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

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enbrel, the number one rheumatologist-prescribed biologic. that does it for this hour of "msnbc live." i'm katy tur live in new york. my colleague, kate snow, live in new york as well. >> how are you? let's make a tradition out of this, okay? more and more news going on this hour. just a ton perform some of it we knew about ahead of time. some we didn't. we'll start with breaking news out of the justice department. the inspector general saying he will review how the fbi and justice department handled certain aspects of the hillary clinton e-mail investigation. a full analysis of that move and the reaction pouring in this hour. that's coming up. also this hour, any moment now, we're expecting president obama in this room, paying tribute to vice president joe biden. that's the state dining room at the white house. both michelle obama and dr. jill
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biden are there as well. on top of all of this, this has been the case all week. president-elect trump's cabinet picks facing a grilling on capitol hill. general james mattis, mike pompeo and ben carson for housing and urban development. in case you haven't been watching tv, here's a taste of what we've heard. >> do you believe that that -- that world order is now under more strain than it's ever been? >> i think it's under the biggest attack since world war ii, sir, and that's from russia, from terrorist groups and with what china is doing in the south china sea. i would not have taken this job if i didn't believe the president-elect would also be open to my input on this or any other matter. >> people say, but medicine, why would you go into something like hud? well, i actually believe there's a tremendous nexsus, a great
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intersection, because good health has a lot to do with a good environment. >> you have confidence in the intel community, the cia in particular where you're going into? >> i do. i do. look, i'd never stand here today to tell you the agency has had perfection throughout history nor would it have perfection if it's confirmed on my watch. but i have great confidence in the men and women that work out there. >> and forgive me if you heard that. we're starting with break news out of the justice department. inspector general initiating a review of allegations regarding certain actions by the department of justice and fbi relating to the investigation around hillary clinton's e-mails ahead of the election. i want to bring in my colleague, pete williams, who's been on this story since it broke a couple hours ago. pete, explain the investigation to us. whose decision was it to launch this investigation? do we have any idea, why now? >> it's the decision of michael horowitz, who's the inspector general of the justice department.
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now, these are people who are independent watchdogs. they're not political appointees as such. they're independent of the attorney general or the president. they make these decisions on their own. and he says that he's done it because of -- there's been a chorus of people asking for it. members of congress from both parties, he says, members of the public, what he calls various organizations. as you know, hillary clinton supporters have said they think some of the disclosures affected the election. this will not be an investigation of the e-mail investigation itself. it's not going to review how prosecutorial decisions were made or investigative steps. this is going to look at how aspects of the case were handled publicly. the fbi director's news conference in july in which he said he didn't think charges should be filed but that he thought hillary clinton was reckless in her handling of eameem
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e-mails. and then the letters comey sent to the hill, one saying we found more e-mails on anthony weiner's laptop that could be pertinent to our investigation, we need to look at those, and then his follow-up letter a few days before the election in which he said, we've done that review and we haven't had anything. hillary clinton herself has said she thinks that first letter in late october changed the course of the election. so, the inspector general is going to look at that and a couple of ancillary things. there have been allegations that an fbi deputy director should have taken himself off part of this case because of some connections to the campaign or his wife's connections to the political -- to politics in virginia. some allegations that an assistant attorney general for legislative affairs passed information along to the clinton campaign, and other employees disclosed nonpublic information. the foeklecal point is the two actions by the fbi director, the letter to the hill in late
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october and november. >> thanks so much. former clinton campaign senior adviser joel benenson weighing in on today's news of the inspector general review. here's what he told my colleague katie can tur a few minutes ago. >> the real question here, is it appropriate for the fbi and the fbi watchdog to investigate behavior they think violated fbi practices in the course of conducting investigations and engaging in public conversation about that? i think that's appropriate. no one's trying to get a do-over in the election. that's not going to happen. nobody says it's going to happen. but when public officials abuse or potentially abuse their authority and their office, that investigation -- there's not a statute of limitations that says when the election is over we're not going to go back and look at the behavior of a prosecutor who was advised not to do this 11 days out, who was criticized by former fbi professionals from both parties for doing so, to look into that. >> for more on all this, i want to bring in stanley pottenger,
