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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 23, 2017 4:00am-4:30am PST

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written. but for me i get to keep going on. >> what would you call yourself? >> i mean, people have called me a survivor. i would call myself lucky. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thanks for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown at msnbc world headquarters in new york. it's 7:00 a.m. in the east, 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. facing questions. the president's long-time gate keeper now entangled in the russia investigation, but who is she and why do congressional investigators want to talk to her? i didn't want you folks to say i wasn't keeping my promise. i'm keeping my promise. i'm signing it before christmas. >> signed, seated, delivered. president trump crows about the tax bill. plot foiled. the fbi alleges a former marine
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plotted a terror attack in san francisco on christmas day. the crowded skies. the remarkable numbers behind what's expected to be a record-breaking travel season. all next on msnbc live. we begin with politics. president trump and the first family at the mar-a-lago estate this morning for the first full day of their vacation. the president continuing a victory lap after congress passed the gop $1.5 trillion tax bill. here's what he told reporters in the oval office yesterday when asked about steps he would take to boost public confidence about the landmark legislation. >> mr. president, can you talk a little bit about how much you'll travel to sell this tax bill? >> i don't think i'm going to have to travel too much to sell it. i think it's selling itself. >> meanwhile, new developments in the russia investigation. nbc news has learned that long time trump secretary rona graff was interviewed by a handful of house intel members in new york yesterday. the committee is also reportedly looking to interview former trump campaign manager corey
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lewandowski and steve bannon. let's bring in kevin cirilli for bloomberg tv, and julia manchester, reporter for "the hill." julia, let's start with you. nbc reports that rhone graff was interviewed by members of the house intel committee. tell us why the long time trump assistant is particularly relevant to this investigation. >> in terms of rhone graff, she's definitely had communications with the trump organization. she's a senior vice president there. she's known him for years. obviously, she could have important information as to possibly his past dbusiness tie and stuff that's happened during the campaign. she's definitely a key figure in that regard. however, it's interesting the way they've interviewed her. normally, the house intel committee has interviewed subjects for this investigation on capitol hill by lawmakers. however, we noticed this was
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done in an undisclosed location in new york. it's after democrats and other republicans have gone home for the holiday. so only a handful of investigators were reportedly able to interview her. so it's interesting to see how that's been done. i think it's something we should keep an eye on. >> kevin, let's talk about that. democrats were not happy the graff interview was taking place in new york city yesterday. so you tell me, what do you think about that? >> well, she's been someone who's been very close to then-candidate donald trump and private citizen donald trump of the trump organization, someone who's been with him for decades, someone who's really been a loyal member to not only donald trump but also to the family, and democrats have been critical not just of that interview but of the entire republican action during the scope of this investigation. we should know that adam schi ii ff, the top democrat of that committee, raising concerns. should president trump fire
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mueller, which president trump has said consistently they have no intentions of doing so, that that would be a major problem. so democrats are united in where they are on this, as are some centrist republicans. we should note there has been a growing number of congressional republicans much to the criticism of some of the republican colleagues calling on this investigation to wrap up. so it's interesting where the poll ti politics are shifting into the new year. >> and we have more points to talk about on that. first, here's congressman elijah cummings talking about reported efforts to discredit robert mueller's investigation. >> whenever it seems mueller is getting closer and closer to the white house, it seems that we're distracted to something else. so now they've reached into their book of tricks and are pulling this out today. so we're prepared. >> kevin, you touched on this. does this appear to be the case, and who is leading the republican charge for the gop on that front?
