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tv   MSNBC Live With Kate Snow  MSNBC  January 10, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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afternoon, don't we? we are still informing this extremely busy day on capitol hill in washington. senator jeff session's confirmation hearing continues for attorney general. that's the senate judiciary committee. that's still going on. just wrapped up the senate intelligence committee. but this one at some points the hearing got contentious. it was interrupted by people protesting session as number of times. but in the senator's opening remarks he did tell the committee that he is committed to fairness and equal justice under the law. >> you know who i am, you know what i believe in, you know that i'm a man of my word and can be trusted to do what i say i will do. you know that i revere the constitution, that i'm committed to the rule of law, and you know that i believe in fairness, in impartiality and equal justice under law. >> we'll be breaking down much more of session's hearing today with our team from capitol hill in just a moment. also dipping back in as we need
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to live. we are also waiting for the confirmation hearing of former general john kelly. that's for homeland security secretary. that's set to begin about halfway through this hour. we will talk to a member of the committee who will be committeeing kelly just ahead. later tonight as just mentioned by katie, president obama delivers his farewell address to the nation from chicagole we will bring you a preview of tonight's big speech coming up. let's go to capitol hill and start with today's confirmation hearings of senator jeff sessions for attorney general. you looking at live pictures. it continues at this hour. kelly o'donnell is on capitol hill covering all of it. kelly, start with the highlights. >> good to be with you kate, we are outside jeff session's office here. and it's just steps away from the hearing where he has been on the hot seat today. it's been part sort of biographical defense trying to
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explain some of his past conduct some of the things he said and some of the controversy that has surrounded him. all day we've seen ins loo of the members of the public that want to participate by witnessing there, or people from interest groups who want to take part or to show support. and of course it has interrupted with protesters and demonstrate stritors who have shouted out in protest of the session nomination a number of times today. in terms of highlights, jeff sessions has tried to use this hearing as a way to say that he will follow the law, to try to sort of defend himself against really decades of allegations that he has at times shown racist tendencies or not conducted himself in a way that was in line with the law on some of those matters. and that has been an area where he has most strongly tried to defend himself saying it has been very painful for him to be accused of being a bigot over time and saying when those allegations back in the 1980s
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were mounted against him he did not respond properly. more currently he of course was a fixture on the campaign trail for donald trump was one of the first senators to support trump and was out with him on the road. many times sessions was out on the road in support of donald trump. because of that, one of the questions that came up today, if the department of justice were to conduct any investigation or probe related to hillary clinton in the ongoing matter of the e-mails or anything that tied to her, what would sessions do? he had a very specific answer about that, about stepping to out of the way. meerz what he had to say. >> mr. chairman, it was a highly contentious campaign. i, like a lot of people, made comments about the issues in that campaign. with regard to secretary clinton. and some of the comments i do believe that that could place my objectivity in question. i've given that thought.
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i believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve secretary clinton and that were raised during the campaign. >> and sessions was also asked about the russian hacking, the fbi. he said that he basically believes in the fbi, trusts in them, believes that their work assessing the hacking during the election season was done with the best of intentions and appropriate appropriately. although he didn't say that he has enough information yet to draw any conclusion. he was also asked about his record over time. in many ways he was trying to say to senators who will ultimately vote on his confirmation that he has been a colleague for decades. he has been someone they have known and worked with, and trying to rely to some extent on his personal relationships. but it is not an easy hearing for him, especially on issues
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that can be raw nerves as we saw on full display today. and republicans also trying to give sessions opportunities to answer some of the questions that are out there about him, about his record b the kind of leadership he would show at the department of justice in a time when issues like the trump muslim ban that he says he does not agree with, and areas where he might be different than donald trump on issues that are really red hot in today's national conversation. it still would be the policy of a new president to set the tone. how would jeff sessions behave as the top law enforcement official in the country? he is trying to make that case here. his confirmation hearing will last probably a few more hours. but that doesn't end it. there will be additional witnesses as well. >> eventual we will go back in and listen to the hearing. they are talking about the release the access hollywood tape and donald trump and what he said on that tape last fall.
