tv MSNBC Live MSNBC November 19, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST
want to make thanksgiving extra here's a few suggestions. always cut the head off the turkey before you cook it. and don't forget to serve delicious stove top stuffing. my mouth is watering just thinking about it. the stuffing... not the turkey head. good saturday afternoon, everyone, we're following several fast moving developments. donald trump is meeting right now with mitt romney who is
reportedly under consideration for secretary of state, one of several people donald trump is meeting with today. kelly o'donnell is live in bedminster, new jersey. let's talk about the latest you're learning about the meeting and what's happening between president-elect trump and mitt romney today. >> reporter: so far no official comment. what we can tell you is mitt romney arrived a little over an hour ago. he was greeted by president-elect donald trump and mike pence, the vp-elect. they're inside the clubhouse in donald trump's frequent weekend home here in new jersey. we harder the vehicle that governor romney arrived in, the motor was turned. that indicates to us that perhaps the meeting is reaching
its end and we'll see governor romney soon. so far no staff have provided us with any insight about what happened inside the room. we hope to get that later. the significance of this meeting cannot be overlooked. these are two men who have both held the nomination of their party to be the president in 2012. it was romney who had donald trump's support. and then in 2016, a real falling out. deep division between the two of them over politics, over personality, over tone and leadership style. they're trying to put that behind them today. what we don't know is if the conversation are about ideas and topics and how to form a government or if it could extend to something that might even include a position for mitt romney. we just don't know yet. that has been floated but we don't have details. we've seen a couple of people arrive who are believed to have expertise and be considered for the education post, michelle rhee who was chancellor of dc
schools, and someone who was in charge of the state party in michigan and has education experience. meetings are going on today, they could be job interviews or simply gathering great minds together, people who are smart on certain topics and trying to figure out how they might work together. we're hoping the comings and goings will show how the administration will be moving forward. >> the issue dominating president-elect trump's twitter feed, the presence of vice president-elect mike pence at a broadway show and the performance by the actors there. >> reporter: he was of course accompanied by secret service, so they were holding the seats. when he arrived, the audience that was already gathered there recognized that it was mike pence. there was some cheers, there were some very noticeable boos.
the pence family and the team that was with him, they saw the production, and at the end of the production, the actor who plays aaron burr, brandon victor dicks, spoke out on behalf of the cast and made an appeal about inclusiveness for the administration. here is how it went after the curtain call. >> we, sir, are the diverse america who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us. [ cheers and applause ] >> our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our american values and to work on behalf of all of us. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: and donald trump in a couple of tweets sort of reacted to this, saying that he felt that his future vp was harassed at the theater and said
that the theater experience should remain safe and pleasant and that the cast should apologize. the actor tweeted himself and said, this kind of conversation and free speech is not harassment. there was a little bit back and forth on twitter, characteristic of donald trump, a way for the cast and the broadway community to speak out about the unexpected attendance of mike pence to one of the hottest shows on broadway. a little bit of pop culture, the arts community, and a lot of politics this weekend. >> kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. let me bring in reuters political correspondent luciano lopez and sahal kapur. luciano, first, this trump/romney meeting now under way, talk to us a little bit about what mitt romney is bringing to the table, particularly during this transition period. >> mitt romney really brings a
sense of statesmanship. he brings with him the imprimateur of the republican party. it's a chance to reach out and bring the republican party together before trump gets sworn in on january 20th, as the republicans take over the white house and both houses of congress. >> i mentioned the bad blood between these two. here's what they said about each other earlier in the campaign. okay. it seems we're having a sound bite problem there. i wanted to actually ask you about the relationship between these two. we know that donald trump has said some very disparaging comments about mitt romney, calling him a choke artist at one point, even using derogatory language, saying he was begging for money when romney was
running for office. at the same time, romney said to trump that he was a con artist. let's go ahead and play that. >> mr. trump is a con man. a fake. his imagination must not be married to real power. >> i backed mitt romney. i backed him. you can see how loyal he is. he was begging for my endorsement. i could have said, mitt, drop to your knees, he would have dropped to his knees. he was begging. >> this doesn't seem like a policy difference between two men, there seemed to be a lot of ha hatred used in the language between these two. >> ayman, in 2012, let's remember, mitt romney stood with donald trump and accepted his endorsement for the presidency of the united states. that's when trump had been considering a potential presidential run in his own future. and i think once that happened, mitt romney was speaking for
