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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 14, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST

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>> i don't know what to say. >> and that's what i've been dealing with. okay, here we go. let's talk about the u.n. secretary. >> u.n. secretary ban ki-moon will be doing a special sendoff in the final genersecretary-gen will get a farewell. >> you would hope it would be antonio gutierrez. >> that's it. can we get out of this now? >> quickly. >> we're going to wrap up this wednesday otherwise you're going to be late for your own show. >> i'm alex. that's louis. "morning joe" starts right now. ♪ >> donald trump met with conna west today. he does know he's not still hosting "celebrity apprentice" right? what an amazing thing to see our
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next two presidents side by side like that. at the conclusion of the meeting, the men parted ways just like they do it in the streets. >> you take care of yourself. i'll see you soon. >> keep it real, my homey. >> good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, december 14th, welcome to "morning joe." with us on set, we have veteran columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle. managing editor of bloomberg politics mark halperin. >> willie, mike barnicle is wearing a tie. >> a tie and sort of a pattern in the jacket. >> he's got the knit tie, right, and then he's got the one with the piano keys and so he was coming out with a piano keys tie. tried to get him to stop that. >> that's a good look.
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>> so we have -- >> did you -- do we have clips from last night in wisconsin? >> i'm hoping we can get one last night. >> get a clip real quickly. i heard about it. >> i want to hear your reaction. >> president-elect transition. a lot of things going on in the world. it's just one of these things, i woke up this morning -- >> talk about it more later -- >> everybody was, like, something, like happened last night. >> it's remarkable. >> this is what it was. >> speaker paul ryan, i've really come to -- i've come to appreciate him. i tell you, he's been terrific. you know honestly, he's like a fine wine. every day goes by i get to appreciate his genius more and more. now, if he ever goes against me, i'm not going say that okay. we have some amazing things in
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store, and we're going to work on taxes. we're going to work on obamacare. he's going to lead the way. thank you. we're going to work on the wall, paul. [ applause ] all that money, all that time, all that effort, we added -- we get 131 votes more than we had before. i think it was worth it. spend 3.5 million, 4 million for 131 votes. that's okay. tells you how important every single vote in america is, right? >> so what did you think about that, mike? >> you know, i think -- >> it's interesting paul ryan still getting booed. >> it's funny until it's not funny. he's president of the united states. there's a little lounge act element in that in wisconsin.
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he's president-elect of the united states. >> for the time being paul ryan is a genius. that's one thing we learned, unless he says one cross word to donald trump then he's not a genius. this is the pattern. >> mark halperin, i think people are still coming to terms with a very -- i was going to say dysfunctional but for the dysfunctional, it's just a very different type of transition. a very different type of campaign. different kind of president. he's going to tweet. he's going to do rallies. those seem to be the two things he enjoys the most. and i guess we have to figure out in the media how do we split that? where do we compartmentalize the picks? do we focus on, you know -- how
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do we divide that up? >> we have to scrutinize policy and we have to scrutinize things like his business dealings. but the most interesting thing to me right now is the relationship with the republican party. on one hand he made his chief of staff the chairman of the republican party. he's appointed some very conventional people and people republicans love. but he's also made some very unusual appointments. including some democrats. and he's not beholden to the speaker of the house. imagine a normal republican president-elect basically putting the speaker of the house on notice. >> i got to say this. don't freak out that i'm actually talking about something that we've got to talk about. there's the rub. he thinks he doesn't depend on the speaker of the house. >> that's the question. >> i will tell you this right now. donald trump and paul ryan could go into a full-fledged war and paul ryan would get re-elected. donald trump may not be able to get much through the house of
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representatives. people coming into washington, d.c. do not realize -- we said this in the house when we were in the house. the house of representatives is not a democracy. it's about as -- i mean, he has complete control. the rules chairman has complete control. i mean, you talk about an -- >> everyone stop talking. here's the deal. it was great entertainment. i think it's the beginning of jousting. >> i'm not falling for everything. i'm saying if donald trump thinks he can push paul ryan to the side he doesn't understand the constitution. >> i get it. we'll talk about this more. i get what trump is doing. we can talk about this more. i think it's the beginning of a new conversation that he has with his rivals as well as the people who are working with him but right now we do have to look
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at what is going on in the world. we have to begin with devastation in aleppo, syria, which the united nations calls a meltdown of humanity. the fighting has resumed again. the syrian government never officially confirmed the cease-fire agreement which was brokered by the russian and turkish officials after rebels lost their remaining strongholds in the embattled cities. activities report bombings and executions in the seat by forces loyal to president assad. boris johnson laid part of the blame at the house of commons and senators john mccain and lindsey graham said this is the inevitable result of inaction and red lines crossed without consequences tarnished moral influence leading from behind and a total lack of american leadership. speaking before the u.n.
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security council yesterday, ambassador samantha power directly addressed president assad and his allies. >> to the assad regime, russia, three member states behind the conquest of and carnage in aleppo, you bear responsibility for these atrocities. when one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of aleppo, and that day will come sooner or later, you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening and you will not be able to say you were not involved. we all know what was happening, and we all know you were involved. it should shame you. instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you. are you incapable of shame? is there literally nothing that can shame you? is there no act of barbarism against civilians or execution
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of a child that gets under your skin and creeps you out a little bit. is there nothing you will not lie about or justify? >> those were damning, damning words but they were damning words of the obama administration. >> i know. >> her words were damning to the united states of america. her words were damning to, yes, the british parliament and the british people and the german people and the french and the entire west. i guess i really shouldn't blame the french because elon told barack obama that he was willing to blow up and be part of an operation that would blow up planes on the ground that were killing children and women and destroying hospitals. how samantha power with all due respect, a woman that i respect, but how she sits there and says those words working for an
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administration that has been mute on this issue or backed down when they actually finally did show some spine. it's unspeakable. these pictures are not just the legacy of putin and assad. these pictures are the legacy of the united states and their president. great britain and their prime minister. the united nations and their secretary-general. all of mankind. we sat here and did nothing. i will say, mike barnicle, john mccain and lindsey graham have taken legitimately a lot of flak for wanting to be too involved in too many wars, but they called this right from day one. >> the united states, the united nations and all of our allies in most of western europe richly deserve the words that senators
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mccain and graham directed toward us because of you are inaction and what's going on in front of the world's eyes for now five years. yesterday i spent a considerable amount of time with a doctor who just returned from the border, syrian/iraq border. he told me a story about ushering. he and a group of other doctors and aid workers ushering them to a plane to go to germany. they were going to take the syrian refugees in germany. the stories that poured out of the refugees, i realize it's early in the morning. but the stories that he told me that were told to him, he said he had 50 to 55 people who were in shock, traumatized by what they endured that seen their sons, their husbands, beheaded in front of them some of them. some of them had seen their daughters raped. some of them had seen their kin, their husbands or other children burned to death.
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burned alive. and this is what -- this is what has been going on for five years. >> and, willie, what we have known has been going on, and we've had people sitting in this chair where mark halperin is right now, foreign policy leaders for the past five years saying there have been 10,000 killed in syria. what do we do? it's hard. you know it's hard. 20,000. it's hard. we just don't know what to do. it's hard. 50,000. 100,000. 200,000. we have a full blown holocaust. >> you have women choosing suicide to the alternative. >> one of the things we didn't mention yesterday but you actually have mothers going to priests saying will god forgive me if i kill my child so isis doesn't torture them when they get them and kill them? and, willie, we've been here and seen this unfold and everybody,
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every foreign policy leader said it's just hard. we don't know what to do when we could have done something to stop the scale of this carnage. >> samantha power said it in that clip we played. we all know what was happening. she was addressing assad and putin. she could have been saying it for herself and president obama. she's written a book, an incredible book, "a problem from hell." she understanding this problem better than anyone. we had michael mcfall on yesterday. served under president obama as ambassador to russia right in the heart of this. 2012 to 2014. he laid out three point for point ways that president obama and his administration could have done more here. this coming from someone that worked for and served under president obama including not setting out the red line among many other things. there were things that could have been done along the way. i think the world will look back not just on america but on the west as having let down these people and caused a lot of this
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suffering. clearly assad and russia are responsible. put that out there. the world could have done more. >> with all due respect, joe, i totally agree with what you say about this past administration but this now is in the lap of donald j. trump. this is in the lap of rex tillerson, general mattis and the names we're going to hear in the future. i would like to hear from president-elect trump about his foreign policy vision. i would like to hear about what he feels about the images coming out of aleppo. i understand what we saw happening in wisconsin yesterday. it's more than entertainment. we can talk about the politics of that. i think it might be a fascinating strategy on his part, but we are witnessing a holocaust. at what point are we going to hear from people who are leading this country from here on out? >> it's no longer good enough. it may be too late now to do anything. but it's no longer good enough for the united states presidents or president-elects to say this
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is not our problem. history will judge george w. bush harshly for the decisions he made going into the iraq war. history will judge barack obama equally as harshly for allowing this holocaust to move forward. by the way, despite what you hear on cable news chatter and read on the blogs, history will also show that iraq, by 2010, was stable. it was the immediate withdraw of those troops that many americans supported. i understand. it was that immediate withdraw of those troops that created a chaotic situation, that allowed this to start unfurling along with the united states funding the rebels and silently encouraging the rebels to rebel against assad. and so when they did, we drew a
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red line. barack obama allowed assad to use weapons of mass destruction, and then he did nothing. he cowered in the corner while a holocaust has continued. and so on january the 20th, 2017, this is donald trump's responsibility. this is mike pence's responsibility. this is general mattis' responsibility. this is rex tillerson's responsibility. if in fact they are all confirmed and the question is by that time, mark, what can they do? >> there's potentially two new variables. one would be a different relationship with russia as complicated as that is. >> the russians and putin are the war criminals that are targeting every bit as much of a war criminal -- you know what? a tough president would talk about how putin and assad should
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be brought before the world court for crimes against humanity. >> one of the two main reasons why the united states did not get more involved, this administration, was they didn't want to engage in a proxy war with russia all of a sudden. that could change. there could be a way to negotiate. >> russia came into a void. wasn't like russia was there all along. >> yes. there's a long complicated thing. the recent roadblock has been russia. will there be any troops put in there? until that happens, there's going to be chaos or assad is going to be back fully in control. >> another thing that's clearly evident from the past five years is they should just shutdown the united nations. shut it down. they do nothing. they have done so little in this regard. >> mike, thank god you said that. you know what they do? they come here in september, and they have parties. that's all they do. this is disgraceful.
