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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 13, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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it doesn't matter how smart you are. you have to have the best information possible to make the best decisions possible. if you're not getting their perspective, their detailed perspective, then you are flying blind. and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. president-elect donald trump today making what we first reported here on saturday. he's making it fish today. nominating exxon ceo, rex tillerson, to head the state department. setting up what could be one of the most highly anticipated confirmation fights of a generation. fueled in part by bipartisan concerns over mr. tillerson's ties to vladimir putin, the russian leader denounced as an aggressor by house speaker paul ryan, a thug by mitt romney, and a butcher by senator john mccain. joining me now exclusively to discuss the tillerson pick and a lot more, the priorities for
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congressional democrats during donald trump's first term, house democratic leader, nancy pelosi. madame leader, thank you very much. >> a pleasure to be here. >> well, your initial response, rex tillerson, what we know about him is that he's spent his entire career at exxonmobil. he is the american most closely connected to russia. they had a giant oil deal in alaska, $500 billion, that was canceled because of the ukraine sanctions. which he had opposed. >> well,xval first of all, let' what is the job? the job -- the secretary of state is really in line to succession to the president of the united states. >> the only cabinet official who is in line to succeed -- >> well, by sequence, they are, but that's the primary one and has special status. so the secretary of state is the person who should be recognized as a person who is a leader in terms of our security, our values, and our interests. in terms of the
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president-elect's nomination, the coziness with vladimir putin is very alarming. and should have eliminated him, frankly. right now, his approach to the sanctions on russia, because of their aggression in europe, should be enough to say, perhaps another relationship with the administration, but not secretary of state. >> to play devil's advocate, donald trump campaigned on a platform of closer ties to russia and vladimir putin. he told the voters that that's what he wanted to do. and rex tillerson has other attributes. he's been a global leader in business, just trying to make the other points about what this man might bring to the table. >> i understand. >> he's a disrupter. he is someone from outside the establishment. he is trumpian, they say, the trump people, in that he's a dealmaker. he's someone from the business world. >> well, let's say that businesspeople should not be
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excluded from consideration in the cabinet. but with no foreign policy experience, except, of course, it's significant that he's the head of a global company. but whose interests are served by that? i don't think that trump won because of his message of coziness with vladimir putin. i think he won because of the message of trade and immigration and immigration and subjects like that. but he won and he's entitled to his appointments. but he is also responsible to do so in a way that is worthy of the positions the that he is appointing people to. this is not a match. even the republicans in congress recognize that we'll see how the confirmation goes. but our country -- i mean, with all due respect to the president's nominee, perhaps he's suitable for something else. but secretary of state is a revered position. thomas jefferson. we can go down the list of people who have held that position in our country.
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>> do you believe that his lack of experience in the public sector, in and of itself, should be disqualifying? or is it because of his role in the oil patch and his support for russia against u.s. sanctions? >> it's not about what he is. it's what he is not. and he is not, has not been recognized -- some people in the business community have moved over with strong -- look at secretary schultz. has held almost every position in our government if no, private successor experience is a plus in my view. but in terms of special interests versus the people's interest, the contrast could not be greater in this case. >> you know, i wanted to ask you about russia, because this could be more controversial, because of what the cia has said and what the intelligence communities have all agreed on is russia's role in trying to
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interfere with the u.s. election, with hacking, not just hacking the dnc, but hacking john podesta's e-mails. and according to our own reporting and a lot of other reporting, turning that material through intermediaries over to wikileaks to be distributed. what do we know about what russia tried to do and how effective that may have been? >> i think it's quite remarkable, and people should take sharp notice of the fact that the president of the united states has made the statement he has about the russian involvement in the disruption of our election. even if it didn't succeed, if hillary clinton had won, it's still very important for us to have an investigation. i prefer an outside nonpartisan, bipartisan commission to review it. others have said it can be done in the congress. but it has to be done.
