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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  December 25, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST

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escalator at trump tower on june 16th, 2015, it's safe to say very few people predicted that a year and a half later we would be sitting here looking ahead to the trump presidency. trump's victory was a triumph for people who had had it with the federal government. for people who felt overlooked by democrats, and for folks who felt dismissed by the scheduled elites. at the same time, his victory was a bitter disappointment for a plurality of voters, many of whom were disgusted by his campaign and uncomfortable with his unpredictability and his coziness with nativist language.
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as we look ahead to the trump presidency, we wanted to look back at the 18 times that donald trump appeared on "meet the press" during this campaign and discuss the candidate and the man with some of the journalists who have covered him so closely. hugh hewitt, host on the salem radio network. joy reid, host of "a.m. joy" on msnbc. katy tur, our chief trump correspondent throughout the campaign at nbc news. and robert costa who broke a lot of stories on donald trump for the "washington post". u welcome to you, and welcome to you. happy holidays. we'll show the "meet the press" interviews in three chunks, and one by one discuss each area. i want to begin with domestic policy covering areas from immigration to health care to companies that leave the united states. and we'll begin with the issue that has divided this country for decades -- abortion. should some form of abortion always be legal? >> well, to me, i have exceptions -- rape, incest, if the mother is going to die. and ronald reagan had those same
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exceptions, and many republicans have those exceptions. i say rape -- >> you said life of the mother. what about health of the mother? >> i said actually if the mother's close to death. and i'm talking about death. you know, then you sort of say like, well, maybe she's not feeling so well -- >> what is the line, the constitutional right between -- between the mother and the unborn child? whose constitutional rights matter more? >> my statement on that happens to be the -- you know, if the mother will die and you're going to know that. and the problem with the life if you say life, what does life mean? you have a cold and you're going to end up having an abortion? >> the one big thing that's going to jump out that people are upset about, you want to get rid of birth rights citizenship. >> you have to. yes, you have to. they're having a baby. all of a sudden nobody knows -- >> you believe that -- >> you have no choice. >> for coming here -- >> you have no choice. we have good people, we have very good people here. we have a lot of really good people. they're illegal. you either have a country or not. we go out, and we're going to try and bring them back rapidly the good ones, rapidly -- >> i understand that -- >> you know the word expedited?
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>> i do, yeah. >> expedited. >> what do you do about the daka order where you had the grant for the dream act, however you refer to it? the executive order that the president, that is -- is -- >> the executive order gets rescinded. >> you'll rescind that one, too? >> one good thing -- >> you'll rescind the dream act executive order -- >> we have to have a new set of standards -- >> you're going to split up families, deport children -- >> chuck, no, we have to keep the families together. we have to keep the families together. but they have to go. >> what if they have no place to go? >> we will work with them. they have to go. chuck, we either have a country, or we don't have a country. your tax plan, you said would be revenue neutral, raise taxes on the wealthy. overall it cuts taxes on the wealthy when you throw in the estate tax and things like that. and it's a big hole in the deficit until we find out what you're cutting. >> okay. >> what are you cutting? >> you ready? we're cutting a lot.
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we're cutting taxes really for the middle income more than anything else -- >> everybody's taxes are going down, though? >> everybody's taxes are going down. some people won't pay tax. the reason they're not going to pay -- i love the idea of having a little sort of fat in the game if we can. but the fact is these are people that will are doing poorly. they're making not a lot of money. and we're saving a tremendous amount of administrative costs and other things by not making them pay. under my plan, i think it's a dynamic plan -- we're going to grow the economy. if we do 6% or 7% under my plan, everybody benefits -- >> we've never had a year 6% or 7% -- >> we can. we can do that. we start cutting. the waste in this country is unbelievable. when you look at all of the -- >> you're going to get rid of entire departments? >> i would get rid of some. you look at -- as an example, department of education. >> you'd get rid of it? >> no. not entirely. i would certainly get rid of a lot of it. jeb bush, he's a big common core person. i'm not. i want local education. we could save a fortune with environmental protection -- >> financially not a big department, though. you're not going to get rid of a
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lot -- >> it's a lot of money. >> what is another agency you'll get rid of -- >> even in the milary, i'm going to build a military much stronger than it is now. it's going to be so strong nobody's going to mess with us. we can do it for a lot less. >> i'm coming back to the math here. nobody can seem -- especially since you said you're taking social security and medicare off the table, not doing cuts at all. if you take that off the table -- >> it's unfair to put it on the table. people have been paying in for years. all of a sudden you're not getting what they -- >> you wouldn't raise the rate, age of retirement? >> i'm not going to do that. i'm going to take in so much money from china and other places. look, we have a trade deficit with china of almost $400 billion a year. $400 billion. i looked the other day and said i can't believe it. >> in that first speech to congress, you're going to lay out the first 100 days's agenda. what are the issues? >> i'm going to build the military bigger and better -- >> number one. >> i want to take care of our veterans. take care of them. they're being taken care of horribly. i want to fix our health care system. i want to create borders so that we have a country.
