and all kinds of so-called nonprofits and putting unbelievable amounts of money into political campaigns. so what their view is, my perception is, they understand they're cutting medicaid,
cutting pell grants, cutting nutrition programs, very politically unplafopular. but on the other hand, they have unlimited sums of money from the billionaire class behind them to go after -- democrats go after anybody who stands in their way. >> so here's a question then politically in terms of where this goes next. we've had a hard time finding republican who's will talk about the trump budget and defend it. it's not politically popular. you have republican colleagues of yours in the senate saying it's dead on arrival. they also said the same thing about this health care bill that got scored today, but there's also news that senate republicans are talking behind closed doors. they're not going to reach out to democrats. are they going to essentially do what the house did and spring a bill? is that your anticipation? >> hard to say. you're right in saying that there are a number of republicans, all males, i should tell you, working behind closed doors. on the other hand, they have
also been trying to reach out to some more conservative democrats who are not biting. >> hmm. >> this has a lot to do with the so-called reconciliation process, whether they're going to need 60 votes, whether they're going to need 50 votes, that we don't know at this point. but i think -- i think frankly that they are walking into a real political quagmire. the american people do not believe in $3 trillion in tax breaks for the top 1% and massive cuts in programs for working people, the elderly, you know, the children. that's not what the american people want. >> what's striking about all this is they could produce with some tweaks things that would be more popular. even on the tax side, they could put a lot more middle class tax cuts in there and sweeten the pot for popularity's sake. it's sort of striking that they're not. >> no, these guys are going forward. i think you have to give trump and his colleagues a bit of credit. they are going forward. they are going to implement the koch brothers' agenda, massive tax breaks for the people on
top. the hell with the middle class. the hell with working families. those folks are not within their area of concern. >> all right. bernie sanders of vermont, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. right now we have ben jacobs. that's the guardian reporter in bozeman, montana, who has been covering the congressional race that is set to have an election tomorrow, who says he was body slammed tonight by the republican candidate, greg gianforte. ben, are you there? >> i'm here. thanks for having me. >> are you okay? >> i'm going to get my elbow checked out. i landed on my elbow, and it's less than comfortable. i'm making sure that it's okay because i'm one-handed typing right now. >> so you were at this event. it was at a campaign stop with volunteers. and there was a room that the candidate was in. he was going to do a tv interview. take us through what happened. >> so that he was doing a tv interview, and i'd been pressing the campaign for a few days to
speak to gianforte one-on-one. and they told me they decided in the past they weren't. and i just figured he was standing around there and just reach out and get his response to the cbo score, that he had been talking about that he'd been holding off his opinion on health care until he saw the cbo score. but went up and asked him about it and sort of said -- you know, just followed up and said, you've been talking about this. just wanted to get your response. and then he sort of said, no, i've had enough. and next thing i know, i'm being body slammed. and he -- you know, he's on top of me for a second. my glasses are broken. it's the strangest -- the strangest moment in my entire life reporting. >> you walk into the room, and you say, i'd like to get your -- i want to get your response to the cbo score. >> yeah. mm-hmm. >> does he just do -- does he scream and raise his voice while
he does it, or he just body slams you. >> the audio says -- i talked to my communications person. he grabs my recorder, and the audio should be up right now on the guardian. and, yeah, throws me down. my glasses break. he sort of, i think -- i'm pretty sure he's on top of me wailing for a second, and then screams at me to get the hell out. and then his staffer comes in and it's just very strange and mortifying because, you know, i'm used to -- i don't mind being blown off by politicians, and i also am always terribly uncomfortable being part of a story. and now it seems like i became the story. >> you've been covering this race. you've been there covering this race, and you tweeted the other day -- just to give you a context, that rob quist, who is the democratic candidate, ran away from questions that you were trying to ask along with npr and another reporter.
