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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  January 10, 2017 3:00am-6:01am PST

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the fights that remain ahead. that's certainly something to watch. we'll have it on msnbc. that does it for us this tuesday morning. i'm alex witt touchdown! >> one final piece of business. hugo just boots it along the ground. they fall on it. clemson tigers, new kings of college football. >> it's indescribable. i mean, you can't make it up, man. only god can do this, take a god like me, go to alabama, win a national championship. come to clemson and win a national championship against the best team in the country up until the last second of this game and see my guys fight and
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just believe. i told them tonight, i told them theifferee the ge was going to be lo. it's been my word. my word all year has been love. i said tonight we're going to win it because we love each other. >> i like that coach. >> nick saban does not say stuff like that. >> come on, that was amazing. >> it was. >> how many at the table stayed up to watch? >> one. >> start to finish. >> joe, did you watch the whole thing? >> what kind of question is that. of course i watched the whole things. >> you guys are going to be blythering fools this morning. >> what's new. >> it was a great game. >> it was a great game. >> clemson is a great team. deshawn one of the best football players ever. fourth quarter, back and forth, back and forth, his injury he thought was huge.
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they topped running the ball well after he went down in the third quarter. >> that guy is amazing. >> the fourth quarter was all defense early. fourth quarter was a shoot-out. here it is here. williams, the receiver, incredible for clemson. >> he really is. >> clemson has nfl players all over the field like alabama. pretty evenly patched teams. alabama's defense did all they could do but that many possessions they are going to score eventually. >> tweeted in the third quarter, this isn't going to end well. they were 0 tor 10, 0-for- 1 third down attempts. they were asking too much of their defense. mika was asking, why the little orange team, why so badly first and second quarter. >> got roughed up. >> because alabama has the best defense in the america. >> they hit them rd. >> they absolutely dominated them. you put any defense on the field for the spire third and fourth quarter, which they did, you're
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going to get worn down. you give him that many snaps he's going to beat you every time. >> it became a punting contest. it was like, don't give it to him, 420 yards for people that woke up. he scored the game winning touchdown in the last second. >> he wasn't that good in the first half because the defense wasn't exhausted in the first ha half. their defense is better. the draft will prove that. i'll say that quickly and we need to get to business. you know who they missed? saban won't say this. they missed lane kiffin. the quarterback looked like it all year. i'm not sure what happened. i don't know whose fault it was. you have an 18-year-old
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quarterback, give him new offensive coordinator, give him seven days to gel with him, it's going to end up looking like that. i always talk about saban management, i think you can learn so much about him. i'm sure they will write books about him like they did about wooden, although he seems nicer, what does management take with them last night? even great leaders need great people around him. he didn't have the best offensive coordinators around him last night. i don't know why. i don't know who is to blame but lane kiffin's offense would not have looked like that. >> it was bad until the end of the fourth quarter. they woke up. the touchdown run, creative to the pass to the wide receiver who threw down to howard. they looked good at the end. >> clemson is just great. last year joey and i said that was the om game since nick saban started his run where we left the game saying, wow, we beat a better team. >> so what time did the game
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end? >>12:45. >> you guys up all night eddie and richard and i were putting the finishing touches on "a world in disarray" a crisis of the old order. it's richard's book. congratulations, long awaited. very excited. >> mika, my problem was at 12:45, i told them i was going to do this yesterday. i immediately went from that, went over to my comcast channel, pay-per-view, counsel on foreign relations, david remmick. >> i tried to go. >> i saw it on pay-per-view. >> they wouldn't let me in. >> i will tell you, recommend nick, they were amazing. >> crazy, jamming. >> they own the stable. i'm not doing to tell you what happened after? hammer of god. >> i tried to go. they pulled me in the front door and all of a sudden i was out
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the back door. i don't know, remnick, we need to talk. "democracy in place" his book out in paperback. a lot to talk about as we move forward with the transition but obama legacy. in washington, msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt has a book about riding a private plane around with road warriors. >> a one-page book. just one page. >> today as i said start of a big week in politics. nomination hearings begin today. president obama gives his fairwell address tonight in chicago. and tomorrow, donald trump will hold his first news conference since the summer. so up first -- >> it's a big day.
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>> up first, senator jeff sessions. we start off with a bang. he's going to appear before the senate judiciary committee to make his case for attorney general. republican senator susan collins of maine and richard shelby of sessions home state of alabama will give the introductions followed by the nominee's opening remarks. the senate judiciary committee is the same panel that denied sessions a federal judgeship back in 1986 amid accusations of racial insensitivity. those questions are expected to come up again during these hearings. civil rights groups including naacp have come out against his nomination. and in an unprecedented move senator cory booker will become the first senator to testify against another sitting senator during a confirmation hearing for a cabinet post. here is the new jersey democrat explaining his decision on msnbc last night. >> we've seen consistently jeff sessions as senator jeff sessions voting against everything from the matthew
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shepard act, speaking out against ideals around voting rights act, taking measures to try to block criminal justice reform. he has a posture and a positioning that i think represent a real danger to our country. there's a whole spectrum of things in jeff sessions own words represent a real threat to vulnerable populations in this country. it's something i feel necessary to do everything i can to speak out against. >> meanwhile former secretary of state condoleezza rice wrote a letter to committee chairman chuck grassley expressing her support, even getting personal, saying she and sessions both grew up in alabama when america was, quote, not living up to its high-minded principles. she added, quote, those of us who lived through that dark time are the most committed in deep anddamental ways to overcoming it. senator scott, the only to
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listen to constituents' currency including walter scott state case. may not agree on everything but you would be hard pressed to find a nominee for any post that any senator is in 100% agreement with. i've gotten to know jeff over my four years in senate and found him to be a consistently fair person. opening remarks set to begin at 9:30. >> i certainly hope south carolina, talked about the walter scott case and is, in fact, confirmed that the federal government continues the civil rights case in that situation. so really quickly, kasie, what are people saying on the hill about him getting through? >> i think at this point, joe, we're going to see a lot of fireworks today. i think what cory booker is doing is very significant.
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going to see john lewis as well. should be prepared for emotional moments. there is an outside chance something that happens at this hearing could impact the process. at the end of the day, this is somebody really well-known to all those sitting on the dais, voting on his. canation, i'm not hearing at this point his thom nation is in danger. >> i think this will be an ugly hearing. i would be shocked if he did not get through and get confirmed. shocked. tell me, eddie, what's your feeling about jeff sessions. if you're against him, what's your greatest keshs. >> i'm definitely against him, one of the more fanatical, reauthorization of violence against women's act in 2013, opposition to matthew shepard and james bird act, response to voting rights act, we can go on
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and on and on. and then there's vulnerable populations out there, lgtb, people concerned not follow up on consent decrees with police departments. there are vulnerable populations that think this appointment -- they are going to do everything they can. an understatement there will be fireworks. they are going to do everything they can. >> if he is appointed, what's the next step? >> i think it changes the landscape of activism, to understand the doj may very well be an active actor in opposing forces to broaden our understanding. >> it would be a dramatic shift from eric holder's justice department because a lot of conservatives thought he was far too active on one side. we see this with so many cabinet
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picks where it would be one -- moderates in the middle say one not radical but very dramatic position on the left, one very dramatic position on the right. >> for those of us on the left, we were critical of holder's doj. we wanted him to be more active. now we find ourselves in this environment, and i think there is genuine, genuine concern, deep concern, that sessions and his commitments will fundamentally threaten our attempt to broaden democracy. not only immigration, not just simply black folks, not just simply women, there are a whole range of folks. >> we've got some things going on retired marine corps kelly homeland secretary scheduled to begin at 3:30. he will be before senate committee and government boal affairs committee. he will face campaign pledges fall under his purview including building a wall on the border of mexico, deportation of
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immigrants living in the u.s. illegally as well as the tracking of foreigners who overstay their visas. while kelly is considered to be one of the least controversial selections so far, he has not always been lock step with the incoming administration. "the new york times" reports general kelly has often called russia a threat to u.s. leadership in the western hemisphere. he's also called for a more balanced approach to border protection saying security cannot just focus on an endless series of gold line stands on the one foot line along the u.s.-mexican border. >> all that sounds very good. >> a little balanced. >> somebody who fears russia. that doesn't sound bad. somebody that has a rational approach to border security, richard, this is all good, pretty healthy stuff. >> reminds you hearings have any number of purposes. some cases it's to stop a nominee. other cases to highlight policy issues and differences in this case between him and the
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president-elect and to push back. in the case of session it may be not so much to stop him but get commitments for him how he'll govern once he's in place. all these hearings have many purposes beyond ostensible purpose than confirmation. >> in the walter scott case, talk about sessions, get back to it, that prosecution is going to go forward aggressively with the federal government. the two generals, though, mattis and kelly, there's no doubt. those two are going most likely through. some of donald trump's biggest detractors, you get them talking about general kelly they have nothing good to say. >> a lot of americans view them as buffers almost to donald trump because of the fact he listens to them. >> moderating influences. >> moderating influences around donald trump. the kelly hearing will be very interesting, general kelly hearing because it will put on display some of the flashies most controversial issues of the last year and a half, the border
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wall and mass deportations. are we to take these things seriously, something donald trump put out during the campaign and sort of stepped back a little bit. are we actually going forward with those? those are questions for general kelly. >> you look -- what's so fascinating, we're going to talk about secretary of state for a second. you look where donald trump started with john bolton and rudy giuliani. you look at homeland security where he started with a guy out of kansas who would have been a radical selection. it's remarkable where he started and ended up with general kelly. talk about a series of trade ups. we'll see whether john mccain and lindsey graham and others believe rex tillerson is a trade up. >> confirmation hearings for secretary of state, rex tillerson goes before the senate foreign relations committee tomorrow. usa today reports while tillerson was a top executive, subsidiary of exxonmobil did business with sudan, syria,
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under u.s. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism. according to securities and exchange commission filings unearthed by democratic research group, exxon did the business through a european-based third party from 2003 to 2005 with $53 million in sales to iran, $1 million to syria, and $600,000 to sudan. tillerson became a senior vice president at exxon in august 2001, rising to president and director in march of 2004 and then chairman and chief executive at the start of 2006. in response, exxon said these are all legal activities complying with the sanctions at the time, and that they, quote, didn't feel they were materl because of the size of the transactions. exxon's overall annual revenue at the time $371 billion. "the wall street journal" this morning looks at tillerson's leadership at exxon, finding his personal relationships were key to his negotiating style, including his personal relationship with vladimir putin. >> okay. >> so richard, what are you
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looking for in tillerson and what do you think it comes down to? >> what are the key questions? >> i think russia more than iran. i think the largest issue, i think he will be confirmed. whether he's confirmed and whoever else is confirmed, the real issue is the relationship with donald trump. no secretary of state can succeed unless people around the world believe there is zero daylight between him and the president and speaking authoritatively. that's the real issue. confirmation, he's going to have to satisfy people with anything else on russia. perhaps now this new issue with iran and there wasn't any inconsistency with sanctions. but the real question is going to be whether donald trump is determined to make secretary of state a success in the way he was, everyone around the world know when he spoke it was authoritative. you can't have the situation where people basically say i can discount what the secretary of state says because he's not
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speaking for this president and this white house. that to me is more important than anything at the confirmation hearings. >> kasie, obviously john mccain is going to be pivotal. lindsey graham, jeff flake. there are several republicans that are going to be pivotal. many have said publicly, if he does not come out and agree with them and agree with the intel community that russia hacked into the dnc for the purposes of trying to influence the election, and if he doesn't support sanctions, they are not going to vote for him. how much of a margin of error does he have? does he have democrats who will support him or does his nomination rest in the hands of john mccain and lindsey graham and jeff flake? >> look, i think he doesn't really have margin for error on his answer against russia.