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>> now, you were asked about naacp and aclu on, he ma. you said that was before you were a senator. as a senator you have continue to be hostile to them. you criticized nominees for having what you call aclu dna. now i remember when republicans led the justice department the inspector general found the bush administration engaged in unlawful politicized hiring practices. that's the republican administration's own inspector general. they said the ashcroft justice department used litmus tests, whether applicants would be sufficient and conservative if they are ever in the aclu, you this couldn't have a job. you said in a radio interview
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justice has to be saved from secular progressive liberals. okay. let me ask you a couple of simple questions. are an individual's religious beliefs relevant to their employment at the justice department? >> not unless it's such that they can't perform their duties in an honorable law consistent with the law. >> what would be an example of that? >> if an individual so strongly believed that abortion should be unlawful that they used their position to block constitutionally approved abortions, i think that would make them not subject to being employed in the department of justice. >> we've been listening in again to senator jeff sessions as he faces confirmation hearings in the senate. that confirmation hearing continues now into hours now. it's been going since 9:30 this morning. just before we dipped in live he
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was asked about that tape from access hollywood that came out during the campaign, the tape involving billy bush and donald trump. we'll try to turn that around for and you bring you that clip as soon as we have it. let me go to casey hunt who has been watching up on capitol hill all day today. some of it has been about the senator's past. there were a lot of questions raised about what happened in 1986 when he was considered for a federal judgeship and denied by the senate. >> that's right kate. that's really been a central focus here. and that incident has really followed jeff sessions throughout his entire career. he was rejected for that federal judgeship in 1986 after a colleague of his said he was an -- an african-american colleague said sessions referred to him as boy and made other racially disparaging remarks. and it sank session's nomination and followed him ever since. he went home, became the alabama attorney general, was assistant
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u.s. attorney. attorney in the southern region. that's when we've been talking about today and the trump transition has tried to focus in on defending session's record on civil rights. and sessions himself addressed at some length at the beginning of this hearing. take a look. >> let me address another issue straight on. i was accused in 1986 of failing to protect the voting rights of african-americans by presenting the perry county case, the voter fraud case and by denying consumer rhts advocates. and who barring sympathies for the kkk. these are generally false charns. i abhor the klan and what it represents and its hateful etiology. i insisted on the southern poverty law center and his lawsuit that led to the
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successful collapse of the klan at least in alabama, the seizure of their building at least for that period of time. as civil rights division attorneys have testified before the committee i supported fully their historic case has the justice department filed to advance civil rights and that i supported. >> we really have been revisiting a difficult period in history today. you a couple of protesters who were dressed in klan garb that were escorted from the hearing room at the beginning. a striking image to see. while we are talking about history. this hearing room behind me is now named the kennedy caucus room named for the three kennedys that severed here in the united states senate. has been the site of some of the most famous investigations in estados unidos history starting back with the sinking of the titanic, through the mccarthy era, the famous line have you no
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decency sir was said in this room. the watergate hearings were held here. the clarence thomas hearings, among others. so quite a lot of history under scoring this confirmation hearing going on today. >> casey hunt watching it all. we continue to watch it life. it's going on five hours now of testimony. khizr khan, the gold star father who got into a very public feud with donald trump last summer is right behind senator sessions today sitting a few rows behind him. before the hearing khan wrote to a letter to the committee urging them to oppose the nomination. he wrote i'm writing to urge you in respect to the american values enshrined in the constitution not to confirm senator jeff sessions to be attorney general of the united states. i am also well aware of the fact that the republican majority of this honorable committee may confirm senator session after an incomplete and less than thorough hearing which will
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compromise its moral authority in our legislative system. i want to bring in the man who wrote that letter, khizr khan is with us. nice to see you. >> thank you for inviting me. >> you have been in the. radio. i don't know how long you were able to same i saw in there this morning. has anything you heard in there today changed your opinion? >> i was heartened to hear senator sessions say -- and this is what he said, and i took a complete note of it sitting a couple of rows behind him. i was there throughout the morning. and he said he does not support muslim ban, muslims entering united states. what that is in stark opposition than the position of donald
