tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 29, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm PST
brussels, it doesn't ring true to anybody that they're not advancing. >> what does that have to do with nuclear weapons? >> i'm going to give you the analogy. us saying they're contained and then attacking proves that everybody foo feels unsafe in a world with terrorists particularly in the case of isis are advancing, that they're still wanting to do them harm. he's trying, i think in his quest to keep us safe and secure, he's putting the world on notice that he will do what he thinks he needs to do to keep us safe and secure. >> by expanding our nuclear capability. >> he's not trying to change a policy through twitter. he's not trying to project what he will do as president. what he's merely saying is that this is a man who gets his intelligence briefings regularly, the pdb, presidential daily briefing refers to a product, but in addition to that we know he received today or
yesterday or both, he also has other intelligence sources and he's learning many different facts that i'm not privy to. this is one of the responses that he felt compelled to give based on those facts. >> do you feel confident that the president-elect understands what we've got for a nuclear arsenal right now? >> yes. >> is he saying that we need more weapons on hair trigger alert, on launch on warning status? is he saying that we need more nuclear weapons in europe? is he saying that we need different kinds of nuclear weapons? as you know, there's a nuclear triad. we've got three different kinds of nuclear weapons. a lot of nuclear experts say we need to get rid of one of those legs of the triad, or is this an announcement we aren't getting rid of the nuclear triad. >> he thinks that a nuclear triad is important to maintain. he's not calling for any of the policies that you suggested/asked me. what he's saying is he wants us
to be ready to defend ourselves and he's not making new policy. >> this sounds like really new policy. on nuclear weapons, it's really a sensitive matter. >> i would agree. >> who has the most nuclear weapons after us and russia? >> i don't know. but i'm re he does. >> it's france. india and pakistan. one of the most important things to know is the number of nuclear weapons that they've got on launch status. do you guys talk about that? is that like -- >> well, i don't. he's surrounded by national security team. >> if the united states announces a u-turn on nuclear policy, india and pakistan don't have any nuclear weapons on launch status. they could move them to that stus because a new nuclear arms race is going to start. >> we're getting ahead of ourselves, rachel. >> but that's what happens in the past when presidents have made even jokes about nuclear weapons. i think what i'm trying to get
at is a lot of people are hiding under the bed right now because it doesn't seem like he knows what he's talking about on this issue. >> that's not fair. >> how can you make policy on twitter. >> he's not making policy on twitter. >> expanding our nuclear arsal and annoces i on twitter is a big deal. >> perhaps he is also echoing what president obama himself has tried to do here which is get upgrades to our nuclear systems. i saw in one or two or three reports to the tune of a price tag of a trillion dollars. so again he's talking about keeping us safe and secure. in a perfect world we wouldn't be talking about nuclear weapons. it is not a perfect world. it's a world that -- >> we need more? >> no. >> expanding our nuclear capability. >> in the world in which we live which is not perfect, it is very dangerous and uncertain, i hope we can all agree, military might has been one of the ways to deter people from doing bad things. that can take on any number of
different aspects, but on this one i think that we're getting a little too far ahead of ourselves that he's changing policy and making policy in a way that he did not intend. >> okay. the president making policy happens whenever the president speaks on a national security matter. and i want to ask you about a couple of other national security personnel decisions. on election day, the new national security adviser, retired general michael flynn, wrote an op-ed in which he argued that the united states should extradite a guy who turkey wants us to extradite. it now appears that general flynn's company was being paid by the turkish government, and he did not disclose that in the op-ed, he did not disclose that publicly when he was announced as an adviser to the campaign. he has never talked about it in terms of being national security adviser. i don't have anything against general flynn personally, but he was being paid by a foreign government and advocating their policy positions in the u.s.
government while advising your candidate now the president-elect. >> i heard you say it appears. >> well, it's been reported that he -- his company was receiving money from the government of turkey and as somebody who works in his company has confirmed that. >> i have not discussed that with him. i would not be the right person to ask to comment on that. >> if he was on the payroll of a foreign government while advising your candidate would that be disqualifying for him as national security adviser? >> not necessarily. i would need to know the facts. that decision only lies with one person, the president-elect. >> general flynn during the campaign accused hillary clinton of being involved in sex crimes against children. >> you're talking about a tweet? >> yeah. he wrote this. it wasn't a retweet. >> fake news. is that the fake news story? >> during the campaign, late in the campaign, said that hillary clinton was involved in sex crimes with children.
