tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 28, 2016 3:00am-6:01am PST
ever, you may want to head to manhattan for a good riddance day, allowing you to get rid of memories and help you get a fresh start of choice will incl document shredder trucks and mall mallets. that will do it for us. "morning joe" starts right now. >> you were on a strict diet? >> well, they like to hire part of me and so i have to get rid of the part they don't want. so when i'm hired for "star wars" every time they have hired about, like, three-quarters of the size that i am. >> that's carrie fisher not long ago with ellen. welcome to "morning joe." it's wednesday, september 28th. joe and mika earning time off with their families this weekend. with us on set, veteran
columnist and msnbc contributor mike barnicle, political reporter for "the washington post" and nbc political analyst bob costa and nbc political correspondent kasie hunt and sam stein. senior, is that new? >> it's been senior for years. >> on what grounds would you say you're the senior political reporter? >> i've been there a long time. no one else has been there longer. >> it's the beard, isn't it? >> yes. that's why i grew the beard. >> we just played a clip -- >> i thought i would get a break when joe was not here. >> we're off and running. we'll talk about carrie fisher and her life and career in just a few minutes. coming off that clip right there, kasie, i know you're a huge "star wars" fan. awakens" she had to lose the rce
weht and she was upfront and out there about everything in her life. her mental illness, her career, challenges she faces. she had this strange hollywood upbringing. always funny and strong. we'll miss her. >> very much so. you know, she lived her life in this way that i think is pretty rare for women and did it at a time when a lot of women weren't willing to do it. she really put herself o there. she was the damsel of the movies. she joked she was never in distress. she continues to rescue -- you can see there -- rescuinguy after guy which for 1977 was kind of on the forefront. >> when they shot the first "star wars" movie in '77, she was, like, 19 years old. didn't realize she was that wrong. >> she revealed he had had an affair with harrison ford at the time which she wrote about in the last couple years. i could recite the lines. >> give us one? >> should i call you a scruffy
looking -- that's you, sam. >> wow. coming from all angles, sam. >> thanks, kasie. i appreciate that. >> i say it with great love. >> the senior thing killed you. >> got us going. "postcards from the edge" is a great, great book. whatever her character was in that book, so revealing and so truthful about hollywood. >> and mike nichols made the movie. >> by the way, she was incredible in "blues brothers." and in "harry met sally." we'll talk more about carrie fisher. we heard enough from sam stein this morning. thanks for being with us this morning. new this morning, president obama reportedly will make good on his promise earlier this month there will be consequences
to what intelligence agencies say was russian interference in the u.s. presidential election. the administration readying its response. likely will involve covert cyber operations. the post reports that public consequences could be announced as early as this week with officials seeking to broaden the president's authority to freeze u.s. assets and impose travel restrictions on the suspects involved. the effort could involve broadening an order that gave the president authority to respond to foreign hackers that harm economic or national security to declare electoral systems part of the critical infrastructure of the united states. the post wants to make the new punishments "public or communicated to congress in a form that would be difficult for president-elect trump to simply walk back once in office." also the russian government alleges president obama is
trying to hamstring his successor by signing the bill that was passed by veto proof majorities in the house and senate earlier this month. in part it renews restrictions on russia for aggression in eastern europe and increases aid to ukraine. in a statement the russian foreign ministry said, "it appears the authorization act has been adopted by the outgoing obama administration to create problems for the incoming trump administration and complicate its relations on the international stage as well as to forcet to adopt an anti-russia policy. this policy has brought the current u.s. administration, which believe russia would bow to pressure, into a dead end. we hope the new adminisation will be more sagacious." john mccain are visiting nato allies and urging a tougher stance on russia and senator lindsey graham of south carolina says trump is out of step with the senate and is calling for action in response to
cyber warfare. >> there are 100 united states senators. i would say that 99 of us believe the russians did this, and we're going to do something about it along with senator mccain after this trip is over we'll ve hearings and put sanctions together that hit putin as an individual and his inner circle for interfering in our election. >> i think he will be -- when presented with the overwhelming evidence, change his view. on the issue of the russians, i mean, there's no doubt about it. we have to act. we have to have a policy, which this administration does not have, and a strategy which this administration does not have, and address this threat to our national security. >> for more on this, let's bring in bill neely live in london. a lot to digest here. what more can you tell us? >> good morning, willie. clearly we are at one of those hinge points in history or at least pivot points in the u.s.
relationship with russia. here we are in the dying days of the obama administration. we have an attempt to make sure that what happened at the last election never happens again. hacking of themerican political system by a hostile rival. we know there are sanctio in place already to cover commercial companies, parts of the u.s. infrastructure but no one imagined that a state might actually try to interfere with a national election. so no measures were put in place to deter or punish any country that tried to do it. apparently we'll get some measures and also measures that will prevent president trump from kling these new measures. i suppose two questions spring to my mind, willie. first of all, who are the hackers and how do you freeze the assets of people or institutions or groups that you don't know? here we go again with sanctions.
how many more sanctions can be effective against russia? has they deterred russia's questionable behavior in a whole array of areas? no. so we are at a pivot point here. will president trump continue these policies or desperately reset relations with russia and leave what happened in the hacking of the democratic party behind. that's what we don't know yet. 23 days. we'll know. >> president obama trying to make it more difficult for donald trump to do that. bill neely in london for us this morning. thanks so much. >> sam stein, what goes through your mind when you hear that washington, the obama administration, intends to take covert action against the russians for their role in interfering in our elections and they announce it publicly. announce covert action publicly. >> what goes through my mind is it's too little and way too
late. as bill noted, we already have a fairly robust sanctions regime against russia. the russian economy has suffered in part because of the drop in oil price. it's not entirely clear what the economic leverage we have is. beyond that, you know, even if we were to put this in place, it's also not clear what would prevent donald tmp from ripping it up. it's also well beyond the point where confidence in our democracy has been tested if not shattered for a lot of people. and where from obama's legacy, his political legacy he built up for eight years, is now at great risk. punishment probably does need to come down. the cost that was incurred to get to this point is massive for president obama and a lot of people looking now say where was the action prior to november 8th? what took so long? also, i do want to see a public accounting, more thorough public accounting, of what transpired.
i'm not sure the intelligence community can or will put something that comprehensive out and together that would allow us to understand what transpired and why it did happen. >> i think what we learn to that point is going to depend a lot on what happens with -- we played senator lindsey graham and john mccain talking about this and they are focused on this starting with hacking but more broadly to the actions that russia has taken in the ukraine and elsewhere in threatening ways. they are already shaping up to be a little bit at odds with mitch mcconnell who wants to keep this procedurally in the intelligence community which essentially means he wants to keep more of it behind closed doors and graham and mccain want to do more aggressive investigations. mccain wants to have a subcommittee on the armed services committee to push more of this out there and to try to essentially set them up at odds with donald trump. they do not think the way president-elect trump has talked about this is healthy for the country.
mcconnell has sort of aired on the side of protecting trump. >> what we're watching is not only a foreign policy standoff between the u.s. and russia but a foreign policy standoff between the president, the president-elect, and even some republicans in congress. and i think the dynamic especially people on the inside of trump's orbit, they're unhappy right now with the white house. i was speaking with some of them last night. they said, yes, they did start to act on foreign policy with regard to the u.n. resolution and israel and this is usually a quiet period for the president-elect but they have been wading into foreign policy but now they're unhappy with how the obama administration is moving forward with russia because as much as it gets joked about, trump really does see world order in a different way than russia in a starkly different way than most other republicans and democrats. >> part of this is yes, about punishing russia but the other half is about preparing for the next administration and what they believe changes might be coming in a relationship between donald trump and russia.
>> it's interesting. the president said, i think as recently as yesterday, he was going to be quiet for a while. yet while he's leaving, he's doing all of these things. i think they'll have the opposite effect actually. president-elect trump will have the opportunity to solidify his relationship with netanyahu and israel with the u.n. vote that just occurred and here again presidents can endure enormous things with regard to foreign policy to reverse what donald trump is going to do and similarly with putting part of the atlantic ocean off limits to oi drilling, it's not forever. it could be reversed. i'm not sure why president obama wants to engage in all of these actions that can be relatively easily undone. >> one reason he might want to
engage is that it's not just our election that was compromised but elections in germany and france. russia mettled with our democracy but we better hope that they don't do the same in germany so let's put a light on what happened so it doesn't happen again. he may be thinking down the road. >> there's going to be a congressional investigation. why not wait and see -- >> it becomes harder for trump to undo something. if you announce an action against russia publicly before you leave office, it makes it harder for trump to undone wiout looking like atoog maybe that's their thinking. >> donald trump has a different view of the world order than does barack obama. spell that out. what's his world view? >> there's a hawkish position
generally speaking toward vladimir putin and russia and their intervention in western europe and eastern europe and their role in the world. with trump, he sees the world in almost a tribal way. he does not think world order needs to be applied in the same way republican hawks see it. so with russia, he thinks russia as i've been explained to it by several trump insiders, he sees russia as a way to have a new relationship with china. if he wants to go after china on currents and manipulation and different trade deals, having a stronger relationship with russia in his private personal view would make that kind of negotiation have a different dynamic. same with negotiations with other countries. and he thinks not only russians petroleum reserves but projection in the world if he brought it in as more of an ally regardless of its intervention in the u.s. election, it would have benefits for u.s. negotiating. again, he's against the wall in
many respects with his own party. >> so, kasie, donald trump, please meet john mccain. >> a lot of these republicans are careful about how they talk about donald trump domestically speaking. mccain ran for re-election. he needed a lot of these trump voters. russia is a place where it's not clear that donald trump lines u with a lot of his voters. a lot o republicans have the sense that this might be a place where he's out of step with the electorate and marco rubio is a good example of this. one of the only republicans who during the election was out there saying, hey republicans, this could happen to you. stop saying that this is fine and that we're going to read john podesta's e-mails. he's picking up on something that's very real which bob touched on. republicans do not feel like vladimir putin is a good guy. what mccain and graham are doing -- >> what gives them that impression? >> you know, mccain and graham,
you know, are essentially out there able to talk about this issue in a way that sets them up against trump without having to say it out loud. they can, by taking these actions, by flying across the country and going to ukraine saying look at these things that vladimir putin is doing. they're talking to donald trump without saying his name. >> 99% of the senate agrees with us that putin mettled with the election. who's the one? i got to know who's the one? >> there's more on russia. for the first time russia is admitting to one of the biggest sports conspiracies in history. front page of "the new york times" this morning, a series of interviews with the paper. russian officials themselves acknowledge a doping program on a mass scale and coverup involving hundreds of its top athletes and officials saying it was "an institutional conspiracy." the article further confirms a prior ground breaking report that russian athletes received performance enhancing drug
cocktails and had urine samples tampered with and a member of state run intelligence service broke into the sample bottles holding urine. here's the lead program in the time, russia is conceding its officials carried out one of the biggest cons -- conspiracies in sports history. this is something that's been out there in the atmosphere that everyone suspected and now russian officials themselves confirming that they basically threw the sochi olympics. >> not hard to believe looking at the russian athletes over the course of the years in the olympics. i mean, especially the female athletes who look like they had breakfast with barbells. >> back in the old days. you have to go online.