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when i talk to mccain and senator graham about capitol hill, they will say he privately has been giving an answer on russia. they won't get into the details. they have been reassured by what he said privately. the question is what he says publicly or does he have to align more closely with donald trump in public. makes a mistake on russia -- >> are you saying his skeptics, republican skeptics are reassured by his private answers? >> yes. yes. so i think his charm offensive is continuing to be quite effective. here is the other dynamic it played, too, joe. on the one hand mccain and graham want to take a public stand and show they have leverage over donald trump on russia. but on the other hand they are really worried about the influence of mike flynn inside the white house. i'd be curious richard's take on this, too. if rex tillerson is confirmed, what the dynamic becomes between flynn and tillerson, who does donald trump listen to? that's a real potential for two
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significantly different views towards russia potentially and approaches to the world. i think mccain and graham are coming around to this idea that tillerson might be a moderating force when it comes to flynn and that might be really important. >> i think you're right, kasie. the problem is the national security adviser has one real advantage over isn't of state. secretary of state spends a third of his time running around the world. national security adviser is down the hall. he's proximity on the site, spend hours with the president every day, get to the story in a minute about jared cashner and others. one of the challenges is going to be how he deals with what's increasingly a white house heavy administration. you've got a strategist, chief of staff, specialist with the son-in-law and so forth. the tendency in america and foreign policy for decades has been a shift of power to the white house. people, the cabinet members in some ways become the periphery. the real challenge for any secretary of state is holding
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his own. they have gone hunting together for decades. >> you know why, because donald trump hasn't gone hunting with anybody for decades or golfing with anybody for decades. he's been a lone wolf. what's fascinating about this process kasie talks about how they are looking at tillerson as a moderating influence on flynn. people alsoooking at general mattis as a moderating new on flynn. including trump's biggest skeptics on the hill who have made with general flynn, say general flynn in private is a moderating influence on the public general flynn we've seen. richard, i know you've heard that from the foreign policy community that flynn behind closed doors is far different than the flynn that is on twitter or was on twitter during the campaign. >> i spent an hour, hour and a half with him a few weeks ago.
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yeah, there's a public image of him, which is quote, unquote, radical, obsessed with iran. >> important. >> islamic terrorism. but all i can say, from my one private meeting, much more moderated, global set of conversations, based on that. >> we'll talk more last night donald trump named his son-in-law jared kushner as senior adviser. and valerie jarrett joins the conversation. senate relations committee senator bob corker and senators claire mccaskill and rob portman joining forces on capitol hill. they join us together. but first here is bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill. >> california, nevada, you take a pick of the states in the west, a lot of rough weather of late. flooding issues with many rivers in california. this is oceanic, told not to do.
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as far as mudslides go, a lot of them at the higher elevations. we've had 8 to 10 impk of snow, heavy rain on top of that. what a mess that will be to clean up. let's get into it. this is the third storm in ten days. it moved in last night, heavy rain in san francisco, snow in the mountains. i just membershipsed, some of the ski resorts reported 100 inches of snow over the past serial days. wnl storm today, tomorrow, going to get another 3 to 5 feet, 48 to 60 inches. it's amazing how much snow they have seen. this is a year's worth in 10 days. as far as rain goes higher totals north of san francisco. many of the rivers are cresting now. hopefully it won't be too bad. i've got to give everyone a heads up, ohio, michigan, western new york, a little burst of snow this morning. it will warm up this afternoon, some treacherous roads, be careful driving. coming up in the east, one more cold morning in new england, you'll enjoy some warmth in the
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days ahead. speaking of big apple, dry for most of the day today. a little bit of rain tonight. you're "morning joe." we'll be right back. it's looking up not down. it's feeling up thinking up living up. it's being in motion... in body in spirit in the now. boost. it's not just nutrition. it's intelligent nutrition. with 26 vitamins and minerals and 10 grams of protein. all in 3 delicious flavors. it's choosing to go in one direction... up. boost. be up for it.
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. donald trump has named his son-in-law, jared kushner as senior adviser. the transition team said, quote, he will work closely with chief of staff reince priebus and stephen stephen bannon. together they have formed an effective leadership team. kushner, who will not take a government salary, is one of e few advisers who has been among president-elect's inner circle from the very beginning. he married ivanka trump in 2009 and heads his own family multi-billion dollar real estate business kushner companies from which he's stepping down and divesting what his attorney
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describes substantial assets. while a federal nepotism law bars relatives from being appointed to the cabinet, the rule has not been applied to white house staff, including 1993 appeals court ruling that allowed then first lady hillary clinton to lead her husband's health care task force. remember that? new york city mayor bill de blasio, frequent cabinet pick praised the selection, said he had known him for years and finds him to be a very reasonable person. by the way, he turns 36 today. he's very nice. >> i'm so old. willie, from outside manhattan, they might be surprised bill de blasio would say something nice about jared kushner, donald trump's son-in-law. look at new york magazine, all the press, "this is a guy who grew up here, well-known here and respected in manhattan by people like bill de blasio.
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>> well liked and has his hands in a lot of business. real estate is the family business but bought "new york observer." has his hands in meddey. before long donald trump's transition campaign, he was a respected guy. this is interesting. you listen to different legal scholars and they have a different answer whether he can sneak past this anti-nepotism law of 1967. trump cites a 1978 law that gives the president discretion over who serves as his adviser. . but do people that oppose donald trump want to die on jared kushner on the hill? >> no. >> given the fact jared kushner is a smart and reasonable guy and somebody they can deal with. i don't know if you want to get rid of this guy but there are questions. >> again, using the word moderating influences on donald trump. jared kushner is from most people that know him in new york, known donald trump through the years in new york, would be the last person you would not
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want around donald trump. >> in the "new york times" piece on him, they say he has democratic leanings, donated to democratic candidates, a moderating influence. i'm shocked we've said that word a lot. >> this is what's so fascinating again. when they get past saying he's an autocrat, nazi, will take a look at this process that's gotten us from the radical choices he was talking about at the beginning to some of these people like tillerson -- certainly there are a lot of concerns on russia -- but kelly. >> climate change. >> and climate change. kelly and many other people who are such trade ups. i think obviously jared was always going to be there franklin templeton from the beginning. as you said, he's seen as a moderating influence even among
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people like bill de blasio. >> i think it's important, given what we think it's going to face, my we, given what -- >> over the past years ivanka trump, who we have a story on as well, with all the different people coming at the president-elect and soon to be president, jared is -- i think the way to look at him, one of the few -- if something really needs to be done, an outreach to somebody, maybe somebody on an option, issue, jared is the one who will make that happen. jared will get those two together. he's got a very kind of subtle approach that trump really trusts. >> i'll just say there are a lot of people screaming back and forth, he's the one that stays calm. never heard the guy raise his voi voice.
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again, a good guy i personally think for donald trump to have around him. kasie, what's -- do people even know him on the hill? has he been to washington and made the rounds there. >> you saw him walking through capitol hill yesterday. he's started to have those meetings. there are some people on the hill who have gotten phone calls from him. remember, kushner was given some credit for helping to make sure mike pence got that vp slot. of course, pence is somebody who a lot of these members have very close ties to, so there's been some introductions going that way. but they are still kind of just beginning to get into this, i think. i'm interested to know when kind of role kushner does play on capitol hill, if he is this person who can start to pick up the phone. he is the one who had nice things to say about chuck schumer at an event in new york. he said my father-in-law might be closer to chuck schumer than
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mitch mcconnell from a personal perspective. i think there's a lot of opportunity there. one question, do democrats go after potential conflicts of interest on this. the trump team is being very aggressive trying to make sure people understand the laws, anti-nepotism laws so that doesn't happen. i think that's one quick way to destroy that relationship before it has an opportunity to get going. >> willie, that's a good example. one of the first phone calls donald trump made the morning after he got elected was to chuck schumer. again, that's the jared kushner connection. trump has known him well. he's the guy for personal reasons but also for other reasons basically stood on the tracks and fought chris christie selection as vice president. cristie probably would have been vice president but for kushner. he was a champion of him. a back story to that.
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>> jared kushner and his dad. it does happen if jared kushner is senior adviser to the president. a remarkable leap from a guy working real estate, 36 years old today, and being a publisher of newspaper to now handling middle east affairs and negotiating a peace in the middle east. it doesn't mean he's not up to the task but talk about a leap in your career. >> not remarkable, sorry, richard, you can mention foreign policy angle but he was key to collecting data on the election and understanding exactly where donald trump stood in key areas. that election night, all the work he had done with the group he brought in from houston paid off. he didn't sweat one bullet. >> another story, somebody opens "new york times," "washington post" or another great newspaper people will look at is the dynamic jared kushner brings
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regarding israel versus what rex tillerson brings, the arab states that rex tillerson has a relationship many consider to be too close to the arab states because of his business. yet jared kushner, the only issue i've ever heard him being strident about is israel. there is just no compromise there. so it's a fascinating sort of, at least in this area, team of rivals relationship regarding middle east peace. >> one of the things this administration needs to do is establish strategic trust with israel, having someone here that could be successful. what he will not succeed at is middle east peace. this is the least ripe democratic situation i can think of for anyone to negotiate. >> you have now assured us all we will see middle east peace. >> i would love you to show that in four years. i will sacrifice my reputation. >> as kasie mentioned, jared kushner hit capitol hill last night for meetings with speaker paul ryan along with
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president-elect economic adviser gary cohn. "washington post" reports he will walk through tax reform. next hour, bring in tax crusader grover norquist -- actually we will -- on the meetings and agendas. we'll talk to grover about that. still ahead, former cia director michael hayden. we'll get his reaction to russia hacking report and dig into richard's new book "a world in disarray and why it may be death th -- debt that turns out to be america's achilles' heel." >> that debt only going to explode over the next four years. also valerie jarrett, excited to have our friend. can you believe it's eight years? >> no. >> i was just thinking we talked to her before she got in. >> i was going to say it to valerie but i'll say now. first donald trump is president
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oversight committee said the end of the election doesn't mean the end of his investigation into hillary clinton's e-mails. congressman jason chaffetz -- even i'm sick of them now. he said finish the investigation is a top priority of his committee. he said, quote, it was potentially one of the largest breach breaches. first of all, i can't believe anyone did. i'm sure they can put some safeguards in place to make sure it doesn't happen again. there are still open questions that we need to finish up so they one happenagain. okay, chaffetz. the chairman blames the state department for dragging out the process saying the agency has been, quote, serably slow and inefficient turning over documents. >> i don't know. >> it was the dumbest thing i've ever seen a candidate do who was planning on running for president, honestly.
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it's now kind of pathetic. are we really going to dig into this. >> i would say in the chairman's defense if he cut it off after the election, it would be like he wasn't serious. >> the press find out. the press like i guess it's okay, when they had a press conference when hillary clint clinton -- >> i know you're imitating, that's not very nice. >> unbelievable. >> the press conference. oh, she said this, so there must be that. >> it must be secure. bunch of idiots. we should have been on the story then. >> we're running down the rabbit hole here. >> i'm sorry. >> i will say i don't think it serves -- you're exactly right, willie. i understand what you're saying. he does need to tie up loose ends but tie up loose ends and then, hey, why don't we have
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hearings on what america looks like when interest rates double and we're paying trillions of dollar services the debt or the economy goes up in flames. i want those hearings because that's going to happen if we don't get serious about the debt brf i agree with those things but i'm sure saying he has to tie things up. not political. >> talking about richard's book. >> by the way, willie -- i get the early edition of this book. there are not better tips for barbecuing on this book. it's a surprise because you're thinking, okay, i know where this is going. under the circumstances to the middle of it, it's got pictures of barbecue. >> and the marinades. >> a whole chapter on hair and spraying your bangs. i love that. >> something he calls essence of richard. >> yes. >> it's so powerful. >> it's just this sid of emeril
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as good as it gets. thank you, mika. coming up four star general michael hayden. please, let me do the joke. you don't have to jump up and down on it like a trampoline. join the conversation with "morning joe" coming back. eddie, i'm sorry. afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine.