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>> well, there's a host of republicans. i think that it really depends on their own independent districts and their own independent states. you got to remember that prump -- president trump enjoyins overwhelming popularity in certain districts, such as in south, where he's not controversial. i think those republicans are looking at the russia probe as something that's deeply unpopular. you're seeing a shift and hearing cries from them to investigate other aspects of the obama administration. so it really is a local issue in terms of where it's at with the republicans. on the flip side, there are several republicans who have said, hey, wait a minute, let this investigation carry on. the only point that i would just note is that democrats, as we head into 2018, they're going to have to also put forward some ideas, especially in opposition to something like the tax bill. >> and julia, i want to turn to
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this because mueller's investigation appears to be getting closer to the oval office. the senate intel democrat expressed concern about firing mueller. the white house responded. take a listen. >> firing mr. mueller or any of the other top brass involved in this investigation would not only call into question this administration's commitment to the truth but also to our most basic concept rule of law. it also has the potential to provoke a constitutional crisis. in the united states of america, no one, no one is above the law. not even the president. >> i want to be very clear and make sure i address senator warner's concern for the 1,000th time. we have no intentions of firing bob mueller. we're continuing to work closely and cooperate with him. we look forward to seeing this hoax wrap up very soon. >> julia, i have to ask, any
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expectations on mueller being fired? >> you know, it's hard to say at this point. however, right now i would say i highly doubt that happening right now. one thing i'd really like to point out, and it's small and nuanced, but it's interesting because the president has attacked the investigation by calling it a witch hunt. however, he hasn't come out with any personal attacks against robert mueller. it's always crooked hillary, lying ted, little marco. but there's no nickname for robert mueller. i think the president is looking at this through a very different lens. i think the white house is as well. for now, we're seeing that they're cooperating and that they're going through with the interviews and such, but we'll really have to see. >> interesting point there, julia. kevin, i want to turn to the tax plan. the president says he's not going to have to sell it to the american people. do you think that's the case given how the polls show it's unpopular? >> yesterday i interviewed one of the top officials at the
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treasury department just minutes before the bill was signed. they said game on. they hope that this is something that they get to run on in 2018 elections. at the white house during the tax bill signing, senator tim scott, we saw the republican after republican after republican speaking about the tax plan, but senator tim scott. point-blank said, you know, let's run on this in 2018. so i think what it's going to come down to is whether or not folks actually are feeling the impact of this immediately. we saw the companies -- you know, look, whether it's corporate spin or because of the tax plan, i'll let the viewers decide. we saw a handful of companies coming out this week giving bonuses and investing in the united states. on the flip side of that, the monmouth university poll put out earlier this week has 47% of americans thinking this is going to raise their taxes. so should their taxes go down, that's a pleasant surprise. unfortunately, though, it's not going to take impact until next
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calendar year. so they're going to have to wait a little bit. but, you know, it'll be interesting to see. we should note the new york federal reserve, the economists over there, they just upped their fourth quarter growth gdp estimates to 4%. >> interesting. kevin, julia, stay with us. we have more to talk about. now to new details in the alleged plot by a former marine to stage a terrorist attack at san francisco's pier 39. an attack that 26-year-old suspect planned to carry out on christmas day. new reaction this morning from his father. >> we just went to a football game, went to the raider/dallas cowboy game last weekend. then all the sudden i hear this, and this is just hard to -- just hard to fathom. >> do you believe it's true? >> no, i don't believe it's true. you know what i mean? not with him, you know. he was the kind of son that would, you know, tell me, pull over dad, and give his hamburger to a homeless person.
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>> pete williams has more on the arrest and how officials were tipped off. >> reporter: the fbi says the man talked about attacking san francisco's pier 39, a popular tourist attraction on christmas day. court document ys say it never t beyond the talking stage, but investigators say 26-year-old everitt jameson began talking with operatives two months ago and said he supported isis. investigators say he was willing to use i had u.s. marine corps training, either by joining isis in syria or by staging a gun and bomb attack in the u.s. he asked the fbi operatives who he thought were connected with isis for a semiautomatic rifle and components to build a bomb, but they were never provided to him. the fbi says when asked about his escape plan, jameson said he was ready to die. but court documents say on monday he told him, i don't think i can do this after all, i've reconsidered, after an fbi
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employee in washington mistakenly dialed his cell phone then hung up. agents say a search of his house turned up three firearms and a martyrdom letter dated december 16th, calling the u.s. nationalistic and godless and complaining about president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. >> jameson returnins to court o thursday. and did trump lose votes by bullying other countries? th that's next. is this where you typically shop? is this where anyone typically shops? it's time to switch to the capital one venture card. with venture, you earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, everywhere, every day... not just airline purchases. seriously... double miles... everywhere! what's in your wallet?
