tv Inside Politics CNN January 8, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PST
yards in a playoff game. seattle dominates at home, 26-6. now, they go to atlanta next saturday to play my former team the falcons. it will be a battle of the birds, one to watch. might have to get you over to your first nfl game there, victor. what do you think? >> first nfl game. >> thanks, coy, and thank you so much for sharing your morning with us. >> "inside politics" with john king starts right now. a new intelligence report says point blank put put personally ordered a massive cyber campaign to help donald trump and to hurt hillary clinton. >> i don't think we've ever directed a more aggressive campaign. >> after weeks of mocking u.s. intelligence agencies
president-elect trump calls for tougher retaliation. >> plus, president obama prepares to say farewell. >> i look back on the last eight years with enormous pride. >> vice president biden is also heading home, but not quietly. >> grow up, donald. grow up. time to be an adult. you're president. >> "inside politics," the biggest stories sourced by the best reporters now. >> welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thanks for sharing your sunday morning. a big week behind us and a giant one ahead as the americans prepare for transition from democratic president barack obama to democratic president donald trump. donald trump will have his first press conference in five months and will surely be asked on the report that slad mire putin launched a cyber campaign to hurt hillary clinton.
>> it's very important for the united states to understand what happened here so we cannot only safeguard our system, but we can also make sure that we inform others, and by exposing this publicly we may make mr. putin more reluctant to the future to go down this path because their activities are being uncovered. >> fascinating to hear what the president-elect says about that report. the sitting president heading home to chicago for a farewell address, one last effort to shape his legacy and the big policy debates now facing the new washington. >> we didn't get everything we wanted to get done. i think we're well positioned for the future, and my hope is that not just the president-elect but the incoming congress looks honestly at everything that's been accomplished. >> plus, donald trump's victory is now official. some democrats protested as the electoral college votes were officially recorded with the congress, but in one of his last official acts, watch this.
vice president joe biden shuts them down. >> is there a signature from the senator? >> there's a signature from the house of representatives and -- >> the objection cannot be received without a signature from the senator. is it signed by a united states senator? >> we're seeking a united states senator. >> in that case the objection cannot be received. the objection cannot be received. >> mr. president, the objection is signed by a member of the house but not yet by a member of the senate. >> well, it is over. >> bick smile from the republican speaker there when the democratic vice president said and he's correct it's over. with us to share their reporting abby philip of "the washington post," jeff zeleny, mana raju and jackie kunzic of "the daily beast." i'll ask my guests for a little patience and embark on what's likely a fool's errand. set aside your partisan reflex for just a moment and consider this sentence. quote, we assess with high
confidence that russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in the 2016 aimed at the u.s. presidential election. the consistent goals of which were to undermine faith in the u.s. democratic process, denigrate secretary clinton and harm her electability and potentially presidency. we further assess putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president-elect trump. there's more, a lot more, and that's just from the unclassified public report prepared by the cia, the fbi and other top u.s. intelligence experts. president obama knows the full story. he received the classified evidence not in that public report. >> one of the things that i am concerned about is the degree to which we've seen a lot of commentary lately where there are republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in vladimir putin than fellow americans because those fellow americans are democrats. that cannot be.
