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Franken: Obama Did Nothing About Russia Because He Didn’t Want To Put His Thumb On The Scale


Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), in an appearance on Morning Joe Monday, said then-President Obama did not do anything about intelligence reports showing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election because he didn't want to put his thumb on the scale. "Of course, actually, yeah, I think they did think Hillary would win," Franken said of President Obama's handling of the Russian meddling reports. "And I think they didn't want to look like they were putting a thumb on the scale and that's why they didn't do more. I wish they had, obviously." "I actually think that the president thought that since Trump was saying the election was rigged, he didn't want to seem like he was putting his thumb on the scale," Franken said. SEN. AL FRANKEN: Of course, actually, yeah, I think they did think Hillary would win. And I think they didn't want to look like they were putting a thumb on the scale and that's why they didn't do more. I wish they had, obviously. And what's interesting now is I think this is, is this the first that Trump has acknowledged that Russia did this? SCARBOROUGH: Yes. (LAUGHTER) SCARBOROUGH: You were talking about it earlier, I referenced Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. We also have been talking about Barack Obama's extraordinary Jedi mind tricks. Where he comes out of retirement, he comes down from the Jedi temple where Luke was, and all he has to do is just wave his hand and Trump admits the health care bill is mean, and admits that Russia's meddling in the election. Doesn't listen to the CIA or the other 15 intelligence agencies; he listens to Obama. FRANKEN: Well, not only that he has not, we've gotten testimony that he didn't talk to Comey about it. SCARBOROUGH: Right. FRANKEN: He hasn't talked to Spicer about Russia meddling. He hasn't talked to Jeff Sessions about it. We have to stop this from happening again. SCARBOROUGH: Right. So let me ask you, why didn't we stop it the first time? Why didn't the Obama administration in September tell us? Because it seems to me we had a right to know in September that the Russians had invaded our country in a sense, in a cyberwar and they were trying to influence our elections. I would have liked to known that in September. FRANKEN: I actually think that the president thought that since Trump was saying the election was rigged, he didn't want to seem like he was putting his thumb on the scale. SCARBOROUGH: But he was Campaigner in Chief. FRANKEN: I know, but he didn't want to look the Thumber in Chief. SCARBOROUGH: Right. FRANKEN: So I think that was part of it. Also they're dealing with it and they were weighing a lot of different options, cyberattacks on them. They obviously didn't play it right. Look where we are now.

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Dem Rep. Kathleen Rice: Pelosi’s “Time Has Come And Gone”


Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) explains why she believes it is time for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to relinquish her leadership position. From Thursday's Morning Joe: JAKE SHERMAN, POLITICO: Congresswoman, who would you put at the top of your party? I mean, a lot of people talk about Pelosi's fund raising prowess, her allies oftentimes say she's criticized because she's a strong woman. What do you make of those attacks? And who do you think should be the top House Democrat? RICE: Well, that's not going to be for me to decide, but we have to as a caucus, have this conversation. And — look, I'm not going to pretend this is an easy conversation to have. It's not easy speaking truth to power. Nancy Pelosi was a great speaker. She is a great leader. But her time has come and gone. Yes, she's a great fundraiser, but if the money that we are raising with her — through her leadership is not helping us win elections, then we have to have this difficult conversation now. BRZEZINSKI: Sam Stein. SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Congresswoman, Sam Stein here. Do you think that's unfair to Nancy Pelosi? I mean, basically, what you're adopting is the framework of the conservatives who criticize her? That she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal. Do you believe that criticism, yes or no? And if not, why are you adopting it as a rationale for getting new leadership? RICE: The rationale for getting a new leadership is we are losing and we have been losing since 2010. STEIN: Yes, but you — RICE: That's it, OK? STEIN: Hold on. You said you need new leadership at the top. Presumably you mean someone else to lead the party other than Speaker Pelosi. And the question is, do you believe she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal? And if not, why are you adopting the Republican's framework for her? RICE: I do not believe she's an out-of-touch San Francisco liberal. I believe that she is not the leader for the future of the Democratic Party. It's that simple. Do I think it's fair? Do I think it's fair that the Republican playbook over the last four election cycles has been attacking Nancy Pelosi and demonizing her? No. That's not fair. Nor is it accurate. But guess what? It works. They're winning. So, we have to address that reality. STEIN: And to address it, you think the best thing to do is just cut the cord? I mean — RICE: There comes a time in every leader's life when they have to know that it's time to leave and usher in the next generation of leaders. And I personally believe that that time is now. Look, I thought the time was last November. And I was very vocal about it. This is not personal. I have enormous respect for Nancy Pelosi, enormous respect. But I want to win. It is not fun being in Washington when you're in the minority. I think that — you know, we're about to see the Senate unveil a health care plan that is going to take 24 million people — it's going to leave 24 million people without health care. It's going to decimate the drug treatment for addicts who are in the middle of the biggest heroin, opioid epidemic that we've ever seen in this country. It's going to increase fivefold premiums for seniors at the time when their costs should be shrinking. Now, I can sit here and complain about the health care bill that they're going to release today, and I will, but it would be much better and I would be more effective — we would be more effective as a party if we actually had a seat at the table, and right now, we don't. The way we get a seat at the table is to take back the majority and speak to the American people and protect middle class voters and people all across this country who need to be represented. Rep. Rice: Pelosi's Leadership Not Taking This Party Where It Needs To Go