you've been trying to get these candidates, who my sense is both of them have been kind of shying away from national media as much as they possibly can. >> yes. they've been both kind of playing defense and sort of avoiding questions and avoiding any sort of contact with the press. you know, they both have committed their fair share of gaffes, and -- yeah. i think they've been trying to keep away and was hoping to get the most basic statement on the cbo report and wasn't expecting a -- you know, i think i wasn't expecting detailed policy. but then again i also wasn't expecting to be body slammed. >> what happens after -- are there other people in the room aside from you and gianforte when this happens? >> yeah, there are a couple of local tv people. alexis levinson was standing outside the room and sort of watched me walk in there, and i guess it sounds like then
watched me go from vertical to horizontal relatively quickly. >> i want to play the audio for the folks that are watching this and for you as well just so -- this is your audio, so you can hear it, relive it, and the folks at home can listen. take a listen. >> -- the cbo score because you were waiting to make your decision until you saw the bill. >> we'll talk to you about that later. >> i'm just curious -- >> okay. speak with shane, please. >> i'm sick and tired of you guys! the last guy that came in here you did the same thing. get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here. the last guy did the same thing. you with the guardian? >> yes, and you just broke my glasses. >> the last guy did the same damn thing. >> you just body slammed me and broke my glasses. >> get the hell out of here. >> you'd like me to get the hell out of here. i'd also like to call the police. >> can i get your guys' names? he just body slammed me.
>> whoa. >> yeah. >> so what is he referring to when he says some guy just did -- i mean it sounds like he was -- another reporter had try to come in? clearly he has a scheduled interview with one outlet that -- >> this was long before that this wasn't -- there weren't mikes. this he were standing around. the reference is to colleagues of mine who were in montana a couple weeks ago, and i should have had the issue they put out, they actually did a video on the race, and i think they were unhappy with dealing with my colleagues. and this apparently -- i'm not sure of the detail and the mind set, but apparently, you know, they were -- they just decided that they had reached their limit of questions from the guardian. >> after this happens, what did
you do next? >> i went actually to the parking lot and the car and sort of -- you know, really just sort of figuring out what was going on. i made two calls in that order, which is to my editor and to the police. >> and the police came, and they talked to you? >> yes, they did. i'm actually -- actually in the hospital right now about to get my elbow x-rayed because i landed on my elbow, and it's not -- you know, not exactly, you know, 100% shape right now. >> did the police -- we talk totd alexis before. it sounded like the sheriff's office had people there who were taking witness statements. did gianforte's aides or him himself say anything to you after that? >> no. gianforte left shortly thereafter. they asked me to leave and then between the police and the
paramedics, i was sort of not quite paying attention to anything else. >> all right. ben, i want to thank you for making time, and i truly hope your elbow is okay. >> i -- i -- it's not my pitching arm, so i should be okay. >> okay. ben jacobs of the guardian, who you just heard his account, he says, of being assaulted by the man who is running to represent montana in the united states congress the day before he will be on the ballot in the special election there. greg gianforte, who did this in response to a question from ben, according to ben and to the audio that we just heard, about the cbo score on the ahca. ben jacobs, i hope you get a clean bill of health. thanks for making time tonight. i appreciate it. >> thanks. >> i'm joined now by jennifer r rubin and stephen ratner. we were going to talk about the budget, but i feel like,
jennifer, have you ever heard of such a thing in your time in politics? >> this is absolutely stunning. first of all, that he would be threatened apparently by a meek question you heard on the audio, a very politely posed question. and there are ways of manner in which candidates say i don't want to talk to you or, as he initially did, go talk to my communications guy or scram. but to physically accost someone, throw them down on the floor, potentially injure them -- what is wrong with this man? i mean this is really sort of appalling. and i do want to say that there is a cost to continually berating the meeting. there is a cost to labeling these people, myself included, enemies, the opposition, continuing to berate them, calling on crowds to hoot and holler at them. you create an atmosphere in which these people are not
treated like human beings. and although i'm sure the president did not intend for this particular candidate to do this, that is the end effect when you begin behaving that way. the fish rots from the head. the tone of the politics of the country is set by the president of the united states. >> well, steve, i want to go to your reaction because you've been in public life, in and out of the private sector in government. but i want to replay, if anyone is just joining us now, replay that audio because it's pretty stunning. take a listen right now. this is ben jacobs. >> you were waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill and it just came out. >> we'll talk to but that later. >> there's not going to be time. i'm -- >> speak with shane, please. i'm sick and tieshd of you guys. the last guy that came in here did the same thing. get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here. the last guy did the same thing. you with the guardian? >> yes, and you just broke my glasses. >> the last guy did the same damn thing. >> you just body slammed me and
broke my glasses. >> get the hell out of here. >> you'd like me to get the hell out of here. i'd also like to call the police. can i get you guys' names? he just body slammed me. >> you got to leave. >> steve, that's -- first of all, you've been around reporters not willing to answer questions. i've gotten the brush off from people, you know, an aide stands in the way. sometimes it gets a little physical. have you ever, ever seen or heard anything like that? >> no. i would just agree with everything jennifer said. i won't repeat it all, but i've never in all my years of being around politics, as you say, in public service in one form or another and even as a reporter in my youth, have never seen anything like that. and so the interesting question will be how the residents of montana react to this. as you pointed out, trump did carry the state by 20 points, but steve bullock was elected governor by four points over gianforte. >> against this candidate, yes. >> yes, this very same guy.