>> does that include the president-elect? >> well, what i will say is that, and i said this right after the election, we have to remind ourselves we're on the same team. vladimir putin is not on our team. >> vladimir putin not on our team, sis the current pect. president-elect trump's reaction is different, no promise of sanctions or condemnation, just a pledge to make cyber security a top priority so a quick appeal to those of you watching who are trump supporters. he tells you not to believe people like us, but if he wants to question our honesty, doesn't he owe you the truth? this is part of his twitter reaction to the russia hacking report. quote, intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. voting machines not touched. that is not true. you can read it yourself. the report says no such thing. it does say there's no evidence russia hacked voting machines or in any way changed the count and that's important, but
intelligence agencies explicitly say they have no way of judging whether the release of hacked e-mails and promoting neighboring news might have affected voters' decision. the president-elect's tweet, again, you can check this out, at a minimum is highly misleading and that's part of the debate. he gets the classified briefing everybody was waiting for and a lot of conservatives were hoping that was his post point, that he would come out and say i've got my briefing. he has every right and every reason to say it didn't affect the results. i'm the president. i'm going to be president. he has ever reason to say that for those who are trying to question the legitimacy of his win, but he says nothing about this will not be tolerated. i will stand up to russia. i will either keep in place or accelerate, strengthen the president obama sanctions, nothing. >> what's worse is the statement that the trump transition put out came out just a couple of minutes after the doors closed on that meeting with intelligence officials, and that statement did not acknowledge
what the report says pretty strongly which is that russia and only russia was responsible for this. it said, as trump has been saying for months, it could be russia. it could have been china. it could have been someone else, and just the inability to acknowledge that one aspect of this, putting aside the impact of the election, putting aside a lot of these other more inflammatory issues but just the question was russia slowly responsible for them. the trump transition and trump himself is still unwilling to say that even after this report and that's really, really remarkable. >> because it's still about donald trump. it's not about the country. it's not about going forward, how these, a should be prevented. it's not about -- it's just -- it isn't about the bigger picture right now, still. even after the intelligence briefing, and it's striking, you're right. that statement came out right after the meeting. it was pretty baked. seemed pre-baked and there was
some misunderstanding when it came out that said he acknowledged it. he didn't. he's not acknowledged it, and it's just another example of him digging in and not letting new information change -- >> the statement says russia, china and others routinely try to hack and may have hacked the democratic national committee. trump says the democratic national committee, it's its own fault, didn't have a tougher fire wall. the democrats should have done more to protect the systems. that's not the point. the big point is that a foreign actor that does other things on the world stage contrary to u.s. interests, trump doesn't try to do that, did meddle in our election. >> this is the first big fight between trump and republicans in congress. already you're seeing this play out. not just from john mccains of the world who are russia hardliners but republican leadership is on the side of people like john mccain. they are going to be in a difficult spot going forward, and on the issues specifically of sanctions, imposing stiffer sanctions, something that congress needs to approve and something that's going to be
pushed. how does trump deal with stiffer sanctions. he tweeted over the weekend that people are stupid for not wanting closer relations with russia. there's a push for tougherer sanctions against russia, that's going to make relations worse, so does trump come out and oppose sanctions? that's going to be a big fight. >> unclear if he's even going to least current sanctions in place. you're absolutely right. republican senators, this is something and house members, one of the first buzzsaws he's going to run into because to a person people, republicans cannot believe why he is doing this. they believe he's being played by putin, and interestingly if you read the report, and you should read the report, people. >> it's not that long. >> that's a quick thing. it also talked about how moscow thought secretary clinton was going to win, they thought at the end of the campaign she was going to win so they were going to try to sort of, you know, shape the conversation and denigrate her so it's a fascinating read about fake
news. >> and denigrate our system by saying it was rigged, by saying the cake was baked which who echoed those thoughts throughout the campaign. this is why people scratched their heads and said what's trump's end game you? mentioned the tweempts i want to bring them in because, again, a lot of the leadership, mccain and graham and others have been vocal, a lot of leadership has tried to mute it. vice president-elect pens says we'll bring him around. heel get there. here's the tweet. having a good relationship with russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. only stupid people or fools would be bad. we have enough problems around the world. when i'm president russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will perhaps work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the world. now hits set aside the only stupid people if you disagree with donald trump that's what he calls you, dishonest and you're in the media and he disagrees with you. again this, conflates or misdirects from the key issue. there's nobody saying the united states should not work with