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if there were ever, ever a legitimate cause for the united nations it would have been over the past five years and prote protecting these refugees, but they did nothing. they sat back and did absolutely nothing. nato did nothing. why do we have the united nations? if they can't do anything here? why do we have nato if they can't do anything? >> we'll ask the admiral when he's here. >> that's a perfect guest to have on today. i actually think that trump should hire him. i know that he was lined up to be in the clinton administration. but that would be a great voice. >> that gets to a larger question. mark alluded to it. so supposedly if rex tillerson is confirmed as secretary of state, he enjoys a fairly good relationship with vladimir putin, donald trump enjoys a fairly good relationship as far as it goes with russia, he
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spoken not that critically of russia, so what do you do january 21st? you sit down with russians say what happened in last five years is in the rearview mirror? you can't forget what we've just seen. >> vladimir putin has been complicit in the genocide in syria. vladimir putin has committed war crimes against humanity. you can't shake his hand and pretend like nothing happened. you can't say i'm going to ignore the fact that you have created an extraordinarily -- the scenes of inhumanity and because you said a couple nice things about me, i'm cool with you. no. >> can't do it? i think it's going to happen though. >> well, then we'll be talking about that on january 20th. i cannot believe that james mattis, general mattis, will sit back and allow these tyrants to
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continue to gun down people in plain view. >> it was the summer of 2011 when president obama said it's time for assad to go. summer. at that point there were 2,000 dead. now we're up in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands dead and not only has assad not left, he has the upper hand. he just took aleppo. he's won. >> and you actually have isis being pushed back on the eastern part of the country. the northeastern part of the country. is that going to be turned over to a tyrant who has committed acts of genocide while we have all watched on tv? >> do you think trump would have push pushed him out? more toward letting the arab spring die. if assad wouldn't have been threatened, this wouldn't have happened but you would have a
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ruthless dictator still in place. >> it may be too late to do anything by january 20th. barack obama may have sat on his hands for too long. there can be no mistaking it. when we are dealing with vladimir putin, we are dealing with a war criminal. and we are dealing with a war criminal that we will find out over the next two years as these investigations move forward, a war criminal who tried to tamper with american democracy. how is that going to be responded to? >> we're going to continue this conversation. >> i'm not really in a mood. i don't think people are really in a mood for a new opening with russia. or a reset. there doesn't need to be a reset. >> there can be a relationship but it has to be based on a strategic framework that deals with this situation. i can't wait to hear what the plans are. still ahead on "morning joe," senator bob corker joins us and
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senator rand paul and candidate for dnc chairman congressman keith ellison joins the conversation. we'll be right back. world ugly and messy. they are the natural born enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful.
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male vo: comcast. all right. 25 past the hour. a lot to get to this morning. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell say he will support rex tillerson for secretary of state. mccain tells the arizona republic mr. tillerson received an award from vladimir putin. i was sanctioned by vladimir putin so obviously he and i have a different relationship with vladimir putin. and speaking to supporters in
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wisconsin last night, the president-elect said he viewed tillerson's relationships as an asset. >> you know, rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with. some people don't like that. they don't want him to be friendly. that's why i'm doing the deal with rex. because i like what this is all about. we're going to have somebody that's going to be very special. >> so this is interesting because this is about defining a friendship or a relationship and then where you go from there because i know that anywhere you go online and you read about this show and your relationship with trump, they act like it's a dirty word to have a relationship with somebody. but there are relationships -- >> if you look back, nobody ever had. ben bradley, he never would have been friends with jfk. i'm just saying.
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you know, let's -- go ahead. >> friends don't let friends drive drunk. okay. you can have a situation where you have a relationship and then you develop a framework around that relationship when the scenario changes. i think rex tillerson because he was in business was against sanctions for business reasons. he can be for sanctions for reasons of humanity and for the future of our diplomacy. and i think we have to wait and see, so we can't really judge the relationship, can you? >> all of the world is a stage. his role at exxon was to open up drilling in russia, and he did. he struck a deal with putin. that was what his job was as the ceo of exxon. he ended up making a lot more money off of it than putin and russians ever expected. in fact, word is they tried to take the deal away from him
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because he was so successful doing it. so he did what was his job at exxon, okay. well, his job when he's secretary of state is something completely different. i do think, mike, that he should not be faulted for what he aggressively tried to do for his company because that's why he was a successful ceo. at the same time senators should not be faulted for aggressively going after him and asking about the nature of that relationship and trying to dig everything up they can about that relationship and if there is anything nefarious about that relationship, it naeeeds to com out. >> he needs to be fully vetted. he has to be fully vetted by the senate foreign relations committee. >> can i say this, though, he was the ceo for one of the largest corporations in the world. this guy wasn't saying i'll make
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a side deal that's illegal. >> he's clearly smart. >> so many checks and balances inside exxonmobil. >> his biggest issue if he's approved by the united states senate and becomes secretary of state is because of his background and because of who he is and doing all his life, ceo of one of the largest companies in the world, he's used to saying something and havin it done like that at the snap of a finger. moving into the state department bureaucracy is going to be one of the most incredibly frustrating things this guy has ever encountered. >> i'm john mccain or somebody on the right, mr. tillerson, is vladimir putin an evil man? >> in my dealings with him, i can only speak to personal dealings with him, i have not found him to be an evil man. there are things i'm concerned about. for instance, syria. >> i'm in the yes category. >> i think he's going to have -- i agree with mika. that's one of the big questions. >> he's not going to say he's an evil man.
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>> you can't use words -- as president, axis of evil, but you have to know where his heart is on this. >> how about this? okay, you be tillerson. i be mccain. this will be a follow-up to the interview i had with trump back in november or whatever. mr. tillerson, you are concerned by the fact that vladimir putin assassinates journalists with who he disagrees. >> it's going to be hard. >> you read about it. do those reports of vladimir putin assassinating journalists with who he disagrees -- >> this is hard.
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this is where the question is of whether he'll be confirmed come in. he's read the newspaper. >> this is not hard. >> who are you? >> i'm rex. >> are you concerned, rex, and i like what you've done with your hair since you left exxon. grown out. you look younger. >> stick to the question. >> the question is, sir, the question is, is that tomato across the hall from you a nazi? sorry. too much into his mode. sir -- you do know that he calls tomatoes that are staring at him. he looks at a tomato in his kitchen and says you're staring at me and is a nazi. >> keith olbermann? >> they keep talking to him in german. the tomatoes in his kitchen.
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it really disturbs him. >> i'm right here. >> rex, are you concerned -- he does those podcasts from his bathrooms. any way, are you concerned rex by the fact that vladimir putin assassinates journalists with whom he disagrees? >> i think of a woman of three that was left in an elevator that disturbs me. >> do you think that vladimir putin assassinates in the shadow of the kremlin political leaders with whom he disagrees. >> i find this deeply disturbing and i look forward with working with allies and putin on moving forward addressing these issues to see if there's a relationship to be had. >> i will not yield. i work hard to be chairman of
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this committee. i will not yield. let me ask you this, mr. tillerson, if you were so disturbed by journalists you mentioned and gunning down of political adversaries in daylight with kremlin, why did you do business with such an evil man for so long and call him a friend? >> we worked on establishing -- >> that's harder. >> it's not actually. business leaders have different goals. >> so exxon's profits were more important to you? >> to build our company and create jobs around the world. i'm doing fine here. >> you did business with a man even though you know he's a murderous thug and you still did business with him to make money. >> president obama did business -- >> i believe, just like ronald reagan believed, just like great conservatives that you've worked for your entire life believe,
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that actually open trade and free trade actually is the best way to bring reforms and hopefully democratic reforms to this country. billy graham, may i remind you, went to the soviet union in the middle of the cold war and was attacked by conservatives, but he said it was better to open the soviet union up to our way of thinking and the gospel than to keep it closed. i'm not comparing what exxon mobile does to what billy graham did, but i am telling you, free trade. creating open relationships with people that have american values. >> now you're rex? what happened here? i'm going to adopt a syrian family while do you that. >> see what i'm saying? that's a good tact. >> do you have any sense of the number of people that vladimir putin and bashar al assad killed in the city of aleppo? >> i don't know, but i can tell you that it is deeply disturbing, and if i'm secretary
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of state, it's something that we're going to have to address head-on. unfortunately the obama administration turned a blind eye to that killing for far too long. >> we as people shouldn't anymore. >> he can't show any equivocation. >> he cannot. >> he can't say, well, this but that. he's got to condemn those in strongest terms to convince people he's not in league in some way with putin. >> i think this is the key point. if he shows equivocation the way donald trump showed equivocation when he was on this show to murdering of political adversa y adversaries he will not be confirmed and should not be confirmed. there can be no equivocation. putin has murdered his political opponents. he continues to murder journalists that he disagrees with. you're right. he can't eequivocate.
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>> one of the most confounding parts of the entire campaign. >> coming up, former secretary of homeland security -- >> how was role playing? i am going to be keith olbermann and you be the nazi tomato that's talking to me. how does he get the lights in his bathroom? if you have a typical airline credit card, you only earn double miles when you buy stuff from that airline. wait...is this where you typically shop? you should be getting double miles on every purchase! switch...to the capital one venture card. with venture, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, everywhere, every day. not just ...(dismissively) airline purchases.