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former civil rights attorney at the department of justice. thank you for coming in in a hurry. i know you had to rush to get here. let's talk about the reaction. we just heard joel benenson. we actually heard from republican congressman jason chaffetz say he supports this investigation. you served at the justice department. first of all, are you surprised the inspector general would get involved or does this seem seem, in your view, an appropriate use of time? >> yes, it's unusual. but the entire episode he's investigating is unusual. the thing pete williams talked about is the thing to keep in mind. are you investigating the substance and the prosecutorial, the answer is no, apparently. or are you talking about how it was handled, the publication of documents. that is appropriate for the i.g., the inspector general to use. apparently, that's what he's going to focus on. >> what he's focused in part on
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is the way it was communicated, right? the fact comey came out before -- well, actually, wrote a letter before the election to congress prior to that last summer he came out and gave a public presentation of why they weren't going to pursue charges. at the time -- i remember you being on with us last fall and saying you thought it was all right the way comey proceeded. >> i did. i did. because i think that what is difficult for all of us who are watching the news and reporting the news to understand is the imagined alternative. what would -- if he had not explained where they were in the process, especially when they found the anthony weiner documents and that -- and the result had been the other way in the election, there would have been the exact same reaction back saying, why count have been true to your statement to congress that you would let us know about key events, even if you didn't disclose the content of it? i think he considered that very
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carefully. i would not be surprised if you find that james comey defends his position pretty effectively. >> the inspector general right now, i don't know if you know him, a man named michael horowitz, started as assistant attorney in new york, moved to the department of justice. many years in doj. in 2012 he becomes the i.g. he's appointed by the president, president obama. it's my understanding, is it a ten-year term for the inspector general? i think that's right. >> it may be. i know there's a ten-year term for the director of the fbi. typically there are very few ten-year terms. this could be. >> we'll check that. my question was going to be, what happens now? so, donald trump, takes office next week. he can replace this inspector general or is he going to continue with this investigation no matter what? >> if he has a ten-year term, he can only be replaced for cause. there's no indication there is cause. if he doesn't have a ten-year term, he will be replaced. the new attorney general,
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presumably jeff sessions, will have to decide, does he continue it with the existing staff, shut it down or change it? that's why we have more questions right now than answers. >> in terms of how quickly all of this could play out and whether -- let's assume he stays on this investigation, the inspector general, what he does, what are the possibilities in terms of reprimand, punishment? i mean, what can happen with an i.g. report? >> that's a really good question. the answer is very little because the -- he's investigating the people who actually do the prosecuting. it isn't likely they're going to turn around and prosecute themselves if he recommended there was something. the truth is, i don't think he's looking a prosecutal crime. he's looking as who the department and then presumably the public and press what happened. that means what he's doing is basically a report to the public about what happened, but not something that will involve criminal prosecution. >> joel benenson said last hour that he doesn't think any of
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this will impact what happened. i mean, the past is past. the election is over. i want to play some sound, though, if i can, from hillary clinton. this is at a party with donors. she was talking about the impact she believes that comey's letter made right before the elections. take a listen. >>. >> don't take it from me, take it from independent analysts, take it from the trump campaign, take it from nate silver who's point out that swing state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the fbi letter from director comey, and nate silver believes, i happen to believe this, that that letter most likely made the difference in the outcome. >> again, this investigation does not look at that. pete williams said it's not going to look at whether everything that happened impacted the election or not. in your view, as former assistant attorney general, do you think it? >> you said the election's over.
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apparently it's not over. >> everybody is talking about it. >> until the 20th, news will start to turn to events instead of speculation. don't think it will make much difference. i was sorry she cited nate silver. i like him. i read it. he missed it. he missed this elections. he missed brexit. he doesn't have a record right now that says his polling is hitting the buttons. i'm want sure that helped her make that claim. now, do i make her for making that claim? not at all. you know, she's handling this as well as she can having lost a -- surprisingly lost the election n her view. i don't think it will make a difference by the time this is over. >> in terms of the new investigation? >> yeah. i think we'll learn something more but we have this big flip-flop. you remember in the summer everyone was singing the praises of jim comey because he had exonerated -- >> republicans. >> republicans were mad. >> excuse me, democrats.
