tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC December 26, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST
all right that does it for me this hour we ddition of "andrea mitchell reports." craig melvin is up next here on msnbc. >> you need a nap. >> i do, five hours. >> you have been on tv since i woke up. good afternoon to you, craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. it's personal. the. 's twitter feed this holiday season taking aim at the fbi but not just attacking the bureau, he's calling out one career public servant by name. also, shrouded in secrecy, a new review of president trump's cabinet shows information about what they're doing and with whom they are meeting, it's hard to come by. and threat eliminated how vladimir putin's road to re-election just got a whole lot smoother, but we start with president trump's not so quiet vacation twitter feed lighting up like a christmas tree with a series of comments on russia, tweets, some legal experts say
could be hugely problematic. the president openly slamming the fbi even as a "washington post" report reveals new details about russia's disinformation campaign, but the president is sticking with his message today tweeting "fbi cannot verify claims ins doier of russia/trump collusion. fbi tainted." it's the president's weekend tweets that continue to draw fire as well, a string of attacks aimed at facting fbi director andrew mccabe and outgoing counsel james baker. mccabe, of course, is already testified on the hill and is a potential witness on all russia related inquiries. we're going to bring in our panel in just a moment. first to west palm president where the president continues to vacation with his family at mar-a-lago. garrett, before we get to the president's comments we have breaking news that the treasury department is sanctioning two senior north korean officials now. what more can you tell us about
that? >> reporter: yes, craig, the treasury department rolling out some pretty comprehensive sanctions against two north korean individuals who they say are involved in the north koreans weapons of mass destruction program. when you drill a little bit down deeper into the sanctions, they target all of these two individuals' financial dealings and point out that the two men are both involved specifically in the north koreans ballistic missile program, so we're not talking about their ability to develop nuclear weapons. we're talking about united states clearly concerned about their ability to deliver those weapons, and targeting these two individuals with financial sanctions. this after just last week the united nations approved much more sweeping sanctions on north korean government as a whole. >> let's turn back to president trump and those tweets about the fbi not cutting the agency any slack because it's a holiday. >> reporter: certainly not, and not just the agency more broadly. you mentioned a tweet from this morning talking about a tainted
fbi, sort of an incredible thing to come from an official statement from the president, which again, the tweets are, but also the specific targeting of one man really, andrew mccabe, the deputy director of the fbi who has been in the president's crosshairs since about the time he appeared on the hill late last week and told investigators there, investigating some of the russia issues that he could corroborate james comey's claim that comey had been asked by the president for his personal loyalty. the president firing off a couple of tweets over the weekend targeting mccabe directly including saying "fbi deputy director andrew mccabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go." nbc is reporting mccabe does plan to retire sometime this spring. it's kind of a different animal if the president of the united states appears to be pushing someone who could potentially be a witness against him towards the door. second tweet from the president went further saying how can fbi director andrew mccabe, the man
in charge, along with leakin' james comey of the phony hillary clinton investigation, including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails be given $700,000 for wife's campaign by clinton puppets during investigation?" he's referring there to donation to mccabe's wife who was running for virginia state senate seat. she received some dough faces from pacs affiliated with virginia governor mcauliffe, thought to be a close ally of the clinton, conflating the clinton investigation and the russia probe, the clinton investigation having ended more than a year ago before the election results were final and before donald trump became president, but obviously, craig, this is an issue very much under the president's skin, even here at the winter white house, where today he's spending the morning golfing. >> what's the temperature down there, how warm is it in west palm beach? >> reporter: about 80 degrees right now, craig. >> you drew the short straw there.
