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tv   First Look  MSNBC  December 24, 2018 2:00am-3:00am PST

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♪ this sunday a presidency in crisis. the shutdown, much of the government closes its doors as president trump insists on a border wall. >> now it's up to the senate and it's really up to the democrats because we need their votes. >> after getting pressured from his right wing. >> the wall, the wall, the wall has to be built. >> but democrats say no way. >> president trump, you will not get your wall. the resignation. president trump announces a withdrawal from syria denounced by fellow americans. >> this is akin to surrendering. >> andto praised by vladimir putin. >> defense secretary james mattis resigns in protest. >> if i could do anything to help him reconsider, i would do
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it. the stock market -- >> the stocks continuing their slide today. >> the worst year for stocks so far since the great recession. the worst december since the great depression. with allce this happening, havee hit a turning point in the trump presidency. my guest this morning, republican senator pat toomey. plus, off and running -- >> that's why i'm exploring a candidacy for president of the united states. >> my interview former san antonio s.mayor, housing secrety and now presidential hopeful julian castro. joining me for analysis and insight are amy walter. joshua johnson, host of "1a" on npr. hugh and yamiche. welcome to sunday it's "meet the press." >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the longest-running show in television history, this
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is "meet the press" with chuck todd. good sunday morning. in a week when much of washington talked about a shutdown, which came at midnight on mefriday, the word many mentioned around this city was actually meltdown. there were a lot of other words and phrases that emerge as the week came to an end about serious questions about whether the trump presidency has so lost its footing that it may not fully recover. mr. trump likes to project an image of independence and strength. he appeared ready to give up funding fory his border wall temporarily, at least, in order to keep the government running. mr. trump's base revolted with right wing provok tor ann coulter, on the basis of self interest alone, he must know that if, he doesn't build the wall, he has zero chance of being re-elected and 100% of
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being utterly humiliated. he unfollow her on twitter but followed her advice. no wall, no deal. the president's abrupt decision to withdraw from syria based on a phone call with the turkish president and a couple cabinet members resigned. his presidency has benefitted from not having to face a financial or international crisis. what if the president is the crisis? >> the shutdown hopefully will not last long. >> president trump ended a week of chaos as cracks emerged in his fragile republican coalition. >> it's really the democrat shutdown. >> but just days ago the president claimed credit. >> i will take the mantle. i will be the one to shut it down. >> and some republicans are making it clear they hold him responsible for the third government shutdown this year after he rejected a deal negotiated earlier this week.
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>> i'll just remind the president, the republicans are in charge. and so the shutdown is on us if we can't figure this out. >> on friday, the president yielded to pressure from conservative supporters. >> the wall, the wall, the wall has to be build. this was a scandal it hasn't been built. >> president has gotten word to me that he is either getting funding for the border, or he's shutting the whole thing down. >> bob corker responded do we succumb to tyranny of talk-radio show hosts? the reason we're here, we have a couple of talk-radio hosts that get h the president spun up. james mattis wrote pointedly, you have the right tois have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with your's. >> i think he's sort after democrat, if you want to know the truth. >> senate republicans responded
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uneasily. leader mitch mcconnell who rarely breaks with the president publiclyde called himself particularly distressed that he's resigning due to sharp differences with the president. >> i'm very concerned about secretary mattis' decision to leave. >> ambassadors of our allies have been o reaching out to senators to basically say what the hell is going on. >> the president also alienated republican hawks on the syria decision itself, which he abruptly announced on twitter on wednesday. >> we won. and that's the way we want it. and that's the way they want it. >> this is an akin to surrendering. >> syria is a total quagmire, but it's possible to make it even worse. >> russian president putin hailed the move, reliable trump ally fox news denounced it. >> he's giving russia a big win. vladimir putin praised him. he is doing exactly what he criticized president obama for doing. he said president obama is the
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founder of isis. he just refounded isis. >> a member of the budget and finance committee senator toomey. welcome back to meet the press. >> good morning, chuck. thanks for having me. >> you adjourned and were not in town and senator mcconnell said we'll see you in five days. is this a message basically saying the president is the only one here in town so that means the shutdown is on him to figure it out? >> no. chuck, really this ends up getting e resolved in a negotiation between chuck schumer who apparently is giving a great deal of weight to nancy pelosi's preferences and the president. and between that group, they're going totw decide how to go forward. but i have to say this is really much ado about very little. unfortunately it's a big distraction from the resumption that occurred this year of a pretty muchof ordinary funding r exercise, as you know, chuck.