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right now we don't have a country. we have borders where people walk across and do whatever they want to do. then they have babies, and the babies become citizens, and we have to take care of them. we're going to do many things and make america great again. that's what i want to do. >> you want some government system on health care. >> yeah. >> you don't like the system that's in there now. that i understand. >> right. not single payer. >> describe the system that you want. >> okay. let me explain. >> okay. >> first of all, what i do -- i have a massive company, thousands and thousands of companies in different states. you have artificial lines around each state. the insurance company takes care of the politicians so they d't want to get rid of the lines. if you get rid of the lines you would have great private insurance and take care of most people. it would be unbelievable. in addition, you can have a savings -- do the savings situation where you would have health care savings accounts, and it would be fantastic. there's so many things you could do. the problem is the insurance companies don't want to do these things, and they don't want to specifically get rid of the lines because they'd rather have a monopoly in new york as an example than let 50 companies come in and bid.
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companies from iowa and new hampshire. >> you're going to have to structure a government program to deal with this. >> no, no. no. here's what you do -- you're going to have a great system. there will be people left who don't have any money. what i said last night is i don't want to have people dying in the middle of the street, okay. this isn't single payer. this is using our hospitals to take care of people. you work them out, reimburse the hospital. because -- >> you would expand medicaid? >> you can do it through medicaid. you can do it through some other way. i'm saying -- this has nothing to do with single -- this has to do with humanity, with having a heart. >> you defended the other work planned parenthood does, now you said you would defund it. >> i would. >> democrats would say the money from planned parenthood does not go to abortions. the money to planned parenthood goes to other women's health issues including mammograms and things like that. if you knew the government money were only going that, would you support funding planned
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parenthood? >> yeah. if it didn't have to do with abortions -- look, i understand and have many, many friends or women who understand planned parenthood better than you or will ever understand it. and they do some very good work. cervical cancer, lots of women's issue, women's health issues are taken care of. i know one of the candidates -- i won't mention names -- said we're not going to spend that kind of money on women's health issues. i am. planned parenthood does a lot of good -- really good job in a lot of different areas. but not on abortion. i'm not going to fund it if it's doing the abortion. i am not going to fund it. >> you said there would be consequences for any company that tried to move a factory -- >> absolutely -- >> what's the consequence? start with -- use bring up carrier a lot. if you were president, explain -- >> carrier's an example. they announce they're going to mexico and fire their people in indiana. they say, hi, mexico, enjoy your plant and your life, and you hire people from mexico, okay. now they make their product and put it into the united states where we will have a strong
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border, by the way. they put it into the united states, and we don't charge them tax. there will be a tax to be paid. if they're going to fire their people, move their plant to mexico, build air conditioners and think they'll sell to the united states, there's going to be a tax. >> what kind of tax? >> 25%, could be 35%, could be 15%. i haven't determined. and it could be different for different companies. >> some of these things aren't going to get through the world trade organization. a lot of -- >> doesn't matter. we'll renegotiate or pull out. these trade deals are a disaster, chuck. >> there it is. part one, donald trump domestic issues. donald trump at home. let's dive in. katy, we like to highlight the inconsistencies sometimes. there was plenty of consistencies in different ways he talked about issues. the first 100 days, the first items were expanding the military, dealing with immigration, and dealing with obamacare. talked about that throughout the campaign. >> yeah. he did have consistency in some idealistic ways. you could tell he didn't have a lot of policy depth in what he was saying.
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while he would talk about something like medicare or would talk about something like health care reform, he wouldn't realize what he was describing. that's what got him into trouble especially with the republicans. he was often going against the long-established republican talking points and platforms. that's where the inconsistencies rose. when he would try and dial it back and say that's not what i believe, it's oftentimes what he said in the aftermath of the comments that made it a little murkier than it may have seem initially. >> robert, it's trump priorities versus republican priorities, right. i think it was funny, katy, that you said trump -- heard himself through the republicans, not the voters. republican leaders. that's going to happen in this first 100 days. i think health care and medicare is where we may see the most. >> 2016 was the year of donald trump's victory. it was also the year of the shattering of the ideological consensus within the republican party. interview after interview, we're watching donald trump go against the mainstream of his party, conservative orthodoxy.
