tv MSNBC Live With Andrea Mitchell MSNBC November 18, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST
mitchell reports" donald trump picks his first cabinet appointment. loyalty pays off. >> we need to make america great again! [ cheers ] >> under barack obama, we have no coherent strategy to protect our citizens and under hillary clinton, it will be more of the same. >> why don't you fire someone? in kansas, madaming is, i get asked constantly, why has no one been held accountable? why has not a single person lost a single paycheck. >> golf course diplomacy. donald trump invites mitt romney to discuss becoming secretary of state. during the campaign the two men were hardly diplomatic. >> he's playing the members of the american public for suckers. he gets a free ride to the white house. all we get is a lousy hat. >> he was begging for my endorsement. i could have seth said, mitt, drop to your knees.
he would have dropped to his knees. >> tough love the republicans are reflecting on where their party went wrong. >> the american people did not vote for him because he had an r next to his name. he ran against both parties, against the political system at large, a system he argued was fundamentally broken, an argument that the voters subscribed to in massive numbers. they rejected the political class of all stripes, republicans included. and we have no one to blame but ourselves. [ music playing ] and good day, earn, i'm andrea mitchell in washington. with the future trump administration is take place. this morning, they officially announced the three posts, retired general michael quinn for national security adviser,
kansas congressman for cia director and alabama general jeff second, and now trump is meeting at trump tower in new york. he is expected to go to new jersey this afternoon for more transition meetings over the weekend. joining me now, peter alexander and nbc's katy tur in new york. you are at the center of the university, midtown manhattan. sort of. let's talk about this selection, have it come about. what do they tell us about the man they have been covering the last year-and-a-half. >> donald trump loyalists, there are people who are somewhat outside of the normal realm of picks. >> that being said, there is a sigh of relief among intelligence officials over choogz mike pompeiio for cia, the kansas congressman, of course, he was a conservative friar e fire brand during the benghazi hearings, really going
after hillary clinton a. three-term congressman from kansas, graduated first in his class from west point, talking to intelligence officials, they will say of all the folks donald trump could have picked, he is among the best possible pick for cia. there is clearly some disappoint that congressman, former congressman mike rogers was not picked for this role. initially, he was one of the front runners and a member of the transition team. if he were to report that basically debunked a lot of what the republicans were saying about benghazi and the blame they were seeking to put on hillary clinton, pompeiio wrote a dissenting opinion on that, saying that hillary clinton was to blame for the americans who died and that more could have been done. it's unclear if that went into the decision to move mike rogers to the side and put somebody like mike pompeiio in his placements it's a mixed bag, intelligence officials say she
extraordinarily confident. he has been around the world. he's seen these things first hand. they are happy about that point. not so happy about mick flynn as a national security adviser. he's somebody who is controversial, certainly in circles, retired leiutenant of the army and former intelligence agency director and recipient of four bronze medals. my sources in the intelligence committee who worked with him at one point or another, said she a hot head, somebody who does not like to be disagreed with, who will often remove people that don't agree with him. replace him with ticket bands shz the larger his roles got the harder it became for him to broaden his scope and understand world events on a grander scale. so happy about pompeiio. not so happy about general mike flynn. then there is also jeff sessions, for a.g.. he had a hart time, was not able
to be confirmed back in the ''80s for a judgeship. they believe that getting confirmed now will be a much easier scenario, especially since he's served in the senate and the republican versus controlled the senate. >> and, katy, peteral sander is here, jeff sessions is the up with i want to talk to you about and mitt romney. jeff sessions, yes, he has a difficulty for a federal judgeship and this is a difficult time with the civil rights issues front and center at the justice department after fergson, black lives matter, if voting rights act being somewhat gutted by the supreme court in all of those issues have been raised. yet, she a popular senator, popular among his colleagues. >> you make a point, what is striking, what americans need to consider what a sweeping change from what the attorney general's office looks like right now, consider the fact you had eric holder, the first african-american and loretta
liven, trying to rebuild the civil rights decision there. now you will have jeff session, some of the past comments and testimony back if 1986 where there was testimony from former colleagues that he referred to organizations like the naacp and other civil rights groups as being quote unamerican and communist inspired. then an individual said that he said that the kkk was fine until he learned that they smoked pot. he is going to be the man now who, in effect, will be in charge of sort of shaping civil rights policy, defending the constitutionality of what in effect could be policies that would limit muslim immigration in this country, which has been a primary issue for donald trump as well, so jeff sessions, he will play a huge role on a lot of issues, americans are focusing on for so many. >> nay just put out a statement, have sifr russly against.