russia in syria. no one is saying the united states should not work with russia if the details of the iran deal come up and things like that. no one says the united states should not work with russia on a host of issues, but they are saying as you work with them you also have to be honest about what -- what about georgia? what the crimea and what about the slaughter of innocent children in syria? what about other steps that russia has taken to be open and honest about their activities that run counter to u.s. interests? >> and the people saying this the most strongly it cannot be said enough are republicans. people like tom cotton in the senate who has been largely supportive of trump, you know. he said this week russia is not our friend for any number of issues because they do things around the twhoorld are unacceptablunaccept ab able and nobody else does and trump can have a position of i want to improve relationships. that's a place that obama came in. he wanted to reset russian relations. that's not in and of itself a bad thing but you have to have sort of a more open mind
about -- about the reality of the situation and put put is an ideological warrior for his own interests and interests of russia. he's not trying to play patty cakes with the united states. he's playing a long game, and -- and trump has to demonstrate on some level that he recognizes that, that he understands the complexity of that situation. >> and john, what's going to be so instructive are the confirmation hearings for the national security team. how do they respond to questions about russia? general james mattis for one is taking a much tougher approach to russia and even rex tillerson who is a close putin ally who was head of exxon mobil. in these private meetings with senators he's suggesting that was just a business relationship and suggesting he may even take a tougher line. interesting to see if he goes further than the president-elect on this key issue, and i think that's going to show some divide within the trump team. >> it's interesting to go back in time. abby, you make a key point. i was covering with the push
white house when he met with vladimir putin and looked into his soul and saw a good man and they learned that was a huge mistake. the obama administration says we're going fix this mess because mr. trump is right you do need to get along with russia and do business with them, they tried the reset and were foiled. bill burns, a longtime career foreign service, served as one of hillary clinton's deputies and a lot of people will write this off as partisans. bill burns served for a long time as ambassador and diplomat. he wrote that it's tempting to think a personal report can bridge the disconnect and art of the deal can unlocked a grand bargain. that's a foolish starting point for sensible policy. it would be especially foolish to think that russia's deeply troubling interference in our election can or should be played down, however inconvenient. it's the last part there. if you want to have a relationship with russia fine, good. work it out, but to just want to not talk about this. you started by saying, you know,
it's trump being trump. is it just trump's fragile ego? he can't acknowledge that russia tried to help him and we don't really know if the fake news and hacked podesta e-mails affected voter decisions in the end and we can't answer that question unless we interviewer voter out there or does just fundamentally have a different world view about russia that leaves him not alone but almost alone in the republican party? >> to have a world view you would have to have something before he ran for president to back that up. he didn't have anything and it's all new and right now it seems like he's in defensive crouch. the legitimacy of him being president is a big deal, particularly to someone like donald trump, and it's really interesting while everyone is right, this is going to be a huge fight with republican senators and members of the house. a lot of them have been talking past hi. you saw a lot of the questions
during that hearing last week. it was meant to sort of refute some of the things that trump has said but they didn't say that donald trump has said, so it is going -- there is going to be a clash, and they are going to have to stop talking past each other. i've been saying this over and over again at some point, an maybe it's when he decides to get rid of the executive action when it comes to the sanctions. we'll have to wait and see. >> so many republicans think donald trump would actually look stronger if he who come out and say, okay, we're going to aggressively look into this. as joe biden said this week it's over, so there is some hope for republicans the closer donald trump gets inside the oval office and at the white house he may have a change in view, but i'm not so sure. >> 12 days. 12 days and the counting. up next, we'll continue part of this conversation. next, will it be worth the wait? donald trump is about to hold a news conference. his first in more than five months, and as we go to break politicians stay the darnedest things. vice president joe biden swearing in senators one last time. >> come on, man. you can't back out now. you're going to have a hard job
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welcome back. a question to consider over your sunday morning coffee. what would you ask the president-elect if given a chance? we're told a more than five-month drought ends wednesday with a press conference in new york, russia hacking, north korea's belligerence and separating from the trump real estate organization, taxing and spending issues, obamacare and paying for the wall. the list of potential questions is never ending. history tells us this event should be interesting. >> wow. there's a lot of press. this sleazy guy right over here from abc, he's a sleaze. be quiet, i know you want to save her. thank you for the nice things you always say about me. you are so nice, thank you.