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i remember being on the plane with him in august of 2015. i said, are you a populist? how do you define yourself ideologically? he said, costa, i'm common sense. he made news for breaking away from the gop. people in the party privately say he's probably the first independent president of the united states because he's not really a republican at his core. >> hugh, is he? >> i think he is. i think he will become one. i can binge watch those clips forever. i mean, i love watching donald trump use things like if it funds the abortion, the abortion like the nuclear. i was standing next to him, next to -- >> the articles. >> i was next to katy on the floor of cleveland when he brought up in his speech the supreme court. the biggest applause line. the biggest christmas present that the unify the conservatives and republicans will be his supreme court appointment. i think he's going deliver. i think he's becoming a conservative. he isn't one, but he's becoming one because there's a lot of payoff there. >> is it a conservative of convenience, though, joy? it's interesting -- i think the scalia pick is an easy one for
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him. conservative for conservat >> sure. yeah. it's something that he can give the party. >> right. >> mike pence was part of co-opting the religious right. >> what does he do if there's a second opening that would actually change it? he might not be where everybody thinks he is. >> i mean, i'm not so sure that donald trump is that doctrinaire on any conservative orthodoxy. what robert said is true, this year the republican party found that all of these ideological firmaments of the party only existed with elites. at the base of the party, the reason they like donald trump is he talks the way they talk around the dinner party. probably to include the articles that you're throwing in. talking about the abortion. he talks about it free of any -- of any deep thought or any ideological background. he just says what at the time sounds logical to him. i think for a lot of republicans, republican elites thought that the base of the party wanted tax cuts for the very rich, wanted corporate tax rate to be at 15%, wanted certain ideological things. that isn't what they wanted. they want the end of trade agreements, reduction in immigration, and a lot of things that were anathema to the elites of the party probably for years.
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>> let's see how much donald trump cares about these issues when he is in office and how much he delegates to the people under him who have shown themselves so far to be quite conservative members of the republican party. so how much is it going to be donald trump leading policy, and how much is it going to be his cabinet officials? i have to say, i was at dinner last night -- this was a shocking moment. we had two wall street bankers sitting next to me. they were thrilled at donald trump's presidency. they said they didn't know how he would do necessarily, but they were thrilled because they didn't believe he was going to have his hands in anything. they believed that commerce was going to take over. they believed that tillerson was going to make the oil futures rise. they believe that they were going to make a ton of money off this, and they were toasting this -- >> big irony. >> the mistake, though, people make is assuming some stereotypes of trump. trump, if he doesn't care about an issue, they may be right. when he cares about an issue, robert, he cares about an issue. >> trump won the election. when i'm at the capitol these past few days, a lot of
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congressional republicans, members of the house and senate, feel like they won the election, too. trump didn't run on trimming medicare spending or says. social security. he didn't run as a deficit hawk. he ran as a populist. yet many conservatives in washington believe they can enact their own agenda. if you look at history, bill clinton's first term, even president obama's first term. when you have majorities and you're in your first term, you think you can roll through policy after policy. trump didn't have the mandate in his campaign for the policies being advocated by the leadership. >> that's the irony, that donald trump runs this campaign aimed at the heart of blue collar, white america. now as he's putting his cabinet together, it's a feast for wall street. a series of executives. when it's manuchen, a foreclosure king. he's stacking the elite, the party the base of the party despise. >> let me close with this domestically -- what's one issue promise that he made that if he doesn't ep i he -- he's got to worry about his own political
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standing with his base? >> he has to build the wall. he has to build the wall. >> he has to -- an actual wall or virtual -- >> an actual 700 miles -- >> you believe that? >> i really believe that. if there's not the visible expression of the invisible commitment to sovereignty -- >> i don't believe that. i talk to people on the campaign trail. i asked them. they didn't seem to care. it's jobs. he's got to create jobs. >> and off of that, infrastructure. he is a builder. if the highways don't start getting built in the rust belt again and factories don't come back, if there's not the infrastructure there. >> when we were in ohio talking to steel workers who vote for obama twice and who seemed to be interested in donald trump, they care good two things -- ending trade deals because they think it will create jobs, and immigration. if he doesn't do substantive reductions in immigration and -- i mean, people want him to pull out of nafta. that isn't going to happen. that's what they think is going to happen. >> that year two when he has to deal with trade deals. i don't think he touches them in year one anyway. great conversation. when we come back, we'll hear from candidate donald trump on all things national security. so you welcome putin's involvement? >> i like that putin is bombing
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>> i like that putin is bombing the hell out of isis.
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call today. comcast business. built for business. welcome back. during the campaign, donald trump was unsparing in his criticism of president obama's foreign policy and of the foreign policy establishment, left and right, in general. among other things, he argued that america's military had been hollowed out. that the iran deal was a one-sided disaster for the united states, and that he knew more about isis than the generals. and that's where we start part two of our broadcast with donald trump on isis. you want to knock the hell out of isis. how? >> well, i want to take away their wealth. and as you know, for years i've been saying don't go into iraq. they went into iraq, they destabilized the middle east. it was a mistake. okay. now we're there, and you have isis. and i said this was going to happen -- i said, iran will take over iraq, which is happening as sure as you're sitting there. isis is taking over a lot of the oil in certain areas of iraq. and i said, you take away their wealth. you knock the hell out of the oil. take back the oil.