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we resumed the ordinary appropriations arprocess. and as a result, we have a very small sliver of the government that's unresolved and is in this shutdown mode. it's a very, very small amount. everyone is going to get paid. i think it probably gets resolved quickly and is completely taking away focus from where it should be on a very, very strong economy and really good economic news generally. >> well, but i got to ask you, i would tend to agree with what you said except the president decided not toep go down this the president decided to up end things. you've had three shutdowns this year. it's full republican control of government. so, there's part of me that sits here -- >> chuck -- >> hears what you say and then you see what the president is doing and it's two different realities. >> we have an impulsive president. we know that. but you also know that we can't pass any spending bill in the senate without democrats support. it w takes 60 votes to get a bi across the floor in the senate.
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>> does the president know this? >> he knows this very well, yeah. >> would you movewe the filibusr down to 50 votes or would that be a mistake? >> you know, i'm not there as a cross aboard the matter. i think there are procedural votes that should not be at 60. it's ridiculous of 41 senators can consider us from considering appropriation bills. weap don't have the votes to do filibuster. >> let me move on to the resignation of secretary mattis. >> right. >> i want to get your reaction to this one part of it. one core belief i have always heldco is that our strength as nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliancesmp and partnerships. because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other
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subjects, i believe it is right for me to step down from my position. democrat and republican presidents have lived by this tenant since harry truman. this president doesn't share the same worldsn view as every sing american president going back to world war ii. does that disturb you? >> yes, it does. and i think you're right. i think general mattis put his finger on where the president has views that are very, very distinct from the vast majority of republicans and probably democrats elected and unelected. i think the president does not share i would say my view that the post war era has been enormously good for the america. it has taken a commitment of leadership. it'som taken the ability and willingness to project force at times, but mostly as general mattis points out it's cultivating an alliance. america is rich incu many, many
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ways, m financially, militarily we have thena luxury of two oces but the greatest asset we have is thatst most people around th world want to be alied with us. and so that gives us enormous ability to -- it's a force multiplier. i don't think the president shares that view nearly to the extent that the rest of us do. i thinke senators need to stepp and reassert a bigger role for the senate in defining our foreign policy. >> does this extend bigger than that, dan balls wrote this week that many republicans -- he said the-- question now, more urgents a result ofow what mattis said,s whether republicans m in positis of responsibility try to continue as if these are normal timesre or whether they step forward,he assess things smartl and exert the kind of leadership they feel is in the best interest of the country. i guess the question is this, senator, do you get more comfortable criticizing the president knowing though that he
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may ghunleash a twitter attack you or ores that express disagreement with him on this and you end up not doing it because you fear his base? >> that's not my practice, chuck. i work with this president when i think he's right. i thinkhe we've done some terric things in domestic policy on taxes, regulation, judicial nominees, criminal justice reform justal last week. but i've also criticized the president when i disagree. i've disagreed with much of his trade policy and strongly disagree with this decision to withdraw prematurely in my view from syria. i think senators should speak out. look, we were elected separately for the president. we don't report to the to president. we should cooperate where we can and where we need to disagree we should beto willing to do that. >> yesterday the treasury secretary felt the need to put out a statement from the president saying that while he disagreed with the federal reserve policies and the federal reserve chairman that he is
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awareha that he does not have t power to fire the federal reserve chair. first of all, does it at all bother you that the president himself t couldn't tweet out th statement, that some reason the secretary treasurer had to do it. it's almost they feared he wouldn't say it? >> look, i don't spend a lot of time on focussing on the president's tweets. i focus more on what is he going to do. i don't think that chairman powell is in any danger of being fired by the president. i think some of the president's comments have been unfortunate. but chairman powell is not going to let politics interfere with his decision making politics. he has put us on a path to normalcy. i'm grateful he put us on that
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path. >> would you have this much patience for president trump if you didn't share the same partym label. >> well, if we didn't share the same party label, we wouldn't have done tax reform and roll back regulations like we have, wens wouldn't have the record l unemployment rate we have and upward pressure on wajs. we have a good story in part because this president was willing to work with this congress and accomplish these things.nd so, you know, there's things i disagree with this president with. >> you haven't run out of patience yet, is that a fair way of putting it? >> i'm still in the mode of working with the president where i can and try to move him in a different direction where we have to. in syria in particular, we really have to step up. >> if the president nominates somebody few secretary of defense that shares his world view that's very different from secretary mattis, could you confirm somebody that you didn't
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share a world view with as secretary of defense? >> so, let me just say historically i have been very willing to defer to presidential nominees. i think i supported three quarterste of all of president obama's nominees and certainly the big majority of president trumps, but onty this, i think this is so important and the president's views are so divergent certainly from mine that i think i'll be much -- this one will be tough. i'll be looking for a defense secretary that shares a more traditional view about america's role in the world. >> senator toomey, i will leave it there. >> happyy, where i am. >> i figure you might be. >> thanks, john. >> i hope you and your family have a merry christmas. >> thank you, you too. joiningnk me now the number two democrat in the senator, dick durbin of illinois. welcome back to "meet the press". >> good to be with you. >> let me start with the shutdownet at this point.
