tv MSNBC Live With Thomas Roberts MSNBC November 23, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PST
thank you for watching at this hour. right now ali velshi. >> thanks. just ahead, new move in the today in trump's transition. the president-elect makes two picks. betsy devoss to lead education and nikki haley as u.s. ambassador. we'll examine both of these choices and will ben carson have a role in the trump white house? also, we're live in manhattan where an elite anti-terror force is preparing to protect tomorrow's macy's day parade. and obama's final thanksgiving as commander in chief. we begin this hour with donald trump set to nominate betsy devos as secretary of the education secretary.
and ben carson may soon accept the position as h.u.d. secretary. after serious discussions with the trump transition team, i feel that i can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. this comes on the heels of nicky ha -- nikki haley tapped to serve as u.n. ambassador. katy tur is here with me in the studio. betsy devos has been chosen as department of education secretary. what do we know about her? >> reporter: she's a top republican donor and advocates overhauling the school system. she's an advocate of school choice. she's an advocate of vouchers and wants to reform common core. these are all principles that are in line with what president-elect has talked about on the campaign trail and
underscores he's making a move to overhaul the school system. these are ideas of policies that have been promoted by republicans but typically haven't gone very far. the question is will she be able to actually get that through? what is also interesting, she's the second female pick by president-elect donald trump. of course, you talked about the first one, south carolina governor nikki haley for u.n. ambassador. she was initially a critic of donald trump. she met with him, though, last week and today said she's honored to join his team. it's a post that requires senate confirmation but she's already earning bipartisan praise, including from former vice presidential nominee tim kaine. so very interesting picks and i think it shows that president-elect donald trump really moving to diversify his cabinet, not only by picking two women but by incorporating nikki haley, someone critical of him, not quite a team of rivals yet but clear that he's incorporating some arrive rivals
into his team. >> in addition to being a donor, she's a big supporter of charter schools. that sets her off on a controversial foot as secretary of education. what else do we know about her? >> reporter: it absolutely does set her up and what you're seeing is someone who essentially wants to overhaul the school system. charter schools, voucher programs. the president-elect while campaigning says he wants to give more access to lower income kids. so we'll have to see how this plays out and how it plays out in terms of the battles in the senate. but, of course, it requires confirmation. we're still waiting for reaction to pour into this. undoubtedly, you'll have some people who are going to express some opposition to what appears to be a choice that would move to overhaul the school system, ali. >> i was sitting here getting ready for the show and up pops an announcement by ben carson saying an announcement is
forthcoming. this is a guy who has said that his life has not prepared him to be a cabinet secretary. even though he ran for president. >> not prepared for a federal agency. >> he doesn't have very much to do with housing and urban development. he doesn't have a lot of experience in this field or any experience in this field to speak of. but he does and he has during his childhood in detroit and treated inner city patients as qualifications for the job. remember, he took donald trump on something of a tour of his detroit neighborhood during the campaign when donald trump was trying to do more african-american and traditionally someone that would be qualified for this job. same thing, though, many are saying with nikki haley. she doesn't have much experience when it comes to foreign affairs
other than trade deals as the governor of south carolina. so they are going more untraditional. they've talked about this idea of draining the swamp, bringing new faces and putting new people in charge of things. nikki haley, though, was a governor and she's somebody who has experience leaving and dealing with at least on some level with foreign governments. ben carson not so much. and just to give you a little more background, it was established by lyndon johnson in '65. it employees 8,000 people. it's a big agency. big deal. ben carson said he would only take a position if donald trump told him he was absolutely necessary to that position because he was something of a governmental neophyte. >> let's stay on the traditional role for a second. we have audio of donald trump meeting with "new york times."