so it is a state, at present, they have elected democrats. it will be interesting to see how the voters respond to this tomorrow. >> i would also note, and not to link what gianforte did to what the actual topic was. but this was a question about the cbo score of the ahca, and the ahca has been a central part of this campaign. and gianforte has essentially tried to be neutral on it. he said he was withholding judgment, which to me, steve, shows the kind of political -- if the public running the outlier seat in montana can't four square stand behind the house's bill, that tells you something. >> the health care -- the reaction of the country to the health care debate is really quite extraordinary. donald trump has accomplished something that frankly barack obama could never accomplish, which is he's made the aca, the obamacare legislation, achieve a majority of popularity. there was a fox poll i think
just out today. 54% of americans approve of the aca, which is the highest i think it's ever been. so as people have seen these numbers, have gotten to learn about the ahca, the republican alternative, have learned how this would all work, it is actually working, i think, very substantially to the republicans' disadvantage. i think you're going to see a lot of republicans running away from this bill and running away from these kinds of changes. >> jennifer, the significance to me of this being a question about the cbo score that prompts this response, i mean, you know, he does not want to answer a question about the cbo score under the ahca. i think that's clear from the audio. >> right. i want to make one point about the cbo score that i hope doesn't get lost because of the news coming out of montana and the general uproar over the budget, which is entirely justified. paul ryan, the president of the united states went to congress, went to the american people and said, oh, this amendment, the
meadows macarthur amendment, we've taken care of people with pre-existing illnesses. that is precisely what the cbo points to as a factor that will make not only 800% increases in premiums for such people, but make it totally unavailable. and i think this is a lie that the republicans have to answer to. the chumps in the republican conference who switched their vote because of this amendment need to be held accountable. and taking a vote before you had the cbo score at all is just the height of irresponsibility. and it offends me as a republican, as someone who believes in governance, that they would play these games on issues of such importance to the american people. it really is disgraceful. >> final question to you, steve, about the $2 trillion error or attempted con. i don't know which it is. but they basically double count $2 trillion worth of projected
savings that aren't even built themselves on realistic expectations. how obvious was that to you when you first looked at this? >> it's actually worse than $2 trillion. i was actually on the call when mulvaney briefed the press as i guess a member of the press in my spare time. and, in fact, what they did was they did not count any costs from the president's $5 trillion to $6 trillion tax cut plan. so, in fact, there's 5.5 trill dollars call it, of lost revenue that is nowhere in this budget. in fact, what this budget comes down to very simply is $3.6 trillion of proposed spending cuts, most of which will never get through the democrats in the senate who have a block on a lot of this stuff, and $5.5 trillion of tax cuts that as bernie sanders said heavily go to the rich. in fact, this budget they claim will be balanced in fact creates
$2 trillion more debt over the next ten years than the last obama budget. so it is a complete -- i've followed these budgets for i think 40 years since i was a reporter, and this is the most egregious use of numbers i've ever seen in my entire time. >> all right. jennifer rubin, and steve ratner, thank you both. i want to do some updating on the breaking news story out of montana that we brought you at the top of this hour. ben jacobs, reporter for the guardian, who was in montana covering that was at an event with greg gianforte. he's the candidate running in that at-large congressional special election that is tomorrow. he's the republican candidate running against rob quist, the democrat. we played you audio of ben jacobs at this campaign event walking into a room where an interview had been set up with a tv crew and asking him for reaction, gianforte, to the cbo score on the ahca. and you heard the audio, and you heard ben say that he was body slammed by the candidate. i want to give you now a statement from the campaign.
