tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 11, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
very good sunday and welcome back. i'm richard lui live at our world headquarters in new york city. top senate republicans today and democrats condemning russia's alleged interference in the presidential election. in a joint statement, senators schumer, mccain, reed, and grant saying recent reports of russian interference in our election should alarm every american. this comes as sources tell nbc news the president-elect has chosen exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson to be secretary of state. that transition team has not made a formal announcement saying that, but today trump touted tillerson's global business experience, including
his dealings in russia. >> he knows many of the players, and he noes them well. he does massive deals in russia. he does massive deals for the company, not for hince, but for the company. >> nbc's peter alexander joins us from washington with more on this. what are you hearing about what the transition team is going through about tillerson and that potential here of him being the next secretary of state? >> yes. it was nbc news, my colleague andrea mitchell who first reported the decision has been made that donald trump will select rex tillerson, the ceo at exxonmobil, to be his secretary of state. this country's chief diplomat. john bolton, the u.n. ambassador, would effectively serve as the number two deputy secretary of state in charge of day-to-day operations among other things. no announcement is iminnocent. we are hearing from people familiar with the conversations at trump tower along the lines of the fact they want to sort of see how this name plays out a little bit not just in the press but also among those lawmakers on capitol hill that may have
concerns about tillerson's cozy, as it's described, relationship with vladimir putin. this relationship goes back years given so many of the dealings the two men have had on the topic of oil. donald trump for his part tweeted about tillerson today, praised him, calling him a world-class player. he said in effect that he is a deal maker so stay tuned. marco rubio among those republican senators today basically saying a friend of vladimir is not the kind of person we want as our secretary of state. donald trump's chief of staff, reince priebus, also spoke out today and defended the idea of tillerson being the secretary of state. take a listen. >> well, look, i mean, he's in the business of exploring and finding oil across the globe, and so you have to go where the oil's at. the fact that he actually has a relationship with people like vladimir putin and others across the globe is something that shouldn't be -- shouldn't be -- we shouldn't be embarrassed by it. it's something i think could be
a huge advantage to the united states. >> the bottom line, following up on the selection of three retired generals to be a part of donald trump's cabinet so far, the most recent jon kelly, who will serve as the secretary of the department of homeland security if confirmed, rex tillerson is a business executive trump transition officials feel strongly represents another out-of-the-box pick that captures exactly what donald trump has told the folks he would do, which is think differently in the white house. richard? >> peter, thank you. peter alexander with the latest from washington for us. with us now to look at what rex tillerson would bring to the job as secretary of state, former acting labor secretary seth harris. he served under president obama and joins us from washington. seth, he served, as i was mentioning, you served as acting labor secretary. we have this potential of a new key cabinet nomination here under rex tillerson. we're hearing the arguments on
both sides, both pro and con. what is your fault? would he fit into this group and the way they work, the way the secretary of state needs to be working with the president? >> well, i don't think mr. tillerson should start measuring the drapes in the secretary of state's office just yet. he's almost certainly mr. trump's most imperilled, most endangered pick right now, and that's because he's right at the heart of a split in the republican party about what our policy should be with respect to russia. mr. trump wants to get a lot closer to russia, cozy up with mr. putin. mr. tillerson has a very close relationship with mr. putin, does billions of dollars in deals with russia. but there are traditional republicans like john mccain and marco rubio anl lindsey graham who even skeptical or hostile to mr. putin and russia. so i'm not sure mr. tillerson is going to get there. he's certainly the pick that's most at risk and he hasn't even been formally picked yet. >> president-elect trump did discuss tillerson, the idea of
him amongst others on fox. i want to play a little bit of the way he was discussing tillerson. >> well, in his case he's much more than a business executive. i mean, he's a world-class player. he's in charge of i guess the largest company in the world. he's in charge of an oil company that's pretty much double the size of his next nearest competitor. it's been a company that's been unbelievably managed. >> it's not double the size of the next largest competitor, which is shell, but that's not the issue here. this is where president-elect trump is saying, he's a businessman, knows how to handle this. it's a $370 billion turnover company or more or less, somewhere in that range, one of top ten profitable companies in the world. he deals with 50 countries and their leaders. this is why he's good. >> well, there's a big difference between leading a large multinational company and representing the united states in diplomatic relationships with ourand adversaries.
