tv MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall MSNBC January 6, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
even instagram. right now more news with my colleague stephanie ruhle. >> have a great weekend. right now we are staying on the intelligence beat because just a short time from now donald trump will finally get the russian intelligence briefing. the leaders of the u.s. spy agencies on their way to trump tower. the big question, is the evidence strong enough to convince him. and a battle of the apprentices, with all the briefings going on, donald trump is taking a swipe at arnold schwarzenegger over the low ratings and schwarzenegger is saying good-bye. >> and michelle obama's final speech as first lady. she is the most powerful woman in america. we'll bring you all of that live. good morning. i'm stephanie ruhle in for tamron hall. the director of national
intelligence and heads of the cia, fbi and national security agency will brief the president-elect on alleged russian meddling in the presidential election, certainly he has called repeatedly challenged. he said, well, maybe it's not the case, maybe even sided with julian assange tweeting even last night questioning the validity of the information he's about to receive. well, we have it all covered for you from every angle. kristen welker, what do we expect will go down here? >> reporter: the backdrop to this briefing is very tense, that's for sure. you have the president-elect just last night again questioning the intelligence community. he was infuriated after details leaked out about the report and actually what's in the report and intelligence officials telling us that some of the details in the report include intercepts which prove that top russian officials were celebrating president-elect trump's win. we were also learning they've identified some of the go-betweens who delivered some
of that information. the president-elect is saying why is this information leaking out? he's been questioning these people who are going to brief him for weeks now. so this is tensions that have been building. but we're also being told these are career professionals. they're not going in to pick a fight. they're going to be firm in what they know. if the president-elect pushes, they're prepared to push back. will things get heated, that's the other question. is the president-elect going to actually believe the intelligence that he gets? you have experts who are looking at this situation and saying, look, it's critical to national security that he backs up his intelligence community. what we have is this unprecedented moment where a sitting commander in chief is creating a huge rift with the intelligence community that he's about to leave. we're also learning some new details. this meeting's going to take place at 12:30 and vice president elect mike pence is also going to be in attendance. we're going to be tracking it all, steph, the fireworks and everything else. >> it's going to be a party over there. i want to bring in hans nichols
in washington, d.c. it sound like moments from now we're going to be getting the public version of this report. what do we expect? >> well, the public version could come out any moment now. we do expect it today. my colleague is reporting it. you'll have the public version and the private briefing that mr. trump will be receiving at 12:30. intelligence officials saying both of very powerful saying russia actively intervened to influential the election for donald trump. the question really is at trump tower is what's the standard of proof, the burden of proof and will donald trump sport upport . joining donald trump will be michael flynn, his incoming national security adviser, head of the nsc. what was important about mr. flynn is throughout his career, he's been very skeptical of intel coming in. look to see if there's any showdown between flynn and some of the folks that they're briefing, namely john brennan,
michael rogers and mr. clapper before. we heard yesterday, clapper is ready and almost seems to be relishing what could be a confrontation. >> nancy pelosi said the intel is stunning. what will donald trump be learning today? what information will put him over the top so it will be hard for him to question the validity of this going forward? >> what trump will get and the classified version as opposed to the public report that we'll all get is actually how they know what they know. sources and methods. and this is always, steph, a debate in the intel community. when you're trying to make a public case, you don't want to hinder, you don't want to prevent your ability down the line to go back to those same sources and use those methods. so trump will now how they knew it. what the public will know is what they know. whether or not trump hides behind that and still claims
he's unconvinced, that we'll have to see once he gets briefed. will's a lot of people in that meetings and a lot of opportunity for us to try to report it out and find out what's happening. >> wow, hans nichols reporting a leak right there on tv. >> reporting, reporting. >> i appreciate that. the fact that the report is coming out so soon, does that p put more pressure on donald trump? >> it does. you would think it's part of the intelligence community's way of saying, hey, it's time for you to get on board with this. yesterday had you this united front, james clapper, head of the dni, as well as members of congress, republicans and democrats saying they uniformly believe that russia is in fact behind this. and you had james clapper the defending the information that he has and saying this is one of the strongest cases that we've
seen of a foreign government trying to interfere with a u.s. election. john mccain calling this an act of war. i think all of that is putting pressure on donald trump. how does he respond to it? that's the key question. a lot of people speculating he's going to come out and say, okay, the findings do point to russia, however, this has been overhyped and overpoliticized. remains an open question, though. >> let's bring in republican strategist and member of trump's national spanish advisory council, steve cortez and strategist david corn. donald trump has publicly been a skeptic of these intelligence agencies and this information. but the fact that there's a lot of pressure there, he's meeting with the intelligence officials, now the public report is coming out. to kristen's point, it's been called an act of war. nancy pelosi said the content is stunning. what is donald trump going to do? >> i don't know but we'll find
out shortly today or in the coming days. i think that skepticism of intelligence reports is okay. >> publicly? >> yes. had george w. bush been skeptical of the cia's conclusion, we might never have got i don't know involv gotten involved in that awful embroilio in iraq as we did had he taken a skeptical view. >> without a doubt that's why someone becomes the president because they are the last word but being a public skeptic, goading, antagonizing, calling it "intelligence." who does that help? how does that make america great? >> the reason he's had to go public is because unfortunately there have been so many leaks out of our intelligence commute is they chose to go public. it would be wonderful for american national security if all of this could have been done behind closed doors. >> so two wrongs make a right? >> no, no.