>> i eat barbells for breakfast. >> interesting part of that is the last paragraph where they go overboard to say, no, putin didn't know anythingbout this. >> they step away from that. a very russian mning here on "morning joe." still ahea other things and other countries and things that were going so well between donald trump and president obama for a minute but now the president-elect continuing to have some tweets for his predecessor and as harry reid retires, he does not like what he sees headed into 2020. specifically he thinks the top democric candidates would probably be too old. we'll talk about that when we return on "morning joe." we live in a pick and choose world.
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twitter the u.s. consumer confidence index for december surged nearly four points to 113.7. the highest level in more than 15 years. here we go. thanks, donald. donald trump wrote that in the tweet at the end thanking himself. thanks donald in the third person. so democratic state minority leader harry reid is retiring next week and is suggesting fellow democrats should pack it in too. according to a profile in new york magazine, he asked whether he would support a presidential run by joe biden in 2020. he said it depends on who's running. it appears we're going to have an old folks home. elizabeth warren will be 71. biden will be 78. bernie sanders will be 79. reid also expressed concern about whether or not his democratic colleagues in congress have what it takes to block president-elect trump's agenda. discussing how during the 2012
presidential campaign he falsely accused mitt romney of not having paid his taxes. reid said "i didn't want to do that. i didn't have anything against him personally. i went to everybody but nobody would do it so i did it." >> we're going to miss harry reid, aren't we? just a little bit. >> i criticism of other democrats he said we as public servants would be better off not worrying about everyone liking us because it's easy to to be around here and get re-elected and re-elect and not take stands on much of anything. some congressional democrats appear ready to fight the trump administration. castro of texas tweeted monday calling trump the shadeiest and most corrupt guy to take the federal office who will have no checks and balances and maxine waters questioned chuck sh schumer's strategy of working with the president where they can. >> that's been a problem in my party. when we're in power, we're nice. we bend over backwards to work
with people. trump stepped on everybody. he has no respect for his own colleagues let alone those on the opposite side of the aisle. those people that voted for him ought to be really concerned about the fact that he's back pedalled on some of the promises that he made. i have no intention of pretending everything is all right. >> bob costa, is that representative of the posture the democrats are taking on capitol hill as donald trump comes into office or is maxine waters more of an outlier? >> if you're from a safe blue state, this makes sense. you have base on the left. if you're up for reelection, you're going to be tested. if trump comes forward with an infrastructure package and you face a republican challenger, this is maybe one president who federal spending is not a typical republican.
there's so much pressure from the left that they're going to have to make a choice. >> this is exactly the thing, sam stein, that republicans were criticized for as president obama came into office saying we're not going to work with them and make them a one-term president. >> they have to weigh that consistency there. interesting thing, my colleague and a couple other reporters are reporting that trump's transition team are advising had him to work around nancy pelosi and harry reid and go straight to members of the congressional black caucus directly saying help us out with an infrastructure bill. they think if they go around leadership, they can pluck off enough members to even get 300 house votes on a massive infrastructure package. they recognize that -- trump's people recognize that you can do this if you're not completely ideological and there's enough out there especially in infrastructure that you can get a huge bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to rally behind.
the question for democrats is, as maxine waters reiterated, do you then risk legitimatizing this president and risk helping him out in terms of his perception of the american public giving him the popularity boost that helps him in 2018 and 2020 and hurts the party far more than helping your district with the infrastructure bill. it's a fascinating battle to watch within the party over who wants to be lockstep in opposition and who can work with him. >> they said do not normalize him. some republicans did too. didn't work. and the reality is democrats in some ways do have an opportunity on a big infrastructure bill like this. if you talk to people who are close to chuck schumer, great, this is an amazing chance to pass a huge democratic infrastructure bill with lots of federal spending and all things that we've been arguing for for years and reality is to sam's
point, they need democrats to do it, the trump administration, if they want to pass it. the dynamic is going to be very interesting between what do democrats decide to do if enough decide we're going to get onboard with this compared to republicans who don't want to spend this kind of money and haven't for the last decade. >> do you think the democrats as a unit in the house and senate, can they get a majority among themselves to answer the question, you know, will you do what's best for the country? never mind trump. will you do what's best for the country? unlike what the republicans did when barack obama became president. >> i mean, look, i don't know if they'll necessarily look at it in those terms. the answer to the question what is best for the country, the answer nancy pelosi may give you is stop donald trump at all costs. we'll see some of that. she has practice at kind of performing that role. we talked about republicans being opposition on the house side nancy pelosi led a unified
opposition and they'll have to raise the debt ceiling with republican votes. does nancy pelosi help them out there? i would be surprised. >> up until 1994 the democrats were in charge for four years. the governing majority and did what sam is saying. they would give republicans in their district enough to help get crumbs off the table. newt gingrich said no to that. ever since 1994, we've been in a real struggle on the hill because it's been democrats in charge and republicans in charge and split house. now republicans are perhaps on the verge, if they play their cards right, of actually being a governing majority. by giving democrats enough of what they need to keep getting reelected in their districts to make them happy. we'll see if they can do that. this isn't really about trump in a sense. if the democrats misread what the election is about and people who support trump, the trump
supporters believe that the governing majority, you could say democrats or elites or whatever you want to say have been in charge forever. now they feel like they're in charge. yesterday we were talking about the fact that the winners, trump supporters, should reach out to people that lost. they don't feel that way. they feel they never won. now they're in charge. they want to be in charge. they don't really want to accommodate. >> finally the billionaires can be in charge in the trump administration. >> that's exactly what's going to get democrats in trouble. >> i'm pointing out irony that you have a bunch of billionaires and goldman sachs guys who feel like they've been outsiders. it's hilarious to me. >> there is an irony there. if the trump administration and the transition team is actually about creating jobs and prosperity, they'll forgive the fact they are billionaires on the cabinet. >> later this morning after the next break we take, we can play
the increasing popular parlor game name a candidate under 60 capable of leading this -- >> old folks home. >> joe biden, elizabeth warren and bernie sanders. >> who is the most likely democratic nominee for president? >> i don't know about democratic nominee. i think the person to watch is harris from california. democrats have a new couple minority women in the senate. a first latina senator from nevada. you could watch them. if you ask people in leadership now, they might say that elizabeth warren is the likeliest next nominee and that she could win. >> look to ohio, tim ryan challenges pelosi for the leadership. you look to ohio again to connect with trump voters. >> and, sam, you threw in kristen gillibrand, right?
>> we're going for under 60, right? >> you're senior political reporter. you can say whatever you want. white house has kept secretary john kerry from speaking out on israel. this morning he's got the green light. david sanger has new details on this major diplomatic story playing out just a few hours from now and israel is not happy about the speech that's coming this morning. we're back in a moment. you totanobody's hurt, new car. 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.
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welcome back to "morning joe." joining us on set, chris jansing. she's been on every hour of msnbc every day this week. >> even my family is, like, enough already. >> never get enough jansing. >> running the telethon. for a second day in a row, it looks like donald trump and president obama are testing just how smooth this transition actually will be. two leaders are taking not so veiled swipes at one another wi trump listing off the president's policy struggles and president obama suggesting he could have done what hillary clinton didn't do. the last comment from president obama that he would have won a third term elicited yet another tweet from his successor.