he made comments about alleged business conflicts. here's what he told reporters. >> in theory, i could be president of the united states and run my business 100%, sign checks in my business. i could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. i assumed that you'd have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don't and i was actually a little bit surprised. >> uncharacteristically humble. he could run the business and country perfectly. he assumed there was some kind of a trust. and he's referring to the idea that as president he doesn't fall under the same rules that every other federal employee falls under. >> it seems like he's just learning for the first time that the president is exempt from conflict of interest laws. what he's not extent from, though, is the emolument's
clause. you can't accept gives from foreign governments. there are things in his portfolio that could potentially cause a conflict of interest. we don't know this for sure. he didn't release his tax returns so we don't have definitive proof that he's taking money from a foreign government but he's had dealings with the bank of china, dealings with the chinese government. that could potentially violate that clause. all of this is very unclear. ethics lawyers are looking into it now. the trump campaign has said they would have their own lawyer on staff, as all presidents do, in the west wing who will be very sensitive to this issue. so far, we have not seen that the president-elect is sensitive to this issue. >> no. his family members are all over his meetings so far. katy tur, kristen welker, great to see both of you. joining me now is hugh hewitt. >> happy thanksgiving. happy to be here.
>> let's talk about betsy devos, his education secretary. the fact that she's a supporter of common core, that's going to be a problem with donald trump's base. >> it's split the republican party for a long time. as to whether or not it ought to be mandatory and how you unwind it or not, it's truly voluntary. she is a huge proponent of choice and i think that what would combine the appointment of dr. carson to h.u.d. and betsy devos to the education department would depend on adding to the choice of their customers, choice in school, choice in section 8 housing. choice drives a lot of reform agenda for the republicans. so there's actually a unity between these two picks today and not just in their diversity. >> how will republicans, going forward, now tackle the idea that the concept of choice in schools does leave you with an unintended consequence of everybody who is able to choose
leaving the thing that's worst for them, which tends to be underfunded education? >> well, you know, i'm on the board of the public chartered school system in arizona, great hearts. they have done that by competition and it actually raises both places. it raises the public charter school up, it raises the traditional elementary and junior high and high school up. charter schools have gotten a bad reputation within some educrat world because they fear competition. what actually happens is people don't flee. everybody ups their game. everybody does win when competition comes into the play. >> all right. we want to have a bigger discussion on that one of these days. hugh, i need to talk about governor nikki haley of south carolina, appointed as u.n. ambassador. are you comfortable with her in that role? we're facing the idea that we just talked about ben carson, people not particularly qualified for the specific role. beyond that, what are your thoughts about nikki haley as
u.n. ambassador? >> it's a terrific pick. our most famous u.n. ambassador, they have all had one thing in common, which is charisma. it isn't particularly a resume-driven job. it's a job where you have to speak with the president with the next secretary of state and our pentagon leaders and ambassadors and represent the point of view of the united states well and on the general assembly and security council. it's rarely a moment where you have a cuban missile crisis or something like that where you've got to dominate or general powell made the presentation before the u.n. on a day-to-day basis, i can't imagine many people are as qualified as nikki haley. a lot of people thought john bolton would end up there. but she's a brilliant governor, a lot of foreign experience and a lot of tough in the trenches -- >> not a lot of foreign experience. >> well, i do actually count -- i actually count if you're
helping boeing selling aircrafts around the world, i think that counts as international experience. trade counts to me. most important, when you have a husband who wears the uniform and deploys, that's probably one of the most tangible connections to america's role in the world you could possibly have and she's got that on her resume as well, or at least -- i won't say on her resume. in her family. >> hugh, i want to have you back talking about vouchers and charter schools and how they can raise the standards of education in general. hugh hewitt, always good to see you. >> thanks, ali. happy thanksgiving. >> thank you. investigators are working to figure out what caused a school bus crash to kill five elementary children. there was no black box on board but there is evidence that can be reviewed to determine what went wrong. >> we have good information sources. buses rarely have black boxes but they are increasingly having cameras and this one had three
cameras. we're seeing if we can download the information from the cameras. road design is one of the issues that we're looking at and speed. that's why several sources of information will be very helpful because we want to determine how fast the bus was going at the time it left the road. >> the driver has been charged in the crash. we are in chattanooga with more on the investigation. there are some questions about the driver and past issues that he's had. can you explain that, mariana? >> reporter: the driver's record is definitely raising questions. this is what we know about johnthony's record. he just received a commercial license to drive that bus in april. he was involved in a minor accident in september where he sideswiped a car and in september 2014, he had a suspended license for lack of insurance. the affidavit against him said the high rate of speed at which he was going was one of the reasons this bus crash was so
dramatic and that's what the ntsb official mentioned in the intro you just tossed to. also, we have spoken to several parents who told us they have previously complained to the school board in the past about this man's driving. in fact, we spoke to the godfather of one of the little girls who died. the godfather of zoie nash. >> my heart goes out for them. we've heard all different types of stories. we heard there was a lot of complaints about this guy who was driving the bus. we don't know for sure. but if there was, that should be investigated all the way to the top. >> reporter: there is a police presser in an hour and another at 5:00 p.m. today. i'm standing in front of the hospital where six children are still being treated.
