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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  November 29, 2016 8:00pm-8:31pm PST

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matter how bumpy the road s little by little we'll go. little by little we'll go, no matter how narrow the path s we are msnbc's live coverage continues into "the 11th hour." that's next. tonight donald trump has a very public dinner date with mitt romney here in new york city. is a decision on secretary of state coming soon? while we wait on that, we did bet nget new cabinet appoins today, and it has some asking
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about that swamp drainage project trump has promised. and stripped citizenship for burning the american flag. a new promise by trump that goes against the constitution. "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from our new york headquarters. so much to talk about, so little time, beginning with a night out here in new york this evening at a fancy french restaurant not far from here inside one of trump's branded buildings here in new york city tonight. donald trump sat down to dinner with mitt romney. trump brought a wing man, his chief of staff reince priebus. no word is where romney now stands in the overall selection process for secretary of state. after the meal, mitt romney spoke with reporters, and before you can think it, we'll go ahead and say it, things sure have changed. >> like old times. i had a wonderful evening with
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president-elect trump. we had another discussion about affairs throughout the world, and these discussions i've had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. i've enjoyed them very, very much. i was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night. by the way, it's not easy winning. i know that myself. he did something i tried to do and was unsuccessful in accomplishing. he won the general election. and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together, and his vision is something which obviously connected with the american people in a very powerful way. the last few weeks he's been carrying out a transition effort, and i have to tell you, i've been impressed by what i've seen in the transition effort. the people he selected as members of his cabinet are solid and effective, capable people. some of them i know very well. nikki hailey and i go way back.
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she's a powerful, outspoken leader. tom price is actually someone that came to my office before he ran for senate and we spent time talking about health care. what an expert and solid thinker in that arena and others. jeff sessions was someone i knew through my campaigns. he helped me very early on. he has a distinguished record with the senate, and betsy deboss and a long list of people. very impressive individuals. i happen to think america's best days are ahead of us. i think you're going to see america continue to lead the world in this century, and what i've seen through these discussions i've had with president-elect trump, as well as what we've seen in his speech the night of his victory, as well as the people he selected as part of his transition, all of those things combined give me increasing hope that president-elect trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future. thank you. >> almost poignant behind him there, the flashing lights of the trump motorcade departing.
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and you saw this coming, a reminder it was mitt romney who, a few months ago, said this about donald trump. >> think of donald trump's personal qualities. the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the mysogeny, the absurd third grade theatrics. donald trump is a phony, a fraud. his promises are as worthless as a degree from trump university. >> and to be fair, trump called romney a disaster and said he choked as a gop candidate. now in other transition news, there have been some other cabinet selections, including a big one, treasury. nbc news is reporting that trump's campaign finance chair steve minuchin is the pick for treasury secretary. minuchin is a former partner at go
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goldwin. his firm produced several films like "avatar." bi william ross also a choice. a pick for transportation, secretary elaine chow, former labor secretary under president george bush. she also happens to be the wife of senator majority leader mitch mcconnell. the news we reported last night, georgia veteran tom price and orthopedic surgeon by training is trump's pick for health and human services secretary. in the meantime, trump tower here in new york has become quite the place to see the once and future leaders of american politics and the republican party. today they included former vice president dan quayle who paused to speak with reporters. this morning, a few minutes after a fox news segment on flag burning, donald trump tweeted about flag burning. he said, quote, nobody should be allowed to burn the american flag.
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if they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail. more on this topic later, but for the record, that will be unconstitutional and revoking citizenship for descent would be the stuff of fascism. nobody in the united states can be punished by removal of u.s. citizensth citizenship. there was some election-related news just tonight. carrier announced they would keep a thousand, or roughly half the workers, at their indiana base, that they plan to idle, moving their operations to mexico. this reverses a decision by carrier and it was a big campaign promise by donald trump. something tells us we will be hearing more about this. in fact, trump said it himself on twitter tonight, a big announcement there on thursday. let's talk about this day in politics. starting us off tonight, vaughn
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hilliard, who is covering the trump transition. he is at trump tower tonight just back from dinner. april ryan, washington bureau chief for american urban radio network. she's in baltimore. and ken vogel from politico is with us from washington. it's humane you're back from dinner. we're not sharing your private life because you were there to cover some flavor of dinner between the two newsmakers tonight. what can you tell us about the environmentals, the surroundings? >> reporter: for the record, brian, i did not have the sauted frogs or the chocolate cake that they had, but it was several hours from now at trump tower where donald trump left with his motorcade about eight blocks down, from the restaurant you were talking about, to meet with mitt romney and his chief of staff reince priebus. they dined for two hours in a semi-private room where there were multiple tables. when they got up, everyone in the restaurant applauded.