he could be in charge of deportation levels, immigration, deportation the executive orders we know will be cancelled. the dreamers, all of that. >> he can do that quickly. they can overturn quickly. >> on mitt romney. you covered him. how surprising is it given his declarative opposition to donald trump during the primaries that he would be going to register for either a round of golf or a lot of talk this weekend and potentially being considered for secretary of state? >> i got to tell you, the moment this news came out, i immediately called all the folks i know in the romney community still and spoke to someone close to romney, they were out of breath. they were stunned to hear this news, they didn't think it was possible given the bitterness of the back and forth these two men had over the course of this company. i what there in salt lake city for the remarks. you see that video where he basically said donald trump was a phony and a fraud. before eng else, romney is a
patron. she a person that feels strongly about this country. i do believe those around him, include the governor, himself, believe that if there is a way he could best represent this country on the world stage, even in spite of his differences with donald trump, it might be something he is willing to embrings. >> is rudy guiliani's name mentioned? >> they are still high on this list, as best we understand it, more than anything, just the fact that these two men are coming toke, whether it's a reassuring signal with democrats and moderates, this will send a big message. >> mitt romney. >> can you image season. >> to new jersey. to be a fly on the wall. thank you very much, peter. thank you, katy tur. joining me now, representative marsha black burn of tennessee, a part of the president-elect transition team. thank you very much, thanks for being with us. he promised to shake things up. he's shaken things up. jeff sexes is something more predictable. so maybe you can say they're both good loyalists.
also mike pompeiio. how about that? >> i'll tell you, andrea, i loved the fact that he is taking a non-traditional and unexpected approach. i also appreciate the fact that mr. trump and congressman pence, governor pence, are looking first at the national security issues and they're bringing to bear answers and direction and movement on the issue that people said repeatedly was the number one issue, is our nation's security, so is that we can return to a path for prosperity and i'm certain will you see him get around to some of the other economic issues later. but i have to tell you, serving with mime pompeio he is well qualified. she someone that understands the physical threat and also the virtual threat and the combination of those and how we
should approach them and the american people should be very comfortable with getting to know them. they should trust him and know that he is going to, as he has done in the past, he will serve this nation well. >> well, we we heard from the director of national intelligence and all the other national intelligence actions, that there was no question russia was involved in those cyber attacks. you we heard this in testimony only yesterday. so if that's the case, is there a potential conflict between a cia director, mime pock payo, following through on that, saying he would be very good on the virtual threat. then you got mike quinn as a national security adviser, who has been saying people have been too tough in talking about russia and vladimir putin? >> i think, andrea, what we sister to do is look at the fact that russia is intertwineing themselves with other countries. whether it is china, whether it
is a run, whether it is other nation states, if you will, who have cyber warfare units. so have been is not singular unto itself. and having individuals there that understand the way these threats move, the way they coalesce and form their participation, i think is important. looking at china and their pro pensity for embedded hardware, indeed, the "new york times" have an article in this week about theorem bedding spyware into their hardware and looking at these points of vulnerability in the virtual space. >> that is something that you want your nsa director and your cia director, to have an appreciation and an understanding for as well as the physical threat. so i think these gentlemen working together are going to form a food team and they will
be there to inform the president and the vice president in a very wholistic manner to fight the terrorist cells and the extremists popping up, not only in one region. as it metastasizes, it is moving around the world, even terror cells in the u.s. >> i want to ask you about senator session' back grouvenldz he had a difficult time and did not since fine 86. what about those issues then, do you think that -- let me play a little sound of what happened back then. >> sure. >> issues that have been raised be every the judiciary committee have been we heard, argued, settled. >> that matter is over and i have no further comment about it. >> do you think that that will create problems for him if he does get confirmed to be attorney general at a time when you had a lot of racial consequences in this country?