nobody is listening to you, jeremy. nobody ever listens to you. >> can't wait. it's been too long. it's been too long, and i'm going to start with this. people in our business should not be so self-important. it's been a five months. think public officials should be more available but he has every right to run his operation the way he wants to run his operation and we do get a chance to question him apparently. this has been pulled back before. he calls them press conferences and doesn't take a lot of questions. what are you looking for? >> two things. >> one, we still need to find out the status of his businesses. that's really the thing he was supposed to talk about a month ago that he hasn't told anybody what he's going to do, what his children are going to do and then the other thing is just the challenge of nailing down what does donald trump believe right at this moment? there were a lot of things said during the campaign. some of them still may or may not be true. we need to establish a baseline for the american public to understand this person is about to be sworn in. what does he believe and intend to do and how will that impact
you? >> we want that. we want that, but is it in his strategic interesting not to be so specific. yes, the republicans run washington. before you jump out. i want to go back to the campaign. the most promise that everybody remembers from the campaign that we're going to build a wall and mexico is going to pay for it. let's just remind ourselves. >> we will build a great wall along the southern border. and mexico will pay for the wall. who is going to pay for the wall? mexico is going to pay for the wall. >> build a wall! build a wall! >> mexico is going to pay for the wall. >> who is going to pay for the wall? >> mexico! >> 100%. >> this is one of the fascinating questions for the next six or eight months in the sense that we expect congress to move regularly quickly on a
border security bill. you at home, the american taxpayer with the trump transition team's full consent will pay for the wall at first. donald trump says he'll get the money back. is it convenient to get in the weeds? >> it's not as convenient to say who is going to pay for a wall, we are and mexico will pay us back. we'll call several years down the road. >> the fine print of this is much more complicates, like everything and this is northern to point out. this is not about the press. this is not about us as reporters asking donald trump questions. it is about trying to shed some more light on what he will do as president, and there are so many open questions here. what is so fascinating about his presidency to come he's not beholden to a lot of things inside his party and we don't know on obamacare, for example, what his views specifically are if he wants to repeal and replace instantly. his suggestions are to go slow on that and that's why wednesday
is so fascinating. the conflicts of interest. those are things he has been working on ever since election day. his team has been working on. he should provide some answers for that, but, again, this is not about the press asking the questions. this is about his answers. >> i have argued repeatedly and taken some flack for democrats for it to give him some grace on the business stuff because it is his life. it's his brand. his business, his life and family. it's so intertwined but in 12 days he becomes president so he postponed the december news conference. if they needed more time to figure it out, they needed more time to figure it out. the question is what you do, not how you get there, but there's a story the other day jared kushner meeting with rich chinese investors and he says he'll comply with the laws. that's the son-in-law. it's testing time. i think they deserve all the grace they need but the clock is ticking. >> and they said they would make some announcements about the business dealings. we'll see how far they go, by think jeff is absolutely right.
