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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  November 28, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST

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presidential election. this initiated by green party candidate jill stein after raising the prospect of hacking last week. in addition to wisconsin, stein is expected to request a recount of pennsylvania's presidential a and "morning joe" starts right now. >> good morning. it's monday, november 27th. welcome back, everybody. >> it's great to be back here. are you okay? a little sore after all that football? >> wow. haven't done that in 30 years. >> you have to check the date of birth on your driver's license before you do that. >> i don't do that stuff. >> check that date of birth? >> i go out and do stuff. i was out flying around. >> tackle? >> we don't tackle.
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>> pushing? >> it's hard. >> on capitol hill, "the new york times" reporter jeremy peters and in nashville, tennessee, pulitzer prize winning historian, john mee-- j meachem. >> except for michigan losing, it was great. >> what a game that was. fantastic game. >> brutal. >> great game. >> my dad and mom came to visit. my dad actually stayed more than an hour. >> did he really? >> yes, he did. he was threatening to leave immediately. >> obsessed with the michigan/ohio state game too? >> we were talking a lot about transition and we taught him about instagram. he thought it was fascinating and self-involved. >> he's right on both counts. >> and stupid. >> western culture on the skids basically is what he said. >> something like that. let's get right to the news.
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there's so much to report from here. trump is back in new york and begins his week with another full day of transition meetings. over the holiday weekend there was more public jockeying for that secretary of state position especially by rudy. rudy out front. he's out there again. the former mayor of new york touting his credentials to "the wall street journal" saying i probably have traveled as much as hillary in the last 13 years. >> stop. did he really do this? >> china three times. once with bill clinton by the way. i don't know what that means. is that good or bad? you can't say i don't know the world. >> he started singing the third verse of "never been to spain." >> other breaking news that we have to report, after rudy went way out front -- >> i got to ask this question. i know we have some breaking news coming up here. we'll get to that in a second.
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jon meachem, this is breathtaking. it's unbecoming to say the very least. you're a presidential historian. has this ever happened in the history of at least in our lifetime where somebody for a position as serious as secretary of state worked so aggressively to box in the president-elect? >> not publicly. you know, as we all know, privately people do everything they possibly can. no. mayor giuliani trying to present himself as john quincy adams is not a winning strategy here. to do this so publicly, i can't think of an analogy. >> everything rudy giuliani has said in seeking this job, everything he said publicly is actually a disqualifier. >> it's a disqualifier. >> he keeps embarrassing the president-elect. >> mark, we all know trump.
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you don't box trump in. you don't push him against the wall. he keeps doing this. he's also so erratic he did this and said i'm not going to do it and then he did it again which shows he does not have what it takes to be secretary of state. forget all of the other stuff. i had a conversation with him this weekend. we had a good conversation. but this is just not how you do this. >> i suspect in the end neither rudy giuliani nor mitt romney will get this. i think they both for various reasons have now removed out of the lead position in the end. >> i think you'll be seeing more people. >> petraeus, kelly, corker, i would say. >> general kelly. i don't know about those. that's interesting. >> rudy went way out front again. here's kellyanne conway going out on her own. campaigning publicly privately against mitt romney publicly and on television.
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>> why are you campaigning against mitt romney as secretary of state? >> i'm not campaigning against anyone. i'm a concerned citizen. i'm not campaigning against mitt romney. i felt compelled to mention it because it's just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages i received from all over the country. the number of people who feel betrayed to think that a governor romney would get the most prominent cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt donald trump. there was the never trump movement and then there was governor romney. governor romney, in the last four years, has he been around the globe doing something on behalf of the united states in which we're unaware? did he go and intervene in syria where they're having a massive humanitarian crisis. i mean offering to help? has he-he been helpful to netanyahu? what donald trump decides, kellyanne conway and everyone else will respect.
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>> except jon meachem, i have to ask you for more historical context. you have the conway rebellion. you have the communication director for a president-elect saying that he has "betrayed his supporters" by even considering a candidate for secretary of state. this would be -- i think jake sherman said this would be like david ing david axelrod going on "meet the press" saying barack obama has betrayed his supporters by considering hillary clinton for secretary of state. this would be like karl rove saying george w. bush has betrayed his supporters for considering colin powell as secretary of state. is there any parallel? this is -- this is an act of sabotage. can you think of any parallel
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where someone accused their own president-elect of betrayal? >> no. the only thing i can think of and you remember this, too, is there were the true reagan believers in '80, '81, '82, '83 who believed that jim baker george bush were not letting reagan be reagan. they were blaming the moderates for somehow constraining the riggri reagan revolution so you had a war of leaks. it wasn't people going on brinkley back then or whatever it was trying to box reagan in. it showed an interesting dynamic there. somehow or another this was against the president that the president was allowing to happen. it was not oppositional in this sense. >> here's the new information that we have to share this morning. two sources at the top of the trump transition team confirm
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for msnbc that they spoke to the president-elect today and that donald trump was furious at kellyanne conway's comments on sunday suggesting trump betrayed his supporters by even considering mitt romney for a position in his cabinet. kellyanne went rogue at donald trump's expense at the worst possible time. a source familiar with trump's thinking said. trump's top aide said they were "baffled" by conway's comments and suggests that it feeds into a growing concern inside the campaign that "instead of driving donald trump's message she's pushing her own agenda." one top transition aide said "it's dangerous." steve bannon and reince priebus have reportedly been growing frustrated by kellyanne conway's failure to become a team player in a transition process where the top players are forming a tight knit group around the president-elect. >> jeremy peters, this is extraordinarily undisciplined
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and i'm sure you've heard the same thing that our reports have here that those closest to donald trump running his transition are baffled by what she did yesterday. >> i think in all the extraordinary conwayisms that we've heard over the course of this campaign, concerned citizen might be one for the books there. her concern aside, i think what kellyanne is reflecting there is a real sense inside the trump campaign although hers is more indiscrete that some of the other people i've spoken with. kellyanne senses that in mitt romney you can have a secretary of state presiding over something of a rogue agency is very real. what they're worried about is that mitt romney and his allies, if installed in the state department, would operate completely independently from the white house and any time there was any kind of distance between the white house and the state department that there
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would be efforts to make the state department look better vis-a-vis the white house. i understand that given the hostility that mitt romney showed to donald trump over the course of the campaign, but to do this in such an unprecedented way attacking him on thanksgiving morning on twitter as kellyanne did is really kind of unbelievable. >> attacking him and also, mark halperin, attacking the candidate saying that he betrayed his followers. this goes back to who is the last person in the room. as mika always says, donald trump is the last person in the room. donald trump will make the decision. nobody else will make the decision. kellyanne is not going to box him in by calling him a betrayer. rudy giuliani is not going to box him in. it's going to make him look weak if he goes with giuliani now. >> who is not even qualified. >> this, though, suggesting that donald trump is going to let any
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agency go rogue is such an insult to donald trump, it's staggering. that donald trump is going to be weak and mitt romney said something, i can't -- that would be bad. no. he would fire him that day. >> i think that kellyanne thing is getting a lot of attention justifiably so. it's unprecedented. mike huckabee spoke out. newt gingrich spoke out against romney. >> none of them have jobs in the trump administration. >> and the reason i don't think -- >> kellyanne doesn't have a job yet. she's angry about that. she hasn't been offered the job she wants. she is. i can report that. and so she's striking out. she's not in meetings where these decisions are being made and she's angry about that. at the same time, you don't go out and attack the vice president-elect because you're mad at reince priebus.
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>> it's unprecedented. romney is not dead for this job because there are very senior people in the transition -- very senior people in the transition who are strategizing about how to make this happen still. but this issue of an apology is front and center. i don't think romney is going to want to apologize the way some trump supporters are saying are the price for being considered. >> not only is romney going to apologize, mike barnicle, trump doesn't want him to apologize. what trump told me and i've reported this before. what donald trump told me is when the first came up, he was tough on you. donald trump said i beat him up for five years. i was rough on him too. i like the fact that the guy bushes back and romney for his part say look at nikki haley and selections that he's making. it's showing that he's much bigger than his critics have said and romney said the fact
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that he's even talking to me shows that he's ripping a page from team of rivals with lincoln and ronald reagan with james baker. this happens in politics all the time. hillary clinton and barack obama. we were calling each other racists and all of the stuff flying back and forth. these people who are children who don't think that this is how you build coalitions and win elections are just that. politically they are children. they don't know how to play the game. they should just probably be quiet. >> i can report from sources close to governor romney that he will not be apologizing. i can also report that the problem wouldn't be a rogue secretary of state. the bureaucracy within the state department is of its own weight something that's very difficult to move. there's one way to clear this up for donald trump to appoint secretary of state today. >> it's not going to happen. >> he's not going to do that. >> he's not going to do that
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because they're in the middle of a process right now which is a deliberate process which is making it even more offensive that he's got his staffers that are trying to box him in on sunday's shows. he's got this week he's going to talk to petraeus again. he's going to be talking to general kelly. he's going to be talking to mitt romney. and he is not going to be pushed into the corner by a staff member. >> do you believe and think that kellyan kellyanne conway believes what she said? >> on her own. not only has there been reporting from the top of the organization, three or four sources at the top of the organization but everybody around that incident said she went completely rogue and donald trump was furious yesterday that she would take that upon herself to keep attacking mitt romney. >> let me read about giuliani.