many, many republicans in the more, you know, traditional wing and business wing of the republican party about his misgivings regarding trump, and his actually frankly staunch opposition to trump getting the nomination. but there is a time for campaigned and a time for governing. i think trump realizes and romney realizes that trump is going to be president-elect and he's going to need help. there's talk of romney being potentially trump's secretary of state. romney would be at least the third person who tried to run for president and failed and became secretary of state, along with john kerry and hillary clinton of course. so there's definitely some precedent for that. but mitt romney certainly has the potential to be donald trump's ambassador to the traditional wing of the republican party. what a number of republicans i've talked with now are saying, many of them were staunchly critical of donald trump in the primaries and probably even the
general election, but now they have to decide if they want to be a part of this administration and try to steer the ship in the right direction. it's a complicated calculus. >> today's meeting comes after trump announced some of his key early picks during that transition period, including retired general michael flynn for national security adviser, kansas congressman mike pompeo for cia director. there is a lack of security with these picks. is it a valid criticism or is it too early? >> there are obviously still a number of cabinet positions to fill. i think it's important to start talking about this now, because it's the kind of topic where if you don't bring it up early, it's easy to get to the end of the list and says, oops, we're out of cabinet positions. it's important to bring it up and keep noting it as we go through the process of filling
out those cabinet picks. >> thank you both for joining us this morning. democrats are already blasting president-elect trump's choices and bravicing for the os he's about to make. democratic congressman patrick maloney, thanks for joining us, we appreciate your time. let's talk about this meeting between mitt romney and president-elect trump. if president-elect trump does reach out to someone he had bitter differences with on a personal level, could he offer romney a key position like secretary of state? >> it's possible, especially when you consider that in every administration the most powerful advisers are in the west wing. right now he has selected someone named steve bannon to do domestic policy who is by his own admission someone who is, you know, a convener of the alt-right and welcome iing nationalism into american
politics. now they're in the west wing. i've worked in the west wing. that's where the decisions are made. it's good if you have a secretary of state flying around the world who might have more mainstream views. but it's not a substitute for having senior advisers in the west wing. >> let me ask you about that balance you would like to see between those now inside the west wing, some of the names we've seen that are part of the national security apparatus, whether national security adviser, michael flynn, the attorney general, or the cia director-to-be mike pompeo. do you think that is where donald trump is going, or do you think he's going to build on some of these choices that he's already made? >> well, look. he hasn't picked mitt romney to be secretary of state. he hasn't picked people who are in any way, shape, or form moderates or consensus builders. mike pompeo is a smart guy but he is an extremely conservative person. he dissented from the benghazi
committee report, the republicans' conclusions were not good enough for him, that's who he is. this is a definitional moment for this new president. my concern is less for who his advisers are than for who he is. the only thing his picks are telling us is who he is and who he will be as president. so far it's pretty grim. >> you brought up steve bannon, chief strategist, somebody who has received a lot of criticism, being described as a white nationalist by some and an antisemite by others. you are also a member of the 178 members of congress who wrote a letter of congress asking president-elect obama to take back the appointment of bannon. >> you said president-elect obama. >> i meant trump, i apologize.
>> this is a clear, demonstrable set of views this person has, because he has been running a news organization that publishes all kinds of extreme views on its front page. so yeah, we called on the let to rescind that appointment because it is offensive to people who believe in equality, for people who believe in a country that everyone has a place in. i have an interracial family. do my kids have a place in steve bannon's america? i don't think so. and so i'm looking to the president to try to send a signal that he's going to be the president to all americans. now, we don't have any illusions that he's going to pull back that appointment. so we ought to take it seriously and get organized to resist that kind of hatred in american politics. >> we're not even full of any of the major candidate positions. are you at all concerned with what you've seen so far? >> i'm very concerned, i'm more than concerned. i'm pretty upset about it.