hacking is wrong. we can't have it from americans, not from china, russians or anyone, if it jeopardizes our security or our economic security. i think we've been too lax about hacking. whatever the source of the hacks, what was revealed by all indications of the truth and the truth about the democratic party and about hillary clinton and her top staffers, the truth once revealed convinced americans the more they knew about them, the less they liked hersh the less they trusted them. >> david? >> i pity you, steve, to have to defend donald trump on this matter. he has said so many things that are just outright false. not that he's a skeptic. that's a polite way of saying it. he said weeks ago this wasn't an issue during the election, why are we seeing this now? >> david, don't talk ko
condescending to me this way. i know exactly what they are. >> gentlemen, we're going to end this right now if you can't be respectful to one another. david? >> he just sort of made it up that this was a post-election issue. he said julian assange knows more than the intelligence community does. he hasn't prove i don't knn tha. he said he knew something special about the hacking he would tell us this past tuesday and wednesday. he didn't do that either. he's been spinning or fabricating and saying false and misleading statements on this issue for months and it all ties into the mystifying approach he has towards russia and putin and trying to dismiss this intervention. >> it's what the mainstream media has been saying for weeks is that the election was hand. that's not true. the dnc was hacked. >> steve. steve. steve. steve. steve, i'm not going to let you
make a generalization about the media because here we are, you and i. i'm not making a generalization about anything, i'm not saying the results or saying that the election would have been different had the hacking not have happened. but in terms of this special information that donald trump has, what is it? >> i don't know. clearly. and nobody knows. >> yeah. >> i believe that after this briefing he receives today, i think all of us are going to know a lot more. probably today, if not today then in coming days. i think the most important thing for americans, the election is over, the election was not hacked, the election was fair and free. going forward america can't be hacked clearly. we can't be hacked by china. we've been a victim of chinese hacking for years. i think donald trump will take an incredibly approach in defending america and retaliating wherever hacks come from. >> we do want to clarify the election results didn't necessarily change but the intelligence community has told us there was a hack before.