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democrats were singing praises. >> right. then when he lost, democrats were furious with him. i think the american public understands that to some extent our perspective is warped by the results we want. that's true for both sides, democrats and republicans. >> thank you for your analysis. thank you for coming in quickly, former assistant attorney general. almost promoted you. in the civil rights division of the department of justice. nice to have you. turning now to the current commander in chief, president obama and a parting tribute for vice president joe biden scheduled for this hour. nbc news senior white house correspondent chris jansing is live at the white house. chris, i said the words, so now we can say this is happening, but all day we've been waiting because it seemed like it was a bit of a surprise for joe biden? >> reporter: yeah it's supposed to be a secret, is what we're told. it's hard to imagine how within those walls and given the small number of people who were involved in the planning of this that joe biden doesn't suspect something. already people are gathering there. we are told that those seats are
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being reserved for family, for friends. chris dodd, the former senator from connecticut has been spotted. you can bet there will be dignitaries there as well as as well, not the least of whom will be the president, mrs. obama and, of course, vice president biden and his wife jill. this is something that is sort of a story many people have found to be tremendously unexpected. these two men who would seem to be so very different, who came so very close over the course of the last eight years when they have served together. they ran against each other in 2007. generations apart. first-term senator from illinois and a senator for, i think, it was, seven terms, six youngest when he came in in 1972, joe biden was from delaware. he left to be the fourth most senior senator. when he said he would do this. when he said, i'll become your vice president. the only ask he this is i wanted
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to be the last guy in the room. he didn't want to be one of those vice presidents who was merely ceremonial. and pretty much, he says, the president kept his word. he relied on him pretty heavily, we're told, for that first term for his foreign policy expertise. he was chairman of the foreign relations committee for a time, he was chairman for a time of the senate judiciary committee. but it's not just policy where we have seen all those pictures of them huddled in the oval office. they have become just really good friends. in fact, the way "time" magazine put it was, the great american broman krechlt. not just a bromance, but the great american bromance. there have been plenty of photos and videos of them, everything from running down the halls of the white house. no one quite knew what they were running to, to some of the most emotional times they've ever had. it was the president who delivered the eulogy at the
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funeral of joe biden's son, beau. they were together in the rose garden when joe biden announced he would not run against hillary clinton for president of the united states. a very close friendship, not just between these two men, but between their families as well. they've spent a tremendous amount of personal time together. in is a time for the president to say thank you, to say more about what vie presidece presid meant to him. he had a chance to start that at the farewell address, calling out the scrappy kid from scranton who became delaware's favorite son and drawing who is familiar who follows joe biden, that air gun he gave in that moment, but we're expecting a tribute and an emotional time for everyone who was involved, as we have seen many members of the white house staff and the president and first lady, vice president and dr. jill biden as well acknowledging that it's
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become much more emotional to them as their last days near. >> chris, if anyone saw that andrea mitchell interview a couple hours ago on her program, the emotion was right there, as joe biden -- she spoke with joe biden and the vice president expressed his love, he called it love, for president obama. again, what we're waiting for right now is we think a surprise for the vice president. although hard to know if he really could -- if it could be kept quiet in the white house. but it is president obama who will be basically hosting a farewell for vice president biden. if i can ask, we know a little bit -- i know a little bit has been reported about joe biden's next move and his plans after the white house, after being vice president. i read he'll be working with a couple universities. what more do we know? >> reporter: he said he's been made a lot of different ofrsz. it's interesting. he seems to be in the same head space as a lot of the senior staff. i know people don't necessarily
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believe this, that the president, the first lady, the vice president, all these members of the senior staff, jill biden as well, haven't had a tremendous amount of time to lay down in stone exactly what they're going to do. obviously, when you have come from this stage, the world is your oyster. joe biden is very open about this, his goal for many, many years, for decades, really, was to become president of the united states. that does seem to be behind him at age 73 now, but he is going to do some teaching. as he and others have said, they're going to do a little bit of sleeping. something they are very much looking forward to do. spending time with his family. you know, he did go back -- throw himself back into work after the death of his son, beau. he was out for a while but has been really key for a lot of the issues that have come up in this last year or so of this administration. he's continued to work very hard.