it's one thing to do these things in the course of a campaign. that would be bad enough. that would be demagoguery, it would be pitting one group of americans against another. but this is policy. this is power. mitt romney said it best. we should not marry up donald trump's views with real power. that's mitt romney talking, not me. and unfortunately we are now in that situation. and i think what we're going to have to do is just fight it with everything we've got. >> congressman sean patrick maloney, good to have you with us. i'm sure it will be a long fight, depending on who you ask. thanks for joining us. next, we'll delve into president-elect trump's strategy for ending the war in syria. later we'll be joined by a muslim-american woman who supports donald trump. we'll ask her if she would still support the president-elect if he implements a national registry for muslims, something else civil rights organizations are concerned about. stay with us. the medicare enrollment deadline
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welcome back, everyone. the humanitarian craze isis is growing more dire by the day in syria. many air strikes near hospitals are forcing evacuations of the already sick and injured. the strikes came a day after president-elect donald trump talked with vladimir putin about the civil war there. trump's syria plan is still unclear. but he did argue last week that the u.s. should partner with russia and syrian president bashar al assad to take out isis but keep the u.s. out of syria's civil war. joining me now is former u.s. ambassador to syria ted ka tctu. the last remaining children's hospital in aleppo was bombed
last week. we didn't hear a word or a tweet from president-elect trump, who seems to be more preoccupied with "the new york times" and the "hamilton" crowd last night at that play in new york. i'm curious to get your take on the silence from president-elect trump on syria. >> if you look back over the course of the presidential campaign, ayman, i don't recall that human rights was discussed by trump or his surrogates at all. so i don't find it surprising. as you noted, he wants to have his own reset of relations with putin's russia and wants to focus on the terrorist groups such as isis and what used to be called the nusra front, groups of that ilk. that's the reason we've seen people like president sisi in
egypt welcoming the election of donald trump because they won't get the lectures from president obama and hillary clinton's department of state. >> let me ask you about that reset, ambassador. donald trump appears to be pushing his america first policy on syria. but it calls on the u.s. to align with the syrian government, assad, who has been accused of killing more than 470,000 of his own citizens along with all the other groups that are taking part in that civil war. here is president obama in germany on thursday voicing his concerns about that. take a listen. >> my hope is that he does not simply take a realpolitik approach and suggest that, you know, if we just cut some deals with russia, even if it hurts people or even if it violates international norms or even if it leaves smaller countries vulnerable or creates long term
problems in regions like syria, that we just do whatever is convenient at the time. >> ambassador, i want to ask you, you brought up egypt's president sisi, and turkey's president erdogan. those countries have positions on syria, turkey wants to support the rebels, they're hoping trump brings support to their cause. the russians are saying, no, you've got to fight the rebels and isis first and preserve the government of president assad. what are the alliances that you think are going to play out here? obviously one of those two is going to be disappointed, whether it be the egypt/russia axis or turkey. >> one of the reasons the war is so brutal and lasted so long, ayman, is you have layer and layer of complexity and various proxy rivalries playing out in syria, whether it's iran, saudi arabia, turkey kurds,
u.s./russia, shia/sunni, you know that. so it's very hard to figure out how you get rid of assad right now. russia and iran are in the driver's seat in syria. aleppo will probably be crushed before donald trump is sworn into office. and really -- >> so do you think trump is going to take a back seat approach to those countries that are in the driver's seat in syria, iran, russia? >> let's put it this way. there was some question as to whether hillary clinton would try a no-fly zone in syria. while there are a number of hardliners regarding assad in the republican party, john mccain and lindsey graham being two, that's not the tack trump took during the election. now, john bolton, if he were secretary of state, maybe he would try to push him in a different direction. for now trump wants to focus on isis and al qaeda in syria and
iraq and elsewhere, and let the russians sort it out. the big contradiction comes in regarding iran. iran is a major ally of both russia and syria in this fight. russia wants to sell $10 billion of sophisticated arms to iran. >> ambassador, we're going to have to interrupt you. we'll take a quick cut and go to mitt romney who is speaking right now after his meeting with donald trump. >> we had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the united states of real significance. we discussed those areas. and exchanged our views on those topics, very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had. and i appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming
administration and the things -- thank you. the car is right over there. i think that's my car. >> reporter: did you apologize? >> reporter: would you take a job if he offered you one? >> you're seeing there former presidential candidate and former governor of massachusetts mitt romney walking away after the meeting that just concluded with donald trump. he came out and spoke to reporters there very briefly, saying that they had a far-reaching discussion about issues all around the world, said that it was an exchange of views that was very thorough, that was very in depth, according to mitt romney. he said he looks forward to the incoming administration. you also saw there, as he was getting into his car and driving away, some of the reporters that were part of that press pool yelling out questions to the former governor, asking him if in fact he apologized, if in
fact he would accept a position in the incoming administration. the governor did not answer any of those questions. but once again, you saw that meeting that lasted i would say close to about two hours in bedminster, new jersey, between the former republican candidate and president-elect trump. there's been some speculation over the course of the past week that in fact the election, president-elect trump was going to offer the position or at least consider mitt romney for the position of secretary of state. that was not addressed in the brief comments there that the governor -- and you're seeing now live pictures of president-elect trump and vice president-elect pence waiting for the next meeting scheduled to take place, it's a busy day of meetings. this is michelle rhee, a potential cabinet pick, being greeted by mike pence. you can see there her husband,
former nba player kevin johnson as well being greeted, they're both now entering the compound there in new jersey. as we were saying, president-elect trump having a series of meetings today, perhaps the most high profile that meeting there with mitt romney. we want to go to kelly o'donn l o'donnell, joining us live from b bedminster. >> reporter: a little bit of a scramble, ayman, we did not michelle rhee to arrive for a photo op, she arrived earlier so there was not a moment when the cameras could see her with the president-elect and vice president-elect. so that's just happened. we were able to see donald trump send off mitt romney. governor romney talked about the fact that their conversations were about, as he described it, the theaters around the world of
hotspots. it sounds like it was a conversation that would certainly be within the portfolio of someone who might be considered for secretary of state. he did not respond to questions about whether he would serve in the administration or whether they had mended fences. governor romney had a statement in mind he wanted to make, he gave that to us, and donald trump, as i recall, gave us the thumbs up a couple of times and said "good meeting" or something to that effect. everyone played by the rules, so to speak. we got photos, we got a little comment, and on to the next series of meetings. >> kelly, i'll ask you about michelle rhee in just a second. one of the things mitt romney was talking about was the various theaters around the world. that would suggest a conversation, you know, relevant to somebody being considered for the position of secretary of state. i was curious to get from your insights any -- have you gotten from your sources any insights as to whether or not the
transition, president-elect trump's transition is gearing towards offering romney that position of secretary of state or is it simply too early at this point? >> reporter: i think it's too early until this meeting had occurred. the guidance we had been given was that the president-elect wanted to have mitt romney here, and obviously mitt romney agreed to come for them to have a conversation that by my watch, romney arrived more than an hour and a half ago, so perhaps they met for a good portion of that. we'll wait to get specifics. but this was a chance for a bit of the speculation game to play out in public. also we had been given guidance that the secretary of state position is something that could be on the table. obviously those decisions are, you know, the president-elect's to make with his top advisers. it may have been a case where he simply needed to have this conversation to see if there was any interest, any chemistry where they could work together. at a minimum, governor romney, who spent a couple of presidential cycles trying to win the presidency himself, had been a student of the world as a
part of that and had talked about russia in particular in very different ways that we see the emerging trump administration. perhaps it was simply sharing ideas, perhaps it will lead to something more. >> kelly, in following the trump campaign and from knowing mitt romney and his political aspirations, are there some areas where you see these gentlemen converging? or are they opposite on the international stage in policy as they are on the domestic front? >> reporter: russia is the most glaring area where they have had different views. much of it is really an approach, a style, a way of leadership that sets them apart. mitt romney is a much more kind of business management, buttoned-up sort of person as we've come to know, much more proper in that sense. donald trump, as we've come to learn, is much freer in the things he will say, will cross lines that others won't cross. so a lot of their falling out centered around kind of a vulgarity which mitt romney had talked about during the campaign