one we're told has been moved to a regular room and is in fair condition but five are still in the icu and in critical but stable condition. >> mariana in chattanooga, thank you. isis calling the thanksgiving day parade, quote, an excellent target. as a result, new york city officials are taking unprecedented precautions to secure the parade route. also ahead, pack some patience. what you need to know, straight ahead. and that leads to our microsoft pulse question of the day. "following a contentious election season that divided friends and families, will you talk politics this thanksgiving? we want to hear from you. go to pulse.msnbc.com. that's ahead here on msnbc. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary,
3.5 million people are expected to attend tomorrow's macy's thanksgiving day parade here in new york city. security will be stepped up for the first time in its 90-year history, every crossstreet along the parade route will be on the route and vapor dogs will be out there to smell explosives. first, next hour, the most famous balloons will be inflated ahead of tomorrow's festivities. that's where we find tammy leitner live in new york city. where are you and walk us through the security that will be in place tomorrow. >> reporter: ali, this is where the magic happens. you can see they are inflating one of the balloons here. i'll let you figure out what this one is. all of the people in the red jump suits are from steven's
institute. they train four times a year on how to inflate these balloons. it takes about an hour to inflate each of them. i don't know if you can see here, but they have to hand-hold the hose to inflate these. it's very cold out here. a lot of them don't have gloves. as far as security goes along the parade route, it's about 2 1/2 miles. every single road will be closed. this is the first time they are closing down 42nd and 57th. a lot of security presence. 3,000 nypd officers will be out here. 5,000 specially trained to deal with any type of terrorist incident can occur. they formed this unit about a year ago and, as i mentioned, they'll be out there along the entire parade route, ali. >> the information you're providing is fantastic but i'm fixated on the balloon next to you trying to figure out what it is. >> reporter: all right. i'll give it up.
ronald mcdonald. >> oh, okay. >> reporter: coming to life right here. >> it's fantastic. i always enjoy the night before the parade, going and braving the cold with hot chocolate and watching those balloons get inflated. enjoy yourself. it's a good assignment. >> reporter: best part of the job, that's for sure. joining me is chairman and ceo. isis is referring to the thanksgiving day parade as an excellent target. you saw tammy describing it. what are we looking at from a homeland security perspective? >> groups like isis groups, like al qaeda, every major events from the election to, you know, the christmas lights at rockefeller center, they think it's a target and they want to
do something. i trust the men and women of nypd here. the men and women, they do a lot of great work and the public don't know how much security things happening under the table behind closed doors, behind the scenes. >> right. as tammy just showed us, there's cameras. >> absolutely. but there's a lot of intelligence databases being scrubbed, there's investigations going on trying to figure out possible targets and eliminate these possible targets. new york city is very safe. i myself will be attending the parade. >> in the conversation with the "new york times," donald trump says, so i met with a very respected guy and asked him that question, talking about waterboarding.