this is the gianforte campaign statement from bozeman. tonight as greg was giving a separate interview in a private office, the guardian's ben jacobs entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in greg's face and began asking badgering questions. jacobs was asked to everyone la. after asking jacobs to lower the recorder, he declined. greg then attempted to grab the phone that was placed in his face. he grabbed his wrist and spun away from greg, pushing them both to the ground. it's unfortunate that this aggressive behavior from a liberal journalist created this scene at our campaign volunteer bbq. that was shane scanlon, spokesperson for montana. we should play you the audio that documents the exchange, and you can decide for yourself whether the account given by the campaign is accurate. so just take a listen to that. >> you know you were waiting to make your decision about health care until you saw the bill, and it just came out. >> we'll talk to you about that
later. >> but there's not going to be time. i'm just curious -- >> speak with shane, please. >> i'm sick and tired of you guys. the last guy that came in here, you did the same thing. get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here. the last guy did the same thing. you with the guardian? >> yes, and you just broke my glasses. >> the last guy did the same damn thing. >> you just body slammed me and broke my glasses. >> get the hell out of here. >> you'd like me to get the hell out of here. i'd also like to call the police. can i get you guys' names. >> you got to leave. >> he just body slammed me. >> you got to leave. >> again, we have that campaign statement from republican greg gianforte's campaign that he was -- had a phone shoved in his face, that he tried to get the phone unshoved from his face as it were. after asking jacobs to lower the recorder, greg attempted to grab the phobe that was pushed in his face. jacobs grabbed greg's wrist and
spun away from greg, pushing them both to the ground. again, you can sort of make your determination based on that audio that we have. there may be video at some point since there was a tv crew in there, but that is the latest. a fairly remarkable situation. i have to say i've been a reporter for 15 years or so and have gotten brush-offs from politicians a lot. i've gotten pushed here and there by aides who didn't want me talking to someone. things get a little testy sometimes. never anything like the account that we just heard from ben jacobs. and the polls open tomorrow morning for that election day. there is early voting that has been taking place. but the final election day in that special election, which will feature that individual, greg gianforte, who just lost an election in november statewide. that will happen tomorrow morning. we will be back with other big news in this very, very, very packed news day right after this break.
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once again, today "the new york times" and "washington post" with big new scoops about the trump administration. the times reporting that top russian officials discussed how to influence trump aides last summer. much more on that in a bit but to the post report which centers on did former fbi director james comey get fooled into going rogue in the campaign by a fake russian intelligence document? officials say the document played a big role in comey's decision to make a public statement about the hillary clinton e-mail investigation last july, setting in motion a chain of events that many observers believe cost clinton the presidential election. the document in question referenced an e-mail that was supposedly sent by the then-chair of the democratic national committee where she indicated that former attorney general loretta lynch, who was presiding over doj at that time, had promised that the justice department would not aggressively pursue the e-mail investigation. but the post now reports that according to the fbi's own assessme
assessment, the document was bad intelligence and accordipossible sent to confuse the bureau. joining me now, karoun demirjian. this is a little complicated so i want to sort of walk through this. comey at some point, they're deciding how to deal with this investigation and how to deal with lynch. and fbi gets this document that you report on that says what? >> it's analysis by russian intelligence. it says that there is this e-mail as you explained just a minute ago from debbie wasserman schultz to a member of the clinton campaign team describing how -- excuse me, from debbie wasserman schultz to an employee of the oakland society foundation describing how loretta lynch has been in touch with a member of the clinton campaign team and telling them she's not going to let the probe into clinton's e-mails go too far. that's basically what's set out here and that's what falls into the fbi's lap. then the question is the
discussions that happened in trying to determine what the intelligence value of that document is. what we learned is that by august, they had determined that it was unreliable, that it is not something that should have been counted on in any way because unreliable is a fairly straight assessment of the lack of reliability of the information therein. we found out several months later this was part of the explanation for why he made the decision in early july to push lynch to one side basically and announcing the end and the closing of the probe into clinton's e-mails, which is the reason he then cited in october for why he had to come out and address leaders in congress to tell them, knono, actually we'v come across new things. >> i just want to be clear about this document. it purports -- it's a russian intelligence report in which the russians say they have seen an e-mail that they've acquired. >> that's how it's described to us, yes. >> right. that says that debbie wasserman shilts is saying and writing to someone, oh, don't worry about the probe. we've been assured by lynch's people that they're not going to