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>> joining us now on set -- are you talking about the crown? joe is upset. >> admiral, you say you're going through it the second time. >> retired four star navy admiral joins us now. chief international security analyst for nbc news and msnbc, david sanger. your title is shorter than the admiral's but that's okay. >> i look at the admiral thing, that would help a lot. >> you're with nbc but can you go with the trump administration if asked? >> i suppose i could but i will not. i am content as dean at
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fletcher. >> a loss for america. a gain for fletcher. so david sanger, we've seen horrors unfold in aleppo and also in syria over the past four or five years. how did we get to this point? how is it we were talking about that from the very beginning we were asking people that were here what do we do when 10,000 people were dead? it's too hard. it's just too hard. >> you know, this is an administration that had a very hard time trying to explain to all of us why they went into libya. it was the right decision to protect 10,000 people in benghazi. and couldn't figure out a way early on in the syria uprising. one of the big lessons and admiral knows this much better than i do, you have moments in life, and i think when president obama looks back at the second term and the last part of his
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first, he's going to come to the conclusion there was a moment of a year or a year and a half where they could have made a difference in syria. and then they hit a time where they couldn't do anything and once russians came in, they really couldn't do anything. >> the red line was crossed. how do you say assad must go and then do nothing about it and then draw the red line and then have the red line crossed and then back down. what message does that send the world? >> it sends a very bad one. you know, so often our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness. with president obama one of his strengths is he's deliberative and cautious but in this case he needed to move. i agree with david. he'll look back in deep sorrow and some shame. >> willie? >> what was the point you think the united states should have done something? look back at the last 5 1/2, six years, what is the moment something should have happened
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and what should that something have been? >> the big mistake was withdrawing troops from iraq. if we kept 15,000 there, you can drop a plum line to the rise of isis and dissolution in syria. in syrian context, it was not taking out assad's air fce as part of the move to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction, aka the red line. that's the moment where we could have made a difference with the facts on the ground. it's before russia came in. >> mike barnicle is asking as we all are this morning, what does the united nations do anymore? we saw in 1991 the united nations come together and assad's father be part of a grand coalition that worked together to get saddam hussein out of kuwait. >> in this case -- >> what's happened to the united nations? >> you have a security council
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that is split with the russians on one side of this conflict. they're going to veto almost everything. this is not a moment where you're going to see the united nations take any kind of a significant stand and they're useful when they come in in a peace ke peacekeeping role but the whole responsibility to protect concept that we had ten years ago i think looks pretty shattered today. >> can i just add, i think you need to look at it in the u.n. context through the filter of libya. both russia and china deeply objected to that intervention overthrowing their view,. >> what is barack obama's policy?
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it's of course undergurted by i don't want to be george bush and dick cheney. he doesn't act when he should act in syria. he acted in libya when now looking back few think he should have gone into libya. if you were riding the inheritance for donald trump on barack obama's eight years, what would he be inheriting from barack obama's foreign policy? >> there are some things that president obama has done very well. he's leaving iran in a much better place. he's leaving cuba and our relationship with berma in a much better place. >> colombia. >> colombia in a much better place. i'm not sure the relationship with russia is something he could have done a lot about. there are three things he's leaving in a worse place. the first is syria. because russians are there, the options are very limited. >> but the russians are there
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because he didn't act. >> russians filled a vacuum. second is north korea. a place where we're in a far worse place than we were when he came to power and the third is what we wrote about today. it's cyber. while i think the president has done a lot in the cyber arena. he's built up our cyber offensive forces. i strongly believe of this case of hacking by the russians is something where more decisive action earlier on by the united states could have made a bigger difference. >> extraordinary front page story. people should take 30 minutes or whatever it's going to take them to read it. we'll talk about it in a second. for you, admiral, for donald trump as he inherits this russia problem. what should be his posture given some of the flattery he's thrown putin's way? >> we need to move to a transactional relationship with russia which is to say we should
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confront where we must. syria, cyber, ukraine. those are three big confrontational zones. we ought to look for areas of cooperation. we've got to establish a better transactional relationship. that doesn't mean surrendering our values but it means having a situation with russia where we can use leverage on one side of the equation to bring pressure to bear. sanctions can be connected to better behavior in other places. >> admiral, really good to have you on the show this morning. david sanger, thank you as well. we'll be looking for your reporting today. front page of "the new york times" read it. up next, the must read opinion pages. "morning joe" will be right back. there is no typical day.
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>> been doing it for 800 years.
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it's the first time -- how are we doing? how is everybody feeling today? everybody doing good? so, mike barnicle, we love larry, don't we? >> yes, we do. >> he's written a great book about bobby kennedy. he wrote this great op-ed in "the philadelphia inquirer" talking about how rfk could help democrats today. >> bobby kennedy defied people's prototypes of pandering politicians. he told college kids everywhere he went that they could change the world so why weren't they? it happened again in a luncheon -- i don't know the word civitans a men's service club as his audience chewed on salisbury steaks. do you know there are more rats than people in new york city? the senator who was kept up nights by images of hungry children he met in the
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mississippi delta grew grim. don't laugh. thomas was struck by what he witnessed. he was telling them precisely the opposite of what they wanted to hear. it could be a beacon for 2016 if the progressive opposition is listening. and are they. j what do you think? >> they're not. mike barnicle, bobby kennedy would go speak to poor white audiences. he would deliver the same speech that he gave to poor black conferences and he had a coalition of people that voted for trump this time and those who voted overwhelmingly for hillary clinton. a democratic party or any
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candidate that brings those things together as only bobby kennedy did, that's the candidate that wins the white house next time. >> you can look at the numbers out of gary, indiana, in the spring of 1968 in the indiana primary and see robert f. kennedy gathering almost the same amount of votes among poor whites as he did among poor blacks in gary, indiana. a city that was -- martin luther king had been assassinated. he was a unique voice in the 20th century in american politics. he became even more unique after his brother was assassinated because he became sort of a free man, if you will. he was separated obviously from his brother in the sense that his brother obviously was dead. but he would go to places like -- i believe it was at indiana university in that spring of 1968 giving a speech about the war in vietnam and there was a question and answer period and one young man said if
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you become president, what are you going to do about my draft status? kennedy looked right at him and said i'm going speed it up. he was unafraid. he was a man unafraid. >> so coming up from ceos to world leaders, "forbes" magazine ranks the world's most powerful person. that is straight ahead on "morning joe." beautiful sunrise. ♪ ♪
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>> think about this. for the first time since paul ryan and reince priebus and i -- by the way, people ask us what happened? we all grew up in south central wisconsin. paul was? janesville. i was in delavan. reince was outside of kenosha. what was in the water? i tell them it was beer. >> speaker paul ryan, i've really come to -- oh, i've come to appreciate him. i tell you he's been terrific. you know honestly, he's like a fine wine. every day goes by i get to appreciate his genius more and more. if he ever goes against me, i'm not going to say that, okay? >> this speech -- >> you're talking about transactional. he's great. he's like a fine wine but if he crosses me, he's dead. that is transactional. >> welcome back to "morning joe"
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and welcome to the trump presidency. still with us, managing editor of bloomberg politics mark halperin and joining the table, pulitzer prize winning columnist and associate editor of "the washington post" eugene robinson. >> by the way, this is just the trump pre-presidency. >> let me ask you so quickly, we've been doing a lot on syria. we're talking about the legacy. the shameful legacy at least i believe of the united states and the west doing nothing. 2011 civilians started being bombed. the united states and the world did nothing. 2013, the red line was crossed. the united states and the world did nothing. 2014 and '15, the russians came in. the united states and the world did nothing. now it's just genocide. they are cutting off heads.
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this is mothers going to priests asking if they will be forgiven for killing their children so assad's troops won't rape and kill them. >> there are two moments when hindsight is 20/20. i think there were times when something could have been done. back in 2011 as it was starting, as it was building before it became this horror we see now. i think this would have been possible. we're going to have a no fly zone and refugees were starting to flee the cities. we'll have a safe place for
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them. the red line. no one covered themselves with glory with the red line. obviously the president drew it and then ignored it. people forget, however, he did go to congress and said, you know, i want some authorization here and didn't get it. i don't think anyone in my town covered themselves with glory. it's very difficult. >> john mccain and lindsey graham who get ridiculed a great deal for wanting to go into many countries did call this from the beginning. >> they called it right. >> there were a few that called it right. mark halperin, at the end of the day, we did nothing. we sat back and how do we in 2011 see barrel bombs go down and kill women and children and do nothing? in 2012 and then 2013, weapons
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of mass destruction being used against civilians and do nothing. a holocaust let loose. and we did nothing. >> the legacy is what it is. i think there will be regrets but president obama would bring in people who would have the point of view of john mccain and lindsey graham and go through in a rationale way say here's why what they're proposing is a bad idea. he didn't want another american quagmire in the country in another region and he saw the downside as greater than the upside but the cumulative effect of those decisions to reject inkrei incremental steps is to have a legacy of mass genocide and handing off a horrible situation. >> i'm one who thinks that the president's essential argument during much of that period which is, yeah, we could give weapons to rebels, but which rebels,
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right? what happens to those heavy rebels? i think that's a good argument actually. then you're talking about no fly zone which involves much more direct u.s. involvement and -- >> potential conflict with russia. >> before russia came in -- >> how long did we have a no-fly zone over iraq? how difficult would it have been to have safe zones along the turkish border or along the iranian border for refugees to go so they weren't going in boats and children weren't washing up ashore dead in the mediterranean. >> you got to get in there and do it first. you can't do it after you've got all of this going on. >> of course. and barack obama waited four years after troops were killed.
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>> in hindsight that would have been the right thing to do. >> we've been saying this in realtime for the last five years. >> there were people arguing in realtime that that was the thing to do. it was the thing to do. that is the right thing to do. it's a mistake to totally disregard the lack of enthusiasm there was in the country not just in the white house but in the country for getting into another middle east war that looked like a quagmire. >> i think obama's legacy is the fact that he did absolutely
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nothing. that he was frozen and did nothing and was so driven by his to not be seen as george w. bush and have a wing in his presidential museum that says he's a peace maker and that he was frozen and did nothing. >> i get it. joe, you've said it. >> it's now the second hour of the show. you said it. could you keep talking about the failure of this administration. great. what's the next administration going to do? what's their policy going to be? i want to hear from them. there have been failures. we can talk about those failures until the sun goes down. at this point i think we need to move the conversation further. i'm not not recognizing what hasn't been done. i want to know what the options are at this point? why is it so hard? why is the president-elect not talking about this? what will be his first move in foreign policy? what are the options? >> one thing, president obama's stated policy was assad must go.