trump writing "president obama campaigned hard and personally in some very important swing states and lost. the voters wanted to make america great again." yesterday president obama seemed to direct part of his speech toward donald trump's world view. >> wars can end. the most bitter of adversaries can become the strongest of allies. the fruits of peace always outweigh the plunder of war. even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. we must resist the urge to demonize those who are different. >> first of all, an extraordinary event yesterday. japanese prime minister and american president standing together at pearl harbor. >> all of this back and forth
about where it was historically whether it was the first this or first that. the fact of the matter is that you have this occasion. you have the import of where they're standing and they're both talking about it. we didn't get a formal apology abe but he talked about regrets and for president obama, these things matter. he has this sense of history. he has this sense of his place in history, and it's part of what riles him so much about donald trump is that he personally does not believe that he understands what it means to be president of the united states. he doesn't believe he understands what it means to stand on that world stage and to have these kinds of moments. >> a month and a half into this transition, it's been a bit of a journey where president obama very gracious at the outset inviting obviously president-elect trump into the white house saying all of the right things trying to make it as smooth as possibly can be talking to donald trump privately but in the last week or so, we've seen him be a little bit annoyed and say
things publicly about donald trump that signal how he's really feeling right now. >> and trump's policy, his world view with regard to asia remains murky. trump has been hostile when it comes to talking about trade in asia and the relationship with regard to trade and trade imbalance. when you look at his pick to be the ambassador to china, iowa governor, he's someone that has a warm relationship with china and deep relationships with that country. with trump often times there's a sabre rattling going on and different rhetoric and his picks are more conventional. >> "wall street journal" editorial board is writing coach obama says his team's big loss wasn't his fault. writing in post-election annals of would have, could have, should have, it will be hard to top departing president barack obama's boast that he would have
befeeted donald trump if he had run again. his advice to advice to democrats now is not thinking that somehow just a great set of progressive policies that we present to "the new york times" editorial board will win the day. the serious thought inside mr. obama's late hit is whether progressive ideas need revision or need to be recycled with a different messenger like him. we doubt all democrats will be as enthusiastic about running on again the economic and foreign policy record of 2009 to 2016. the argument here, sam stein, from president obama, it's not really about my legacy. it's not about my policies. it was about the candidate who lost the election. hillary clinton. >> yeah, i mean, this was as much a dig against clinton as it was trump from president obama. and, you know, to a certain extent, you have to say, okay, democrats may overanalyze the loss a bit because they ended up with 2.8 million more votes for their candidate. it was 80,000 votes in three
states that really cost but then on the other hand you look at the destruction of the democratic party under barack obama's leadership and you have to wonder, you know, what was the political -- what were the electoral benefits that he gave to the party? he leaves them in a much worse position. they lost control of the house and senate. governorships are decimated. he is a gifted candidate. he won election twice by substantial margins but his legacy as a politician is a bit muddied by all that. >> do you think part of what's going on here it's hard to nail it down but part of what's going on here is the president's instinct, his wary is that donald j. trump, is he up to the moment of being president of the united states, not just standing
with abe but these catastrophic things that occur in this country when a president and only a president can speak to the nation to calm the nation about things like that. >> i think there's little doubt about that. when you see this series of statements by the president, i think there are two things going on. one, you don't get to be president of the united states without a healthy ego. like every other president, he believes that he did a good job and in fact he thinks he did great job on the economy and other things. there is another aspect of this. they could not be more different in the way they approach problem solving. this is a president and we've seen it in anybody that works in the white house, talked to his aides about it, he approaches things in a very professorial matter and absorbing things and having that sense of history. there is a real concern by the president and by the people who surround him that this is not a serious man. this is not someone who
considers the larger implications. not just the historic implications but larger implications of what's going on in the world right now and that the shoot from the hip kind of attitude goes against everything barack obama has always believed and the way he's performed as a politician a as a president. >> it struck me the other day as was driving through connecticut and on 84 and you pass through newtown, and i was thinking about the president of the united states addressing the nation after that horrific, horrific murders in newtown of children. you wonder, your mind wanders and you wonder is president-elect donald j. trump up to that task? >> sam, i know you have been following up with late deciders in 2016. voters that waited until the last minute to pick a candidate. for some it was that october surprise by fbi director jim
comey that swayed their choice but seems like you found that wasn't the whole story. >> we wanted to sort of try to test the theory that comey was the decisive factor as the clinton campaign argued. we solicited reaction from people who decided in the last week who they were going to vote for. comey definitely played a role for some of these people. it wasn't necessarily the determining role that's being portrayed. a lot of random and arbitrary factors that led to people's voting behaviors. for instance, we talked to someone who assumed that hillary clinton would watch the war in the middle east and couldn't wrap his head around voting for her so voted for trump. we talked to a person in florida disgusted by both candidates and just decided to vote republican and write paul ryan's name in but then he did it because he thought that hillary clinton had it in the bag. now that he's reflecting on the election, if i knew then what i know now, i certainly would have voted for hillary clinton. other people looked at different
factors. someone was mad at how the media was treating donald trump after the billy bush tape. he felt empathy for trump in that moment. was driven toward him. there is a host of random arbitrary things that factor in voting behaviors and ended up creating a stew that allowed donald trump to be elected. >> as you know, kasie, having spent time around the clinton campaign, as close as margins were in wisconsin, pennsylvania, michigan, that jim comey was the deciding factor. >> they do. they will also say that, okay, we could have done a thousand things differently. we could make one tweet here. put bernie sanders on the ticket. spend two more days in wisconsin or two days at all in wisconsin. >> i'm not saying they're right. this is what they believe. >> you are right. they deeply kind of have internalized this and there is very much a sense of we're talking about how the president
feels about this. the clinton campaign very much believed that donald trump's election would be apocalyptic for the country, the democratic party, and there was from the very beginning when it became clear that he was going to be the nominee, a sense that they better not mess it up. if they did, consequences were going to be much different than if, say, they were running against jeb bush. the reality is mistakes were made and they lost. there's been a lot of grappling with what role the campaign may have played in that. i'm not sure. they seem to have settled on comey as the reason. i'm not convinced it's the only one. >> comey was definitely a factor. you can argue that an election with 80,000 vote difference in three states that he played a huge role. the bigger point i was trying to get with talking to voters, why was she in the place where she was vulnerable to begin with? and there's a whole host of strategic decisions that were
made and for late deciding voters, it wasn't a simple comey decision that ended up affecting how they voted. >> or perhaps they were spending a bunch of ad money in places like georgia and arizona late in the game instead of in wisconsin. coming up, we remember the life of carrie fisher who was barely in her 20s when she became "star wars" royalty. here she is back in 1977 on the "today" show. >> how did you get this role? >> mafia. it's a lot about mafia. >> how did you really get this role? >> well, george was seeing everybodthat cld walk through the office. i could do that. i tested for it. and they mailed the test over to george scouting locations in london and i got it.
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i mean, i bet she even got to wear a bra even though you told me i couldn't because there was no underwear in space. >> fisher talking to george lucas there. carrie fisher died yesterday at the age of 60 after suffering heart attack on a flight over the weekend. her parents were hollywood royalty in their own right but fisher made a name for herself at a young age first appearing on stage at 12 and later as princess leia at the age of 19. she made headlines not just for her role in the reboot kwrks "t force awakens" but a tell all that went on decades ago. >> in the book, you revealed that tu ayou and harrison ford an affair. >> no.
>> i'm just as shocked as you are. why tell us now? >> well, i would probably get early onset alzheimer's and forget and then you would never know. >> carrie had another quote. she was in other classic films including "when harry met sally." >> i was upset that joe was getting married. >> one thing led to another. >> we were kissing. >> long story short, we did it. >> they did it. >> that's great, sally. >> we've been praying for it. you should have done it in the first place. you guys belong together. >> it's like killing two birds with one stone. >> two wrongs make a wrigright. >> how was it? >> do you want to come over for breakfast? >> i'm not up to it. >> i feel too awful. >> tell me i'll never have to be out there again. >> you will never have to be out there again. >> she was great in that movie. fisher inspired mtiple
generations of women including teeny fey who said princess leia controls 75% of my brain. >> i miss live tv. it's like sex. it's almost better when everything goes horribly wrong. >> well, you know, we do hire guest writers every now and then. i don't know if that's something you would ever be interested in. >> that would be great. i haven't been in that building in so long. does everyone still do blow in joe's office? >> like cocaine? >> she was compelling writer publishing a number of books, many of them autobiographical and recalled using marijuana at 13, acid at 21 and story is that john belushi warned her to stop doing cocaine before she died.
she was diagnosed as being bipolar. on facebook, her mother debbie reynolds wrote. thank you to everyone who has embraced the gifts and talents of my beloved and amazing daughter. i am grateful for your thoughts and prayers. they are now guiding her to her next stop. you know, there's another quote from her about the movie that launched her, "star wars." when i got the point of princess in this goofy science fiction film. i thought it would be fun to do. i'll hang out with a bunch of robots and return to my life and try to figure out what i want to do when i grow up. of course, that wasn't the case. she dropped out of college and became a huge star that she is today. >> of course princess leia will define her. one tough broad, man. she dominated that screen. i think for generations of young women that character speaks to
being tough. but after that, the message she sent, don't put me in a box. as much as you could having been part of probably the greatest franchise in movie history, she broke out of that box with her wit and great writing and i think with the last "star wars" film, "the force awakens" this is what 60 looks like and not having patience for fat shaming or age shaming. through the course of her career from the age of 19 to her death at age 60, i think she set an example for men. >> she's one of the only people, she let her hair go gray in public. most women her age would never do that. she talked about at experience of being told you have to lose weight to come back to "the force awakens" tweeting about that. even for me, obviously these movies came out before i was around. what other princesses were there? cinderella? snow white? i never wanted to be that.
you can want to be princess leig leia. >> so damn funny. i met her at the "today" show. unfiltered. always funny. later years insisted on being interviewed along with her dog. put out a chair for carrie and for the dog. >> even her comment about her parents when she was born her mother was under anesthesia and her father fainted during child birth and that's how i was raised. >> her comments about celebrity and pop culture in this particular era, priceless. >> chris jansing, thank you so much. we'll be right back. >> this is gary. he's a french bulldog. he's alleges nervous. his first late night. >> you got a new book.
[ laughter ] >> gary, i know the feeling. 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. listen up. etes. we're not professional athletes... but that doesn't mean we're giving up. i'm in this for me. for me. along with diet and exercise, farxiga helps lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes, lowering a1c by up to 1.2 points. do not take if allergic to farxiga. if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as rash, swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking and seek medical help right aw.
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political reporter for "the washington post," bob costa. nbc political correspondent kasie hunt. msnbc political contributor rick tyler. senior, and i do mean senior, at the huffington post, he's sam stein and joininghe conversation online edor of weekly standardichael warren and "the new york times" reporter, welcome to you all. president-elect trump will receive an intelligence briefing today while also holding meetings at his florida estate with potential hires as members of his cabinet prepare for confirmation hearings with thoughts possible over nominees at treasury, epa and state. the transition team set up a war room of republican operatives to shepherd them on capitol hill. three years of tax returns were
received for steve mnuchin. republican chairman bob corker says tillerson should not have turn over his returns while democrat ben cardin says his involvement with foreign governments requires he do so and jeff sessions is face iing opposition. and a pennsylvania family lost its home because of a relative who is dealing drugs and "the wall street journal" editorial board came out what they call policing for profit and suggested sessions needs to reverse his old position. bob costa, lot in there right now. whh of those nominees is the trump administration most concerned about? >> it's not so much concern but rex tillerson does not have deep
relationships across the party. he's different than a tom price who has been in congress and knows the players. tillerson's friendliness with vladimir putin, his wealth, these are all things that democrats see as ripe targets, and so what i'm hearing from republicans in the senate is they're digging in to try to protect tillerson to make sure he knows what he's going to go through with this confirmation fight and jeff sessions, as much as he's part of the club up there, he does have some history on a variety of issues including racial allegations back in the 1980s when he was up for judicial position that are already coming back to light and back in the conversation. that's why you see the trump transition team really trying to put a pr operation around sessions to make sure other parts of his career come through. >> do you think it's strange, kasie, that bob corker and others have been so adamant that tillerson need not produce his tax returns? it seems like something as ben cardin said would be obvious you
would want to see those given his business relationships. >> each committee has different precedents on whether or not you have to turn in your tax returns. treasury secretary is something you have to do. other posts historically you don't have to do it. i think it goes to bob's point that if they have more to work with, if democrats have more to work with, if there's something in that tax returns that underscores his relationship with putin, for example, or shows personal profit, that could potentially open a lot of doors. i think what you were saying about tillerson, it's a potential problem with some republicans too. john mccain has been pretty open about saying he has concerns about it. if there's a place where a nominee like tillerson gets hung up, it's likely to be in the committee before it gets to the full senate. unprecedented in many ways. >> one more thing. it could be a problem for reporters in the public. it's very strange reporting on some of these nominees and not having the access to the information of a tax return. of course, that was the case