he's spent his entire career at exxonmobil. he is expert at helping his shareholders and his company to make more money. that's not the job as secretary of state. secretary of state has to relate to allies based on the values that we share with them, has to build difficult coalitions often in difficult circumstances. that's simply not what he's done. now, he may be terrific at it when the time comes but he's got a big struggle to get there and to show he's qualified for this job. >> how does he al lay those fears about his ties to russia? what should he say when he's sitting there in the confirmation hear snoog i think he's got to demonstrate that he understands what america's national interests are and what america's leadership in the world means. that's the big concern about russia. they are one of our principal adversaries in the world. their system of government is quite different. their view of how government should be run, their relations with other countries often bump up against american interests. he's got to demonstrate not just that he can be tough but that he
can lead with the democratic values that have made america the leader of the world since world war ii. >> seth harris, thank you so much for stopping by today. so those are the issues related to, again, rex tillerson, the potential nominee, nbc sources saying he will be the nominee for secretary of state, and his ties to russia. but there's also this -- the president-elect disputing the cia's findings on russia's alleged interference in the u.s. election, trump saying the cia had no idea if these hacks were actual licaried out by russia and when asked specifically why the agency would conclude that russia's intent was to boost his candidacy, this is what he had to say. >> i think the democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country and frankly i think they're putting it out and it's ridiculous. >> joining me now is tara pa palmieri, white house reporter for politico. liz smith, former deputy campaign manager.
and bettina from his his panic outreach for the republican national committee. great to have you with us. he's saying ridiculous. that is right in the face of the intelligence community. we don't believe, according to reporting, that what you're saying is actually true. senator mccain is saying those are facts here. what is he doing? >> he's definitely starting off on the wrong foot with the intelligence community. he's going to need their trust in the future, especially if he wants to make real decisions on the international stage and domestically in terms of securing, you know, u.s. citizens. so he needs to really probably patch that relationship up and make it clear that there needs to be trust between the two of them. that would be the first step. otherwise, i mean, how often are we going to be hearing him dising can agencies and some of the people that he's going to have leading the agencies he's going to have to take -- the buck stops there, he needs to take full responsibility for those things mep might say, okay, those were obama's appointees, but when his people
come in, when they say things that he doesn't like, he's going to need to take responsibility for that. >> not trying to be overly simplistic but the world is a big place with a lot of stuff happening. liz, we've been getting the reporting he sometimes gets those intelligence briefings and sometimes doesn't. he's not the president yet, but typically president-elects will be taking these right now. >> yeah. and obviously this morning he said he'll just do one briefing a week versus a daily briefing. look, i think we all have to get used to fact this is going to be an unorthodox president and presidency. what i find troubling about the -- you know, his refusal to accept any of the intelligence about the russian interference in the elections is that we're -- look, i'm a liberal democrat. we're not alleging that russia impacted the election. but what we're saying is if they did interfere in the election we need to have an investigation, because you know what, today they might have been trying to, you know, impact the election against democrats, but tomorrow it can be against republicans. that's why you have people like
john mccain, marco rubio out there, you know, so vocally. >> and part of this here, bettina, is the intelligence community itself, these questions we've been talking about this hour, has really sort of poked him in the side and now they've got an existential question. what will they be in this new administration? some of "the washington post" reporting saying even in a recent briefing with the fbi fick and cand cia on this issue they weren't seeing eye to eye and they are asking themselves what will it be in 2017? intelligence certainly is essential as was said by liz here as well as terror so far. what do you see happening come 2017, january 21? >> well, i think the question that we're talking about, i think we have to divide it in two parts. i think one is did russia -- what is russia's interference in the u.s. government in general and two, its interference in the
election. i think donald trump has issues with some of the reporting that says it interfered in the election. i don't think there's any election that said it swayed the results of the election. i do think there's a lot of people that are concerned about what russia's role and what they're doing to interfere with the u.s. government in general. and i think that even trump's new cia director, pompeii, congressman pompeii, has shown concern about russia. so i do think there is going to be investigations. i do think that there is going to be a look at what russia's trying to do. and the reality is that cybersecurity and cyber warfare are the big new battles for the united states and something that's taken incredibly seriously on both sides of the aisle. >> senator rubio tweeting here, tara, as we look at some of the reaction on both sides, i was mentioning mccain earlier, senator rubio tweeting that his opposition to a, quote, friend of putin, and says there, is not an attribute that i'm hoping for from a secretary of state.