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is there any scenario on december 27th that reopens the government before january 3rd? >> well, we offered the president some verye specific opportunities. in fact, we justery voted on o several days ago. voice vote, unanimous voice vote to move this government to the first or second week of february which the president rejected after he heard the right wing criticism. >> so what did you make of senator mcconnell y recessing? i'm just trying to figure out why you decided to leave? everybody decided to leave and basicallyy left the president here is everybodyft trying to sv a message, hey, this is his? orb is this mcconnell saying i'm out ofmc this. these negotiations are between schumer and thee president whi is what senator toomey just said? >> the president just a few days ago said he was proud to author a shutdown of his own government. that he was elected to be the commander in chief and chief executive. it really is in the president's
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hands to decide. he says it's an issue of border security. we know better. it's an issue of his own political insecurity. hel just backs off and desemiables in front of us. we havero reached a depth of dysfunction i've never seen in washington. >> are you at all open to anything in between 1.6 billion and 5 billion? well, what nancy and chuck told the president, we're not going to build the wall period. if you want to talk about border security, there are many things we can do. we see fentanyl coming across the border from mexico into the united states and killing thousands ofan people. we currently are only screening one out of five cars and trucks coming acrossrs our border. let us dramatically increase the technology there in something called a z portal. that's the kind of investment that democrats want to see for real border security, not some medieval wall. >> sounds like whatme you're saying you'll go up in the price tag. you're open t to the price tag long as it'sto not for the wall.
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>> absolutely. if you ask the experts, technology and personnel, those are theno things that are neede desperately andha quickly. the president ought to be sitting down with us and making this border more secure by makingde investments he'll have democrats on board. >> you would give him twice thew money, if none of the money goes to the wall and all goes to what you just described you would probably double it and we get out of this tomorrow? >> i canit tell you that i thin there's an appetite among democrats to do something the wall.t for example to stop the flow of drugs into this country and to stop the flow of weapons and laundered drug money out of this country that build these cartels in mexico and central america. >> is daca for the wall, the compromise that was alive for a fewro days back in the day? is that still -- if the president came back and said would youid take that -- i'll te that deal now, would you have the support in your party to accept it? >> well, i touched that hot stove back in february and i can
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tell you that this president's word when it comes to these young people who are in desperate situation because he eliminated usdaca, the presidens word didn't stand up when we basically got down to real bargaining. the day will come soon when the courton protection of these you people and their families will end. we have to face the reality of abandoning them ory working together to find a solution. >> let me turn to secretary mattis. you sent a series of tweets after the news of his resignation broke. you called him the last adult in the room, i believe, at one point. do you think secretary mattis should have stayed regardless of his views?av because he was supposedly the last guardrail or one of the few guardrails that some thought were in the administration?s?he >> chuck, there was something very interesting about this., i was one of many senators who privately sat down with general mattis and said, please stay as long as you possibly can. we desperately need your mature
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voice, your patriotism in the room when this president is making life or death decisions about national security. but it obviously reached a breaking i thank him for his years of service in the marines and certainly at the department of i defense. it breaks my heart that he's going to step aside. we counted on him to be there and to stop this president from his worst impulse. >> i'm curious. you're somebody who on policy i'm guessing you're pleased thab we're going to start seeing si troops come home from afghanistan and start seeing in troops come home from syria. how do you square the president's announcements about those two things? you called -- you've called for both in one way or the other? >> well, i can tell you that it was 17 years ago when 23 of us, 22 democrats and one republican voted against the invasion of iraq for so-called weapons of mass destruction which never existed. i voted in the same period of time with virtually every other senator to invade afghanistan and go after the sources of thet attack on 9/11. little did i know that i was
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voting for the longest war in the history of the united states and that that vote would be used as a rationalization for us to move into syria, africa and places i never could have envisioned.ev i think the constitution makes it clear the american people should have been making these he decisions along the way.av we do this by congress and it's declaration of war. we need to reassert our authority and responsibility when it comes to that in syria, in afghanistan, in iraq, and t anyplace that has been rationalized by that vote 17 t years ago. >> i guess i want to go back to the decision itself. it looks like the president is getting -- he is setting himself -- his national security adviser in a wants to stay longer than even his defense secretary did. but it was the turkish president who talked him into doing this withdrawal. how does the senate even hold