>> i think what you are going to see from jeff sessions is someone who will implement the rule of law, abide by the rule of law. and he is known for being hard working, for being fair minded. he is very disciplined, exercises a lot of discernment and i look forward to the job that he is going to bring and into the transparency he is going to bring to the processes there after the department of justice. i think he's going to be a fine a.g. >> finally, would you ever have imagined that mitt romney could be in this cabinet, after everything terrible these two men have said about each other? >> well, i think that probably, andrea, you and i each have a lot of experience of just having to kind of put things behind you and press forward. we are accustomed to doing that in our careers and to see mr.
trump's graciousness to offer the hand of friendship to mitt romney and to show how these two individuals can come together and talk about the good of the opportunity. what an excellent role modeling that is for all americans, that our difference, whether they're petty or they're broad, that our disagreement, whether they're vitriolic or minor, but there are times when you say it is time for us to be bigger than that. it is time for us to unite and say we are going to work towing for the good of the country and, quite frankly, i think that this is going to be a very positive step and it sends a message to republicans, and democrats alike. >> that you know, let's move on. the people have spoken t. president is elected. his administration is transition
and for the good of the country we move forward in food faith. >> do you think mitt romney will bring more to this role than say rudy guiliani? >> i think he brings something different, as looking at organizational relationship, you have to look at the deliverable the department expects to achieve over a two-year period of time and look at the skill set of different individuals who are presenting themselves for consideration him then you find the best match and mr. trump and governor pence are the two who are going to be able defend those deliverables. and for those of us as an executive committee for the transition team what we have to do is consider those as individuals send us resumes, call us, want to move forward in service for the administration and for the country and i will tell you, my phone, my text, my e-mail, they're buzzing.
democrats, independents, republican. they're all coming forward to say, this is the time to make systemic bold and far reaching change for our nation to get ourselves on the right track and most americans agree, we are on the wrong track. so they're very hopeful about where we're moving and the way they're seeing mr. trump approach the decision process. >> marsha blackburn, thank you very much. thank you for joining us. thank you, have a great weekend. >> you too. >> coming up, trump's world, what signals is the president-elect sending with his picks for national security adviser and cia. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc the place for politics.
america has enemies in our homeland and abroad. and our military needs to be capable of protecting the nation by finding and capturing our enemies. the president must have the tools to deal with all threats to this country and must have the guts to put them into action whenever necessary. donald trump is that leader. >> retired general mike flynn, a staunch supporter of donald trump, speaking at the republican national convention, flynn's loyalty is paying off. he's been named trump's top pick. well, he is the national security adviser. because that is not a job that requires confirmation. joining me now is ambassador nick burns, har yard university and secretary of state in the past for clinical affairs, former ambassador to nato. nick, a lot of change and some big names. let's talk first about mike flynn. he's controversial. he was a hely regarded officer
overseas and a combat veteran at the same, after he became more political, a lot of his judgment has been challenged. what do you think as national security adviser? >> well, i think these a distinguished person. he served our country. he served our country well. he deserves that respect. we should want him to succeed, andrea. there are going to be questions. you are hearing them raised both in the united states and overseas. has he been too singularly focused on terrorism and not open enough to some of the other vital challenges that we face? putin, who is, of course, assaulting the freedom and independence of a number of states to the south and the west, general flynn has been of the school that we should be working closely with putin. how does that square with our obligation to defend the baltic states to defend putin to help the ukrainians have successful independence from an economic and military stan point.