season. but in terms of mitt romney wanting to be a public servant, from talking with people around him, close to him, working with him in the phase of life he's in now, i'm told he wants to make a contribution particularly to the republican party, believing that there are ways that the party can grow and the direction it should take. it would not be surprising if he were willing to serve. at the same time, we don't know if that offer is going to be made and we don't know if they'll come to terms on that. they have a lot of common ground. they understand business in many ways. that's a language they both speak. but they come at it from very different sort of personal style, personal cultural differences. and we'll have to see if those can be worked out. they have been on the outs at times. today they looked friendly again. >> what is michelle rhee in consideration for and what might her presence this weekend at new jersey's gathering suggest? >> reporter: the guidance we've been given is that there are two people here today who could be
considered for a position as the secretary of education, michelle rhee of course led the dc schools. she was a national figure on education reform, and a bright voice on that, she got a lot of attention when was she running the dc schools. betsy deibos of michigan is an expert on education and education reforms that have been very much in line with donald trump's call for getting rid of the common core brand and bringing it back to the states. so two people that we think are at least in the running to contribute ideas on education or perhaps to be considered themselves as potential cabinet secretaries in a trump administration. that's what we expect. whether these were get to know you meetings or actual interviews is yet to be known. we hope to get more on that as the day progression. >> kelly o'donnell, staking out that front door at the bedminster golf resort there, thank you very much, we appreciate your insights.
we'll bring in christopher dickey. let's listen to the sound bite of mitt romney as he came out of that meeting with donald trump. take a listen. >> it was a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the united states of real significance. we discussed those areas, and exchanged our views on those topics. very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had. and i appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and i look forward to the coming administration. >> all right. joining me now from paris is msnbc contributor christopher dickey, editor at the daily beast. good to have you with us. let's talk about that statement from mitt romney after his meeting with president-elect trump. what do you make of the tone of
that statement given the history between the two men? >> reporter: a lot of the people who are meeting the president-elect right now, especially someone like romney, it's like the bull has gotten into the china shop and they're trying to save one little piece or the other. romney feels if he can talk to trump enough, maybe he can either make trump more states n statesmanlike, which is doubtful, or he can find a position in the administration or influence a position in the administration where at least the secretary of state job would go to someone capable of being diplomatic. >> christopher, let me ask you what mitt romney brings to a meeting like this. you're talking about trying to preserve some strand of the republican establishment's thinking on foreign policy, perhaps on an issue like russia or dealing with somebody like russian president vladimir putin. i think the question that is central to this is, given the
bad history between these two men, some of the language that was used on the campaign trail, what does mitt romney have to gain by meeting with president-elect trump and what does president-elect trump have to gain by meeting with somebody like mitt romney? >> reporter: well, if they can bury some of that bad chemistry, i think it would be a good match for both of them in many ways. from romney's point of view, he would be performing a public service. i think that's very much his frame of mind. i think he feels or hopes that he can save something of the foreign policy of the united states and make sense of it, because a lot of what trump was talking about really doesn't make sense when you get down into the nitty-gritty of how you work in the world. on the other hand, trump would look like he was much more responsible, much more of a statesman than he often has appeared to be, by appointing somebody like romney. another name that was rooted about was rudy guiliani, that
would be a disaster as secretary of state. he is not diplomatic nor would trump be seen to be statesmanlike by appointing guiliani. >> president obama was in germany this week. we've seen this populist waive that resulted in brexit in the united kingdom, we've seen it here in the united states, some are describing it as an anti-immigrant sentiment that has swept through europe. talk about angela merkel's role in this dynamic with the french presidential elections, the british government of theresa may. >> i think first of all you need to understand that a lot of this populist nationalism began here in europe in recent years long before it seemed even a remote possibility that donald trump and his backers could take power