there's so much of a gray area in trump's presidency that we've been reading the tea leaves about what he means and what he does. on friday night rand paul tweeted the conversation that he had with donald trump saying that he wanted to replace obamacare immediately after the repeal vote takes place, sometime early this year, and that completely contradicts exactly what the republican leaders in congress are trying to do right now. does donald trump believe that? >> and what trump adviser kellyanne conway said on tv that it could take a couple of years. >> and that's the view of a paul ryan and mitch mcconnell. where does donald trump come down on that central policy issues and things like the border wall and his views on russia. all of those things we've only been learning from either his advisers or through his tweets. it will be good to hear from the president-elect exactly how he approaches these issues because it's going to driest aijt agenda in washington. >> this is man defined by" art of the deal" and the last thing you want to be is absolute at
beginning negotiation. we beat mr. trump up, just did on russia and one of the things he was candid and i have my ideas and i'll have to negotiate all the stuff. i'll have to negotiate with the democrats and the republicans from. his perspective why does he want to stand there for an hour and how long on obamacare, what about pre-existing conditions? what if it explodes the deficit? why would he want to do that? >> exactly, and i don't mean to be pessimistic, but i wonder how long the shelf life these answers will have until he actually starts governing, we won't know exactly what he's going to do. i mean, he could change his mind again. we've seen that before and until there's actually pen to paper. i'm of the opinion i don't think he'll really get hit if he decides to have taxpayers pay for the wall initially. one of the things where they criticize the media for taking him too literally, but i do think when it comes to spending, when it comes to all the things he wants to do with infrastructure. when it comes to the wall and when you start looking at all of these things adding up, not
reforming entitlements because he doesn't want to, even though maybe some of the people that he has appointed or is going to appoint are for entitlement reform. that's what's going to matter and how much all of these things will end up costing. >> on the issue of immigration on what he does with the undocumented means more to his voters as long as we get tougher border security. we shall see. pope mar's last act in a big farewell address tuesday night from chicago. reath germs for a 100% fresh mouth. feeling 100% means you feel bold enough to... ...assist a magician... ...or dance. listerine®. bring out the bold™
more to judge a president's place in history but every president tries to shape the early legacy debate as their term expires and the economy is one area where president obama thinks he doesn't get enough credit. let's look at some of the numbers. we have one more month to go here because the president doesn't leave office for another 12 days this. does not include january but so far 11.3 million jobs created in the obama administration. how does that compare? well, george w. bush, he had, remember, the collapse at the end of his term. only 1.3 million jobs so without a job president obama compares favorably. the gold standard in recent times, bill clinton, nearly 23 million jobs in his eight-year president, two--term presidents and republicans think fondly of the ronald reagan days, two terms and 16.1 million jobs so 11.3 million and what happens in january doesn't compare as favorably to this but president obama as he heads out, watch his farewell address, maybe that number not as big as these numbers but remember where i
started. >> i took an economy that was about to go into a great depression and we've had a little over eight years of job growth. this is an ongoing battle. i said when grant park when i declared the winner of the presidency that this wasn't a task for one year or one term or even one. >> one of the many issues that he hopes to frame i guess in the final days. he's been active in the obamacare debate and let's focus on the economy because if you were in this town in 2008 and 2009 we were in a ditch. some that thought the entire xli. george w. bush a conservative president bailing out the auto industry and bailing out some of the banks. conservatives were still mad about that and then president obama and if you look since the election donald trump takes a lot of credit for the stock market rally and no question. some of the psychology of the markets is because of the trump presidency but is the president on firm footing when he says i should be junked favorably in history if you consider where we started? >> if you look at the 75
consecutive months of job growth, if you look at the jobs created, you just saw there, unemployment 4.7% when he leaves office, so without question it seems like a long time ago, but we all remember those early months of -- of his presidency and the final months of the bush presidency. so donald trump is inheriting a good economy, no question about that, but i think the president on this score deserves a lot of credit. on other things he's not accomplished everything he wanted to. we can talk about that in a minute but on the economy specifically i think he does, but you're right. history will judge him -- we don't have a full picture of that yet. we'll see what happens to his signature items and how much of them remain intact, but on the economy you have to give him high marks. >> what's been so fascinating is to see how democrats in the obama years have struggled to discuss the economy because they don't want to look like they are cheerleading an economy, that the recovery is not going as