so that's one of the big questions there. judgment and experience. i think for a military officers who come into the role of national security adviser, we had a number over the years, some very successful military officers, brent scowcroft. general colon powell. the role of the national secured adviser is to integrate military intelligence but diplomacy. in fact, a lot of what donald trump will have to do as president is to succeed as a diplomat around the world. can general flynn make that leap to understand the diplomatic side of things? i think those are some of the questions being asked. >> nick, there is a report right now the trump team is thinking of dismantling the officer of the director of national intelligence. it was one of the key directions of the -11 agencies. there have been questions about whether that's too much bureaucracy, under general clapper, i think it was largely
successful in coordinating. what do you think of getting rid of all that and again restructuring the intelligence agency? >> i think it's important that they give this some time. >> that the trump team read in, connect with the transition teams at the department of defense, at the cia the state department, other agencies. really think about this. not take a leap into the unknown, as you say, andrea, one of the reasons for the creation of the director of national intelligence were the intelligence failures that led us to be unaware and defenseless on -9/11 in washington. he has received high marks from republicans an democrats for the way he's done that job. so i think it's important to take your time here. they have the time. but they don't have to make an immediate decision. i think it gets to a larger issue, andrea, donald trump will be the very first of our 45 presidents with no prior experience in politics, in public service and in the
military. and so, he's going to have to create a national security team, including, hopefully, a director of national intelligence, who have the credibility overseas, the credibility with congress and the vast experience to help him do this job. so we're awaiting the selection of secretary of state and secretary of defense and treasury ap commerce. they'll tell us a lot about this team. i would hope there's room for republican moderates. and, andrea, to reach out to some of the pest people in our society. think of the quality of people who served, bob gate itself, condoleeza rice exjayne james h. baker under george h.w. bush. these are top people, real experience. i think donald trump need people of that quality to be able to get through his first year in office. >> and briefly, he met with the japanese prime minister shinzo abe yesterday with no guidance from the state department. his daughter was present at the table. how unusual is this to be meeting with a foreign secretary of state without the talking
points, given the north korea threat the relationship with china? >> well, i think he'd be well advised to reach out to the state department t. state department transition team would provide for him. at least the sense of what the major issues, are they have been steep in these issues. they can provide intemplths you always want your own interpreter in conversations. it really matters in the sequence in which you meet foreign issues, i think donald trump was right to have met with him. they appear to have gotten well. it's the great first step t. first foreign leader was last weekend the leader of the uk independence party t. champion of brexit. that was a mistake, you have to think through the sequency here. he should have met with certainly the great allie teresa may before meeting faraj. i think if the trump team would
connect with the u.s. government agencies, they'll be better off, the great thing is they'll be loyal to the president. they'll work as hard as they can for the president. they are patriotic and can be trusted with this. as soon as that link is made, the better off the transition will be. >> ambassador nicholas burns, thank you very much. >> thank you very much, andrea. coming up, big tent talk. why democrats soul search, bernie sanders tells me his plans. >> well, i have just been elected to leadership. i have the position as head of outreach. my job is to mobilize millions of people, working people, that want to see a government that works for all of us, not just the 1%. we want to make sure we eliminate racism and sexism in this country and islamophobia in this country and my jobe is to go out and bring those people together to stand up and fight. searching for a great used car?
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>> democrats are trying to rebuild after the election losses. bern boerne reacting to those who say his primary fight against hillary clinton contributed to her defeat. >> well, i say to those critics, number one, you can argue the exact reverse, that maybe i would have been elected president of the united states. >> classic bernie sanders, joining me now is the bernie sanders campaign manager. jeff, great to see you. >> nice to be here again. >> he had adulation everywhere, sellout. he's in this prime' now and hillary clinton is as dejected and discouraged after suffering a terrible defeat. what went wrong for the democrats this year? >> well, look, adrian, i think it's not just this year. i this we've seen a pattern. since 2010 we lost seats.