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i believe it will not be that assad must go. it will be predicated on assad's survival and maybe some sort of breakup of syria but assad still in control of much of the country. and russian involvement and working with russia. >> president obama was saying as recently as three years ago that if diplomacy fails, the united states remains prepared to act. the problem is putin and assad didn't believe that because of the things you said because he laid out that he didn't want to be george w. bush. if you believe it's a reaction to the previous, what will donald trump's reaction be to obama? what will his reaction be? >> we talked about this last hour. you can go back and we'll do it. if you would like us to continue talking about what trump can
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do -- >> i think it's related to what we're about to show you. i think these rallies are not a joke. i don't think they're just entertainment. i think donald trump is galvanizing people across america. they show up by the thousands they finish his sentences and when he wants to do something important, that may be the platform he takes. it may not be the important interview that somebody gets. maybe these rallies where he talks exactly to people is where we're going to find out what his plans are for the future and maybe people will listen. >> if he wants to mobilize people to do something important, they need to turn their eyes to syria. he's shown no desire to do that so far and has shown a desire to in fact turn syria over to vladimir putin. >> i don't think we know that yet. >> we'll see what impact james mattis has. >> we go to wisconsin where paul
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ryan joined donald trump. earlier this year trump refused. last night the president-elect talked about his come from behind win and the recount effort in wisconsin. >> we have some amazing things in store. we're going to work on taxes. we'll work on obamacare and he's going to lead the way. thank you. we're going to work on the wall, paul. [ applause ] all that money and time and effort, we got 131 votes more than we had before. i think it was worth it. spend 3.5 million, $4 million for 131 votes. that's okay. tells you how important every single vote in america is,
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right? >> president-elect trump was also thinking about the future suggesting a future primary battle between wisconsin governor scott walker and president-elect mike pence. he gave the politicians in the audience a lesson on political correctness. >> governor scott walker. where's scott? man. he's a great person and a great governor and i went against him for a while, and i want to tell you he was tough. so now it's going to be your turn very soon. i don't know. you and pence are going to have to fight it out. okay. what should it be? i'm doing this for all of you politicians over here. not that we're going to change at this point. would you rather see person of the year? man of the year? [ applause ] these guys are so politically correct.
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>> what if it was angela merkel last year? i don't understand that. so mark halperin, what's going on here? what's he doing? >> remarkable. i've never seen anything like this. >> he's doing what he enjoys doing and keeping people who support him supportive of him. i think it's all prelude to when he has to govern and make policy decisions about what are our his priorities. on domestic policy, we have a good idea. >> are you surprised by the intensity even after the election? >> no. >> not at all. >> for 60 plus million americans, they've gone through eight years of administration they haven't liked and they're excited to see somebod who is shaking things up. the appeal he had was multidimensional but one thing is people who support him like the fact that he doesn't speak like a politician. >> so are we going to be seeing a president who tweets and goes
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out on the road and that's how he stays connected to the people while his secretary of state and secretary of defense and secretary of treasury run policy? >> is there anything about donald trump that makes you think he would change the way he's behaved over the course of the campaign? people say once he's president, he'll stop tweeting. why? what makes you believe that? the problem with that line of communication people say this is just how it's going to be. you're going to have to hear what he has to think through twitter and through rallies. there's nobody on the other side of the rally or twitter asking him questions so he can just get up there and talk about things he wants to talk about. if he were on this show or "meet the press" or something else, we would ask him drilling down deep on syria. what are you going to do? we've heard your going to bomb the hell out of isis. what does that mean specifically? we can't sit back and say we'll just have to study his tweets. >> he did a sunday interview with chris wallace. he's doing interviews.
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>> we need to be able to sit across from him and ask him questions we want to ask him and not just receive the message he wants to deliver. >> i don't have really, really high hopes we're going to have regular press confences with the washington press corps. >> how often did president obama do that? >> i don't think we'll do that. >> have we had a lot of those? >> it's different than any time since he started to run. he can continue to not speak to the press regularly. he can continue to tweet things that aren't true. he can continue to do all sorts of things. he must be accountable. he will be accountable for domestic and foreign policy. >> and he will do stuff and people will either like it or they won't. and there you have it. but i think rallies are going to continue. >> i do too. >> i think he likes it. >> it will be his way of communicating. >> what do you think his foreign policy priorities will be? >> i can't wait to hear. i don't know. i don't know.
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>> foreign policy priorities? >> what do you think he wants to get done in the first six months? >> a focus mainly on the middle east. and they believe that with rex tillerson at secretary of state everyone is focused on the putin side of that. but tillerson has great relations with leaders throughout the arab world, and they believe that they can bring the arab world and israel together. they're thinking big. that's about as big as it gets. i think that's going to be one of their primary goals and it's going to start out difficult. it's going to be a bit difficult especially if they move the embassy to jerusalem which some people say they might do. >> that's going to be difficult. that's going to make it difficult if they do that. >> the middle east sort of dominates most president's consciousness because there's
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always something awful going on there. assuming tillerson gets through committee and gets through the confirmation hearings and becomes secretary of state, i don't think that's a done deal but let's assume he does, as an oil man, a longtime oil man, he probably knows more than most people about iran, a great oil power, about saudi arabia, a great oil power. about iraq, a great oil power. and so it would be fascinating to see how he tries to negotiate that rivalry and does he play one side against the other. does he try to reduce that tension? >> you know what's interesting? that's from everything i've heard on their foreign policy goals the first six months, that is the biggest goal and that is to use rex tillerson, a man who -- i could be wrong. i suspect he probably has closer
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relationships with countries across the middle east excludeing israel than any secretary of state going into office because he has worked hand in hand with these leaders for 10, 15, 20 years while at exxon. who knows. perhaps the move to jerusalem is a play for the israelis while tillerson is a play for the arab states because one thing you will have with tillerson as secretary of state, you will have a secretary of state that the arab world actually trusts. because the default in the arab world usually is america is too one sided toward israel. >> you know, a lot has changed in the arab world to say the least. one of the things that's changed is that in the minds of saudis, the enemy is iran.
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israel, we hate israel, but we don't really. they're sharing intelligence. >> we're on the same side. >> yeah. kind of on the same side. prime minister netanyahu said the other day that's the one silver lining he says in the iran deal, which of course he still doesn't like. i like. it was important and significant deal. he said the one silver lining is it has improved israel's relationships with arab countries as a counter to iran. but it would be possible also to go in there and make that conflict worse, right. make it a hotter conflict than it even is now. and that's what we don't want to do. >> eugene robinson, thank you very much. still ahead on "morning joe," secretary of health and human
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services sylvia burewell is her on set and senator bob corker will join us. >> they give you interviews and chop up your sentences and cut them short. you have this beautiful flowing sentence where it back reverts to the front and cut the back. sentence off and i said i never said that. you totaled your brand new car. nobody's hurt, but there will still be pain. it comes when your insurance company says they'll only pay three-quarters of what it takes to replace it. what are you supposed to do? drive three-quarters of a car? now if you had liberty mutual new car replacement™, you'd get your whole car back. i guess they don't want you driving around on three wheels. smart. with liberty mutual new car replacement™, we'll replace the full value of your car. liberty stands with you™. liberty mutual insurance. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road.
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>> former president dick cheney praised rex tillerson calling him an inspired choice so he has the support of dick cheney, vladimir putin and donald trump. that only leaves one person. >> excellent. >> it's unanimous. >> my goodness. >> he does have the support of gates, rice, james baker, steven
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hadley. there's some people that have come out that gates and rice were consultants for exxon. and to which -- put that out there. if someone believes that condy rice and bob gates, then you don't know condy rice or bob gates. >> those decisions are made by people who when they have good ethics they make those decisions when they join the board. >> by the way, it's not like they couldn't be on any boards in america they didn't want to be on. the fact that they worked with the guy and thought enough of them, they wouldn't have recommended him. this argument in sort of the blogosphere is really -- >> we'll see. joining us now from washington, the first secretary of u.s. homeland security former republican governor of pennsylvania and founder of ridge global, tom ridge. good to have you back on the
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show, sir. >> good morning, y'all. >> how are we doing? how are we doing, first of all, as a country when it comes to homeland security from your vantage point someone who was there when it was at its hottest? >> joe, you know, one of the challenges i think from my perspective is we've grown from 180,000 to 240,000, and i'm not sure where we needed the additional 160,000. we needed more people at the borders and immigration and customs enforcement but i don't know that the messages that i get from some people that have been trying to work with and through the department of homeland security, it's not as focused as it needs to be on precurement of the kind of technology that was in our legislation when they said we have enough people, let's give men and women of homeland security more and better technology to do their jobs. i think they made gradual progress but not the efficient
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organization it needs to be and one of the primary reasons is four secretaries and the new secretary is going to have to report to over 100 committees and subcommittees. at some point in time, congress is going to limit the jurisdiction so they actually work with the department to make it more functional organization. >> general kelly, good choice? >> great choice. the man is a proven patriot. he's a proven leader. he understands the mission and i think one of the interesting things about it is as a military leader he understands joint operations. he's going to have to transfer that notion from air, land and sea into the federal government, the state government and local government. a lot of it will depend on the quality of men and women he gets at the under-secretary level because it's a different environment. he's not used to dealing with the congress and the political world around which and through which the department operates. >> governor, it's willie geist. good to talk to you this morning. one of the things that president-elect proposed to keep
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america safe is vetting from certain countries he believes are hot beds for terrorism. do you think that's a good idea? does that make sense to you? do we need more vetting of refugees coming to america? >> i think -- i don't know how you define extreme. there's a lot of vetting that goes on. it's not unrealistic to suggest that when they go in and apply for that visa, apply for that permission, that pass to come into the united states with everyone scrutinized very, very carefully. he uses sometime the extreme language but to my knowledge there's a rigorous screening process that presently exists and under his administration they're not going to reduce or minimize the standards of those kind of inquiries. >> so you think what we have in place is sufficient in terms of vetting? >> as an observer and participant i'm aware of the screening and vetting that a lot of people not just from countries in question but from
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around the world go through in order to get that visa and in order to get permission to come across the borders and quite frankly, sometimes i think there's a high bar to get here and i don't think president-elect trump is going to reduce the bar. >> governor, what's your reaction to reports that the president-elect does not really enjoy and hasn't been taking the daily intelligence briefing reports that he says you don't have to tell me the same thing every day. i'm a smart person. >> you know, i think as someone who had the benefit of getting briefed by the intelligence community every single day, i think once he sits in the chair in the oval office on january 20th, he will luearn to appreciate the men and women of the politics committee are not driven by politics. they're not red or blue. they wrap themselves in the flag. it may be the toughest job that anybody has within the federal government.