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you can't just say, as mitch mcconnell has said, congress could do this. yes, well, task them to do it. it's interesting, also, that donald trump responded when he said, when he said the intelligence community has said that russia was responsible for the hacking, he returned saying, well, people told us that saddam hussein had -- iraq had weapons of mass destruction. they did not. the intelligence community never said that. the evidence -- there is no intelligence to support that claim. that threat was made by the bush/cheney administration. as you see in britain, they've dispelled all of that. it was a massive misrepresentation to the american people. but there's nothing in the intelligence to support the threat that bush/cheney was -- so it was an acute response. it was an acute response, and other people maybe have fallen for it. but it's important to note that a president should pay attention
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to the intelligence. he has to have the knowledge to have the judgment to make the decisions a president makes. that the russians disrupted our government undermines the sanctity of our democracy is totally unacceptable. and it must be investigated. >> are you concerned and disappointed that president obama did not speak out more forcefully and take countermeasures before the election? >> well, the intelligence community made it very clear that it was the russians. i mean, i knew that the first day of the cross-examinationven. i met with members of the press and said the russians are responsible for the hacking. i know this not from any classified information, and i couldn't share it with you if i did, i knew it because they h d hacked us and we had to spend money to get them out. but then when all of the intelligence community signed on to the -- with full confidence that it was the russians, that
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should have been message enough. and then to have it come out every day and nothing on the republicans, it was self-evident that there was a political agenda at work. i think that president obama's statement that he has made, with full confidence, about the facts that the russians hacked, interrupted our election, is a strong statement and we should respect it and we should have the investigation -- the american people are owed this. this, again, is the sanctity of our democracy. we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. and if the trump administration is not concerned about the outcome, they shouldn't fear the investigation. >> i want to ask you about donald trump now postponing what had been promised to be a news conference on thursday, the 15th, which was to explain how he was going to separate himself from his business interests. what is your level of concern, if any, about this unusual -- it's an unprecedented situation
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where you have a real estate mogul and his family-run business as president of the united states. what should he do? >> well, with you know, i don't want to get into his personal affairs. i think, though, that the press has to be vigilant, as to what conflicts of interest there may be. but if he says he's going to do it, threaten let's see if he does that. i'm quite frankly more concerned about his public policy and how damaging that could be in the lives of the american people. whether they're talking -- >> such as what? >> well, such as that the republicans are already. look at the appointments and you can see policy. personnel can be policy. appoint a person to head the hhs, who is on record saying that we should privatize social security. supporting the ryan budget to make -- remove the guarantee of medicare. the appointment to the epa of a person who is in denial of climate change.
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you look at the attorney general, who has disdained from civil rights and rights of immigrants and the rest. so that's really where i'm more concerned. i hope that he will remove all doubt in the public's mind that he doesn't have a conflict of interest as the president. that's up to the press to determine if he does. he got away with not revealing his taxes, that kind of thing. but what does it mean in the lives of the american people. that's what they're concerned about. medicare is a guarantee. take away the guarantee, you don't have medicare. and that is really -- what it means in the lives of american people is what is of concern to those of us in public policy as well as, i would hope, the president of the united states. >> what is your concern about the abortion bill that has been passed in ohio, that would be after six weeks with a fetal heartbeat, it would be no
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abortion and no exception more rape and incest. john kasich, the governor, had ten days to either veto it or it becomes law. >> you know, we take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the united states. and that should be reflected in all of our decisions. this is clearly unconstitutional. and i think, therefore, i hope that the governor would veto the bill. whatever his beliefs about the subject, his commitment and his oath to uphold the constitution should prevail. >> and finally, and it's a tough question, this has been a disastrous election for democrats. at state levels, at the federal level, and obviously the white house. wl what is the path forward for democrats to try show people that they really have their concerns at heart? that they can be their advocates for people who are hurting all across america and who responded to donald trump? >> well, let's remember that hillary clinton won the popular vote. so, you know, so, again, it's like saying, well, we won -- we
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got more runs in the world series than somebody else. it has to be in the right game. >> but it is an electoral college game and they misjudged the rust belt. >> whatever it is. well, i think that the democrats have always been there for america's working families. but that was not communicated as clearly as it should have been in the election, with all of the interventions. and frankly, the focus that was placed in the media on e-mails and hacking and the like. you know, it's a distraction from the message. but let's just take full responsibility for the fact that what we stand for is what is in the interest of america's working family. i think they will see that when they see the policies of president-elect trump in the white house. and that will help us differentiate more clearly. but you can be sure that democrats will never go into an election again, without the public understanding very clearly that our tradition as well as our look into the future
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for new opportunities for america's working families. i'm very excited about the opportunity it presents, when we had a republican in the white house and we could make the clear contrast. and having said that, i'm very proud of the candidacy of hillary clinton. i'm heartbroken she's not going to be president. but she would want us to move on and make the support where we can, differentiate where we can't. but make it clear whose side the democrats are on. >> i know you were with her last week at the harry reid portrait unveiling. how is she? how's she doing? >> well, i think that she's been so strong. a couple days after the election, she spoke very beautifully to our house democrats to thank them for their support, which they who wholeheartedly gave hillary clinton. and that was -- i had a conversation by phone. that was the first time i had seen her and quite frankly, she was a lot better than i was.