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>> i have to clarify. this is important. this is not saying that mitt romney is going to be secretary of state. this is just saying kellyanne conway hurt herself yesterday by going rogue at the worst possible time when donald trump -- >> you're confirming she went rogue. >> donald trump is spending this week being deliberate and reviewing people and making a decision. i would fire a staffer in a second in a second. >> here's this. rudy giuliani's support for trump does not qualify him to run the state department. trump, who wants to be judged fairly by the cabinet appointments he's making, simply can't say the things he said about hillary clinton going around with her hand out and then turn around and appoint a secretary of state whose been traveling around the world with his hand out as if he's the world's reigning expert on security. the job of secretary of state isn't owed to giuliani anymore
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than the white house was owed to hillary clinton. go back and look at some of the speeches he gave for trump. go back and read some of the things giuliani said. he didn't act like someone in training to run the state department. more like an ageing bouncer. maybe the president-elect can create a cabinet position for that. there's also a lot of questions about choices that he made pre and post- 9/11 involving security. everyone called him america's mayor. he was great in that moment but logistical operations pre 9/11 were unthinkable given the fact that we were attacked at the world trade center before and where the command center was. i'm just saying. that was under his watch. that's important to point out. >> i think he's america's mayor. i respect him for what he's done. but as t"the wall street journa" said on wednesday, i think it
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was, the secretary of state position is not a patronage and there aren't a lot of people that have been around rudy giuliani who think he's up to this job. >> he's pushing hard for it. he's boxed more than kellyanne conway. he boxed trump in by saying this is the only job i want. >> who does that? >> in the last 90 days of the campaign, there's no doubt that he earned trump's loyalty. i think they're going to find some other way to pay him back. >> he should be ambassador to italy. he should be ambassador to court of st. james. he should get a high end ambassador position. >> i'm of the view that the senate republicans are not going to run super rigorous confirmation hearings about most people. i do believe that rudy giuliani would have a hard time getting confirmed. and david petraeus might have a hard time getting confirmed as well. >> i think they have the numbers
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on that. >> they think they have the numbers. you never know until this thing takes off. and once it takes off, it could get very ugly. >> i'll say one more thing about romney. i think there are other names in the mix and romney will not apologize and may be a factor. trump likes the notion of romney going around the world to foreign capitals representing the united states. he likes that a lot. >> i can say right now anybody that says they know what trump is or isn't going to do is purely speculating. this is up in the air. guess what? it's not going to be decided by mike huckabee. it's not going to be decided by newt gingrich. it's not going to be decided by kellyanne conway. it's going to be decided by donald trump after he sits down -- it's donald trump. after he sits down this week and methodically meets with these people again for the second and
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third time and goes through the process that we as americans would want our president-elect to go through. >> he's got some pretty good choices. in addition to governor romney, general petraeus and general kelly is a terrific candidate. >> those are great names. there are concerns about all of the generals at the top. and even the president-elect has a concern about appointing that many generals for those top positions. but those are extraordinarily qualified people for secretary of state america would be pleased with those leading the country. >> true to the value of the trump administration on the continuing war on terror because secretary of state is much more than just going around the world shaking hands with diplomats. there's a security component that is vital and john kelly
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would be a terrific asset. >> i'm told they have a strong professional and personal relationship. >> still ahead on "morning joe," hillary clinton's legal team signs on to take part in the wisconsin recount. that story is ahead. plus, we'll ask republican senator jeff flake how he plans to work with a president he sharply opposed during the campaign and former white house press secretary ari fleischer, filmmaker and journalist soledad o'brien and steve kornacki. bill? >> we'll watch a tornado threat during the day today. let me show you pictures from yesterday. this is something you would see in the springtime. did damage some farms. that was about the extent of it. no injuries. no fatalities. as we go through the day today, we'll watch similar scenes like this in areas of louisiana, mississippi, and possibly areas of southern arkansas. already this morning severe thunderstorm watch north of the dallas area. these storms will roll into areas of east texas and also
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arkansas during the day. 11 million people are at risk of severe weather. the area of orange is the enhanced risk so from shreveport to jackson and tupelo, that's the area of greatest concern or greatest concentration of storms will be. we also have a snowstorm under way in areas of north dakota and everyone on the east coast, dry day today but that rain comes you are rain tomorrow. delays at the airport on i-95 from d.c. to new york. some areas it hasn't rained in literally two months. new york city, the tree lighting ceremony is not too far away. you can see it there in the shadows. new york, dry today. rain tomorrow. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. world ugly and messy. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile.
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the syrian government has taken control of the key rebel held area effectively splitting their territory in two. the anxiety and fear of residents was documented by a syrian woman and her 7-year-old daughter who in a series of tweets write this. "the army got in. this could be our last day sincerely talking. no internet. please, please, please pray for us." followed up soon after by this, "under when we die, keep talking for 200,000 still inside. bye." hours later a picture of a stunned daughter masked by dust and debris with the caption "tonight we have no house. it's bombed. i got in rubble. i saw deaths and i almost died." elsewhere in the region, the israeli military said it killed four isis militants after they
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attacked forces in the israeli controlled side of the hotly contested region. a spokesman tells "the washington post" says it's the first substantial fight between the two sides. prime minister netanyahu said israel won't allow isis or any other group to "use the cover of the war in syria to establish themselves next to our borders." >> mike, let's talk about aleppo. let's talk about what's happened in syria. we've talked about this for years now. it's the west and the world has sat silently by while this country and its people have been tortured by assad and now the russians. >> it's an international disgrace that's been going on for several years now. the secretary of state and the obama administration i'm told are going to take one last gasp at it over the next two to three weeks and trying to coordinate with russia to try to relieve
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the suffering but i don't know whether it will be successful or not. they'll continue trying. this has been going on now for at least four years in the eyes of the world looking at this nearly every day except we don't look at it nearly every day. we don't think about it at all every day. but it's a disgrace. >> it is. and the obama administration, mark halperin, just sat by and watched a terrible situation get worse. >> president obama, legacy of iraq and afghanistan was just not interested in putting ground troops any place in numbers that could affect the outcomes of things. i think the american people unfortunately are still war weary after those two wars and the new president will face a new set of decisions whatever this current administration does about what is the role of american ground troops or working with russia to try to deal with this.
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>> jon meachem for president obama determined not to commit mistakes of george bush and dick cheney, and it's been turned to chaos and we've watched syria deteriorate over the past six years in the most horrific way. is this going to be -- is syria and the rise of isis going to be a part of any history of barack obama's presidency? >> i think president obama has two open accounts, if you will, on the historical record. one is syria. the other is the iran nuclear deal. and we won't be able to come to a judgment despite his approval rating at the moment until we see what the implications of the syrian collapse have been and what happens ultimately with iran and whether it ends up joining the nuclear club in any
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event. i think those are two questions that the obama legacy will be judged by. >> joining us in washington, editor in chief of the atlantic magazine jeffrey goldberg is back from his travels. this is one of the many job ones for the trump administration. >> absolutely. i mean, there are a couple of different issues here. one, the iran deal and how far he's going to go to "roll that back." it's not very rollable. the second issue is syria. i would say in reference to jon's good point about approval ratings, it's not entirely clear that the american voter cares at all about syria except when terrorists from syria leave syria to go kill someone outside. historians might judge president obama's foreign policy in syria.
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>> what about where the united states is as a country? our place in the globe. sort of things that you worry about and fret about every day and think about and write about. what does it say about the united states that we've sat on our hands over the past six years and watched syria dissolve and millions of refugees flood out. is that the new standard for the united states of america? if it is, how trouble is that? >> i don't necessarily think it's the new standard for the united states. i would say what it says is that we're a traumatized country. after 15 years of engagement, really difficult engagement in wars in two muslim countries, the president was merely responding, i think, in some ways. he led this in some ways but responded in other ways to the america's public general fatigue with the middle east, with going into muslim countries and trying to reorder them. i think maybe we're at the bottom of a curve here. we'll find out. we'll find out in the coming few years if this is the new normal.
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>> all right. jeffrey, stay with us if you can. coming up next, we talk about cuba. >> congressman carlos curbelo, we'll talk about reaction to castro's death. "morning joe" is coming right back. >> why does the president insist on an incoherent foreign policy that too often rewards our enemies and punishes our allies? as other american presidents have shown us in the past, peace through weakness and appeasement is not an effective strategy for dealing with cuba's military dictatorship.
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>> i can't remember a time when i didn't know the name fidel castro. i've known that name since i've been alive. it's been part of my life and family's life. they pled cuba as political exiles. there's tendency when world leaders die to kind of misplace this -- he was a ttyrant. he was a killer and a liar. i never realized how fortunate i was to be born in this country until i did a story that took me to the florida straits and i was
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embedded with the coast guard. i got to see firsthand what it looked like on these boats. dozens of families, babies in diapers and best choice these families had was to put their children on a boat in the middle of the night not knowing what would happen than to live in cuba. cuba at a distance may look beautiful and mysterious but up close it is cracked. it is faded and the people are hungry and that should be the legacy of fidel castro. >> that is tom reacting on saturday to the death of fidel castro which has polarized leaders here. donald trump's initial reaction was a forward tweet. fidel castro is dead! later issued a statement saying in part fidel castro's legacy is one of firing squads, death, unimaginable suffering, poverty and denial of fundamental reshu
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rights. it is high hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long and toward a future in which the wonderful cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. house minority leader nancy pelosi said in part this. generations of cuban political prisoners, democracy activists and families suffered under fidel castro's rule. in their name we'll push the cuban regime to embrace the political, social and economic dreams of the cuban people. compare that to president obama. "we know that this moment fills cubans with powerful emotions. history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and the world around him. today we offer condolences to fidel castro's family. and are thoughts and prayers --"
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it's left open. not saying he was great. >> no. it's actually not saying anything. you have a guy at that tortured people and would not allow them to be free. >> what is going to change since his brother -- >> why is the president washing his hands of anything -- >> it gets worse if you go to north to canada. >> canadian prime minister justin trudeau's office issued a statement saying this. >> say this to families who were tortured by fidel castro for 50 years. >> imagine you're one of them and you hear this. "it is with deep sorrow that i learn today of the death of cuba's longest serving president. fidel castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a
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century." >> i can remember covering the evacuation in 1980. i was in key west, florida. we rented a boat and went out to meet many, many ships coming across the bay and to see and hear and speak to people, there were a lot of degenerates on those boats, too, but to see and hear people that would risk their lives and children's lives to flee that island and would they would want to flee that island would put a twist on trudeau's statement. >> you remember back in the mid 1990s, he sent his air force up to shoot down pilots in cessnas and they celebrated that as a great military victory killing inspe innocent people. >> the president said history will record and judge and first
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thing they have to record and judge about castro is he was largely responsible for what was called the most dangerous moment in human history which was in october of 1962 when we came as close as we ever have to thermal nuclear war in large measure because of castro's attempt to take on the united states to be a conduit to expand their reach into the western hemisphere in answer to in some ways the united states putting missiles in turkey. and so i think that any conversation about this has to include the fact that michael dobbs formerly of "the washington post" wrote a wonderful book in which he quotes a letter from jackie kennedy after kennedy's assassination which is big men know how to restrain themselves. it's the little men that we have to worry about. castro was one of those little
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men. >> why would anyone want to -- it's a stunning thing. a dictator that brutalized and terrorized his people and kept them from having economic or human opportunity. i just don't understand the desire to romanticize him. >> joining us now, congressman karlo curb -- carlos curbelo ano with us, you were born in havana and fled cuba during the revolution. he's the chairman of the congressional hispanic leadership institute. >> lincoln, let's start with you. what are your thoughts? you obviously fought the repression that you saw on the island for some time in congress. what are your thoughts today?
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>> it's a pleasure to be with you. history will record the only dictator, the only person in power who ever asked for a first strike, a nuclear strike on the united states of america was fidel castro. his declassified letter during the missile crisis saying if the invasion comes, it is necessary, mr. chairman, for the soviet union to launch a nuclear first strike on the united states. in other words, if the united states comes and gets me to liberate the cuban people, please eliminate the united states from the face of the earth. that was fidel castro. a pathological liar, murderer and someone who had no limits in his egotism. what do i feel?