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i was at the bar and i tried to ask him the question whether mitt romney was his question. he turned and walked outside, ignoring the question. it was at that point in which mitt romney addressed reporters in which you heard quite the message. this was their second meeting, the first being in westminster. you heard donald trump saying this was a message of inclusion. where this is at right now, while this is the second meeting, i was also told by trump transition sources that rudy giuliani was also going to be speaking to donald trump tonight, and bob corker, senate relations committee senator out of tennessee, also met with donald trump today and just yesterday retired general david petraeus met with him as well. >> vaughn, our thanks as always. ken vogel, you have written about what's going on inside trump world, specifically kellyanne conway comes out very publicly, very forcefully with
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chuck todd on "meet the press" this weekend, comes out against mitt romney, and the rest of the political world looked on and said, how can someone with her seniority be allowed to do that if romney's candidacy for secretary of state is still alive? what did you think was going on here? >> i think there is probably a little bit of a cat and mouse game right now with mitt romney, and it's pitting advisers, donald trump's closest advisers, against each other. there are certainly those like kellyanne conway who feels like mitt romney's attacks on donald trump during the campaign were simply unforgivable, and i heard from other folks lower down in this rank and file of the campaign said that when mitt romney called donald trump a fraud and a phony and a con man, they felt like he was calling them that as well, and calling donald trump supporters that as well, and that by rewarding that, even as mitt romney has sort gro
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groveled a bit to donald trump, it would be a blow to supporters because they wanted to see the status quo change. to them nobody represents the status quo as much as mitt romney. the same people criticized him earlier and he being seen as having won them over. that's certainly the case here with mitt romney. april, i re >> april, i heard a former aide to president obama on social media say, don't be fooled by what he called the flare of flag burning. a tweet like that is for the base. it's to take attention away from the fact that establishment types are getting appointed slowly to this cabinet. so the question we posed at the top of the broadcast now to you, what happened to the swamp drainage project? >> well, the swamp drainage project continues, but donald trump is very good at deflecting. and when there is one big issue,
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he'll throw something else out there bigger to take the attention away from that issue that was the initial issue. but the process continues. i mean, today we saw elaine chao. she was the former labor secretary in the bush administration. and listening to those on the ground, grassroots people like mark mo rirks orkmoriel, the h national urban league, she was great as head of the national secretary. she was able to work before katrina and after katrina, particularly after katrina when the issues of trying to place people who were evacuated from new orleans, to put them in jobs, so that's a plus for that one when it comes to bringing people and communities together, but when it comes to the possible treasury secretary pick, there is concern, once again. same thing that he blamed
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hillary clinton for going onto wall street. he's done the same thing, but you have to remember, both democrats and republicans over the past couple decades have done the same thing, pretty much gone on wall street to make their picks for financial advisers and those who will help to run the financial stability of this nation. and then also with that same treasury pick, there is a problem when it comes to the subprime lending issue that happened during the bush years. so there is a lot of controversy also on congressman price. that's a big issue as well. congressman price is going to have a big fight from many grassroots communities when it comes to defunding or changing the affordable care act which is known as obamacare and the obama administration is now calling it trump care when president trump becomes the 45th president of the united states. >> and ken, during all of this, two questions for you. one, will we ever see the
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president-elect's tax returns, and two, what about the looming question of conflict of interest? chiefly today, the concern over the old post office building, now the trump international washington hotel, where in the lease it says you can't be a partner of this lease and be an elected official. >> yeah, we're seeing numerous concerns around these conflicts of interest, the overlap between trump's coming role of leader of the free world, president of the united states, and his wide-reaching business empire. it's not just here, the trump building that you mentioned, the hotel a few blocks from where i'm sitting right now is hosting an event today or, rather, objewe obtained an invitation for an event that the governor of bahrain is hosting some event there. this again raises the question of whether there would be foreign interests, company
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officials who would seek to either do business with trump through these far-flung enterprises or otherwise seek to curry favor with the administration through the businesses. it's going to be a heavy lift, i think, for the incoming white house counsel don mcgann, who was the campaign's general counsel, to be able to extricate these things. we heard a number of possibilities being floated from the kids taking over, the adult children of donald trump taking over. of course, they, too, are adv e advisers formally to trump, so it would be difficult to trust that he has a blind trust. it's difficult to have a blind trust when you have your name emblazoned on these properties. that would be the ultimate way to settle these questions. we have to scoot to our first break, thus april and ken from baltimore and washington,
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respectively, thank you both for coming in and being in our broadcast tonight. we'll take a break here, and coming up as we continue, donald trump said his pick for supreme court justice will be like the late justice scalia. what justice scalia said about the right to burn the american flag. this is "the 11th hour." ♪ if you have moderate to severe ulcerative colitis or crohn's, and your symptoms have left you with the same view, it may be time for a different perspective.