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we take over the oil, which we should have done in the first place. >> it's going to take ground troops. what you're talking about is ground troops -- >> it's okay -- we'll have so much money. what i would do with the money we make which would be tremendous, i would take care of the soldiers that were killed, the families of the soldiers that were killed. >> who do you talk to for military advice right now? >> well, i watch the shows. i mean, i see a lot of great, you know -- when you watch your show and all of the other shows and you have the generals -- >> you do -- >> you have certain people -- >> but is there somebody, a go-to for you? you know -- >> probably there are two or three -- >> every presidential candidate has -- >> probably there are two or three. i mean, i like bolton. he's a tough cookie. knows what he's talking about. jacobs -- >> ambassador john bolton? >> yes -- >> colonel jack jacobs? >> colonel jack jacobs is a good guy. i see him on occasion. the horrible deal with iran. you would have prisoners back years ago -- >> iran would still get money. >> you believe that deal? >> let me ask you this -- >> no, why is iran getting money? >> i understand people are critical of the deal.
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what deal can you come up with that wouldn't give iran money? what government sanction -- >> we will never give you back your money, your $150 billion. you're never getting that money back. that's one. two, before we start negotiations, you ha to give us our three prisoners, now it's four, okay. when it started it was three, now it's four. without question, give them back. you know, you don't want them, but we do. it's psychologically good. it will help us make a better deal together. that's good for you, okay. but i would have told them up front, you will never get ur $150 billion back. they are going to be such a wealthy, such a powerful nation, they're going to have nuclear weapons. they are going to take over parts of the world that you wouldn't believe, and i think it's going to lead to nuclear holocaust. and i will say this -- the people that negotiated that deal, namely kerry and his friends, are incompetent. >> what do you do on day one, though? this a deal secretary gates basically says didn't like the deal.
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thought the u.s. wanted the deal too much -- >> they begged for it -- >> bad negotiating -- >> they should have doubled the sanction -- >> said can't pull out because of the international ramifications. what do you say to that? >> i would -- >> wise guy. >> i've heard a lot of people say, we're going to rip up the deal. it's tough to say when you say rip up a deal. i'm a deal person -- >> you get that. even if you made -- >> let me tell you, i will police that deal. i've taken over some bad contracts. i y contracts where people screwed up and have bad contracts. >>ut you have to buy it -- >> i'm good at finding things within a contract that even if they're bad. i would police that contract so tough that they don't have a chance. as bad as the contract is. i will be so tough on that contract -- >> the deal lives in a trump
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administration -- >> well, the deal -- >> you're going to be -- >> it's hard to say we're ripping up. the problem is by the time i got in there, they will have already received the $150 billion. do you know if the deal gets rejected, they still get the money? >> you think the middle east would be better today if gadhafi, saddam, and assad were sort of -- if saddam and gadhafi were still there and assad were stronger? you think the middle east would be safer? >> it's not even a contest. iraq is a disaster. and -- >> it would be better off if saddam were in charge? >> isis came out of iraq -- >> you like putin's involvement? >> i like that putin is bombing the hell out of isis. and it's going to be isis. putin has to get rid of isis. putin doesn't want isis coming into russia. >> why do you trust him? >> i don't trust him at all other than we got good ratings the other night on "60 minutes." it was with me and putin. can you believe this? did i get the ratings, or did he? the truth is -- it's not a question of trust. i don't want to see the united states -- we've spent now, we've spent $2 trillion in iraq, probably $1 trillion in afghanistan. we're in -- we're destroying our country. here's the problem to what you're saying in syria -- we are fighting assad, and we're fighting for people and helping people that we don't even know who they are. and they may be worse than assad. they may be worse. and if assad never happened, if you didn't have a problem in syria, you wouldn't have the
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migration. yowouldn't be talking about all of these countries with what's going on in europe. and now they're talking about taking 200,000 people that we don't even know who they are and bringing them to the united states. the whole thing is ridiculous. so i'm not justifying putin. but you watch -- he'll get bogged down there. he'll be there. he'll spend a fortune. he'll be begging to get out. he's going to be anti-israel. explain what you mean by neutral. >> no, i'm very pro-israel. in fact, i was the head of the israeli day parade a number of
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years ago. i did a commercial for netanyahu when he was getting elected. he asked me to do a commercial for him. i did a commercial for him. i am. i don't want to be -- look, the hardest thing to do is that in terms of deals, if you're a deal person, right, the ultimate deal is that deal. israel, palestine, if you're going to make it, that probably is the hardest deal there is to make. people are born with hatred. they're taught hatred. and i have to say it's mostly on the one side, not on the other side. they're taught hatred. i say this -- if i'm going to be president, i'd rather be in a position because i will try the best i can -- and i'm a very good deal maker believe me -- to try and solve that puzzle. you're not going to solve it if you're on one side or the other. if i'm going to solve the problem, i want to go in with a clean slate. otherwise you're never going to get the operation of the other side. >> there you go. donald trump on the various hot spots around the world. hugh hewitt, national security is probably the issue that you care the most about as a conservative.