with president-elect trump. we seem to be coming to this culture in washington where revealing your tax returns and that kind of information, that level of information, is not being required by some of the top leadership. >> you have a financial disclosure. >> it's different than a tax return. >> tillerson will be the object of the democratic wrath here. they want to take someone down. he's an oil executive. that's the other thing. there's a lot to go after tillerson on. i think -- i think he'll do well. hearings will mean everything to him. he'll do very well there. >> michael warren you wrote about confirmation for tom price. what are you hearing? >> i read a new york magazine profile of harry reid and tucked in a good piece by jason sangerly is that chuck schumer is basically planning on making tom price the first one that
democrats try to get. i'm skeptical they'll be able to do that. these democratic sources said they could get up to three republicans to defect and vote against him. i find it hard to believe. it wasn't jeff sessions or scott pruitt incoming epa chief that would be the focus of their target but tom price who seems like a very, sort of reasonable person. he's conservative. he has a conservative position on medicare. democrats really want to make a statement early on in this trump era about health care and really go after the republican vision on health care, which tom price kind of embodies very much so with speaker ryan. so i thought it was an interesting tact. it gives democrats a way to drive a wedge between tom price and donald trump who disagree on medicare reform. that's interesting. it's a little bit of a faint but also a signal as to where
democrats are heading politically in the early trump era. >> and isn't it really the way to rebuild a democratic party if you sit in there in the united states senate or house of representatives, the two pillars of our society that are still standing, social security and medicare, i mean, those are democratic programs and the fight to keep them is going to be probably pretty tough coming up in the next session and one way to rebuild the party is to stand up for what the party stands for against tom price. >> i would say one of the big differences is lay people you ask about difference between democrats and republicans is what republicans call entitlement programs. democrats face this idea that they have to really choose wisely, which cabinet positions to really fight on. there are so many people they could pick fights on. you mentioned the ep you mentioned the idea that they
have someone in education secretary nominee and for education secretary that believes in kind of radical, they consider radical form of education taking away money from public schools. i think you're right. when it comes to talking about social security and medicare and really i would say obama care. i think democrats know that the republicans are going to go within the first 100 days after medicare and after kind of how people get their medical coverage in this country and democrats want to be able to say if you're going to take away what democrats did for health care, how are you going to change it and replace it with because millions of people look to the federal government for how they receive their medical care. >> the trump base of voters in the midwest, the rust belt, i mean, millions of people depend on medicare, social security, obamacare and that's -- >> coal miners in west virginia. black lung. i look at this and i say there's
a reason tom price is their focus. that's because, as you pointed out, mike, why you're a legend avenue columnist, because medicare is easiest to run on nationally. a precedent for doing this. the precedent is house republicans doing this in 2010. they ran by in large against obamacare but specifically on the fact that obamacare took money out of medicare to finance subsidies for other insurance. it took money out of medicare to prolong the program. they ran effectively on it. got back the house. democrats said we can do that again. there's a precedent going back to bush administration. not medicare but social security. 2005 bush comes in after winning re-election. decides he wants to try to do a privatize account voucher system for social security. democrats, their first big battle, is to defeat that. it predicates their comeback to winning the house in 2016. they look at this and say, okay, if trump is going to go there
and that's also to obamacare, they feel like they can lay the foundation for revival in ways they can't do if they go after betsy devos or if they go after scott pruitt because environmental policy as grand and important as it is, isn't that great of a political motivator like medicare is. >> what do you see the politics of this price move being for chuck schumer and other democrats. th want tout up a fight with somebody. is this about signaling that we'll protect obamacare and one of the signature policy prescriptions that trump put out there we'll take that away and chuck schumer saying we'll keep it place. >> it's a signal. they don't know tom price. he's not high profile figure. this is schumer thinking ahead to 2018. if obamacare and coverage taken away from people that have it, that's something that democrats could run on in the next two years. the one hurdle democrats may have is trump did not run
specifically on cutting medicare or social security. he wasn't a paul ryan republican when it came to those specific issues. he did run on repealing the affordable care act and so with price you have an opportunity to focus on the aca and not really make it about the personal politics of tom price. >> this will be in the framing. if you take away aca, if democrats are allowed to frame it as if we're just taking away their health care or we're taking away their medicare, republicans will get globb clob. what they're replacing it with is better and you'll be better off in long-term. it's not as if we're taking everything away. it has to be replaced with something better. >> replacing is the hard part. >> with won't be a big replacement. >> you can take it away with 51 votes. tom price can use regulations
inside hhs. >> they'll put a time limit of repeal in three years and in three years they'll have -- >> the markets will collapse. noovnight but they'll collapse president. >> they're collapsingnow, sam. the insurance companies are leading the market. >> there was a report that the premium hikes this year were one-time correction. you're right. markets aren't doing so solid. if you say we're repealing obamacare now, we're replacing it in three years, the insurers participating in those private markets are going to flee. that's what everyone who looks at the system says it will collapse. that becomes a problem on the republicans hands at that point. you can say we have three years built in to find a replacement and if things are going south, maybe democrats will come to the table. at that point republicans do own it more than they do now and that becomes a political problem. >> i don't see democrats saying -- >> the other thing you have to think about is who is on
obamacare. a lot of trump supporters are touched by obamacare and social security and medicare. if the republicans start taking those things away and don't quickly give them something in return say here's what we're going to do is better, that's going to be real problematic when you come to midterm elections. democrats will capitalize on that and say these are people who said, no, you can't have these things. they didn't actually give you a better life. >> republicans have not done a great job explaining what that replacement, if it exists, will be. >> for a lot of republicans when they talk amongst themselves at the capitol, it's just tax credits. it's buying insurance across state lines and so how do you explain tax credits. republicans are preparing tax rerm. you're going to complicate the tax code in a way with a new replacement that's really a series of tax credits on health care, that's not simplifying the tax code. >> what you just said is so important really. we talk about it in clinical terms. politicians in washington talk about it in clinical terms.
if you're on medicare, you know exactly what benefits you're getting and more importantly in this debate, you know exactly what's being taken away from you. you know exactly. >> you know who understands that is donald trump who started out this campaign saying we're going to take care of people. that was a fundamental thing. he had to then lots of conversations with republicans and needed to get his party on board and changed his tune a bit on major issues. this is a thing where he's very much in touch with those people that are touched by social security. >> let's bottom line this then. does obamacare exists in, say, two years in the form we see it right now? >> no, it doesn't exist in exactly the form, but the question is, again, what everyone has been discussing, what does it look like when the implementation happens in two or three years? that's the big debate. i think republicans are trying to have right now -- there's an institutional establishment push to get repeal out of the way
very early on. but there is this other push among conservative health care policy wonks to take time and figure out exactly what that replacement plan should be. i think republicans are going to find out and have a rude awakening very quickly here that the politics of health care when you're in charge are not very good for you and they've been the political -- they've had the advantage of that when docrats were in charge of the white house and having to deal with the mess pushing through obamacare and implementing ob a obamacare and now tables will turn and republicans need to be careful and smart about how they proceed because this is more than really any other federal issue a pocketbook issue. health care is. and they're going to have to be prepared. that starts, i think, at these hhs hearings for tom price. >> there's no small amount here of the dog who caught the car. republicans were not exactly expecting to have to replace obamare next year. they thought the opposite.
they thought no way. we're not going to have the white house. maybe keep both houses of congress. it's easy to use it as a political sledgehammer. >> tom price has a bill. he actually wrote a plan. and speaker ryan has another plan called a better way. >> more better. >> michael warren, thank you. happy holidays to both of you. still ahead on "morning joe," rahm emanuelamously said never let a serious crisis go to waste. that was on display yesterday as mayor de blasio's office turned a bomb scare at trump tower into a twitter war with the trump transition team and new reports that president obama is planning to retaliate against russia for cyber mettling e meddling as th administration takes office. you're watching "morning joe."
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>> the president-elect is in florida but security remains tight at trump tower in new york city where a suspicious package tuesday sent tourists scrambling. the nypd bomb squad was called in after someone spotted an unatteed bag in the lobby which is open to the blic. turned out to be a bag of children's toys upon further inspection but politics always in the air. can't let a good crisis go to waste. the incoming white house press secretary sean spicer tweeted back to work here at trump tower after a false alarm. thanks nypd. then in come the politics. a spokesman for mayor bill de blasio responded. no problem. we'll send you the bill. that prompted donald trump's newly named white house social media director to label phillips a "embarrassment." not very nice while trying to continue the conversation about the price tag of providing security. city hall has been openly
grumbling about the cost of protecting trump tower submitting a bill to the federal government. it's sad we reached a point where there's a bomb scare in the lobby and you tweet something cute about it. >> meanwhile, president obama and members of congress are creating new challenges for president-elect trump in his effort to improve relations with moscow. joining from us palm beach, florida, nbc correspondent hallie jackson. good morning. the president reportedly weighing new sanctions against russia. >> reporter: "the washington post" out this morning with a report that there will be new sanction against russia after russia did interfere with u.s. elections back in november. so the sanctions will include some measures involving cyber operations according to ofals talking to "the washington post" about this. this is something that seems to
have support. preliminary stages from folks on capitol hill namely john mccain and lindsey graham who talked about this in an interview from overseas. >> when i heard president-elect trump basically dismissed the intelligence, i was very shocked because i've been briefed by the fbi. there's no doubt in my mind that russia hacked into our political systems. reince priebus said that the president-elect would accept the results if all of the intelligent communities were on the same sheet of music. well now the director of national intelligence are all saying the same thing. >> graham went on to say that 99 senators in congress believe the assessment from u.s. intelligence officials. believe that russia did hack the election essentially. the covert action that's being weighed seriously by the obama administration which may be announced soon according to the "post" could complicate the relationship or threaten to between president-elect trump and vladimir putin. it will be interesting come
january 20th to watch this play out given that the u.s. is going to take this action prior to the president-elect taking office and that donald trump does not seem to have a ton of support at least from some corners of congress like you just saw to sort of build up his relationship with vladimir putin when in fact there is a belief among folks in congress that russia was involved in interfering in the ection. theelicate diplomacy of it all will be somhing to keep an eye on come january. 'll wait to see if donald trump, if this action is announced by the obama administration if he is out about this. he is being vocal on twitter and so we'll see if he weighs in about this or the john kerry speech later today. >> i bet you a dollar we hear from president-elect trump on twitter in the next few hours. hallie jackson in palm beach, thanks so much. john kerry is set to give his final speech on mid east
policy as secretary of state this morning. he's expected to address the political turmoil between the u.s. and israel over last week's united nations vote condemning new israeli settlements. the speech comes as officials in jerusalem announce this morning they have canceled plans to vote on approving permits for the construction of nearly 500 homes where israelis in the eastern part of the city. ahead of that decision, the city's deputy mayor said israel was unfazed by the u.n. phone and that officials would push forward with housing. a senior official says secretary kerry will speak about disturbing trends on the ground that he thinks are eroding the chance of a two-state solution. a source adds kerry will candidly respond to what they call misleading claims in recent days that the u.s. abstention from the vote was unprecedented and that the u.s. had a secret role in drafting the resolution. meanwhile, former special envoy to the middle east george mitchell says the u.s. objects
t -- abstaining from the vote was a mistake. >> would have been wise to veto this resolution not because of policy implications but because of the timing and the circumstance that it leads to with respect to trying to get the parties together. we have a new administration coming in. they will make a new initiative. unfortunately this moves israel further away from being willing to negotiate with the palestinians and makes the palestinians less likely to negotiate which is difficult. >> george mitchell, a man who knows of what he speaks on this issue. as for the kerry speech today, we had netanyahu spokesman on this show 24 hours ago saying the israeli government had evidence that the united states orchestrated the vote and helped push it through abstaining itself from organizing other countries to vote for the resolution. >> secretary kerry will probably address that today in his speech and part of his speech will be, i think, fueled by a lot of
anger/resentment within the obama administration about prime minister netanyahu using donald trump against the incumbent administration right now in terms of, you know, the peace process in the middle east. i think they're very angry about that. i think the secretary will probably address that. you have to remember that the obama administration more so than any other administration has supported israel at least dollarwise, $38 billion package over ten years, the biggest packages israel ever received from any administration. >> netanyahu government you were here yesterday said we're adefgrad grateful for the military package but this is unexcusable what they did at the u.n. >> i would like to know what they believe the motivation was and why they won't release their sources and how is it the prerogative of the incoming
trump administration to release that information which leads you to believe they don't have the information. look, one thing i would say about the obama administration, you mentioned peace process. where's the process? i don't think there's been a focus on peace between palestinians and israelis. >> i think secretary kerry will point out and has pointed out in the past that the biggest obstacles to the peace process was prime minister netanyahu. >> how it will be hallow because of the u.n. vote. >> is it your sense that this is something kerry wanted to do for a long time and maybe been restrained by the president or others in the administration? >> yeah. i think he's been a very frustrated secretary of state for at least three or four years beginning with the decision to, you know, forget about the red line drawn in syria and go forward with some action three summers ago against assad in syria. he's been very frustrated. he's a workaholic but he continued on.