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the president to account over how this decision making went down? >> well, ultimately we learned through history that it takes the power of the purse strings that congress has the authorityf when it comes to appropriations to assert itself from foreign policy. we learned the hard way after decades of debate over the war in but first and foremost, this congress, house and senate, have to reach the point where we understand our constitutional authority and i haven't seen that in a long y time. and with this president, we need to do it more than ever. >> does the turkish phone call r make you think the president is compromisable?th >> yes, i do. i have to tell you that whether he is talking to putin or the te turkish president, the autocrats have him enthrawled. after a conversation he'll make snap judgements and avoid the e best decision he could from ap people like general mattis. that is the height of irresponsibility. there are thousands of kurds risking their lives to help us h defeat isis who are now in jeopardy because of this b impulsive decision by donald trump. >> do you question his fitness for office?u >> well, i can tell you everyday
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i question wlornl we can endure another two years. i think we can. i think this constitution is the american people are strong. but i'm hoping that my ic republican colleagues will step up and join us in a bipartisan effort to put this government back on track.pu >> all right. you brought up two years, two years from now.trig you going to be on a ballot in illinois in november of 2020? you made a final decision? >> listen, i can tell people that i'm raising money and trying to lose weight. that's usually the first r indication that you're up for re-election. >> all right. senator dick durbin, democrat from illinois, i hope you enjoy the holidays. you and your family have a merry christmas. >> looking forward to seeing a o lot of thanks. >> you got it. thanks very much. when we return, a look back at what may have been the most perilous week of the trump presidency and a look ahead what it could mean for 2019. the panel is morning, bt ruin my day. complicated relationship with milk? pour on the lactaid. it's delicious 100% real milk, just without that annoying lactose.
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welcome back. the panel is here. hugh hewitt, amy walter, yamisch and joshua johnson host of 1-a on npr.
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well, let's give you the week in trump. by day of the week and headline here. we shortened the headline. monday, we learned from the senate, russians targeted mueller. tuesday, a judge rejects the michael flynn plea deal. wednesday, the president on twitter announces syria withdrawal. thursday, defense secretary resigns. saturday, we officially have a government shutdown. oh, the week that was, amy walter. >> and just a normal week here in washington. >> i felt like in honesty this is the week of the peak trump era. >> and to senator toomey's point is this the week when the senate finally says, okay. we've put up with a lot of things that we don't really like. but on foreign policy, this is where we're really going to push back. we're going to push back on whoever the secretary of defense nominee is. we're going to push back on syria. we're have the purse strings. we have power. we don't have to be held hostage
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to whatever the impulsivity of the president is. and it's our opportunity to show that. and, yet, i don't know. that will be to me that will be the turning point, chuck. that's where we'll have hit a different phase in this relationship between the president and his party. >> there was a great blind quote joshua johnson from a trump supporting republican senator that talked about it sort of beach erosion. and all of the mattis resignation and all of this stuff and erodes more beach and erodes more beach and this is before the mueller tidal wave hits. and when mueller hits, how much beach is left? >> that is a very apt metaphor. the last few issues we've been discussing kind of hit what are -- and the president said this. his kind of core responsibilities. you know, mattis, syria and the border wall are all matters of national security. you deal with what is happening with the stock market, that is personal prosperity. those are two big issues that president came into office saying he was going to be very strong on. i feel like as we have gotten
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through this week, the president is getting closer to the edges of his presidential authority where you reach the point that, and you were right to say, where the republican house and white house certain things can't get done done because you want them to get done and you've got people moving in and out of the administration. i feel like the president is finally getting to the point where he is saying, okay, i want all the people around me to get me what i want when i want it. there are certain things he's not going to be able to get the way he wants them. and at a certain point, the structure on just being president is going to butt up against reality. now that it reached matters of national security and personal prosperity, this is where i wonder what the president's core base is thinking. >> you paraphrased the new yorker, we're in this. hugh hewitt, there's a great example we found in bob woodward's book about the way jim mattis worked as defense secretary. donald trump full of emotion, phoned secretary of defense james mattis on the morning of
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tuesday at the pentagon, april 4th, let's kill them the president said. let's go in and let's kill them. a lot of them. yes, mattis said. he would get right on it. he hung up the phone. we're not going to do any of that he told a senior aide. we're going to be much more measured. that's the role jim mattis played. he is gone now. >> secretary mattis disagreed with the president on a lot. he wanted to stay in iran deal. he disagreed on the paris accord. he wanted to stay in. the president took us out. he disagreed on a number of different things including the syria options. there are some senators who are not unhappy to see general mattis go provided that the executive branch acts like the nfl, next man up. if carson wentz goes down, you better have a nick foles. i heard the same thing that amy heard. do not send us an outlier. you better send tom cotton or bob kimmet, someone in the mainstream of national security this is for president trump what the red line controversy was for president obama. except when president obama erased the red line, no one