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i read history and lived, for example, in spain. when franco died, it's not that freedom and democracy came immediately to those countries but those were necessary steps and within a few years, there were democratic transitions because the international community insisted on a democratic transition for those countries. >> congressman curbelo, obviously in the past four years the president has been working to reestablish diplomatic relations with cuba. there's been big changes. is there any way to perhaps make an argument for the president's statement? any strategic reason why he would have left his words so open for interpretation? >> look, it's just a reflection of the way he views the world. it's a very lukewarm approach. it's why so many people in this country are frustrated and voted for a change candidate in this
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last election because they see and listen to politicians like the president in this case who are unwilling to state a simple truth that fidel castro was a dictator, a murderer, an enemy of the united states. my own family felt this. my grandfather was imprisoned for 12 years and tortured for opposing the government. his brother was executed without trial. i mean, this was the nature of fidel castro. this is who he was. >> why was your uncle executed by fidel castro? >> for opposing the government. no trial. he was just executed with dozens of others. >> how do you feel when the canadian prime minister praises this man as a great leader who served his people well for 50 years? >> it's painful. it's very painful and it's very sad and that's why it's incumbent upon us to make sure the truth gets out.
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that's what fidel castro and his government have been good at throughout the years is propaganda and selling a lie about who he is, about who he was in this case and about what the cuban revolution was. the cuban revolution was about death, about theft, about opposing american interests all over the world and it remains that way today. except that the intellectual author is no longer on the face of the earth and that certainly brings relief to many of our families and that's why you see so much celebration in miami. it's not so much that someone died but that this psychological, this heavy psychological burden, this cloud has been lifted. >> let's talk about what happens next. lincoln talked about the possibility of reforms coming. reforms coming perhaps more slowly. what do you see happening in
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cuba now with the passing of castro? is it largely symbolic passing or do you expect in the next few years for cuba to turn the page and pass real democratic reforms? >> let's see what happens when raul castro leaves the scene. his brother who is now dictator in charge. there's speculation that now that fidel is gone, raul will feel less burdened by the past and open up to more market reforms. i was just down there not long ago. it's not entirely clear that much of anything has changed yet since the american opening. obviously american businesses are more interested in going into cuba than cuba is interesting in having them. i think we're going to have to wait and watch and see and see what happens after raul passes the scene. the reforms that everybody is hoping for, they just haven't come yet. >> jeffrey goldberg, thank you very much. congressman carlos curbelo,
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thank you. trump transition adviser kellyanne conway says the president and president-elect have been speaking regularly since the election including a 45-minute conversation on saturday. we'll talk transition with former white house press secretary ari fleischer. stay with us. our mission is to produce programs and online content for african women as they try to build their businesses and careers. my name is yasmin belo-osagie and i'm a co-founder at she leads africa. i definitely could not do my job without technology.
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>> those are some of the worst pretentious names i ever heard anyone name. >> sometimes when you can't be something you name your kids -- >> yeah. windsor. wow. all right. so new cnn/orc poll that says 85% of the country believe the nation is more divided than in recent years and since donald trump didn't win the popular vote he should have policies that are more inclusive to voters who backed other candidates. also in the poll, 51% say it's time for a constitutional amendment changing the
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presidential race to be based on a popular vote instead of electoral college. >> so coming up, calls for a recount in wisconsin and elsewhere in the -- >> hold on. i'm sorry. wait. is somebody not accepting the vote? because i've read a lot of really good columns from some of the smartest people in america that say if we don't accept the vote, if you say like donald trump did that there's some legal questions in mind that you are -- i think the exact words are ripping at the foundation of our constitutional republic. so nobody is doing that now, right? because that was -- hillary clinton in fact said that this was a threat to our democracy that if you didn't immediately accept the results, right? >> i'm strongly -- >> you have a long memory joe
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scarborough. >> like three days ago. it's amazing that nobody in the press remembers that. >> people were freaking out. >> nobody in the press remembers they were using these papers to freak out saying donald trump must accept the results that election night or else, or else, or else democracy itself was at risk. so wake up your children and tell them that based on reporting from one month ago, democracy is at risk. we sit perched, sir. the republic on a razor's edge. >> are you making fun of liberal media? you stop it. plus, ari fleischer has been side a president's inner circle. what does he make of the white house transition now under way? the former press secretary to bush 43 joins the table to rub it in my face next on "morning joe." [vo] quickbooks introduces jeanette.
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welcome back to "morning joe." it's the top of the hour on this monday, november 28th. i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. families together. with us we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. no family fights? managing editor of bloomberg politics mark halperin, "the new york times" reporter jeremy peters and joining the table, former white house press
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secretary for george w. bush, ari fleischer is back at the table. >> were you the guy that when j george w. bush was thinking about selecting colin powell that you went out in the press and said he was betraying voters by considering colin powell? >> that was me. >> this was someone going rogue according to top three people in the trump organization. trump furious. have you ever seen anything like this before? are people trying to box donald trump into a corner? >> there's a value and there's a privilege to being in the inner circle. when you're in it, you fight like the dickens inside it. you tell the boss you're right or wrong and clash with anybody you need to clash with but you don't go public with it. that's a cardinal violation of what every staffer has to do. >> especially a communication director. isn't it even a worse sin for somebody who was supposed to promote the president-elect's
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message. >> what i learned in politics, i spent 21 years in washington, these things aren't the fault of the staff typically the fault of the principal. if the principal creates the environment where everyone in the staff knows you tell me and keep it in this room, you'll have a fair ear shot with me. as soon as people think whoever influences the boss last will win their way, the system creates a system to go around the boss and filter it out. >> nobody has done that here. this has been a leak proof transition. you have people that are in the room are very tight and are not leaking things out. >> this is -- what kellyanne conway was doing that went public with this, what she was really saying was send me reinforcements. i'm losing the battle to stop romney. i need other people to chime in from the outside to stop my boss. >> doesn't she hurt her cause when he said her boss betrayed
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people that voted for him. >> we won't know until he makes his decision. >> is she in the room or out of the room? >> on major decisions that have been made, she's not in the room. >> he predict a press release or announcement within the next 24 to 48 hours she's not with the transition team. >> she says she wants to return and spend more time with her kids. i get the sense she wants to help with the transition and that she's ready to go into the private sector. you have to give her slack on this too. kellyanne was strong for trump. she was loyal to trump. she is speaking her mind now. it's out of school. she's got a reservoir of good will with him. and maybe -- >> when things went south, we noticed a change. she started referring to him as a client. she said some she's a private citizen. said some not kind things about him off the camera. a lot of people all around here
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when things weren't going well. you brought up the rebecca mercer side of this story. what is that? >> she has a huge reservoir of good will with trump. she said if you want to get through trump the best way to do it is so say it on tv. she's in touch with him directly. she's not got a job and said i think it's more likely than not she will not take a job in the government. >> you just don't get a job by saying that your boss betrayed somebody. it's unprecedented. here's her yesterday on sunday shows. >> why are you campaigning against mitt romney as secretary of state? >> i'm not campaigning against anybody. i'm just a concerned citizen. i'm not campaigning against mitt romney. i felt compelled to mention it because it's just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages i have received from all over the country. the number of people who feel
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betrayed to think that a governor romney would get the most prominent cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt donald trump. there was the never trump movement and then there was mitt romney. governor romney in the last four years, has he been around the globe doing something on behalf of the united states of which we're unaware? did he go and intervene in syria where they're having a massive humanitarian crisis, like offer to help? has he been helpful to mr. netanyahu? i'm all for party unity but i'm not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position. again, let me repeat. what donald trump decides, kellyanne conway and everyone else will respect. >> that just stands out. >> that donald trump betrayed his supporters. >> forceful position on this. it doesn't feel like that's anyone's job except for the president-elect himself. here's the new information we have this morning. interested for your take on
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this. two source at the top of the trump transition people confirm they spoke with the president-elect and that donald trump was "furious" at kellyanne conway's on sunday. kellyanne went rogue. trump's top aides said they were baffled by conway's comments and suggested that it feeds into a growing concern inside the campaign that "instead of driving donald trump's message, she's pushing her own agenda." one top transition aide said "it's dangerous." steve bannon and reince priebus have reportedly been growing frustrated by conway's failure to become a team player in a transition process where the top players are forming a tight knit group around the president-elect. >> we have a response from
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kellyanne conway who says the reporting this morning is sexist. she can have any job she wants and is thinking about taking a role inside and outside of the campaign. i'm not sure how that reporting is sexist because those were sources at the top of the campaign. is she suggesting that people -- >> she also says she could get any job she wants. >> is she suggesting that the people that she's working with, the three people at the top of the trump transition campaign are sexist? because that's where all the sourcing comes from. people closest to donald trump. i don't understand. what's sexist? why are they sexist for saying this? >> i believe that if reince priebus had done what she did, people would be raising the same questions and as best i know he's not a woman. but -- anything sexist about
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this? >> even if you believe the people who say trump is in on this. and she went out with his full authorization to say this for some complicated reason. it's still unprecedented. it still sends a really bad message. >> donald trump according to people at the top of the campaign closest to donald trump are saying he was furious and certainly he would not approve somebody saying that they betrayed their supporters. is this sexist? is reince priebus sexist? i don't get it. >> let me broaden this to a governing issue that donald trump has to face as president. he has to build a team around him that is cohesive and doesn't leak and doesn't have to worry. one thing that obama did well was no drama obama. you make for a better president when you have those people come before you in the oval office, argue in front of you, the president benefits from hearing both sides.
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makes up his own mind and doesn't worry about clashes in the paper. donald trump needs to create that in his own environment as well. >> so you know a lot about these things. i need your take on this. there's first kellyanne conway and that story and then rudy giuliani over the weekend. touting credentials against to "the wall street journal" saying -- ari, as you might have heard he might be interested in the secretary of state position. he's talked about it a little bit. >> heard a rumor. >> he said over the weekend i probably traveled in the last 13 years as much as hillary did in years she was secretary of state. i've been to england eight times. japan six times. france, five times. china, three times. once with bill clinton by the way. you can't say i don't know the world. >> he also gave as many speeches around the world as hillary clinton. >> that's what he was doing on those trips, right, making money? >> there's nothing wrong with that.