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so, there's some time for him to spend with his family, with jill biden. you know, when you think about where he came from, again, you know, for somebody with a long career in the senate and how different they were, somebody with that experience coming into politics as opposed to barack obama, who comparatively was a relative newcomer and people who seemed to have very different approaches to things. the fact they have become so close, i would not rule out -- i've had some conversations about this, but i would not rule out the possibility you will see him and barack obama working together on some of the initiatives that eventually are decided upon by this president, where he wants to have influence moving forward. it's not as if a key is going to turn, another family will move into the white house and these folks are going to scatter to the wind. many of the senior officials will continue to work with obama, either on private staff or as part of his library
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foundation. those things haven't been announced yet but they will happen. i think there's going to be a long time for joe biden to continue in some way in a different kind of public service, kate. >> chris, stay there. don't move. i want to bring in also lynn sweet, washington bureau chief at the chicago sun "times," that being the president's sort of adopted hometown newspaper. nice to see you. how are you? >> good afternoon. >> good afternoon. as we wait and look at this room where we expect the president to come out, and we're not quite sure what to expect, but we have been told by the pool note that it will be in honor of joe biden. talk about -- lynn, talk about their relationship and talk about what you think we might hear out of the president. >> well, the relationship really started in iowa when they were running against each other in that democratic primary. and it was not a hard decision in the end for the obama team to select biden as vice
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presidential candidate. the announcement was made in springfield, illinois, where obama had kicked off his campaign. and the relationship not only between the president and vice president, but between dr. jill biden and first lady michelle obama has also rypiened through the years, too. they've worked on their joining forces initiative. i'm sure they will chris kroris all four of them, throughout their lives. not only with biden with his cancer moonwalk and the various enterprises. i would bet there will be a lot of humor, a little ribbing, a little, you know, this isn't a towel snap sort of joking, but those two -- right, chris, they have a little bit of a schtick when they're together? >> chris, we haven't gotten any word on timing. we were told 3:00. but there was a lot of secrecy around this whole event. >> reporter: then we got 15
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minutes late. i don't know what's going on behind the scenes. i keep checking my iphone. there is this sort of ribbing that goes on. when you look at some of the memes of them together, the pictures of them together, there are a lot of pictures that pete sousa and other white house photographers have taken where it seems like they're holding hands, where they're laughing. they love to laugh together. they've had a lot of light moments ago. and they're also -- both can, as we've seen, you mentioned the andrea mitchell interview with vice president biden and the president in chicago, they can also get emotional. we'll watch for that. >> very clearly, you know, the yin and yang, mr. cool and mr. emotional, that's been fascinating to see how that goes because joe biden is someone who wraps someone he barely knows into a bear hug. when you think of it, we couldn't have -- we couldn't have done a formula of two men
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who have gotten along better. i think the age difference has helped, too. i think the idea that biden knows what it takes to run for president and he knows the senate and he knows foreign policy. so, he came in with the skill set, very helpful to the president. >> thank you, both, for waiting with us here. i apologize. i thought my mike was down and i was speaking over you guys. apologies for that. i want to take a quick break, ask lynn and chris jansing to stand by with us. the white house running a little behind schedule. we're waiting for this big event for joe biden, to honor joe biden, being led, we understand, by president obama. so, as we wait for that, we'll take a break. want to bring you one little piece of news before we go to break. the senate, the full senate has just voted to allow a waiver for mattis, general mattis, who has now been nominated, of course, for department of defense secretary. he had to get a waiver because it's so recently he left the military, the senate had to approve of him having the
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potential for being department of defense secretary so soon after leaving the military. that has just happened. that vote just took place in the senate. it was approved. it doesn't mean he's now the secretary. it means he can be. and they can vote on that later. we'll take a quick break and we'll be right back. ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
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as we wait for the president, again, this is the state dining room at the white house. we're waiting for president obama for some kind of presentation about joe biden. we'll wait for that. they're running a little bit late. let's get back to the breaking news this afternoon that the inspector general at the department of justice is calling for an investigation into the fbi and the doj and decisions regarding hillary clinton's e-mails and how that investigation was handled prior to the election. joining me now, my colleague, peter alexander. you're covering lots of areas for us today.