soldiering on. >> all right. coming up, the past is prolog when it comes to the presidency. we'll talk more about that in just a moment.s built with passi. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each yearg. which adds fuel to my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
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>> distinguished honorees, politicians, diplomats, endangered swamp dwellers, the kennedy center honors were created in 1978 to celebrate our greatest artists and enshrine them on this wall that again mexico said they would not pay for. this is president obama's last kennedy center honors as a sitting president, next year, if you want to be here, sir, you're going to have to win one of these awards. that's not easy. it's not like the nobel peace prize where they just give those things away. >> stephen colbert at the kennedy honors. you were there, mike barnicle. >> great night. fantastic rendition of eagles songs. just a tremendous night. >> only barnicle takes you inside kennedy. he's everywhere this guy.
he's like forest gump. >> joining us, evan thomas. donald trump is getting an intelligence briefing today. you wrote in "the new york times" about the danger of trump getting off on the wrong foot with his spy agencies. what are your concerns? >> my concern is if he doesn't like the spy agency, he may try to find his own spies. he said he doesn't like the cia. he's got a national security adviser who also doesn't like the cia. and the risk is if they don't like what his own spies are telling him, he'll find a different set of spies. richard nixon did this. that's how he got the plumbers during watergate. oliver north when he was national security adviser in the reagan administration kind of went off books and did his own thing and that's dangerous. >> and didn't former vice president cheney do the same thing within his office? didn't he have a special intel unit in his office? >> a little bit.
the charges that cheney leaned on the cia to come up with results that chaeney wanted and pressured the cia to say that saddam hussein had connections to al qaeda which was not true. so there's always been an issue of the white house leaning on the cia even worse is when they just say to t cia forget about it. we'll do it ourselves. >> and it's got to be difficult just to even think about the idea of the president sitting and arguing with or disbelieving his briefers. >> it's not that briefers are always right. cia does make mistakes. those morning briefings sometimes are actually no better than "the new york times" or maybe worse. it's not that the cia is perfect. the cia sometimes goes off on its own and does bad things. it can't be a good thing. if the president and his intelligence community just don't agree or if they are at war with each other, that cannot be a good thing. >> bob costa?
>> looking back to president nixon, we often hear about comparison trump could have an imperial presidency if isolated in the white house. what about when it comes to foreign policy when trump looks at russia and china. is there a comparison there or not? >> trump is interesting. he has no government experience. we all kind of downplay him. he is an instinctive genius. he wouldn't be president otherwise. maybe he's working things out in his own mind in some sort of way of playing off china and china against each other and kind of thing that nixon did fairly brilliantly working with henry kissinger. maybe that's all happening. my worry with president-elect trump is tt he doesn't seem to have read much or anything. you know, it's all very instinctive and seat of the pants. instinct can sometimes do good things. it seems a little bit like he's winging it and nixon for all his
flaws was deeply well read. knew his history. working with henry kissinger that knew his history. that's a different thing. >> what are the options if you're the cia or any agency that donald trump has a problem with or doesn't want to work with, what happens inside the bureaucracy to push back against that? the g demoralized and they sit on their hands and become risk adverse and retreat into their own shell. that's happened at the cia historically is when they feel they're not being listened to. sometimes they have their own set of rogues and they go off on their own. i think that's less likely. ive i have to say back in the 1950s they were on its own trying to assassinate foreign leaders. that's the danger that the cia itself can go rogue more like i i think is they become risk adverse and sit or their hands. >> let's talk about the
transition. you have good historical perspective on this and a lot of people concerned about the way president obama and donald trump are interacting and undermining each other a bit publicly but definitely in private. is this different? is this unique? how does it compare to ones we've seen in the past? >> we've had a lot of -- i mean, the good news is it's a peaceful transition. that's america's great strength. transitis are often rocky. the worst transitio ever was the civil war. lincoln came in -- >> there's perspective. >> hoover and fdr didn't speak to each other. dwight eisenhower thought jfk he called little boy blue. innocent, naive celebrity type. didn't like him and had a cranky transition. i'm a big ike fan. that was really unfortunate. ike did not talk to jfk about fighting communism in any kind of coherent intelligent way and what we got was the bay of pigs.
there was a cost for that bad transition. a real cost. so there's a long history. partly because especially when it's opposing parties. they've been banging away at each other all through an election. they don't like each other by the time the election day rolls around. you have scratchy transitions. this goes back to jefferson and adams. i think adams' people called -- jefferson's people called adams and there's a long history of these things. >> i can recall you covering the adams administration and jefferson administration. what's your instinct having covered the situations for years? given the fact that donald trump is relatively -- he's inexperienced in terms of governing and even becoming president of the united states, who wouldn't be. but the idea that you're going to have an internal fight tween the national security adviser, the director of national intelligence, a new
director of the cia, you know, that can't be good to think about. >> no. i noticed yesterday though that trump put in as a national security adviser for homeland security a former bush -- george w. bush administration guy named tom bossert. he has experience. that's significant. trump is bringing in an experienced guy so he's not just winging it. he realizes he needs some institutional knowledge, somebody to understanding cyberwarfare which is complex and difficult. that's significant that trump brought in an experienced person yesterday to advise him. >> evan thomas, thank you so much. latest book "being nixon. a man divided." available now. great book. coming up, donald trump spent much of his campaign saying we never should have intervened in iraq. we'll be joined by the first person to interrogate former
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>> yesterday, december the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. baghdad time, the united states military forces captured saddam hussein alive. he was found near a farmhouse outside the city of tikrit in a swift raid conducted without casualties and now the former dictator of iraq will face the justice he denied to millions. >> this was president george w. bush just over 13 years ago announcing capture of saddam hussein. joining us now, former cia analyst john nixon. the first official to interrogate the dictator on behalf of the u.s. government following his capture in iraq.
john is the author of the new book "debriefing the president, the interrogation of saddam hussein." it's great to meet you. we were all reading this last night. an extraordinary book. you can't put it down. let's talk about the context first. this is a man you had been studying for a long time waiting for this moment to have him captured. the news comes across to you that they have saddam hussein. you say holy smok it's saddam hussein. what was your first interaction with him? you walk in the room and there he is? >> yes. all of a sudden the door opened and he was sitting there. i was brought out to identify him. you know, i was looking for certain things like tribal tattoos and a scar but to be honest with you, the second i laid eyes on him i knew it was him. i had been watching videotape of him and pictures of him for years. he was just sitting there. the funny thing is he was sort of like he was holding court.
he almost acted as though they came here every saturday night and we were his guests. it was really very interesting way to kind of start off. >> what was he like initially? confrontational? the man you expected him to be? >> that first night he was kind of confrontational. he just had his world turned upside down by being captured. over the course of the next month, i found he was sort of a jumble of contradictions. he could be incredibly charming. one of the most charismatic men i ever met in my life. he could be nice. polite. witty. as we got to know him and as we started to question him a little more deeper about his regime, we began to see another side of him, which was a really kind of a mean, nasty, vicious, almost scary individual at times. >> how did that manifest itself in in a conversation? what made him see vicious and scary? >> gosh, one time we were talking and he got very upset with me.
he just started staring at me. he would lean in and held speak betweenlehed tee and say tell me your question. it was just -- he had this look in his eye. it was a murderous look. i remember thinking, gosh, i'm glad we have the u.s. army here. i felt like he wanted to get out of his chair and just grab me. >> so tell us about the art of the conversation or interrogation with saddam hussein. how do you get into it with him? >> that's very interesting. first of all, we didn't really have any sort of carrots or sticks to use so we kind of began by appealing to his vanity and his place in history. we told him basically this was his opportunity to kind of set the record straight. that what he said would be read by people at the highest levels of our government, meaning the president and his staff and that -- i remember i held up books that i had in english on saddam. i said, you know, in these
books, which many people have read, there are some truths, some half truths and some lies and now you have an opportunity to tell us what is what. and we also appeal to a sense of history. he liked that. he really thought -- he said to me once, he had great respect for historians and great respect for history. i'm not sure he understood history and all of its lessons. he said they are like people who can see through the night. he went on about that. he said so, yes, if we talk about history, that's fine with me. and then up came the finger.
they femt that clinton administration was being too easy and they decided to get rid of the clinton decided to get d of the clinton administration. >> what did you learn from saddam hussein that you feel like the public and the bush administration didn't understand about him? >> one of the things that i think was very, very eye opening for me was the -- how disengaged he was from governing near the end of his rein. he waseally -- the day-to-day governing was turn or to some members of his revolutionary command council and saddam was really interested in writing. he was writing a novel and even a few days before the end of his regime the u.s. army coming to kind of get him he was sending
drafts of a novel to tarik aziz, ask him for feedback on it, what he thought. this is not a man who is engaged in the survival of his regime. i thought he was a little out of touch in that sense. >> what about when it comes to the region and the country itself, reading your book it seems very timely because saddam hussein seemed to have an understanding of his country, how it could be governed or not governed. >> yes. >> that was told to you and has relevance i think even more than a decade later. >> i think that he had a really very good grasp of the sunni jihadist threat that was embracing the region. certainly he had made entreaties to our government throughout the 19s sayinghat he was willing to -- in a sort of quit pro quo arrangement, if we would lift sanctions, he would help us sort of encounter terrorism against
these groups and also he also offered to help us on the first world trade center bombing and rounding up people like that. >> sam stein has a question for you in washington. >> hey, john, yeah, i'm really curious to know how important it was to find out the status of iraq's weapons program as soon as you found and interrogated ddam. if that wasn't the first piece of information you sought, what was? >> no, well, that really was. that was -- if anything, that was the first questions that washington both in cia and the administration wanted from us, and we went at him with questions about that, and one of the things that we came to the conclusion was was that he really didn't have a weapons program going and this was later corroborated by other debriefings. >> i don't want to step on the line, but the reference to the simpson's -- >> oh, right. right.
you know, saddam hussein and his family were always a source of constant interest to myself and my other colleagues as analysts, and one of them once said to me, he said, you know, it's kind of like the simpson's but with guns. and that always stuck in my head. >> i wonder why. >> it's true. he had -- he had a very dysfunctional family and he was the first to recognize that. but, you know -- but in a typical saddam way he would not recognize himself as the source of that dysfunction. anything -- talking to saddam was sort of like reading a really bad washington memoir in the sense that everything he said, if it was good, he was responsible for, and anything that was bad it was someone else's fault. >> donald trump -- >> fascinating. >> donald trump over the summer went out of his way to say that saddam hussein was a bad guy. >> sure. >> he was adictator. but something he did well was kill terrorists and we would have been bter off leaving him in place. what do you make of that assessment?