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is mr. putin your most important ally. >> russia isery important, all of them are important. each one made important achievements in syria. >> that was syrian president bashar al assad. >> i usually have something to say. >> there's nothing to say. >> my most important ally, he was effective bombing hospitals, killing women and children. >> that was november, mapping out the global power struggle that's tearing parts of the middle east to pieces. it all adds up to what richard haas calls "a world in
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disarray." also at the table former director of cia, nsa, retired general michael hayden. richard, congratulations on the book out. >> thank you. >> long awaited. >> we're going to talk about that book, though, later. >> no. i thought general hayden could give us some context to the book. >> we'll ask a couple of questions and get to the book. richard, you're hear until next week, right? we have a little time. we have seven minutes with you. what are you saying? you had some major concerns with trump, very critical through the campaign, very concerned about his early picks. what are you seeing with his selections especially like pompeo, cia. >> heartening picks. pompeo has been well received, accepted with enthusiasm. he's honored to be in the job. he takes the job seriously. at his confirmation hearing he'll get a bunch of questions. he just needs to keep in mind it
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doesn't matter whose asking the question he's answering for the people up river. everyone at langley will have their tv shots. what they are going to want to hear, joe, kind of the sense leon panetta gave them, i've got your back. you go do your thing. you're good at your thing. i've got your back. >> leon panetta's long and storied career that was a remarkable moment for him. i remember david ignatius talking about barack obama speaking at langley, it was as if car bomb wen off in the parking lot there. panetta went in and that was the message, i've got your back. pompeo has made his life a living hell sincest appointed, so it's going to be about the same, isn't it? >> it is. he's going to have to come up with the persona. not that he's betraying the administration but within the administration i'm covering you guys because you're doing things the president needs to be done. >> especially because, richard,
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you've got a national security adviser who is deeply skeptical of the intel community. some say for good reon. whether for good reason or not for good reason, depending where you fall in the divide you need somebody like pompeo, i've got your back. what happened in the past is not going to happen again. >> going to balance i've got your back and speaking to folks up the river with your necessity of staying close to your constituents, the white house and cabinet. you've got to maintain access. you've got to speak truth to power close up. you've got to be close enough to the policymakers, not to get politicized but be able to plug in your intelligence and analysis for policymakers at critical moments. a delicate balancing act for anyone in that world, yeah, you've got to keep your base, if
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you will, but you don't want to lose your access. having that balance in this administration isn't going to be easy. >> so talking about the importance of this. yeah, men and women that put it all on the linebacker for america after 9/11 and were pushed by democrats and republicans alike to do things. they did it. then when you were there, they were having to hire lawyers because the hill finally decided and press finally decided, no, we don't want they will to do that after all. how do you do that, protect people of the agency. >> number one i had to pay for lawyers during that period of time. that's how bad the circumstances had become. as richard suggests, you've got a constituency who is loyal to you, to you have to be loyal. you can't break your tether into theov. the president has to be respectful of you, no. the president has to feel he needs you. he needs you to come in and say
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to him. he needs to understand he needs you to come in and say to him, boss, my guys are saying you need to know this. what we've got now is a president-elect i don't think instinctively goes to this place. he's got this off priority universe assumptions confidence in himself and his current world view. he isn't that inquisitive about what the guys at langley think. that puts an additional burden on pompeo to get the audience. >> general, what's the implication of that? what's it mean to have president-elect, president a week from friday, very publicly questioning the competence of the intelligence agency, questioning whether it's a politicized group working against him. even coming out of the briefing on friday about the russian hacking, the conclusion to me is it didn't affect the outcome, which is not what the report says or the issue. what's the impact on the agencies, intel community. >> they have been accused of
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being corrupt, incompetent in their work and politicized. that's digging the hole pompeo and others have to find a way out of. it is not yet ir recoverable. we're not yet falling over the precipice. i think the president gets in the car, the motorcade, gw parkway, go into the iconic hallway at langley and hold what will in every inch look like a campaign rally. do it for the cia workforce. oh, by the way, walk to the counter-terrorism center. go pay a visit to the syrian task force. kbin to build just a bit of some of those personal relationships. that's not a heavy lift and he'd be good at it. >> yeah, he would. you're right. >> how important is that, richard? >> it's essential, because it's hard to exaggerate the importance of this kind of analysis coming at you in the oval office. often it's not what you want to hear, it's inconvenient.
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you hear stuff you don't want to hear but you've got to. you need to connect dots. the issue is not in a sense from a foreign policy view whether russians had an impact on the american election, what does this tell us about the pattern of russian behavior. what does this tell us about russian definition of success in the world. how do you tie together ukraine, syria, what they are doing in united states, interfering in elections. what does this tell you about russia. to tee up policy conversation you need intelligence community in the room. >> pompeo, you've got a tough guy. >> smart guy. >> he's smart, he's tough. he did not follow leadership whenever leadership was trying to push him around in the house. he's independent, may be the type of person that can bridge that gap. let us hope can bridge that gap. >> let me reinforce what richard just said. what happened last friday. they went in, they laid it out. the president-elect saw all the
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stuff underneath the broad conclusions. they didn't criticizes that. i think that was a pretty compelling case based on the fact they didn't argue the facts any longer. joe, they pivoted. they said, yeah, boy, what you really got is that big cyber problem. russians, china's, other guys. we're going to work on cyber. 90 days, i've got a commission. that's not the point of the briefing. the point of the briefing was you've got a russia problem. they ran away from the russia problem. that's the job pompeo and others have to -- no, it's this issue. >> so general hayden, can you stay for one more segment? there's so much to get to. >> we want to get to richard's book, haven't gotten to the barbecuing. >> richard's new book. plus "washington post" bob costa reports on donald trump's tax reform plan. also next hour senior adviser to president obama valerie jarrett is our guest.
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and in our 8:00 a.m. hour senators bob korkie, claire mccaskill and rob portman all join the conversation. "morning joe" is back in a moment. she ate some porridge, broke the baby bear's chair, and stole some jewelry, a flat-screen tv, and a laptop. luckily the geico insurance agency had helped the bears with homeowners insurance. they were able to replace all their items... ...including a new chair from crate and barrel. call geico and see how easy it is to switch and save on homeowners insurance. it's my decision ito make beauty last. roc® retinol, started visibly reducing my fine lines and wrinkles in one week. and the longer i use it, the better it works. retinol correxion® from roc. methods, not miracles.™
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>> he said he finally did have a conversation. president obama said. i told him to, quote, cut it out. what does that mean? then he said, we can do some stuff. that sounds like somebody in high school. >> welcome back to "morning joe." joe. >> it's very funny. cut it out. seriously, that's not what you say to vladimir putin. >> what do you say? >> cut it out. whatever we're saying isn't working. >> open mind, joe. >> cut it out is not working. >> still with us on set the president of the council of foreign relations richard haas. >> that's what you say to vladimir putin. >> should demilitarize nato. >> we should. tell you what we'll do, for every troop you put in ukraine, we'll put them in poland. get out, stretch your legs. there are things you can do
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instead of wring your hands. >> arms in ukraine, something barack obama would not do, even though his advisers told him not to do it. this is something you should do. >> agree. book "american foreign policy and crisis of the old order" is out today. congratulations. also with us former director of the cia and nsa, now a principle at the chertoff group. retired general michael hayden. joining the conversation political reporter from "washington post" and msnbc political analyst robert costa. >> general, we still have you here instead of going through the scripts and things we did at 6:00, we know people watch all three hours. we're going to do a rapid-fire with you. let's talk about some of the nominees coming up today and tomorrow. first of all let's start with general kelly. you know general kelly? >> i do. we used to attend mass together at the washington naval yard. we were there at the time he lost his son in iraq so we have
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a bit of a personal relationship with the general and his family. >> what can you tell americans about the general? >> absolutely solid citizen. i think it was attractive to administration because he was a border security guy. but he's a border security guy, not necessarily a border wall guy. he's not going to defend us at the rio bravo, rio grande. he's going to make it less likely people will want to come here by improving quality of life in latin america and central america. >> a more wholistic approach. >> great choice. >> one of their great contributions to nafta. one of the reasons over the last few years we've had an net outflow of mexicans to mexico is the mexican economy is doing well. one of the reasons the mexican economy is doing well is because of nafta. we really do have to take a holistic approach. if you want to do something to decrease the chances of people coming here you improve the quality of living and standard of life. that's the best border security thing we can do. >> general kelly and homeland
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security, pompeo and cia, general mattis. >> i like general mattis. i thinke was hired because somebody down the street thought he was patton. >> you naughty. >> those who know him know he's marshall and brings that strategic vision to these questions. >> you like those three. what are your areas of concern? >> rex tillerson. >> tillerson is fine. i think he's going to do very well. i think he's going to clear the decks with regard to his russian relationship. that was my job then. this is my job now. here is how i'm going to do this job now. i actually think he's a strong choice. keep in mind, joe, you've got two gis and somebody from industry. a lot of people signed letters back in the summer republican foreign policy establishment and they are no longer acceptable. this team is looking for talent but they can't go to that old pool of republican experience. they have to go elsewhere.
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>> is that possibly a good thing. >> in those three picks, they have picked some pretty good people. >> where is your area of concern, big picture. >> i know we're talking earlier about mike flynn. mike did wonderful things in yufl but he was tactical operational guy. it remains to be seen whether he can be that process guy. the facilitator for tillerson, mattis, kelly, teeing things up, okay, rather than getting between them and the president. that's the job. >> you guys, let's open up this can about michael flynn, obviously the more controversial picks, a pick i've been critical of from the beginning, a lot of people have been critical of from the beginning. richard, you talked before about the public general flynn, the private general flynn. he was the one that brought bob gates in, which eventually led to rex tillerson selection. let's examine that more. >> a larger point, it's a tough
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job. you've got to do two things. you've got to be counselor to the president, give strategic advice but that can't be your priority. your priority has to be to make sure the system works. you've got to be so fair, representing rex tillerson, secretary of defense, they are comfortable with you being in the oval office even if you can't make it. brent sco kroft did it besh anything else. >> other than dr. brzezinski. >> his counsel came second. >> point of principle. dr. brzezinski has been wonderful with people. >> ask them, like this. >> grilling each other all the time. can you explain to people
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watching what an nsa director does, richard talking about it being more of a facilitator. it's a delicate balance. you could, as condi rice was, let's be honest, got great, great respect for her. she was an extraordinarily important person in the second bush administration. but she got ran over in the first bush administration by a lot of strong personalities, rumsfeld, powell, just ran right over her. >> number one, smooth functioning richard just suggested, also the responsibility of the president. and let me add, i think especially in this case, the vice president and how mike pence they be has his own national security team, how that team interacts with the department. in fact, joe, the advice i would offer my old community, if it's hard to get in the front door, to get your ideas into the head of the president, all right, use the side door. work on the vice president who does take these briefings six days a week. if you can get into his head
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with what you think it is the president needs to know, he can be your agent in the oval office. >> bob costa standing by for us in washington. so bob as you look at this in total, all the names we've listed here, this foreign policy apparatus donald trump is building around him, does it set people's minds at ease? we've talked about these moderating influences, leveling winds, whatever you want to call them. what does this say about donald trump and the choices he's made over the last two months? >> willie, speaking with members of the house, there's a sense and acknowledgement that general flynn is certainly closest to the president-elect. if you have an intelligence concern with him, he's usually the liaison, the person to go through. there's also the sense there's other players, that trump is getting to know people like general mattis in a deeper way, general kelly. have you people like chairman of the intelligence committee and house, nunez of california working closely with the trump transition team.