what do you think of waterboarding? he said, i was surprised. i never found it to be useful. i always found give me a pack of cigarettes and do better with that than torture, which reminds me of your book where you describe your interrogation techniquesfter the bombing the "uss cole" and after the 9/11 approach. >> yes. if you talk to professional people in the intelligence community or law enforcement who do this for a living, they tell you the same thing that general mattis did. most of the successful i interrogations we did and politicians talking about how torture works and talk about specific events that i watch personally was involved in it. i saw it firsthand. i'm the only person who testified under oath in congress
about the inet think ka see about these programs, how they hurt our national security, work as propaganda tools for the enemy and the disastrous war in iraq was based on information that was generated because of torture. based on his torture, he gave information that al qaeda and saddam. >> you say torture gives you the information that they think you want to hear. you don't want that. you want the information that actually is accurate, true and can save lives. >> make tell mattis they won't do good with the beers but -- >> sugarless cookies for those who were diabetic, fish burgers for those who want to go allah,
they don't want to do beef. >> now somebody is talking about an actual registry of people who have come from immigrants from muslim countries. >> right. >> which would involve a lot of people in this country. if you're trying to fight home-grown extremism, tell me where this fits in. >> let's see how the campaign trail will become after the reality of the government starts to take place. this is a needless overreaction for a problem. i think since 9/11, the state department and homeland security and a lot of different agencies and the intelligence community has been doing a great job in tightening the visa requirements that come from visa countries, even adding more data that are required for people who come from nonvisa countries. like, for example, people who come from france or belgian or germany. as you know, many of these european countries have hotbeds
of terrorism. so i think towards the end we have to build on the successes that have been accomplished. and not things that will backfire on us. >> you do a lot of studying on the idea of extremism. what's the single best thing you can do to prevent home-grown extremism? >> well, you know, it's interesting you said that because most of the tragic terrorism that is happening today in the united states -- >> it's not home-grown. >> what we saw in orlando and san bernardino or in new york or in ft. hood is home-grown. people who have been radicalized within our own borders. so we have to develop policies and put structures in place to bring the community in so the community can be a partner. basically, what we need to do, in this case, the muslim community, what we need to do is we need to enlarge our tent
while making the tent of the bad guys smaller. >> ali, thank you. the parade is just one of many concerns heading into the holiday weekend. security stepped up at airports across the country. extra tsa staffers on hand with a record number of travelers expected to hit the skies and a live look now at i-90 in cleveland. rubber meeting the road this holiday weekend. take a look at it. the latest on all of it after the break. you love, does psoriasis ever get in the way of a touching moment? if you have moderate to severe psoriasis, you can embrace the chance of completely clear skin with taltz. taltz is proven to give you a chance at completely clear skin. with taltz, up to 90% of patients had a significant improvement of their psoriasis plaques. in fact, 4 out of 10 even achieved completely clear skin. do not use if you are allergic to taltz.
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blake, first to you. long lines over the summer at o'hare. it doesn't look terrible right now. >> reporter: not at all. tsa has added 1400 workers since the summer at airports nationwide and they have every checkpoint open right now. this line is moving. no one is stopping. they are trying to get people through really quickly. at the very end there, i don't know if you can see, they have the k-9 dogs out as well which can help with the lines. anita, where are you off to? >> beijing, china. >> reporter: i want to know, how does a family from chicago decide i think we're going to hop on a 14-hour flight to china. >> that would be our wonderful daughter kiana. she said, that's what we're doing this thanksgiving. she told us about this six months ago and here we are. >> reporter: i want to join your
family. >> i know. she ordered the limousine and everything. i don't know what this is costing their dear old dad but here we go. >> reporter: what are you looking forward to the most? >> shopping. >> reporter: you're from chicago. come on. >> i know. but different shopping. >> reporter: exactly. good luck to you guys. >> thank you so much. >> reporter: they got here 2 1/2 hours early so they are heeding all of the advice of the airports to get here early. ali? >> that's the way to do it. enjoy yourselves. l.a.x. is expecting a record number of travelers. it being looks absolutely empty. what are you doing? there's no one there. >> reporter: right now we're actually at a skybridge we're going to show you the traffic getting to the lines. in l.a.x., it's all about the traffic. you can see this traffic backup. it's about a 15, 20-minute delay while you're in the car trying to get to l.a.x. check this out. this is going to infuriate a lot of people at l.a.x.