there is a growing disconnect between the establishment and growing party along the country side, there was a disrespect between the voters and republican voters picked donald trump and so many democratic voters and independent voters chose bernie sanders. i think the democratic party has to reorient itself to reconnecting with the voters that it wants to represent. >> and he's now been named by chuck schumer to be a part of the leadership. they expanded it to be ten senators. he is in charge of outreach. what does that mean? does he get staff? any money? >> i think we have to see that. i haven't spoken to him specifically about this. but i have to say that i can't believe bernie sanders would have taken a position that didn't actually allow him to accomplish the goals, he spoke so many times during course of the campaign, bringing millions ap millions into the political process so you have a washington establishment, which is no longer an establishment of wealthy donors. it's a establishment that represents middle class people
of all races from across the country. >> how does the big tent work, though? you got chuck schumersh who is the party leader. but he is very close to wall street. he represents new york and he will continue to raise money, big money. how does bernie sanders live in that environment? >> i'm not a big fan of unilateral disarmament. the difference is you can't have wealthy donors influencing them. if somebody has been policed with a wealth and they want to give so they can pursue a progressive agenda, that's one thing. if you have people who want to nuance the process by giving money, that's another process. what we got to do as we said during the campaign $233 million raised in small continue buyings for bernie sanders. other candidates this time around have raised a lot of money with small dollar contributions. we bought the to refocus so we are relying on small dollar continue buicks to the extent possible. when you say there is like
different factions, there is. there are people in the democratic party. people of colors and democratic party of women and democratic white working class, of young people. it has to be the party of all of those people. one is not to the intrugs of the other. it has to be additive. we have as to bring back this coalition that can take back the country. >> bernie sanders was on a conference call, 48 senators and hillary clinton. but he's not spoken to her. he hasn't called her. that's little strike? >> i don't know. i haven't spoken to her. >> he has not called her as of last night. >> he's been on this book tour. she obviously was out speaking into the night. i thought it was a great speech that she gave. the fact that they haven't connected yet, i'm sure they will. >> jeff weaver, the campaign is over, another one begins. >> it never ends, andrea, the struggle continues. >> thank you. i think someone called eight revolution. >> yes, exactly. coming up, top spy, ranking democrat on the house intelligence committee, trump's
top pick for cia director. you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. ♪ what? is he gone?? finally, i thought he'd never leave... tv character: why are you texting my man at 2 a.m.? no... if you want someone to leave you alone, you pretend like you're sleeping. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. tv character: taking selfies in the kitchen does not make you a model.
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make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox. >> how come no one has been held accountable? >> well, congressman the review board pointed out several people working in the state department, who they thought had not carried out their responsibilities as quadly but they said that they could not find a breach of duty. >> i'm not asking what they did, i'm asking what you did. >> tough talk from mike pompeio in the benghazi hearings. joining me is the top democrat on the house intelligence committee. have you worked with him, tell
me about your take of him as the new cia director? >> i think mike is a very bright guy. he's hard working. i think he understands agency very well. so he's a solid pick. now, mike can be very partisan as you saw in the benghazi hearings. he'll have to set that aside. but i'm confident he can do that. i think he is a very capable choice. of the three that came out today, i think he was the most solid pick. >> what about mike flynn? >> mike flynn i have a lot of reservations about. this is someone in the intelligence committee i think was known as kind of a bull in a china shop, someone who didn't work well with others. had a management style not conducive to the collaboration. so for an nsa director, where you need someone who can bring the top officials together, bring a consensus, those are trade issues you work for and they may accentuate an impulsive
already president-elect with another volatile adviser in the white house. my concern in terms of temperament and policy decision on russia, where he similarly wants to cozy up on the kremlin. on turkey he recently wrote an op ed that made a sounding claim vis-a-vis this cleric in pennsylvania, erdogan should turn him over, erdogan wouldn't want him if he was a mod ramt you have to be willfully ignorant in turkey for a crackdown on everyone. policy and temperament, a lot of profound concerns. >> the report the new team is considering whether they should revisit the director of national intelligence, this was a post-9-11 change as you know to supervise and coordinate among all of the intelligence agencies him would that be a good idea? >> i don't think it would be a good idea. it would be enormously disruptive. i think general clapper is ahead of the d & i.