fast as it should. wages still not growing at a pace in the country that are it should, and -- and this has led to a lot of frustration from some democratic members who believe that the white house should have discussed and messaged the economy in much more positive terms. pointing to the other factors that are doing well in the economy that could have helped their own political fortunes and 2010 mid-terms and 2014 mid-terms and neon this election where the economic message for the clinton campaign was clearly lacking, even as the job numbers have significantly improved in the last several years. >> i was just going to say. as much as we focus on the russia hacking and we should, and we should, hillary clinton did not really have a compelling economic message that would have help her cut through some of that. let focus on the current president of the united states. he's about to leave. a rare spot in history, three successive two--term presidents, all young men, bill clinton very active in his post-presidency, sometimes that hurt his wife i
think in this past campaign, but bill clinton very active. george w. bush taking a very different approach. we see him from time to time, but he's been much more laid back. he says, you know, my job is to get out of the way, let next guy be president. listen to president obama trying to strike the balance on what he's going to do. >> my intention is not to be in the day-to-day scrum after the new president is inaugurated, but it is my intention as a citizen to continue to promote the things that i care about. >> we see him a lot or see him very little? >> i think we see him a lot. i think, he's one. few remaining democrats who has a prominent enough public image to really help the party transition into this next phase, and beyond, that i mean, i think obama is going to still be kind of like the number one topic of discussion for the next year. we're going to be talking about his health care law, all these things that trump wants to do to undo his legacy. i don't think he's going to be
silent while all of that is happening or while republicans are trying to do that, and -- and this why the that former presidents can defer to the guy that comes in next has been eroding for quite some time, particularly the last election with bill clinton being the husband of the last opponent. that the idea has been going out the door for a while. i think will continue to go out the door with obama taking on a more prominent role. >> seems like he has unfinished business and also he's got the approval rating to -- the approval rating goes up when you're out of office. >> he does, but trump now has his bully pulpit and republicans control the house and the senate. i'm not sure he's going to win all the arguments. if you're in them all the time do you did i inish yourself if you're out thereto in these fights and lose. >> even under the radar what he can do to help state parties. he was talking about building that up. it might not be press conferences but i think he's said he's going to be active in the sort of rebuilding effort. >> i'm told he's going to be
active in a bigger kind of 30,000 foot way with redistricting and with fake news, other things that he sort of cares about. i do not think we're going to see him on fund-raising appeals because his quality and his sort of stock will diminish very quickly if he involves himself in these day-to-day things, and the reality is he lost the last fight. his legacy is going to be remembered for, you know, losing to donald trump as well here, so i think that he's going to look down the road at some bigger things, not these smaller fights. >> and if we're wondering how often the soon-to-be former president will be involved in the daily scrum as he calls, it what about his wife, his soon-to-be former first lady? let's listen. >> i want you to remember something that my husband and i have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago. something that has carried us through every moment in this white house and every movement our lives and that is the power
of hope. do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don't matter or like you don't have a place in our american story. >> whatever your party, if you like politics or if you like history, to study the evolution of michelle obama as public speaker and communicator from the 2007 and 2008 days to today is fascinating, but where does she go? >> she will not be on the public stage nearly as much. she has hey lost issues. watching that speech reminds me what people in chicago said back in 2003 and '04 why isn't she the one running for office? >> she's smart. >> she will not run for of course, i do not believe at all, but she will stay involved. >> she will get pressured to run for office. >> you're dead right about that. >> she will get pressured to run for office. spotlight time for several the president-elect's cabinet picks. democrats have a long list of complaints but are any of the trump cabinet picks in real danger of not winning confirmation? germs for a 100% fresh mouth.