that right there, people in l.a. know that this is somewhat of a short cut. it's no longer a shortcut. that's the choke point. that's why people are waiting 10, 15 minutes. if we want to look inside, a little earlier, tom costello showed us a really cool app. it's a tsa app. you can see the lines in realtime. this one says l.a.x. is basically a 30-minute delay for the airport. but you can also go to all the different terminals. we'll go to wait times here and you see terminal 6, zero. tom brady, 35 to 45. the lines are moving along but right now, about 15, 20 minutes after a 20 minute wait just to get into l.a.x. back to you. >> gadi schwartz at l.a.x. and blake mccoy in chicago, thank you. a new report revealing a meeting about syria between
donald trump jr. it's talking about mixing family with foreign policy. new audio provides insight between the president-elect and "new york times." we'll tell you what we know, next. when your pain reliever stops working, your whole day stops. (sighs sadly) try this. only aleve can stop pain for 12 hours. plus, aleve is recommended by more doctors than any other brand for minor arthritis pain. aleve. live whole. not part.
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i'm ali velshi with a look at the stories happening this hour. president-elect has tapped nikki haley as the u.n. ambassador. she's the first woman picked for his cabinet. betsy devos tweeting this, many of you are asking about common core. to clarify, i am not a supporter, period. that's good to get clarification on. new interview that donald trump conducted with "the new york times" on foreign policy issues including the conflict in syria. >> syria, we have to solve that
problem because we're going to just keep fighting, fighting forever. i have a different view than a lot of people. i have some very definitive and i have some very strong ideas on syria. i think what's happened is a horrible, horrible thing. thousands of people have died, okay? i think it's a shame. >> can you describe -- >> i can only say this. we have to end that craziness that's going on in syria. >> sorrfor those of you wanting specificity, sorry. joining me here on the set, author ian bremer. real quickly about nikki haley, you say it's unusual to see a senior diplomat chosen before a secretary of state. >> that's right. but i mean, at the same time, trump has gotten criticized for not having any diversity so far. this gives you one, a woman, an
indian woman. i think this is a throwaway that is not going to be enormously a priority. >> she's charismatic. >> she's charismatic, smart, capable. >> you've got a chance to dig deep into those comments that donald trump made about syria to the united nations. do you take anything away from that? it's horrible, very definitive. >> there's not much -- >> there's not much deep. >> yeah. >> to dig into it. it's very clear to me that there is a win for mr. trump with russia. and syria is a big part of that. russia was the biggest failure of two terms of obama foreign policy. we've said that assad must go. it's almost six years into the war. assad is not going anywhere. the sanctions have helped the chinese going into europe. trump can come in and say, hey,
i'm an adult -- >> and i'm not the guy who made these conditions. >> yeah. i'm going to work with you. i think it's very easy for trump to say assad is not my problem. isis is. russia, help me hit isis and in return assad can be part of the solution. >> so he can pivot without having having to pivot. he can do something that obama couldn't pivot to do because obama decided to go down a road with respect to assad. >> i think if you recognize reality. the americans frequently have a problem when you're lining up for a field goal and that's fine but you're pushed back 30 yards and should have the team to punt. instead, you're trying to kick the field goal. >> what are you more worried about? russia, the relationship with china? something else? what's the thing that the u.s. should be focused on? i know they should be focused on more than one thing. >> what we're going to be focused on is immigration and terrorism and proliferation. what i think we need to focus a
lot more on is china, the potential for the u.s. and china relationship to become less managed is high. the u.s. has said no tpp. trump said he's getting rid of that. american allies are freaked out about this in asia. >> that's a win for the chinese. >> licking their lips. they are very happy about it. the chinese don't like uncertainty. and right now -- i was just in beijing. the chinese see trump as -- >> you literally just got back. >> i just got off a plane and they see trump as businessman, pragmatic, someone they can deal with. they don't see the uncertainty that comes with a presidency. that has a potential if he starts going after them on trade and -- >> let's say he goes out and labels them a currency manipulator. china holds a lot of u.s. debt. >> right. >> what is the danger of getting into something that feels like a trade or economic war with china? >> the danger is that the chinese can hit us back. the danger is that they get