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hampshire college when someone did just that, trump wrote this on twitter. again, no one should be allowed to burn the american flag. if they do, there must be consequences, perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail. the problem there, it would be illegal to punish someone who burns the american flag. the supreme court has weighed in on this before. justice antonin scalia joined the majority to rule on a 5-4 decision back in '89 that flag burning is protected by the constitution as a form of speech. 23 years later, justice scalia explained his opinion. >> if i were king, i would not allow people to go about burning the american flag. however, we have a first amendment which says that the right of free speech shall not be abridged, and it is addressed in particular to speech critical of the government. i mean, that was the main kind of speech that tyrants would
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seek to suppress. burning the flag is a form of expression. speech doesn't just mean written words or oral words. it could be a symbol for -- burning the flag is a symbol that expresses an idea. >> one more important note, trump suggests that americans can be punished by rescinding their citizenship that would also be unconstitutional. let's talk about this with our friend and frequent guest michael beschloss, a historian who is with us tonight from washington, d.c. we mentioned justice scalia because donald trump knows to mention justice scalia. his death gave us the current vacancy. trump says he wants a nominee in his shadow, but perhaps trump does not know the story of william j. brennon, who
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president eisenhower called his great mistake who wrote beautifully about the majority of flag burning. however sickening and abhorrent we all find it, this has been a protected part of american law. >> that's for sure, brian. and, you know, you're absolutely right about justice brennan who wrote, as you said, the opinion of the court, in this case, texas versus johnson, 1989 when he said -- i remember the words. he said, it is poignant but fundamental that the flag protects those who hold it in contempt. that's what brennan said and also what scalia subscribed to. >> the man who co-authored a book with justice scalia said tonight on television, our president-elect needs a basic lesson in civics. i've almost taken to referring to it as old america and new america separated by what we witnessed happening 20 days ago
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in the election. what do you think is going on here? is it as david axelrod has theorized, these are flames shot into the sky to project and cause the kind of conversation we're having right now. >> i think it's possible, brian, but as you said, this came after he saw this fox news segment about a flag being burned at the stake. probably he would not have thrown in that suggestion about making it something that you can lose your citizenship over if you burn an american flag with the exclamation point at the end, but it's a classic wedge issue. it goes back to really 1988 when lee atwater was working for george h.w. bush. that was a time that you saw -- did you see today, brian, dan
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quayle went into trump tower? >> yes. >> it was almost ironic, because in 1988, george bush said that campaign -- i think he was talking about veteran of wars was defending dan quayle about the draft ordinance. he said quale didn't burn his draft card and he didn't burn the american flag. george bush went to flag factories to try to get a constitutional amendment against flag burning. that was turned down by the senate 51-48. >> michael, you sent out today on your terrific daily twitter feed the picture of the oval office during a transition of a much different kind after the death of jfk transitioning to lbj. the power and glory that comes with it, that's the ball game. when do you think things will start to get more serious in trump world? they faced real constitutional questions as the first president-elect with so many foreign and domestic business
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entanglements, to name another area. >> well, you can only hope, and i think one thing we can hope, is that maybe once he gets his cabinet and the top level of his white house staff appointed, sometimes in the past you've seen presidents get a little bit more serious. one thing that's interesting, and i think this might have surprised some people about donald trump, when he spoke to president obama two days after the election, he gave every sign that he was chastened by what he learned, and perhaps the president does that to almost everyone who enters, and we'll see if that applies this time. >> presidential historian and michael beschloss joining us from washington. michael, thank you, as always. >> good to be with you, brian. president obama gives out 12 purple hearts today. ♪ ♪
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we showed you this picture from dinner at the restaurant john george here in the trump building tonight, the three people, mitt romney, reince priebus and donald trump. mr. priebus will be the guest tomorrow morning on "morning joe." that begins, of course, 6:00 a.m. eastern time. the last thing before we go here tonight has to do with with wh what the president did today. he went to walter reed. while that would be expected of
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a wartime president, what is perhaps surprising is that his visit today, perhaps his last as president, was his 23rd. and we have very few pictures of past visits to show you because they've been below the radar. he normally likes to keep his visits private. most are photos the wounded vets themselves and their families have posted. as the "new york times" said today, the president has considered this somewhat of a sacred duty while in office. the two wards he visits at walter reed, four west and four center, are humbling places. they are where our servicemen and women come back to be put together or at least to heal their wounds and prepare for life after the service. today the president met with 13 soldiers and decorated 12 of them with the purple heart. president-elect donald trump will now inherit the sacred duty as long as he is president and as long as men and women continue to volunteer to serve our country. that is our broadcast for tonight. thank you for being here with
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us. "hardball" with chris matthews begins right now. tweet to tweet. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. throughout the campaign whenever donald trump was down, he knew he could rally his base by saying or tweeting something provocative, something many in the mainstream press would call crazy. well, the campaign is over but president-elect donald trump seems to be following the same pattern. since winning he's attacked the media, gone after protesters and said millions of

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