in washington. and what we're going to see is a lot of cross fertilization. angela merkel is finding herself really looking very lonely right now. think about what we could be looking at in seven or eight months after the french elections. who are the permanent members of the security council? xi jinping of china, vladimir putin of russia, donald trump of the united states, and marine le pen of france, because there's a real chance that she could be elected, and theresa may. that could leave angela merkel very lonely indeed. >> msnbc's joy reid was in london, talked about people there about the trump election. take a listen. >> brexit may have some implications within europe. i think the main parts will be
felt with, the main effects of donald trump could be felt the world over. that's why i would take ten brexits, as bad as it is, over what happened in the states. >> do you find people asking what happened? >> yes, when we checked into the hotel, three people at the counter said, what's going on over there? >> you heard that one guy said ten brexits as opposed to the election of donald trump because that would have more severe implications around the world than brexit. are you hearing similar things overseas, similar concerns? how has trump's victory impacted what people are saying to you overseas? >> reporter: ayman, the minute that people realize that you're an american right now in europe, they can't stop themselves. they say, what about trump, what do you think of this? and those who are concerned about the rise of right wing populist nationalism here are worried that now that the united states has elected trump, people here who might have been shy voters, reluctant to vote for
someone like marine le pen, are now going to say, well, if the americans can do it, why not us? >> christopher dickey, thank you very much for joining us from paris. we cross over to lima, peru, where u.s. president barack obama is participating in a town hall. let's take a live listen to what he's saying. >> fewer people than ever around the world live in extreme poverty. scientific breakthroughs are paving the way to cures for new diseases. more children are going to school, more girls in particular are going to school than ever before. people across the world are securing their human rights. and technology has reshaped the world, as you can tell, because everybody has their phones. at the time when earth is now populated by more cellphones than people, you have the power to connect with each other across borders, across nations. you have the tools in your hand to solve problems that we
couldn't even imagine when i was your age. now, even as we make all these important strides in advancing the rights of more people, even as technology brings us closer together, this unprecedented change also brings challenges. we see it in the widening gap between rich and poor around the world. we see it in the forces of extremism and division that too often tear communities apart. so the question for all of us is, how can we make sure that in this rapidly changing world, nobody is left behind, and that all of us are stronger and more prosperous? so over the last eight years as president, i've worked to strengthen our relationship with the americas. we're more than just neighbors. we're linked by trade and culture and family and values. our students study in each
other's countries. our businesses sell goods across borders. our tourists travel back and forth. and we've moved beyond many of the old arguments to create a new figures for the future. one that your generation, which is liberated from old ways of thinking, can lead. during my presidency, the united states recommitted itself to the region in partnership with your countries -- >> all right, you're listen to president barack obama live in lima, peru, on the last leg of his three-country tour that started in greece, then germany, the apec summit taking place in south america. ron allen joins us, who has been traveling with the president. ron, give us a sense of how this final last leg of president obama's historic trip has been so far. >> reporter: it's wide ranging agenda. you see him doing a town hall with young people, something he does in many places around the
world. he jokes that young people are more interesting than old people. he sees them as the negativxt generation, the future. he sees america's future more so here and less so in europe and with our traditional allies. that's why his whole focus of foreign policy has been about rebalancing or pivoting to this part of the world. i think a lot of it has to do with the fact that he spent a lot of his time as a youngster in hawaii and tunisia, places that have interested him. we're anticipating a meeting with russian leader vladimir putin on the sidelines of the summit. on that agenda would be syria and the recent attacks in aleppo that have destroyed the last remaining hospital in eastern aleppo, we understand. the united states has strongly condemned that. we know that president obama and president putin have talked about syria in the past and not been able to broker any kind of a deal that would lead to a lasting cease-fire. the hope is that that might happen here during the sidelines
of this summit. there is that as well. a very busy agenda here today and tomorrow for his final foreign trip. >> ron allen traveling with the president in lima peru, thank you, ron. ahead, more on trump's meeting with romney. and how jeff sessions, president-elect trump's pick for attorney general, could affect the country's civil rights laws. on my long-term control medicine. i talked to my doctor and found a missing piece in my asthma treatment with breo. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo opens up airways to help improve breathing for a full 24 hours. breo contains a type of medicine that increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. breo is not for people whose asthma is well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled,
