Swalwell thinks President Trump 'missed an opportunity to tell' Putin 'we know that you did it'

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11:22 | 07/09/17

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Transcript for Swalwell thinks President Trump 'missed an opportunity to tell' Putin 'we know that you did it'
President trump, Vladimir Putin on Friday, big meeting of the week. Lots of questions about what happened in that room. Some answers as well. Let's talk about it with Katrina vanden heuvel, editor and publish of "The nation." "Wall Street journal" columnist, author of "False black power?" Jason Riley and democratic congressman Eric Swalwell and representative Tom Cole and, Katrina, let me begin with you. We've heard from the president this morning. His tweets about the meeting and heard from Vladimir Putin and Steve mnuchin. If you sort through it, everybody is saying, it appears they basically said let's grow to disagree about what happened to the election and let's move on. It sounds like that. I think but to step back I think perhaps even more important, there was a dialogue established at a time of deteriorating u.s./russian relations. I think it is in America's national interest to have a working partnership with Russia and they propose to cease-fire, we've seen cease-fires fail in Syria but thousands of lives may be saved and the destabilizing refugee flow is in Europe which were subject to the g20 may be halted. I think you need a working partnership to halt nuclear escalation, nuclear proliferation to combat terrorism so I step back, the nation set -- the nation leads the resistance against trump. I don't see this in the context of the two men but in America's national ierest to have this working partnership. That makes sense but, Eric Swalwell, the price is soft pedaling Russian meddling. I think the president missed an opportunity to tell Vladimir Putin we know that you did it. It won't be tolerated. There's a price to pay and that you can't do it again. And instead he still can't definitively say it was solely Russia that attacked us. As we go into another election regardless of what happens with the collusion investigation, we have a responsibility to secure the ballot box and I don't think Americans have that assurance. I too wish the president had been more forthright in calling Putin out on this but I also think this is the sum of trump's dealings with Russia. I think on policy, he's been much stronger here. I mean, against Russia's objections he supported Montenegro's entry into nato over the objections of Russia putting reins on the ground in Bulgaria to defend against Russian aggression in eastern Europe. We're unleashing oil and gas production. Russia does not like this. They need high energy prices. Putin needs high energy prices so policywise I think trump is moving in the right direction and that's where he is projecting strength. The president did call out Russia in that Warsaw speech. I think that was the highlight of the speech and agree with senator Cruz on that. Dramatic place to do it given the history between Poland and Russia to mention the Ukraine, to reinforce article 5 inside a nato country that's actually meeting its 2% and, frankly, has fought with us multiple fronts. I think that was very, very powerful thing to do and much more substantive. I think the Putin meeting was more about the two people understanding one another staking initial positions but hopefully varying a working relationship. Agree with Katrina on that. I do think, of course, foreign interference in elections is unacceptable. We have a special counsel with a very abl legal team pursuing that. We have congressional investigations. But I think, you know, you step back and I have to say as a Progressive, you know, I worry about a new cold war. I mean former defense secretary William Perry says that the nuclear catastrophe is more dangerous than it was during the first cold war. We live in an era of nuclear amnesia and been reminded we cannot. I do believe diplomacy, tough diplomacy in our national interest is effecve and I do believe we may disagree here that as a Progressive cold wars empower the worst forces in our society. They fatten military industrial budgets, they close space for the dissent I think is needed and we saw in Hamburg, of course, so I am outlier but I think we need to restore a sense of what is imperative in terms of halting -- we're at risk of military conflict and accidental conflict in replaces around the world. No one wants a cold war. The question, are we acquiescing to too much Russian aggression. One of the points I would bring up there you look at the g20 meeting no statement condemning the north Korean missile tests likely because China and Russia objected. Sure. Right. These are strong men that understand action, though and I think policywise that is what trump is showing again striking military bases in Syria, Russia's ally in the Assad regime is not something Russia appreciates and trump is doing that. You know, trump's critique of his predecessor was that America was not projecting strength abroad and that the bad guys were noticing and trying to take advantage of that. He's trying to stop that from happening. For the last decade this sum has been an opportunity for America to demonstrate exceptionalism on the economy, on national security, on the environment. The g20 summit as a whole. Yes, and we didn't see that the president had an opportunity to work with other leaders to show people at home he's for their jobs and health care and also when it comes to securing our democracy, it was really alarming that he struck an agreement on cybersharing with Russia when the French who were just attacked were at the summit and Germans have an upmany coming election. Even Marco Rubio calling him out on that. I think we don't know what the substance of the agreement is yet and I think it's a little bit prema there. I would prefer a working relationship. One where we understand the dangers and understand who is and what Putin is but one where when we can find common ground we