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so it's painted by republicans, at least, as a team in progress, something that's still being put together. >> what are we looking at on the hill? we've talked about jeff sessions obviously going up there, a lot of concern, obviously, from the trump team about that. rex tillerson also. a lot of concern from the hill about him at least publicly and how close he is to russia. what are you hearing on the hill? who is going to skate through unscathed and who is going to get beaten up pretty badly? >> both senate leadership and trump's team believe all these nominees will get through. they keep insisting that publicly and privately. there is, i think, a lingering concern among a lot of republicans about this news conference. trump will be happy on the same day as wednesday. will it overwhelm some of the stories that the trump team was trying to tell with their nominees. will it consume, become a distraction, especially asked questions about russia in
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intelligence. >> you know, richard, i was -- we talked about foreign policy apparatus and what donald trump -- who donald trump is picking, i read an early version of your book this summer. of course it's barbecue time, so what am i going to do? >> i made a few he had itedits. >> it's extraordinarily relevant now, at least the version i read was right after brexit. there's been a continuation, sort of an acceleration of the pattern that caused you to write this book. again, not only a world in disarray, government in disarray, structures in disarray. you were talking about nato blowing apart even before donald trump. >> you've got an in box that's going to greet donald trump on january 20th after he gets sworn in. that's as difficult as any inbox
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that's greeted any american president in living memory. >> more difficult than the one that greeted barack obama. >> yes in part because of what barack obama did and didn't do. barack obama's hand-off is considerably worse than the world he inherited. i think when history is done writing about barack obama, he is going to be criticized more for things he didn't do, in particular in the middle east. >> by the way, that's probably shocking to a lot of people that are watching right now that you're saying his hand-off to donald trump is actually worse than george w. bush's to barack obama. >> considerably worse. if there was a share of stock called state of the world, inc., it suffered not just a correction but probably a bear market in the last eight years. you look at the middle east looks like an unraveling 30 days equivalent. europe has gone from one of the most stable part of the world to one of the most questionable parts of the world. north korea nuclear and missile programs have advanced. more than anything else what
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we've learned with barack obama is what you don't do can be every bit as consequential as what you do do. in some ways he's overreaction to george bush kae into office saying i'm not going into iraq, not have large forces in the middle east, not going to make that mistake again. so what he did was make his own set of mistakes. goes into libya, doesn't follow up. misses any number of opportunities to do useful things in syria, pulls u.s. forces out of iraq, puts a calendar on u.s. forces in afghanistan. signs a questionable agreement with iran. doesn't react in certain ways to the russian invasion of ukraine. so i think history will basically say that he missed a lot of opportunities to deal with the challenges of this day. >> 100 years from now, historians are going to look at america at the turn of the century and see a country that's just unrivaled in power. at any time since roman empire.
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what we have done in the past 16 years on the international stage by doing too much for the first eight years and not enough, it would be hard to draw a scenario much worse than we've seen unfold over the past 16 years. >> the combination of co-mission and omission that contributed to what's going on. you have a world with a rising china. you already had a world where all sorts of players coming into existence and power. already lost dciplines of the cold war. thingsng on historically, large forces. what we have done is contributed to them. we have created vacuums in the middle east. we've created uncertainty. take one issue, trade. the fact that we're not going ahead with the trans-pacific partnership. whatever you think about trade, what we have done is raised yet again basic questions of american -- what that does.
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you don't want to turn the world into a self-help world. you don't want every other country getting up every day of the week and say we can no longer rely on america, so let's take matters into our own hands. you're seeing a lot of that. >> we're hearing that from allies and hearing that for years. we just can't count on the united states being there, so we're not going to stick our neck out. >> remember the christmas movie, it "it's a wonderful life," we get to see the world without george bailey, we're seeing america without syria. to richard's point we're seeing saudis in yemen, looking over their shoulder and not seeing the familiar shadow of somebody backing them up. one more point, the criticism of the current administration for underacting. it's a short putt between the current policy of retrenchment and the president-elect's policy of america first. so this is not someone instinctively signing up to do more about the world that richard is describing.
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>> we really don't know what direction he's going in, because if he talks about isis and one speech he'll say going to wipe them out, destroy them and kill them in a week. in the next speech he says, let's just give syria to putin. so we really don't know what direction he's going in. no one knows. >> there's a danger in that. there's a price to be paid. >> no, i agree. that wasn't meant as a compliment. i would like to know. >> you would like to know and not just me but countries in the region, allies need to know. >> most importantly. >> at the end of the day if they don't feel like they can count on us, that kind of disruption might keep adversary off balance somewhat but a real price to be fade with friends and allies. we have to be careful how much disruption we introduce which by and large -- >> bob costas, with this as a backdrop, what sort of scepticism is going to greet rex
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tillerson? >> there's certainly scepticism in the hawk wing of the party. we've seen it time and again over the last week. really senator mccain, senator graham and their allies raising questions about tillerson. but tillerson has been going through practice sessions with the trump transition team on e street here in washington, going through questions and answers. they even have mock protesters in these sessions trying to get tillerson ready. they know he's cool tempered based on his experience at exxonmobil but they want him prepared for a raucous hearing. they know because of his work with russia he is a target more than anything. forget about his biography, it's his ties with russia as an executive that democrats are already signaling they are going to hone in on. >> what about republicans? how many republicans have suddenly gone soft on russia? is that a minority?
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is the majority of my party still skeptical of a leader who assassinates journalists and assassinates political rivals and invades countries. >> by mitt romney. >> five or six years ago. >> where are those people. >> joe, one thing maybe you picked this up in your own reporting, the consensus on russia remains quite hostile to putin and hawkish within the republican party. yet when it comes to opportunities to really make a stand against putin, the tillerson hearing, a real reluctance to have a standoff with this new trump team and trump presidency. at their core, their instincts are hawkish on russia but they are not acting on it. >> we've got to go. but really quickly, if you could get if the ear of republicans that wanted to get something from tillerson, get a commitment from tillerson, as a republican
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leader you would be less concerned about the threat of vladimir putin's russia. what commitment would you want to get from him in the hearings? >> i would want a clear description of what it is vladimir putin is about, a description that is consistent with my view, american intelligence community's view of reality. it can be tempered. >> why? >> this man is acting every which way inconsistent with the immediate and long-term interest of the united states. he is trying to create chaos because he's leading a state that is so week that only in chaos can he gets a seat at the table and get respect and attention. >> general michael hayden, thank you very much. robert cost ark, thank you as well. we'll have much more on richard's important book throughout the show. also ahead president obama's place in history. he leaves office more popular than some presidents but less popular than others. senior adviser valerie jarrett ahead of his fairwell speech in
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chicago. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ looking for clear answers for your retirement plan? start here. or here. even here. and definitely here. at fidelity, we're available 24/7 to make retirement planning simpler. we let you know where you stand, so when it comes to your retirement plan, you'll always be absolutely...clear. ♪ time to think of your future it's your retirement. know where you stand.
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download the xfinity tv app today. as president, trump will want to make sure our actions are proportionate to what's occurred based on what we know. >> that was top trump adviser kellyanne conway speaking out about the russian hacking report. she told usa today she may consider sanctions president obama issued against russia and questioned whether there needs to be more investigations. she also said of the democrats proposed bipartisan commission to investigate the hacking, quote, the fact is democrats bail super, super interested in the entire issue after the election did not go the way they wanted and expected. joining us from boston, professor at the school of law and diplomacy, tufts university.
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>> raises the furrowed brow we were raising. it wasn't one out of three but three out of three points. >> he's also a regular contributor to the "washington post." true. >> what's true? >> they did become more interested after they lost. it's funny. but we're all interested. >> i think we're all interested. >> for many reasons. >> i think we're all interested. why you would lift sanctions now is mind boggling. i forget the third one. so dan, we've been talking about america's standing in the world, what's happened and what hasn't happened over the past 16 years. you travel abroad all the time. in fact, you just came back from the middle east. give us a sense of america's standing in the world today versus 2000. >> versus 2000. i think there's no denying we're in a weaker place now than we were in 2000. in 2000 the u.s. economy seemed to be going at full steam. u.s. values seemed to be going at full steam across the rest of the world.
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if you look at where we are now, the u.s. economy is not doing that badly compared to other developed economies out there. but the fact is china has caught up dramatically in terms of overall economic power. i think the bigger concern is that u.s. values genuinely seem to be on retreat as a result of both overreach in the cases of iraq and perhaps libya as well as, i believe, richard said before the break reticent by the obama administration to promote them. we're going to see less american values under a trump administration. >> dan, we've been talking about riarded book. we've been talking about something i'm concerned about, debt. $5.5, $5.6 trillion. when we left at 11.