dig too deeply? >> sort of. basically she is telling somebody from open society foundation, so she's the sender. ben ar doe is the recipient, and the content is alerting him that loretta lynch is talking to somebody on the clinton campaign to make sure the propose doesn't go in that direction. you've got dnc talking about attorney general, talking to clinton campaign staffer, and it's in an e-mail that's going from dnc chair to open society foundation's employee. a lot of characters. >> the key part to what you said, comey is deciding how to interact with lynch, and they take this seriously that lynch is compromised basically. this is from the times reporting on comey. the document complicated the calculation according to officials. if ms. lynch announced the case was closed and russia leaked the document, comey believed it would raise doubts about the independence of the
investigation. this document was key in comey making that fateful decision. >> the question is was it because we learned about that from "the new york times" report in late april. but what our reporting found was that in august they were aware -- by august at least, they were aware that the intelligence value of it was unreliable. so in easterrly july, did they believe it was reliable and that was influenced their decision as it was prernlted in "the new york times" article, or was this just explains as a decision making factor to us later on because, again, the public only became aware of it in april. was it used to explain after already knowing it was unreliable as justification for a decision that had been made. the question is, is it the fbi kind of got duped by something that was unreliable and they didn't quite know that yet, by is bad in one way, or did they decide to use something they knew was unreliable to explain a decision that was made earlier. >> as cover. >> that's a question that we cannot answer and did not try to answer in the article. but what we learned about the document in question, which was
presented as a -- not the only impetus for making that decision. there was that meeting between lynch and bill clinton on the tarmac also. but one of the two key factors in making the decision, which role did it play, and was it bad intelligence that fooled people at the fbi, or bad intelligence that was used by the fbi later to justify the decision that was made? >> thanks for your time. appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, more on the other breaking news tonight. the top russian officials discussed how to influence then candidate trump through his advisers. which advisers they were looking at ahead.
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describing his concern about possible russian influence of trump campaign officials, saying he would save further remarks for the classified portion of his testimony. now as we mentioned earlier, "the new york times" is reporting that american spies collected information last summer revealing that senior russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over donald j. trump through his advisers. according to three current and former american officials familiar with the intelligence. the conversations focused on paul manafort, the trump campaign chirm at the time, and michael t. flynn. joining me now yahoo investigative correspondent michael isikoff and kevin mcown. michael, the striking thing about this report is they're openly discussing what appears to be some efforts to penetrate, infiltrate or compromise those around trump. >> right. and, you know, look, in some
ways this is not surprising. it's what the russians do. john brennan made that point yesterday during his testimony, that they would try to leverage any contacts they could think of to gain some access, to gain some influence. what it does underscore is that the problem of having people like paul manafort and michael flynn in such high-level, key roles in the campaign given their backgrounds. >> right. >> this was all well known. we were writing about this last summer, even before when paul manafort came on. his association, longtime association with the pro-russian political party -- >> the manafort finances here are crucial, right? it was something you reported on, and you have experience, ken, in sort of looking at the ways in which money is moved around, particularly russian money, which flows in incredibly
byzantine and dark channels. >> well, that's true and much of it flowed through paul manafort and his association with others close to putin. but just to follow up on what michael was saying, the trump campaign and trump himself knew exactly who they were hiring when they hired paul manafort. it wasn't a mistake. he was not a big player in u.s. national politics at the time. he was a big player in the ukraine, where he was a chief adviser adviser. so trump and the trump campaign knew well that manafort would be a direct conduit to the inner circle of putin, and that was part of the resume that most attracted trump and his staff.
>> does that sound right to you, michael? >> yeah, absolutely. you know, look, in fact, i mean ken played a part in this. he filed a lawsuit on behalf of the former president of ukraine which laid out real estate deals that manafort had with a russian who is now under indictment by the justice department. in addition manafort, as i reported last year, had a business deal that went sour with another pro-putin oligarch in russia. it was known and brushed aside by the trump campaign when we raised it. but it's not a surprise to learn that the shrussians knowing all this, knowing these relationships, would try to exploit them to the hilt.