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because just the reality of it hitting home by seeing her in person. she was strong. as you know, she came forth and made not only a tribute to harry, but a presentation about fake news. so she's always about the future. she's always about making it better for america's working families. and how the news comes forth. how truth is told is very important to that. so i thank you for the role you play in that as well. >> thank you very much, to you. nancy pelosi. thanks for being with us here today. >> thank you. thank you. >> let's talk more about the confirmation process facing rex tillerson with maryland senator, ben cardin. senator cardin is the top democrat on the committee that will hold mr. tillerson's testimony and hold the first vote on his confirmation. senator, welcome, thank you. what is your initial reaction to rex tillerson being nominated as secretary of state? >> first, it's good to be with you. look, we're going to have to drill down during the confirmation hearings to understand his relationship with mr. putin, his close relationship with russia, the
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economic ties that are there, and whether he'll put america's interests first, or whether his relationship with mr. putin could influence what's in the best interests of america. that's going to be one of the principle issues we're concerned about. there are others. what exxon's done on climate issues, under mr. tillerson's leadership is a matter, it will be of interest to the members of the senate. his knowledge of the world, and how he will respond to the challenges. he doesn't have the broad experience that you would want to see in a person coming in to be secretary of state. these are issues that will come out during the confirmation. but there are major concerns. and those concerns are already being expressed by members of the senate in doubt of whether he should be concerned. >> and how important is it who becomes his deputy? there's a lot of talk of john bolton, who's a very controversial choice? >> well, we'll wait to see who's nominated for that position. but the deputy's a critical position.
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and it would very much signal perhaps the strength of the secretary of state, and who will have the direct contact with the president of the united states. so we'll be very interested to see who's selected as the number two in the department. >> what about the whole russian involvement in the hacking. there's now bipartisan support for an investigation. can the congressional committees do this effectively, or should it be an outside commission, like the 9/11 commission ? >> i think both. i'm for congress doing its responsibility. i've talked to senator corker and i'm confident that the senate foreign relations committee will conduct its oversight. but i think for the american people, there needs to be an independent commission. a nonpartisan commission, that has broader representation, that can talk about -- we know that russia was involved in the cyberattack on america. we know that they were trying to influence our election. it's important that the american people have a thorough investigation report as to what steps we're taking to protect our country from future attacks,
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and what reaction should we have and action against russia for what they did to america. >> there was a call today, the daily call with the transition officials and went the question was raised about president's stated content for the presidential daily briefing from the cia briefers. the response was that he gets his briefings -- intelligence briefings from the national security security designate, general flynn. is that a broad enough view of the world for the president-elect of the united states? >> absolutely not. the president's been elected by the people of this country, not the national security adviser. it's incumbent upon the president to get the direct briefings on a daily basis from the intelligence community so that he is fully informed when he makes his decisions, it shouldn't be filtered through anyone else who doesn't have that same responsibility as the president of the united states. this is very, very important. that's why presidents have always had these briefings. and as president obama said, you've got to be informed before you make your decisions.