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>> seems like it's gone up. >> close to $20 trillion now. look at proposals by incoming trump administration, "i would be shocked if we weren't over $30 trillion if we're on this trajectory over the next four or five years. how dangerous is this for not only the we will being of the united states and american home but also our stranding abroad? >> i think the question isn't so much the overall level of debt, numbers like $20 trillion and $30 trillion seems scary, question of debt to gdp. u.s. economy has also grown a fair amount during this time. debt to gdp ratios are now approaching 100%. the question is whether this is the right time to engage in even more fiscal stimulus. now, the argument is always if you do that, and if you generate high rates of economic growth and return, then it pays for itself, at least means not as much of an issue. >> when does that happen? we republicans, i'm talking about myself, we said it with
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reagan, deficits went up. under bush, deficits and debts went up. when has it happened in history that we cut taxes, didn't pay for them, so to speak, with spending cuts, and the deficits with them. when has that ever happened in american history? >> i think the only time you could point to that would be john kennedy in the early '60s, he did impose tax cuts, led to economic growth, was in reasonably decent shape. >> tax rates at that point were so high. >> tax rates are now at the level where most republicans who are tax cut enthusiasts, policy wonks, acknowledge tax cuts isn't going to spur what donald trump says it will spur. >> i'm a tax cut enthusiast,
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small government conservative but what dan said, right now you've got interest rates going up, is now the time to increase taxes, spend, "defense spending, infrastructure spending, basically stimulate the economy? >> you can do some of that. most people feel u.s. economy is not growing as robustly as it should, grow another half a percent, raising rates will counteract some of that. what's missing here, one word never discussed is entitlements. if you want to do something about that you have to tackle social security, medicare, medicaid. >> unfortunately donald trump said he's not going to talk about the two things that are the main drivers of debt. >> that's driving the debt. plus again, financing the current debt is going to go up. because if rates go up, we don't want the crowding out of useful domestic spending. weon't wcrowding investment. one of the areas i hope mr. trump recovers, what he said during the campaign, his willingness to deal with entitlements of that's the area
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we need him to be disruptive. if there were an area for donald trump to say i'm going to do something outside the political mainstream, it's tackling entitlements. >> willie, back in 2009 after concerns about the price tag on the stimulus package, barack obama held a deficit reduction summit. he said we can no longer kick the can down the road on social security, medicare. that sound we've heard for the last 20 years is kicking the cab down the road. >> we continue to do it. the question for a lot of people. you're right about debt in the book and the threat of it, when does it reach a breaking point where it hits my life. we hear about this in almost theoretical concerns over generations. the debt is exploding. life is going on. my check still coming from social security, medicare, medicaid. when in the breaking point? when does this become existential problem for mechanic. >> when it crowds out spending,
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discourages u.s. government from spending on things, national institute of health, investment in schools, infrastructure. it's already affecting the quality of your life. the dangerous thing you have a debt crisis where suddenly we're forced to raise rates in order to attract necessary degree of foreign support for our existing debt and for our future debt and that will slow down the american economy. not for the normal reason. you never want to slow things down other than to deal with inflation. you don't want to raise rates to attract overseas financing. that's when it will have a calamitous effect on people here. >> love to hear from you on this. paul krugman will say, channel saying world debt, would accuse anybody talking about runaway deficits and debt is chicken little. even if you talk about entitlement spending, there are some people who say it's just not a crisis for another 30 years or so. at what point, answering willie's question, at what point
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do we reach a point where it starts having an impact on the economy? >> it will have an impact on the economy when interest rates go up. it's worth remembering we went through this in 2010 where there was a lot of concern about exploding u.s. debt and maybe try to restrict the deficit. that was a period where it would be inappropriate to do so. u.s. economy is still immediately struggling from the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. we're now in a situation where the economy does seem to be approaching full employment and where owth has gone up. so this might not necessarily be the best time to decide you want to engage in more deficit spending. but really i think richard is correct. the true concern is going to be when foreigners stop buying u.s. debt. the u.s. finances its deficit in part by domestic consumers buying bonds and so on and so forth but will by countries like japan and china and others buying u.s. debt as well. if for some reason they have less appetite for u.s. debt
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because they are genuinely concerned about the ability to pay it back or u.s. is going to somehow try to inflate its way out of the decision, that would ab calamitous circumstance. i don't think we're there yet to be clear. it's worth remembering, by the way, pew has a survey, who they think the most powerful global economy in the world is. in the wake of 2008 financial crisis there was an inversion. people switched from saying united states was the most powerful economy to saying china was. worth remembering in the summer of 2016, asked the question, u.s. on top perceived as being the most powerful economy in the world. so there have been some significant gains during obama years on that. it's a question of going forward, whether the trump administration policies will reverse those gains. >> you know, richard, it's like dan said before, the united states, we have our problems. but you compare us with the rest of the world. you do see a china that's been
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in retreat over past four or five years economically. all these emerging powers we heard about four, five, six, seven, eight years ago, a lot are basket cases. >> hammered by commodity, oil prices, china is a slowdown. one other point. imagine a crisis with china, two largest holders of american debt, never want chinese to think same way we played off british in suez crisis they can use is as leverage. you don't want chinese banker say maybe diversify some of our dollars or whatever it is. suddenly you cause a bit of a market crisis here. having large amounts of debt leaves you vulnerable to machinations of markets and central bankers. why would we want to do that. >> samuel, thank you very much for being on the show this morning. coming up, president obama will deliver his fairwell address in his hometown of chicago tonight. we're going to get a preview from one of his closest advisers. valerie jarrett is next on "morning joe."
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afoot and light-hearted i take to the open road. healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever i choose. the east and the west are mine. the north and the south are mine. all seems beautiful to me.
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. part of the reason i wanted to do this fairwell address in chicago as opposed to the more
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traditional practice in the white house is because this is where it all started. i'll be thinking back to be a young community organizer fresh out of school and feeling as if my faith in america's ability to bring about change and our democracy has been vindicated. >> according to the "chicago tribune," more than 14,000 people are expected to attend. president obama's fairwell speech tonight in chicago. meanwhile a new ap and norc poll found 57% have a favorable opinion of the president. my god, 57%. that number -- >> at this stage, that is remarkable. >> bill clinton also had 57% favorability rating as he prepared to leave office in the same poll. president george w. bush at 40%. joining us from the white house senior adviser valerie jarrett.
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you're so due tore a catchup, valerie. >> good morning, everyone. >> i officially feel old for the first time because it seemed like yesterday -- >> officially? >> thisasone so fast. i can't believe how quickly that has gone. it seems like you were just through white house gates. >> they say days last forever and weeks and months and years have felony by. that's how i feel. >> it has been such a tumultuous time. >> as it always is. >> do you think that's poll six unfortunately in the 21st century but with all of the fights, all of the battles, all of the struggles day in and day out, you see that number 57%. how does that make you feel? >> it makes me feel pretty good. i'll tell you the numbers that make me feel better, the fact that unemployment rate went from
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a high of 10 down to 4.7, 15 million jobs, typical family income grew by the highest margin in recorded history. poverty fell by the lowest number since 1968, that we cut the deficit by two-thirds. the fact 20 million people have health care, many for the first time. those are the numbers i think we are most proud of. >> they are connected, though, aren't they. >> i think they are. i think the american people appreciate the fact we did go through a really tough time when the president came into office. we were losing nearly 800,000 jobs a month. million of people were losing their homes. the banks were on the verge of collapse. the automobile industry truly was in bankruptcy. through the hard work and grit and determination of a lot of people, including the american people, we've really come back. the president by every possible metric believes united states was better off today than when he took office. >> a tough time, some would
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argue, many would argue, leaving office. many in the white house, i guess it's safe to say not happy with the outcome of the election. valerie, yet, president obama seems to be more open than most democrats to trying to pave the way for the trump presidency. how are you doing with all this? >> look, i think we believe in the smooth transition of power. when president obama was elected president bush and his team could not be more cooperative with us. as you know i was co-chair biden transition team. that's what the president directed us to do. he believes the tone stars at the top. what is so important about our democracy is we recognize that after elections you're supposed to be cooperative and help the next team hit the ground running. that's really where our focus has been. >> you know, we all want to know
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what you're going to do next so we're going to pass it to willie to ask you. >> willie. >> hi, valerie, good to see you this morning. i'll ask you about what you're going to do next but i want to ask you about obama care. you will argue that's the biggest part of the president's legacy over the last four years passage and implementation of affordable care act. all the talk about repealing the law and replacing it with something different, what has president obama said to donald trump about the benefits of the law and preserving important pieces of it? >> what the president says is, look, in a country as wemty as ours, every american deserves the opportunity to have access to affordable health care. it was a complicated business. we knew going through the process that there are lots of moving pieces and all interrelated. everybody wants to make sure people with pre-existing conditions are covered, not discriminated against insurance companies, that people don't
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suffer from annual or lifetime caps, young people can stay on their plan until they are 26. senior citizens can get help with prescription drugs. women can ensure they have access to preventive care without a co-pay. there are lots of important interrelated parts of it. what we've heard is concern about the mandate. unless you assure the marketplace that everyone is going to be in it, then you can't afford the other provisions. i think what we're seeing right now on capitol hill is republicans appreciation that it's not just okay to be against something, now you're taking something away from americans. as i've traveled around the country and read the letters that have come in to president obama,iver heard the stories of so many americans whose lives have literally been saved by the affordable care act. so taking that away is going to have a devastating impact on millions of americans. we have been waiting for six years to see what the replace is. we would have preferred to see
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them participate in the process on the front end so it could have had bipartisan support when it was passed but now they are seeing it's hard. >> valerie, you might have to wait another six years to see what the replace is. eddie. >> a pleasure to talk with you. 53% of all blackwell was wiped out because of the home foreclosure crisis. there are a number of multiple housing plans you guys tried that were insufficient. is this one area the president wishes he was a little bit more successful address? >> of course it is. there's lots of work that's unfinished. that's part of the challenge that you have when you only have eight years and you inherit such a tumultuous economy that was falling into a potential great depression. so sure the president wishes he could do more about a lot of things. but again, i would say, as you look at his track record, at every single possible metric, we've done well. you run the race as fast as you can, and then you hand the baton off and hope the next administration will focus on the
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issues that we were unable to complete. there are other issues. we wish we had gotten congress to pass sensible legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands. we wish we had comprehensive immigration reform done. there's still a lot of hard work. >> real quickly. will the president address the backdrop of chicago, the 800 murders, 800 deaths that form the backdrop of his speech tonight? will he in some way address what's happening in chicago tonight? >> he spent a lot of time last week when he had a round robin with chicago television stations and each one of them asked about this. he addressed this. he expressed how heartbreaking it is for him to have this epidemic happening in his hometown, how this is a challenging situation, that the federal government through his justice department has provided both financial resources and technical assistance to try to help the city of chicago stem this terrible, terrible epidemic of gun violence.
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but it goes back again to the broader issue, what are we going to do to keep the guns out of the wrong people. that's not just a problem in chicago. we lose 32 million americans a year to gun violence. two-thirds of whom commit suicide. so we have a national problem in addition to what we're seeing on the streets of our hometown. >> before we go, a point of personal privilege, valerie, i'd like to talk to you as a friend. your generosity throughout the past eight years has been really hard to describe from helping me with the book, "knowing your value," your story, the white house developing apps so what people can see make in certain industries, your collaboration with white house and women and girls and letting me take part any way on that. sba events we did, helping women get access to capital, this is all you, valerie. also sitting with you as
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president obama signed the lilly ledbetter act. i can't tell you how grateful i am to watch you do what you did because everyone had so much to say about valerie. what does valerie do? what's her real mission at the white house. your mission was to pave the way for women in the white house and women around the world and to support the president and i thank you so much for your prip. >> meekds, thank you, i appreciate your friendship as well. it's been my honor to serve this president with the incredible team at the white house. people say what are you going to miss? certainly i'm going to miss this extraordinary building, this unique white house. what i'll really miss are my colleagues andmerican people including those of you on your set that i've had a chance to work with over the last eight years. >> valerie -- >> joe wants to have dinner tomorrow. >> you're not going to miss me that much. we'll still enjoy dinner, but i won't torture you. >> yes, he will.
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valerie, thank you. >> i think you will. >> thank you so much. >> good luck tonight. >> full team coverage of the president's farewell address starts at 8:00 eastern tonight on msnbc. >> that's going to be amazing speech. >> amazing. >> for anybody, any american watching. >> we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." we live in a pick and choose world.
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i don't think president-elect trump wants to meddle with medicare or social security. he made a promise in the campaign that that was something that he didn't want to do. >> can donald trump cut taxes, expand the naval fleet and not touch entitlements? joining us from capitol hill is president of americans for tax reform, grover norquist. grover, good to see you this morning. >> absolutely. >> let's pick up on the conversation we've been having hear about debt, blowing a hole through the bottom of it, exploding debt and the consequences of all that. donald trump has said he's not going to touch entitlements. from where you're sitting, the business you're in, what's your biggest concern about donald
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trump's presidency? >> well, for starters, i'm extremely pleased that we're going to be both repealing all the taxes on obamacare -- obamacare is 20 taxes with a stethoscope attached to it. it's $1 trillion in taxes and more than $1 trillion in spending that was going to continue to blow out the debt. so first you phase out, get rid of, repeal obamacare. then you don't have this continuing increase of the debt decades and decades out, step one. that is a reform of an entitlement. it's repealing the entitlement that obama put in with two misstatements, one that you'd still be able to keep your doctor and your insurance, which wasn't true, and the other was that he wouldn't pay for it with taxes on middle-income people, and the taxes to pay for obamacare, seven, dramatically hit middle-income people, flexible savings accounts and so on. >> should he hit medicare,
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medicaid, social security, donald trump? >> look at the pentagon for starters. congressman calbert has legislation that would phase down the number of civilian employees at the pentagon. there are about 700,000 now. >> but grover, you know those -- the pentagon's not the main driver of debt. as richard pointed out, it's 3% of our gdp. the main driver of debt is medicare, medicaid, social security, and interest on the debt. >> social security requires a 60-vote to change it, and i don't see any democrat wiingness since 1983 to make any reforms to protect social security. i think you will see efforts -- i think it would be a good idea to block grant medicaid, food stamps, housing and jobs programs, the four major means-tested welfare programs in the united states. there are 183 means-tested welfare programs run by the federal government. some are small. those are the four big ones.