the d & i has done a good job of coordinating and getting it toke and break down the stove pipes and to go through yet another massive reorganization i think would be a mistake. we are better off perfecting that agency than we are doing away with it. i would hope we would not inject that kind of instability, when we will already have tremendous instability in this transition unlike any other. >> congressman, turning back to the national security adviser designee, mike flynn, one of the things that he has said to you, he recently remarked about islam. he thought, he's talked about the dangerous. >> well, this is probably the greatest concern people have about flynn, one i share that is that he doesn't distinguish between the per version by isis and the religion of islam altogether n. doing so, in a lot of his inkrepdary comments, he
threatened to alienate the spire muslim world. this aggravates what we already seen in the president-elect, who has similarly cast his dispersions on all muslims. >> that is a mistake and play noose the jihadi narrative this is a war of the west against islam. so if he is going to aggravate those kind of concerns about the president-elect and amplify them, that is going to be a real problem and that more than anything else ought to trouble people about this election. >> finally, your fellow californian, nancy pelosi, is now going to be challenged by tim ryan from ohio. what about leader pelosi and should she be chosen again as the leader? >> you know, she is the best tactician we v. i'm sure my gop colleagues in congress would love to see someone else leading the democratic caucus, bus they respect how tenacious a negotiator she s. so i want her at the helm. i think she's the most capable member of our caucus. she is one of the few people
that can bring our members together on the same page. our only power in the minority is if we stick together. i have them reelected to that position, but i don't think we have a better tactician than nancy pelosi. >> congressman, thank you very much. >> and coming up, republicans have a few comments for republican governor on a consideration for a top cabinet spot. you are watching andrea mitchell reports on msnbc, your place for politics.
. >> a lot of things to talk about on our friday daily picks. gene jean cummings, mark, you have been writing so much of how the foreign policy choice is here and the backgrounds and potential conflicts. here you've had a meeting with the japanese prime minister, no genes from the state department and ivanka trump, who is going to be learning the company, along with her brothers, is
sitting at the table. >> that's right. i mean, everything about the first week in terms of foreign policy flew in the face of all diplomatic protocol. although the state department is going to finally make contact with the trump transition people, we can only imagine how some of those phone calls went. who supplied the interpreter, were there policy talking.? who knows? >> jean cummings, he did say he was going to tear the place up. but this whole, this is -- still they haven't had the tax returns. it's not a blind trust. it has to be a mind trust. the president is exempt from that. the kids running the company and the transitions, you are now sitting at the table. >> absolutely. there are so many potential conflicts that still exist. the fact that the kids are guiding the transition team knowing the business that they're going to take over, you know, they could choose people that will serve in the new administration with positions that they know would be helpful on the business end of things,
too. you know, they say that they're going to put all of that aside and that they'll just make, you know the decision based on what's best for the country and they may well do that, too. we just have never been here before. >> and mark, rudy guiliani has been mentioned and touting himself at the wall street dinner the other night. i'm hearing. you are hearing, he is not out of the mix while there is talk of mitt romney for secretary of state? >> i don't think so. remember he was the most loyal of the surrogates. he was the only surrogate that went on the sunday after the ""access hollywood"" tape came out and i think donald trump will reward loyalty. you know, that said, he was out there very aggressive lobbying. he called us and laid out all of his qualifications for me as well. so i don't know if that put a few noses out of joint in the trump world or whether the mitt
romney thing is designed to placate certain people. i would argue the interesting thing is mike flynn and rudy guiliani, these are two guys who view the radical islamic terrorism as the overriding policy priority. in a way, rudy would only amplify what mike flynn would bring to that job. >> there might be conflict there on russia. rudy guiliani is not where mike flynn is on russia. what about rudy's business background, he'd have to recuse himself? >> well, this is problematic. he's not just done business with a wide variety of companies, he's done business with companies strategically sensitive for the united states like qatar, while he says he has been very public about these. he's talked to the consultant of the state department before making any deals the fact of the matter is there are a great deal of areas, i think in a confirmation hearing, he would come under close scrutiny.