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do you think you know donald trump's foreign policy doctrine at this point? >> i know that he is the most unpredictable and interesting interview in the world. if you just watch his interviews, you can't piece together a foreign policy. we were talking about the green room. and i believe it to be true. there is a nixonian -- the good nixon, the unpredictable, willing to go china when he spent his life campaigning against mao. i think there's a way to understand the russia play as being a repurposing of the least strong among the russia/china adversaries as our ally as nixon went at that time to china. so i think he is going to available himself of dr. kissinger as he had. i think tillerson -- dan pond is a friend of mine, democrat, said tillerson is wonderful. i think that general mattis is a great strategic thinker. i think he's a great team and. work with him. i'm an optimist. >> i think nixon is a fascinating parallel to trump because of what he said.
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ideologically neutral. you don't know always -- nixon would get talked into conservative causes but could easily veer off into a populist whim just like trump. >> well, i think the problem with trump is because he is an empty vessel, the danger in that is that the strong camps in trump world are all troubling. you've got putinism which trump feels in his own gut, as you can hear when he speaks. he's pro-putin. the idea of turning over global leadership to russia is troubling. the second piece is that donald trump is echoing this european sort of ethno-nationalist line that the far right parties in europe are. his language is not about specific countries that are our allies. it's about christians versus islam. the sort of eliminationist almost language which says that we are in a war of civilizations and embracing that. something george w. bush never did. i think even with the mistakes gege w. bush made in foreign policy, he never did that. trump is echoing that same christian nationalist line which puts us in a dangerous place when you also have this third piece which is his potential
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israeli ambassador wanting to make provocative moves like moving the embassy to jerusalem which could touch off a conflagration in the muslim world. i'm not sure donald trump knows his mind enough to have a strategy to deal with an absolute crisis which he himself could provoke soon. >> i think joy makes a good point. if you look at the tape and see donald trump's first reaction to things, his gut reaction to topics, when it be planned parenthood or the iran deal, it's a much more moderate position. it's often after he's taken that moderate position and somebody gets into his ear behind the scenes, who knows which adviser it is on any given topic, does he change and did he go more toward the very conservative end of the spectrum. early on in the campaign, i went to a campaign in july in phoenix, it was huge. he got up on stage and admitted this is not a popular position, but i think we need universal health care in this country. i don't like obamacare but we need universal health care to take care of everybody. later on it became much more harsher and a rallying cry. repeal and replace obamacare. he starts out in a moderate
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position and moves to the right when people get inside of his ear. the question is -- and this is something that people have been debating -- does donald trump -- did donald trump see an opening within the republican party to manipulate them in a way he didn't see with the democratic party. is that why now he is so conservative? >> robert, i want to bring up one point that i think everybody realizes when it comes to presidents and foreign policy. don't pay attention to how they campaign on it because whatever the foreign policy issue is during a campaign, it usually is the last debate that we're having on foreign policy. we actually don't know what the major foreign policy challenge -- we probably don't know what the challenge is going to be for trump going forward. >> the president-elect is going to face a challenge immediately once he's in office. >> we don't know what, right? >> one would be the islamic state. he ran, as you said, really distancing himself from the george w. bush world view. he ran in part with militaristic language but with a non-interventionist approach.
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and he's going to be tested from day one, does he actually work with vladimir putin? how does he interact with assad? how does he confront the crisis in syria and isis? even though he had so much support from working class americans, disgruntled by the wars, weary by them, to be this non-interventionist candidate. he's going to get pressure from hawks in his party to intervene in the middle east. >> we cannot discount how his personal conflicts of interest wind up influencing his foreign policy. we don't know to what international banks he is in debt. we don't know the extent to which his own pecuniary interests might influence his foreign policy, if his children are still running his company and there's a hotel to be built in dubai, does that influence his reaction if the government of dubai acts in a way we don't want, in turkey or other countries. these entanglements become important, not to mention this a plan strategist who said you start to have anything with a trump name on it around the world becoming an instant terrorist target. how do we react to a world in which the name of the president of the united states is
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plastered all over hotels and hot spots? >> of all the people you've interviewed over the years, no one is less predictable, i would guess, than donald trump. i asked you this question. i think the sunday shows, when he starts to do them, i hope he does them, every foreign leade theresa may or -- president obama was hard to find on the air. i think president trump will be available. people will watch because he's unpredictable. >> he is. i'm going to be curious to see at the end of four years do we have a bigger rivalry with china or russia? when we come back we look at president-elect trump's leadership style. after the break, a look at presidential christmas messages over the decades. here's a taste. >> for over two millenia christmas has carried the message that god is with us. >> it is indeed a holy season in which to work for goodwill among men.