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it was one of the more memorable lines of donald trump's contention speech. >> these are the forgotten men and women of our country, and they are forgotten, but they are not going to be forgotten long. >> these are people who work hard but no longer have a voice. i am your voice! >> now beginning this week democrats are going to try to make a case that's a promise already broken. their strategy, use confirmation
for several cabinet choices to suggest what he has is a team of millionaires and billionaires, people what got richer by taking advantage of the little guy that mr. trump promised to represent. wilbur ross, for example, his net worth $3 bill yonel. critics say he's had s.e.c. violations and cast as a wall street baron and to fair to mr. ross he says he's a successful businessman and bought companies in trouble and revitalized but this is a theme from gemts that we'll ski in other picks. we can put up another scream. a number of people, wealthy men that just won the presidency and these are people who agree with his views on many things and bring his ideas to the table and they are millionaires and billionaires and democrats will say this proves donald trump is picking a team that is out of trump with whole helped him win onlex. >> it's the beginning of an
argument but requires that trump isn't particularly successful in what he's actually trying to do in terms of policy, job creation, tax cuts potentially and, you know, raised wages so democrats can start this coverage now. they are hoping that they can advance it a little further in 2018 and finish it in 2020 but a lot is the riding on whether trump is going to do what he says he's going to do and his supporters will say his people are like the man he voted in, he's reach and they will make us rich like him. >> and they are not beholden to anybody and not traditional politicians. the democrats do this to beat them up. are they doing this to raise money, claim that straump faux populist? any of them in trouble? >> i don't think so because i don't think the democrats, senate democrats, harry reid changed the rules back in 2013 to make it much easier to confirm cabinet level nominees and judges and supreme court nominees between 51 senators can
confirm a nominee, overcome a fluster and there's 52 republican senators so unless republicans defect he should be fine and the only nominee where nominees are defecting, rex tillerson, the secretary of state nominee because of his ties to russia. do they trip on the confirmation proceedings which could presumably spark some republican defections if things come out during the vetting position eds, if they trip up in the questioning. that could change things. the economic argument, democrats are trying to advance because they know they did not succeed in doing that in the past election, they are going to try to make the case that these nominees are out of touch and step with the way middle class voters need and believe and hope they can make the argument, whether they can succeed is a different thing. >> i want to get to the vetting argument, there's news out today that broke yesterday that the office of government ethics is complaining that the trump team is trying to go too fast, that
they haven't had a chance to vet all the people i want to read from a letter released last friday, this schedule has created undo you pressure on oge staff and agency staff officials to rush through the important reviews. more significantly it's left some of the nominees with potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues shortly before their scheduled hearings. democrats are saying this is unprecedented. i've been in this town long enough to know maybe a number of people is not unprecedented. this is not unprecedented. every president-elect tries to rush through their people and more here with question marks. what bothered me about this, somebody who has been in washington maybe too much is walter schwab, the head of the u.s. office of government ethics, nothing against him, a democratic appointee of president obama, why didn't they release this letter publicly to everybody? they release it had through the office of the democratic leader chuck schumer which taints it right out of the box as political. >> it do, and a lot of these-mania is absolutely right. most if not all of these nominees will be confirmed, but there are concerned about fbi background checks as well.
i'm told one cabinet nominee has -- has submitted his -- has completed his, so we're going to hear a lot about that this week, about the background checks and the vetting, et cetera, but i went back and looked this up. in january of '09, some eight years ago, a lot of the fbi background checks and the vetting was not done at the time as well so there were seven -- six or seven nominees waiting for president obama when he took office. i don't know that there will be that many for -- for -- this time around, but there are going to be a lot of them without a question. you know, there's not much the democrats can do about it. >> except slow it down. >> slow it down. >> that's the thing. republicans are pushing hard for the seven nominees to be confirmed, to be in line with what obama got on the first day in office. they want that done by january 20th, but democrats can absolutely deny that by objecting and doing delay tactics and it seems like that they will in a lot of these instances in order not to deny