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and if you don't get that information, you're really shortchanging the -- what you need to know in order to make the right decision on behalf of america. >> as the top democrat on the foreign relations committee, you're going to be outnumbered nine to eight. and you know that the balance of the power in the senate on confirmations is 52-48. can you muster the votes to stop someone like rex tillerson if you want to. do democrats have to make their decisions, do you go after the epa designate, go after someone in another field? how many of these confirmation battles can you fight and how are you going to do it without republican support? >> andrea, it's a great question. we recognize the president is entitled to have his taken in place. and we'll go through a correspondence process to see whether the individuals he has nominated is qualified. we have our own constitutional responsibility, an independent branch of government on advise and consent. so we'll drill down on these
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questions during our interview and confirmation hearings as to who we think is qualified to be on the president's team, the person who respects the responsibilities of the cabinet position that he or she is filling. and we'll make our independent judgments as to who we think does not meet that test. and we'll exercise that through our votes and we'll exercise it during the confirmation process. >> senator cardin, thank you very much. thanks for being with us today. >> my pleasure. good to be with you. and cold shoulder. more on the fallout after donald trump brushes off the cia. we'll talk to the former director of national intelligence and former deputy secretary of state, john negroponte coming up next right ear on dri"andrea mitchell repo" here on msnbc. ♪
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well, after announcing rex tillerson as his choice for secretary of state, donald trump tweeted, i have chosen one of the truly great business leaders
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of the world. the ceo of exxonmobil runs a company that operates in about 50 countries. but will tillerson be able to balance his deal making with diplomacy? joining me now is ambassador john negroponte, formerly serving as deputy secretary of state in the bush administration, after serving as director of national intelligence, ambassador to the u.n. you've done it all. ambassador, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> how challenging is it for someone to come from the business world, who's never had any public sector experience, not the military, not anything else, like colin powell or george schultz or others, who have been in and out of the private world. >> well, there have been examples in the past. roosevelt had several secretaries who came from the business community. more recently, john whitehead, who was the deputy to george schultz came from goldman sachs. so i don't think it's beyond the wit of man that somebody from the private sector, especially somebody who's been so successful and had a lot of global dealings, could do a good job. i think he's going to need to be re
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well supported. >> meaning in the role of deputy. and one of the choices that has been floated around is john bolton, a rather controversial former secretary and u.n. ambassador, who has been a strong supporter of the war in iraq, not donald trump's position. and i think we have something he said recently about the whole question of whether russia was involved in the hacking, which has been unanimously decided by the intelligence communities to high confidence, this is what john bolton had to say. >> it's not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside that this hacking into the dnc and the rnc computers was not a false flag operation. >> are you actually accusing someone here in this administration of trying to -- or in the intelligence community of trying to throw something? >> we just don't know. but i believe that intelligence has been politicized in the obama administration to a very significant degree. >> and they clarified, his staff
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clarified that he meant it could have been china, iran, north korea. but there is uh unamtimty that it was russia. can you bring someone in as secretary of state who is in direct contradiction of the basic facts? >> well, first of all, with on the intelligence, i haven't seen the information. i'm not privy to it. i think there have been issues about interpretation, and i find -- i'm also disturbed by the fact that basically, we've learned about this through leaks and innuendo. there hasn't been some kind of a formal report. >> there was a announcement on october 7th by the dni. general clapper said that it was russia. and he said it with high confidence. and so did to the head of nsa. so there was an announcement then -- >> they'd been hacking, i believe. >> they'd been hacking. and also, mike pence acknowledged that on "meet the press" on october 16th.
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so, the fact that it was russia, not china, iran, that's my point. >> but whether they're trying to throw the election or not, i'm not aware. but i think it signals another extremely important point for the next mirks. these issues that we have with cybersecurity have got to be dealt with in a more energetic and holistic way by the next government. i mean, it's an absolute travesty that wikileaks, all those different things that have happened, snowden, we have got to get a better grip on our cybersecurity throughout our government. imagine losing a couple of millions -- highly sensitive personnel files from the office of personnel management. it's not only the fact that the russians have been playing around in this kind of thing, which they're want to do, but we've got to interview our cybersecurity. >> what about donald trump saying, somewhat contemptuously, that he doesn't need to read the presidential daily brief. that he doesn't have, that he's smart and that he doesn't want
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to be told the same thing over and over again. do you think he should be more tau open to publishing a good working relationship with the cia and the rest of the intelligence community? >> i do. and i hope he'll come around on that. but i would like to clarify one point. not every president has taken the daily brief directly from the intelligence community -- as i know actually from personal experience. because i was the deputy adviser to ronald reagan. we gave him the book, colin powell and i did, in his national security briefing every day. he did not meet directly with intelligence officers to get the briefing. bill clinton notoriously didn't meet with the intelligence community. but i'm quite confident that both those presidents got adequate intelligence information to help form the judgments that they ultimately led to the decisions that they made. so i don't think that a face-to-face meeting with intelligence officers every day is necessarily indispensable for a president of the united