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>> not that the's anything wrong with that. >> i know you lampooned him for this earlier. there's experience to be gained. >> do you think you should be openly vying for the job and telling people that he turned down attorney general and he would be better for secretary of state publicly? >> i find all of this remarkable. donald trump is different. previous presidents had this buttoned down process where you didn't know who runner-up was because you don't want to embarrass someone that came in number two. i think he would be a fine secretary of state. donald trump has a number of people he can appoint. i have concerns with mitt romney because of the loyalty issue. it's essential that your secretary of state carry out what you want in his heart and mind it's the right thing to do. i think mitt romney went too far in criticizing donald trump. i like and admire much about mitt romney. your loyalty must be to the president and his policies and his style and this is what i worry about with mitt romney. >> is it showing loyalty when
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you say i turned down attorney general and i would be best for secretary of state? >> that's my point about this whole process. i have never seen a process -- >> is that being loyal? >> it's a different measure. can you ably serve the president and that's what i question about mitt romney. >> i go back to what ari said before about the tone being set from the top. a story we're about to talk about which is president-elect tweeting about voter fraud with no evidence provocatively tweeting that. it leads to a culture of people doing what rudy giuliani and kellyanne have done performing in a way that's not good for the country. is sets a tone. a wild west tone. >> jon meachem, you were talking about george bush and james baker but this sort of thing on where you're just, again,
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pitching yourself. is there any precedent for what rudy giuliani is doing throughout history? >> i don't think so in terms of applying sort of as if mainstream media has become craigslist. no, i don't. i think we all do -- everybody maneuvers behind the scenes. >> you don't know it, meachem, but you were just funny. >> i like to do it once a year. we can mark that off. back to the french and indian war by the way, so, no, it's not. as mark just said, why would we expect this to suddenly become the brookings institution? this is cabinet apprentice and people are out talking about it. the great question is going to be to what extent does trump follow this? is he testing these canaries in
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the mine shaft? gets credit for reaching out to romney given the strength of romney's critique last year. >> we'll see what happens. >> jeremy, off dr. meachem's explanation about the french and indian war, is it possible that we in the news media may have this kellyanne, donald trump, mitt romney exchanges back and forth wrong and that we don't know the whole story and there may be something that donald trump is saying. he does call people finalists saying to kellyanne conway say whatever you want to say. >> there's a road show aspect to all of this. you have donald trump parading these candidates through the lobby of his marble tower in manhattan to his golf club in new jersey and i hear there are even more trump properties under consideration to hold even more job interviews in the coming
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weeks. as to whether or not we're misunderstanding what's going on here, i suppose that's possible. i think what seems to be happening here is that you have a culture around donald trump that allows this kind of infighting to spill into public. not only does it allow it, it enables it and there are no repercussions for it. >> other than kellyanne conway who has been fighting publicly? jared hasn't been fighting publicly. reince hasn't been fighting publicly. steve hasn't been fighting publicly. those are the three people that are -- mike pence hasn't been fighting publicly. i've been surprised at the lack of public fighting. this seemed to be the first. >> what i was referring to is more over the course of the campaign when these disputes would erupt in public -- i think you're right. the transition has been more buttoned down. i think what you're seeing with
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kellyanne is she's accustomed to speaking to donald trump through the media. this is a guy who absorbs media and is a voracious consumer of cable news. he gets his information from the shows. look at some of the people that he as appointed. general flynn. these are people he knows from television. i'm not undermining or in any way questioning their credibility or their skills but he's very familiar with people on tv. >> jared kushner is the model for what you want. >> jared, reince, bannon, all kept their mouth shut through the entire process and pence -- >> i know you'll say they're not part of the inner circle or white house jobs but gingrich huckabee have been outspoken in lobbying. >> which is totally fine. we're talking about the right and privilege that you have to
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be working close to the president-elect. mike huckabee -- they have a right to do that. >> they have a right to do it, but i don't remember a parallel for that for two senior officials advisers to the president-elect trashing someone he's considering. >> what they're doing is they're all trashing the guy that beat them in 2012. >> they don't like mitt romney. >> they don't like mitt romney because he beat them. >> if you remember people saying fire your defense secretary rumsfeld. hire a different defense secretary. you always get that. >> we are watching -- what's so funny about this mike barnicle is we're watching a replay of the 2012 republican primary where rudy giuliani hates mitt romney because he thought romney was arrogant during the campaign. they've all said it publicly. newt gingrich hated romney. mike huckabee hated romney and would tell stories about how mitt romney would go to the
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bathroom by himself and they would all go to the bathroom when romney got out. >> sounds like junior high. >> it's so junior high and now the very people that were complaining about the guy that beat them in 2012 are now all on tv in 2016 attacki ining the wo. >> this goes on in every transition or every transition that i can recall. it went on in 2008 in the obama secretary of state. helped put him on the -- endorsed him early. does not get secretary of state. said nothing. went quietly into the night back into the senate. there's never, ever been anything quite as remarkable as kellyanne thing. >> they are in the social media world. we had ted cruz misplay his hand in 2000 and transition and got boxed out of the white house. there was no social media so it
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didn't explode. >> i want to know, is kellyanne accusing trump's top aides as being sexist before? she's saying it's sexist what they're reporting. >> i think she's talking about us. >> not about us. it's the top trump aides that are saying this. so is she leveled this charge at anybody there before? >> mike is right, she's trying to restrict accusations to the media. >> it's coming straight from them. if reince priebus did this, everyone would kill reince priebus. he wouldn't survive. >> in a heartbeat. >> i'm just curious. sexist. accusing them of being sexist? >> mark? >> has she ever used this charge before when things didn't go her way? >> over the course of her career
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she has and at times it's been accurate. >> when things go badly, you say over the course of her career she's accused people of being sexist? >> as someone that's worked in republican politics for a long time has at times experienced treatment that she attributed to her being a woman and at times she's been right about that. >> now she's accusing people around her of being sexist. >> i can report having been looking over his shoulder, she's talking about us. the media. >> for reporting on this? >> for reporting what people at the top of the trump organization are saying? >> she's talking about the media right now. >> that makes no sense. you report what the people at the top of trump's transition team -- >> it's a puzzle. the people sitting at this table -- >> is mika sexist? >> no. the people sitting at this table have a good window as to what's going on and despite that i
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think it's pretty confusing. >> mika, i dwguess calling you sexist. that's sad. >> it goes back to what ari said. this is a guy who loves to see it all rock them sock them out there and you'll see stuff that's messy. >> he doesn't like it -- >> something is so weird about this. >> you have to give donald trump credit for -- >> will you let me finish on my show. when i'm talking, you don't start talking. >> you never know when you stop talking. >> i will say a sentence and then you respond to that sentence. this is how we speak at the dinner table. >> three, two, one. >> but donald trump does not like when people on his own campaign accuse him of betraying the millions and millions of people that voted for him by simply checking out his options. now it's your turn. >> that's a fair statement about donald trump. nobody likes people to say that.
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if there's anybody that understand donald trump, it's also kellyanne and knows how to fight on the inside for what she wants. i don't like to see it publicly blow up like this. that's my style. donald trump and his team have a different style and it's worked for them. >> they have a close relationship. they do. >> is there an element of donald trump's personality -- i've worked for people who had this type of personality, put two scorpions in a bottle and see which one survives? >> i don't think of this transition. i think this whole thing this morning may actually make kellyanne do what these people at the top of trump's campaign have been complaining about and pick a job. decide whether she wants to be on the inside or whether she wants to be on the outside. >> or donald trump doesn't pick mitt romney and everyone says that kellyanne got it right. you don't know. hold on, joe. when i'm talking you don't get to interrupt. >> in this case i actually do.
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i know that you have a good relationship with donald trump. everybody including this table and myself included were so wrong about predictions we made all year long, can we make a vow to predict less for 2017? >> we're not predicting. >> we're trying to figure out if kelly is going to take a job private sector. where she's going to go. >> i'm reporting. >> with a dose of prediction. >> what was my prediction? stop making things up. >> i thought you said she's not going to go in. >> i said perhaps what might happen today is -- again this is reporting -- frustration on the inside that kellyanne would not take a job and wouldn't pick what she wanted to do. i said perhaps all of this talk today is going to get her together talking to trump and people on the inside and perhaps we will actually see her decide what job she's going to take inside the administration or outside the administration. as far as secretary of state goes, i can report definitively donald trump has not made up his
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mind and as i said in the last hour, he's going to interview people this week monday and tuesday and into wednesday and then he's going to make his choice. he's not going to be pushed around. kellyanne could have a job inside the administration. rudy could be secretary of state. it will all shake out. >> no. >> that's growing more unlikely by the day. i suspect what mark said could be true. perhaps at this point neither romney nor giuliani become secretary of state and we go to general kelly. >> or petraeus. >> or petraeus. >> kelly or petraeus. >> or jeremy peters. he's on tv. or ari flieeischer? >> are you interested in a position in the trump administration? >> not interested. i'm retired. 21 years was enough. >> thank you so much. we go live to havana where
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cubans are mourning and celebrating the death of its former dictator. nbc's andrea mitchell joins us and we'll talk to a wo congresswoman from florida who remembers fidel castro as a tyrant. a is for alll the way back. r is for read my mind. and i... can't see a thing. s... see you in the morning. polaris, from united.
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you wouldn't pick a slow race car. then why settle for slow internet? comcast business. built for speed. built for business. >> they also talk about world class doctors in cuba yet citizens receive third world health. i can remember night after night with my family stuffing envelopes and greeting cards with medicines, kool-aid, just so they could have calories. and that's what i remember. >> and that was more from tom reacting to fidel castro's death. >> don't tell that to trudeau or barack obama. >> it would get in the way of
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his narrative. here are acts of revenge and atrocities that fidel castro is known for. the death of 10,000 people. but the real death toll is predicted to be far more grim. tens of thousands perished trying to escape his rule. children slain by firing squads and in one instance a pregnant woman kicked in the stomach and left to die. in the early days fidel castro's regime launched a revolt and "the new york times" reports that more than 500 bautista era officials were brought before a court-martial and convicted and shot to death. the grainy black and white images of the executions broadcast on american television horrified viewers.
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castro had close former lieutenants arrested and imprisoned for decades. staged multiple hunger strikes and endured years in solitary confinement listening to other inmates being tortured or executed. he told a magazine after being freed and arriving in america, i differed from fidel castro because once castro had power he began to kill freedom. joining us from havana, host of "andrea mitchell reports," andrea mitchell and in miami, msnbc correspondent. andrea, let's start with you. you interviewed fidel castro a number of times over the years. what's the outlook there this morning?