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trump. even today, at his website, the muslim ban is listed as their position. >> does that reassure you? >> well, it -- it worries me that the nominee attorney general is already in conflict with the elect president. how this department of justice is going to move forward? this country is already so divided. this country needs my country -- i am a patriot muslim american. i worry about the division, lack of reconciliation effort. and this was yet another example that for expediency, for nomination statement by the nominee for attorney general will be made to appease the committee. but he has not consulted this with the president-elect. >> let me go ahead if i could
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and play that sound. because you are referring to a part of the hearing this morning, pat leahy, a democrat was questioning jeff sessions. let's play that exchange and then we'll talk some more. >> do you agree with the president-elect the united states can or should deny entry to all members of a particular religion? >> senator leahy, i believe the president-elect has subsequent to that statement made clear that he believes the focus should be on individuals coming from countries that have history of terrorism. but i have no belief and do not support the idea that muslims as a religious group should be denied admission to the united states. >> so i would think that that might reassure some of your doubts. but you are saying that you are concerned that now he is not on the same page as donald trump? >> that's exactly the point. not only this. this is what he said about he
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has voted thought his tenure against the dreamers act. and he continues to oppose it. and this is what he said when he was asked how he would -- he continues to vote against the dreamers act. he said, we are not financially able to implement deportation of 800,000 people that are affected by this act. i just fail to understand that policies will be governing, the laws of this country or the financial position of this country will govern the implement of these laws? and these two examples really convince me that our attorney general nominee attorney general has not thought through these -- has not discussed it with his
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boss, his candidate that he had supported throughout the campaign. >> khizr khan, gold star father. it's nice to have your perspective today. thanks for stopping by. >> thank you. joining us now, william smith, a former senior council of the senate judiciary committee, the committee holding the hearing right now and the committee that used to be head by jeff session you worked under jeff sessions. nice to have you with us as well. >> thank you for having me. >> from what i understand you are a taunch defender of your former boss. in light of the things that have come up today in terms of his past, where do you see things? how do you think it's going today first of all? >> i think it's going fabulously for senator sessions. only one way to describe it. he is crushing it. his colleagues know him well, he is intelligent, they like him. because he is well-liked, so intelligent because they know he is going to make an outstanding attorney general, because they know him, because they have seen
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him, worked with him 20 years ago they know the rumors that came up 30 years ago are not true. i think he is doing quite a well job in the hearing today. >> to be clear there were comments back in 1986 when he was up for that federal judgeship. and casey hunt alluded to this, that he had said disparaging things, that he commented that the naacp and the aclu were un-american. do you believe those comments were never made, that that's simply not part of the senator's history? >> i can tell you no racial animus has been part of the senator's history. what you have had have been a bunch of allegations, you have no fact that have been prove. you have a bunch of people saying thing that happened before 1986, if you look at 1996, at 2006, if you look at 2016, you don't see any other allegations, so you have to look at those other allegations
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circumspectly. >> what about the comments of khizr khan, he was saying some of the things said by jeff sessions doesn't align with some of the policies proposed by donald trump. is he -- >> the role of the attorney general is to enforce the laws of the united states f. the president wants him to do something different he will not do it. senator jeff sessions will enforce the laws of the united states. he believes in equal justice under the law. he believes everyone should be treated fairly. >> does that include for example -- >> sorry. does that include if there is a ban om on people who are muslim entering the country he will stands for it even though he doesn't agree with it. >> he will enforce the laws of the united states. >> what do you think needs to be said that we haven't heard yet
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out of senator sessions. if you could ask a question of him what would you want him to address? >> i think he he is contracted all the issues. i'm not here to ask senator sessions questions. i think he has done a fabulous job. you have seen from his testimony he is a smart guy, a nice guy, he is kind and courteous. i think you can see from his testimony he is going to do an outstanding job. >> william smith worked with senator jeff sessions. thanks for being with us. appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. >> we are still keeping an eye on that confirmation hearing. we have been showing you live pictures on the left side of your screen. trust me we have people monitoring every word being said and we will bring it to you as soon as there are nows worthy moments. plus we are minutes away from the start of a second confirmation hearing. this won for john kelly, donald trump's pick for homeland security.