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so, let me first ask, any reaction at all from the trump cache ca camp to this? >> nothing yet. i just checked his twitter feed during the break sure. wouldn't be surprised if he would react later today. we reached out to transition officials and yet to hear from them. we'll pass that on as soon as we get it. bottom line, in the waning weeks before the election, before this case was, in effect, revisited by the fbi, before that announcement on october 28th, donald trump basically said he wants to investigate the investigation. he called it collusion and corruption of the highest order. said it was a disgrace. of course, his position changed late in october. i was with him just as that announcement was made. he was in manchester, new hampshire, at the time. it was almost as if the cork on a bottle of champagne just popped. the room went nuts when he said it. he started his remarks saying there was critical breaking news he wanted to announce. in the days, he's part of the way he recast his view of fbi
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director james comey. take a listen. >> i have to give the fbi credit. that was so bad what happened originally. it took guts for director comey to make the move that he made in light of the kind of opposition he had where they're trying to protect her from criminal prosecution. you know that. it took a lot of guts. i really disagreed with him. i was not his fan. i tell you what, he brought back his reputation. he brought it back. he's got to hang tough because there's a lot of -- a lot of people want him to do the wrong thing. what he did was the right thing. >> bottom line is we've heard nothing new from donald trump about the inspector general from the doj saying they're going to open up a review into the handling of this situation here. what's notable is in the days after he was elected, donald trump on "60 minutes" and elsewhere was asked whether or
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not he thought james comey should keep that position, whether he would ask him to resign his position as director of fbi and he said he hadn't made up his mind yet on that issue. >> pete alexander following that for us. thank you so much. president-elect trump's pick for cia director, mike pompeo, was on the hill today for his confirmation hearing. one of three hearings that happened today. nbc news intelligence reporter joins us for more on that. we had simultaneously three hearings going on. what were the fireworks? what were the headlines out of pompeo? >> pompeo was very polished. kind of a love fest. he's a former trial lawyer, former army officer. he did very well. but he, without hesitation, endorsed the findings by the u.s. intelligence community that russia was behind the hacking, which trump has had trouble doing, president-elect trump. and he said that if ordered to engage in torture, he would refuse such an order. he's one of several nominees who
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have said that, even though donald trump during the campaign talked about wanting to waterboard. none of the people who work for him say that's legal. >> that's interesting. potentially a split with his own boss. >> exactly. >> in terms of other headlines out of it or anything -- i moon, you said it was -- it went fairly well for him. is there a sense this committee will approve him or was there any glaring, obvious senator saying, i've got concerns? >> no, nobody expressing concerns about his nomination. he was asked about this dossier that everyone's asking about. you know, unverified information damaging to donald trump. if there was something worth investigating, would he follow those leads? would the cia under mike pompeo investigate those things? he promised, yes, they would. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. we're continuing to wait that -- that shot in the bottom right corner of your screen is the white house. that is the state dining room. that's where we expect president obama, we expected him about 15
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minutes ago, with some sort of a potentially surprise event, although now we're talking about it on tv, so i don't know how much of a surprise it will be. but a tribute to vice president joe biden, his good bud y his friend. we'll bring you that as soon as it starts. back after a quick break. be the you who doesn't cover your moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. be the you who shows up in that dress. who hugs a friend. who is done with treatments that don't give you clearer skin. be the you who controls your psoriasis with stelara®
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could have defeated donald trump. could joe biden have defeated donald trump? >> oh, i don't know. i don't know. i don't want to speculate on that. >> reporter: in your heart of hearts, the criticism is there was a lack of an economic message. that's your ballpark. pennsylvania, the rust belt. >> look, i don't -- >> reporter: regrets? >> no, no. look, i -- you're -- i'm about to hurt your reputation, you're a friend. but i know my family. you know of my relationships with my family. and i just wasn't prepared to do it after i lost my son. and so, i -- i have no regret in the sense that did i make the wrong decision. i made the right decision. and but do i regret that my point of view is not going to be reflected in the next administration because we have mr. trump? yeah, i do regret that. >> one of the big issues is, he said, drain the swamp. now, he is -- yesterday he
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repeated that he is not going to release his taxes ever and says he doesn't need a blind trust. he's going to just turn it over to the sons. has he done enough, the government of ethics, which is nonpartisan, says what he's done is meaningless. >> i don't think he's done enough and he may sink in the swamp. if you don't drain it, you sink in it. look -- >> reporter: look, you're one of the -- with all due respects, sir, one of the poorest guy to ever emerge, got a house, i don't know what other assets you have. can you -- he said he could run his business as well as run the government. the laws -- >> no doubt that he could, but you shouldn't run both. are you going to be president or are you going to be a businessman? you don't do both. he ran for the most coveted
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office in the world. the most important office in the world. the thing that the american public looks to most for their security, opportunity, guarantees, focus on your job. that's the job. i found it bizarre to talk about, well, i could have made a $2 billion deal, i could have done both, but i decided not to. as if you're doing me a favor -- mean, the country a favor. i just think it's -- look, this is a place where the public's going to decide whether or not the failure to divest, the failure to meet what were considered to be the basic minimum ethical standards of disclosure, and if the public turns around and 50% say, no problem, or if 80% say, this is a big problem, that's the only thing that will alter the outcome. >> andrea mitchell joins me now.