garrett haake, in west palm, florida, where it's 60 degrees warmer. i want to bring in my panel "new york times" political reporter ken vogel, national security and justice reporter julia ainsley and former federal prosecutor caleb mason. i want to play a clip by richard painter, former george bush's ethics lawyer. this is what he said about president trump's tweets on andrew mccabe. >> he is the president, he is in charge of executive branch, he's the boss. he is saying this stuff about mr. mccabe, just flat out false. >> caleb, is there a legal case against the president here? or even an ethical line? >> well, in any obstruction of justice investigation, one of the things you're looking at is the effort to stop the law enforcement agency from doing
its job, and these are starting to sound a little bit more like the nice business you got there. it'd be a shame if anything happened to it category, to say mccabe is racing the clock to retirement is certainly akin to suggesting that the president has the power to get rid of him and may ultimately try to do so. >> what would be the fall-out from that, or would there be? >> well, this goes into the large basket of evidence that the special counsel is collecting regarding the obstruction of justice investigation, particularly evidence of motive, intent, what is the president's purpose in the way he's dealing with this investigation and the officials who are trying to carry it out. obstruction of justice is certainly one of the main areas that mueller is investigating and these do not help the president's defense, that's for sure. >> another clip that surprised a lot of folks this morning, florida republican, florida
republican congressman francis rooney, the reaction to the fbi and justice department's handling of the russia investigation. take a listen. >> i'm very concerned that the doj and the fbi, whether you want to call it deep state or what are kind of off the rails. i would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it and say we've got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here. those are the people i want the american people to see. >> ken, first of all, for folks watching and listening, who aren't conspiracy theorists, what is the deep state? >> the deep state refers to the intelligence community, and sort of the law enforcement apparatus. this is a long running sort of foe in president trump's mind of his campaign and now of his administration. we saw this even during the campaign, when he had michael flynn by his side, who became the national security adviser briefly in the white house and is now a target of the mueller
investigation, although recently reached a plea deal where michael flynn was pointing to the cia with suspicion, and you heard some of that creep in to donald trump's own rhetoric. he talked about the so-called intelligence community, and he referred to the faulty intelligence in the run-up to the iraq war, and we've seen that continue as a way, as that part of a multipronged war that the president is prosecuting against the mueller investigation, and that involves both coming after mueller directly and some of the people mueller brought in, suggesting that they have political motivations, going after the fbi and andrew mccabe, and then also going after this dossier that we see trump tweeting about as early as this morning, and you see from the congressman rooney there in florida that it is having some effect. it is having some success at least within the republican establishment and we see it also having some success in polling that shows that republicans and
people who support donald trump and the job that he is doing are skeptical of the mueller investigation. this is all sort of an effort to discredit the mueller investigation, any findings that come out that are averse to donald trump. >> julia, a report in "the washington post" this morning suggests the threat of russia influencing voters has been on the government's radar for several years now, action taken though perhaps too late. "one previously unreported order, a sweeping presidential finding to combat global cyberthreats, prompted u.s. spy agencies to plan a half dozen specific operations to counter the russian threat." but one year after those instructions were given, the trump white house remains divided over whether to act, intelligence officials said." julia, does the push/pull behind the scenes continue? what are you hearing? >> so what we know, craig, is that this has been sort of something that other administrations wrestled withal
is as well as we saw it in that "post" report. we know from jeh johnson's testimony earlier thissee they wanted law enforcement people to put out a warning as they did before the election to say russia may be behind or russia is behind some of the hacking that we're seeing, but they didn't go far enough to have someone like the president himself come out, because they didn't want to be seen as putting a hand on the scale in the election. that push/pull of course will continue in the law enforcement community, where people don't want to go back to cold war tactics of say engaging in an information war, but what's clear is that, within this white house, there's just complete denial. there's hardly even a push/pull over what to do because they want to say that all of this is a witch hunt and they're overblowing russia's influence in the first place. >> here we are the day after christmas. ken, i want to ask you about the president's christmas eve announcement here, i'm sure most folks are familiar with it, "people are proud to be saying merry christmas again.