>> but i think the source of that was a fake news report. >> right. but he tweeted it. he broadcast this. >> i haven't seen his twitter feed. but i trust you. >> he did. you can ask him, he did. as national security adviser, it will be his judgment that the president turns to in times of national security crises no matter what they are. his judgment is such that he did publicly accuse hillary clinton of being a child rapist. >> no. that's a little hyperbolic. >> sex crimes against children -- >> the fake news retweets myself. >> it wasn't a retweet. he said that everybody needed to check out this news that hillary clinton was involved with sex crimes with children. >> rachel -- i'm sorry. >> if that's his judgment, i innocent how he might be involved at some level of the campaign, he might have things to offer. why would a person with judgment like that be national security adviser. wouldn't you want somebody who has rock solid instincts and judgment particularly about public information to be in that kind of a key role?
>> but your conflating two things. you're telling you're audience one negative thing about him and we're not looking at his overall credentials and his tours of duty. i talked to him about those directly, his tours of duty, the three goals he has for the country as national security adviser which include government reform, peace through strength, a stabilization of the middle east. these are his goals. he's got a full, long resume of very impressive national security skills and accomplishments that i just can't wash away based on a tweet. and the other thing i just want to say -- >> -- you like run down somebody in a crosswalk. there's no defense to that to say look at all the other days i had a great driving record. >> that's not a perfect analogy. >> but comment on the judgment that it takes to have said something like that and never apologize for it? >> if i may i would like to comment on the judgment of what we currently have, my heart
breaks every single day when i look at aleppo. why? because i'm a compassionate human being. i can't stand the fact that women are choosing suicide over rape. i can't stand the fact that you've got basically plurality is not a majority of children under the age of 14 or so gone now either displaced or dead and killed. and i look at that as a humanitarian crisis. we've done next to nothing of value for 5 1/2 years. where is the judgment of our secretary of state? where is the judgment of the administration? we can't just look the other way when things like this happen. that is not me changing the subject. that's me saying look at what a lack of judgment has wrought in hot spots around ta world like aleppo. >> a complicated and dangerous world i think it's almost inarguable that there's at least question if not concern that we've got a president who has no governing experience, no foreign policy experience, no public service experience, that's an unprecedented thing, but obviously he put that case to
the american people and the american people elected him. >> that's a big asset to them. president obama had -- he had been in the united states senate for practically a hot minute before he announced he would run for president. he'd been a state senator but people liked that, too. they liked the fact that they had somebody in 2008 and again in 2016 can arguably look them in the eye especially given who their opponents were and say, i will go to washington as your president owing nobody anything. and i will work for you. it was a compelling argument for president obama in 2008, it was a compelling argument for donald trump in 2016. >> on security issues is you have president-elect trump without any national security or foreign policy or governing experience. you also have a secretary of state who only has private sector experience, no public service, no governing experience. you have a national security adviser who phrased some of the questions that i have about his judgment notnotwithstanding othe thank yous about -- things in his career, but in terms of policy decisions that have been
announced. monica crowley is someone i like from the news world. i met her in green rooms. just been announced as possibly a spokesperson for the national security council. >> she has a ph.d. in that field. >> she also has claimed publicly that president obama is secretly not black. barack obama is not black, yet this guy is campaigning as black and painting anybody who dares criticize him as racist. that's the biggest con i've ever seen. one thing to talk like that in, you know, dummy cable news, this environment or on -- or on talk radio which is where she made those remarks. but how could you put somebody who has a record of saying things like that as potentially the spokesperson or the deputy of the national security council? why aren't there more serious people being picked for these