we should add "the times" story makes clear they don't know, we don't know to this day whether those efforts to exploit these relationships -- >> right. >> -- how far they went and if they went anywhere at all. and it is also striking that here we are ten months later after this intelligence came in and we're still at the same point in terms of public knowledge. we know these contacts were out there. we know they raised concerns, but we don't know what happened as a result of them. >> and, also, part of this is that if you bring manafort in to manage your campaign there are certain things you can expect him to do in terms of the way the campaign relates to russia independent of whether he's, quote, cluedi incolluding with . >> and he influenced it in a pro-russia fashion at the convention where michael covered. >> right. >> they watered down the ukrainian republican national
platform and also manafort was a reassurance to putin and the russians that trump would keep a pro-russian course to be sure the investors, which were primarily russian at that time, that trump would be friendly and favorable given the amount of investment that the russians and ukrainian money and oligarchs had in the trump campaign. >> which has been said before and reported in dribs and drabs though we don't have a definitive accounting that would be in the tax returns. thank you. we will have more details on the news out of montana, that remarkable story after this break.
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congressional election tomorrow appears to have, according to ben jacobs, a reporter for "the guardian," assaulted that reporter when he asked him a question about the cbo score. here is the audio. take a listen. >> the cbo score because you know you've been waiting to make your decision about health care until you you saw the bill, and it just came out. >> we will talk to you about that later. >> i was just curious -- >> speak with shane, please. i'm sick and tired -- the last time you did the same thing. get the hell out of here. get the hell out of here. are you with "the guardian"? >> yes, you broke my glasses. you just body slammed me and broke my glasses. >> get the hell out of here. >> i would also like to call the police. can i get your names? >> hey, you have to leave. >> the gianforte campaign blamed jacobs himself saying he grabbed
greg's wrist and his aggressive behavior create add scene. joining me now a former deputy assistant secretary of defense msnbc national security analyst and tom ricks who writes the best defense and a new book called "churchill and orwell -- the fight for freedom." you said you had some thoughts. >> watching this, listening to the tape, brings me back to the 1930s, the use of political violence to subdue people and the vocabulary word today is un-american. it is un-american for a political candidate to knock down a reporter asking an uncomfortable question. it's also un-american for a president to go overseas and cozy up to autocrats. what being s american is, what is american activity and what's un-american. it's un-american, also, to take money from foreign governments. >> evelyn, to tom's point about
going overseas there were reporters kept out of some of the saudi events, there was frustration with that. this is a president who has repeatedly praised people like erdogan who has some of the most hard crackdowns on the press anywhere in the world at the moment. >> it's disturbing to see this happen in america. i want to add something about gianforte. he has about a quarter million dollars in index funds heavily invested in kremlin-owned russian companies sanctioned by the u.s. government. apparently in 2014 when he could have and should have divested he doubled down. we need to look at those who want to represent montana who are doing things investing, putting their money in areas that are counter to u.s. interests. the russian government is using the results, the returns from those investments, to fuel their military invent tourism in
ukraine and elsewhere. >> you're a veteran reporter and you've covered so much. i wonder if there's a sense the relationship with the press and politicians is always contentious, but i lose perspective. from your perspective is it particularly toxic right now? >> it is. there are limits to behaviobeha. you're right to wave your arms around at the beginning of my nose. we're seeing those limits are changing now. we're in a time of political disequilibrium not unlike the 1030s with orwell and churchill. their great contribution they look for the facts and they were willing to criticize their own political allies. >> and orwell also sort of felt the poison coursing through
politics. >> he came back and said the shock to him nobody was telling the truth about it. it was fake news. he expected that from the right-wing newspapers but was shocked from the left wing, also. >> evelyn, it's striking to me the campaign doubles down in the sense who are you going to believe, this liberal reporter or us. >> yeah, again, we have a real problem here with credibility and with people using and abusing the press. i think "the guardian" reporter had every right to ask his question and not get beat up. we need leadership providing good examples. that gets to what was being said earlier because clearly the president has not shown a good example to the people down the ticket. >> evelyn farkas, and one of my favorite writers, someone i always make sure to read
everything you write, a new book on orwell and churchill. qu"the rachel maddow show" star right now. >> thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. there's a lot going on tonight. we are looking ahead to a big election tomorrow, congressional election that really on paper ought to be a shoo-in. in this day and age, who knows? that congressional race tomorrow was already a big political question mark before the news broke tonight that the republican candidate in the race appears to have attacked, physically attacked, a reporter tonight on the eve of the election. the reporter in question here is ben jacobs who writes for "the guardian" newspaper. ben jacobs is an experienced, well-known reporter. i'll tell you just in terms of this building lots of people who work here at msnbc and at nbc know him
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