i am proud to have led the charge aagainst the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase, merry christmas." before we get to the question i want to play a few clips from the obama years. >> merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas. >> merry christmas. merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas, everybody. merry christmas. merry christmas. merry christmas. merry christmas. melekalikimaka, everybody. >> how does the president continue to try and convince folks that he brought christmas back? >> this is sort of front in the culture war that we've seen that the right has used to great political effect suggesting that somehow president obama, liberals more generally have clamped down on expressions of religious observance or recognition of religious observan
observance. clearly it's not true but it is something that the president embraced during his campaign to great effect to sort of demonstrate that he is the lead culture warrior to some extent and so it's something that his base really eats up and we see him returning to it now on christmas, his first christmas as president, and you know, you don't have to look a whole lot further than fox news to see that it is something that the right has embraced. >> it really is quite bizarre that so many people would believe something when they are introduced to evidence time and time again to the contrary. but these are the days in which we live i suppose. ken vogel, thank you, sir. caleb, julia, thank you as well. >> thank you. staying in power in russia. while vladimir putin's biggest rival in his re-election bid was just told he cannot run. plus working in secrecy. we'll talk to a reporter who did a comprehensive review of president trump's cabinet heads and found normal business in their departments is anything
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today a new report shines on the inner workingings of the trump administration and specific information that cabinet agencies are trying to keep under wraps. politico investigation reviewed the activities of 17 cabinet leaders. they found that at least eight agencies routinely declined to release information about their secretary's schedules or travel plans, commerce, energy, the epa, health and human services departments, they're among the agencies believed to be withholding that information, which could in some cases actually be a violation of the freedom of information act. politico reporter emily holden wrote that story. emily, thank you for carving out some time for us. we should note the white house responded to your reporting, they issued this statement, "the
white house does not issue guidance specifically addressing the daily schedules of cabinet agency heads." they added "the white house expects federal agencies to comply with foia requests." foia of course being the freedom of information act. walk us through the nuts and bolts of your reporting here and is this activity more unusual, less unusual than what we've seen in previous administrations? >> right, and so we were having a newsroom meeting when this came up, and i typically cover epa administrator scott pruitt and have found the agency does not release any of its information in advance about where he will be for public meetings, things most people could walk into or when he's talking to trade groups and traveling. when we did a survey of our reporters we found there are eight agencies that are refusing to say where these heads of the agencies will be on a given day, and in addition to that, there are six that are also declining to provide the calendars of
their agency heads after the fact. >> why would they do that? >> well, a lot of the government oversight groups want to know that. they say if you don't have anything to hide, why aren't you providing this information? epa and the education department have said we have security concerns, that's one of the reasons we can't necessarily say where our agency head is going to be and also our schedule can change on a day-to-day basis, but in many case this is is in breaking with tradition at these agencies. >> compared to what we saw under the obama administration, what we saw even during the george w. bush years, how does this compare to that? >> well, epa, for example, under the obama administration, would tell reporters in the public where administrator gina mccarthy would be if she was speaking to a group, whether an envine merge agency or an industry group. in the bush era and also the obama administration have have been transparency problems as well. that is something that happened in previous administrations. the obama era, the associated
press sued for state department calendars that they didn't receive until after the election. >> for folks who aren't journalists, like yourself and myself, foia, federal information act, what exactly is it and how is it not a clear information of it, freedom of information act, excuse me. >> right, that doesn't necessarily govern the advanced schedules these leaders are putting out, but it does their calendars so under epa for example, the administrator had a routine process of putting out a calendar each month saying this is what we've been doing for the past month and the administrator now has been trying to fight that practice and turned over some of the earlier records in response to a court order, but it essentially says that an agency is required if it has a record to release that record when it is requested. >> you mentioned again, i know you're an energy reporter, you spent a lot of time covering scott pruitt, the guy that runs the epa and you mentioned something others talk about, security concerns at the agency.