upset about that and feel they need to set a marker and unlike a country like mexico which has to take it because they have nowhere else to go and u.s. corporations are caught in the middle. it's harder to lobby for trump because trump doesn't owe the republicans anything, didn't get the chamber of commerce to endorse him. the potential that u.s. and china, which is the biggest antagonist of the united states, it's not small and let's also keep in mind, trump is not someone who is going to go to china and do a good job of showing face. he's for the good with other cultures. he wants to only eat american food and get out of there as fast as possible. it's going to be hard for him to do all of the soft things that makes the relationship smoother. i worry about that. >> let's talk about iraq. there was talk about nikki haley becoming u.n. ambassador and is it kind of worrisome that there
are people in line to be secretary of state who do not acknowledge that there's a problem with going to war in iraq? >> i think that there's a problem that the president of the united states has no policy background on whatsoever. i thought obama brought a lot of capable people into the key positions. that made it easier. didn't make it really easy because you still have people like valley jarrett around him who were gatekeeper. it made it harder to get things done. the case for trump, he's got congress. it's going to be republican senate, republican house. that makes it easier to get things done domestically. on the foreign policy side, the potential for this to go very badly is clearly very high unless he brings in capable senior hands. so far, that's a very open question. the early appointments he's made doesn't give you that level of confidence but clearly if someone like romney was brought in while secretary of state, while you don't work together,
that would make you feel more comfortable. >> ian, pleasure to see you. changing to a domestic story. the president of the united states is about to pardon one of two turkeys. let's listen in. >> they were fed up effort nately, i have by my side, two of miss nephews, austin and aaron robinson, who unlike malia and sasha, have not yet been turned cynical by washington. they still believe in bad puns. they still appreciate the grandeur of this occasion. they still have hope. malia and sasha, by the way, are thankful that this is my final turkey pardon. what i haven't told them is we're going to do this every year from now on. no cameras, just us, every year.
no way i'm cutting this habit cold turkey. that wags pretty funny. thanksgiving is a chance to gather with loved ones, reflect on our many blessings and after a long campaign season, turn from polls to poultry. we're joined by two of the luckies joined by the domino family in iowa. tater and tot. now, t achl ter is here in a backup role just in case tot can't fulfill his duties so he's sort of like the vice turkey. we're working on getting him a pair of aviator glasses and it my great privilege -- well, it's my privilege, actually. let's just say it's my job to
grant them clemency this afternoon. as i do, i want to take a moment to recognize the brave turkeys who were not so lucky who didn't get to ride the gravy train to freedom. it's not that bad now. come on. of course, we have a lot to be thankful for this thanksgiving. six straight years of low unemployment, wages are rising again and equality is narrowing. the housing market is healing, the stock market has nearly tripled. high school graduation rate is at an all-time high and uninsured rate is at an all-time low thanks to the children who finally know the security of health insurance. proud families -- [ applause ]
that's worth gobbling about. proud families across the country are finally complete now that marriage equality is the law of the land. there are many families of service member who is had empty chairs at tables but we appreciate our brave veterans who we've welcomed home. thanksgiving is a reminder of the source of our national strength that out of many we are one, that we're bound not by any one race or religion but rather by an adherence to a common creed that all of us are created equal and while accepting our differences and building a diverse society, it has never been easy. it has never been more important. we are people that look out for one another and get each other's backs. we keep moving forward, defined by values and ideals.