very critical roles on the most serious issue of all, which is national security. >> i have never heard that comment. i don't even know what that means. i heard you say it. i know monica. she's incredibly smart and incredibly thoughtful and deliberative in her work. and you're right, people say things on cable tv or talk radio sometimes that i guess they would take back, that probably applies to everyone. >> you guys have just given her an incredibly important national security job. >> she has a ph.d. and work with president nixon on other things. the president-elect has faith in her to be able to communicate what the national security agency is doing at a very fraught time. i do think you're cherry picking some appointments in cha we've got -- we've been lauded by some of his naysayers has having put together -- he, not we. he's put together a cabinet of qualified men and women who have done great things in the private and public sector and are willing to share those personses in the cabinet. eight years ago at this time, we were critical of the cabinet that was in formation because you want the new president,
whoever the occupant is, to be able to take his time and maybe one day her time to form that cabinet in a way that helps -- will help to execute on their agenda, on their issue for the world and for the nation's economy and those who at least are giving the president-elect the wide berth and the deep breath to do that will be very impressed with who he's put there in these different positions. >> kellyanne conway, stay right there. you can't leave. >> okay. >> soon to be counselor of the president. first ever republican female campaign manager and the first woman to ever win a presidential campaign. she's here tonight for the interview. stay with us. ♪ the itsy bitsy spider went up the waterspout. down came the rain and clogged the gutter system creating a leak in the roof. luckily the spider recently had geico help him
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and human services department traded more than $300,000 in shares of health-related companies over the past four years while sponsoring and advocating legislation that could potentially affect those companies' stocks. congressman tom price, a georgia republican, bought and sold stock in about 40 health care, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies since 2012 including a dozen in the current congressional session, that's according to a "wall street journal" review of hundreds of pages of stock trades. in the same two-year period he sponsored nine and co-sponsored 35 health-related bills in the house, his stocks includes amgen, quib, and aetna. it was between 50 and 100,000 of an australian stockholder on the trump transition team. that stock has since doubled in price since he bought it in august. joining us once again is the newly announced counselor to the trump campaign, kellyanne conway. thank you again. if the stock filings are
accurate that "the wall street journal" is reporting on, your pick to head up health and human services in the cabinet was personally investing in companies while he was sponsoring legislation that could affect their stock price. if these stock filings are accurate, would that be a problem for you? >> really -- i'm learning about that while i'm sitting here, so i'd have to learn more information. i don't even know what the rules are that govern the ability of those to hold stocks. i'm taking it's from information he's filed. it's not from lack of transparency or furtive cover-up, it's something that he put out there for everyone to see, which, "a," i appreciate as a private citizen, but b, what i know about him is that he's for free market patient centric health care that he's vote to repeal and replace the affordable care act many times because he believes and he hears from many people that reducing our quality and increasing our
prices and reducing our choice and our access was really not was intended for many americans. some have coverage and i'm sure you saw the polls about two real lenses of president obama's legacy. you have people saying it was his greatest accomplishment and people saying it was his greatest failure. >> another 6 point something people signing up and enrolling. if what "the wall street journal" is reporting and it's not very complicated. he was trading in stock while sponsoring legislation that could have affected the price of that stock. is that the kind of ethical problem that would pose an issue for him in terms of being nominated. i look at the code of ethics put out by the transition. a lot of it is about whether or not people can be lobbyists after they leave the administration and stuff like that way down the line, which will have a very hard time
enforcing when it comes to it. but if he did this, if he was trading for his personal gain information that he had because he was a lawmaker. >> that doesn't say that. but does it say it's illegal? >> if it's a violation of the stock act, then presumably there will be an investigationf that, it wasn't technically illegal but it was affecting the stock price through his work as a congressman, then buying that stock, that would be a problem. >> you just gave the democratic senators a good line of questioning to ask. i'm sure they're watching you. >> well done. well done. let me ask you something along the same lines. i'm not going to ask you about the president-elect's tax returns because that's very well -- but he did release -- >> 104 pages. >> on one of those 104 pages it says that he had money invested in a hedge fund that's placed a particularly big aggressive bet that fanny may and freddie mac are going to be broadcast.