before we go, steve, you basically said or as i understand donald trump has done this in response to all the leaks that are out there. but if you could help me understand why is it that donald trump continues this tweet storm, today alone going after arnold schwarzenegger and the apprentice and ratings. this is the president-elect. doesn't he have anything better to do? >> of course. listen, no one can doubt his work ethic and how hard he's been working at this transition. >> yes, you can. >> the president-elect is a very unique politician, right. he's our first -- >> please answer my question. >> he didn't come from the military -- >> please answer my question. >> i am. part of what makes him unique is the way he speaks so candidly and such authenticity to the american people. >> about trivial matters. >> and he has an extensive past as a television celebrity. it's important to him and important to his brand. it's part of what made him -- >> he's not a grownup. >> it's part of what made him run for president in the first
place. the media thinks he doesn't talk like a politician -- >> so going after the ratings of the apprentice. >> the guy in charge of our nuclear codes, who is being briefed on whether the russians intervened, he has nothing better to do than to sort of go on this sort of i'm better than you tweet storm against arnold schwarzenegger. >> he's not speaking to you. he's speaking to the american people. >> he needs to grow up. >> he's not speaking to washington, d.c. or new york, he's speaking to the american worker who has been forgot i don't know -- forgotten. >> and if you live in new york, you count, too. >> we'll have michelle obama's final speech as first lady. her last public address before the transition to trump. but first, four african-americans charged with streaming the attack of a white teen-ager. they're going to appear in court
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it was streamed live on facebook. here's what president obama had to say about it. >> whether it's tensions between communities or tension of the despicable sort that has now arisen on facebook, i take these things very seriously. >> blake mccoy is outside the courthouse in chicago right now. what are we expecting? >> reporter: stephanie, this is a bond hearing, meaning bond will be set and attorneys assigned. it's very much a procedural hearing. it's the first time we'll be seeing these four individualsin faces outside of that video, accused of committing this cruel and senseless attack. >> now, court doesn't go into -- >> take it easy. >> reporter: they showed their faces on video and today will show their faces in court. two black women and two black men charged with kidnapping a white teen-ager with mental health issues in what
authorities are calling a hate crime. the video shows the 18-year-old victim tied up, slashed with a knife and forced to drink toilet water. the ordeal, according to police, went on for hours and it was posted to facebook live for all to see. >> [ bleep ], [ bleep ]. >> the actions in that video are reprehensible. that, along with racism, have absolutely no place in the city of chicago. >> anybody seeing it is both -- it's sickening and sickened by it. >> but this morning the victim's grandmother tells nbc news she hasn't seen it and won't. >> i don't think i could handle that. i don't want to watch him suffer. i know he did. >> reporter: investigators confirm the victim went to school with one of his alleged assailants, jordan hill. he met up with hill at a
mcdonald's on new year's eve. what began as a sleepover lasted for several days. police found him disoriented tuesday afternoon. they then located the house they believe he was being tortured in about a block away. >> it has caused condemnation by black leaders. >> our community is embarrassed by the actions of these young men. their actions are very barbaric and we are outraged. >> reporter: as for the victim his siblings say he's doing as well as can be expected. some of the charges these four are facing here today are hate crime charges. they're also facing unlawful restraint, battery with a deadly weapon and kidnapping charges. if they're convicted on kidnapping, they could serve up
to 30 years in prison. >> joining me is a criminal and civil tone. eric, that video is awful, awful. we're completely shocked by it. we haven't seen anything like this. how common is this type of thing? >> it's common. and i hate saying that and giving the world the information because so many of these children are doing crimes, committing crimes for attention. they do it on facebook live, they record it, they take pictures of themselves, whether it's a jewel thief or a burglar or a robber, they're trying to get attention and likes and that is the fuel behind something like this. >> the fact that it was recorded, that there's a 28-minute video, does that make it a slam dunk case? >> it does in certain aspects. the only potential issue is the hate crime statute. you have to prove that it was because of race or his disability at that it was a hate crime. on the surface it definitely appears that way, which i do expect the prosecution to start
making offers and deals, this is almost a race to the prosecutor's office for them to get their client a deal before the others. >> is there where they'll turn on one another and point the finger at the ring leader? >> absolutely. the canaries are going to start singing very shortly. you may be my best friend but if we're going to prison, i need to get the best deal for me. >> could this video get thrown out? >> i doubt it. of course the defense lawyers are going to challenge the video -- >> except they are the ones that put the video out there. >> they are. i believe this would be admissible in court. i don't see a reason why it would not be admissible. but the defense attorneys will try to keep it out, benefit their client and get them the best deal. this is a slam dunk case because these young children were on camera doing this crime.