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if you block grant those out to the states, we would do what bill clinton did with aid to the families with dependent children. now, states could compete to figure out how to do this more effectively. so i think the most likely and most effective way to do this is to block grant the welfare programs out. and then we do need to look down the line at how do you keep -- medicare goes bankrupt if you don't fix it, so you want to fix it so it's there for younger people. reform it. >> a basic question i would ask is how does any of this affect the life chances of working people in this country? how are these tax policies going to fundamentally transform the circumstances of folk whose lives -- who are catching hell out there in middle america, in the south, in cities all across the country? >> well, for starters, you don't get a $700 tax because you don't buy obama's definition of what kind of health care you should buy. that penalty for not buying obama's health care, or $2,000
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for a family of four. those are going away. those penalties for people who don't do what the president wants, gone. but the most important thing on the tax policy is taking the business tax from 35%, which is the highest corporate income tax in the world -- we're not competitive with europe, whe it averages about % -- and we're going to take that down. the house republicans want 20%. trump has said 15%. either or both of those would be a tremendous help to the united states. there's $2 trillion overseas, and american companies earned it overseas. they can't bring it back because our tax policy makes it too expensive to bring it back. that's going to be fixed, and you'll see $2 trillion flow into the united states in investment of american money that's already there. it's not government money. it's not going bridges to nowhere. that plus the lower rates i think are key to strong economic growth. >> all right. grover norquist, thank you very
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much. still ahead, setting the stage for a very important week in washington as the confirmation hearings for the incoming cabinets kick off this morning. senators bob corker, claire mccaskill and rob portman all join the conversation ahead. we're back in a moment. have you any wool? no sir, no sir, some nincompoop stole all my wool sweaters, smart tv and gaming system. luckily, the geico insurance agency recently helped baa baa with renters insurance. everything stolen was replaced. and the hooligan who lives down the lane was caught selling the stolen goods online. visit geico.com and see how easy it is to switch and save on renters insurance.
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huegel just boots it along the ground. they fall on it. clemson tigers, new kings of college football! >> that was amazing! >> it was. >> all right, how many at the table stayed up to watch? one, two -- >> halftime, yeah. >> joe, did you watch the whole thing? oh. >> what kind of question is that? of course i watched the whole thing. >> you guys are going to be blitherring fools this morning. >> well, what's new? >> that's true. good morning, everyone. it's tuesday. >> willie, what was your -- >> january 10th. >> it was a great game. >> it was a great game. >> what happened to alabama, clemson is a great team, and deshaun watson is one of the best college football players ever. and that fourth quarter was unlike anything we've ever seen before, back and forth, back and forth. this, bo scarbrough. his injury was huge because they stop running the ball well after he went down to injury in the third quarter. >> that guy's amazing. >> but the fourth quarter was all defense early. fourth quarter was a shoot-out.
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>> right. >> here it is right here. williams, the receiver's incredible for clemson. >> he really is. >> listen, clemson has nfl players all over the field, just like alabama, pretty even-matched teams. alabama's defense did all it could do for most of the game, but when you get that many possessions, they're going to score against you eventually. >> sort of tweeted in the fourth quarter, i think, this isn't going to end well. because the problem was, they were 0 for 10, 0 for 11, third-down attempts, and they were putting -- they were asking too much of their defense, which mika was asking, why did the little orange team, why are they getting beat up so badly the first and second quarter? >> they did get roughed up. the quarterback got shook up. >> because alabama has the best defense in america. >> they hit him hard. >> and they absolutely dominated him. but you put any defense on the field for the entire third and fourth quarter, which they did, and you're going to get work down. and you put the ball into -- you give him that many snaps, he's going to beat you every time. >> it became a punting contest for a while there. every time alabama punted, i
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thought gosh, don't give deshaun watson another chance. he wasn't good in the first half, but you give him a full game -- 420 yards, 4 touchdowns. for people who just woke up, clemson scored the game-winning touchdown there with one second left in the game. >> he wasn't that good in the first half because alabama's defense was not exhausted in the first half. >> right. >> deshaun watson is great. alabama's defense is better. it's one of the best defenses they've put on the field. the draft will prove that. but i'm going to say really quickly, then we need to get to business, you know who they missed, alabama missed, and nobody's going to say this -- saban's not going to want to say this -- but they missed lane kiffin. it's not a coincidence that an 18-year-old quarterback looked like an 18-year-old quarterback -- >> very young. >> -- for the first time all year. i'm not exactly sure what happened. i don't know whose fault it was, but you have an 18-year-old quarterback, you give him a new offensive coordinator for the first time, give him seven days to gel with him, it's going to end up looking like that. so you know, i always talk about saban management.
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i think you can learn so much from him and i'm sure people write books about him like they wrote about wooden, though wooden's seems a lot nicer. but what's the management takeaway from last night? even great leaders need great people around them. he did not have the best offensive coordinators around him. >> a bit complicated, though. >> i don't know why. i don't know who's to blame, but lane kiffin's offense would not have looked like that. >> it was bad until the end of the fourth quarter. >> wow. >> then they work up. the touchdown run, they got creative with the pass to the wide receiver who threw down to howard. they looked good until the end, the offense. >> and joey said that's the only game since nick saban started his run where we left the game saying, wow, we beat a better team. >> so, what time did the game end? >> 12:45? >> uh huh. while you guys were up all night, eddie, richard and i were putting the finishing touches on
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"a world in disarray: american foreign policy and the crisis of the old order." it's out today. it's actually richard's book. congratulations. long awaited. very exciting. >> i think my problem was, at 12:45, i told him i was going to do this yesterday -- i immediately went from that, went over to my comcastic channel -- >> did you? >> pay-per-view -- >> did you see? >> council on foreign relations, david rimnick. >> i tried to go. >> no, i saw it on pay-per-view. >> they wouldn't let me in. >> with pay-per-view. and i have to tell you, rimmic's interview, that was sort of like robert plant and jimmy page in '71. it was crazy. >> it was jamming. >> they owned the stage. i'm not even going to tell you what happened afterward. >> was there a shark? >> hammer of guys. >> i tried to go and they pulled me in the front door and i was like, hey! and all of a sudden, i was out the back door. so i don't know, remnick, you and i ne to talk. also with us, the chair of e department of african-american studies at princeton university and columnist for "time" magazine, eddie glaude jr.
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piz book "democracy in black" is out now in paperback. a lot to talk about today as we move forward with the transition but also look back at the obama legacy. so good to have you on board. also with us in washington, msnbc political correspondent kasie hunt, who has a book about riding a private jet around with road warriors and what that's like covering the story. >> it's a one-page book. >> speaking of zeppelin. >> just one page. >> so, today, as i said, is the part start of a big week in politics. confirmation hearings for president-elect trump's picks begin today. president obama gives his farewell address tonight in chicago. and tomorrow, donald trump will hold his first news conference since the summer. >> big day. >> it's a big day! up first for the confirmation hearings today is senator jeff sessions. we start off with a bang. he's going to appear before the senate judiciary committee to make his case for attorney
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general. republican senator susan collins of maine and richard shelby of sessions' home state of alabama will give the introductions, followed by the nominee's opening remarks. the senate judiciary committee is the same panel that denied sessions a federal judgeship back in 1986 amid accusations of racial insensitivity. those questions are expected to come up again during these hearings. civil rights groups, including the naacp, have come out against his nomination. and in an unprecedented move, senator cory booker will become the first senator to testify against another sitting senator during a confirmation hearing for a cabinet post. here's the new jersey democrat explaining his decision on msnbc last night. >> we've seen consistently jeff sessions as senator jeff sessions voting against everything from the matthew shepard act, voting against or speaking out against ideals around the voting rights act, taking measures to try to block criminal justice reform.
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he has a posture and a positioning that i think represents a real danger to our country. there is a whole spectrum of things in jeff sessions' own wordrepresent a vulnerable threat to many in ts country and i feel it's necessary t do everything i can to speak out against. >> meanwhile, former secretary of state condoleezza rice wrote a letter to committee chairman chuck grassley expressing her support, even getting personal, saying that she and sessions both grew up in alabama when america was "not living up to its high-minded principles." she added, "those of us who lived through that dark time are amongst the most committed in deep and fundamental ways to overcoming it." senator tim scott, the only black republican in the chamber, also supports sessions after sessions visited scott's home state of south carolina to listen to constituents' concerns, including the walter scott case. scott's statement saying in part, "we may not agree on
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everything, but you would be hard pressed to find a nominee for any post that any senator is in 100% agreement with. i've gotten to know jeff over my four years in the senate, and i found him to be a consistently fair person." opening remarks are set to begin at 9:30 this morning. >> well, i certainly hope if he went to south carolina and talked about the walter scott case, that if he is in fact confirmed, that the federal government continues its civil rights case in that situation. so, really quickly, kacie, what are people saying on the hill about him getting through? >> reporter: i think we're going to see a lot of fireworks today. i think what cory booker is doing is very significant. you're going to see john lewis as well. i think we shoul prepared for some emotional monts. there is an outside chance that something that happens at this hearing could impact the process, but at the end of the day, this is somebody who's
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really well known to all of those people sitting on the dais, to everyone voting on his confirmation, and i am not hearing any serious suggestions to this point that this nomination's in danger. >> i think this will be a very ugly hearing. i would be shocked if he did not get through and get confirmed, shocked. but eddie, tell me, what's your feeling about jeff sessions? and if you're against him, what's your gravest concerns? >> well, i'm definitely against him. i think it's one of the more radical of donald trump's nominations. when you look at his opposition to the reauthorization of the women against violence act from 2013, his opposition to the matthew shepard, when you look at his response to the voting rights act -- we can go on and on and on. and then there are vulnerable communities, lgbtqi, folks who are really concerned that he's
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not going to follow up on the consent decrees with regards to police departments. so a lot of people think this appointment is extraordinarily dangerous. i think folks are going to do everything they can. it's almost an understatement that there are going to be fireworks. i think they'll do everything they can to keep this guy from being appointed. >> and if he is appointed, what's the next step? >> i think it changes the landscape of activism. to understand that the doj may very well be an active actor in opposing forces to broad our understanding of democracy. >> it would be a dramatic shift, wouldn't it,rom eric holder's justice department -- >> dramatic. >> because a lot of conservatives thought he was far too active on one side. this would be -- and we see this with so many cabinet picks, where it would be one, i guess some moderates in the middle would say not one radical, but very dramatic position on the left and one very dramatic position on the right.
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>> yeah, and i think for those of us on the left, we were critical of holder's doj. we wanted them to be even more active. >> right. >> and now we find ourselves in this environment, right. and i think there is genuine, genuine concern, deep concern that sessions and his commitments will fundamentally threaten our attempt to broaden our understanding of democracy. not only immigration, not just simply black folks, not just simply women. there are a whole range of folks out there. >> so, we've got other things going on today. retired marine corps general john kelly's confirmation hearing for homeland security secretary is scheduled to begin at 3:30. he will go before the senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee. he'll likely face questions on a number of trump's campaign pledges that would fall under his purview, including building a wall on the border with mexico, the deportation of immigrants living in the u.s. illegally, as well as the tracking of foreigners who overstay their visas. and while kelly is considered to be one of the least controversial cabinet selections
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so far, he has not always been lockstep with the incoming administration. "the new york times" reports that general kelly has often called russia a threat to u.s. leadership in the western hemisphere. he's also called for a more balanced approach to border protection, saying security cannot just focus on an endless series of goal line stands on the one-foot line along the u.s./mexican border. >> i mean, thaul sounds very good. >> actually a nice little balance. >> somebody who -- >> a little balance. >> -- fears russia, that doesn't sound bad, somebody that sort of has a rational approach to border security. richard, this is all good. >> this is pretty healthy stuff, and it reminds you that hearings have any number of purposes. in some cases, it's to stop a nominee. other cases, it's to highlight policy issues and differences in this case between him and the president-elect and to push back. in the case of sessions, it may be actually not so much to stop him but to get commitments from him about how he'll actually govern once he's in place.