do it. I think that's what the president did and had a really good week. Sam Nunn released an important letter, June 27th before the g20. He talked not about a partnership with Russia but reviving a treaty on cybersecurity. We need that. We talk about hacking elections. The trump administration is defunding the federal election assistance commission which should be strengthened. But think about the stories we've heard about possible hacking of nuclear utilities. This week. It could move toward hacking of command and control systems. Of strategic arsenals. We need rules of the road and we need an international mul multilateral agreement on north Korea there is no viable military option. And I think Bill Clinton from 1994 to 2000. I think all previous negotiators on the North Korea agreement understand that there is a way forward but it will require diplomacy which I think too many have forgotten. But no good options right now. I do want to move on to the domestic front and health care. Seemed like a pretty tough recess for a lot of your Republican colleagues. Great to be a member of the house out there and watch senators for awhile. Is this going to come back to you or is it dead. I don't think it's dead at all. Frankly I met with some senators before the break. They were much more optimistic than the public -- Before the break. Before the break but, look, I don't think opinions will change that much on that. It really is going to get down to whether or not the ideas, for instance, that senator Cruz is advancing can bring people together. Whether or not there's enough extra money in there and there appears to be to address a lot of the problems and concerns that individual members have. So, yeah, look, they got 45, 47 votes, the last thee or four really are down to what's the individual concern, can we get you the fix that gets you there. And if anybody can get that done Mitch Mcconnell can. There are faces now to what the affordable care act means, I think over the past few years as the Republicans have talked about repeal, repeal, repeal those stories haven't been told. I was at a farmer's market in my district. A woman came up to me and said my husband has cancer, our costs have gone down sins affordable care act. Those people are being heard and that's why you're seeing pressure in the senate. You're hearing senator Mcconnell say he's willing to work with Democrats if this fays. Is he going to have a partner. I hope so. There's eye lot we can do to strengthen it to make sure places where there is not enough competition that you can put the risk -- What are the conditions? We never see what the fixes are. I mean, Democrats have talked about that for a little -- we need some fixes and, okay, tell us what you would propose. But so I think it's more rhetorical than real. I think it's an opening for Democrats to -- if the history of reform in this country really operated with an obstructionist Republican party, it isn't, history of social security. You build on it. An opening for Democrats to talk about health care as a right and I think it's an opening to begin to fight for medicare for all which would include the united States in the western industrialized nations, it is more efficient. 60% of Americans according to a ugov survey would like to be part of such a thing. It's an opening to begin to fight for that. Jason, howadly does president trump need this? Almost every modern president has had a major legislative success. I think he needs it very badly and I think that Republicans are learning that the political cost of trying to roll back an entitlement will be too high. I think the basic infrastructure of Obamacare is here to stay. They'll tinker with it -- This repeal isn't a decent fallback. I don't understand how you sell. How do you in 2018 you go to voters and say we voted to repeal eight endelay any implementation of a replacement. You're giving Democrats a huge talking point. Republicans just took away, voted to take away your health care with no plan to replace it yet. How irresponsible. That's a tough two-step. We don't disagree. That's my position well stated. But I'll say this, I mean if I were presented with repeal I would still vote for it but, you know, I think Mcconnell is right and the president took this position, the leadership has taken this position consistently. You don't tear down one system until you something to replace it with. That's responsibility. It's a measure of a Republican party in the wilderness for seven years this was the mantra, repeal and replace and now we see how empty that was. I think in any functioning democratic system to go to the voters with what is on the offer now would be political suicide in 2018. The Republicans have been so focused on the failure of the exchanges and you're right, they have not worked but the real anxiety I think they're learning coming from the people who gain insurance through medicaid. Medicaid. Then as they -- the anxiety of those folks in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, states that the president won, his voters are worried of what's going to happen to medicaid under the Republican plan and that's the biggest thing. Anxiety of uncertainty. The uncertainty that hangs over the dinner table every night for so many families about what health care will look like next month. That's, you know -- Most people frankly get through their employer. That won't change or medicare. That's not going to change or regular medicaid. That's not going to change. We're talking about a comparatively small portion of the market here and I think it's actually very confusing in discussion that's been as if everybody is going to have mass -- No, but medicaid -- Down, though, we miss a chance to reform and entitlement program. Medicaid's ex-penzs are growing at unprecedented ways. This is an opportunity to do so. That will be the problem here? We'll end on that point of agreement with you two and probably disagreement with you two. We'll be right back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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