>> can i say one thing? they don't get to be called children. they're adults. >> they're 18. they're 18. >> old enough to know better. >> and i agree with that. this is the type of thing that society -- >> one of them is 24 years old. >> i think the others are 17. >> if you're 17 or 18 years old, i hope to heaven that you know better than that kind of behavior. >> absolutely. that's where we have to get to the home values and the things we teach these children. this is not acceptable by anyone regardless of where you're from or what you do. this is sick. >> this is sick, this is what it is. >> we're going to take a break. just in, a brand new interview with donald trump answering questions about the u.s. intelligence assessment of russia's hacking. he is calling it a political witch hunt. what else did he have to say? plus my colleague andrea mitchell just sat down with outgoing secretary of state john
kerry. she'll join me live with highlights of their one-on-one. on the outside you have to feel healthy at your core. trubiotics a probiotic from one a day. naturally helps support both your digestive and immune health. feel a difference in two weeks or your money back. take the trubiotics 2 week challenge. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com.
you're watching msnbc. i'm stephanie ruhle. we have breaking news regarding donald trump. a new interview about the russian hack just out online. hans, this wasn't even in today's paper. it just came out, donald trump speaking to the "new york times" about the potential russian hacking and he hasn't even been briefed yet. that briefing doesn't take place for another hour. >> it's an indication to the extent to which donald trump is previewing his defense of whether or not the russians hacked the election.
if this intelligent report is indeed unimpeachable. it's him showing you what he's going to say. he's telling the times he thinks this is a political witch hunt. this is donald trump, the next president of the united states basically saying he's an assignment editor here upset about the amount of coverage that news organizations are giving to this, basically saying it's sour grapes. in that interview with my friend over there at the "new york times," michael sheer, great job getting donald trump on the phone saying the chinese hacked the white house, there wasn't that much attention there. it says two times in the interview this is a political witch hunt. we are going to get this report, the public version of it within the hour we thing. we've already heard from nancy pelosi. and pelosi seemed a little upset the report didn't go farther. going forward i think we'll have two conversations, one, what trump wants it to be and that is is there too much information on this and how unassailable is the
information prevented in the public side of this report. as we always reveal, our roaring tactics, we need to find michael sheer, get his cell phone and he likes to play poker, maybe we can get his cell phone. sheer's a great guy. >> i love that, hans nichols always working i want to stay on donald trump but something else that he is up to, all of this very, very serious business, he's in a different kind of twitter battlea twitter war with former california governor arnold schwarzenegger. i can't even believe we're talking about this, the terminator versus the donald with the president-elect about to be briefed on the potential russian hacking. what is he doing? >> these tweets went down as the gang of eight were briefed on this on the hill. so here you go. this was about four hours ago. president-elect donald trump also by the way executive
producer of the show -- >> currently. >> while the ratings are in and arnold schwarzenegger got swamped, look drain the swamped or destroying the ratings machine by himself. now compare him to my season one, we'll do that in a second. but who cares? great question. so arnold comes right back at him and writes there's nothing more important than the people's work. keep in mind movie superstar arnold schwarzenegger/former governor of california. please study this quote from lincoln's inaugural, it inspired me every day as governor and i hope it inspires you. he posted a video. >> i'm not sure i want to hear me read lincoln speeches in my accent. here we go -- we are not enemies but friends. we must not be enemies. we are not enemies, we are
neighbors and most importantly we are all americans. >> this is the famous inaugural address where lincoln said the better angels of our nature, stephanie. >> what do the ratings look like? >> he's not wrong but he's not right, which is kind of tich ca -- typical of the twitter thing. if you compare it to the first episode of 2004, yes but that was novel. if you compared it to the last time donald trump debuted a season, it's 6.5 versus almost 5, so not a big difference. but again, he's the boss. he's the executive producer of the show, which makes you wonder why the whole thing is going on anyway. >> or maybe they're all playing us. guess what we're all doing today? >> talking about "the apprentice." that's what donald trump wants to us do, talk about "the apprentice." >> we're going to talk to you more about this planet and another one. a live look outside the
international space station right this moment, i love these videos! two astronauts are upgrading the space station's electrical power system by swapping out batteries that have been in place for a decade or longer. the walk began at 7:00 this morning and is expected to last until 2 p.m. and back on earth, more than 90 million americans are bracing for a winter storm over the next two days. part of 29 states from the south into new england will be hit with snow, sleet or ice. north carolina could see up to a foot of snow. >> and just moments from now, michelle obama will give her last speech as first lady. her good-bye speech coming up. we're going to bring that to you live. please stay with us. . cheesy chipotle pork quesadillas? mmmm... ravioli lasagna bake? yeah, i don't know... grilled white chicken... grab something rich, sharp and creamy.