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>> reporter: it's a somber havana and cuba. they'll line up in the first of a week long public ceremony. he was cremated over the weekend. remains will be carried more than 500 miles to santiago where there was a mausoleum built near his birth place and where the revolution started. as you can imagine, mixed reactions. there is a lot more support here among the older generation of cubans. the people who remember the revolution and remember their leader. he is celebrated here frankly for health services. for education. for things that i witnessed personally over the years. i first came here in 1999 to cover the fierce anti-u.s. protests and over the years had a number of argumentive long evenings and interviews with fidel castro often starting at midnight or later going through the early hours of the morning. that said, in 2003 they started
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cracking down and a number of years later arresting hundreds of dissidents and those interviews ended. i interviewed the leader of one of the leading dissident movements yesterday. she was in her home. she had issued a statement to the media saying that they were not going to march for the first time in 13 years on sunday after church because they were showing respect for the period of mourning that had been declared. nine days of mourning declared over the weekend. when i went to her home and interviewed her and she was surrounded by fellow ladies in white demonstrating against human rights activists here, she told me it was because also they've been warned by state security not to leave their homes for fear of being arrested. there's a mixed legacy here. the question is what happens next? president obama made the opening to havana to raul castro a centerpiece of his foreign policy legacy. donald trump's aides over the
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weekend sending mixed signals over how much he'll roll back. he's taken a hard line in contrast to what he had said at the beginning of the campaign. more recently a very hard line but now mixed signals as to whether there's flexibility on rolling back these economic changes. >> all right. andrea mitchell live in cuba. thank you. let's go now to one of miami's cuban neighborhoods where protesters and celebration have been taking place since word of castro's death. what are people telling you this morning? >> reporter: mika, many cuban americans here in the political epicenter of this community in miami telling me this morning they cannot believe some of the world reaction from figures like justin trudeau and jill stein about fidel castro and some of the reactions were talking about earlier in the show. they tell me they are especially hurt and ashamed. one even used the word humiliated by president obama's
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statement regarding fidel castro. the president calling castro a singular figure who had enormous impact but didn't use the word dictator. on the other hand, many here the bay of pigs veterans, the women in white, they are, you know, praising and thanking donald trump for his statement. the president-elect calling castro a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people. more than half of cuban americans supported donald trump in the election and they are now looking to him to see what will happen with u.s./cuba policy and normalizing of relations over president obama. that happened via executive action. that could be rolled back on day one on a trump administration but on the other hand, the commercial deals, the hotels, the airlines, those are already under way. many people this morning questioning how trump will reconcile his political and his business persona. at 7:30 today, just while we were having this conversation
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probably, the first regularly scheduled commercial flight miami to havana operated by american airlines was scheduled to take off. first of four flights scheduled daily just in time for the funeral. >> thank you very much for that report. let's bring in now republican congresswoman of florida. she's a member of the house foreign affairs committee and was born in havana cuba and at the age of 8 she and her family were forced to flee from the regime of fidel castro. tell me your thoughts this morning and also your reaction to the very different statements put out by world leaders. >> thank you so much. both of you have laid out what a difference it has been to have world leaders react to the death of a tiyrant, a dictator, murderer, sadistic killer.
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i'm humble to represent victims of castro's oppression. we are just so full of so many victims. either victims of firing squads or family members of political prisoners and all of them are shocked with the world leaders reactions. trudeau talking about a great orator fidel castro was. his brother is just the same. meet the new boss. same as the old boss. what will really change from fidel castro to raul castro? raul has already been entrenched in power for a number of years. that transition has taken place. fidel castro's death would have more of an impact had he been in
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power at the time, but he was able to pass off that baton. this is a very hurt community. >> let me ask you then, isn't the sort of symbolic nature of this moment of the death of castro perhaps an opportunity for world leaders to urge change in cuba? >> you're so right. >> was that a missed opportunity? >> it is a missed opportunity so far. we have heard the mexican president also call fidel castro a friend. we have heard from very few world leaders to say -- >> why do you think that justin trudeau, especially president obama would be sort of lukewarm? help me understand why the opportunity wouldn't be taken in such an obvious situation? is there something i'm missing? >> well, i think for president obama he's got a lot of personal legacy invested in this. he wants to make his cuba a cons
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session sweetheart deals to raul castro and fidel castro a winning legacy so he wants to lead the charge for others and quick to send that statement out saying nothing about the victims. saying nothing about his record, fidel castro's record of being a sadistic leader. not allowing human rights. all of the leaders talk about how he outlasted so many presidents in the united states. of course you can when you don't have elections, when you rule with an iron fist, you can survive anything. just ask the kim dynasty in north korea. it's amazing. it makes us sick to see the leaders reactions. i hope that president obama does not send himself or a delegation to this tyrant's funeral. >> thank you so much for your sentiments this morning. coming up, did president obama urge hillary clinton to concede
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a new report says president obama urged hillary clinton to acknowledge her defeat as she and aides watch results trickle in from the midwest. a fourrthcoming book from reporters cites clinton sources who say the president phoned her hotel suite telling her you need to concede. clinton aides told the reporters they felt obama rushed clinton's decision, which she made shortly after the associated press called the race to be over for trump in pennsylvania. and here is incoming white house chief of staff reince priebus speaking yesterday. >> it was their team that cut a deal with our team that said when the ap called the race, they would call within 15 minutes which she did. it's a hypocritical joke that the group of people that thought that they were nervous about president-elect trump not
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conceding are the people that are conducting recounts in states where we within by over 66,000 votes. >> up next, we'll talk about that recount effort with msnbc's steve kornacki. "morning joe" is back in a moment.
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you wouldn't pick a slow race car. then why settle for slow internet? comcast business. built for speed. built for business. wisconsin election officials are expected to meet today to discuss a time line for the state's presidential election recount. green party candidate jill stein initiated the recount after saying there was evidence of hacking. in a statement donald trump responded saying the people have spoken and the election is over and as hillary clinton said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, we must accept this result and then look to the future. but hillary clinton has formally joined the recount efforts with
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campaign counsel sayingin "becae we have not uncovered actual evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we have not planned to exercise this option ourselves but now that a recount has been initiated in wisconsin we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides." >> wait. what does that mean? i thought that he had -- if donald trump didn't -- i read all of the editorials that said that if trump left his options open that he was undermining american democracy. >> here's that. here's what he said about accepting -- >> i don't want to tell my kids that undermining american democracy -- >> this is what he said about accepting the outcome of the election back on october 20th. remember this. >> of course i would accept a
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clear election result, but i would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result. [ applause ] >> the criticism for trump -- >> reserve his right. going to reserve his right. >> a lot of criticism for those comments and statement during the debate. a columnist wrote the refusal to accept this bedrock principle of democracy was shocking. >> wait. >> leave open his option to what hillary clinton is doing right now. >> he threatened tdemocracy itself. >> it's an act of respect for the will of the american people. >> i have vertigo. >> and his refusal to accept the results of this election
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disqualifies him automatically from any office in the united states. >> i'm dizzy. i'm about to fall out of my chair. i'm curious. what did bill daley say? >> he said he really has no appreciation for our history, which most of the world looks at with great admiration as opposed to some banana republic. >> you know that hillary clinton who is now doing this left open her options. got to leave open her options legally. >> she said this at the time. >> he refused to say that he would respect the results of this election. now, make no mistake, by doing that, he is threatening our democracy. >> i'm sorry. okay. hold on. hold on. hold on. that's funny. hold on. hold on. all right. so he's threatening our democracy if he does exactly
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what she's doing on september 28th, which he said i'm holding open my options and all legal rights to challenge anything. they're going move this around, but you take what donald trump said, all he did was leave open the option to do exactly what hillary clinton is doing. i haven't checked -- have you checked? is dana milbank today -- i haven't checked "the washington post." is dana milbank writing, because i know he said you were a lackey for frump for saying trump had a chance to win. remember, he called you a running dog lackey or something like that. i don't kneif he was in his hunting hat when he did that, but has daini mill bank now said hillary clinton is threatening the democracy in "the washington post" today? >> i'm not sure he's gotten to it yet. the paper is published every day. they have time. >> let's bring in voices -- >> is democracy threatened or is this what people do?
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this is what people do in elections. hillary is doing what people do. >> joe. >> but when trump even suggested it, well, democracy was at risk for saying i'm going to leave open my options. by the way, this is why you're going out of business. you still -- you still don't get it. you are still being hypocritical. >> meez stop. >> you can get it wrong in the primary, in the general election, but you keep getting it wrong. >> you're going to make jen cry. msnbc anchor and political correspondent steve kornacki, and nbc news correspondent hallie jackson. we love hallie. >> steve wrote that entire monologue i just did. >> he did? thank you. deep inside, he's a very angry man. >> he laughed nervously. let's go to the numbers. i read some stuff that said there probably aren't enough votes in wisconsin to turn it around. >> look, the gaps we're talking about, there's a difference between a razor thin election where a recount could plausibly swing the outcome and just a
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close election. that's what we had in these three states. a close election. >> what's the vote count in wisconsin? >> about 24,000. >> harder to make up. michigan is closer. >> about 12,000. you're looking at 24,000 in wisconsin and close to 70,000 in pennsylvania. here's the other thing. if you're hillary clinton -- this is going way beyond -- >> i'm sorry. i do this as a part-time job. i'm not good at math. i went to alabama. does she have to switch all three states? >> yes. so even, we're beyond the realm theoretically of -- >> that's as hard as getting three jokers in jokers wild. >> here's why republicans are indignant. there's no evidence in any states that there's any impropriety, widespread error. they're challenging the legitimacy of the results. >> some would say it's a threat to democracy. as far as the numbers go for the -- they're tight. but it sounds like -- >> close.
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10,000 being the closest in michigan. >> but she would have to flip all three. >> and you look at the odds. i think fair vote did a look at the last 15 years of state-wide general elections. there were 4700. in those, 27 were recounts, and just three ended up changing the outcome of an election. >> never with this margin. >> is it a good idea? it seems to me to do these recounts is a good idea. for instance, let's check out wisconsin, because what happens when you do recounts you find out, we have 500 votes wrong or 1,000 votes wrong. don't you think -- i think it's a good idea. check the system. >> a best practices thing, sure. here's the problem here. there was one claim that got out into the media here that talked about the potential for hacking of these machines in wisconsin. you had these election experts saying -- not election experts, voting machine experts who say they talked to the clinton campaign. they found this discrepancy, that these gave her 7% fewer
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votes than the paper ballots. the problem is that is very easily explained by simple geography and demographics. if you look at where the electronic machines are in wisconsin, where the paper votes are in wisconsin, it's entirely consistent with that. >> hallie, i read i guess a buzzfeed article or a link to an article this weekend that said -- you don't think i read -- >> i like that you're reading buzzfeed. >> she didn't think i read because i go to alabama. maybe we don't have to be -- anyway, so this article does say what you said. i can't believe she's mocking me. she doesn't think i can read. >> i'm enjoying the moment here with you. >> but if you compare all of the votes, i can't believe how arrogant she is, i'm joking. if you compare -- >> she did go to johns hopkins. >> if you compare to people who voted for -- >> are you saying johns hopkins is better? >> yes, i am.