>> like a lot of things that donald trump says, i think it needs a little bit of interpretation. if he means that he killed terrorists because they were terrorists, that's not true, but i think -- i he what president-elect trump means is that saddam was very wary othe sunni jihadists as i mentioned earlier and, you know, he kept a very close eye on them, even -- even with being disengaged with day to day, he saw them as a threat to his regime. anything he saw as a threat to his regime he kept an interest in. and he was very good at moving those people out and, you know, i have to say that one of the off shoots of this whole debriefing process was ten years later i have kind -- i came away with a kind of grudging respect for the fact that he kept things together for as long as he did. i didn't approve of his methods but, you know, iraq -- he said to me once, you're going to find iraq is not such an easy place to govern. i think he's been proved to be right. >> before we let you go.
one of the arguments is perhaps we went in under bad intentions or perhaps we went in under false precept but the world was better off without saddam hussein. what do you think of that argument? >> show me a reason. i can't think of one. i can think of a lot of bad things that have happened since his removal of power, and i can't really think of a good reason -- anything good that's come out of his removal. >> it's an amazing book, john. we could spend the full three hours talking about it. it's called "debriefing the president, the interrogation of saddam hussein." thank you so much. congrats on the book. >> thank you for having me. still ahd,resident obama prepares to punch back on vladimir putin. anwhil some are siding with the white house rather than donald trump when it comes to sanctions of moscow. add in russia's admission of a doping program at olympics. it all adds up to a tough day at the kremlin. we've got it all covered next on "morning joe." healthy, free, the world before me,
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you were on a strict, strict diet. >> they liked to hire part of me, and so i have to get rid of the part they don't want. and so when i'm hired for "star wars," every time, they have hired about -- like 3/4 of the size that i am. >> that's carrie fisher not long ago with ellen. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it's wednesday, december the
28th. i'm willie geist. joe and mika earning some time off with their families this week. with us on set veteran columnist mike barn nickel, political reporter for the washington post and bob kosta, msnbc political correspondent casey hunt, former political director for ted cruz, rick tyler and white house correspondent for the washington post, sam stein. sr.? >> it's been sr. for years. >> oh, it has? on what gundsould you say you're the senior? >> just pure perseverance. you know, i've been there a long time and no one else has been there longer. >> it's the beard, isn't it? it's the beard. >> it's the beard. yes, this is why i grew the beard. i thought i'd get a break when joe wasn't around. >> no, no, no, we're off and running. we're going to talk a little bit about carrie fisher and her life and career in a few minutes. coming off that clip, casey, i
know you're a huge "star wars" fan. >> it's embarrassing. >> she was talking about the most recent, the force awakens that they made her lose all of this weight. she was always so up front and so out there about everything in her life, her mental illness, her career, the challenges she faces, the success. how she had a strange hollywood upbringing. >> yes, very much so. she lived her life in this way that i think is pretty rare for women. a lot of women weren't willing to do it. >> you can do it there. rex kind of guy after guy. >> the first "star wars" that came out in '77 she was 19 years old. she was 20 years old when it came out. >> she's revealed she had an affair with harrison ford at the time which she's now written about recently in the last
couple of years. but, you know, i could recite the lines. >> give us one. >> come on. >> should i call you a scruffy looking nurf herder. >> sam, sam stein, you are a scruffy looking nurf herder. >> wow. coming from all angles. >> thanks, casey. i appreciate that. >> i say it with great love. >> the senior thing. >> it's a great, great book. they unveil whatever her character was. >> by the way, blue's brothers, she was in blue's brothers. "harry met sally." >> that's right. so we're going to be talking abou >> sam. >> we're going to talk more about carrie fisher and sam stein, thank you for being with us. >> thanks. >> let's turn to some news and
some politics. new this morning, president obama reportedly will make good on his promise earlier this month that there will be consequences to what intelligence agencies say was russian interfeerns in the u.s. presidential election. the u.s. is readying its response. they say it likely will involve covert psych beroperations. the the consequences could be announced as early as this week with the officials broadening and freezing u.s. assets and post travel restrictions on the suspects involved. it gave them authorities to respond to hackers. the administration wantso make the new punishments, quote, blic or communicated to congress in a form that would be difficult for president-elect trump to simply walk back once
in office. also this morning the russian government alleges president obama is trying to hamstring the successor by signing the national defense authorization act. the $619 billion bill was passed by veto proof majorities in both the house and the senate earlier this month. and in part it renews restrictions on russia for aggression in eastern europe and increases aid to ukraine. in a statement the russian foreign ministry said, quote, overall it appears the authorization act has been adopted by the outgoing obama administration to create problems for the incoming trump administration and complicate its relations on the international stage as well as to force it to adopt an anti-russia policy. this policy has brought the current u.s. administration which believed russia would bow to pressure into a dead end. we hope the new administration will be more segacious, end quote. john mccain are currently visiting nato allies and urging
a tougher stance on russia. senator lindsey graham of south carolina says trump is out of step with the senate and is calling for action in response to cyber warfare. >> there are 100 united states senators, i would say that 99 of us believe the russians did this and we're going to do something about it, along with senator mccain after this trip's over, we're going to have the hearings and we're going to put sanctions together that hit putin as an individual and his inner circle for interfering in our election. >> i think he will be when presented with the overwhelming evidence change his view. on thessue of the russians, i mean, there is no doubt autt and we have to act and we have to have a policy which this administration does not have and a strategy which this administration does not have and address this threat to our national security. >> for all -- more on this, let's bring in bill nealy. he is live in london. bill, a lot to digest here. what more can you tell us?
>> reporter: yeah, good morning, willie. we are at one of those change points or at least pivot points with the u.s. relationship with russia. here we are in the dying days of the obama administration. we have an attempt to make sure that what happened at the last election never happens again. the hacking of the american political system by a hostile rival. we know there are sanctions in place already to cover commercial companies, parts of the u.s. infrastructure, but i guess no one imagined that a state might actually try to interfere with a national election. >> also prevent the president trump. these new measures. hackers and how do you freeze the assets.
the groups. how many more sanctions can be possibly affected. they're an enormous numbe of sanctions have they deterred russia's array of areas. no? a pivot point here. will president trump continue any of these policies or will he desperately reset relations with russia and leave what happened in the hacking of the democratic party behind? that's what we don't know yet. 23 days we'll know. >> president obama trying to make it more difficult for donald trump to do that. bill neely in london for us. bill, thanks so much. >> sam stein, i'm wondering what goes through your mind when you hear that washington, the obama administration, intends to take covert actn agains the russians for their role in interfering in our election and they announce it publicly.
you announce covert action publicly? >> well, what goes through my mind is it's probably too little and way too late. as bill noted, we already have a fairly robust sanctnsegime against russia. the russian economy has suffered in part because of that and in part because of the drop in oil price. it's not entirely clear what the economic leverage we have is. beyond that, even if we were to put is in place, it's also not clear what would prevent donald trump from ripping it up. it's also well beyond the point where confidence in our democracy has been tested if not shattered for a lot of people. and where from obama's perspective his legacy, his political legacy that he built up for years is now at great risk. so, yeah, i mean, punishment probably does need to come down, but the cost that was incurred to get to this point is massive for president obama and a lot of people looking now say where was the action prior to november 8th? what took so long?
also, i do want to see a public accounting, a more thorough public accounting of what exactly transpired and within 23 days. i'm not sure the intelligence community can or will put something that comprehensive out and together that would allow us to understand what transpired and why it did happen. >> and i think, you know, what we learn about that to that point is going to depend a lot on what happens with -- we played senator lindsey graham and john mccain talking about this and they are extraordinarily focused on it, starting with the hacking but also more broadly to the actions that russia has taken in the ukraine and elsewhere in threatening ways. but they are already shaping up to be a little bit at odds with mitch mcconnell who wants to keep this -- who wants to keep more of it behind closed doors. graham and mccain want to do these more aggressive investigations. mccain wants to have a subcommittee on the armed services committee to push more of this out there and to try to essentially set them up at odds
with donald trump. they do not think that the way president-elect trump has talked about this is healthy for the country. mcconnell has sort of erred on the side of protecting trump. >> you're spot on, casey. what we're watching is not only a foreign policy standoff between the u.s. and russia but a foreign policy standoff between the president, the president-elect and even some republicans in congress. i think the dynamic especially people on the inside of trump's orbit, they said, yes, they did start to act on foreign policy with regard to the u.n. resolution and israel. this is usually a quiet period for the president-elect but they have been waiting into foreign policy. now they're unhappy with how the obama administration is moving forward with russia because as much as it gets joked about, trump really does see world order in a different way and russia in a starkly different way than most other republicans and democrats. >> rick, part of this, about punishing russia and another
half from the white house is preparing for the next administration, what they believe changes might be coming in a relationship with donald trump and russia. >> well, it's kind of interesting. the president said, i think as recently as yesterday, he said he didn't -- he was going to be quiet for a while yet while he's leaving he's doing all of these things. i think they're going to have the opposite effect, really. elections are about change. this election certainly is about change and he is drawing the contrast of that change even more starkly because president-elect trump will have the opportunity to solidify his relationship with beebe netanyahu and israel and the u.n. vote that just occurred. here again he can -- presidents can do enormous things with regard to foreign policy to reverse what donald trump is going to do. similarly with the -- you know, putting part of the atlantic ocean off limits to oil drilling i've read forever. it's not forever. it can easily be reversed. so i'm not sure why president
obama wants to engage in all these actions that can be i think relatively easily undone. >> you know what -- >> one reason he might want to engage is that it's not just our election that was compromised but future elections. r instance, germany and france. he might look at the international order and say, okay, russia medaled with our democracy but, you know, we better hope that angela merkel, who he has basically endorsed for re-election, we better hope they don't do the same in germany. let's put a light on what happened so they don't do it again. >> there's going to be a congressional investigation. why not wait for the congressional investigation. >> because it's unclear. it becomes a lot harder for trump to undo something. if you announce an action against russia publicly before you leave office it becomes a little bit harder for trump to undo it without looking like a stooge of russia. maybe that's their thinking. >> you mentioned donald trump has a very, very different view of the world order than does barack obama. spell that out a little.