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this vote will make a difference on how americans look at the u.n. and on how we look at countries who disrespect us in the u.n. and this vote will be remembered. >> this is bullying, and this
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chamber will not do that. we will not be intimidated. you can be strong, but this doesn't make you right. >> u.n. ambassador nikki haley demanding respect from countries opposed to president trump's decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel. in response, turkey's foreign minister accused the u.s. of bullying during a speech at the united nations this week. joining me now is christopher dickey, world news editor of "the daily beast." christopher, is there any tangible impact of the u.s. threat to other countries, or does it amount to diplomatic bluster a bluster from all sides? >> well, there is a lot of bluster here, but as the famous daily paper here in france pointed out, trump was able to save a little face. there were some countries that do seem to have been intimidated by this naughty or nice approach to who votes with or against the united states. ukraine, for instance, didn't even show up for a vote.
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it didn't abstain, didn't vote for it, didn't vote against. it just didn't vote. so i think there is some indication that this policy won a few abstentions, but you have to remember that all of america's key allies in the arab world but also its key allies in europe voted against the united states. all five members of the -- all four members of the security council, aside from the united states, voted against the united states. russia, china, france, the uk. so the united states is very isolated. it may intimidate ukraine, which needs american arms and may get them soon, but it's not intimidating the other powers in the world. certainly this idea that we're taking names and find out who's naughty and nice is not going to carry much weight with the really important players on the world stage. >> and christopher, talk about that because you mentioned that the allies like france and the
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uk put up a fight against this, or was this just a token pushback because they didn't anticipate this move? >> no, i think they thought this really is a bad idea. look, in the long and difficult and often very unsuccessful effort to find a middle east peace, there were certain ideas of international law and leg legitimacy that were very important, that have been very important. george w. bush threw away one of those back early in the first decade of this century when he accepted what are essentially the facts on the ground, large settlements in the west bank. now trump has taken another one of these key diplomatic points and thrown it away by saying we will move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem when nobody else is doing that. nobody else recognizes the entirety of jerusalem this way. so, you know, it's just a question of taking away the
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diplomatic initiatives, diplomatic leverage that the arab world, that most of the world wants to use in trying to find a peace settlement between the arabs and the israelis. >> and christopher, how would this kind of intimidation tactic effect efforts in getting help from the u.n. on iran and north korea? >> i'm not sure it's going to have a huge effect on that. on iran, yes, it may have some impact there. the world is not on board toward u.s. policy with iran. i might say u.s./israeli policy toward iran. i think you have to give nikki haley and the trump administration significant credit so far in the handiling f the north korean crisis. i think these latest sanctions voted at the end of the week are the most draconian an severe sanctions we've seen against north korea. they send a very strong message. i think on that point, there is
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some positive movement. on iran, i don't think we're going to see very positive movement. i think you'll see a lot of resistance by a lot of the same countries that have resisted this issue on jerusalem. >> and christopher, we have a few seconds left, but what do you make of this holiday party? nikki haley invited eight parties who voted no, the 35 countries who abstained, and the 21 countries who did not show up for the vote. is this how high-level international diplomacy works? >> no, it's kind of pitiful, isn't it? i mean, you know, we're going to make a list of who's naughty and nice, and if you're naughty, you're not going to come to our cocktail party. is she kidding? i mean, this is ludicrous. >> it's an interesting way to end that. christopher dickey, appreciate your time. thank you so much for joining us. and ivanka trump reportedly called one white house adviser a liar during a heated meeting in the oval office. we'll tell you who, up next.