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>> they're consistent across the board. >> here's the other part that i think is a little ironic, mika, you read the statement from donald trump about the recount saying, the election is over. but last night, he was tweeting about massive voter fraud, millions of ballots cast illegally. in that instance, one might surmise he wants a recount to confirm the fact there wasn't voter fraud. it's mixed messaging from the president-elect. >> true. true that. >> i know we have to go. but we're having such a good time here. steve, haven't we found in the past that all these claims about voter fraud are always overblown? that there may be, what, one tenth of 1% that's just in human error, things are going to happen. >> you're going to turn up in a recount like this, a 12,000 vote margin might go to 11,700, it might go to 12,300. you're not talking about 70,000 votes in pennsylvania. >> steve kornacki and hallie
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jackson, graduate of the great johns hopkins university. >> let's not tweet conspiracy theories. if you go to johns hopkins, don't mock alabama. >> i'm going to get so much hate tweets from alabama fans. i love alabama. i lived in alabama. >> some of your best friends, right? >> still -- still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> governor romney ran for the same office four years ago and lost spectacularly. it's donald trump who just won 306 electoral votes. won states like michigan. mitt romney lost michigan by ten points. donald trump won it. donald trump won wisconsin for the first time since 1984. won pennsylvania, won florida, won iowa, won ohio. >> has the transition team ever t torpedos a public appointee so publicly? >> mark is saying no. by the way, sleeper candidate.
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♪ ♪ ♪ is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the season of audi sales event is here. audi will cover your first month's lease payment on select models during the season of audi sales event. (bing) welcome back to "morning joe." it's monday, november 28th.
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8:00 a.m. on the east coast. 5:00 a.m. out west. with us, we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. manager editor of bloomberg politics, mark halperin. "new york times" reporter jeremy peters and pulleitzer prize winr jon meacham. >> breaking news. >> donald trump is back in new york and begins his week with another full day of transition meetings. over the holiday weekend, more public jockeying for the secretary of state position, especially by rudy. rudy out front. out there again, the former mayor of new york, touting his credentials to the "wall street journal," saying, quote, i probably have traveled in the last 13 years as much as hillary clinton did in the years she was secretary of state. then he went out front even more. i have been to england eight times, japan six times, france five times. >> no, he did not. did he really do this? >> china three times, once with bill clinton, by the way. i don't know what that means. is that good or bad? you can't say i don't know the
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world -- >> then he started singing the third verse of never been to spain, but been to oklahoma. >> after rudy -- >> hold on a second. i have to ask this question. i know we have breaking news coming up here, and we'll get to that in a second. jon meacham, this is breathtaking. it's unbecoming. >> it's like he's -- >> to say the very least. >> barfing out his credentials every day. >> you're a presidential historian. has this ever happened in the history of at least in our lifetime, where somebody for a position as serious as secretary of state worked so aggressively to box in the president-elect? >> not publicly. you know, as we all know, privately, people do everything they possibly can. but no. mayor giuliani trying to present himself as john quincy adams is not exactly probably a winning strategy here. so to do this so publicly, i
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can't think of an analogy. >> everything he has said, everything rudy giuliani has said in seeking this job, everything he's said publicly, is actually a disqualifier. >> he keeps embarrassing the president-elect. >> mark, we all know trump. you don't box trump in. you don't push him against the wall. and he keeps doing this. he's also so erratic, he did this, then he said, oh, no, i'm not going to do it for a position this important. then he did it again, which shows he does not have what it takes to be secretary of state. forget all the other stuff. i had a conversation with him this weekend. we had a good conversation. but this is just not how you do this. >> i suspect in the end, neither rudy giuliani nor mitt romney will get this. they both, for various reasons, move out of the lead position in the end. >> who's in the lead position? >> petraeus, kelly, corker, i would say.
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>> kelly, oh, general kelly. i don't know. about those. that's interesting. >> rudy went way out front again. here's kellyanne conway going out on her own, campaigning publicly against mitt romney on twitter and also on television. take a look. >> why are you campaigning against mitt romney as secretary of state? >> i'm not campaigning against anyone. i'm just a concerned citizen. i'm not campaigning against mitt romney. i felt compelled to mention it because it's just breathtaking in scope and intensity the type of messages i received from all over the country. the number of people who feel betrayed to think that a governor romney would get the most prominent cabinet post after he went so far out of his way to hurt donald trump, there was the never trump movement and then there was mitt romney. governor romney in the last four years, i mean, has he been around the globe doing something on behalf of the united states of which we're unaware? did he go and intervene in syria where they're having a massive
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humanitarian crisis? like offering to help. has he been helpful to mr mr. netanyahu? i'm all for party unity, but i'm not sure we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position. but again, let me repeat. what donald trump decides, kellyanne conway and everybody else will respect. >> except jon meacham, i guess i have to ask you for more historical context. you have the conway rebellion. you have the communication director for a president-elect saying that he has, quote, betrayed his supporters by even considering a candidate for secretary of state. this would be, i think jake sherman with politico said this would be like david axelrod going on "meet the press" eight years ago and saying barack obama has betrayed his supporters by considering hillary clinton for secretary of state. this would be like karl rove
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saying george w. bush has betrayed his supporters for considering colin powell as secretary of state. is there any parallel? this is -- this is an act of sabotage. can you think of any parallel where somebody has accused their own president-elect of betrayal? >> no, the only thing i can think of, and you will remember this well, too, is there were the true reagan believers in '80, '81, '82, '83 who believes jim baker, george bush were not letting reagan be reagan. they were blaming the moderates for constraining the reagan revolution. you had a war of leaks. tharts part of the point. it was a war of leaks. it was not people going on brinkley back then. >> trying to box reagan in. >> and it showed a certain interesting dynamic there.
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it was that somehow or another, this was a kabul against the president, that the president was allowing to happen. it was not oppositional in this sense. >> all right, so here's the new information that we have to share this morning. two sources at the top of the trump transition team confirm to msnbc that they spoke to the president-elect today, and that donald trump was, quote, furious at kellyanne conway's comments on sunday, suggesting trump betrayed his supporters by even considering mitt romney for a position in his cabinet. kellyanne went rogue at donald trump's expense at the worst possible time. a source familiar with trump's thinking said. trump's top aides said they were, quote, baffled by conway's comments and suggested that it feeds into a growing concern inside the campaign that, quote, instead of driving donald trump's message, she's pushing her own agenda. one top transition aide said, quote, it's dangerous. steve bannon and reince priebus have reportedly been going
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frustrated by kellyanne conway's failure to become a team player in a transition process where the top players are forming a tight-knit group around the president-elect. >> jeremy peters, this is -- this is extraordinarily undisciplined and i'm sure you have heard the same thing that our reports have here, that those closest to donald trump running his transition are baffled by what she did yesterday. >> i think in all the extraordinary conwayisms we have heard over the course of the campaign, concerned citizen might be one for the books there. but her concern aside, i think what kellyanne is reflecting there is a real sense inside the trump campaign, although hers is more indiscreet than some of the other people i have spoken with. but kellyanne's sense that in mitt romney you could have a secretary of state who is
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presiding over something of a rogue agency is very real. what they're worried about is that mitt romney and his allies, if installed in the state department, would operate completely independently from the white house and any time there was any kind of distance between the white house and state department, that there would be efforts to make the state department look better vis-a-vis the white house. i understand that given the hosdiho hostility that romney showed to dt over the course of the campaign, but to do this in such an unprecedented day, attacking him on thanksgiving on twitter, as kellyanne did, is really kind of unbelievable. >> attacking him and also, mark halperin, attacking the candidate. saying he betrayed his followers. first of all, this goes back to the whole, who's the last person in the room. like no, donald trump is the last person in the room. donald trump will make the decision. nobody else will make the
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decision. kellyanne is not going to box him in by calling him a betrayer. rudy giuliani isn't going to box him in because it's going to make him look weak if he goes with giuliani now. >> who is not even qualified. >> this, though, suggesting that donald trump is going to let any agency go rogue, is such an insult to donald trump. it's staggering. that somehow trump is going to be weak and go, oh, oh, mitt romney said something. i can't -- i can't -- that would be bad. no. he would fire him that day. >> right. look, i think kellyanne thing is getting a lot of attention and justifiably so. it's unprecedented. remember, mike huckabee spoke out. newt gingrich also spoke out against romney. >> none of them have jobs. none of them have jobs in the trump administration. >> the reason i don't -- >> kellyanne doesn't have a job yet and she's angry about that.
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she hasn't been offered the job she wants. no, she is. i can report that. and so she's striking out. she's not in any of the meeting wheres the decisions are being made and she's angry about that. but at the same time, you don't go out and attack the vice president-elect because you're mad at reince priebus. . it's unprecedented. romney is not dead in the job because there are very senior people in the transition who are strategizing about how they can make this happen still, but this issue of an appall saej front and center. i don't think romney is going to want to apologize the way some trump supporters are saying are the price for being considered. >> no way. >> not only is romney not going to apologize, mike barnicle, trump doesn't want him to apologize. i mean, listen. what trump told me, and i have reported this on the air before. what donald trump told me was, hey, because when the name first came up, i said, are you comfortable? he was tough on you.