so he picks this treasury nominee. the day after he picks mnuchin to be his nominee. the stock goes through the roof. if donald trump is invested in the hedge fund, he just financially benefited to pretty significant amount with a multimillion dollar investment from what his treasury nominee said. >> first of all, i don't know if he has that investment. >> can we know that? >> let me get back to you. >> it's important. >> because remember he has accountants and lawyers working literally around the clock to making sure that what needs to be done by a man who is successful in business in modern times is sufficiently disentangled for him to take his job as president of the united states and focus on that 110%. secondly, i would expect the treasury secretary designee of a conservative republican president to say they would like to privatize fannie and freddie. i don't think that should
surprise anybody. >> it wouldn't be controversial if we knew whether or not the president was going -- with every other president we've known, we've never even had to ask, we look up and check to see if the president had an entanglement where he would be benefiting. the issue here is we don't know. "the new york times" directly asked the transition does he still hold this particular mvment which was directly affected by this announcement the day after he announced and his answer was we are not releasing this information at this time. that would be easy enough to announce. >> the third thing i want to say about that, though, that's a pretty small holding compared to everything that the man has -- >> 3 to 15 million. >> sounds like a lot of money to me and you, but the fact is that it's not a huge investment when you consider the idea that he would pick steve mnuchin to be
the treasury secretary and say, while you're out there say you'd like to privatize fannie and freddie, an idea that many conservatives have had -- >> should we not be concerned about any private financial gain he might have from these transactions? >> no, i'm not saying that. the presumptive guilt, negativity -- >> it's a question. >> not necessarily by you, but by others, it's ubiquitous. a lot of the stock market seems to like the fact that donald trump will be the president. >> mazel tov. >> 20% -- excuse me it's up to 20,000, close to 20,000. it's had maybe a dozen or so gains in the days since he was elected president. by the way, the opposite was predicted. first it was that he can never win, this is a joke, go home, there's no map, there's no path. we heard it on this network and elsewhere. then the minute he got elected literally he takes a call from
secretary clinton. she concedes, everyone concedes and congratulates him. i was standing right there. and the stock market likes it the next couple of days. >> if you are going to short the expectations market, you will win in this environment. we can give that advice to everybody. but there is something unique going on here in addition to you guys winning and getting to brag about that. >> we're not bragging. >> and rub the naysayers' noses in it. >> do i look like somebody who rubs people's noses in anything? >> look, government of azerbaijan, they rent out trump hotel suites at the trump hotel in washington, the president-elect makes money from that. when his building project gets green lit from the government in buenos aires, he makes money from that. >> well, his corporation does. >> he's the primary owner of his corporation. it's money for him. anybody who wants to, any foreign country, anyone can -- they now have the option basically to pay money to the american president by doing favors for this business that he owns. >> by renting a hotel room?
i think that's so attenuated. the money goes to the corporation -- >> corruption. >> that's not corruption. that's a hotel room. >> but if you want to give money to the president, the american president, we have never had a way to do that before. no foreign government has had a way to do that before. the american people special interests haven't had a way to funnel money to the american president right now. >> who is nneling money to him. >> but you can through his businesses, as long as he still has an ownership stake in it. >> he has said he won't be involved in his businesses when he takes the oath of office. >> but he'll still benefit from their financial bottom line. anybody who affects that is in effect paying the president. >> no, is disagree. and here's why. two things quickly. one is we've never had this situation before. it's unprecedented. it's hard to get an arm around. we moved their lifetime pensions and great health care along with them. >> and tax return. it's amazing. >> the americans ended up not
caring about that. >> some -- >> that was vomited at me every single day by 50 people on tv, and nor cared. >> that's how much it was said. >> tax returns. >> i asked you about it -- >> you're right. just sort of a metaphor. but the american people didn't care enough about that. but secondly remember when the trump corporation benefits from a financial transaction, please don't lead people the impression that the money goes into donald trump's pocket. >> hold on. he's the primary owner, he owns this corporation. it's not like people own a stock in it. >> at the moment. >> will he give up ownership? >> he said he will do whatever is necessary to comply with the law and the -- >> he's never said that he's going to give up ownership. are you making news here? >> i didn't say that. i said he'll do whatever is necessary to comply with the law -- >> as long as he owns it the benefit goes to his corporation. >> a lot of things you say are remarkable brilliant and well prepared. >> thank you.