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welcome back. you're watching msnbc, i'm stephanie ruhle. the unemployment rate has ticked up to 4.7% from 4.6% last month. that's a negative. it means more people without a job. as president elect trump is two weeks away from being sworn into the white house, how will the newest numbers impact his job in the white house. ali velshi, what do these numbers look like? >> 156,000 net new jobs were added in december of 2016, lower than what we expected. we expected that number to be about 173,000 and it's lower than the average from this year, which is 180,000. as you mentioned, the unemployment rate is ticked up from 4.6% to 4.7%.
historically we would have considered anything below 5% pretty good. the problem is that we've got a low unemployment rate relatively but haven't seen wages push up all that much. in president obama's eight years in office, the tally per year has averaged to 1,419,000 jobs created every year of the eight years. here's how that stands. this is the 1.4 million in relation to the last six presidencies. jimmy carter created an environment in which the most jobs were produced, 2.5 million, reagan 2 million, george bush the first, 659,000, clinton 2.8 million. stephanie, as you know very well and our viewers know, presidents don't create jobs and sometimes they don't even create the environment. it could be something that happened before them but this is what the tally looks like. >> we shouldn't forget, it's not just the unemployment number. it's the underemployment number. all of those people who aren't even looking anymore.
>> that's why normally this would be good, the 4.7%. because we have so many people who either have two jobs or are not satisfied in the job they've got or not working enough hours, this is not giving you the answer you actually want. >> not giving us the picture we want. thank you, ali. next to the white house. michelle obama about to give her last speech as first lady. a look at her legacy next.
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east room of the white house where michelle obama is about to deliver what will be her final speech as first lady. it follows a series of powerful and highly praised speeches over the last six to seven months. the first lady's remarks today will be at an event honoring the 2017 school counselor of the year. it's a tradition she started two years ago as part of her reach higher initiative. as we wait for the first lady, i'm joined by nbc news chief washington correspondent chris jansing and amanda turkle. people on the stage right now are the finalist for the school counselor of the year. clearly this is a big day, a big moment for them. chris, you want to start with you. this is also a big moment for michelle obama. what do we expect to hear from her? >> expect passion. we saw it on the speeches she did on behalf of hillary clinton, particularly one where she answered some of the things
that had been said by president-elect donald trump. she minced no words. remember, politics is not her first love, far from it. she is somebody who in fact has always loved working in a different kind of process, in community leadership and education is a big deal for her. so we shouldn't be surprised that the last event that she does in a public forum le this is honoring school counselors, is going to honor the counselor of the year. and we're also listening very closely for some clues about her post-white house plans. she's talked very little about them, but i do know from talking to people close to her, she will focus heavily on women and girls. it's been a passion for her, even from the time that she was very young, and for her it's very personal as someone who grew up on the south side of chicago in a one-bedroom house, within a stone's throw of one of the best universities in the country but she felt as a young girl of color the opportunities were not there for her. she was wait listed at harvard
law school. of course she got in and graduated. everything that she could possibly want to do is out there for her, one of the things she will clearly focus on is education, stephanie. so we're waiting to hear some of those details today. >> amanda, do we think that passion could be paired at all with pessimism? in her last interview where she sat down with oprah winfrey, she talked about a feeling of hopelessness as she talked about the new administration. >> that may be true but especially recently her speeches have been incredibly optimistic. you look at the speech at democratic national convention, her main line has been "when they go low, we go high." that has encapsulated especially how she has approached especially the end of her tenure. she gave another remarkable speech during the campaign when she talked about what a strong
man actually looks like and that they don't need to put down women, obviously responding to some of the remarks that donald trump made and she has really tried to be out there, be a role model for children because education is such an important issue to her. you know, i think we will see more of that tone perhaps. >> ron, what does this mean to michelle obama? we know she's spent a lot of time in the last few months on the campaign trail for hillary clinton, something she didn't want to do. politics isn't something she likes. but at the time she thought it was so important, specifically the messaging, what she needed to do for women and girls and hillary clinton was not elected to be the next president. so what does this speech today mean to michele? >> the program retire is about inspiring young people, especially young girls to do that, retirach higher, aspire beyond high schools, two year
colleges, trade schools. it's her position that to succeed in society these days, you need more than a high school diploma. i think she has a lot to say, the first lady does. she has a lot to get off her chest. i think she'll be a fascinating person to talk to once the obamas leave the white house because she has played this role of first lady, which i think has restrained her in some ways. i think it will be a lot of optimism, a lot of positivity. i think some of the most enduring aspt of the obama legacy is the role model that they have been to so many young people of color in this country, who see them in the white house, who see them as the first family, who see them as a family with two very accomplished young children, who are now older of course. but i think that's what this event is. she likes to be in this kind of an environment where there are young people around, where she can be inspiring, where people will look up to her and where she can tell them essentially you can be me, you can do this.