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welcome back. we'll take a brief holiday break this christmas day to look at an american tradition. the christmas season messages from presidents throughout the years. and thankfully, this is one tradition that has been immune from partisan politics. as you'll see, it goes back a long way.
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>> we are joined by simple and universal convictions. >> treating one another with love and compassion. caring for those on society's margins. >> never too late to touch a life and maybe change the world forever for someone. >> our nation is not one of solemn faces and sad demeanors. >> let us just remember we do have some problems which we will overcome. >> the holidays are, as we've seen tonight, a time of laughter and children and counting our blessings. >> we americans have always tried to follow a higher light, a star, if you will. >> for over two millenia, christmas has carried the message that god is with us. >> it is indeed a holy season in which to work for goodwill among men. >> this is the time of year when most of us try to be better than our everyday selves. >> let us rededicate ourselves to the principles of peace and goodwill toward men.
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>> during christmas we celebrate the blessings of the season and the blessings that surround us every day. >> let's reach out to those who can use a hand. let's summon the spirit of togetherness that's always helped to kindle america's shining example to the world. >> good advice for any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. speaking of, we want to wish many of our viewers and many members of my own family a happy hanukkah, as well. we'll be right back.
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welcome back. one thing we can agree on is that donald trump was nothing if not a different kind of candidate -- brash, unfiltered, willing to insult half the country in order to win over the other half. some saw him as a con man. others saw him as a man not afraid to tell it like it is. but never in doubt was that donald was always, always the showman.
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i sort was amused about this excerpt from your "playboy" interview in 1990. the questioner asked -- what is all of this meaning your yacht, the bronze tower, the casino, what does it mean to you? and you replied, props for the show. and they said, what shows that? you replied, the show is trump, and it is soldout performances everywhere. >> it has been for a long time. >> are we all a part of a show? i mean, there is -- >> no -- >> you know the criticisms, we all feel like -- are we in a reality show? >> no. this is not a reality -- this is the real deal. our country has to be -- >> but smile when i read the show stuff. it resonated with you. >> it is fun -- look, my life has been an interesting life. i've had a lot of fun. >> people call you a lot of names. some of it's positive, some of it's negative. i want to throw some by you. let's see -- some people call you the music man of this race. kim kardashian, "back to the future," george costanza, p.t. barnum. any of those you consider a compliment? >> p.t. barnum. >> you'll take the p.t. barnum?
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>> look, people calm you names. we need p.t. barnum a little bit because we have to build up the image of our country. we have to be a cheerleader for our country. we don't have a cheerleader. >> transparency in the white house. will you commit to releasing the names of everybody you meet with as president to the public? >> i would have no problem with. it transparency's a great thing. if merkel wants to come over from germany, i'm not looking to embarrass her. you know, if she wants to have a quiet meeting, i'm not looking to go wild. i want these people to like trump and to like this country. you know, i don't think that's the most important thing. i do think having to do with campaign financing everything should be released. it should be open. but having to do with that, i want to make a country coming to the white house feel mforble. as far as people coming in from our country like businesspeople, 100%. >> president obama tried to put a ban on lobbyists ever working in the administration. will you do that? >> that's a good idea. these guys get out and almost immediately, almost immediately work for a company and have power they shouldn't visit the lobbyists and the special
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interests and the donors have 100% -- >> nobody will work in the trump administration -- >> i don't -- i would certainly have a ban, yeah. you can't put a lifetime ban. but you can certainly make it three, four years. >> right now on twitter, there is a trending re-tweet of yours. you re-tweeted somebody from el duce, 2016, a mussolini quote but you didn't know it when you re-tweeted, said, it is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep. a famous mussolini quote. you tweeted it. do you like it? did you know it was mussolini? >> it's okay, mussolini was mussolini. it's a very good quote. an interesting quote. i saw it. i saw what -- i know who said it. what difference, mussolini or anybody else? it's an interesting quote. that's probably why i have -- >> a fascist -- >> 14 million people. >> do you want to be a -- >> an interesting quote and people can talk about it. >> do you want to be associated with a fascist? >> no. i want to be associated with interesting quotes.