so as the right side of the aisle here in the senate is saying, hmm, no, we don't want this person, but on the flip side, what could change that dynamic once he's sitting down? >> well, he's definitely -- has to dils avow putin in some way or at least comfort the senators, republican side as well who are concerned about his close relationship in some way if he really wants to pass the senate and get the actual appointment. so we'll see what happens in terms of that. i mean, there's also the idea that he could completely blow up the relationship that we have with nato right now. the whole purpose of nato is to stop russian aggression. if we have a secretary of state who's friendly with russia, there goes nato. the european allies are going to be left vulnerable. we'll see annexations of ukraine, poland, finland, the entire eastern area. this is not just an american issue. this is an entire worldwide european issue as well. >> just to piggyback off of that, i think the world is kind of watching to see what we do here, and, you know, russian
intervention, cyber warfare against european governments is nothing new. and the u.s. has always played a leadership role standing up to this sort of aggression. and, you know, standing up for freed freedom. if the u.s. backs down here and if republicans decide to put party before country, it's going to send a very, very chilling message to members of nato. >> last word to you, bettina. >> i think everyone understands republican and democrat, the importance of cybersecurity and cyber warfare, and i think republicans and democrats have both said how we need to look into this. i think what trump was saying is there's a kimpbs between russia's intervention in the government and did they influence the election. i think the reporting for "the washington post," the "new york times," has some flaws in it and i think that's what trump is city triing to say. >> december 11th, russia at the top of the hour and talking about rush ha, russia, russia. who would have ever thought. thank you all for being here.
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that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. we want to protect every last american life and life -- and life. >> president-elect trump there last week reiterating his anti-abortion stance and reassuring ohio lawmakers in that speech. the state became the first the country to pass a law that would ban abortions after six weeks. so early in the pregnancy that many women do not know they have conceived. supporters of is so-called
heartbeat bill are confident the law will stand counting on president-elect trump's promise he'll appoint only anti-abortion justices to the bench. nbc's anne thompson has more. >> whose choice? >> my choice! >> reporter: the battleground over abortion rights is now in ohio. >> six-week abortion ban will allow it all together. >> lives are literally on the chopping blocks. >> reporter: this week the state legislature passed one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the nation. under the heartbeat bill, abortions in ohio could be banned after a fetal heartbeat is detected. that can happen as soon as six weeks with no exception for rape or incest. a frontal attack, court watchers say, on the u.s. supreme court, which ruled states can't ban abortions unless the fetus is viable outside the womb, generally at 24 weeks. ohio republicans say the impetus for the bill, the election of donald trump. >> so you think this will survive constitutional challenge now? >> i think it has a better chance than it did before. >> reporter: that's because trump made this pledge on "60
minutes" about his supreme court choices. >> i'm pro-life. the judges will be pro-life. >> reporter: but right now there is only one court vacancy. >> the most president trump will do is replace one staunchly anti-roe justice with another. there still aren't five votes on the supreme court to overrule rowe versus wade. >> if that were overturned many states would criminal a's abortion and that falls hardest on women of low income and the most vulnerable. >> reporter: john kasich calls himself pro-life but a statement from his office only promises to closely examine the bill. kasich has ten days to veto it as well as a second bill passed this week in ohio that would ban abortions at 20 weeks. again without exception for rape or incest. if he does nothing, the bill becomes law. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. i'd like to bring in sara weddington. she argued the landmark case of roe v. wade, the supreme court
case made history and gave women the constitutional right to abortion in 1973. sarah, thank you for coming in for us on this sunday. what's your reaction here to the heartbeat bill, this six weeks? >> well, i think it's unlikely that it will become law. but frankly, we're all guessing because we have one vacancy as the other person pointed out, then you've got several judges, one who's 83, one who's 80, one who's 78. so of course we are praying for their good health because they're on our side and the side of women and their ability to make their own decisions. but if you look back at what the status of things was before roe vs. wade, women were having to move -- in texas, for example, our law was no abortion was legal except to save the life of the woman. so women from here were just flying to california. they were flying to new york.