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andre andrea, congratulations. it covered so much ground, i don't know where to begin, as we wait for this event to start at the white house. i thought some of the most touching moments of the interview was towards the end when you asked him to reflect back on his career and how he got started. and you know, the terrible hardship he suffered as he was starting his senate career. >> the fact when he start his senate career, he had not been sworn in. when his wife and child were killed in a car crash, his two boys were injured as toddlers, and he was bereft, deciding to stay home with his children in delaware and not be sworn in. he said he was surrounded by the support of republican and democratic leaders, mike mansfield was one, i know, who persuaded him he had to do this and his sister, frankly, stepped in and mothered the children and he commuted for his entire career, commuting daily back to delaware, you know, the amtrak senator. but the fact is, this is a long
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career and one with a lot of ups and downs, and obviously the tragedy of beau biden. he said he had no regrets about the decision not to run for president. the fact was he knew with his family that that was the right decision for him at the time. he wouldn't discuss whether he could have defeated donald trump as president obama opined that he could have defeated trump. obviously, a reflection on hillary clinton. he wasn't going to go there. but he did talk a lot, defending the intelligence community, saying that what they had been told by the intelligence community was that they included that basically unvetted smear campaign, the opposition research, the two-page synopsis of that as a separate item in the briefing materials for both the president, the vice president and also for donald trump, controversily, that they did it -- they told -- he said, we asked them, why did they do it? i'm not sure if you played that part of it. he said they told them that they thought they would have been derelict in their duties since
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it was in the press, bei ining circulated. a lot of people in washington had seen it, as well as abroad. there could be impacts on foreign policy if that information came out unvetted. >> we did not have a chance to air that part of it just now. to me, that sounded like some of the most newsy part of the interview, andrea, because we hadn't had anyone plain why that wasn't included in the briefing to begin with. >> i think that's likely what general clapper, what the dni clapper said to donald trump last night in that conversation. >> right. let me ask about his future. and this idea of a cancer moonshot. i know you asked him about that. what's your sense -- is he going to ease into retirement and dabble into that or is he full -- is he going to be working full overtime on that? >> he's all in. he said he is going to be doing foreign policy at the university
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of pennsylvania. there hasn't been a formal announcement but it was overheard saying that on c-span and teaching at university of delaware, his alma mater. he has a lot to look forward to. it is the end of this chapter of public service at his age. you saw the younger generation, cory can booker in what he did at an unprecedented way, a lot of people in washington are saying that's the opening of of the 2020 democratic primary campaign. so, you've got the next generation already looking at what comes next. but there is going to be a lot more from joe biden. as from president obama, he said, i'm going to be with you every day. i'll be with you as citizen in his farewell address. i asked him how president obama had described joe biden as his brother and he said, i don't just like the guy, i love the guy. we are family. and then he said that michelle obama is the finest first lady
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in american history. now, there's obviously -- you know, he said, we've had a lot of fine first ladies but she is the greatest one in history, which obviously that is a reflection on the other first lady who just ran for president. >> as we watch this room, i can't help but wondering what was happening behind closed doors because this was supposed to be a surprise that was supposed to happen about 40 minutes. the white house state dining room where we think we'll see president obama come out and deliver some kind of tribute to joe biden. as we wait, if we have a couple more minutes because we haven't gotten any guidance from the white house, can i ask you about the news breaking. about the inspector general who says he's going to launch an investigation into parts of the way that the clinton e-mail investigation was handled by the fbi and by the department of justice. you covered the clinton campaign. we've had a couple of clinton former aides on with us saying
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they welcome this decision. they must be elated that at least someone's looking at what happened. >> elated but, of course, there's still a lot of anger and resentment. they, of course, hillary and bill clinton do blame fbi director james comey for the timing of that letter, both letters. the one reopening the issue 11 days before the election and the one two days before the election, clearing her. not really reopening the investigation. in fact, it was technically never reopened. just reopening the issue. and they do blame him. but this is also going to be looking into what loretta lynch did with bill clinton and trying to clear up that 35-minute conversation on a plane in phoenix. she regrets it. she thought it was going to be a hello. once bill clinton sat down, they claim about golf and grandchildren, nobody substantive, it did mean she was recusing himself, taking herself out of the operational decision-making about the clinton investigation.