forgive me, i would get why the secretary of defense or the secretary of state why they might have security concerns. are there that many people who are perhaps trying to go after the epa? >> well the agency says that he has seen a lot of threats, but i spoke with administrator gina mccarthy who ran the epa under president obama and she also had security concerns. she had a far smaller security staff, maybe one person traveling with her. pruitt has many more than that, and she felt safe when she was out talking to the public, and i also spoke with christine todd whitman, who was under a republican administration, who said the same, who says that you know, there may be valid security concerns but those are things that can be dealt with and you can still tell the public where you are and what you're doing. >> emily holden, politico, a fascinating read. thanks for carving out some time to talk to us about it, emily. >> thank you. perhaps the biggest story of 2017, fallout from sexual
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to see if they're illegal. opposition leader alexei navalny is being banned from running against vladimir putin. he claims it's because putin is "terribly scared" of facing him in the election. lucy kafanov has been following this story and joins me from london. why can't navalny run? >> because he's been convicted of a crime. he was a small town lawyer who burst into the political scene in 2011, 2012, in the midst of massive demonstrations. i remember watching people standing inspect freezing cold cheering him on as he led rally after rally. he's charismatic and his message was calling out the government for corruption. he didn't just talk. he and a small team started to investigate corruption in russia. one of the investigations dimitri medvedev publicizing the
portfolio, mansions, luxury yachts, a vineyard in tuscany. he was careful not to cross red lines, for example not to go after putin directly in that way but it was a message the kremlin heard. he's held successful protests across the country in recent years and he's becoming more well-known. navalny's problem, he was convicted of fraud back in 2014, a verdict he says was politicized and russian law prohibits people with a criminal conviction from running for president, and that is the grounds by which the russian central election commission yesterday denied him the candidacy. >> so vladimir putin has been president i believe for almost 20 years, 18, 19 years now, or close to it. this boycott that is being called for, what kind of effect, if any, would it have on a vladimir putin re-election campaign? >> craig, just to give you an example of how little the russian president is concerned about his re-election efforts, he's not even attending his nomination ceremony tomorrow. all of this is somewhat besides the point. navalny will not be able to run
for president. the only question really is how much trouble he will cause putin along the way. putin isn't concerned about his chances of winning. he's expected to win by large margins. lucky for putin, unlucky for democracy, russia has no effective opposition. the navalny's threat is what he symbolizes, he's young, not afraid to stand up to power and popular among youth, the segment of the population putin has had a lot of trouble with. younger russians don't remember the trauma of the collapse of the soviet union. they don't know any leader except for putin. they've been exposed the rest of the world and the way the rest of the world lives and they're not happy with the status quo. navalny could be someone they rally around and that is a concern for the kremlin, not so much in this election, more in terms of the bigger picture. >> lucy kafanov for us, thank you. here is a look at some of the other top stories we are following this hour. the man who claims to have left the gift wrapped package of
horse mature at the home of treasury secretary steve mnuchin is being investigated by the secret service. robert strong said his package was meant as a direct protest to president trump signing that new tax bill last week. the pangage was found saturday night outside mnuchin's home labeled as being from "the american people." three weeks after the thomas fire broke out in southern california, it is only about 86% contained, about 1500 firefighters spent their christmas trying to get it under control, and it's not expected to be contained for at least two more weeks. so far that fire has ripped through more than 281,000 acres. it is now the largest fire in california history. for perspective, that's roughly the size of new york city and boston combined. winter winds continue to sweep through the united states, prompting windchill warnings and advisories across this country. in the midwest, highs are
expected to only touch the upper teens, with windchills ranging from negative 10 to negative 45 degrees in some places, all of this on the heels of a white christmas that affected post holiday travel for tens of thousands. more than 2700 flights were delayed, nearly 150 more were canceled all together. at boston's logan airport, this was the scene. conditions sent that jetblue plane skidding off the runway, after catching a patch of ice. surprisingly, and fortunately, no one was hurt there. all of this cold does not appear to be putting a damper on the holiday shopping season. up to $69 billion will be spent this week between christmas and new year's, that's according to consumer growth partners consulting firm. this comes on the heels of an extremely profitable pre-christmas shopping season. from november 1st through christmas eve, sales rose