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states. >> but, that said, the way he has described the cia and the way he has dismissed their work product, whether he takes on, you know, a tablet, the way barack obama has, or in person -- >> that troubles me. >> do you think he should rethink that? >> yes, i do. that troubles me. these are very -- we have 100,000 people in the intelligence community. they're very dedicated, patriotic americans, who the their best every day to provide, to both collect and analyze information necessary for our national security decisions. and yes, they must be paid attention to. >> and a couple of other things, for instance, with boeing and now with lockhart -- with lockheed martin, rather. what he said about air force one, which is a long-term project, it's been appropriated and the defense specs bring it up to perhaps $4 billion. is it appropriate for him to say he can just cancel a project like that, which is not for his use, but it's for some future
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president? >> yeah, well, i think we'll just have to wait and see how that one plays out. i think we have to make a bit of a distinction between a tweet on the one hand and a formal presidential decision on the other hand. and i think we can point to examples of things he said in the campaign that he's already walked back somewhat. and i would expect that we would see more of that as he moves into and ultimately assumes the presidency. not far away. >> no. in fact, less than a month. >> exactly. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i think less than a month. where are we? >> 38 days. something like that. >> thank you very much. john negroponte, good to see you, ambassador. and the stars shine bright for donald trump's latest candidates all with texas ties. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc, the place for politics. [child speaking indistinctly]
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. the reports are that donald trump is considering you for director of national intelligence. are those accurate? >> well, look, i had a really positive and productive meeting with donald trump yesterday and we talked about a whole range of issues. we talked about china, we talked about intelligence threats and intelligence matters. we talked about geopolitical matters. that's obviously up to him. but i was really honored to have that opportunity to talk about what's going on in the world. >> did you talk about that specific position, though? director of national intelligence? >> we had a broad-ranging conversation. >> there were no specific jobs? >> we had a broad-ranging and positive conversation. >> former republican presidential candidate, krmcarl fiori fiorina, staying mum on a report that she could be trump's director of national intelligence. joining me now, former carly fiorina deputy campaign manager and a republican strategist. thank you very much, sarah, for being with us. if you were a betting person, who would -- what do you think is happening there with fiorina and the trump administration, regarding the dni post?
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>> well, after how 2016 has gone in general, i don't think anyone should be a betting person in our line of work. >> you're right about that. >> but from what i understand, what she says is exactly right. she had a very in-depth conversation about foreign policy and national security. and so, now it's just a question of, who he needs to fill out, you know, his cabinet in his own mind and who would be the best person for that job. obviously, carly fiorina is incredibly qualified for the position. she was the chair of the external advisory board at the cia. worked with the nsa after 9/11, worked with the department of defense. so she knows the intelligence community incredibly well. >> how difficult is it for someone like carly fiorina, who was really treat so shabbily, many people would say, by donald trump in those early debates, when they were running against each other, to now, you know, make peace and join a cabinet, potentially? >> in fairness, i think across that stage, there were quite a few sharp elbows. >> indeed, there were.
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>> i think she threw back as good as she got. but the election is over and now this is about governing and running a country and doing what's best for the american people. so i think all of that's really easy to put behind you when you think about the priority of the country. >> what about rick perry likely choice for energy secretary, all of our rotteporting. >> a great choice. i'm from texas, rick perry is our longest serving governor and there's a reason for that. he's an incredibly strong leader and wrought jobs into the state and in fact, he worked with carly fiorina when she was the ceo of hewlett-packard to bring a lot of those hp jobs into texas. the two of them -- and she was born in texas, as you mentioned. so great texans that we're talking about today. rick perry will be an incredible energy secretary, i think, that's a no-brainer, a great pick. he's going to make jobs, energy, innovation really his priorities. smart, smart pick. >> well, at the same time, i mean, famously, in 2012, in that
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debate, the cnbc debate, that was one of the departments he wanted to get rid of. the department of energy, not a well-known fact, but they also control all of the nuclear weapons, keeping our weapons upgraded. he would be releasing a nuclear physicist, who was a key negotiator on the iran nuclear deal. >> well, for anyone who's been on a big stage with bright lights, it's not, you know, unthinkable that he would forget it. but doesn't it turn out to be kind of ironic that he forgot the one -- so he didn't say he wanted to eliminate it, technically, i guess. yes, i also think though, when he was talking about departments he would eliminate, he didn't mean, of course, that nothing the department does would continue. but rather, to relook at how the bureaucracy functions and so what i hope will he do in the department of energy is actually do that. rethink how to streamline that bureaucracy, make it more efficient. you know, i think for a lot of americans, they voted for donald trump because the federal government has become such a
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corrupt, inept bureaucracy. and emphasis on the "inept" there. so the department of energy could use some help as well. that doesn't mean that we're just going to put our nukes on the sidewalk and hope they tend to themselves. >> okay. sarah flores, thank you very much. >> thank you. and coming up, red flags? the potentially bitter confirmation battle ahead for donald trump's puick for secretary of state. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc, the plaux.