>> and the democratic party could use that these days. they're in a bit of an identity crisis. you just said that there's never been a president that a foreign country can funnel money. i was like, ding, ding, ding, we had a secretary of state that did exactly that. she used the state department as a concierge to dump money into the foundation. her husband gets a million bucks over in russia to give a speech, she gives up 20% of our uranium rights. >> you realize it was only yesterday they had to cancel the 500,000 hunting trip with the boys. >> guess what happens there? >> you made such a huge issue with the clinton foundation. now you have ivanka sitting in on the meeting with the japanese prime minister while seeking funding from a japanese-owned bank. >> the $50 billion? >> no, nice try. she was there in the meeting. if you were going to make an issue of pay to play. >> where is it here?
show me where it is here. because it was clearly on the mind of americans about hillary and the state department. they can blame jim comey and poor bernie sanders who did a terrible thing of giving people another alternative and apparently they wanted one because he won the states and the votes. but the people cannot get past that honesty and integrity and veracity and a lot is embedded in -- >> you are no longer speaking for an active campaign. you're speaking for a president-elect who has an unprecedented problem who has a -- you have to hold on for a min. >> success. >> entanglements. i have to do business right now. kellyanne conway stays with us for just another moment. stay with us. taking a holiday in britain, are ya doll?
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get the scoop when abu musab al zarqawi was killed. she wrote a book on the battle for sadr city in baghdad and what that was like for the first cavalry division fighting that house-to-house battle. and what it was like for the families back home waiting for news while they were in this battle. she's the only american reporter to have reported in a combat mission from an f-16. she's at a totally different level. i've never worked with her, but i've always admired her. she's really been through it. kellyanne conway is our guest for the interview. i'm raising this issue right now because here is how your boss has been talking about her in public. >> how about when a major anchor, who hosted a debate, started crying when she realized that we won. how about it?
tears. no, tell me this isn't true. >> we know from the number of type he's told that story that he's talking about abc's martha raddatz there. martha raddatz did not in fact cry on election night. she did not say, no, tell me this isn't true. there were no tears streaming down her face. it's wrong what he's saying about her. but what i'm bothered by is the way he's singling her out, not just with wrong information but singling her out. is this how even a reporter like martha raddatz is going to be treated by this president? >> no, and i would have updates but they're privately held. we've been discussing this with abc news. i talked to the president of abc news about this directly and i've talked to the president-elect. look, we all have enormous respect for martha raddatz as a journalist. everything you just said about
her would get a plus one from me. and we do have enormous respect for her and her colleagues at abc news. anybody who watches just this past week the job she did sitting in for her colleague on this week with george stephanopoulos, it was a tour de force in how you interview people right, left and center on issues you know something about. >> she's among the best we've got in this country. >> i completely agree with you. i would like to broaden the conversation if i may -- >> wait. are we going to get an apology from the president-elect on that? he's telling a story about that that's not true and telling it to great effect and have people jeer her. will he correct that? >> apologies like that are not made publicly. >> but the accusation was made publicly. >> the accusation is made by a number of people. i'm just telling you i have an gotten an update to what you presented there and it would make you happy. in terms of his relationship with the pre, i don't know anybody can disagree with the improvable fact that donald trump got more negative press coverage than anybody in --
>> also quantifiably more press coverage than anybody in history. >> his people were -- >> he was a phenomenon. >> heck of a lot more interesting to cover. no doubt people wanted to cover him. but the negative press, the presumptive negative press and i'm somebody who is very pro press, i have good relations with most of the press, the print and electronic media. but it is frustrating oftentimes if you're in trump world to not be able to get your message out which is why he ended up taking it directly to the american people. it was his way of making people feel like they were part of his movement not part of a garden variety -- let me just say his way of cutting through the noise or the silence on an issue whatever the case was at a given time. >> it's on an issue just to stay specific to martha raddatz here, he did say something publicly that is not true. and people will continue to believe an untrue thing about a people will continue to believe
it's true. i don't think you've ever commented on this. peter thiel's part of the transition. >> yes. >> he put a news organization out of business. he did not like how gawker covered him. they got sued for over $100 million. it made that company go away. he sued them out of existence. the lawyer he used to do that is now representing melania trump in a lawsuit that she has filed against a blogger you've never heard of, a $150 million lawsuit against a blogger, is that going to continue after inauguration? is the trump family going to try to sue to bankrupt news outlets and bloggers? >> that's not the goal here. >> to collect $150 million from that guy? >> first of all, let me go back
to what you said about peter thiel. i don't want anybody to go away misinformed. he filed a lawsuit. the judge and jury heard all of the evidence. gawker didn't settle. >> ask him why he did it. he said i did it to -- >> he succeeded with apparently an excellent lawyer who's now been hired by mrs. melania trump who also has been slandered and maligned. she has a right to defend herself. this woman is brilliant. anybody who underestimates hers to so at their own peril. she's going to make an amazing first lady. >> is that going to at any once she's first lady? >> i don't know the course of the lawsuit, wheret is in the process right now, but she has the right to defend herself. >> he invented it. he has pioneered -- >> he succeeded at it. >> and it made a journalistic enterprise disappear. because they wrote a thing about peter thiel. >> being arrogant going forward. >> he accomplished what he set out to do. we both agree.