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identifying threats to our citizens and to our interests globally. i would hope he learns to appreciate the value of that intelligence and the need and the need to have that briefing every single day and from time to time take a little bedtime reading with him up to the upstairs because it's a pretty complex world. it's a dangerous world. he, as president, will be confronted with far more serious sets of challenges any of his predecessors and i do believe that once he gets there, he'll appreciate the value and the insight and perspective that they give as well as other members of the cabinet. i dealt with it every single day. every single day i learned something new and different. he'll pick up patterns. he'll pick up -- it's very important for him to do it, and i suspect that he will. >> governor, besides the things we just talked about in terms of the nominations, appointments and conduct of the president-elect, what's most concerning you right now? >> well, first of all, i think
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we all know that president-elect trump ran an unconventional campaign and his vetting of these potential candidate members has been somewhat unconventional because it's been so public. to that extent people find it reassuring he vetted that many people for secretary of state or talked that openly about other members of the cabinet. frankly i'm not surprised he did things differently because i think he started doing things differently when he announced. i like se of the choices. i think the confirmation hearings will go successfully. i listened to some of your conversations earlier in the program about the secretary of state. brings an interesting set of credentials to probably the most cabinet position in the administration. i think everybody ought to just settle down and let scrutiny of the congress and senate go through the process and see what they do collectively as a team.
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>> all right. real quickly, are you surprised republicans actually won your state again? we've been calling it fools gold for 20 years. why was trump the right candidate to win pennsylvania the first one since 1988? >> well, joe, it's great question. actually predicted he might win a couple weeks in advance. my home community of erie, pennsylvania, a great place. lived there all my life. it's a blue collar town. when he appeared, he had thousands and thousands of people at a rally. when i traveled through the central part of the state, i think the people were just so disappointed. some are angry. some are disgusted with the fact that washington, d.c. over the past eight years seems to be bipartisan gridlock and i think they're looking for somebody that will try to make government work. he said he wanted to make government great again. a lot of people are hoping he makes government work again. to that extent, he appealed to a lot of people disallusiillusionh
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what's gone on. >> tom ridge, thank you very much for your insights. >> nice to join you. >> thank you so much. coming up, senator bob corker joins the conversation. "morning joe" is coming right back. they are the natural borns enemy of the way things are. yes, ideas are scary, and messy and fragile. but under the proper care, they become something beautiful.
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>> it was before i had my driver's license the last time wisconsin went republican. this is amazing. >> when i started 18 months ago, i told my first crowd in wisconsin that we're going to come back here some day and we are going to say merry christmas again. merry christmas. >> all right. that was -- >> president-elect donald trump and speaker paul ryan last night in wisconsin. joining us now, the news story
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how trump won. his populist message proved everyone wrong. so many people were proven wrong on election night. what was at the heart of it for you as you went through this story? >> it was very much states-like wisconsin where trump was campaigning. as trump said recently, even he didn't think he was going to win on election night. he saw the numbers. the way that he did win was actually very similar to the way he won the primaries which we analyze as part of the same series this story is a piece of, which is that he started with this very devoted working class white base in counties that had often swung democratic. now, in the primaries they turned out in large numbers. a lot of people had weak affiliation of the republican party and helped them overcome more established republican challengers. they rescued him in the general election as well. you take a state like wisconsin. there were massive shifts in individual counties like juneau county which is very blue collar that obama won handedly but swung wildly to trump in 2016.
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there were similar examples in michigan and in pennsylvania where there were just massive sweeping shifts often by double digits. this helped overcome hillary clinton's advantages with groups that democrats did expect to have an advantage with. more affluent college educated suburban voters. those gains were real for democrats but swamped by this republican phenomenon. >> how did people miss it? not just analysts but the clinton campaign also. they didn't focus enough time and energy in the states you're looking at in the last few days of the campaign. how did so many people miss it? >> when i talked to democrats that worked on this on the data side, they were given mixed answers. they're still trying to figure it out. it will take more research to some degree. one thing right off the bat, some argument is that clinton dropped the ball. you look at a state like michigan, there's a piece in politico about democrats in michigan complaining how their problems were swept under the rug. people didn't give them the
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proper attention or ground game or send surrogates or advertising dollars and you think sure she lost the state. should have spent more attention. but that doesn't explain something like pennsylvania where they were there constantly. they spent millions and millions of dollars on advertising. trump one decisively. it will take time to figure out what happened here. >> thank you very much. now to this in what may have been the last bill signing of his administration. president obama has approved a massive bipartisan medical research bill. the 21st century bill will increase funding for some of the nation's top health priorities. one section of that bill that allocates money to cancer research was named for vice president biden's son joe. he died from brain cancer in 2015. his death inspired what the
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white house calls it's cancer moonshot. during the ceremony yesterday, the vice president channeled his brief into hope. >> god willing, this bill will literally, not figuratively, literally save lives. most of all, what it does just this signing today, mr. president, you know better an i do, gives millions of americans hope. every day millions of people are praying. praying for hope. praying for time. praying that somehow something will happen just to extend -- they're not even praying for cures most of the time. those of you that are doctors in the audience say, doc, just give me three more weeks so i can walk her down the aisle or just give me another two months. my first grand baby. i want to see him or her born. >> there is $1 billion for substance abuse treatment
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specifically targeting heroin and opioid addiction. >> this is something that we can actually celebrate both sides coming together we spend -- you know, for a decade it seemed like we were spending $2 billion a week in afghanistan. this is an investment. we are at the cusp of some extraordinary groundbreaking cures. >> also in a situation where people are living not as long and our next generation isn't doing as well. it's so important. >> we have some remarkable opportunities in front of us. you have a friend obviously, mika, that has pancreatic cancer. that should not be a death sentence. we should do more research into that. i've got a mother that suffers from dementia. so many people have adult parents and friends and loved
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ones that suffer from dementia. this is actually a great investment and if that is barack obama's last signed bill, it's a great one to end with. >> a great and productive use by president obama of a great vice president in joe biden. there could be no better voice. there could be no better face for this movement. >> if you talk to joe biden about not just this piece of legislation but just about cancer research over the last year or two years. you go to some place like sloan kettering in new york city, the advances in cancer research just in the past two years have been incredible. they now promise that they will be even more given the research money that's going to be available under this act. >> up next, the outgoing secretary of health and human services sylvia burwell is here on set. she joins the conversation next on "morning joe."
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obamacare, which you say
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you're going to repeal and replace. when you replace it, are you going to make sure that people with preconditions are still covered? >> yes. it happens to be one of the strongest assets. >> you're going to keep that. >> also with children living with their parents for an extended period. we're going to try to keep that. adds costs but it's very much something we're going to try to keep. >> there's going to be a period if you repeal it and before you replace it where -- >> we'll do it simultaneously. it's just fine. we won't have a two-day period and we won't have a two-year period where there's nothing. it will be repealed and replaced. we'll know. it will be great health care for much less money. >> that was president-elect donald trump on how he plans to repeal and replace the affordable care act. joining us now, secretary of department and human services sylvia burwell back on the show. good to see you again. >> thanks for having me. >> obviously this is a great
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topic of really confusion for people who are trying to deal with whether they're going to be covered or if they want to start being covered through the aca. what are you seeing? >> what's important is right now we're in the middle of open enrollment. that period where people who are insured through the marketplace or aren't insured and want to seek insurance can sign up. there's an important deadline, december 15th. >> what if it's going away? >> you need to distinguish between 2017, the next year and beyond. i think for 2017 whether it's the insurers or even president-elect or members of congress have indicated coverage would not be disrupted. for the longer term, repeal would mean important things for the 20 million who have become insured or for any american who has a pre-existing condition and gets insurance through their job or if your child is on a policy up to 26 or if you use any of those preventive services without co-pays.
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>> so give republican congressman, congresswomen, republican senators and future members of the trump administration your strongest argument for what the affordable care act has done and why they should keep as much as possible. give us before and after. >> the before and after in terms of the help to people, 150 million americans get insurance through their job. that's most people. for most people, the benefits, and they don't know it's the affordable care act, if you lose your job and you have pre-existing conditions, can't keep you out. i have met the woman who delayed her chemotherapy because she had come to her annual limit or i met the 15-year-old kid if your child has a condition, at 15 year old they could hit their lifetime limit. up to 26 is another benefit. for those in medicare, many
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people don't realize those in medicare benefited. and how they benefited is there's something called the doughnut hole which had to do with drug prices.11 million seniors have saved $23 billion. you can do the math. that's on average over $2,000. so the affordable care act wasn't just about the marketplace which has helped get 20 million insured. >> it's not perfect. it has flaws in the system. where are the places you thi it has not lived up to the expectations when it started. where could it be improved? >> we want to continue to work to create more competition and more affordability. the president did a piece in jama, "journal of medicine."
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create a public option to compete. the other concept is how do we put downward pressure on high cost drugs? one of the ways we think that would be very helpful is for specialty and high cost drugs to have the department of health and human services negotiate in terms of those prices to push downward pressure. >> do you think that's something realistic that you could see happening? >> i think when one asks the question what are you going to do about drug prices? what are you going to do about these things, these are realistic solutions. i think that's where the conversation's going to go. we're going to move from the rhetoric and slogans to the reality of how do we continue to improve health care in the united states. >> mike. >> two questions. one, do you think you gave away too much to the insurance companies to get obamacare done in its original form? the second question is what happens if the incoming administration, if the incoming successor to you goes through with his plan to try and privatize medicare? >> so on the first question, this is a private market and the
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marketplace i think most people don't realize is private insurers. so you're going to work with e insurers. that's part of how it works. they're providing the insurance through private sector insurance. having a working relationship and making it something where they can provide the product for people is important. on your second question, on the issue of medicare and the issue of trying to voucher rise medicare, that's a space where we believe you would end up in a downward spiral and death spiral and only the sickest could be there and it would be very expensive. people would not be protected. why we want to change something that for 50 years the basics of it have worked and we've saved $473 billion from the projected spending in medicare is a question -- >> i get that question as, you know, full disclosure, obviously, the problem is this has become a campaign pledge, has it not? that and the wall. >> the bigger problem is for
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donald trump and republicans they won the white house because they won wisconsin, michigan, ohio and pennsylvania. they will lose those states if they repeal the affordable care act and don't have an adequate replacement. that's just basic political calculus. and they won by such narrow margins. >> right. >> that you can count on those working class white voters voting them out if -- i think it would be a lot like 1982 when reagan and o'neill struck a deal on social security. that didn't turn out well for them. >> yes. historically. i think your point is a very important one. and the benefits are across everyone who has employer-based insurance. >> they're real. >> i was in florida yesterday. over 1.5 million floridians get their insurance through the affordable care act and the marketplace and so these are real benefits to real people and that's where we're trying to move the conversation and make sure those voices are heard.