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when we come back, we'll have a member of the panel that kelly will face is in just a few minutes. we'll talk to him when we come back. with 4 ounce, individually wrapped velveeta mini blocks, dinner's never been easier. introducing four ounce, individually wrapped velveeta mini blocks. the easiest way to make this. and this. and this. with perfectly-portioned velveeta mini blocks, you've got endless, melty gold.
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we are keeping an eye on this hear with jeff sessions concapitol hill. that's senator dick durbin, democrat from illinois on the left side of your screen. he just asked senator sessions if he would recuse himself from any investigation that might come up involving donald trump. his answer was there i would have to review it. that comes in lead of the other question he was asked earlier today about any investigation of hillary clinton, in which he said he would recuse himself from any investigation pending that involved hillary clinton because he was deeply involved in criticizing her during the campaign. by the way, in addition to this hearing that you are watching right now we are waiting for another confirmation hearing to
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begin. that's supposed to happen about seven minutes from now, 3:30 eastern time. that is the hearing for former general john kelly. he has been nominated for homeland security secretary. he will be testified before the senate homeland security committee. for more on that i want to bring in democrat senator gary peters. he sitsds on that committee. >> it's great to be with you. >> i understand you just came from a meeting. if our timing is right, did you get out of a meeting with general kelly? >> i did. i had time with him one on one. but we are getting ready for the committee hearing. we will start momentarily. >> your thoughts out of that meeting. >> well we had a good discussion about the issue that i think is our number one homeland security security issue, that's cyber security. i talked to him about his experience dealing with cyber threats, what he will do at the department of homeland security. i also serve on the senate armed services committee. so certainly the russian hacks and the fact that we have 17 intelligence agencies, including the department of homeland security that has talked about
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the types of actions the russians have taken. we need to make sure we have a coordinated and strong response. and that was the focus of our talk. >> did general kelly give you any indication what he personally thinks of the intelligence report that came out publicly on friday that donald trump was briefed on? >> well, we didn't talk specifically about the report. but he certainly believes that this is without question a major threat to homeland security and one that he will be focusing on. >> is that where you will focus your question this afternoon, senator? you are going to get a chance to ask questions in the public session shortly? >> well, i will. that will be the top of my list of questions. but i'm sure we will have other topics that will be discussed as well. >> let me ask you about one other topic. donald trump says he wants to build a wall on the border with mexico. generalcaly will be in charge of customs and border protection. do you see him as someone who will carry out donald trump's wishes or someone who might provide a buffer? how do you see that?
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>> i think general kelly will have a much more robust answer to dealing with immigration issues. i spent time earlier this year in guatemala with general kelly. we were on the border with guatemala and mexico talking about how we would stop the flow particularly of unaccompanied minors. certainly i don't believe that he believes building a tall wall along the borders is what we need to do. as you know, donald trump is also changing his opinion saying now the american taxpayers are going to pay for that wall. it's not going to be the mexican government. >> he is going to ask mexico to pay us back is what the president-elect has said most recently. >> right. >> senator i have to let you g. it is a busy day. you are headed into the meeting right now. michigan democrat senator gary peters. thank you for your time today. if you have been watching moments ago we were looking at senator patrick leahy questioning senator jeff sessions the nominee for attorney general about the controversial comments that donald trump made about women which were caught on that famous
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tape now by access hollywood. let's listen to that exchange now. >> you -- shortly after the tape came out -- and i realize in explanation here, you said i don't characterize that as sexual assault. but then you said later the weekly standards characterizations comments made following season's presidential debate is completely inadequate. my hesitation is based solely on the content of the tape, and the question of the reporter which was asked in a chaotic environment. of course it's crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. i would never intentionally suggest otherwise. that's basically what you said after the confusion on her first comment; is that correct? >> i believe that's correct. >> thank you.