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welcome back. this is the scene right now at the hartsfield jackson airport in atlanta, the busiest airport in the world. it averages some 275,000 travelers a day. of course, it's a much different scene from last sunday after a power outage stranded thousands. in all, about 6.5 million people are expected to fly during this holiday period. the top destination, orlando, florida. > and here's a look from flightaware.com of all the traffic in the skies. at this point, there are more than 240 flight delays and over 240 cancellations. now back to politics. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell friday taking a not so veiled swipe at one-time white house chief strategist steve bannon for his support of losing alabama candidate roy moore. >> well, let me just say this. the political genius on display throwing away a seat in the
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reddest state in america is hard to ignore. >> let's bring back kevin and julia for more on this. kevin, i want to start with you. that came on the heels of a "vanity fair" article this week in which bannon was critical of mcconnell. more importantly, the article said bannon could decide to run for president. is that an absurd notion, plausible? what do you think? >> look, i'm a sucker for 2020 politics and presidential races, but i mean, look, no love lost. i think it's safe to say that leader mcconnell and steve bannon are not going to be having christmas dinner together or bringing in the new year. i think that both camps would argue that they don't want either one having any influence in the 2018 midterms. but when i was in alabama and talking with folks who were voting for roy moore as well as folks close to steve bannon, i can tell you that steve bannon has no plans of going anywhere in the midterm elections, and i think you're still going to be
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hearing from him for quite some time to come. >> interesting. and julia, the article also suggests that the relationship between bannon and jared kushner and ivanka trump i did vdevolve name calling. she called bannon a liar. despite all this, he still has a line to the president. does he still have any influence? >> it doesn't surprise me that bannon and ivanka and jared kushner have tension between them. they come from completely two different camps. no so long ago, ivanka trump was a registered democrat. bannon has more of this, i guess, grassroots gop base, but ivanka and jared kushner are essentially globalists. they rallied against trump leaving the paris climate accord and very very against roy moore. but roy moore was steve bannon's candidate. it's hard to say whether bannon still has as much influence as he did before, but i think the president definitely still listens to him. i think roy moore is a key
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testament to that. despite getting blowback from his own daughter, mitch mcconnell, members of his own party, the president still endorsed roy moore in the election despite the sexual assault allegations against him. i think the president still definitely listens. >> yes, well, kevin, the president left for mar-a-lago for the holiday. it marks the president's 106th visit to one of his properties in 2017, according to some reports. but he didn't hold a traditional end of year news conference. >> i was surprise td at that. we were at the white house yesterday right before the helicopter took off. he shouted merry christmas after he signed that tax bill. i was surprised simply because i thought he would want to talk about the tax bill and whatnot. i'm told by folks there that they just wanted to stay on message and keep it all on tax. >> well, he certainly is still taking his victory lap from that tax signing. julia manchester from "the hill," kevin cirilli from bloomberg news.
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thank you for joining me. that'll do it for me. i'm dara brown. thanks for watching. at the top of the hour on hugh hewitt, he's coming up next. but first, it's "your business" with jj ramberg. ooooooh snap!! every truck guy has their own way of conveying powerful. yeeaaahhh boy. kind of looks like a monster coming to eat ya. holy smokes. that is awesome. strong. you got the basic, and you got the beefy. i just think it looks mean. incredible. no way. i'm getting goosebumps. this holiday season, become part of the chevy family. use your employee discount for everyone and trade up to this silverado all star to get a total value of over eleven thousand dollars. find new roads at your local chevy dealer. has been a problem for me. mouth i'm also on a lot of medications that dry my mouth. i just drank tons of water all the time. it was never enough. i wasn't sure i was going to be able to continue singing. i saw my dentist. he suggested biotene. it feels refreshing. my mouth felt more lubricated.
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