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appearing on fox. >> we've done it with iran back a while ago. we did it during world war ii with the japanese, call it what you will -- >> come on, you're not proposing we go back to the days of internment camps, you know better than to suggest that. that's the kind of stuff that gets people scared, carl. >> right. i'm just saying there's precedent for it. >> joining us is a contributor to the daily beast. you wrote an opinion pisost in "the washington post" in which you said our rich history will never allow the fearmongering that has been attached to trump's rhetoric to come to fruition. trump's attorney general jeff sessions argued in favor of a religious test to ban muslims less than a year ago. i want to ask you a two-part
question. are you making a distinction about not having that fear you wrote about because of the checks and balances within american constitutions and the civil rights that are long practiced in this country, or are you saying that trump's rhetoric throughout the campaign and the advisors that he has appointed should not be a cause of concern for muslims, which one of those or both of those are you saying? >> yes, and just to give your viewers context, i'm muslim, i'm an immigrant, i'm a liberal, and i voted for donald trump because i do not have this fear. i do not believe that the sky is falling. i know we have -- >> why do you believe that? because of the institutions of america or because you don't believe the things donald trump has said are things to be worried about? >> i believe we have a lot of chicken littles running around exaggerating many of the policies being talked about. this muslim registry that has been characterized as something that president bush put in
place, that was removed because of the policies of the obama administration. this idea that we're seeing on tv of a return to internment camps is far from any reality that would ever be possible in this country. what i believe will happen is the rhetoric, as you talk about, will not be realized in the de m de-monday demonic ways. that's what most concerns me -- excuse me, what concerns me the most is that as a liberal what i see happening is that the left has in fact been engaging in a lot of fearmongering that has not allowed us to come to the middle in our conversation about the next administration. >> okay. >> i see a lot of fear being inflamed very irresponsibly. >> so -- >> that is what really concerns me. >> let's talk about the appointments that you're seeing president-elect trump put in place. michael flynn, he says he's been
at war with islam for a better part of a decade. he says he's calling on arab leaders to denounce their sick islamic ideology. he says fear of muslims is rational. that's nothing that the liberal or left side is doing. those are the words of the people president-elect trump has elected to put in power. you're saying that those words, those comments from a potential national security adviser do not concern you? >> sounds like a leading question right there. my friend, dear -- >> i'm asking do words concern you or do they not concern you. >> allow me to answer. i believe for the last eight years we have failed as the liberal policies of this country in dealing with the issues of islamic extremism. michael flynn is reflecting a reality that is not pretty and that the left and liberals refuse to accept. >> so those words don't concern you? >> they do not concern me. >> okay. >> allow me to also say -- >> well, we have a lot of things
we have to discuss. >> i know, but i want to be really careful, ayman, your questions suggest there's a right answer and a wrong answer. >> not at all. i'm asking you if they concern you. you said they don't consider you as a muslim. >> i think the answers lie in the middle. i don't believe fear is appropriate. >> the fbi reports muslim hate crimes are up 67% in 2015 compared to the previous year. what do you say to your fellow muslim-americans who fear they may be targeted following a very intense year of campaigning, and a statistical spike in hate crimes against muslims? >> what i want to say to my fellow muslims, we're more of a target -- >> wait. i'm sorry. i just wanted to understand that. you're saying the attack on muslims in america are a result of extremism in islam and not because of hate crimes that the fbi says are being statistically documented? >> to finish my thought, what
i'm trying to say is tt if people feel fear about muslims, we do have a responsibility within our communities to acknowledge that fear. we should never accept hate against anyone, absolutely. there is record numbers of hate also being expressed against jewish people. four times more than muslims. we should be talking about every type of hate in this community, including by muslims against others. and so what i say to my fellow muslims is that we need to be part of the middle path. we need to see the tolerance that we -- we need to express the tolerance we want to see in the world. and absolutely everyone should feel safe. >> do you blame muslims for the hate crimes happening against them in this country? >> what i do is i blame our muslim organizations, of which i think you're going to have a guest in just a few minutes, who have refused to acknowledge the issue of extremism. these are funded by the governments of qatar and saudi arabia that have already supported hillary clinton's campaign, and her own clinton