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>> this violence on the campaign trail has people concerned. and i guess why won't you go up on stage and ratchet it back? i mean, you have used rhetoric about islam hates us, surveillance of certain mosques, calling mexican immigrants rapists. what did you expect? a lot of people say you're reaping what you sow here. that the reason that there's so much tension at your rallies is you've used such divisive rhetoric. do you have any regrets? >> the reason there's tension at my rallies is these people are sick and tired of this country being run by incompetent people that don't know what they're doing on trade deals, where jobs are being ripped out of our country, chuck. they're being ripped out. on isis, where we can't even beat isis with our military. our military's not being taken care of. we can't take care of isis. our vets, being treated horribly. frankly, they're treated worse than illegal immigrants. the people are angry at that. they're not angry about something i'm saying. i'm just a messenger. the people are angry that for 12 years the workers in this country haven't had a pay increase, chuck.
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in 12 years, they haven't had an effective pay increase. >> you will not -- >> that's what they're angry about. >> you will not call for ratcheting back the rhetoric? you will not call for it? >> i haven't said anything that -- i'm expressing my opinion. what have i said that's wrong? >> why not release the tax returns that aren't involved in the audit? >> because it's a link. i have very big tax returns. i'm sure you've seen the picture with the returns are literally from the floor up to here. >> will you -- >> they're extremely complex. i get audited -- you do. >> do you think you would do it before the election? >> i hope so -- >> do you pledge to do it before the election? >> sure, if the auditors finish, i'll do it as fast as the auditors finish. i've given my financials. and my financials here, i'm worth more than $10 billion by any stretch of the imagination. has tremendous cash, tremendous cash flow. you don't learn much from tax returns. i would love to give the tax returns but can't do it until i'm finished with the audit. >> okay. back with the panel, two words, bully pulpit. there is no doubt donald trump is going to redefine this --
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>> i think he's going to still do rallies. i think he's going to go out when he decides he wants to push an issue, he's going to go and have a rally in mobile, alabama. get 10,000, 20,000 to come see him, and say look, you got to pass it, congress. look at the support. >> heavy on the bully. i think what donald trump is sort of about -- and you can -- whether it's profiles in "vanity fair" or books written about him, it is the politics of resentment. the queen's rich guy that wants the manhattan elite to respect him, and he loves the adulation of the crowds. that's the feeling of respect that has been missing in his life. and so yeah, i think he's going to be on the road as was pitched to john kasich reportedly when the sons tried to get him to be v.p. mike pence is going to be running the government, making america great again. i think whatever gets the applause is what donald trump is going to do. that's the only way to predict an unpredictable president. >> i'm the proud owner of i did that in 2015 after my first interview with him. i thought the showman is going to be around for a long time. he said in the first interview
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-- i haven't interviewed him as much as you have, chuck. i've done it and kitty and joy, i hope he does "a.m. joy," it would be -- >> fun -- >> would love to talk to him more than anybody. he used to go to hear norman vincent peele at norman collegiate. he grew up on sundays. a showman extraordinaire. i think that's what we're in for. that it has politics attached, but it's going to be awfully interesting. >> one thing i picked up, every day trump wakes up early. he is consouping television. piles of printouts. he doesn't use e-mail. he's reading stories in the news, foreign policy, domestic policy, as himself as a marker. he's going through it, on his cell looking through twitter. this is someone constantly engaged. some would say for the better, some would say for the worse. >> go ahead. >> one of the things we have to guard against as you just discussed, hugh, the entertainment factor. there are some real elements of authoritarianism in the approach to government. his admiration for putin. these things are troubling. we live in an open system, in a democratic system, small "d," where america is supposed to be
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allergic to authoritarianism. we're seeing how easily americans slip into it. i think we have to be on guard, particularly in the media, against allowing ourselves to slip casually into authoritarianism. >> what i'm curious about is what kind of west wing is he going to run. it does feel, look, he went through three campaign managers. that tells me, katy, i wouldn't want to be reince priebus. you wouldn't want to be the first chief of staff. you're certainly not going to be the last. >> i think it doesn't go well, there will be black sheep. who can i blame for whatever failure that we're having or whatever discontent that might be breeding throughout the country. so yeah, reince priebus might be in an uncomfortable position, but i would look to some others, as well. i would like to michael flynn and wonder if he's going to be able to maintain that nsa position because there's been so much discontent about him. but i mean, i think that nobody is safe in a trump white house or trump administration -- >> except -- >> trump orbit. maybe the kids. >> the kids and jared -- >> i don't know. i think that -- >> wow -- >> i think when donald trump
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needs your loyalty, he covets your loyalty, he cultivates your loyalty, he touts your loyalty, he promises he'll be loyal back to you. then when he doesn't need it anymore, he casts you aside. i think that we saw this very clearly with chris christie who went out on a ledge for him. >> yeah. >> rudy giuliani, with newt gingrich, as well. the three men who went out there and defended him when nobody else would. and they're not major players -- >> nope -- >> at all. >> katy's spot on about the fleeting loyalty within trump's inner circle. i see it not just as one circle but multiple spheres around the president-elect. you have the family. you have steve bannon, the populist. mike flynn's in that group. you have the mainstream republicans, led of course by reince priebus, the incoming chief of staff. the most important thing i've learned covering trump is there's always a direct line to trump. instead of having an isolated presidency, i would expect to see a president who's taking advice and counsel from people outside of his administration. >> that's what's going to be fascinating because that's right -- you can have a relationship with trump outside his staff which scared the bejesus out of --