they were going to colorado. they were going to mexico where will abortion was illegal, but readily available. so i'm afraid that what's going to happen is that we're going to have once again this movement of women with means across the country to where they have to go. and, in fact, trump has already said that. he's said, you know, if abortion was illegal, women would just have to move across state lines. but the sad part to me is that some women have the ability to do that and some don't. and he doesn't seem to be recognizing that not everybody has a big car and a private helicopter and a private plane to get wherever they have to be. >> yeah. those on the poverty line would have that difficulty. they have trouble getting across town as you're alluding to there. i want to bring up some data that you'll probably be watching carefully given what you have done and what you stand for here. the threat to roe v. wade, it's been pretty persistent on the local level and states like
thr the determining factor. there were restriction bus hayed that to do with how big the halls had to be in an abortion facility. what kind of credentials the person had to have. they didn't make abortion illegal. they made it more difficult to access. and those were just overturned by the supreme court. so you're going to have this just -- it's going to be like playing some kind of game where you're constantly trying to watch what are the various states doing. >> since we have you here finally, what are we missing in this conversation? >> well, i think it's partially looking at the fact that there's not going to be a quick and easy answer to what the future is. it's going to be, you know, who's on the supreme court, that's biggest question. obviously, it's up to trump to make those appointments, but they have to be confirmed by the senate. but he does have a republican senate. but there's no telling how soon
that might happen. and then even depending on what the supreme court -- you have to have a case that gets all the way to the supreme court and regardless of what they say, they're not going to say what the law is through the whole country. so then you've got to have each individual state beginning to decide what their law will be. there are some states that have laws from before roe versus wade that are going to jump into being effective once more. but a lot of states have no law. that means they're going to have to decide for themselves as a state what their law will be. and that's going to be very different throughout the country. >> be different state to state, yeah. >> exactly. >> sarah, quickly here, president-elect trump in an interview with chris matthews said he would like to penalize those who would violate the law, whether it be the law of the land or the law of the state. he would penal itz women who
would get an abortion. how likely is that? what might that look like? >> well, it would depend on what the individual states try to pass, and what we know from the past is that a lot of women have illegal abortion. that's why doctors are so against laws like this because, for example, parkland hospital, which a lot of people know because that's where john f. kennedy was taken after he was shot, that hospital had a ward called the iob ward, the infected obstetrics ward, and it was for women who had done self-abortion, often not doing it well at all, or people who'd had illegal abortion, and those doctors had to spend all their residency and internship trying to save the lives of those women. and i'm afraid that's what's going to happen again. and then of course you had all these organizations who very importantly tried to raise money
for people that didn't have their own means to go someplace, to help them go to find out where were the good places to go, where were the bad places to go. it's going to be a real helter-skelter situation, but the ones i feel sorry for are the women who are determined that for their own reasons, for their own family, for their own safety -- i hear him saying, well, no, we're not going to have any exception for rape or incest. well, that to me is so uncaring about the women who are involved and what they want to do. so i think women will not just sort of say, well, okay, whatever you want. and then trump has also said on the same sex case, he said, well, supreme court decided that, so i'm okay with it. well -- >> we shall see. >> the supreme court decided this too. >> we shall see. january 20 is when it all starts. sarah, thank you so much. sarah weddington, appreciate
your time today. >> thank you. >> all righty. mounting concerns over the news that exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson could be president-elect trump's pick to be secretary of state. even fellow republicans like john mccain, marco rubio speaking out against tillerson. we'll take a look at what a potential confirmation fight may look like. people say, let's just get a sandwich or something. "or something"? you don't just graduate from medical school, "or something." and we don't just pull smoked chicken, bake fresh foccacia and hand-slice avocado.