foundation. what i feel responsible for as a muslim is to challenge extremism. so in the muslim reform movement, we take it on very -- >> i'm sorry, with all due respect, you're not answering the question. i'm sorry to say that, but you're not answering the question. a muslim woman walking down the street who gets her hijab pulled off her hair, you're saying that's the fault of muslim organizations, you're not wanting to answer the question whether or not there's a rise of hate crimes against muslims in this country which the fbi is documenting. >> you're so biased in your questions of me. >> you're just not answering the questions. >> you're not allowing me to answer it as i wish to answer them. and so unfortunately what is happening right now in our conversation is exactly why hillary clinton lost the white house. it's this inability of those on the left and liberals to have any kind of tolerance for people with other opinions that don't
fit the answers that they want to hear. jon stewart speaks about it. the liberal hypocrisy, nicholas kristoff has talked about the liberal privilege. of course no one is responsible if hate is directed at them personally. i'm talking about a high level of ownership that we in our muslim communities need to have about issues of extremism. we need to own the problem. and then we will realize that people will not feel fear about this, quote, cancer that they see all of these big bad words that are being hurled against us. let us take responsibility. and everyone should absolutely live safely and peacefully in this world. >> all right, thank you very much. despite the accusation you made, we still invited you to talk about your viewpoints. >> and i accepted and i wish will to everyone. >> thank you very much for coming on. joining me is the executive director of the san francisco
bay area of the chapter on american-islamic relations, good to have you with us. let me get your reaction to what we were just hearing there. >> i couldn't make any sense of it, right? i am a civil rights lawyer and i'm really concerned about what donald trump has said, what he has failed to clarify, and the people he has surrounded himself with. i agree that we have a system of checks and balances. but right now we have an executive branch that is going to be led by someone who is openly racist and misogynist and surrounding himself with similar people. we have a congress that is majority republican. and they will now together work to fill that opening on the supreme court. i'm concerned even about our checks and balances at this point. >> and what concerns you about the checks and balances, what is your reaction to any discussion that the trump administration may be having about introducing some of things we're citing there, a registry for muslims, perhaps even a ban on muslims, as you even heard from some of his surrogates?
>> here's the thing. a registry for muslims is something that we saw happen under the bush administration. japanese internment is something our country has done in the past. these things have been done in the past. and in times of actual or alleged national security crises, the courts have deferred to the executive branch. and that frightens me, especially here where the executive branch will appoint the opening on the supreme court. could it be done? will they try it? yes. is it unconstitutional? i would argue yes also. is it counter to our american values? yes. most importantly, is it effective? no. the last time there was a registry program under the bush administration, they failed to prosecute terror charges based on over 80,000 registrations. >> let me ask you, do you feel there is a direct connection to trump's recollehetoric and hates against muslims? >> yes. >> what's the evidence that you
see that? >> so america saw, people in america saw that someone was openly racist, misogynist, islamophobic and so on, could win the presidency. unfortunately the rhetoric of him and his advisers has validated to might not otherwise come out of their homes to commit violence. we've seen a spike in the last 18 months and also in the last ten days, over a hundred anti-muslim incidents across the country. it's individuals are being targeted in parking lots, children, college students, adults. right now it's happening everywhere. >> thank you very much for joining us. i'm sure this is a conversation that will continue for the months and years to come. that's all for me this hour. thanks for everyone who joined in this saturday afternoon. my colleague richard liu will be here next. stay with us. then i found aleve pm. the only one to combine a sleep aid
a good saturday afternoon to you, i'm richard lui right here in new york city at msnbc headquarters. we're watching mitt romney speaking to reporters just moments ago after meeting with donald trump just moments ago at trump's home in new jersey. the past republican nominee for president is in the running for trump's secretary of state. >> i look forward to the coming administration. >> romney is just one of several individuals meeting with trump today about potential cabinet positions. let's get straight to nbc's kelly o'donnell, live in bedminster, new jersey, where these meetings are taking place. we just saw a little bit of what was said there, kelly. we know the two met for about 90 minutes. what else do you know? >> reporter: well, we don't know the time. we know 90 minutes was the approximate time of when governor romney arrived and when he departed. we're going to presume it