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Dem Rep. Swalwell: Fight To Be Waged In Washington Is Against Republicans, Not Pelosi


MSNBC: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) discusses former Jeh Johnson's testimony, Russian hacking, if Trump campaign wasn't colluding but staying out of Russia's way and why US is more vulnerable to Russia now. He is also asked about the future of the Democratic party under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. MIKA BRZEZINSKI: OK. I want to ask about the sentiment about the concern that Leader Pelosi should not head up the party. You stand with her. Tell us why. REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): I do and I hate losing, and losing earlier this week didn't feel too good. However, there's a fight to be waged in Washington right now and it's not with ourselves. It's against the Republicans mean health care plan, as described by President Trump. So we took a district that seven months ago we lost by 23 points and we came within just a couple of points this past Tuesday. That tells me that the battlefield should be expanded as we go into 2018 and if we stand up for people, for their jobs, for their kids, and for their health, that we can take back the House in 2018. Watch the full interview:

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McCaskill: No Democratic Obstructionism Going On, Republicans Don’t Want To Work With Us


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we went and got the single greatest health care plan in the history of the world, we would not get one Democrat vote. Because they're obstructionists. They're obstructionist. If we came to you and said here's your plan, you're going to have the greatest plan in history and you're going to pay nothing — they'd vote against it, folks. (END VIDEO CLIP) BRZEZINSKI: I mean, I'm not sure really how to formulate a question out of that. But your response, please? MCCASKILL: Well, that's just dumb. It's just dumb. I mean, of course we want to fix health care. Many of us have been trying for several years to put fixes in place that would stabilize the individual market. But our colleagues were interested in using Obamacare or ACA as a political 2×4. They wanted to win elections with it. Because health care is hard, and obviously we made mistakes and things do need to be fixed. BRZEZINSKI: Sure. MCCASKILL: But this notion that we don't want to work with them — I think I have, you know, he's every Cabinet person he puts up, many of us have voted for several of them. I think I've voted for more of his Cabinet nominees than I've voted no. We want to work with him on infrastructure. There's not obstructionism going on here. There is a failure of this administration to forward enough nominees to keep us busy. And there's also a failure of Republicans who want to work with us on either health care or tax reform.

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Joe Scarborough: Media And Political Leaders “Have To Let People Know We’re All On The Same Team”


"The heated rhetoric in this country needs to calm down. We've been saying now for over a decade," 'Morning Joe' host Joe Scarborough said the day after the Tuesday morning shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise at an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field. "That is actually the purpose of this show — for you to have a debate and get along at the end." "There is a disconnect in American society… culture… and politics, driven in part by social media, driven in part by heated cable news, driven in part by fake news on the internet, driven in part by hatemongers, who actually make money and become fabulously wealthy making conspiracy theories that paint the other side as evil," he continued. "After Gabby Giffords [shooting in 2011] you had cable news presidents firing some of their more extreme voices. And I remember everybody over at Fox News on the right, MSNBC on the left at the time, telling everybody: You've got to calm down. This is for real. There are guard rails you've got to put in there." "We've been awfully hard on President Trump," he added. "I want to salute the president for what he said yesterday. I want to salute the members of Congress… the New York Times, the right and the left, about talking about the need to dial this back." "We have to let people out there know that we're all on the same team."

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Mika: What Bill Clinton Did To Sex In The 90s, Trump Is Doing For ‘Decency,’ ‘Conspiracy Theories,’ ‘Fake News’


MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski compares "what Bill Clinton did to the issue of sex for an entire generation" to how President Trump is normalizing lack of "decency" and buying into "conspiracy theories" and "fake news." Editor's note: Bill Clinton's prolonged public quibbling over the details of the Monica Lewinsky scandal is presumably blamed for the liberalization of public attitudes towards sex since the 1990s? "You are desensitized if you even argue with that," she added.

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