we've all got families we love and we all have hopes for their better future and we lose sight of that sometimes and thanksgiving is a good time for us to remember that. we have a lot more in common than divides us. the holidays are also a time when it's even more important to reach out to those who need a helping hand. i believe we're judged by how we care for the poor and the vulnerable, the sick and the elderly, the immigrant, refugee, everybody who is trying to get a second chance, i believe that in order to truly live up to those ideals, we have to continually fight discrimination in all its forms and always show the world that america is a generous and giving country. we should also make sure someone has something to eat on thanksgiving. of course except for the turkeys because they are already stuffed. so later today the obama family
will participate in our traditional thanksgiving service project and when somebody at your table tells you that you've been hogging all the side dishes, you can't have anymore, i hope you respond with a creed that sums up the spirit of the hundred grow people. yes we cram. that was good. you don't think that's funny? look, i know there's some bad ones in here but this is the last time i'm doing this so we're not leaving any room for leftovers. let me just say -- how am i doing? good? thumbs up? let me just say one last thing before i spare these turkeys' lives. on this thanksgiving, i want to express my sincere gratitude to the american people and for the trust you've placed in me over the last eight years and the
incredible kindness you've shown my family. on behalf of michelle, my mother-in-law and our girls, we want to thank you so very, very much. and now from the rose garden, tater and tot will go to their new home at virginia tech which is, admittedly, a bit hoakie. they will get to live out their natural lives at a new facility called gobbler's rest where students and veterinarians take care of them. everyone knows thanksgiving traffic can put people in a foul mood. happy thanksgiving, everybody! let's go pardon these turkeys. come on, guys. come on. >> keep referring to turkeys. tater and tot. we're trying to figure out where
the other one is. this is tot, the one getting pardoned but both tater and tot will have their lives spared. let's listen in. >> i hearby pardon you from the thanksgiving table and we hope that you have a wonderful time at gobbler's rest. you guys want to wave at them a little bit? you want to touch him? you want to do that? what do you think? what do you think? oh, that's good. oh. what do you think? you want to try it? no? come on. come on. oh, feathers are kind of soft, huh? there you go. all right. congratulations. [ applause ] >> right on queue. >> thank you so much, sir. >> whoa. >> that was definitely taking note of his clemency.
this is the president's last act of clemency as president. his eighth time pardoning the turkeys. and ron allen is joining us now to talk about this strange and unusual piece of american history. ron, what's this all about? >> well, it's all about having a good time and all about fun. the audience here you see a lot of families, young people, white house staffers who come just to have a good time and celebrate this, as you called it -- well, it's a pretty wacky thing but it's a lot of fun. in this white house, after what has happened recently, they could use a little fun. it's an opportunity for the president and his writers to come up with every silly pun that they've come up with and very talented people do this and it was very enter staining and it always is. it's also a serious moment for the president to wish the country a warm and safe and
happy thanksgiving period and that's what it's all about. and it's all about second chances and these turkeys. believe me, it's a lot more fun because we know these turkeys are going to live happy ever after. there was a competition, tot 1 online. >> they both get the same clemency? >> yes. they both go to virginia tech to a place called gobbler's rest. >> those two young boys are his nephews. >> that's the other thing. we missed the first daughters. they've come here every year, we've watched them grow over the years and this year they've had enough of their father's corny jokes. so we missying the first daughters but it was just a wonderful, festive event, a nice time here at the white house. a lot of fun, a light moment. the president, again, using every pun that he could come up
with to drive home this message and to have a happy thanksgiving. >> i'm happy for a moment of levity. ron allen, thank you. we'll be back with more msnbc live right after this. gent nutrn made with only 9 ingredients, plus 25 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. and look where life can take you! boost®. be up for it.™
let's get an update on today's pulse question. will you talk politics this thanksgiving? so far, 36% of you say yes. 64% of you say no. there's still time to weigh in. go to pulse.msnbc.com to cast your vote. let your voice be heard here if not at the thanksgiving table. that wraps it up for us. good-bye. like any of these indulgent new dishes. so try the new grand seafood feast with tender shrimp, a decadent crab cake, and a lobster tail topped with white wine butter. or the new wild-caught lobster & shrimp trio
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roberts. kate snow picks up now. >> ali, happy thanksgiving. good afternoon, everyone. i'm kate snow. the great escape is on. more than 43 million americans clogging airports, honking their way down the highway all so they can relax tomorrow. if you haven't left yet, a little tip, you might want to leave right now. we've got travel and weather updates coming up for you in just the next few minutes. also this afternoon, another cabinet announcement from donald trump. this time it's betsy devos, the next education secretary. that could mean big changes for our kids. add nikki haley and possibly ben carson. finally, a unique report from my friend and colleague lester holt as the new york police department gets ready to keep the city safe over the holiday weekend. we'll hear from the bomb squad here in new york who respond