4.9%,'s that he up a full percentage point over last year. turning to sexual misconduct allegations ranging from unwanted touching to rape. they have brought down some of the most powerful figures in this country, but what makes the difference between the cases that make it to the courtroom and those that don't is the statute of limitations, the rules determining whether someone can still bring accusations to court, vary from state to state. the new national focus on this issue is causing some to reconsider whether the limation they have in place should be there. msnbc's legal analyst danny cevallos wrote a fascinating piece for the website and he's joining me to talk about it. why is the issue of the statute of limitations so important right now in this moment? >> the statute of limitations are essentially arbitrary lines we as a society draw. if you're bringing a claim or prosecute a defendant, you have to do so in a particular period of time, or else you lose that
right forever. the defendant cannot be prosecuted. he cannot be sued. what we see now is a trend, a growing trend in the world of sexual misconduct, particularly sexual assault, to expand or do away with the statute of limitations completely, which would mean that prosecutors could bring cases more years beyond what they originally could, and use a greater area of evidence, a greater body of evidence and use evidence that previous would have been considered stale and n inadmissib inadmissible. >> why the statute of limitations? why does even exist for certain kinds of sexual misconduct claims? >> because our society recognizes that, after a certain period of time, memories fade, witnesses die or move away, and after a certain point, it would be fundamentally unfair to require a defendant to defend himself based on claims that happened so long ago that the evidence may no longer be reliable evidence. and that's the idea. what makes it complicated is
where we decide to draw that line, because it is always arbitrary. there are some cases that are built on stronger evidence than others, but for whatever reason are not brought until much later. any time we draw an arbitrary line, and it varies from state to state, from civil to criminal, you create this sort of, this hodgepodge, this patchwork quilt of statutory limitations period that no regular civilian could possibly be aware of. >> after bill cosby case, california as i understand it at least did away with the statute of limitations as it relates to rape cases, and then in october, the lapd announces they are now going to be looking into these allegations of sexual assault against harvey weinstein. he's denied allegations of non-consensual sex. how does the new rule in california perhaps change the game for the weinstein investigation, or does it? >> the new rule in california only applies to cases starting in 2017 going forward. any previous cases are still subject to the old limitations
period but any time a prosecutor or a police officer has the benefit of an expanded statute of limitations or one that's done away with all together, it always helps the prosecution. it is always a handicap to a defendant if there is no statute of limitations, because they are defending themselves and building an alibi, other things, building a defense around things that happened decades ago, where there may be no paper trail, and you have to ask yourself what were you doing 20 years ago on this particular day. that will show you how hard it is to defend some of these cases >> that's a good question, good point. danny cevallos thanks as always. turning to another fascinating story here, protecting our identity on computers and smart devices. it's a herculean feat. hackers are on the prowl and to recall our few dozen passwords from our money to our memories. you may soon be able to forget trying to remember all the
passboards. the reason is part convenience, but it's also part security. nbc's stephanie gosk recently traveled to redmond, washington, she went to microsoft headquarters, and this is my favorite story of the day, because again, every week i cannot recall one or two passwords and we may be approaching the point where we don't have to. >> what is the most demanding thing you do on the computer is when you go to a website, could be anything, you could be trying to buy a shirpt t at the gap, er your user name and password and it's not recognized. was that the password i used? you end up having to get a new password, write it down. here is the problem. people are using the same password across 20, 25, 30 different accounts, or using a password that's easily guessed, the most popular password in 2016 was still 123456. i mean, this is like a hacker's delight. they can get in, if they figure out how you buy a shirt on the gap, they can probably get into
your bank account, et cetera, et cetera. there is this big push to move beyond user name and passwords. how do you do that? b b biometrics. most likely you get into your phone using a fingerprint. the new iphone has facial recognition. lot of computers being built by microsoft and others that have facial recognition which mean you as your person, you are your own password. but think about it for just a second when it comes to all these companies and accounts that you have. might be able to get you into your phone, get into your computer, but you got to get the gap on board. you got to get all the banks on board. everything that you use your user name and password have to go away but there's a. ush to get the push to get there. >> biometrics. this is always a cat and mouse game we play with hackers. we'll come up with something and the hack letters figure out how to get around it but i guess with biometrics unless they can steal your fingerprint or steal your face, this might be the
end? >> it's a little scary, because you can't go out and get a new face. >> no. have you not seen nicolas cage? you've seen the movie, yes you can. >> in the movies, you can, but obviously you can't. what they said when i went to microsoft and spoke to a couple of their executives there, they said look, it is going to be really, really difficult to get around this facial recognition software. there may be some other way that hackers figure it out, but right now, they're using our user name and password to great effect and the sooner we can get beyond it the better for security and a heck of a lot better for us and easier just in daily life online. >> amen to that. stephanie gosk, fascinating story. >> don't write down your user name and password on a piece of paper. >> you could steal my life if you knew two words. the president's plans. where trump and the gop are looking next for a big