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it comes down to chemistry. >> at the end, it was a massive -- it was chemistry, it was presence, it was vision. it was also the vision that rex tillerson had to maintain relationships across the world. donald trump and rex tillerson, they hit it off. >> they hit it off. incoming white house chief of staff, reince priebus, on "morning joe," giving some reasons as to why donald trump chose rex tillerson to be secretary of state. but he could face some trouble getting senate confirmation. senator lindsey graham said in a
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statement today that he had many questions about the ceo close relationship to russia. david ignatius joins me now. david, what is your initial reaction to rex tillerson, the stininias back in the 1940s. we tend to have lawyers or academics as secretary of states. so that's the unusual aspect to the tillerson choice. >> is it a positive, a negative? do we not know? should it be held against him that he's an outsider, like the president, who has chosen him, the president-elect, that he's a businessman, a dealmaker, should
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we be focused primarily on the relationship with vladimir putin and russia, that that is the one area of concern, potential concern? >> i would say, andrea, the first thing that any of us would think about in evaluating a candidate for secretary of state is is this a strong person with good judgment? is it a person capable of representing the united states abroad. is it a personal capable of talking back to the president, if he has a different view of things? and on all of those, you can say that tillerson has been a strong ceo of up wione of our biggest l companies and fits that bill. his lack of experience should trouble people. his confirmation hearings will focus on one or two things. one, the lack of any diplomatic experience. how will he make up for that. two, what does he think about russia. he's done business extensively with russia. it's one of the feathers in his cap. does he have enough dance from
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russia, and in particular, russia's very aggressive risk-taking president, vladimir putin, to be an effective secretary of state. and finally, he's coming to this confirmation fight at a time when u.s./russian relations, i think, are as delicate, as potentially dangerous as any time i can remember. even going back to the cold war. this is an unusual period. people will really push on that. it should be a very contentious confirmation hearing. >> and president obama talking with trevor noah on comedy central last night talking about the issue of donald trump's relationship with the intelligence community. let me play a little bit of that for you. >> the president-elect in some of his political events specifically said to the russians, hack hillary's e-mails, so that we can finally find out what's going on. and you know, confirm our conspiracy theories.
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you had what was very clear relationships between members of the president-elect's campaign team and russians. >> so, there he's talking about the fact that donald trump has completely dismissed the cia's conclusion that russia was responsible for the hacking. and in fact, the conclusion by the cia, if not all of the intelligence agencies and the fbi, that there was a purpose here to influence the election in donald trump's favor. the way he's also dismissed the presidential daily briefings pip mean, you talk to people all the time. what is your assessment about this situation going forward with him being this dismiss uv of the professional intelligence agencies? >> andrea, to put this in plain language, the president-elect has dissed the cia, our principle intelligence agency. that's an unusual, and i think potentially very damaging thing
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for the president-elect to do. the united states depends for its security on a strong, independent, confident, well-supported intelligence service. and this is a terrible start in the relationship between the president and the cia. it's something that i'm told the circle around donald trump is concerned about. they understand that this sends signals that may be damaging. but they have to correct it. and i think they have to correct it pretty quickly. if this is allowed to continue, if this split deepens, when mike pompeo, the nominee to be cia director, arrives at lang llean he's going to find a workforce that's really upset. >> transition officials told reporters today, in saying that he doesn't need this daily briefing, that he gets his intelligence from michael flynn, the former head of the defense intelligence agency, but he's the national security adviser designate, as you know, and he's
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controversial. is that a further problem? >> mike flynn is -- his nominee for that job, he is controversial. i think the issue more is the president's own staumts showing respect for the work of the intelligence agency. he doesn't have to have a briefing every day. presidents will decide on many different ways they want to receive intelligence. sometimes they want it delivered orally, sometimes in writing. they want different kinds of intelligence products. that's a decision that the chief executive can make. the problem here is seeming to belittle the work that they do and to some extent, the value that it has for him as a decision maker. and that's what i think has hurt people at the cia. and that's what the president needs to speak to -- the president-elect needs to speak to. >> and finally, rex tuillerson, if he is confirmed, how important is the choice of a