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>> and on twitter, an odd thing for a president. out of the list robert reeled off, the single-most divisive person in the list besides flynn with the conspiracy theories is bannon. as long as donald trump maintains someone like steve bannon who ran a website that touts itself as the home of the alt-right, associated with white nationals and white nationals see as their window, their doorway into the administration, as long as that person is whispering into the president's ear, he'll never, ever, ever get back from the divisiveness of trump. >> one thing bannon will also keep him away from is getting caught in traps like cutting medicare and not -- >> really? >> i don't know. i think that's where bannon's head is at. >> he invites the pre-eminent nonpartisan public servant, bob gates, of our day. invites him to trump tower, says, i don't know who to make secretary of state. bob gates says, why don't you try tillerson. that tells me -- step away, a tremendous openness. i understand your concern and i think the press needs to be vigilant. i am so much more optimism
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because i think tillerson's election shows he is open to development. developers do. this i talked to bob corker about this. developers are focused and execute people. >> we'll pause there. when we come back, some of the shining figures and ground makers in politics and culture that we lost this year. >> my intention is to box, to win a clean fight. but in war, the intention is to kill, kill, kill, kill, and continue killing innocent people.
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as we celebrate this holiday season with friends and families, we also wanted to take a moment to remember those in the world of politics, media, and culture who we lost there year and who meant a lot to us and to you, our "meet the press" viewers. ♪
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the last end game segment of the year. okay. obviously predictions is not the greatest idea of 2016. but let's see if 2017's any better. first 100 days' headline. joy? >> conflicts of interest roil trump administration. i think it will be trump and his children's business conflicts around the world and how it impacts him and his policies domestic and foreign. >> hugh? >> immigration overhaul drives huge bipartisan support. trump triumphant. >> there you go. mr. costa? >> trump infuses the right with supreme court pick. i think he's going to try to keep him party with him. >> trump provokes iran. >> provokes iran? wow. >> security experts. >> here's one thing i know -- it's going to be a very busy first 100 days. perhaps a very busy four years. before we go, though, i'd like to not just thank our panelists here for this review of the year in trump for us. this was quite -- it's been quite a year on that front.
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but what about what's happening in the democratic party? where do they go? what is their headline in the first 100 days? mr. costa? >> i think they'll go with more of a mainstream pick for party chairman, maybe labor secretary tom perez. i think we'll see an ongoing civil war. is this going to be the party of bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and progressives, or is it going to try to be the party of tim ryan and focus on rust belt issues? >> who is the democratic party? they have to find an identity and somebody to rally behind. i think costa's right. is it bernie sanders, or is it a new face that we haven't yet seen? >> and i don't think it can be bernie sanders because as we know he's not a democrat. i think a moderate -- >> donald trump's not really a republican. >> that is a good point. it will be difficult to exert leadership because much of the party will resist that. i think the democrats are scrambling for a message, for a leader, for an identity. and i think that at the moment they do not appear to be well equipped to deal with donald trump or trumpism. they're going to need to get it together quickly. >> mr. hewitt? >> joe biden hits the gym and
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the road on behalf of democrats everywhere, staying in shape for 2020. >> one quick thing -- really watching president obama. does he be part of these discussions in a vital way, or does he go off and paint george w. bush style? >> no, what we're hearing essentially is that president obama is not going to now be able to go ride off into the sunset. he wants to essentially coach young leaders in the party, sort of start to develop a bench of new dynamic democratic leaders. he's going to be active. >> i think because there's a vacuum, the party has no choice but to stick to the party of obama until they find the heir apparent. thank you, guys. >> thank you. >> we had a little bit of democratic talk there right at the end. i want to thank you guys. thank everybody that's been on the show. again, i would like to wish everyone a merry christmas, a happy hanukkah, happy holidays to all. and as we leave you today, we do so with some moments from first ladies and the way that many of them celebrated christmas at the white house. we hope you enjoy it. and remember, we'll be back next sunday because even on new year's day, no matter what day it is and what year it is, if
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it's sunday, it's "meet the press." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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in jail for less than half an hour, one inmate launches a near-fatal attack. >> i was trying my best to kill him. kind of like willing him to die. >> a father accused of murdering his daughter admits to keeping her corpse with him for two years. >> the bible says heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead. jesus was raised from the dead. a lot of people were. that is kind of the basis of


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