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that gave james comey a great deal more prominence, leverage, decision-making. all of this will be looked at by the independent watchdog, the i.g. depending on the findings, and obviously it's too soon to discuss what the findings r but nothing was going to change the election. that's a done deal. is there are legal implications and ethical implications and there could be a slap on the wrist if anyone behaved badly or even more strongly if there is something behind the scenes that we don't know about. but this would be the first inquiry into what happened. for the clintons to be blaming comey and all of that is controversial because there's a lot of other issues out there. other democrats saying, you can't pin it on just one thing. was it vladimir putin? was it wikileaks? you know, the hacking. was it original the decision to have a private server, which clouded the first months of her campaign and then all the way
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through? her response to that decision rather than dealing with it quickly and not apologizing from march until september. we didn't hear her say she was sorry about it. so, all of that could have had an impact, the lack of an economic message, some have said, the failure to go to wisconsin, failure to campaign more aggressively in other parts of michigan and in pennsylvania. other decisions that they made, polling and speechwriting decisions, spending so much time on debate preparation rather than on retail politics. the fact that the news media, as joe biden said to me today, focused so intensively on things that sounded a lot more exciting, like, you know, whether someone had been groped rather than on hillary clinton's college tuition plan, you know, the failure to cover issues substantively in a lot of media, the access that donald trump had during the primaries to, you know, live coverage of his rallies that other candidates
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didn't can, so many factors went into, it i don't think we'll know what influenced the campaign. >> andrea mitchell on such a busy hat. i appreciate that. we got word while andrea was talking, we got word from the white house that any minute president obama is expected to appear in that room. we were going to try to fit in a commercial, but we're not going to do that because we're afraid we'll miss it if we go to break. sasha and malia, obama, i understand, just walked in and have been seated in the room. we believe michelle obama will be there as well as dr. jill biden. again, this, if you're just joining us, is billed as a tribute to joe biden, led by the president. we have been guided earlier that this might be a surprise for joe biden. we're not quite sure what we're going to see here, but that makes it even more fun. chris jansing remains with us on the white house lawn. chris, if we see the president coming, we'll pause.
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any guidance at all about why today and what this marks? >> reporter: no. we asked the question repeatedly, but clearly this is something that is highly unusual but really speaks to the relationship between these two men that is far beyond professional but personal. the fact sasha and malia are there. they don't do a lot of public events. they've become friendly not just with the bidens but their children and grandchildren. when they talk about family, they mean it. and thunk aboink about in the f his farewell speech in chicago on tuesday, the president mentioned only by name his immediate family and joe biden. think about the moments when you -- think about that iconic picture in the situation room when osama bin laden was gotten, who was sitting next to the president of the united states, joe biden. so, this tribute to him is something special. we don't know that -- obviously, he knows there is something going to happen. maybe it is something within
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this event, we were speculating s there some sort of special award that could be given to him. will there be surprises in terms of the people who are there. i can tell you this white house has kept a very tight lid on it. >> you were mentioning -- lynn sweet it-s with us in washington but she's with "the chicago tribune" -- >> "sun-times". >> forgive me. we'll talk with you right after the event. let's observe what happens here. [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president and vice president of the united states. [ applause ]
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[ applause ] [ applause ] >> don't want to embarrass the guy.
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welcome to the white house, everybody. as i have already delivered my farewell address, i will try to be relatively brief. but i just wanted get some folks together to pay tribute to somebody who has not only been by my side for the duration of this amazing journey but somebody who has devoted his entire professional life to service to this country. the best vice president america has ever had, mr. joe biden. [ applause ] >> this also gives the internet one last chance to talk about our bromance. [ laughter ]
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>> this has been quite a ride. it was eight and a half years ago that i chose joe to be my vice president. >> this is somebody -- the people of delaware sent to the senate as quickly as they possibly could. elected at age 29. for more than a dozen years apiece, he served as chair or ranking member of the judiciary and foreign relations committees. domestically championed landmark legislation to make our communities safer, to protect our women from violence.
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internationally his wisdom and capacity to build relationships has shaped our nation's response to the fall of the berlin wall and the iron curtain. to counter-terrorism, iraq, afghanistan. and for the past eight years he could not have been a more devoted or effective partner in the progress that we have made. he fought to make college more affordable and revitalize american manufacturing as the head of our middle-class task force. he suited up for our cancer moon shot, giving home to millions of americans touched by this disease. he led our efforts to combat gun violence, and he rooted out any possible misappropriations that might have occurred, and as a consequence, the recovery act worked as well as just about any large-scale stimulus project has ever worked in this country.