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is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent -- is that sexual assault? >> clearly, it would be. >> thank you. if a sitting president or any other high federal official was accused of committing what the president-elect described in a context in which it could be fed really prosecutor, would you be able to prosecute and investigate? >> the president is subject to certain lawful restrictions, and they would be required to be applied by the appropriate law enforcement official if appropriate, yes. >> and the conduct described based on this description would be sexual assault? >> well, the confusion about the question was a hypothetical question. and it related to what was said on the tape. i did not remember at the time
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whether this was suggested to be an unaccepted, unwanted -- >> okay did. >> -- but would certainly meet the definition. if that's what the tape said, then that would be -- >> my question is very simple. is grabbing a woman by her genitals without consent, is that sexual assault? >> yes. >> that exchange, that exchange just happened a few moments ago in that confirmation hearing for senator sessions. now let's look at a live picture. that's the live picture on the side of your screen. senator sessions continuing to take questions as he tries to become the next attorney general of this country. we are going to monitor that. we'll also continue to tell you what happens in here. up next even more news today. 44's final farewell. just a few hours from now we have president obama delivering his last address to the nation from his adopted hometown of chicago. we are live with a preview after
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the break. and we are also looking back at some of the highlights of the president's two terms in the white house, including this moving moment from the funeral of a reverend gunned down during bible study at his charleston south carolina church ♪ amazing grace ♪ [ applause ] ♪ how sweet the sound ♪ that saved a wretch ♪ like me
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homeland security secretary. that's the senate homeland security and government affairs committee just getting underway. on the right side of our screen we are in hour five, i believe, of senator jeff sessions sitting before the senate judiciary committee for his confirmation hearing. we have teams of people listening in on both hearings. we'll get back to that in just a moment. we also want to tell you about president obama. he is traveling to his hometown of chicago later today where he is set to deliver his final scheduled speech. to it is a farewell address to the nation. and what us what officials say is a quote call to action to the next generation of lead leaders. chris jansing joins me live from chicago. chris, this is a big moment for the president. what do we expect? >> reporter: he is going to go biggan this. this is important to hmm. it's last chance as president to address a national television audience like this as well as 20,000 people expected inside mccormick place convention center. he is going to essentially not
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just make his case for what he has done over the last yai years, but he is going to make the argued that those themes are still relevant in 2017 and going forward and to encourage, to motivate, to inspire people to continue to essentially fight the good fight. it's no surprise that he has decided to come back here. historically since washington these farewell speeches have been given inside the white house. but when we first started talking about it in the smerks kate, he said i want to go back to chicago. this is where it all started for him, where a lot of his views were formed as a community organizer, and where he decided to launch his presidential campaign n. fact, that big night when he won the presidency is only about four miles away in this city from where he will be speaking tonight. this speech has probably gone through five drafts. it started with his chief speech wrooid writer, cody keenan. i talked with him at length yesterday. he told me the president hasn't
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had a chance to look at it intensively in the last couple of days but he has been working on it intensively. to give you an idea how important this speech is they went back and looked at the speeches in the past that worked for him. the 2004 speech at the convention where he first came to national attention. the 2008 speech, the speech that he gave in selma, crossing the bridge there. he also, we are told, invited some of his former -- closest former aides to sort of weigh in on this. in the end, this is going to be a deeply personal speech for him. his wife michele obama is going to be there. the vice president and jill biden are going to be there. the mayor here ram emmanuel will be there. it remains the hottest ticket in town. for him it really is on opportunity to say here's what i've done, here's what we need to do going forward. it's really interesting, kate as i've been, talking to probably
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eight of his top aides over the past couple of days. they all said you know, after the election he has been open about it. they said they went through stages of grief. they said he was the first one to reach the stage of acceptance, now where do we go from here. and he will lay that out in front of his home town crowd in chicago. >> we will be covering president obama's farewell address live from chicago. that special coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern time here on msnbc. again we are continuing to monitor two hearings going on on capitol hill. left side of your screen is the committee, the senate committee on homeland security. right side is the judiciary committee. on the left we are going to be seeing a hearing for general john kelly who is up for homeland security secretary. that's him right there. and on the right side, that's the attorney general nominee, jeff sessions, now -- a current senator who is trying to become attorney general. that's been going on for hours.