donald trump that victory but to slow down other elements of his agenda if they are bogged down in the confirmations. >> the other thing to keep in mind also -- if there's insufficient vetting on the front end of this, it just raises the probability of something out of left field coming up and potentially slowing or imperiling some of these nominees. that's the only risk that they face is we just don't know what they are going to uncover in this process. a lot of these offices are going through material and trying to find stuff and oppo teams trying to find stuff and they are trying to find things and we may not know until day off. >> lots focus on one that's iffy when it comes to the republicans, rex tillerson. his estimated net worth is $150 million which by trump cabinet standards is somewhere in the middle. a lot of democrats are complaining about the retirement package. he's getting a package. he's a ceo. part of his deal. it's been pre-negotiated. actually would have been more
money if he stayed in the job. he has to leave some money on the job to take it. critics say this is the big one. they say he has no formal foreign policy experience. he's traveled the world in exxon mobil and i don't think that's so much the issue. received an award from vladimir putin, had a picture pick ten with vladimir putin. he owes starting to ameliorate the doubts some? >> i asked john mccain. are you feeling much better about tillerson and he says i am. did he alleviate all the concerns, no, but he still has some questions. and what i can tell with the conversations that tillerson is having with senators. he's very polished and very savvy and i think he's going to allay some of those concerns. how exactly he deals with that given trump's balancing and what trump's position is on russia. stay with us throughout the week. many of these confirmation
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welcome back. we surround our table with reporters, not pundits and close by asking them each week to chair a nugget or two from the notebooks to help you get out ahead of the upcoming political news. abby philip? >> a lot of question what trump will do on his first day in office in terms of executive actions but sources tell me as much attention should be paid to executive inaction. the trump trace is going to be
looking to do more than just sign executive orders and rescind obama's. they might be looking at freezing entire functions of the government that republicans have been looking to cut for one time. one big part of this could be the consumer financial protection bureau, a strategy that will allow him to have pretty widespread impact on the federal government immediately by simply telling people don't do anything. and that's something that republicans have wanted to do. it's -- it's sort of a slash and burn type of approach to federal governance and it's very different from what washington has seen the last several years. >> he's going to renew his tweet war with elizabeth warren. great. jeff? >> contentious race for chairman of the ohio republican party this week shows how much donald trump is willing to get engaged in republican party politics outside of washington. this wasn't necessarily on the radar here but in ohio it was the top battle of all battles and donald trump was personal weighing in making telephone
calls around the clock. it was part of a blood pat and perhaps another installment of it with john kasich and donald trump's people are watching the chairmenships across the country. a prime example ohio and the minnesota race is also open and a battle brewing in florida. in two weeks donald trump is taking over the gop here and also across the country so keep an eye on all those chairmanships. >> from apprentice to grudge match. >> indeed. >> manu? >> donald trump has a new favorite democrat, joe manchin, the west virginia democrat senator and someone who is actually considered by trump to be his energy secretary nominee. last week when -- after manchin met with trump's epa nominee, the trump transition team blasted out a statement from manchin praising trump's nominee. also last week when president obama was visiting capitol hill, joe manchin did not go to that
meeting and later in the day privately met with mike pence and when i talked to manchin afterwards he said he's open to work with the trump team on a replacement plan for obamacare even though he owe pose the repeal. that's much different from other democrats and, of course, their interests do align. manchin is up for re-election in a very conservative state. trump needs some democratic support in the senate to move his agenda. there are ten democratic senators who represent states that trump overwhelmly carried and five have very red states like west virginia so not everybody is going to be in line where joe marchin, is but joe manchin is really willing to help donald trump to help his own political future. >> narrowly divided senate, that one vote might help. >> college affordability was a big part of bernie sanders campaign and part of elizabeth warren's platform. these two senators are both on the health committee which is going have the confirmation hearing for betsy dfos next
week. to what extent do the senators bring that hearing to bring the issue back to the forefront because it's not something that's going to go away with the 2016 campaign? >> something to watch and about big town hall with bernie sanders tomorrow night and a little taste of what's coming this week. i'll close with a bit more on the crafting of the farewell address president barack obama will deliver tuesday night. the timing is deliberate to leave some time between the outgoing president's speech and the incoming president's inauguration. it's going to be a reminder of how better the economy is now compared to the post-financial mess that the president inherited but there will be admonitions about the challenges we face moving forward. those admonitions will be squarely aimed i'm told at president-elect trump and include calls to celebrate america's diversity and be more respectful of crickets and political institutions. the add monoigss the adviser's part is a lot longer had the election gone the other way.