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he visited college after college and made friends with lady gaga for our "it's on us" campaign against campus sexual assault. when the pope visited joe was even kind enough to let me talk to the holiness as well. [ laughter ] behind the scenes, joe's candid, honest counsel has made me a better president and a better commander in chief. from the situation room to our weekly lunches to our huddles after everybody else has cleared out of the room, he has been unafraid to give it to me straight, even if we disagree. in fact, especially when we disagree. and all of this makes him, i believe, the finest vice president we have ever seen. and i also think he has been a lion of american history. the best part is, he is nowhere close to finished. in the years ahead, as a
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citizen, he will continue to build on that legacy internationally and domestically. he has got a voice of vision and reason and optimism and love for people, and we're going to need that spirit and that vision as we continue to try to make our world safer, and to make sure that everybody has got a fair shot in this country. so, all told, that's a pretty remarkable legacy. an amazing career in public service. it is, as joe once said, a big deal. [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> it is! [ applause ] >> but, we all know that, on its own, his work, this list of
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accomplishments, the amazing resume, does not capture of the full measure of joe biden. i have not mentioned amtrak yet or aviators, literally. [ laughter ] >> folks don't just feel like they know joe the politician, they feel like they know the person. what makes him laugh, what he believes, what he cares about, where he came from. pretty much every time he speaks, he treats us to some wisdom from the nuns who have taught him in grade school or an old senate colleague, but of course most frequently cited, catherine and joseph sr., his mom and dad. no one is better than you, but you're better than nobody! bravery resides in every heart and yours is fierce and clear.
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when you get knocked down, joey, get up! get up! [ laughter ] get up! [ applause ] that's where he got those broad shoulders and that biden heart. through his life, through trial after trial, he has never once forgotten the values and the moral fiber that made him who he is. that's what steels his faith in god and in america and in his friends and in all of us. when joe talks to auto workers whose livelihoods he helped save we hear the son of a man who once knew the pain of telling his kids he lost his job. when joe talks about hope and opportunity for our children, we heard the father who rode the
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rails home every night to talk his kids into bed. when he sticks up for the little guy we hear the young boy who stood in front of the mirror. studying the muscles in his face determined to advantavanquish t stutter. we hear a kindred spirit, another father of an american veteran, someone whose faith has been tested and has been forced to wander through the darkness himself and who knows who to lean on to find the light. so that's joe biden, a resilient and loyal and humble servant. and a patriot. but most of all a family man. starts with jill. captain of the vice squad. [ laughter ] >> the -- only the second lady in our history to keep her regular day job. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> jill says teaching isn't what she does, it's who she is. a few days after joe and i were inaugurated in 2009 she was back in the classroom teaching. that's why, when our administration worked to strengthen community colleges, we looked to jill to lead the way. she has also travelled the world to boost education and empowerment for women, and as a blue star mom, her work with michelle to honor our military families will go down in history as one of the most lasting and powerful efforts of this administration. of course, like joe, jill's work is only part of the story. she just seems to walk this earth so lightly, spreads her joy so freely. she reminds us that, although we
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are in a serious business, we don't have to take ourselves too seriously. she is quick with a laugh or practical joke, disguising herself as a server at a party she once hosted to lighten the mood. she once hid in the overhead compartment of air force two to scare the senior staff. [ laughter ] >> because why not! she seems to have a sixth sense of when to send a note of encouragement to a friend or a staffer, a simple thank you or a box of macaroons. she is one of the best, most genuine people i've met not just in politics but in my entire life. she is grounded. generous, caring and funny. that's why joe is proud to introduce himself as jill biden's husband. to see them together is to see what real love looks like. through thick and thin, good times and bad. it's an all-american love story.
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jill once surprised joe by painting hearts on his office windows for valentine's day. then there are the biden kids, grandkids. they're everywhere. [ laughter ] >> they're all good-looking. hunter and ashley, who live out the family creed of raising good families and looking out for the least of our brothers and sisters, beau, who is watching over us with those broad shoulders and mighty heart himself. a man who left a beautiful legacy and inspired an entire nation. naomi, finn and mazy, natalie and little hunter, grandchildren who are the light of joe's eyes and gives him an excuse to bust out the squirt gun around the pool. this is the kind of family that built this country. that's why my family is so proud to call


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