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deputy secretary of state for someone who is an outsider, who isn't a professional diplomat. and what about john bolton as a potential number two? >> so, i think, andrea, you put your finger on a crucial issue. and i think it's one that during the confirmation hearings, there's going to be some discussion of. tillerson coming in as an outsider without diplomatic experience, people want to know that there's a steady experienced, in a sense, you know, good manager, don't rock the boat person. john bolton is very controversial in the state department. he left behind a lot of bruises when he was last in government during the bush administration. and i think, one thing tillerson should think about is to be an effective secretary of state, he's going to need to have a deputy who will get along with a building and help him manage it effectively. and it's hard to say that john bolton would be that person, based on his record. again, he's free to make statements that would reassure his critics, but, based on what
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we've seen right now, you would say john bolton is very ideological for a potential secretary, who has very little experience and that that would not be a good combination. >> david ignatius, thank you very much. and coming up, we'll bring you an update on aleppo under siege. we'll be right back. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order
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and in syria, a major turning point in the battle for aleppo. pro-government forces are tightening their grip on rebel-held areas in eastern aleppo. dozens of civilians were killed by syrian troops in what the u.n. is now calling a complete meltdown of humanity. many civilians are still trapped. right now the u.n. security council is holding an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis. you can so ethe russian ambassador speaking there. and we'll be right back. i was working in the yard, my chest started hurting
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president-elect trump pushed back on the press conference that we expected this week on his businesses. it was supposed to be thursday.
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now joining me is for our daily fix, chris cillizza, msnbc contributor and founder of "the washington post" fix blog. he's post poeponed it indefinit until some time in january. he says he's going to separate himself from his businesses, not do anymore deals. have his sons in charge. how much more forthcoming does he have to be? he doesn't legally have any obligation here. >> legally speaking, you're right. the president can't have a conflict of interest, andrea, but, there's legal and then there's sort of what it means to be the leader of the country. and the leader of the federal government, where almost every other federal official elected and otherwise is subject to conflict of interest rules. so look, i do think it is worrisome, not just from a media perspective but a transparency perspective that most president-elects have a press conference within the first week after winning. donald trump has not had a press conference in 139 days now. and we have no real set date on when he will have one again. january is not, you know, exactly a hard and fast date.
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you could push it further. remember, this is someone who loved doing press conferences and loved hitting hillary clinton for not doing press conferences during the campaign, saying she was hiding something and she wasn't up to it. so what's good for the goose is good for the gander. partisans can scream one way or another, but the truth of the matter is transparency, taking questions in an open and free format from the media is something that presidents can and should be doing. whether their name is donald trump, hillary clinton, barack obama, george w. bush or anyone else. >> chris slcillizza, well put. thank you very much. we'll be right back. i won't, da. [captain rod] happy tuesday morning! captain rod here. it's pretty hairy out on the interstate.traffic is literally crawling, but there is some movement on the eastside overpass. getting word of another collision. [burke] it happened. december 14th, 2015. and we covered it. talk to farmers. we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two. ♪ we are farmers. bum-pa-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum ♪
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and that does it for a busy edition of andrea mitche"andrea reports" today. follow the show online and on twitter. katy tur is up next right here on msnbc. >> good afternoon, andrea. i'm filling in for hallie jackson. our top stories this hour, trump meeting with bill gates, filling
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out his cabinet, doing everything it seems, but fulfilling a promise to talk in detail about how will separate his businesses from his presidency. we'll take a deep dive into the confirmation battles ahead, whether an oil executive like rex tillerson can go toe to toe with someone like vladimir putin. also, aleppo undersiege. at least 82 civilians killed by pro-government forces with according to the u.n. and six states digging out from at least a foot of snow. the latest on the storm front causing havoc in nearly 75 president of the country. look at those roads. let's start with trump and our reporters stretching from to capitol hill and trump tower. kristen, let's start with you. talk to me about wisconsin, this latest thank you tour stop. how does he feel right now? he's facing a lot of criticism about hain

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