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>> secretary, we appreciate your work. thank you for your service. >> what are you going to do? >> it's not going to be the first day. the first day is a saturday, but that monday we have a 9 and 7-year-old. during my entire time in washington i have not walked them to school and picked them up. that's number one. >> good for you. >> that is great. >> that's really cool. congratulations. >> yes. >> ah. all right. on that note, still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> we have been very quick to the assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being used. that would change may calculus. >> believe it or not that was more than four years ago. now rebel held aleppo is on the verge of collapse. later, senators bob corker and rand paul on the confirmation process for donald trump's cabinet, plus
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congressman keith ellison on his bid for the dnc. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe."
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see me. see me. see me. on my way. find clear skin... and a clearer path forward. for a different kind of medicine, ask your dermatologist about cosentyx. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me. good morning, everyone. it is wednesday, december 14th. welcome to "morning joe." with us on set we have veteran columnist and msnbc mike
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barnicle, managing editor of bloomberg politics, mark halpern. >> well, so willie -- >> yes. >> -- mike barnicle's wearing a ty. >> yeah. >> no. >> like a pattern and a jacket. >> two ties. he has the knit tie, right, and he has the one with the piano keys. he was coming out with the piano keys tie. i tried to get him to stop that. >> yes. that's a good look. >> yeah. >> did you guys -- >> go ahead. >> do we have some clips. >> i'm trying to get one. it's kind of hard to communicate but i'm hoping we can get one right now. >> i would be interested in your reaction. i've heard about it. >> i've watched the whole thing. >> transition. a lot of stuff going on in the world, but it's just one of these things -- >> we'll talk about it more later. >> and everybody was like, something, like, happened last night. >> show it. >> it's remarkable. >> speaker paul ryan, i've
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really come to -- oh, no, i've come to appreciate him. i'll tell ya, he has been terrific. you know, honestly, he's like a fine wine. every day goes by i get to appreciate his genius more and more. now if he ever goes against me i'm not going to say that, okay? and we have some amazing things in store, and we're going to work on taxes. we're going to work on obamacare. we're going to work on things, and he's going to lead the way so thank you. we're going to work on the wall, paul. all that money, all that time, all that effort, we added, we got 131 votes more than we had before. i think it was worth it. what did they spend 3.5, $4 million for 31 votes, that's okay.
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tells you how important every single vote in america is, right? >> all right. so what do you think about that, mike? >> well, you know, i think its. >> it's interesting paul ryan getting booed. >> it's funny until it's not funny. >> right. >> i mean, he's president of the united states. there's a little lounge act element in that. >> yeah. >> in wisconsin but he's president-elect of the united states. >> for the time being paul ryan's a genius. that's one thing we learned, unless he says one cross word to donald trump, then he's not a genius, this is a pattern. >> yeah. so, mark halpern, i think people are still coming to terms with a very -- i was going to say dysfunctional. not dysfunctional, it's just a very different type of transition, a very different type of campaign. it's going to be a very different type of president. he's going to tweet and he is going to do rallies because
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those seem to be the two things he enjoys the most. and i guess we have to figure out in the media how do we split that? where do we compartmentalize that? where do we compartmentalize the picks? do we chase the bright, shiny objects. >> kanye. >> and the tweets. >> the stars. >> or do we focus on, you know -- how do we divide that up? >> we have to scrutinize policy and we have to scrutinize things like his business dealings. the most interesting thing to me right now is his relationship with the republican party. on the one hand he's made his chief of staff the chairman of the republican party. he's appointed some very conventional people. he's appointed a lot of people republicans love but he's also made some very unusual appointments, including some democrats and he's not beholden to the speaker of the house. imagine a normal republican president-elect basically putting the speaker of the house
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on notice. >> mika, can i say this? >> yeah. >> don't freak out that i'm actually talking about something that we've got to talk about. there's the rub. >> yeah. >> he thinks he doesn't depend on the speaker of the house. >> that's the question. >> i will tell you this right now, donald trump and paul ryan can go into a full-fledged war and paul ryan would get re-elected. donald trump might not be able to get much through the house of representatives. people coming into washington, d.c., do not realize, and we said this in the house when we were in the house, the house of representatives is not a democracy. it's -- it's about as -- i mean, he has complete control. >> yeah. >> the rules chairman has complete control. >> yeah. >> you talk about an odd controversy. >> everyone stop talking because we're not falling for this. here's the deal. it was great entertainment. i think at the beginning of jousting -- >> i'm not falling for anything.
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i'm saying if donald trump thinks he can push paul ryan to the side, he doesn't be understand the constitution. >> i'm saying we're going to stick to the plan. i get it. we're going to talk about this more. i get what trump is doing and we can talk about this more. it's the beginning of a new conversation that he has with his rivals as well as the people who are working with him, but right now we do have to look at how this juxtaposes with what is going on in the world. with the you thor devastation in aleppo, syria, which the united nations calls a complete meltdown of humanity. today the fighting has reportedly resumed again despite a cease-fire deal reached just hours before. the syrian government never officially confirmed the cease-fire agreement, which was brokered by the russian and turkish officials after rebels all but lost their remaining strong holds in the embattled city. activists report indiscriminate bombings and summary executions in the streets by forces loyal to president assad. brittain's foreign secretary, boris johnson, laid part of the
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blame at the feet of the house of commons and senators john mccain and lindsey graham said jointly, quote, this is the inevitable result of hollow words and inaction, red lines crossed without consequences, tarnished moral influence leading from behind and a total lack of american leadership. speaking before the u.n. security council yesterday ambassador samantha power directly addressed president assad and his allies. >> to the assad regime, russia and iran, three member states behind the conquest of and carnage in aleppo, you bear responsibility for these atrocities. when one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of aleppo and that day will come sooner or later, you will not be able to say you did not know what was happening. you will not be able to say you were not involved. we all know what was happening and we all know you were
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involved. it should shame you. instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you. are you truly incapable of shame? is there literally nothing that can shame you? is there no ak of barberism, no execution of a dhield gets under your skin that just crepes you out a little bit? is there nothing you will not lie about or justify? >> those were damning, damning words, but they were damning words of the obama administration. >> i know. >> her words were damning to the united states of america. her words were damning to, yes, the british parliament and the british people and the german people and the french and the entire west. i guess i really shouldn't blame the french because elon actually told barack obama that he was
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willing to blow up, be part of an operation that would blow up planes on the ground that were killing children and women and destroying hospitals. how samantha power, with all due respect, a woman that i respect, but how she sits there and says those words working for an administration that has been mute on this issue or backed down when they actually finally did show some spine is unspeakable. these pictures are not just the legacy of putin and assad, these pictures are the legacy of the united states and their president, great britain and their prime minister, the united nations and their secretary general, all of mankind. we sat here and did nothing, and i will say, mike barnicle, john mccain and lindsey graham have
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taken i think legitimately a lot of flak for wanting to be too involved in too many wars, but they called this right from day one. >> the united states, the united nations and all of our allies in most of western europe richly deserve the words that senators mccain and graham directed towards us because of our inaction, because of what's going on in front of the world's eyes for now five years. yesterday i spent a considerable amount of time with a doctor just returned from the border, the syrian/iraq border and he told me a story about ushering he and a group of other doctors and aid workers, ushering 50 syrian refugees getting into irbil getting into a plane to go to germany. they were going to take the syrian refugees in germany. the stories that poured out of the refugees, i realize it's
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early in the morning, but the stories that he told me that were told to him, he said he had 50 to 55 people who were in shock, traumatized for what they had endured, that had seen their sons, their husbands beheaded in front of them some of them, some of them had seen their daughters raped, some of them had seen their kin, their husbands or other children burned to death, burned alive, and this is what we -- this is what has been going on for five years. >> and, willie, what we have known has been going on. and we've had people sitting in this chair where mark halpern is right now, foreign policy leaders for the past five years saying there have been 10,000 killed in syria. what do we do? well, it's hard. you know, it's hard. there have been 20,000. it's hard. we just don't know what to do. it's hard, 50,000. 100,000. 200,000. we have a full blown holocaust. >> you have women choosing suicide for the alternative. >> yeah. one of the things we didn't
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mention yesterday but you actually have mothers going to priests saying, will god forgive me if i kill my child so isis doesn't torture them when they get them and kill them? and, willie, we've been here and seen this unfold and everybody, every foreign policy leader says, oh, it's just hard. we don't know what to do. when we could have done something to stop the scale of this carnage. >> samantha power just said it right there in that clip we played. she said, quote, we all know what was happening. she was addressing assad and putin. >> she's been very frustrated. >> she's written an incredible book, "a problem from hell, genocide in the 20th century." she understands this problem better than anyone. we had michael mcfall on. served under president obama as ambassador to russia in the heart of this, 2012-2014.
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he laid out three point-for-point ways president obama could have done something here. that's coming from someone who worked for and served under president obama including not setting out the red line. there were things that could have been done along the way. the world will look back not just on america but on the west as having let down these people and caused a lot of this suffering. clearly assad and russia are responsible, put that out there, but the world could have done more. >> and with all due respect, joe, i totally agree with what you say about this past administration, but this now is in the lap of donald j. trump. >> yes, it is. >> this is now in the lap of rex tillerson, general mattis and the names we're going to still hear in the future. i would like to hear from president-elect trump about his foreign policy vision. i would like to hear about what he feels about the images coming out of aleppo. i understand what we saw happening in wisconsin yesterday, and it's more than entertainment. we can talk about the politics of that, i think.