what's his world view? >> well, when you look at the consensus in washington among both republicans and democrats, there's a hawkish position generally speaking toward vladimir putin and russia and their intervention in western europe, eastern europe and their role in the world. with trump, he sees the world order as a tribal way. he does not think world order needs to be applied in this way republican hawks see it. so with russia, he thinks russia, as i've been explained by several trump insiders, he sees russia as a way to have a new relationship. if he wants to go after china on different kinds of trade deals, having a stronger relationship with russia in his private personal view would make that kind of negotiation have a different dynamic. same as negotiations with other countries. he thinks not only russia, the projection in the world. if he brght itn to more of an ally, regdlessf the
intervention perhaps in the u.s. election, it would have benefits for u.s. negotiating. but, again, he's against the wall in many respects with his own party. >> so, casey, donald trump, please meet john mccain. >> yeah. well, look, i mean, a lot of these republicans are careful about how they talk about donald trump domestically speaking, right? mccain ran for re-election. he wasn't out there trashing donald trump. he needed trump voters but russia is a place where it's not clear that donald trump lines up with a lot of his voters. and a lot of republicans have this sense that he -- this might be a place where he is out of step with the electorate and, you know, marco rubio is a good example of this. he was one of the only republicans who during the election was out there saying, hey, republicans, this could happen to you. stop saying that this is fine and we're going to read john podesta's e-mails. he's picking up on something that's very real. bob touched on it which is, you know, republicans do not feel like vladimir putin is a good guy. what mccain and graham --
>> he's not. >> -- are doing here -- right? fair. you know. but mccain and graham, you know, are essentially out there saying -- they're able to talk about this issue in a way that sets them up against trump without having to say it out loud. they can by taking these actions by flying across the country, going to ukraine, saying look at all of these things vladimir putin is doing, they are talking to and about donald trump without saying his name. >> what i liked about the mccain and graham appearance, 99% of the senate agrees with us that putin medaled -- >> who's the 1%? >> who's the 1? >> i've got to know. who's the 1? >> wait, guys, there's more on russia. for the first time russia is admitting to one of the biggest sports conspiracies in history. front page of "the new york times." russian officials themselves acknowledge a doping program on a mass scale and a coverup involving hundreds of its top athletes and officials saying it was a, quote, institutional
conspiracy. the article further confirms a prior ground breaking report that russian athletes received performance enhancing drug cocktails and had their urine samples tampered with by a lab director. they broke into sample bottles of urine. >> good. >> while they admitted a deputy sports minister did order coverups. they stressed that doping was not state sponsored, which is to say vladimir putin and his inner circle played no role. russia is for the first time conceding its officials carried out one of the biggest conspiracies in sports history. a far reaching doping implication tainting not just the 2014 winter olyics in sochi but also the eire olympic movement. this is something that's been out there in the atmosphere that everyone suspected and now russian officials confirming that they threw the sochi olympics. >> it would be hard to believe taking a look at a lot of the russian athletes over the course of the years in the olympics. especially the female athletes
who looked like they had breakfast with barbells. >> back in the old days. go online at "new york times" -- >> i eat barbells for breakfast. >> the interesting part of that is t last paragraph there where they go over board to say, no, no, putin didn't know anything about this. >> right. >> i mean -- >> step away from that. still ahead on "morning joe," as the harry reid era comes to an end, he's concerned about what he sees for his party going forward. plus, donald trump tweeting and celebrating rising consumer confidence thanking himself. we'll get a report from the new york stock exchange and see if traders are also thanking donald trump there this morning. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. with it, i earn unlimited 2% cash back on all of my purchasing. and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business...
among older americans after the election. last night trump posted to twitter, the u.s. consumer confidence index for december surged nearly four points to 113.7, the highest level in more than 15 years. here we go. thanks, donald. donald trump wrote that. thanks, donald, in the third person. harry reid is retiring next week as you know and seems to be suggesting some fellow democrats should pack it in, too. according to a profile in new york magazine an aide reportedly asked the minority leader whether he would support a presidential run by joe biden in 2020. quote, it depends on who's running, reid replied. it appears we're going to have an old folks home. elizabeth warren will be 71, biden 78, sanders 79. he expressed concern whether they have what it takes to block president-elect trump's agenda.
discussing how during the 2012 presidential campaign he falsely accused mitt romney of not having paid his taxes, reid said, quote, i didn't want to do that. i didn't have anything against him personally. i went to everybody but no one would do it so i did it. >> we're going to miss harry reid, aren't we? >> are we? in criticism of other democrats he said, we as public servants would be better off not worrying about other people liking us. it's easy to get re-elected and re-elected and re-elected and not take stands. hulian castro of texas tweeted monday calling trump the shadiest, most corrupt guy to take the oval office who will have no strong federal checks and balances as representative maxine waters questioned incoming senate minority leader chuck schumer's strategy of working with the president where they can. >> that has been a problem in my party, that when we are in
power, we're nice. we bend over backwards to work with people. trump has stepped on everybody. he has no respect for his own colleagues let alone those on the opposite side of the aisle. those people who voted for him ought to be really concerned about the fact that he's already backpedalled on some of the promises that he made. and so, no, i have no intention of pretending everything's all right. >> is that representative of the posture that democrats are taking on capitol hill? or is maxine waters more of an outlier? >> it makes sense. if you're up for re-election in 2018, you're going to be tested early next year. if trump comes forward with some kind of infrastructure package that has highways and interstates and the rust belt or the upper midwest or the west
you're facing a republican challenger. this is maybe one president who wants federal spending as not a typical republican. but there's so much pressure intense from the left to not work from trump that they're going to really have to make a choice. >> this is exactly the same, sam stein, that republicans were criticized for as president obama came into office saying we're not going to work with him, make him a one-term president. >> yeah, they have to weigh that. the consistency there. you know, an interesting thing. my colleague and a couple of other people reported that trump's transition team is advising him or people on the transition team are advising him to work around nancy pelosi and harry reid and go straight to members of the congressional black caucus directly saying help us out with an infrastructure bill. they think if they go around leadership they can pluck off enough members to maybe even get 300 house votes on a massive infrastructure package. they recognize that -- trump's people recognize that you can do this if you're not completely
ideological. there's enough out there, especially in infrastructure, that you can get a huge bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to rally behind. the question for democrats is, as maxine waters illiterated, do you then risk legitimizing this president. do you then risk helping him out in terms of his perception of the american public giving him the popularity boost that helps him in 2018 and 2020 and hurts the party far more than helping your district does with an infrastructure bill. these are the things democrats are trying to weigh. it's a fascinating battle to watch in the party who wants to be lock step in opposition. who thinks they can work with the guy. >> i mean, look, democrats in the campaign tried to delegitimize trump. that's what they ran on. >> republicans did, too. >> some republicans did, too. it didn't work. the reality is democrats in some ways do have an opportunity on a big infrastructure bill like this. if you talk to people who are close to chuck schumer he'll say, great. this is an amazing chance to
pass a huge democratic infrastructure bill with lots of federal spending and all of these things that we've been arguing for for years. the reality is to sam's point, they need democrats to do it, the trump administration, if they want to pass it. i think the dynamic is going to be very interesting between what do democrats decide to do? if enough of them decide we're going to get on board compared to republicans who don't want to spend this much money and haven't for the last decade. >> do you think democrats, can they get a majority among themselves to answer the question of, you know, will you do what's best for the country? never mind trump, will you do what's best for the country? unlike what the republicans did with barack obama became president? >> look, i don't know if they're going to necessarily look at it in those terms. i think the answer to the question, what is best for the country, the answer that nancy pelosi might give you is stop donald trump at all costs. we might see that. she has had a lot of practice at
kind of performing that role. we've talked a lot about republicans being in opposition on the house side. nancy pelosi has led a very unified opposition. republicans have a lot of tough things standing out there. they have to raise the debt ceiling, for example, which republican votes. does nancy pelosi decide to help them out? i would be very surprised. >> up until 1994 the democrats were in charge. they were the governing majority. they would give republicans enough in their districts to make them happy about getting re-elected and getting the trumps off the table. newt gingrich said no to all of that. ever since 1994 we've been in a real struggle on the hill cause it's been democrats in charge, republicans in charge. now the republicans are perhaps on the verge, if they play their cards right, of actually being a governing majority. by giving democrats enough of what they need to keep getting re-elected in their districts to make them happy. we'll see if they can do that. the other point is this isn't really about trump in a sense.
and if the democrats misread what the election is about and people who support trump, the trump supporters believe that the governing majority, you could say the democrats or the elites or whatever you want to say has been in charge forever. now they feel like they're in charge. so yesterday we were actually talking about the winners, trump supporters, who reach out to the people, they don't feel that way. they feel like that they've never won. >> finally billionaires can be in charge in the trump administration. >> see, sam, that's exactly what's going to get the democrats in trouble. >> i'm pointing out the irony that you have a bunch of billionaires and goldman sacks guys who feel like they've been outsiders. it's hilarious. >> the irony there. the trump administration and the transition team is actually about creating jobs and
prosperity. they'll forgive the fact that they are billionaires on the cabinet. >> maybe later on this morning after the next break that we take we can play the game name a democrat under the age of 60 capable of leading this party out of the wilderness. >> can we focus again on harry reid sing democrats are in an old folks home. >> elizabeth warren, joe biden, bernie sanders. >> all over the age of 70 in 2020. >> let's play the game. who's the most likely next democratic nominee for president? >> i don't know about democratic nominee? i think they have a couple of new minority women in the senate. that you ask some people who are in leadership now they might say elizabeth warren. the most likely nominee. >> you look to ohio, tim ryan challenges pe lows is a. you look to ohio.
senator sherrod brown. >> coming up on "morning joe." >> i don't think it's fair for me to be on a jury because i'm a hollow gram. >> you seen fine to me. report to room 2 b. >> imperial guard, how long do these arson trials typically last? >> couple weeks probably. >> you can drop the voice. >> this used to get me out of jury duty in chicago all the time. >> that's okay, honey. look at these people. >> throw back "30 rock." carrie fisher inspired women like tina if he to political journalist the like casey hunt. >> aren't you a little short for a storm trooper. >> she can do this all day. >> again, we'll talk more about fisher's extraordinary life and career. you're watching "morning joe." ♪is it manwich night?