good sunday to you again. i'm richard lui at our headquarters in new york city. concerns over exxonmobil ceo rex tillerson possibly being the nation's top dimt are cut across the aisle at the moment. specifically his close ties to russia. here's senator john mccain on that. >> a matter of concern to me he has such a close perm relationship with vladimir putin and obviously they've done enormous deals together. ta that would color his approach
the vladimir putin and the russian threat. that is a matter of concern. we'll give him his chance. that's what confirmation process and advise and consent is all about. >> the timing here, hans, is the interesting thing, his name being floated when we're getting a report from the cia of russia influencing our election in the united states and that russia/russia balance not looking necessarily optically good. >> reporter: the danger, rich d richard, for the incoming trump administration is this review on what russia actually did, what role they played in the u.s. election, interfering, putting their thumbs on the scale, what that investigation does with the very public confirmation hearings we could potentially have for secretary of state a secretary of state nominee rex tillerson because it's very clear that they're going to be two inquiries taking place, one here at the white house, they'll report up to president obama on what russia's role was, and then in the sene there have been bipartisan calls for what senator schumer promised would
be a very public investigation. >> the goal is to find out the extent of it and come um with conclusions how to stop it. we should not turn away from any facts that might be uncomfortable but we should move forward and not jump to conclusions until we have the facts. >> richard, the extent to which those two inquiries, either senate inquiry on what russia's role a s and any potential confirmation hearings for rex tillerson, that could be a challenge for the incoming trump administration in part because senators mccain and senator rubio, two republicans that will be very forceful about pushing their line on foreign policy and their views on russia, president trump, when he is president, could quickly learn to what extent senators can be in some cases nuisances, in some cases very serious and formidable adversaries. richard? >> hans, thank you. hans nicholls at the white house
for us on this sunday afternoon. so how will rex tillerson and his likely new boss president-elect trump work their way through the conflict of interest questions? cnbc contributor ron insana joins us. start with rex tillerson, ron. big oil man. not the first time we've seen this in an administration. >> no. if you go back to the reagan administration, george shults was the head of bechtel corporation. james baker was an oil man and in banking and had prior experience in government. ultimate himself became secretary of state after being a white house chief of staff, after being a treasury secretary in a variety of different roles for different individuals. this is a little different, a little unusual ip so far as there's no governmental and no diplomat experience for rex tillerson. he has done deals on most continents around the world. he has interfaced ver closely with russia, received the order of friendship from vladimir putin. that could be one of the things that is most maybe concerning to the senate, which is confirming him. strict personal conflict of interest issues can be resolved right away. he has $151 million of exxon
shares. those need to be sold before he could take office by law, tax free, of course, but he'd have to sell that before taking the job. >> shults, baker, how do they work with divestiture here? >> jim baker sold shares of a texas bank before beinging secretary of the treasury or whichever position he held first. they all had to divest. bechtel was privately held company so those issues were not quite as fraught as some of these. but mr. tillerson would have to divest his stake in exxon. >> from a fortune 500 perspective, they hear the name tillerson and potentially being the next secretary of state, thumbs up or down? >> i think people give him credit for being a good businessman. whether he is designed to be a great secretary of state remains to be seen. some would give him the benefit of the doubt. clearly he runs a company that is about $250 billion in annual revenues. he's interfaced with a variety of different government leaders
around the world so he knows that. >> negotiated with toe to toe. >> but a business negotiation which has a profit motive is very different from a state department negotiation that has a diplomatic motive. >> donald trump, we expect on i guess thursday, news conference to talk about him and his business dealings and how he may or may not be stepping away. what do you expect here? >> one would hope he would step away entirely. very few presidents if any have ever had these specific types of conflicts. running an enterprise or even having your children running an enterprise for you without necessarily legally passing ownership to them has not been something we've seen in the past and taking income from a variety of different projects, whether it's celebrity apprentice or not, that has not happened in our past. so again one would hope from an optical or legal point of view he would divest all his interests but that doesn't seem to be his intent. >> the street must be liking this. it's a billionaire boys and girls club here so far.
the key nominations coming through. >> wall street likes the fact they're looking at deregulation particularly in the financial sector, large tax cuts that could stimulate economic growth and bring faster rates of inflation, so the notion of faster growth, deregulation, a little faster inflation has led to an enormous stock market rally. up five weeks in a row, the dow within 240 points of 20,000 for the first time in history, records across the board. bond yields are going up because the faster growth we get, the faster the fed's going to raise interest rates. so next week when with fed meets it's like lay they'll raise interest rates a quarter of a point. and they have to do more next year if fiscal stimulus is to large that the economy grows north of 3% and inflation jumps above 2%. >> so far at least as you're watching a super santa claus rally. >> from the trump bump to the trump hump. >> we could put together characters all afternoon. thanks for being here. at least 25 people are dead
after a bomb blast inside a church in cairo, egypt. we have the latest on what authorities are saying the attack. and a major winter storm continues to pound parts of the midwest and is heading toward the northeast. nearly 1,000 flights canceled at chicago o'hare as they prepare for up to a foot of snow. it will be a tough monday. a live report next.