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it might be a fascinating strategy on his part. >> right. >> but we are witnessing the holocaust. >> it is. >> at what point are we going to hear from people leading this country from here on out? >> it is no longer good enough. and it may be too late now to do anything, but it's no longer good enough for united states presidents or president-elects to say this is not our problem. still ahead on "morning joe," senator bob corker and senator rand paul look ahead to what could be a close confirmation for rex tillerson. they join us live. and congressman keith ellison is trying to take a lead role in the fight for the future of the democratic party. he stops by as well. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. and can you explain to me why you recommend synthetic over cedar? "super food"? is that a real thing? it's a great school, but is it the right the one for her? is this really any better than the one you got last year? if we consolidate suppliers what's the savings there? so should we go with the 467 horsepower? or is a 423 enough?
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generosity is its oyou can handle being a mom for half an hour. i'm in all the way. is that understood? i don't know what she's up to, but it's not good. can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. all right. quarter past the hour. joining us now, forbes
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contributing editor david ee wall. the magazine just announced its fifth annual list. also with us, we have the very powerful barnicle. >> top five. >> the most powerful person. maybe in a century. the soviet leaders. there were always divisions there. vladimir putin stands alone as the dictator of -- i mean, has there been anybody as powerful as this guy in recent history? strong american checks on their
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power. checks inside the pull let bureau. he's traded places with higgs number two over and over again. putin gets away with whatever he wants to do from annexing crimea. >> yeah, let me ask. can you name anybody that has had more power at his personal disposal without any checks and balances? >> there's power and use of power. putin uses his power. there are those who choose not to employ their checks and balances. >> is he the reason we are witnessing a holocaust and not doing anything about it?
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>> yes. >> reagan had to go with tip o'neill. >> there's no checks on his power now that he's got a potentially friendly u.s. president coming into office, that's one less check on him. it's impressive. we're also seeing, his supporters, his economic advisors, vice president. this is all being brought into power with him.
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>> how does barack obama end up at 48. >> there's a full developing list. the next president, that's pretty high. we think he's still going to have that. they're submitting a national policy and things like that. >> i think this is incredibly solid. mike pence, number 69. i predict by april you'll have an editor's note saying that guy is in the top 20. >> he's an interesting choice. >> he's going to be really powerful. >> this is the first time we've had a vice president on the list. he's as low as 69 because he has a boss.
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there's so much being handed over to him. >> you look at the cabinet, mika. the cabinet reflects, at least the domestic cabinet reflects mike pence's priorities more so than donald trump. >> trump is very proud of that. let's go to brian sullivan. he has a question. >> good morning, everybody. i guess a point and a question, david. number one, i mean, you could probably also make the argument that vladimir putin although number one on your power list may also be the world's richest person. i know not officially but a lot of people you talk to say this is a guy that could be worth $1 trillion because nobody knows what he has. number six, janet yellen, chair of the federal reserve. today they may raise rates for the second time in a decade. why is she number six going into next year for eight years all we've had is the federal reserve? as the economy gets better do you feel like the federal reserve is going to lose some power because of the way we approach it visa have i tadvivin
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economy? >> she's helping control monetary policy and economies around the world. she's been a real steady hand for so many years. hasn't increased interest rates in such a long time. the fact that she now might very soon sort of shows this is so important when she finally does pull the trigger and changes an interest rate and does something to our monetary policy, it really moves mountains and means a lot. so i think that demonstrates just how powerful she individually is. >> number four xi jinping. i'm looking at the factors that go into the decision. talk about that one. >> well, china's leader obviously has a ton of power as the head of other potential super power. one of the things that happened to xi over the years, he's been given an honorary title that has been awarded very rarely in the past. this is something that chairman mau has been given. he's gotten an honorary
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elevation. he shows how much he's in charge of china. this is where we have party control. he shares that with some other people but he, i think very much, is sort of floated to the top and has a lot of very specific powers that belong to him. >> before we go, let's check on the markets with brian sullivan. could hit 20 today? >> yeah, mika. we could hit dow 20,000. right now the futures are indicating a slight drop at the open. only .3 of 1% away. i know a lot has been going on. people may not be focusing on the stock market given that we have the election that some people are talking about, apparently, which is we're up 14% on the dow so far this year. to david's point, chair yellen still extremely powerful. today at 2:00 the federal reserve is very likely to raise rates for just the second time in a decade. remember, guys, donald trump, a big part of his constituency were older folks, people who need retirement income. they don't want to gamble on the equity market. they want to have fixed income, bonds, annuities, things that are safe. we'll see if maybe the new
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administration coming in impacts fed policy at all in a sense that they want to raise rates so that savers who tend to be older get a little more for their money because i think the technical term for what savers are getting right now, guys, is squat. that's a technical term. >> that's a very high level phrase. >> we'll remember that. thank you very much, brian. we'll be looking at the new issue of "forbes." thank you very much. up next, senator bob corker was in the running for secretary of state. now he will hold hearings for the man who got that nomination. senator corker joins the conversation next on "morning joe." liberty mutual stood with me when i was too busy with the kids to get a repair estimate.
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>> they backed down. what message does that send. that's conscious.
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he needed more alack krit at this. >> the allied commander. >> nbc news chief global correspondent bill neely joins us live from beirut. what is the latest, bill? when is a cease fire not a cease fire? when it's a syrian cease-fire. >> reporter: shooting, shelling, airstrikes, civilians in that city are very, very far from safe. they were meant to be evacuated this morning along with rebels in buses at dawn. that effort to evacuate them has
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been there. carrying the few possessions they have left. after months under siege, years of killing. it's not over yet. shelling this morning and civilians are terrified sending out what they call their final messages. >> militias are maybe 300 meters away. no place now to go. it's the last place.
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>> save aleppo. save humanity. >> reporter: the final days of the war have been brutal. the u.n. alleging more than 80 men, women and children were shot by assad militias in cold blood. syrian attacks and russian airstrikes prompting american fury at the u.n. >> is there literally nothing. the trips are celebrating victory. in a city of war crimes, no one's safe. well, the u.n. says protesting what's happening in aleppo, samantha power at the u.n. was absolutely blistering. pardon the pun, she is powerless to stop it or do anything to control it whatsoever. the assad regime, his forces, the iranians, russians seem to have aleppo in their grip.
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aleppo and all of syria's major cities have not all but fallen. mika, joe? >> nbc's bill neely. thank you very much. joining us now, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. republican senator bob corker from tennessee. >> thank you so much for being with us, mr. chairman. samantha powers' speech was blistering. a lot of people asking though why department she deliver that speech to barack obama three years ago. >> so, first of all, it's good to be with you. my guess is she did. what you have seen with the obama administration is that there's been decision memo after decision memo after decision memo that has laid on his desk and no action has been taken. joe, you remember, we cheered these folks on. our ambassador cheered these folks on when this, quote,
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revolution began, if you will. we've been to the refugee camps and told people that help was on the way, that we were going to be providing arms to their brothers and sons and fathers and, you know, we just never delivered in the way that we said that we would. we left them hanging, and this is a blight on our country. i wish that you would look at the holocaust museum display of caesar's photographs. i just talked to him last week on the phone. he's part of the syrian opposition now, but the torture. the fact that assad, you know, is removing people's genitals, torturing them, burning them. this is something that you would have expected maybe to occur 1,000 years ago, but there's no question that war crimes have been committed, that our nation did not do what we said we would do. as you mentioned earlier on the
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program, nor did the britts and others. you know, there's a price to pay for this as it relates to moral clarity. almost over now. go ahead. >> no, i was just going to say, how do we deal with assad moving forward? and how do we deal with vladimir putin who has also clearly committed war crimes and the deliberate bombing and killing of women and children? >> so obviously the president-elect is not sullied by the series of decisions that were not made or have been made incorrectly or have left us in this place so he comes anew, but, look, you know, we're going to -- syria's going to be decided at least the western portion of syria's going to be decided in the manner that russia decides. i mean, they took a bold step nine months ago, stepped in to a vacuum that we were unwilling to
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fill and they will control the destiny. you know, we can say what we wants. we can talk big. we can give speeches at the u.n. but putin is going to decide the future of at least western -- the western portions of syria. now we still have the issue of isis. >> mr. chairman, do you believe that vladimir putin has committed war crimes against the people of syria? >> you know, i want to look at some of the bomb -- there's no question that assad has and there's no question that russia and iran have supported someone who's been -- there's no question about his war crimes. what they've done in the civilian areas where they say that they're going in to kill terrorists, look, that has not been true. they've been killing the free syrian rebels that we've been involved in in many ways that are known and in some ways that are unknown, but we know that. everybody in the middle east knows that. so -- so as to whether we could
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say his are war crimes, i want to -- i want to do a little more work there, but no doubt he has supported war crimes and he's not our natural friend. i know there's this bromance that has been developing but, look, putin, it's unbelievable, look at a guy really when you began the red line issue, when he saw that we were unwilling to honor the pledge that we had made to the syrian people, he began a robust move on the world stage and has unsettled europe. he's -- everyone's documented what's happening in the balance particulars, what's happened in eastern ukraine and other places. he is now a force to be reckoned with because of our inaction and his action. >> right. >> and, yes, he's done things that break universal norms here in the world and may be involved directly in war crimes. we will see. >> so in terms of reckoning with that force, what do you want to hear from rex tillerson when
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answering questions about his nomination to be secretary of state? >> first of all, mika, he comes to this -- look, this guy's an incredible global leader. i mean, he really is. i've talked to him multiple times on the phone. he's a guy that exudes confidence and competence. >> we definitely get that. >> 70,000 -- yeah. okay. so he's going to come into it with that. >> yeah. >> and people, i think, are going to be very comforted with his confidence, but i think what people want to hear, look, he's going to be up under the hood helping direct our foreign policy. it's going to be trump's foreign policy, but he's going to be one of the few people sitting at the table helping direct that. and i think people want to hear how he views our relationship with russia. you know, if you look at president-elect trump, he's a, quote, prolific deal maker. it's all about deals. but there are a lot of norms that have driven our policy, a
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policy towards europe for 60 or 70 years since world war ii that matter. these alliances matter. and so i think people are going to want to understand how he will be advising the president and, look, my guess is he will do fine in the hearings, but it's certainly up to him to answer those questions with clarity. >> mr. chairman, it's willie geist. good to see you this morning. you have announced that you and your committee will look into russia's alleged medaling and hacking of the united states presidential election. what's the use of doing that? russia interfered on donald trump's behalf. >> willie, look, i don't know. the director of national, you have the cia that says yes.