support. wh one of the president's top advisers teasing a major rollout sometimes next month. but this morning, the president was highlighting something different, health care. tweeting in part "democrats and republicans will eventually come together and develop a great new health care plan." i'm joined now by rick tyler, msnbc political analyst and republican strategist, and mack mclarty, former white house chief of staff for president clinton. rick, let me start with you, white house legislative direct yormark short talking about what's next for the administration. >> i think the president will roll out infrastructure plan in january and the president invited leader mcconnell and speaker ryan to camp david to make sure we're all on the same page. i'm not getting out in front of the president saying we're out in january. we've had conversations with democr democrats. the question remains will politics prevent it? >> that's the question, rick
tyler. will politics prevent it? >> well, look, when the president -- i think they could get an infrastructure plan, probably what they should have started with it. the idea the president tweets on health care would have had a collective groan on capitol hill pretty audible. health care has done terrible things for both parties and right now the republicans are on the losing end of that battle. >> mack, just some preliminary details about the infrastructure proposal, in total it would be roughly $1 trillion investment including $200 billion in federal spending over a decade. the rest comes from private money and states as well. here's the thing, a tax plan that was unveiled, some have suggested that's probably going to blow roughly $1 trillion hole in the deficit. now you've got a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. mark, i remember a time when republicans talked about
shrinking government. >> well your mem i haory is goo craig. i would also note that in the clinton administration i was pleased that we were able to move forward president clinton's leadership toward a balanced budget and a surplus. rick hit it right. the president has got to be more disciplined in his comments. they've got to cease and desist. it would have been better to begin with infrastructure, which is likely to increase the deficit, something republicans talked a lot about during the obama years. that's a pretty risky proposition. i think there is potential agreement on infrastructure. it will be much harder to achieve that in a midterm election year than it would have been last year, and there are right ways to do infrastructure, wrong ways. no one has a monopoly on good ideas here. >> mack, the problem with doing it in an election year, would the problem simply be that democrats would not want to give
this president and the house and the senate they wouldn't want to be giving them any sort of win? >> i would really take exception to that, and recommend quite the contrary. i think the american people overwhelmingly are looking for the president, the republicans and democrats, to work together, to get things done that will help their lives, and their children and grandchildren's lives, so i think in this case, if it's a good infrinfrastructu plan threwly done on a bipartisan base tis would make sense for republicans and democrats to cooperate. that serves them both well. they can argue about other issues moving to the mid ferm including the president's leadership. >> i want to talk about the midterms for a moment. "new york times" on sunday published something pretty interesting i thought at least. nearly a year out from the election, democratic candidates have filed in all but 20 house districts held by republicans. by comparison, democrats in 80 districts to not have a republican opponent for their
seat." you and mack have been doing this for a long time. are the numbers unusual or is that par for the course? >> makes it hard to recruit them when you feel there's a wave coming. if you're a republican consultant you're in great shape because there's tons of money on the republican side seemingly. if you're a democratic candidate you're in good shape because there's an enthusiasm going on in the democratic party, even though i don't think alabama was a bellwether. that does create some enthusiasm going into the 2018 midterms when you won a senate seat from alabama. >> all eyes on tennessee now. mack, i want to talk about orin hatch for a second. "the salt lake tribune's" editorial board i assume you've seen this, named senator hatch it's utan of the year. they wrote he's freezing the senate seat for 2018, it's a "theft from the utah electorate." they go on to write it would be good if utah hatch finally
caught the great white whale of tax reform, if he doesn't, call it a career and the voters should end it for him. senator hatch tweeted editorial said he was grateful for this great christmas honor, not clear at this point if the senator from utah actually read the article but that was his tweet nonetheless. what do you make of this, matt? >> well first of all, let me say that i've had the privilege to know and work with chairman senator orin hatch. i like and respect him greatly. it will be his decision and ultimately up to the voters of utah. he has not been resolute and clear that he's going to run again. there's been a lot of speculation about governor romney running for that seat. so we just have to see how it plays out, craig. the editor i've not read in full but i have read excerpts. it's a thoughtful, serious piece to be taken into account. >> rick, he's 83, almost 84, he slayed the tax beast.