25 people are dead and this 49 wounded after a bombing at a cathedral in cairo. this happened during sunday mass coinciding with the national holiday in egypt marking the birth of islam's prophet muhammad. most victims are believed to be women and children. matt bradley is in london. what's the latest? >> reporter: the morning's bombing tore through a crowded sunday mass in cairo leaving at least two dozen dead and dozens more injured. most of the victims were women and children. that's because this bomb was
placed in the women and children's section of the church. now, witnesses differ on how the bomb was laid in the church adjacent to cairo's acontinko i st. mark's cathedral. some say it was placed near the church pew, some say it was thrown over the cathedral cam pulse walls. however it was placed, the symbolism is lost on no one. this is the most important church complex for the middle east's largest christian minority. many of those christians feel vulnerable and neglected by the very regime that claims to protect them. that's why in some of these scenes after the bombing we're seeing grief turn to rage and not just rage against the terrorist assailants but against egyptian authorities. in e sxwript, terror has become a regular fixture and though the pace of attacks had slowed in recent months, this is the second such bombing in three days. a blast at a security checkpoint on friday killed six police officers.
islamist jihadists claimed responsibility. for today, it's gone unclaimed. at a rally shortly after the attack, a crowd chanted the same slogans that have rarely been heard since egypt's revolution. the people want the downfall of the regime. it's an ominous slogan for a relatively new president whose security failures might be costing him his popularity. >> nbc's matt bradley for us in london with the latest. thank you. now to this. a turkey-based kurdish militant group as taken responsibility for saturday night's twin bombing attacks? istanbul. video obtained shows the first blast. less than a minute later a person nearby committed suicide by triggering explosives in a coordinated attack on police shortly after a soccer match between two of turkey's top teams. 38 people were killed there. most of them police. 115 were wounded. turkey's interior minister says
13 people have been arrested in connection with those attacks so far. winter weather creating trouble for travelers today. this afternoon a delta flight from buffalo, new york, sliding off the runway at the detroit airport. no injuries have been reported. many other flights have not been able to get off the ground. more than 1,400 flights have been canceled in chicago alone today. let's go to nbc's morgan radford. that's where she is. it's cold as you promised. >> reporter: it is cold but it's warmer at the american airlines terminal at o'hare. 3,000 flights across the country have been canceled or delayed. more than half coming out of chicago. look at this board. you can see from springfield, missouri, st. louis, omaha, louisville, all these have been completely canceled or at least delayed. we've been catching up with passengers here in the airport
to find out how they're going to get home. >> my first flight got canceled so i had to rebook last night in wisconsin. we were at a family reunion. so now it's like i'm hoping to make the 5:15 flight. >> i'm going home now. i'm going to st. louis and i was supposed to leave this morning at 6:00, then at 10:00. now i'm on a 2:55. >> because both flights got cancelled? >> they did. >> how has the experience been? >> annoying. >> reporter: well, outside, richard, it's not much better. lots of delays on the road. in fact, about 300 trucks have been sent out to salt these roads. we've seen about 4 to 6 inches of snow. we're expecting 3 more inches of snow. this is part of a larger storm system that started out west and is moving its way here to the midwest and then onto the northeast and into tomorrow. that's what we're keeping an eye on here in chicago and throughout the country. >> beautiful but very inconvenient. nbc's morgan radford with a report there on the weather. thank you so much.