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so, all of these hearings have many purposes beyond the obstensible purpose of confirmation. >> and let us hope again, like in the walter scott case, you're talking about sessions, we get that commitment now that that prosecution's going to go forward aggressively with the federal government. but the two generals, mattis and kelly, there is no doubt, those two are going to most likely breeze through. and even some of donald trump's biggest detractors, you get them talking about general kelly, they have got nothing but great things to say. >> they'll be confirmed in part because the senate and a lot of americans view them as buffers almost to donald trump because of the fact that he listens to them. >> moderating influence. >> moderating influences around donald trump. the kelly hearing will be very interesting, the general kelly hearing, because it will put on display some of the flashiest, most controversial issues of the campaign over the last year and a half -- the border wall and mass deportations. are we to take those things seriously, these things that donald trump put out there during the campaign and then sort of stepped back from a little bit? are we actually going forward with those? and those will be questions today for general kelly.
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>> look where donald trump started with john bolton and rudy giuliani. you look at the department of homeland security, where he started with a guy out of kansas who would have been a radical selection, and it's pretty remarkable where he started and certainly where he ended up with general kelly there. i mean, just talk about a series of trade-ups. but we'll see whether john mccain and lindsey graham and others believe that rex tillerson. >> let's take a look at confirmation hearings for secretary of state nominee rex tillerson. he goes before the senate foreign relations committee tomorrow. "usa today" reports that while tillerson was a top executive of a subsidiary of exxonmobil, did business with iran, syria and sudan while those countries were under u.s. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism. according to the securities and exchange commission, filings unearthed by a democratic research group, exxon did the business through a european-based third party from 2003 through 2005 with $53 million in sales to iran, $1
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million to syria, and $600,000 to sudan. tillerson became a senior vice president at exxon in august 2001, rising to president and director in march of 2004, and then chairman and chief executive at the start of 2006. in response, exxon said "these are all legal activities complying with the sanctions at the time" and that they "didn't feel they were material because of the size of the transactions." exxon's overall revenue at the time was around $371 billion. the "wall street journal" this morning looks at tillerson's leadership at exxon, finding his personal relationships were key to his negotiating style, including his personal relationship with vladimir putin. >> hmm. okay. >> so, richard, what are you looking for in tillerson and what do you think it comes down to, whether he's confirmed or not? >> key questions. >> i think russia more than iran. and i think the largest issue, i think he will be confirmed. but whether he's confirmed or
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whoever else is confirmed, the real issue is the relationship with donald trump. no secretary of state can succeed unless people around the world believe there is zero daylight between him and the president and speaking authoritatively. that's the real issue. so you know, confirmation, he's going to have to satisfy people more than anything else on russia. perhaps this issue with iran, and there wasn't any inconsistency with sanctions. but the real question is going to be whether donald trump is determined to make his secretary of state a success in the way, say, that 41 was with jim baker. everybody knew around the world that when he spoke it was authoritative. you can't have a situation where people basically say i can discount what the secretary of state says because he is not speaking for this president and this white house. that to me, in a funny sort of way, is more important than anything at the cfirmation hearings. still ahead on "morning joe," senators bob corker, claire mccaskill and rob portman all join the conversation on this very important week on capitol hill. but first, bill karins with
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a look at the weather as floods force hundreds from their homes in california wine country. bill? >> it's been amazing. san francisco has seen more rain already this year, 2017, than they did in all of 2013, just to give you some perspective on the drought years versus the deluge we started off with with the new year. and we're getting more rain pouring into the state right now. this is the last of the series of storms that's moving through california, and a lot of heavy rain today into tonight. of course, in the mountainous areas, that's where the rain is falling as snow. the precipitation, i should say, as snow. and that's where we've already seen up to 100 inches at some of the ski resorts, and we're going to continue to add to that, another 3 to 5 feet in the next couple days. also, still watching this snow moving through central pennsylvania. this has caused a lot of problems this morning. it's just putting down a quick half inch to an inch of snow. that's now in central pennsylvania. and behind it, a coating of freezing rain. cleveland southwards down into central ohio. if you get into northern portions of michigan and northern wisconsin, this is where it will stay colder for all snow. and how about green bay northwards? that's where you'll be talking 9
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to 12 inches of snow by the end of today. everybody here in england, just looks like a coating of freezing rain and later tonight into rain because a big warm-up is on the way. we are going to see temperatures skyrocketing in the days ahead. it looks like the warmest is going to be areas of the central portions today and then as we go towards thursday it will head to the east coast. so, again, a lot of changes across the country, but nothing worse than all the problems we're seeing out in california. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. if you have moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, and you're talking to yourdocto. this is humira. this is humira helping to relieve my pain and protect my joints from further damage. this is humira helping me go further. humira works for many adults. it targets and helps to block a specific source of inflammation that contributes to ra symptoms. humira has been clinically studied for over 18 years. humira can lower your ability to fight infections,
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe." earlier this morning we spoke to former cia director michael hayden about donald trump's approach to the intel community so far. >> yeah, men and women that put it all on the line for america after 9/11 and were pushed by demoats and republicans alike
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to do things. >> yeah. >> they did it. andhe when you we there, they were having to hire lawyers because the hill finally decided, and the press finally decided, no, we don't want them to do that after all. so, how do you do that? how do you protect people at the agency? >> well, number one, i had to actually pay for the lawyers during that period of time. that's how bad the circumstances had become. you've got a constituency that owes loyalty to you, to which you have to be loyal, but you can't break your tether into the oval either. the president has to be respectful of you? no. the president has to feel he needs you, all right? he needs you to come in and say to him, he needs to understand he needs you to come in and say to him, boss, my guys are saying you need to know this. and what we've got now is a president-elect i don't think instinctively goes to that place. he's got a kind of priority universe, assumptions, confidence in himself and in his
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current world view. he isn't that inquisitive about what the guys at langley think, and that puts an additional burden on pompeo to get the audience. >> part of our interview this morning with retired general michael hayden. coming up on "morning joe," some top republican senators are trying to put the brakes on plans to repeal obamacare without a replacement plan ready to go. we're joined by bob corker and rob portman, who both say it's critical to think of the people who count on government health care before repealing president obama's law. we'll be right back. ♪
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♪ show us your plan. you know, your health care plan. you must have one. we would like toear it. >> republicans have been rushing around capitol hill for the past couple oweeksuddlg in meetings and trying to come up with a plan to replace the affordable care act. and they are shocked, shocked to discover that guaranteeing americans access to health care is a complex business, and they don't have any good ideas. they're trying to reassure each
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other that they know what they're doing. get real. they don't have a clue what to do next. for eight years they've had no plan, and they don't have a plan now. repeal and run, that's the republican plan. >> oh, come on! there you go again telling the truth on the senate floor! i'm outraged. >> that happens. >> willie, i've got to say, i've been looking through. al franken would like to see your plan. >> just give us a plan! >> so, i got to the shish kebab part. >> the grill marks on the steak? >> i never get them right, but if you buy -- >> the special -- [ everyone talking at once ] >> "world in disarray," willie, what do you get? >> really? marinades. >> but that's not all. >> barbecue apron. >> i like it. hair in disarray. >> no, it's great.
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>> this really should be the "today" show. we need the "today" show grill. then we could go over there. >> we could do that. >> all right, joining us from capitol hill, if he hasn't left already -- >> very confused on capitol hill. who do we have? >> the chairman of the foreign relations committee, republican senator bob corker of tennessee. >> so, senator corker -- >> happy new year! >> senator corker's from tennessee. he loves grilling and richard haass has some handy grilling tips in "world of disarray." >> i'm glad you guys are having a good time. there's a lot of noise on the set, so i'll just take in what you guys are saying. >> okay, very good. >> we'll behave. >> so, senator, let's talk about, actually, i guess for you, one of the most important nominees, one of the selections the president-elect has made, and that is, of course, rex tillerson. do you share the concern of john mccain, lindsey graham, a lot of people who are on this set about donald trump's views towards
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russia? and do you want rex tillerson to clarify what his views are towards vladimir putin? >> yeah, i think you framed it really well. look, i think any of us who understand the secretary of state process understand that the secretary of state is going to carry out the president's foreign policy, but they're up under the hood helping shape that. so yes, i think there's going to be a lot of tough questions about his views, tillerson's views, and how he will hope to influence the president in a certain way. so no, it's going to be a very serious hearing. i have a feeling that people are going to view tillerson as not out of the mainstream as it relates to foreign policy thinking, but no doubt, especially because of all that happened during the campaign and what's happened in the world, if you will, in recent times, it's going to be a very serious nomination process. >> mr. chairman, it's willie geist. you had a chance to meet with rex tillerson a week ago today and talk with him ahead of the
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hearings. did you express your concerns about his business ties to russia and his personal ties to vladimir putin? if so, how did he respond? >> yeah, i did talk to him at length, and i'd like for him to answer those questions himself publicly. but i felt very reassured. i had a long phone conversation with him first, and then we sat down. and as you know, willie, i've talked with him several times through the years about multiple topics. but i do. i don't think -- again, i don't think his views are out of the mainstream of richard haass, who's on set with you, or others who are concerned about the nefarious activity that russia's engaged in at all. i don't think he's -- now, he does have relationships, and i think that's what attracted president-elect trump to him, in addition to the fact that he's run a global enterprise, and that's something that i know president-elect trump really respects. and my guess is that what could happen here, willie, again, assuming he goes through the confirmation process and assures people on these types of issues, but i think he may be the kind
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of person with the stature and the things that the president-elect respects that may be able to shape views in a very positive way, but that's what people are going to be looking at. >> senator, it is richard haass here. good morning. >> good morning, sir. >> let's talk a little bit about asia. to what extent do you think that will come in? and in particular, two issues, north korea, as well as the whole question about china and the one china policy. to what extent do you think that will figure into the hearing? >> look, richard, i think every topic known to man is going to come up. look, these -- you know, we've had a great committee for ten years, for four years as republican chairman, the republican leader on foreign policy. we've had a very cooperative arrangement. something happened in the water as of november 8th, and things have changed a little bit. and you know, it's going to be on both sides of the aisle. people are going to have tough questions on north korea, on south china, on taiwan, the south china sea, on taiwan, on syria, on everything you can
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think of. and by the way, i think that's good, and i think that he's been preparing himself well for those types of questions. >> so senator corker, let's end where we began and talk about the potential to repeal obamacare. >> okay. >> do you really think there will be a legitimate, credible replacement that can be prepared in time? >> and should obamacare be thrown out without there being a replacement right there? >> i'm just going to assume he thinks the answer is no, but am i wrong in that assumption? >> no, i think it's a much more prudent course of action to do all at the same time, and president-elect trump, by the way, has agreed with that. if you think about it, tom price won't even, per the bill as theye suppod to report back changes on january 27th. tom price will likely not even
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be in office yet at that time. i think having your hhs person there with the information at hand to help sort of guide the reform process, the replace process, would be a good thing, not to mention -- i know joe's a fiscal hawk like me -- if you keep the subsidies in place for three years and do away with the revenues, it's literally like taking $116 billion -- that's with a "b" -- $116 billion and throwing it into a mud puddle, not an idea that i think is particularly interesting. >> right. >> so, i think you've got the fiscal issues along with just the thoughtful issues of doing it right. i've got an amendment that would move that reporting process back to march 3rd, which would give us some time to try to work through what it is we'd really like to do. >> well, senator, also -- >> that makes sense. >> -- it seems right now one of the great problems with the affordable care act, with obamacare, is you've got insurance companies opting out.