>> gene e jean, what about this meet something. >> rudy on the golf resort, whether they play golf or not remains to be seen, but all of the things they said about each other. >> in the briefing that the transition team gave to the news media this morning, it was more described as a meeting to show unity, to show the world that this will be a peaceful transfer of power and that the country is coalescing behind the president-elect. >> my guess is, that's what this meeting is really about. not necessarily cabinet appointment. although, the fact that there was a pause on rudy guiliani getting state department, the appointment and now there's nikki haley and you know bolton, john bolton's name hasn't gone away and senator corker's name hasn't gone away, there may be some rethinking about that appointment. but it was pretty clear earlier
in the week that he certainly thought that hhe was on the waye state department. >> corker indicated to me yesterday he thought the people closer and more loyal and outspoken in the inner to be the appointees, not he. >> right, right. and i think that that makes a lot of sense. because even when we were talking about rudy giuliani and john bolton, they were viewed as the two leading candidates and corker was in the mix there as well. it strikes me as interesting and intriguing that we had three appointments come out, but we have two empty spaces, defense and the state department. and this was a national security day. those are two big open spaces. >> for defense, we've heard about tom cotton, we've heard
jim talent. >> it's worth noting with mitt romney there would be a major conflict with russia. so i think that, you know, before people get too excited about mitt romney, there's the potential for some conflict there as well. >> thank you both so much. and coming up, a closer look at the department of justice under senator jeff sessions. nbc's pete williams joins me next right here on andrea mitchell reports. stay with us.
senator jeff sessions will have to appear before his own judiciary committee colleagues to become attorney general. joining me now, pete williams, our expert on all things justice. he's controversial in some regard. civil rights, his immigration policy. we've seen statements from dianne feinstein saying they disagree on substance, but he'll have a fair hearing.
>> i'd be very surprised if he can't concern firmed, but it wi a spirited hearing. he voted for the confirmation of eric holder to be attorney general but against loretta lynch. which he has described as lawless. so he's one of the harshest critics of the president on immigration. he voted against changing the don't ask, don't tell policy allowing gay people to serve in the military. he's been an opponent of another big project in the obama justice department, what is called sentencing reform, trying to do away with mandatory minimums. trying to keep low-level drug offenders from serving long sentences. he said, we should not be sending a message that we're going easy on sentencing just at
the time of the crime rate going up. he's 69 years old, in his fourth term in the senate. certainly one of the more conservative members of the senate, which is i believe what donald trump was looking for. >> exactly. when we talk about the fact that senators get confirmed, i do draw back on my own experience, yours as well, with john tower when he was nominated and went for defense secretary in 1989 by george herbert walker bush and was rejected by the arms services committee and that's how dick cheney went from the house to leader of the pentagon. >> you know, i think thankly john tower was not well liked by his colleagues, and that didn't help him. jeff sessions is not in that category. i think he's well liked, he's well regarded. he's a fierce combatant, very partisan. but that's the way it goes up there. >> and the republicans have the majority that's the key. and more coming up. we'll be right back. (announcer vo) when you have type 2 diabetes,
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>> that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. hallie jackson is up next right here on msnbc. >> hi, everybody, i'm hallie jackson. we are seeing lots of action in midtown manhattan this afternoon. senator tom cotton walking into trump tower. mike huckabee in trump tower as well. cabinet speculations swirling today after jeff sessions tapped to be the next u.s. attorney general to the delight of some on capitol hill. >> if those who serve in this administration have even a fraction of his integrity and his commitment to principle, we are going to see an administration that does remarkable things for the people of this country. >> that's ted cruz loving it. but democrats, some of them, now previewing their