you just have to get past all these obstacles that are in your way. and the obamas are some of the first to say that there are in fact obstacles, that it is different for young people of color to get ahead in this society and they're very proud as well of some of the policies and education space, like the high school graduation rate of being the highest in the nation. the president set a goal of trying to increase the number of americans in college to a higher level than it's been in the past. again, i think this is an vant for the first lady really to just be the inspiring person that she's been, to set the example, to fill the room with optimism, with hope, with a positive vibe as we go through yet another of these last and final moments here at the white house for the past week or so. it seems like every day there's been a last farewell, final moment. it's a very emotional time here for a lot of people, for the staff, for the obamas i'm sure. i think you'll see some of that
come throughs well. the christmas event a month ago, she was very, very emotional when talking to military families. military families are another cause, another group she's really tried to support wholeheartedly in her time at the white house. >> if i can tell you a personal story, at the christmas parties, you have your picture taken with the president and first lady and last year i brought one of my brothers with me as my date. you're moving through fairly quickly, you don't have a time for real conversation. as we were walking away, she was thanking my brother. and i said for 30 years he was a school teacher. she stopped everything and spoke with him. that tells you a little bit how education is a priority for her. and she talked about the privacy of her daughters as much as she could. and we don't see a tremendous amount of her children. they are children of privilege
and -- >> i need to stop you. michelle obama, the first lady, giving her last public speech. [ cheers and applause ] >> what's going on? thank you all so much. you guys, that's a command. rest yourselves. we're almost at the end. hello, everyone, and may i say for the last time officially welcome to the white house. [ applause ] yes. well, we are beyond thrilled to have you all here to celebrate the 20 national school counlor of the year, as well as all of our sta counselors of the year. these are the fine women and a few good men -- one good man who are on the stage and they represent schools from across this country and i want to start by thanking terry for that
wonderful introduction and her right-on-the-spot remarks. i'm going to say more about terry in a few minutes. first i want to introduce our outstanding secretary of education, john king. [ applause ] as well as our former education secretary arnie duncan. [ applause ] i want to take this time to thank you both publicly for your dedication and leadership and friendship. we couldn't do this without the support of the department of education under both of your leadership. so i'm grateful to you personally and very proud of all that you've done for this country. i also want to acknowledge a few other special guests we have in
the audience. we've got a pretty awesome crew. as one of my staff said, you roll pretty few good friends. we have with us today ted allen, lala anthony, cony britton, andy cohen, yeah, andy cohen is here. karla hall, coach jim harbaugh and his beautiful wife who is a lot better looking than him. lana pariya, my buddy jay farrow, kelly roland, usher. keep it down. keep it together, ladies, waleh is here and of course allison williams and her mom are here and all these folks are here because they're using their star power to inspire our young
people and i'm grateful for you for stepping up in so many ways on so many occasions. i feel like i've pestered you over these years asking time and time again where are you going to be? i'll be in new york. can you come here, can you do this, take that, ask for that, can you come? can we rap? can we sing? so thank you all so much. it really means the world to this initiative to have such powerful respected and admired individuals speaking on behalf of this issue. so congratulations on the work that you've done and we're going to keep working. and today, i especially want to recognize all the extraordinary leadership team that was behind reach hire from day one and this isn't on the script so they don't know this. iant to take time to personally acknowledge a couple people, executive director eric waldo. [ cheers and applause ] where is eric?