>> the man's an amazing success story. >> he set out to fund that lawsuit to hake gawker disappear, and it worked. is the trump family now embracing that strategy? >> not at all. not at all. >> melania trump -- >> no, she's defending herself. she got an unusual if not unprecedented apology. >> she got a retraction. >> it's unheard of. >> but why press the lawsuit after the retraction? >> why is it okay to treat her that way? >> i'm not talking about her treatment. >> that's what this is about. if you're going to lie about melania trump. >> i have an opinion on the hulk hogan sex tape. >> in our case it's a straight-up. >> why use the same lawyer? >> because he's effective, does a great job. >> he's effective at this legal strategy. >> the goal here is to, i think
punish and to call out people who lie about melania trump. >> and a retraction isn't enough. even if you retract it, the first family will continue to sue you? >> it's not the first family. she's a private citizen. she -- >> the first lady of the united states, if you apologize, you get it wrong. you apologize and retract it, you will continue to be sued, perhaps as an individual for over $100 million. >> do you think an apology. >> that's going to continue? >> hold on a second, rachel. to you think a retraction puts it back together? when humpty-dumpty falls off the wall -- people who spread vicious lies. >> if the trump family believes that there are journalist -- every president, every president, not only in the modern era, every president back to the beginning of news print
has believed that the press has lied about them. i have never seen a first family, never seen a president or his family members trying to put newspapers out of business through a novel legal strategy and i want to know if the trump presidency. >> they are suing a publication that lied about her. >> are they going to do that to everybody? >> are people going to stop lying about them? and she didn't file it as the first lady but as a private citizen. >> are they going to continue to do that? >> are they going to continue lying about her? >> will the lawsuit -- >> do you know what we were discussing eight years ago around this time, not me and you necessarily. but do you know what the country was discussing eight years ago? we weren't discussing any negative stuff associated with president-elect obama. it was basically, what will they
wear to the inaugural, what will he try to push through. it's different for the trumps, and you know it. but as a private citizen being lied about, i'm very proud of her. i'm proud of her as someone who admires her, proud as a woman who gets sick and tired of watching other women torn down in the press. i'm proud of her for pushing forward that lawsuit. she got a retraction and apology. is the damage undone? do you think you can't pull up that story somewhere? i bet you could pull it up right now on your computer. so the damage is always there. >> are you glad that gawker's gone? >> i haven't made much attention to it. am i glad that they're gone? >> if someone lies about the first family, you see it as a lie. would you want that news enterprise to be gone in punishment? >> no. of course not. >> this conversation that we've just had will be taught in journalism classes.
>> i have a quick addendum. i certainly don't want them gone, but i also want the legal process to take its regular course without interruption from anyone else. so if the lawsuit includes a judgment. if the verdict includes a judgment that puts said gawker out of business because they did not settle or they did not protect their assets. if that's the result, that may not have been the intention. >> that's the intention. >> the man is brilliant. >> kellyanne conway. >> thanks for having me. >> i hope you will continue to do this. you told me last time we spoke that i get to talk to your candidate. didn't happen. but you owe me one. >> he wanted me to tell you. i told him last week i was coming on your show, and he said he was so happy, and when i talked to him two days ago, he said make sure you announce on your show that you're coming into the white house. >> we're way over time. we'll be right back. sorry. y sick.
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where does the time go? i want to thank the trump transition. i want to thank kellyanne conway personally for agreeing to come in here and talk to me. i cannot get a lot of republican and republican operatives, let alone people involved in high-level republican politics to have a conversation with me.