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donald trump said, hey, i beat him up for five years. i was rough on him, too. i like the fact the guy pushes back. and romney, for his part, said look at nikki haley. look at all the selections this guy is making. it's showing that he's much bigger than his critics have said. and romney said the fact that he's even talking to me shows that he's ripping a page from team of rivals and lincoln. >> right. >> and also from ronald reagan with james baker. this happens in politics all the time. i'm sorry, hillary clinton and barack obama. remember, they were calling each other racists and all the stuff that was flying back and forth. children who don't think this is how you build coalitions and win elections are just that, politically, they're children. they don't know how to play the game. they should probably be quiet. >> i can report from sources close to governor romney that he will not be apologizing. i can also report that the
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problem wouldn't be a rogue secretary of state. the bureaucracy within the state department is of its own weight, something that's very difficult to move. but there's one way to clear this up. for donald trump to appoint the secretary of state today. >> yeah, not going to happen. >> he's not going to do that. >> not going to do that because they're in the middle of a process right now which is actually a deliberate process, which is making it even more offensive that he's got his staffers that are trying to box him in on sunday shows. he's got this week. he's going to be talking to petraeus again. he's going to, i think, be talking to general kelly. he's going to talk to mitt romney, and he's not going to be pushed into the corner by a staff member. >> do you believe -- do you think that kellyanne conway said what she said, everything that she has said -- >> on her own. >> really? so unprecedented. >> let me be clear here. not only has there been reporting from like the top of
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the organization, thee or four sources at the top of the organization, but everybody around that incident said she went completely rogue and donald trump was furious yesterday that she would take that upon herself to keep attacking mitt romney. >> let me read from mike lupica on giuliani. >> i have to clarify, this is important. this is not saying that mitt romney is going to be secretary of state. this is just saying, kellyanne conway hurt herself yesterday by going rogue at the worst possible time, when donald trump -- >> and you're confirming she went rogue. >> when donald trump is spending this week being very deliberate and reviewing people and making the decision. i would fire a staffer in a second if they did that to me. would have fired them in a second. >> it involved a lot of different dynamics. here's this, rudy giuliani's support for trump does not qualify him to run the state department. trump, who wants to be judged fairly by the cab nlt
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appointments he's making simply can't say the things he said about hillary clinton, going around with her hand out and turn around and appoint a secretary of state who's been traveling around the world with his hand out. as if he's the world's reigning expert on security. the job of secretary of state isn't owed to giuliani any more than the white house was owed to hillary clinton. go back and look at some of the speeches he gave for trump. go back and read some of the things giuliani said. he didn't act like someone in training to run the state department. more like an aging bouncer, maybe the president-elect can create a cabinet position for that. there's also a lot of questions about his choices that he made pre and post 9/11 in terms of security. i'm just saying. everybody likes to call him america's mayor and he was so great in that moment during 9/11, and he was. >> he was. >> but some logistical operations pre-9/11 were unthinkable given the fact that we were attacked at the world trade center before and where
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the command center was. i'm just saying, sthatd was under his watch. that's important to point out if you want to be safe. >> i respect him. >> i do, too. please don't put the command center in the middle of ground zero. >> as the "wall street journal" said on wednesday, i think it was, the secretary of state position is not a patronage job, and there aren't a lot of people in new york who have been around rudy giuliani that think he's up to this job, that he's qualified for this job and that he's physically up to this job. >> i would be surprised at this point if he got it. but he is still pushing hard for it, and he has boxed more than kellyanne conway. he has boxed trump in by saying this is the only job i want. >> who does this? >> in the last 90 days of the campaign, there's no doubt that he earned trump's loyalty and they're going to find some other way to pay him back. >> still ahead on "morning joe," a past that overshadows the future in cuba with celebration in miami and mourning in havana,
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we'll talk about a community coming to tuerms with decades o fidel castro's rule. plus, things go from bad to worse in aleppo, the rebel-held city bisected in the latest wave of attacks. first, here's bill karins with a check of the forecast. >> did you see this yesterday? a rare november tornado in nebraska. wasn't just a baby one either. this was in red cloud, nebraska. you can see it there in the distance. it did damage some farmland and buildings. no injuries, no fatalities. continue, we're continuing the severe weather in the southeast. storms are beginning to push into northeast texas, headed for the little rock area. nothing too severe. just heavy downpours and lightning. later on this afternoon, it looks like we'll go through a rare severe weather outbreak. 11 million people under a slight risk or enhanced risk of severe storms centered right over the top of southern arkansas, northern louisiana, and a good
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chunk of mississippi. that will head into areas of alabama later tonight. we need the rainfall in that area. we just don't want tornadoes or severe weather like is possible. then welcomed rain comes in tomorrow through the middle east. the drought has gotten worst in the last couple months. we're going to get one shot of rain tuesday and the second shot will come in wednesday night and will be with us until early thursday morning. two shots of rain mean a lot of travel delays throughout tuesday and wednesday night in the areas of new england. a shot of new york city. beautiful monday under way. rain will move in tomorrow morning. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ when you find something worth waiting for,
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i've spent my life planting a size-six, non-slip shoe into that door. on this side, i want my customers to relax and enjoy themselves. but these days it's phones before forks. they want wifi out here. but behind that door, i need a private connection for my business. wifi pro from comcast business. public wifi for your customers. private wifi for your business. strong and secure. good for a door. and a network. comcast business. built for security. built for business. the situation in aleppo, syria, is growing more dire by the hour for civilians. russian and syrian state tv report the syrian government has taken control of the key rebel-held area, effectively splitting their territory in two. the anxiety and fear of residents was documented by a
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syrian woman named futomma and her 7-year-old daughter who in a series of tweets wrielt this, the army got in. this could be our last day, sincerely talking. no internet. please, please, please pray for us. follow up soon after by this, under heavy bombardment. can't be alive anymore. when we die, keep talking, for 200,000 still inside. bye. hours later, a picture of a stunned bana, masked by dust and debris with a caption, tonight, we have no house. it's bombed and i got in rubble. i saw deaths and i almost died. elsewhere in the region, the israeli military says it killed four isis-linked militants in an air strike. it comes after the militants attacked idf forces in the israeli-controlled side of the hotly contested region. a spokesman tells "the washington post" the snenlt is the first substantial fight between the two sides. following the encounter, prime
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minister netanyahu said israel won't allow isis to use the cover of the war in syria to establish themselves next to our borders. >> mike, let's talk about aleppo. let's talk about what's happened in syria. we have talked about this for years now. it's the west and the world has just sat silently by while this country and its people have been tortured by assad, and now the russians. >> it's an international d disgrace that's been going on for several years. the secretary of state and the obama administration i'm told are going to take one last gasp at it over the next two to three weeks to coordinate with russia to try to relieve the suffering, but principly, relieve the bombing of aleppo. i don't know whether it will be successful, but they're going to try. this has been going on now for at least four years, in the eyes of the world, looking at this nearly every day, except we
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don't look at it nearly every day. we don't think about it every day, but it's a disgrace. >> it is. and the obama administration, mark halperin, have just sat by and watched a terrible situation get worse. >> president obama had the legacy of iraq and afghanistan, was just not interested in putting ground troops anyplace in numbers that could affect the outcomes of things. i think the american people, unfortunately, are still war weary after the two wars and the new president is going to face a new set of decisions, whatever the current administration does, about what is the role of american ground troops? we're working with russia to try to deal with this. >> jon meacham, by president obama being so determined not to repeat the mistakes of george w. bush and dick cheney, he has taken a stable iraq that was passed over to him by general petraeus and our soldiers and
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marines in 2009-2010, and it's been turned to chaos, and we have watched syria deteriorate over the past six years. in the most horrific way. is this going to be -- is syria and the rise of isis going to be a part of any history of barack obama's presidency? >> i think president obama has two open accounts, if you will, on the historical record. one syria. and the other is the iran nuclear deal. and we won't be able to come to a judgment despite his approval rating at the moment, until we see what the implications of the syrian collapse has been and what happens ultimately with iran and whether it ends up joining the nuclear club in any event. i think those are two questions that the obama legacy will be judged by. >> joining us in washington, editor in chief of the atlantic magazine, jeffrey goldberg is back from his travels.
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jeffrey, this is one of the many job wants for the trump administration. >> absolutely. i mean, there are a couple of different issues here. one is the iran deal and how far he's going to go to, quote, roll that back. it's not very rollable. the second issue, of course, is syria. i would say in reference to jon's good point about approval ratings, it's not entirely clear that the american voter cares at all about syria except when tearietea terrorists from syria leave to kill someone outside. historians might judge his behavior in syria harshly. president obama's behavior in syria harshly, but i'm not sure it has a lot of salience right now in terms of where the american electorate is at. >> what about where the united states is as a country, our place in the globe? sort of things you worry about and fret about every day and
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think about and write about. what does it say about the united states that we have sate on our hands over the past six years and watched syria resolve and millions of refugees flood out? is that the new standard for the united states of america? if it is, how troubling is that? >> i don't necessarily think it's the new standard for the united states. we're a traumatized country after 15 yearoffs engagement, really difficult engagement in wars in two muslim countries, the president was merely responding, i think, in some ways. he led this in some ways but responded in other ways to the american public's general fatigue with the middle east, with going into muslim countries and trying to reorder them. and i think maybe we're at the bottom of a curve here. i mean, we'll find out. we'll find out in the coming few years if this is the new normal. >> coming up on "morning joe," can bygones be bygones? senator jeff flake could only shake his head through much of the election over his party's nominee. we'll talk to him about what can be accomplished now that donald
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barack obama is the president of the most powerful country in the world.
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what i call pathetic is not mentioning whatsoever in the statement the reality that there are thousands upon thousands of people who suffered in the castro wru jeem. he executed people, jailed people for years. in the florida straits, there are thousands of people who lost their lives escaping him. that was pathetic, absolutely. >> i very much hope that we don't see any u.s. government officials going to fidel castro's funeral. if you wouldn't go to pol pot's funeral or stalin's funeral because they were murdering communist dictators. then you shouldn't do what president obama and justin trudeau are doing, which is celebrating fidel castro, a murderous, communist dictator. >> senators marco rubio and ted cruz, who are both cuban american, referencing these responses to fidel castro's death by president obama and canadian prime minister justin trudeau. president obama said in part
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this, we know that this moment fills cubans with powerful emotions. history will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him. today, we offer condolences to fidel castro's family and our thoughts and prayers are with the cuban people. and prime minister trudeau's office issued this statement. it is with deep sorrow that i learned today of the death of cuba's longest serving president. >> really is unbelievable. that is really -- come on. trudeau had the -- yeah, why is he the longest serving president? >> he's a dictator. >> dictator. firing squads. >> fidel castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. >> serve his people, define that as how? >> joining us now, the ceo of starfish media, soledad o'brien, and in washington, alex cost
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yawnose, and in washington, humber humberto. the longest romance, the mainstream media and fidel castro. >> i thought barack obama's statement was sort of a completely milk toast, said nothing out loud. it said literally nothing except about the cuban people, complicated emotions, which is true. justin trudeau, longest serving president? yeah, because you forced people to vote for you. >> he must be 28 and not very adept at this. >> the problem whenever we have discussions about cuba is everyone thinks about it in is binary way, but it depends on where you sit and really what your circumstances were under batista, will also influence how you feel. >> my mom is afro-cuban. under batista, her family did horribly. my mom used to always say, under
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batista, batista would only kill you. castro would kill you and make sure your parents never had a job again and make sure your children never had housing. both terrible, but terrible in different ways. i think a lot of the new aunls in fidel castro is lost because people like to believe he's evil, or oh, my goodness, literacy and health care. it's more complicated than that. >> alex, talk about your experiences. your family's experiences and also your feelings this morning. >> well, i'm -- the death of a tyrant, a little bit of hope for the cuban people. i'm trying to secelebrate by liberating as many cigars from co communism as i can. my parents got me out of cuba in 1961 because i was 6 years old, in preschool, and you know, when castro came in to power, the teachers were indoctrinating the kids. i was bringing home pictures to color in of the brave cuban
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soldier bayonetting the cowardly american soldier. at school one day, the teachers asked the kids, us, hey, kids, close your eyes and pray to god for ice cream. we did, no ice cream. kids, let's ask fidel for ice cream. yay, we got ice cream. my folks wanted us to have the freedom of the cuban people still don't enjoy today. there are families in cuba who have turned over their kitchen tables and tried to float across 90 miles of open water in stormy seas to get out of that place. and that milquetoast statement, this is a president who says he draws red lines and they turn out to be pink and fuzzy, and that weakness, i think, in obama, he's all carrot and no stick, that one reason donald trump got elected. >> what's your best hope for cuba, most realistic scenario?