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it's frustrating to people. i don't think there's any question, willie, what they've done has caused them to be successful. they've caused the american people to question the integrity of the electoral process here in our country. that is a win for an autocrat that doesn't have real elections. that's -- that is a base goal of his to begin with. and so he's already had a victory as to whether he was trying to tilt it in one direction or the other, we're going to find out. and my guess is other committees will be doing the same. >> so, senator, russia declares cyber war on us through this hacking attack. what do we do? >> well, look, you're a sophisticated person, and i've said this before on this
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program. and i -- sophisticated countries do things. i mean, cyber and hacking is a way that people get information, and so much of it in the past has been done through human intelligence. a lot of it now is done in other ways. so this is constantly going on. i think you probably saw an interview recently with our national security advisors talking about thousands of -- thousands of attempts each day to hack into our systems and in fairness -- >> senator, would you like us to say it for you? we do it to them, they do it to us and it is a war between -- we're all sort of laughing around the table because we know -- >> not at you. >> not at you at all but we know this is -- anybody sophisticated knows that it's what israel
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does, it's what china does, it's what russia does, it's what the united states of america does and, yeah, so anyway, we weren't laughing at you, we were -- >> we appreciate your candor. >> we do appreciate your candor. >> i can't see you laughing so -- let me say this. when i make a call -- when i make a call, i'm assuming that the likelihood is that our enemies, by the way, and our friends likely, especially when i make a call in washington, i'm assuming that plenty of people are attempting to listen to my phone calls. i mean, that's the way intelligence is gathered. so the hacking piece -- the hacking piece is -- i mean, i don't think we ought to have our hair on fire about that. i'm sorry. that's what people do. it's what you do with that. and -- >> right. >> -- i mean, we need to guard against it. we need to do everything we can to make sure that it doesn't happen. certainly in our office we're
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doing everything we can to make sure our systems are not hacked. this is raising alarms for everyone. at the end of the day trying to understand what russia is doing not only here in the united states but on elections around the world is an important thing for us to know, right? >> bob corker, i can't thank you enough for being here. we really do appreciate it. i want to just say -- i will just say as a republican i'm glad you are where you are. thank you so much. >> thank you for being on today. >> up next, congressman -- >> more and more. >> -- keith ellison. >> don't go to break yet. everybody tells me that when you're on your phone, you have to assume, especially in washington, that china, russia. >> israel. >> israel and other countries are listening. >> there is an easy way around it though. speak in pig latin. >> yeah, okay. >> congressman keith ellison joins the conversation. we'll be right back.
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democratic congressman keith ellison is running for chairman of the democratic national committee. how is the race going, possibly mr. chairman to be. >> it is going fine. thanks for asking. we're talking to folks every day. talking about the future of the democratic party, where we want to go. grassroots party, a party really connected to the base and the rank and file. prioritizing voter turnout in every election up and down the ballot. that's what we're working on. >> all right. great. hey, let me ask you about -- cnn online had a couple of quotes from the past. we'll put a couple of them up. and what do you say to people who are concerned about past statements like for instance minister farrakhan is a role model for black youth wrote
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ellison in insight news op ed. he is not an anti-semite. what are your responses to the cnn reporting and other people bringing up this past? >> i think that it is bad reporting because i have a ten-year record in congress. i have a four-year record in the minnesota statehouse. i've practiced law for 16 years. >> right. >> and did a lot -- i just think that, you know, it's just that kind of reporting that, you know, just that sort of is not quality and doesn't help people understand the real issues. >> so just to clarify it then based, again, on all of these quotes and sort of the buzz out there what cnn and others were reporting on what you said before. do you believe lewis farrakhan is an anti-semite. >> sure, but what does he have to do with anything going on in this race or this country at this time? absolutely nothing. >> cnn says that you've said some positive things about
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minister farrakhan, a role model for black youth. >> but here's the thing, joe. we're talking about something that happened in 1995. >> right. >> this was a year that the million man march took off. >> right. >> people were attacking the march at the time. the march was a very good thing. i was very proud to be part of it, but here i am having to answer questions about this and i'm not talking about what our country needs to look like and what the democratic party can do because this smear campaign from almost 21 years ago or something like that is -- this is about distracting and taking people away from the issues that really are at hand in this case. >> willie. >> i think it serves somebody's political purpose to push this stuff. >> right. >> but it doesn't serve the public interest to serve it. >> congressman, there are some jewish democrats to look back. if you're going to lead the party they look with some fear and trepidation. do you disavow quotes like that, the one we just read? >> man, i'm telling you back in 2006 and before i disavowed them.
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that's the ridiculous thing about this, that we keep on having to answer this kind of stuff. but let me tell you, it's not that people are -- i don't think people who are pushing it are genuinely curious. they don't want to talk about what the democratic party needs to look like to be an effective vehicle for the hopes and dreams of average americans. so they bring up this kind of stuff and get you to make me answer this kind of stuff. >> congressman, you've led me to my next question then. as head of the dnc you'll be asked obviously to diagnose what exactly happened in 2016, how hillary clinton came so close but lost the race for the white house. as you look at it right now, congressman, what is your diagnosis? what happened? why did hillary clinton lose? >> well, the most proximate cause is that we lost by about 76,000 votes in three states and i think the real answer is voter turnout. how do we turn out the vote in places like michigan, wisconsin, places like pennsylvania? let me tell you, in minnesota, which is right in that belt of
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those in the industrial midwest, we survived that way because we prioritized voter turnout. and in my district in the fifth district of minnesota when i first got to congress we had the lowest congressional turnout in my state. >> but even minnesota was a lot closer than it should have been, right? >> but we survived the wave, why? because we prioritized turnout. that's the real issue. there will be waves. every party is going to have its own ebb and flow. how do we survive it? we prioritize turnout and in my state of minnesota we have made turnout -- i have the highest turnout and we have four constitutional officers who are all democrats because we prioritize voter turnout, two senators who are democrats. because we prioritize turnout that's what i'm good at and i think i can bring it to the national stage. >> congressman keith ellison, thank you very much. >> senator rand paul coming up next. he's vowing to block one of donald trump's potential picks for the state department. ♪
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anywhere near the state department because he's an unrependent advocate of regime change and the iraq war and hasn't learned any of the lessons of the last two decades. >> does john bolton still believe in invading iraq in 2003? >> he promoted a false assumption, the wmds, but also he promoted that it would be very quick, we wouldn't have to stay very long, no big deal. but he's still promoting the same thing. he says the iraq war was justified and he'd do it again. not only that, he's promoting the same kind of thing for iran. he would bomb iran and has said it repeatedly over and over again. his only argument is we didn't bomb them soon enough. he would still bomb iran and it would be a cake walk, we would be greeted as liberators. we would have embassies open. it's a naive understanding and we don't need anymore of that. >> we know you don't like the process of bolton. how do you feel about president-elect trump's picks so far, flynn, mattis, tillerson?
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>> you know, i don't know any of them personally, but from what i've read, mattis is an intellectual. he's a warrior. also, there are many people who have been in combat who actually have a healthy distrust of combat. you know, one of my favorite quotes is from eisenhower who said, i hate war only like a soldier who can hate war. the stupidity. i hope mattis is of that belief. he's a thoughtful person from what i've read. both he and general kelly who lost a son, i think they are not people who are eager for wanton combat or wanton killing. >> senator, we just had your colleague, senator corker on, and i am going to ask you the same question i asked him. seeing that the -- that russia has very publicly declared cyber war on us, what do we do? >> you know, i think we have to defend ourselves. i think -- i agree with senator corker that it is everywhere all the time and we have to assume that it is occurring and that all nations that have the
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ability to use cyber warfare are using it to their benefit or trying to use it to their benef benefit. so the key is we have to protect ourselves. that's the answer to this whole thing about whether the dnc was hacked or not. if there was any evidence, we should investigate it because we need to protect ourselves, our government, our institutions. so i think that's the lesson out of this. to say it's going to go away, we're going to retaliate, make them pay, no, we need to learn how to make them defend ourselves from the ever evolving attacks. >> senator, it's willie geist. we've been talking about aleppo, president assad's apparent victory and the horrible pictures that we're seeing and the stories that we're hearing. a little bit of revision is history over the last 5 1/2 years. what do you believe the united states could have done to prevent the scenes we're seeing this morning? >> all right. well, you know, it's impossible to look at the images and not feel it in your gutt and just not to feel how horrible it is. i think it's easy, many people are saying now why aren't we doing more, but i guess the
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other question could be why six years ago did we decide to do so much? because we did make promises and maybe false promises that we were going to come in and make the world right, make the world safe for democracy. we probably gave false expectations to those fighting assad, but at the same time there were a lot of down side to pushing assad back. that's where isis grew in that space. 1500 different factions fighting assad, many of whom don't like us, don't like israel, don't like our ways but don't like assad either. it's really sad. i don't know that there's an easy solution now what to do but i think we could have done something different four, five, six years ago than what we did. >> rand paul, very quickly. only have 15 seconds here. are you concerned that big government republicanism may be coming back to d.c., tax cuts, massive defense spending, no entitlement reform, huge outlays in transportation spending. is this going to be a replay of bush republicanism? >> absolutely. senate republicans are putting forward a budget that will never balance. i won't vote for it because
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there have to be some remaining fiscal conservatives remaining. >> we'll leave it there. thank you so much for being on the show this morning. >> thank you. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage. >> nice scarf. looks nice. >> no, it looks great. >> thanks so much, mika. thanks, joe. hi there, i'm stephanie ruhle. defending rex. donald trump in a late-night rally praising his pick for secretary of state as more senators voice skepticism of his ties to russia. >> rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with and some people don't like that. and a cease-fire collapse. a humanitarian disaster taking place right now in syria. tens of thousands of civilians are now trapped. u.s. officials pleading for help. >> are you truly incapable of shame? is there literally nothing that can shame you? >>

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