the natural world is a beautiful thing, the work that we do helps us protect it. public education is definitely a big part of our job, to teach our customers about the best type of trees to plant around the power lines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our community safe. this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california. kerry's speech on the middle east peace process. secretary kerry will deliver that this morning at 11:00. david, good morning. it's good to see you. there's a lot in your piece and in your reporting. what do you expect to hear from secretary kerry.
israel very wary of what he might say. >> willie, i think the most remarkable thing about this speech is that he's giving it all. this is a speech that he wanted to give more than two years ago. the white house wouldn't let him when his effort to put together an israeli/palestinian plan fell apart. that was 2014. he then moved onto the iran deal which worked. a serious cease-fire and now he is in the wake of this remarkable dust up between israel and the united states. president obama going to lay out the principles. very little resemblance to anything that donald trump to israel has in mind. >> the state department has indicated. take this opportunity to hit back against the accusations against prime minister netanyahu himself and the state of israel
that the united states orchestrated this vote, this resolution last friday at the u.n. what can we expect secretary kerry to say. >> it's the most remarkable set of accusations on your break. between jerusalem. the israelis say they have intelligence that they are not revealing and they came from arab sources. secretary kerry and others coordinated this vote that took place late last week at the u.n. that includes a meeting that he had with -- in new zealand and down there on his way to antarctica. it includes meeting with the palestinians. they are leaked transcripts of meetings that the egyptians say are fakes. basically the united states argument is we didn't coordinate any of this because we didn't have to because israel at this point is the only country that believes the continued building
of these settlements is legitimate. so the u.s. position is that they finally just stepped out of the way and did not protect isra israel. >> david, in terms of the secretary's speech today, at 11:00 a.m. probably laced with more than a little frustration over his tenure as secretary of state, how much of the frustration of the ongoing and failed peace process -- >> because of what we did not do? >> oh, i think these are going to be the twin frustrations of the kerry times in office. it's a single memoir. the second term that i really want to read. it's your friend john kerry's
because he wanted a much more muscular military action by the united states in syria to back up his diplomacy and force assad to negotiate. president obama turned him down and the russians came in and played that military role. in the mid east he, i think, felt much of the time like president obama was sort of hanging back and saying, fine, if you can make this work, great, but i've seen other presidents and george bush go down this road and come up empty. you don't get a chance to go through all of this. >> it's casey hunt, you've written quite a bit about russian hacking and the impact of russian cyber activity against the united states and now there's reporting out this morning in the washington post that suggest the obama administration is on the verge of taking some public and also covert action on this. what's your sense of the rationale behind the timing of
it? why do it now after they've waited so long? and what's the potential impact? >> very good question, casey. if you go back to the very long reconstruction of the russian hack that we've published a few weeks ago in the times, you'll find a lot of white house officials expressing regret that president obama had not acted earlier and the reason they hadn't acted earlier was that he did not want to appear to be acting politically. that was one. the second was he didn't want to get on an escalation cycle with the russians that could have the russians intervene on election day. we have no evidence that they did try to intervene in the vote. that pushed all the action off to now. the problem is is it too late? then you have to think, what are your strategic objectives when you're doing this action? so the public part, which could be sanctions, you can understand why you might do that, but it's
also very possible that president-elect trump will -- will reverse those sanctions when he comes in along with other sanctions, including in ukraine that he's discussed reversing. the second question is what is your covert activity actually accomplish? this is one of the cases where to establish deterrence you really want to be as public as you can because while it was the russians that were trying to influence this election, next cycle it could be the chinese, the iranians, the north koreans, someone we can't think of right now. >> tom? >> david, good morning. what are the most important things you're listening for today when it comes to policy suggestions or signals from secretary kerry to david freedman and the nominee by the president-elect to the ambassador to israel and the president himself? >> the first thing you'll see secretary kerry make a vigorous embrace of the two-state
solution and the appointee, mr. freedman, has not been in favor of a two-state solution and it's helped fund some of those settlements that you're hearing the obama administration say are an impediment to peace. i think you'll hear him turn out fairly traditional american views of the principles by which you would address security, borders, recognition of jerusalem as the capitol, mule tut rec k-- mutual recognition o states. what this reminds of you is president clinton's speech after the camp david fell apart to lay out principles and that was nearly 16 years ago. so the only difference was that when president clinton gave that speech he had just emerged from a failed negotiation. this failed negotiation happened
2 1/2 years ago. >> we'll be watching that speech from secretary kerry coming up two hours from now. david singer, thank you so much. we always appreciate your time and perspective on this. >> great to be with you, willie. >> by the way, you can watch this live here on msnbc 11:00 eastern time. still ahead on "morning joe," we'll go live on the new york stock exchange to find out what's driving the markets when "morning joe" returns. when standard cancer treatment no longer works
carolina panthers quarterback cam newton winning over fans for actions he took over. he reportedly chartered a flight to atlanta after hearing about a 10-year-old boy about to undergo surgery for a life threatening heart surgery. he's one of newton's biggest fans. it was pretty obvious from their visit together at the hospital. >> how you doing? doing all right? >> oh. >> you doing good? i feel your heart, man. it's beating 100 miles per hour, man? you doing all right?
nice to see you, man. oh, man. oh, man. doing good? >> oh, man. taylor does not want to let go of that hug. taylor's teacher apparently posted on facebook that he was suffering and that he was a huge cam newton fan. cam newton chartered a flight, went to atlanta to be with the kid at his bedside. pretty cool. time for business before the bed with cnbc's sara eisen. what are we looking at on the market? >> good morning. we are watching those dow levels, the elusive 20,000 level. have not hit it yet, but yesterday we closed within 55 points. i know i sound like a broken record at this point, but the momentum is with the bulls. that would be a major milestone for the markets. it's been since march 2009 since we hit dow 10,000 and the point here is that the gains for stocks are holding. in fact, theech heavy nasdaq index closed yesterday at a record high and things are looking up again this morning.
what's also interesting about this market move is some of the worst performing groups of stocks at the beginning of this year are on top. they're the best performing of the year. i'm talking names in the energy space, for instance. remember when the price of oil collapsed at the beginning of this year, down to $26 a barrel. now it's back up to the highs of the year, around 54 and energy stocks are booming. same with the banks which are under performed for the last 7 and a half years. the focus is on the positive into the new year on trump and republican congress's policies though what could derail the rally, heated trade rhetoric, especially between the u.s. and china. stronger dollar which is climbing on optimism about the u.s. and economy but hurts corporate earnings and higher interest rates from the fed. for now the focus is on the positive, and that includes donald trump. president-elect tweeting out that consumer confidence has hit the highest level in more than 15 years. thanks, donald. the numbers are right. the why harder to explain, but it could be that we have seen
post the election, guys, a surge in business, consumer, home builder confidence and that in itself should bode well for growth. >> and, sara, if we cross 20,000 today you can expect another thanks, donald, tweet i expect. >> oh, i have a feeling that's right. >> thanks so much, sara. coming up next, how carrie fisher's princeipless leia insp kids. keep it with us. ♪ ♪
the new girl that plays my mother, queen amadillo, or whatever her name is, she wears a new hairstyle and outfit practically every time she walks through a door! i mean, i bet she doesn't wear a bra even though you told me i couldn't because there was no underwear in space. >> carrie fisher giving it to george luc now. more now on the reaction on the passing of reaction. joining us now to discuss what fisher's role meant to generations of female fans. >> good morning, guys. many of us, myself included, are of a certain age new princess leia long before we knew carrie
fisher. what's really interesting is a lot of what made princess leia so awesome came directly from the actress herself. at this moment in return of the jeddi, java the hut was hated as much as darth vader and then his prisoner, princess leia, turned around and did this. when i saw this scene in 1983 the crowd in the theater cheered, so did i. as someone pointed out today, leia wasn't just a princess, she was a bad ass. >> she was the strong character that makes everyone wish they were as strong as her. >> princess leia was a leader and she was a hero like all of the men. >> there was more than a little of that attitude that came from the actress herself. in an interview carri fisher responded to criticism about that bikini she wore in the scene. tell them that a giant slug captured me and forced me to wear that stupid outfit and then i killed him because i didn't like it.
today all across the internet there are white dresses and those ear buns. even little girls too young to know are dressed up. let's not forget leia was the one who stole the plans to the evil dth star and had no problem putting the erasible hans solo in his place. >> why, you stuck up half witted scruffy looking nurf herder. >> reporter: now the female characters in the latest movies reflect leia's strength. after a prolific career as an actor and writer, fisher admitted there was no escaping the role that defined her. i am princess leia, she told the newspaper, no matter what. and we will miss her. >> really great. you have been talking about it this morning, one of her incredible characteristics was how incredibly funny she was. at one point she was asked, what's the best and worst part of celebrity? she said the best part is the money, the travel, and the people.
the worst part is the money, the av, the people. >> in some ways she wore that princess leia role as a bit of a curse because it thrust her into the celebrity status that she wasn't quite ready for and lived with. i mean, i'm sure she wouldn't have traded it, but, you know, she was -- she was a force for a long time. >> she talked pretty honestly about being a celebrity as well saying you have to get to a place that almost no one gets to if you're going to get recognized day in and day out and be famous no matter what you do. muhammad ali is one of those people. she was more that way for people who recognized princess leia which is its own difficult thing to grapple with. >> she had an interesting observation about movies in general. people say, it was just a movie. she actually recognized the fact that for a lot of people it wasn't just a movie. it really defined childhoods for people. >> i was 11 years old when that movie came out and in 1977 and i hitchhiked to go see the movie
three days. three days in a row. we had never seen anything like that. it was so extraordinary. i was in middle school. they re-released them on the big screen. the first time i ever saw "star wars" was on the big screen. the whole crowd had dressed up. for me, i managed to get to near adulthood without knowing that darth vader is luke's father. i'm not sure how that happened. >> so candid and honest and authentic in these interviews at in part of his life. was that an evolution in her career? was she somewhat more timid earlier in her career? she seemed to become herself at the later part of her life? >> i think part of it was she struggled through some incredible hurdles. she had addictions, she had mental illness, trouble with her family and she just was this complicated, interesting woman. one of the other things she said is that actually she really
thought she would be an actress. she knew she would be a writer and a tortured writer in a lot of ways. >> and a pretty darn good one at that. she was so up front about her struggles with bipolar disorder and she put it out there front and center. she was never ashamed of it. you can recite every word she said in a "star wars" movie. that does it for us. chris jansen picks up our coverage now. >> hi there, i am chris jansen in for stephanie ruhle this morning. duelling presidents. president obama with a swiped at donald trump. >> we must resist the urge to turn inward. >> as trump fires back on twitter. one last try. secretary of state john kerry with a big speech this morning. his last chance to lay out a plan for peace in the middle east pushing back on plans the u.s. engineered that vote against israel. evacuated, tourists and workers scrambling racing out of