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we continue to monitor both hearings. let's switch back to president obama and his big night. i want to bring in joanne freedom of yale university and co-hostth pod cast back story as well as carol maureen, nbc chicago's political editor. she sat down with president obama for a big interview last week. nice to see you ladies. thanks for being with us. >> pleasure. >> carol, can i start with you. you have closely followed the president's political career. as a chicagoan especially you interviewed him when he was a state senator and all the way through up until last week's interview. we heard he is still revising this speech, getting it fine-tuned for tonight. how important is this moment for him? and talk about the context of being in chicago for that moment. >> you know, kate, it's closing the circle. to a large degree, this is a valid kicker to. this is his touchstone, this is
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his place. he comes back with a lot more gray hair and the recognition that hope and change are things you can believe in and talk about on the campaign trial, but it's much more difficult to execute. i know he doesn't want to this to be a rally tonight. but in mccormack place will be staff he is, volunteers, staffers, neighbors, friends, neighbors, he is going tois the valloy a he park restaurant before he comes to mccormick place tonight. i asked him at the white house if it would be teary. though he resist saying that his aides say he gets choked up and almost parental about all the people who will be in that room who saw him through this journey to this point. >> we are erring a speech the other day where he teared up a bit talking about the time in
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the white house. the white house has said he is taking cues from george washington and his farewell address. in the musical hamilton there is a song about that fare well address. for people who don't know anything about the list tree, that was a big deal. could you see a parallel? >> well that was a very big deal. i suppose in a way we take it for granted that a president leaves and he says farewell but we shouldn't because washington did it for a particular reason. two reasons. on the one hand he was the only person who had ever been president and he had status unlike anybody else in that time period. for him to step down was a big deal. >> first transition of power. >> exactly. ha what do you do without george. in addition he warned to warn the country about things that he thought were dangerous, things that he thought might imperil the young republic. he warned them about extreme partisanship. he warned them about becoming
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too close with another country. he warned us about thing that never stopped being things we needed to be warned about. >> if history is guide do you think we get warnings bells from barack obama tonight and maybe we get some reflection on things that haven't gone as well as he would have hoped. >> for sure, i would expect a farewell address has something about if not a warning then a caution of things to think about and what's to come. andrew jackson did the same thing in his farewell address. he said by the way i'm a little worried about the union, so let's take care of the union. i would also think that president obama would be thinking a little bit about his legacy, a little bit about what he thinks went right. and perhaps some of the things that he wished might have gone better. >> carol let me ask you about your interview last week. i want to play a little bit of sound that you had. this is when you were talking about donald trump and his future prip with the intelligence community. >> i hope is that when the
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president-elect receives his own briefings and is able to examine the excel jens as his team is -- the intelligence as his team is put together and they see how professional these agencies are that some of those current tensions will be reduced. >> he is always cool as cucumber, right, but that's kind of a subdued comment. what is your sense of whether we'll hear sharpness tonight or the more subdued tone about donald trump? >> i think we will hear the subdued. i mean george bush as he left office set the high bar that the obamas really abide by, that they want a respectful transition of power and they don't want to prejudge what the new president will be doing. so i think you will see that kind of restraint. at the same time, the president returns to chicago where there is more blood in the street than when he left. there were things that did not
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change for the better, though many things did. not all of the things he cares about. and so as he leaves office, i think joanne is right, it's going to be a bit of one more thing, one more cautionary word in the hopes that things will continue to improve. and i see that as an extension as you worry about this country in that awesome job of yours, you don't stop when you get off of air force one. >> carol maureen from chicago. joanne free man from yale thank you to you both. appreciate you being here. let's take another live look at senator jeff session's confirm theation for attorney general. that is still underway. another meeting has begun. that's the homeland security committee. we are waiting for general john kelly to give his opening remarks. mccaskell is speaking right now.