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>> yeah. >> if they think this is sunset for 2018 or 2019, everybody's going to scramble for the exits. the entire system's going to collapse. and there are going to be a lot of people who voted for donald trump who are on obamacare right now who are going to be pretty outraged. >> yeah. i've got a meeting later today, joe, towards that end with some other senators, meeting with some state commissioners of insurance who deal with these kinds of things so that they can share with us what will happen on the scenario, under the scenario you just laid out. and i think they're going to say the same thing you just said. >> all right. senator, thank you so much. >> senator bob corker, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we really appreciate it. >> how -- can i just ask, willie, i'll ask you, how great is bob corker? >> lucky to have him. >> lucky to have bob corker as is the foreign relations committee. they'll put rex tillerson through the paces. but he seemed in his private conversations, senator corker,
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to be comfortable with rex tillerson and the way he relates to russia. >> and richard, we're hearing this time and again, that whether it's senator corker or even people like john mccain and lindsey graham, we're hearing that privately there are some assurances. they're going to expect him, though, to say publicly that sanctions need to stay in place and also that russia did, in fact, hack to disrupt our democracy. >> absolutely. but what you're also talking about is you're seeing the emergence of a handful of republican senators who now could be critical for the trump presidency, because them, plus the democrats, could be a way of making sure, using this committee, that american foreign policy stays within certain parameters. and i think the tillerson hearings will be part of that process. >> you know, richard, we've had a little bit of fun with this book, as people have fun around the table. the thing i love so much about
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this book is that i had -- you know, obviously, i had been studying history my entire life. and most of this -- i know the back story to most of this. what surprised me was that a layman who hasn't been reading about foreign policy for decades can pick this up and have a tter understand of the chaos that's going on around the world as well as somebody like yourself, who's a foreign policy expert. >> brent scowcroft would love the book. >> brzezinski. son of a gun pup b. but it does two things at once, it -- >> educates. >> that was essentially the idea. i think one of the things this election taught us is you can't just have this conversation at the quote/unquote elite establishment level. it's got to be part of a much larger, public conversation. and unless we expand the conversation, we are not going to succeed. and if we don't succeed, what
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goes on out there will continue to unravel. >> richard haass, thank you. "a world in disarray: american foreign policy and the crisis of the old order" is out today. congratulations on that. and still ahead right here on "morning joe," more on donald trump's naming his son-in-law as senior adviser in the white house. inside jared kushner's new role and some questions about a potential conflict of interest? "morning joe" is back in a moment. we live in a pick and choose world.
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♪ okay, let's bring in right now cnbc's brian sullivan. >> sure. >> you're looking at jared kushner while mika's lookat her makeup. >> just fixing my lipstick. >> for senior adviser to the trump administration. this is, i've said before, this business is so extensive that he could employ an entire law firm just to make sure there aren't conflicts. talk about how big this business has become and what role he's
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played in that. >> is it possible to separate? >> is it possible to separate? well, good morning. that's a very big question, like the business is big, guys. i mean, obviously, kushner, they've got assets all over the place, primarily in new york and new jersey, but you go down south as well. they have assets, real estate assets, all over the country. and there's been some talk that kushner may have met with anbang insurance shortly after donald trump's winning. and you think, who is anbang insurance? don't worry if you don't know them. they came out of nowhere a few years ago. effectively, it was a small automobile insurer, now claims to have more than $300 billion in assets. they bought the waldorf astoria and tried to buy starwood hotels and got, pardon this, trumped by marriott, did not do that deal. it's a huge company with a lot of ties to the chinese government. there's been some talk that maybe kushner and anbang are trying to do some kind of redevelopment deal of kushner's flagship property, which is the 666 fifth avenue address, probably a multibillion dollar
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building in new york city, guys. anbang's founder, kind of a mysterious guy, is married to the former premier of china's granddaughter. so a lot of deep connections and questions about anbang and kushner. >> all right, cnbc's brian sullivan, thank you, greatly appreciate it. still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> the obama administration never asked for a nominee to get a hearing in the united states senate until their office of government ethics letter was complete. it does appear that now republicans in the senate are forming their own cheap suit caucus, and it's not a commentary on their wardrobe, it's a commentary on the fact that they are folding. >> have the trump nominees completed their assignments in time for a full vetting in the senate? we're talking to senator claire mccaskill and rob portman coming up. we'll ask rob portman about
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bipartisan report today, actually the result of an 18-month investigation into sex trafficking online. tell us about it. what do you hope to do? >> mika, we actually released the report last evening, and it showed that backpage.com, which is the primary way that commercial sex is advertised online, had actually concealed evidence of criminality, specifically had allowed ads to go up that they knew involved young girls, underage girls, the kind of sex trafficking that we long suspected that they were involved with. and as a result, they actually shut down what they call their adult section, their commercial sex trafficking site last night. about 80% of commercial sex goes on that one site. so, after 18 months of investigation and a lot of hard work, we were able to reveal that they had intentionally concealed this evidence of criminality. so, we're going to have a hearing today. we'll see what they say. we're bringing the executives forward. as you may know, there have been
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lawsuits around the country about back page, trying to shut them down, unsuccessfully so far, because of this activity. we'll see what they say today. but you know, as a father of a daughter and as a constituent of a lot of victims ofex trafficking who have come to me and talked about this, sex trafficking has kind of moved from the street corner to the smartphone. and back page has been the primary means of that. >> so, claire, how widespread is the problem? and what's the next step? >> well, i think the most important thing to remember here is that 73% of all the children that are reported to the missing exploited children's center have been exploited on backpage. so this is a big deal. as a former sex crimes prosecutor, these guys made my blood boil as they fought us every step of the way. we had to go all the way to the supreme court. but the moral of this story is, if you have a bipartisan working relationship and you actually go after it and don't give up, you
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can uncover evidence that is more powerful than a piece of legislation. and i think what's going to happen now is this report will go out to lawyers and prosecutors all over the country. and if i had to bet a dollar, i'd bet these guys that have made millions and millions of dollars on the backs of selling children for sex are going to take the fifth today. >> willie. >> senators, willie geist. good for both of you for doing this and getting action. >> thank you so much. >> thank you on behalf of the people who benefit from this. let's look at another side of your job, which will be sitting on committees this week, seeing a parade of nominees come through for the trump administration. i'll start with rex tillerson on thursday. senator portman, you're on foreign relations. you'll be in that hearing. what's the number one question you have for rex tillerson? >> i met with him yesterday. we had a good meeting. and the number one question i had for him yesterday is probably the one i'll have the at hearing, which is about the relationship with russia and specifically what's going on in ukraine, the eastern border of ukraine, crimea, and this
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broader issue of how we deal with this increasingly aggressive activity russia has on disinformation, not just what might have happened here in our country in terms of the political system, but it's larger than that. so i'm interested in his views on that. he has done work in russia. he has a relationship with some of the leadership there. and you know, that could be something positive. it could also be something that makes the u.s. national security even more at risk, depending on his positions on this issue, so he's an impressive guy. >> excuse the interruption, you've been an advocate for arming the ukrainians to resist vladimir putin. is that something that rex tillerson was open to? >> we talked about it. he probably will be asked that question in the hearing as well. you know, i do think that the people of ukraine have a right to defend themselves and we ought to help them to do that. i also think that american leadership in the world -- i know you talked to richard haass earlier today -- has been
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reduced to the point that it's a more dangerous and volatile world out there. and i think that broader issue is also something that will come up in the hearings. >> hallie, what's it looking like on the hill for especially tillerson and sessions who both might face some rough questioning? >> the most controversial picks it seems, and senators, you could shed light on this, in my conversations on capitol hill recently it seemed as though the perception was, listen, there's an understanding they're not going to take down these cabinet confirmations, necessarily, take down the nominees, but the point is to sort of make a public argument and take a stand. senator mccaskill, both of you actually, are on the finance committee. when you look at somebody like steve mnunchin, somebody else o's raised eyebrows, do you see any hurdles for him that could be prohibitive or is this more about making some points specifically for democrats? >> well, that's the point, we don't know. you know, we're not asking for something extraordinary here. we're asking that the office of
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government ethics, a non-partisan office, complete its work on potential conflicts for people who have a large stake in international businesses. this is just common sense. >> but senator, shouldn't that be for everybody who is going before the senate? don't you all, doesn't everybody in the senate -- >> of course! >> -- need to have all the information in front of them, whether they're worth, you know, $20 billion or $2, before you can vote on them? >> no question. and before you can ask questions of him. i mean, look at tillerson and the issue of sanctions. we now know he's been lobbying against sanctions against russia before in his private job, and we now know that one of his subsidiaries was, in fact, selling and doing business with iran when our country had them under sanction. these are important things for us to know. and we are digging to find some of this. but at a bare minimum, the republicans ought to be willing to allow us to wait until we
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have the basic ethic conflict of interest information. if they go into office and they have conflicts that have not been resolved, it could be a crime under our statutes. that matters. >> senator portman, a political question for you. it's hallie. matt borges dropped out to be the chair. donald trump making calls to lobby people in ohio, in what seemed to be a proxy war between him and john kasich. was it appprte in yo view, for the president-elect to get that directly involved in this? >> i don't know. i think that's his decision. a lot of people were involved in that. at the end of the day, our party was unified. matt borges did a great job as chairman based on the record, not just donald trump's victory, but also mine and other republicans statewide during his tenure, and we all came together at the end. and matt's going to continue to be involved. so, it all worked out, i think, for party unity. but you know, he's --
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president-elect trump is willing to get involved -- >> he's going to do what he's going to do. >> exactly. and the issues he cares about. and that's his prerogative. >> eddie. >> yeah, in an unprecedented move, senator cory booker is going to testify in the nomination hearing around senator sessions. and then there are other organizations that have come out to express their concerns. what are your thoughts about senator sessions' nomination? >> well, i think i agree with what hallie said earlier, which is that it's likely that these nominees will be confirmed. jeff sessions is a colleague. you know, he has friends and respect across the aisle. i'm not saying all democrats will vote for him, certainly, but i do think that, you know, he's a man who has shown in his service here in the senate and his service as a u.s. attorney, and he was at the justice department for i think 15 years, you know, that he has a strong record. he has taken desegregation cases as an example. he's got support from some people back home who -- >> claire -- i'm sorry, senator, we're running rapidly out of
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time. >> -- who's involved in these cases. >> claire, a response from you as a democrat? >> well, i want to wait for the confirmation hearings. i haven't had a chance to sit down with senator sessions yet. there's two issues. one is, is he a colleague that i've worked with? and the second is, do his policies and positions represent someone that i can support for attorney general? that second part of that question has not been resolved yet because it's too early in the process for me to make a decision. >> all right. senators, we apologize for cutting you off. >> thank you. >> go chiefs, joe. go chiefs! >> go chiefs! >> go chiefs! thank you guys so much. >> claire mccaskill and rob portman. thank you both. i love them working together today. >> all right, stay with msnbc today for complete coverage of the confirmation hearing of senator jeff sessions, the opening statements get under way in about half an hour. stephanie picks up the coverage now. >> hi there. i'm stephanie rule. this morning, so much to do. unprecedented. that's the word of the day. the first trump nominee hearing just minutes away. and overnight, a new twist.

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