he was in the -- you got to step out. [ cheers and applause ] step out there. there we go for eric. eric acting like he's a ham but he likes the spotlight. he's acting a little shy. i want to recognize our deputy director, stephanie sprouse. stephanie. [ cheers and applause ] stephanie. back there. and he's really not going to like this because he tries to pretend like he doesn't exist at all but our senior adviser greg darneter. [ cheers and applause ] there you go. greg has been a leader in education his entire life. i've known him since i was a little organizer person, and
it's just been just a joy to work with you all. these individuals, they are brilliant. they are creative. they have worked miracles with hardly any staff or budget to speak of, which is how we roll in the first lady's office. and i am so proud and so grateful to you all for everything that you've done so let's give them a round of applause. and finally i want to recognize all of you who are here in this audience. we have our educators, our lead leaders, our young people who have been with us since we launched reach hire back in 2014. when we first came up with this idea, we had one clear goal in mind. we wanted to make higher education cool. we wanted to change the conversation around what it
means and what it takes to be a success in this country. because let's be honest, if we're always shining the spotlight on professional athletes or recording artists or hollywood celebrities, if those are the only achievements we celebrate, then why would we ever think kids would see clem as a p college as a priority so we decided to flip the script and shine a big bright spotlight on all things educational. for example, we made college signing day a national event. we wanted to mimic all that drama and excitement traditionally reserved for those few amazing football and basketball players choosing their college and university teams. we wanted to focus that same level of energy and attention on kids going to college because of their academic achievements, because as a nation, that's where the spotlight should also be, on kids who work hard in
school and do the right thing when no one's watching. many beating daunting odds. next, we launched better make room. it a social media campaign to give young people the support and inspiration they need to actually complete higher education, and to really drive that message home, you may recall that i debuted my music career rapping with jay about getting some knowledge by going to college. [ cheers and applause ] we are also very proud of all that this administration has done to make higher education more affordable. we doubled investments in pell grants and college tax credits. we expanded income-based loan repayment options for tens of millions of students. we made it easier to apply for financial aid. we created a college scorecard
to help students make good decisions about higher education and we provided new funding and support for school counselors. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> all together we made in this administration the largest investment in higher education since the gi bill. [ cheers and applause ] and today the high school graduation rate is at a record high, and more young people than ever before are going to college, and we know that school counselors like all of the folks standing with me on this stage have played a critical role in lping get there. in fact a recent study showed students who met with a school counselor to talk about financial aid or college were
three times more likely to attend college, and they were nearly seven times more likely to apply for financial aid. so our school counselors are truly among the heroes of the reach higher story, and that's why we created this event two years ago, because we thought that they should finally get some recognition. we wanted everyone to know about the difference that these phenomenal men and women have been making in the lives of our young people every day, and our 2017 school counselor of the year, terry trcyzinskcy a perfect example. terry works at the calhoun area career center, career and technical education school in michigan, and here's what terry's principal said about her in his letter of recommendation. he said "once she identifies a
systemic need, she works tirelessly to address it." so when students at terry's school reported feeling unprepared to apply for higher education, terry sprang into action to create a school-wide top-to-bottom college readiness effort. under terry's leadership students attended workshops on resume completion, fasfa completion, and ierview preparation, i can barely say it. they did career and personal personality assessments, they helped plan a special college week and organized a military day, hosting recruiters from all branches of our armed forces, and because of these efforts today, 75% of calhoun's seniors now complete key college application steps and terry's school has one state and national recognition, and all of this is just one small part of what terry does for her students
each day. i can go on and on about all the time she spends one on one with students helping them figure out their life path. terry told us, as you heard, she told us about one of those students. we reached out to kyra, and here's what kyra had to say in her own words. kyra wrote that "mrs. trcyzinski has helped me grow to love myself. she helped me with my doubts and insecurities." she said, "my life has changed for the better in all aspects." kyra said "she held my hand through my hardest times." she said "mrs. trcyzinski is my life saver." that's what kyra said. and this is what each of you do. every single day. you see the promise in each of your students. you believe in them even when
they can't believe in themselves and u work tirelessly to help them be who they were truly meant to be,nd you do it all in the face of some overwhelming challenges, tight budgets, impossible student/counselor ratios. yes, amen. endless demands on your time. you all come in early, you stay late. you reach into your own pockets and see, we got the amen for that. >> amen. >> you stick with students in their darkest moments, when they're most anxious and afraid, and if anyone is dealing with a college senior or junior, you know what this feels like. these men and women show them that those kids matter, that they have something to offer that no matter where they're from or how much money their parents have, no matter what they look like or