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we'll bring that to you as soon as it happens. stay with us. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job, or fill a big order or expand your office and take on whatever comes next. find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at
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all right. so many hearings underway at this moment. you are looking at senator john mccain on the left side of your screen from arizona, a republican of course. that is the hearing in homeland security, the committee on homeland security in the senate. they are having their confirmation hearing for the nominee for homeland security secretary, johncaly. general john kelly. when he starts speaking we plan to bring that to you live. on the right side of your screen, senator jeff sessions has been sitting in that room for much of the last five or six hours taking questions from the senate judiciary panel. of course we're monitoring that as well. meantime, the senate intelligence committee also met today. at issue for them, last week's intelligence report that accuses russia of hacking into the election -- or hacking related to the election, i should say. cia director john brennan and fbi director james comey among
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the intelligence chiefs to answer questions in that hearing today as was director of national intelligence james clapper who was at last week's hearing on the same issue. hans nichols has been monitoring that particular hearing. so much going on today, hans. i'm glad you are going to tell us what happened. that was a shorter one, right? they wrapped up already? >> that was a shorter hearing. it's been concluded. what we saw there was both republicans and democrats trying to make their points, either protect for invey against donald trump in connection to russia's role in the hacking during the election. there was one exception to that. marco rubio was perhaps the only republican that really made the point that rs perhaps achieved their goals. >> we have some on the other side questioning the legitimacy of the president-elect because of russian interference. and we have the president-elect questioning the credibility of the intelligence commune because of its findings. this sounds like a pretty
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effective and successful effort to sew chaos, to undermine credibility of our leaders and of our government institutions. >> rubio also raises concern, and clapper certainly agreed with it, clapper the head of the dni, that republicans could one day be a target. perhaps the biggest news coming out of this was director comey saying yes there was indeed -- there was not any cooperation, i should say pie the dnc to turn over their server to the fbi. that had been reported beforehand. this is comey confirming it. kate. >> hans nichols thanks so much. we will take another quick break while we can with so much going on. and we'll be right back in a movement it tom! studies show that toms have the highest average earning potential over their professional lifetime. see? uh, it's a girl. congratulations! two of my girls are toms. i work for ally, finances are my thing. you know, i'm gonna go give birth real quick and then we'll talk, ok? nice baby. let's go. here comes tom #5!
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it's time for you to make the calls, so call your doctor to see if myrbetriq may be right for you. visit to learn more. all right. watching two hearings at the exact same time here on capitol hill. on the left side, that's robert gates and he's speaking at the homeland security committee of the senate which is considering the nominee, nomination of the
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homeland security secretary for donald trump. that's general john kelly. on the right side of your screen, senator sessions of alabama continues, jeff sessions, continues to take questions from the senate judiciary committee. both of those confirmation hearings now happening at the same time. it's a wild day for news. we're going to keep watching both of those hearings. remember, there were something like nine hearings originally scheduled for this week alone. we've just gotten word in that one has changed. and that is the confirmation hearing for andrew puzder who is up for labor secretary. nominated under donald trump. he's the ceo of the company that you may recall owns and managing carl's jr. restaurants and hardees restaurants. that scheduled hearing, which was supposed to be this week is now going to happen in february. in part, some of these hearings have moved in response to complaints by democrats and others that not enough paperwork had been filed yet to fully
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consider these nominations. i'm joined now by mike allen, he's executive editor of access and really an expert on all things political and washington. we're glad to have you with us, mike, good to see you again. let's start there. this is like hearing plu za today, which one we're looking at, when. why the rush by the trump incoming administration to get all these people through? >> well, kate, it is split screen tuesday here, it's been fun to watch. your coverage and there's some juicy gamesmanship going on here with the timing of these hearings. so the trump folks were very deliberate about wanting to concentrate the hearings. flood the zone strategy and the idea is that if you have a bunch of them going on, it's harder for democrats, harder for the media to pick apart any one of these nominees. originally scheduled to today