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>> nothing is going to change, but here we're hearing about complicated emotions. we're hearing about strong emotions. folks, castro regime jailed and tortured political plizners at a higher rate than stalin's regime during the great terror. they murdered, murdered mostly by firing squad, more political prisoners in their first three years in power than hitler's regime murdered in his first six. they drove 20 times as many people to die trying to escape from cuba as died trying to escape germany. and we're hearing about complicated emotions? please give me a break. >> no, sir, because if you're actually trying to understand why there are cubans who do like fidel castro, they like that he gave the finger to the united states, so there are cubans inside of cuba, many of my family members who actually like
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fidel castro. they look at the things he brought cuba today is more afro-cuban than it was before a lot of the wealthier, educated cubans fled. there are complicated emotions. i don't think that is completely unfair. >> you agree with what he's saying about the atrocities? >> absolutely, but with fidel castro, yes, absolutely, a brutal dictator, but you cannot remove from his history the things that made cubans like him. when he first came in and overthrew batista, he was welcomed by all cubans. they loved him. very quickly, it went south. >> no, no, no. under batista -- who jumped on rafts to escape batista? can you answer that for me? during batista, more americans lived in cuba than cubans lived in the u.s. >> exactly the problem, sir, because of batista, as you well know -- >> cuba had a higher standard of living. >> for white cubans.
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yes, sir, correct. cubans who were not afro-cuban, he's 100% right. >> alex, go ahead. >> evil is not complicated. you know, prisons can be run very efficiently, this is an island prison. fidel castro is the stalin of the caribbean. and as far as supporting castro, sure. you know, stalin and hitler had supporters, too. but there is a reason people risk their lives, moms risk babies on an open sea to get them out of that place. so there's not much -- i would disagree with soledad. there's not as much complicated. >> they got in boats which they made themselves and left cuba and came to the united states. so i understand. i guess what i'm saying is you're trying to give some context to people, right? to understand why they feel the way they do about fidel castro. and saying -- >> aren't those things that these gentlemen are bringing to
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life so passionately here the lines? >> from a person who ran cuba as a dictator for so many years. >> right, dictator. >> absolutely. >> atrocities. >> 100%. then why did people support and like fidel castro? some of those people were forced into it, clearly, bullet also, people enjoyed the fact that he basically gave the middle finger to the united states. there's no question about that. people felt that -- >> more bogus stuff. >> going forward here -- >> utterly bogus. >> it's not, sir. if you ask afro-cubans -- >> castro into power, people. this is fully documented. there is a -- a quote from the former cuban ambassador to cuba, without help, castro would have never taken power. >> i think -- >> we have a traffic jam here.
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mike barnicle. >> alex, am i wrong in being struck by the fact that all of these decades of castro's power over cuba and cubans, 90 miles offshore, is this an indictment of the fact that we don't teach history well in this country to our own people about what is happening -- happened, only 90 miles off our shore? >> it's a huge indictment, mike. i think you're right about that. for example, i think it's important to understand now that there are no soft liners in cuba. raul castro may have opened up the economy a little bit, but it's not to provide an alternative to tyranny and communi communism. it's to rescue tyranny and communism. they have no money. and they need hard dollars to sustain this regime. who runs the cuban economy? there's a conglomerate called gaesa that 80% of cuban economic activity goes through this conglomerate.
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who owns that? the cuban military. who runs it? raul castro's son-in-law. so this is an economy, an island that is completely run by the military. even if raul castro were to die today, who would be in charge? the cuban military. this would be egypt but less friendly. >> he's right about that. my cousin before he was able to flee cuba used to tell me about voting day. and he would say, starting in the morning, your neighbors would knock on your door. so, comrade, have you gop to vote yet? at 2:00, by then, your family is hysterical because you have refused to vote. they say, please, go vote, so thener neighbors stop reporting us. that's horrible, absolutely evil. to only look at castro, if you're really interested in trying to understand how people feel about him, sort of with the top line, fails to genuinely try to understand him and the cubans who supported him. >> everybody who is watching, i
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want to be clear, soledad said the lead to this story is the fact that he was a dictator for 50 years. brutal, her own parents left cuba. i think -- >> batista, bad. castro bad. it's not really complicated, but if you try to understand that. >> a milquetoast statement is probably not appropriate. >> i thought he said nothing in that statement. >> soledad, alex, humberto, thank you very much. still ahead, we'll speak with senator jeff flake to went to cuba to help bring back american alan gross who spend five years in prison and we'll ask senator flake if he thinks donald trump has changed from the man he opposed during the campaign. we're backane moment.
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was small business saturday, an effort for people to shop at stores in their communities. according to a survey by empty business and american express, 112 million people took part this year. for a look alt this year's retail trend lines, we bring in dominic chu. >> dominic, how was friday? how was black friday, how was the weekend? >> you know, black friday, i'll admit, i didn't do a lot of that shopping. it was a half market day on friday, so i was working down at the new york stock exchange. some of my family members, my wife went out shopping, but generally speaking,ee did a lot from the sanctity of our own home. here's what we're talking about. we're still waiting on some of the more specific results from the weekend, but you mentioned the study from american express. a lot more people shopping for small businesses. you're already talking about a situation where more than around 76% of people are aware of this holiday already. and that they plan to support one of the small businesses in their home town. that's always a good sign. i grew up in a small business family, so that's a big deal.
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no matter what size business you are, guys, there's been an undeniable trend in shopping over the past, i would argue, decade. that's the online stuff. according to retail next, we have all kinds of detail on this, if you look at physical store locations on thanksgiving and black friday alone, those sales at brick and mortar stores fell 5% over last year. the number of tranactions, the number of times people went and swiped their credit card was down 8% for those days as well. the online trend, that's the big one. on thanksgiving and black friday alone, those sales at online stores grew by 18% to $5.3 billion, and black friday alone, guys, you're talking about a 22% increase. $3.3 billion spent. >> seriously, again, i have been saying this for several years. why get in the car, fight the traffic, go to the malls, when you can pick this up, go to your amazon app, and buy everything you need to buy? >> i don't like the boxes.
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>> we talk about small business saturday. i think this is acchatually helg small businesses because, yeah, you can get the big items you used to get at the chains bike best buy and walmart and everything else, but those personal items, you go to your main street. you go to the independent book store, you do all of those things. >> keep them alive. >> it's crazy how this economy changes. you know, you had barnes & noble and books a million and borders killing independent book stores then amazon killing those big chains. now you have amazon and the independent book stores growing back again. it's churning economy. at the end of the day, it helps small businesses. >> thank you very much, dominic. >> next, republican senator jeff flake sparred with his party's nominee throughout the election. is he happy with what he's seeing so far? >> jeff is always happy. >> we'll ask jeff next.
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and what were your impressions and thoughts with the passing of castro? >> i have been going down to cuba for 15 years now. i have made well over a dozen trips. one of the first pieces of legislation i presented was to get rid of the cuban ban. if you went to spring break once or twice, that would do it. i frankly have thought that the castros have simply used our policy as a convenient scapegoat for the failures of socialism. so i'm very much in favor of the opening that's occurred. when we went down to get alan gross, that was a particular special moment. i visited him in prison months before. and he was about, he told the cubans he wouldn't spend another birthday in prison. he would take himself out, and i believed him. i think we all did. when we got him in that prisoner exchange and got in the air and flew toward home, about 30
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minutes into the flight, he stood up after the pilot said we have now entered u.s. air space, he stood up and cheered. and just breathed deeply several times and said now i know i'm free. and it was one of the most incredible moments i have ever witnessed. >> so senator flake, given -- first of all, what is your position right now? do you think with the incoming trump administration? >> position on -- >> on just the feeling toward you, their feeling toward you? the reason i ask is, with regard to cuba, going forward, would your voice have any influence, do you think, in the incoming trump administration about whatever policy they choose to pursue with rard to cuba? >> donald trump, with regard to cuba, has said before he thought that it was the right thing to open up. i hope that he sticks with that. let me tell you, in cuba, i have been traveling, like i said, for 15 years now, about half of that
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time during our so-called get tough policy with cuba. about half of the time under some of the opening. the biggest change that's happened in cuba over the past decade is allowing cuban americans to travel back to cuba and to remit about as much money as they want. that's acted as seed capital for private entrepreneurs in cuba. you have gone from a very insignificant work force in cuba being in the private sector to now 25% of the workforce in cuba works in private bed-and-breakfasts or private restaurants or body shops or beauty shops, and it's given them obviously a measure of economic freedom and also a measure of political freedom as well. that's a good thing. and i think that donald trump will recognize that and want to continue it. >> so let's ask you about the president-elect. you were pretty critical during the campaign and the run-up to the election. what is your approach now, and how do you think he's doing in terms of the transition so far?
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>> i was critical. certainly. donald trump won. my approach is assume the best and look for the good. and he's putting together his administration now. and i look forward to working with him on areas that we agree on. >> how does -- when you're looking for the good, what good do you see in the transition so far? >> certainly, the commitment to deal with obamacare. here in arizona, 14 of 15 counties only have one choice and premiums have skyrocketed. they needs to be dealt with, and he's committed to do so. also, a commitment to get rid of some of these regulations hampering businesses. that's got to be done. i think the president understands that very well. so i'm encouraged by those statements. and look forward to working with him on those things. i'm sure there will be disagreements along the way, and i'll represent my state. >> there you go. senator jeff flake, thank you very much. >> what did you learn today? >> i learned that the show is
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very interactive at the highest levels. >> i like that. >> that does it for us. we're going to stop interacting now. stephanie ruhle -- >> i wanted to ask mike what he learned today. >> nothing. >> good. we'll try again tomorrow. >> a good use of time. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> i hope mike watches and can learn something now. hi, there. i'm stephanie ruhle. we have a lot to cover. election 2016. it's not over yet. donald trump lobbing an explosive and totally unsun stantiated claim that millions voted illegally, alleging fraud in three key states. this as the wisconsin recount effort gets under way this morning, and pennsylvania's deadline for a recount is today. team trump firing back. >> this is a total and complete hypocritical joke. >> so confounding and disappointing. >> public feud. kellyanne conway takes her opposition to mittom

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