should he stay or go? >> it's ultimately up to the voters to decide that seat. i will be cynical a day after christmas. often when a member has sort of decided who will succeed them, they will often delay the announcement as long as possible to keep others from accumulating political capital and money while the other guy goes out and does all the work necessary to get that seat. >> ahhh, i had not thought about that. rick tyler thank you, sir. >> political strategist there. >> mack mclarty thanks as well. when historians look back on 2017, what will they write about? we have a first draft, if you will, of just how this year is going to be remembered from our own cynthia mcfadden. that's right after this. vid. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian,
2017 has been filled with political opposition, reckoning on sexual misconduct and harassment. a glimmer of light, peeking around the dark moon that for a moment at least brought us all together. the news that defined the year. >> reporter: 2017, a year of tremendous change and disruption. it began with the peaceful transfer of power. >> i donald trump do solemnly swear --
>> this american carnage stops right here and stops right now. >> donald trump became president of a deeply divided nation, a country that couldn't agree on how many people were there that day. >> photographs were intentionally framed in a way to minimize the enormous support that it gathered on the national mall. >> reporter: the year of unrest is just getting started. by february many believed we might be on the brink of war after north korea lobbed a missile over sea of japan. >> first global crisis for president trump. >> they will be met with fire and fury. >> reporter: the north koreans selfie tested a missile that that could reach anywhere in the u.s. cars and trucks becoming a preferred weapon, beginning in march on london's webridge.
more deadly attacks in london, sweden, spain, new york. >> this is an nbc news special report. >> reporter: in april the u.s. response to a different kind of terror, a chemical attack on civilians. >> u.s. military forces have just waged a launch of cruise missiles attack on syria. >> reporter: while a political battle was heating up back in washington. >> there is no collusion between me and my campaign. the russians did not effect the vote. >> reporter: when president trump fired his fbi director -- >> they did not see this coming at the fbi. >> reporter: special counsel was appointed. he is still at work. in this year no place seems sacred. >> reporter: not congressional baseball practice, not a country music concert in las vegas.
not even a church in texas. >> rapid fire. boom, boom, boom, boom. >> reporter: killing even more people than guns this year, america's opioid epidemic. >> the nickname for the street. >> in 47 minutes there was nine deaths on the street. >> reporter: hundreds of white nationalists carrying weapons, confederate flags. >> reporter: in august in charlottesville as white supremacists marched to protest the removal of confederate status. people went flying in every direction. >> the president unfiltered and defiant. >> i think there is blame on both sides and i have no doubt about it and you don't have doubt about it either. >> reporter: nature showed her earl l
ugly side. in august hurricane harvey made landfall drenching texas. irma, jose and maria came next to make this one of the most intense hurricane seasons on the books. parts of puerto rico still without power. sexual harassment allegations spanning almost three decades from actresses ashley judd to young female assistants looking to start careers in hollywood. >> reporter: harvey weinstein's dramatic fall unleashes an avalanche of charges against powerful men. everyone wondering who's next? >> what an amazing moment for the city of houston. >> reporter: the houston astros won the world series. the stock market soared. >> you are watching the dow which just hit 23,000 for the first time.
>> reporter: but the real bright spot came in total darkness. >> it didn't matter where you were, the reactions seemed universal. >> reporter: a rare total eclipse of the sun. >> it was just the most spectacular thing i have seen in my life. >> reporter: giving all of us a reason to look up and hope for a better 2018. cynthia mcfadden, nbc news, new york. >> it has been quite a year. the president taking on the fbi, one of the members of congress investigating russia's interference in our election will weigh in.
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katy tur standing by. >> hi there. >> thank you for watching. >> we will all be watching. it is 11:00 a.m. out west. it was far from a silent night or holiday weekend for president trump on twitter. a new round of tweets have him facing off against the fbi. one tweet apparently sourcing fox news since the handle spells out -- tweets from the president even with misspellings are official statements. the hits aren't just coming from the top. >> president resumed his feud with the fbi. this