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for on, we're today. for tomorrow, and stacking them all up, what one republican said to me is you can't kill four people in one day. they were thinking that add into that it the trump press conference tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. in new york and trump tower and those tend to go a while. there's a real diffusion of attention. and of course that was part of the trump play book during the campaign. now the twist here kate is that democrats who as you said are concerned about the paperwork want more chance to dig into these nominees. want to slow things down. in the minority, nay can't stop these hearings, but is a top democratic official told me where they can get their revenge if republicans aren't cooperative in these delays show a little bit more cooperation by the republican side. if they're not cooperation then they can slow down the final vote on confirmation on the floor. it's when these nominees pass
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out of the committee, go to the full floor, that's when democrats could be mischievous and slow things down if the hearing process got ugly. >> while you talk about how the hearings are taking all of our attention today. i want to go to a couple of the stories we may have missed while we've been covering the hearings. one of them really a relevant important story to people out there who might have children with autism or know about this debate. president-elect trump today asked robert kennedy jr., a big skeptic of the effectiveness of vaccines to head what he's calling a presidential commission on the safety of vaccines. so again, this is someone who has been critical and worried about the safety of vaccines is now going to head up a commission under donald trump. what do you make of that, mike? >> two fascinating things about this, one is donald trump taking on this issue which as you point out is of concern to a lot of parents. and b, this is donald trump being in one of his highest pro
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file democrats. now there's some you talk to that say you're going to bring rfk jr., head of bpa, attorney general, or something else? he is giving him this mission. kate, to be precise, robert kennedy's skepticism has been about the use of mercury and preservatives in the vaccines. the argument is you could do similar, have similar effects with refrigeration, not the idea of vaccines, but how they're administrated. this is a family-friendly issue. this is the type of issue that ivanka trump has been very prominent in putting on the president's agenda. and this is the president doing something big at a time when he's just trying to fill out his cabinet. again, this is part of flood the zone, that this administration not just walk and chew gum at the same time, but wants to have something on every burner as my grandmother would say. i think we're going to see that
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ased they head into the 100 days. there's a much more rapid fire piece of legislation than people realize. >> i expect we are going to see a lot of responses from the medical community on that one. just to note, i've done a lot of stories about immunizations and autism and the science is very much on one side on that. so we'll wait for that response. let me get to one other thing. secretary of state, john kerry, still the secretary of state, give a big speech and took a swipe at donald trump. he said if poelicy is going to e made in 140 characters and every reasonable measure of accountability is being bypassed and people don't really care about it, we have a problem and it's not just here meaning the u.s., but all over the world. mike, the speech went on and on to really kind of put a lens on what's happening in this country. he talked about the atmosphere and the environment in this country. degenerating and people not fact-checking their politicians anymore. is this his partying shot? >> well, it's one of them.
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i think you'll have more. what's fascinating, we've been paying attention to how corporations are prepicturing for and dealing with presidential tweets. and you hear about companies on the west coast, having someone get up early when donald trump does to watch his twitter feed in case their competitors are mentioned. we often hear about allies paying attention to the twitter feed. assigning specific people at their embassies here in the united states to watch the tweets. and this has been a big concern, especially to the foreign policy committee who want to know, is a tweet u.s. policy which usually of course, kate, has so much back-up to it, but he's the president. it's hard to discount anything he says on that twitter. even if it doesn't add the interagency process behind it. >> yeah, there's even an alert you can get now to alert you he has tweeted about a fortune 500 company to alert you that your
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stocks might be affected. we are going to take a quick break. mike allen, thank you so much. sorry, we're not taking a break -- >> next week is a long tweet, like us on facebook and thank you for having us. >> thank you, mike, i appreciate that. i was just about to the say that executive editor, thanks so much. there's people talking in my ear, a lot of chaos going on today. we have to mention that jeff sessions committee hearing has been going on since 9:30 this morning. they just took what, a 15 minute break? yes, a 15 minute break. we're continuing to monitor that. they're coming back after 15 minutes. meantime, the homeland security hearing continues. i'm going to get out of here and prepare for nightly news right now and i'm going to turn things over to steve kornacki right here in new york. >> hey kate, how ro are you? thanks, good afternoon. i'm steve kornacki live in new york. yes, it has been a busy morning, it is a busy afternoon, it is a busy early evening approaching in washington, d.c. donald trump's pick for homeland security you're looking live a


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