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donald trump's comments on the environment today are raising om eyebrows, the president-elect giving rhee consensus do climate change deniers. >> i'm so open minded. nobody really knows. look, i'm somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. it's not something that's so hard and fast. >> trump has made similar comments before during the campaign. he called climate change a hoax created by the chinese. and it's these kind of views that are putting a bigger spotlight on his decision here to lead the epa, scott pruett, the oklahoma attorney general has sued the epa several times
himself. his own bio page touts him as a, quote, leading advocate against the epa activist agenda. joining me now is chris mooney, energy and environment reporter at "the washington post." sol fill us in here in your reporting, chris, when you do look at pruett, what does pruett in his pick here say about overall what trump's view is on the environmental agenda? >> i think it says we're in for a battle over the subject of climate change and the environment over the next four years. this is sort of picking someone who has battled repeatedly with this agency that he's now going to come in and be in charge of and a lot of the bats have been about the obama's climate policies, the clean power plant, currently before the courts and other epa policies that try to rein in oil and gas, green house gas emissions, such as the methane rule the epa has just released.
>> as you know, he filed a lawsuit with five other states alleging that president obama exceeded his authority in rejecting the keystone pipeline here. when you look at trump and pruett here, do you believe that they may try to reverse decisions on keystone and the dakota access pipeline? >> oh, i think that's pretty likely to happen. it wouldn't actually be prewitt's jurisdiction, but i think that president-elect trump has signaled clearly he'll be very friendly to oil, gas, and coal development. these sort of big symbolic places are where you would think they want to approve them quickly to set that tone. environmentalists are getting fired up because they're seeing all this ak ti and for them this is the moment they've got to pull out all the stops to resist it so that's what they're thinking about. >> just the discussion out of water.
the headline friday night is millions of dollars going to help flint. but pruitt has been quite active in the courts over this issue of clean water. he sued the epa over the recent expansion of water bodies regulated and he was being picked at the time about flint and its ongoing crisis and now getting some money to offset that. how old he approach a serious issue like regulation where government may be needed to help like in flint? >> to be fair to him, he would say i'm all for clean air and water, but i think this is something states need to do their jobs and regulate it their way and the epa has been forcing things on us that don't comport with the way we know how to do things, we have a lot of experience, the epa has been going too far. he wouldn't completely deregulate everything, necessarily, but he would give more power to states like his own in oklahoma. but of course you need an epa to enforce national laws where it's clean air or water so, that would be the counterargument.
>> folks in flint will be watching this. chris mooney, thanks. >> thank you. >> coming up, "snl" versus donald trump again. they went after his cabinet picks during last night's weekend update. m calling about t credit scorecard. give it. sure! it's free for everyone. oh! well that's nice! and checking your score won't hurt your credit. oh! i'm so proud of you. well thank you. free at at discover.com/creditscorecard, even if you're not a customer.
i think everybody needs to get off the damn internet for a few days, including donald trump. i know that he's watching. >> all right. "saturday night live" as they do often are calling out donald trump during last night's show. the president-elect has lately targeted "snl" as you might know on twitter calling it totally biased and not funny. so far he has been silent on last night's episode despite that calling-out. that may have something to do with alec baldwin, who usually impersonates the president-elect on the show not making an appearance. instead "snl" went after trump's
recent cabinet picks with help from brian cran stron, who reprised his drug role as drug kingpin walter white in amc's "breaking bad." >> president-elect trumpl has just made his choice for head of the dea, the drug enforcement agency, and it's a high school science professor from a high school, walter white. >> walter is amazing. he came highly recommended by steve bannon. >> oh, yeah. steve's the best. we've had some times. >> where did mr. bannon find you? >> under the comments section at breitbart. >> mr. white, do you foresee any problems with congress considering your limited experience? >> well, they might get hung up on the fact that i faked my own death. i'm only the third person in the trump cabinet to do that. donald trump and i agree it's time to make america cook again. we want to fill this nation with red, white, and a whole lot of blue. >> of course you can catch all of "snl" on demand online.
that does it for this hour. richard lui live at msnbc headquarters here in new york city. thanks for spending your sunday afternoon with us here. we'll have updates for you right here on msnbc throughout the evening. "dateline extra" is next. have a great weekend. ♪ i want a hippopotamus for christmas ♪ ♪ only a hippopotamus will do at the united states postal service, we deliver more online purchases to homes than anyone else in the country. and more hippopotamuses, too. ♪ so whatever your holiday priority, our priority is you.
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