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resigned. there wasn't a crisis. here there's a crisis because someone resigned over the policy. >> red line or ten times bigger than that? >> the thing that really struck me is when senator toomey said we don't report to him. if you hear more senators saying that and start acting like they're not reporting to president trump but really to his base and to his voters who they share, i think that's when we start seeing president trump saying, wait a minute, these people who are another body of elected officials they're going to push back on me. the worst thing for the president right now is he is sitting in washington by himself. his wife and child had to be flown back from mar-a-lago, turned around. it's this idea that he's sitting in washington, everyone else is going home understanding he does own the shutdown and said he would be proud to shut down the government and wasn't going to blame democrats. you can go back and forth on whether or not what he shut down the government for was what he said, but this idea that the messaging war, the thing that the president really loved to do, he's losing on it and the
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conservative media is reminding him of that. >> you cave now or cave later. >> right. >> the 2018 election was a referendum on this. do you want to fight or do you want to fix stuff? democrats ran on we're going to come and fix stuff. this impulsiveness, this way of governing is not working. democrats won by nine points, picking up 40 seats. if this is the continued strategy that the white house wants to take into 2020, their only hope is that democrats in 2019 overreach and do a lot of infighting. and that's what he wants. he wants a fight. he doesn't want to fix. >> the senate republicans they to me, joshua, decides whether the president finishes his term or doesn't. >> for sure. >> that's why this jim mattis resignation is so harmful. >> the syria pull out is a big deal, brett mcgurk is a big
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deal. democrats decide to go for impeachment, the senate republicans make a big dins. i think you're right. had it not been for jim mattis and syria, this would be a very different conversation particularly the shutdown which i don't think a lot of americans really will feel except for maybe this weekend, you have tsa agents and air traffic controllers who are furloughed. be nice to the people in line today. they're not getting paid today or until we pass another bill to get them paid. a lot of the listeners are like yeah it's a shutdown but this is like d.c. today. >> we're going to pause on that. but that's the problem. made the shutdown too easy. there is no political pain with it anymore. until there is, they may act more responsibly. when we come back, one of the very first democrats to file for 2020, likely presidential candidate julian castro joins me next. next (girl) nooooooooooooo!
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start a 30-day trial today and your first audiobook is free. cancel anytime and your books are yours to keep forever. audible. the most inspiring minds. the most compelling stories. text "listen5" to 500500 to start your free trial today. welcome back. we could see as many as 20, forget that, perhaps 30 people seeking the democratic presidential nomination in what is likely to be a very crowded
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democratic field. so crowded that the baskin robins 31 flavors joke is already getting old pretty quickly. one person who has made his intentions clear is julian castro. he is a three term mayor of san antonio, hud secretary under president obama and possible running mate for hillary clinton in 2016. this year he is looking to be at the top of the ticket. he joins me now from san antonio. julian castro, welcome to "meet the press." >> great to be with you, chuck. >> let me start with something that senator durbin said at the end of our interview today. i asked him if he thought the president was fit for office and he said he thought that the country could make it through another two years. what is your view on that? >> well, i can tell you one thing. he's not behaving like he's fit for office. he's behaving extremely erratically. he's not giving the american people or our allies around the world any sense that there's a rationality for the decisions
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that he's making. and the events of this last week were just another example of that, whether it's sudden announcement of withdrawal in syria or the turmoil with his staff. he's just so erratic. so what i think you're seeing around the country is people who voted for him have begun to reassess him. and folks understand that we need different leadership and the sooner we get that the better. >> i'm just curious. on policy, would you have troops in syria right now if you were president? >> i think that many folks recognize that it was time for us to pull out of syria. however, here's the thing. once you're there, you have to make sure that you have a plan for your operations there and also for your withdrawal. so i'm not a big fan of the commitments america has made over these last 15 years whether it was the iraq war or this commitment. however, i do believe and i
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agree with folks that say that for our own sake and sake of our troops and for the sake of our allies, once you're there, you have to actually have a solid plan for how you're going to withdrawal. and what we saw this week is not the way that it should be done by a president. >> you know, somebody decides to run for president, its no the just about whether you're -- you think you're ready to be president. but you have to make a case of why you and not them? this year there is a lot of thems that you have to get to before you have an opportunity to face president trump. why you and not the other 30-odd people running for president? what makes you the answer for the democrats in 2020? >> well, first of all, i have an announcement on january 12th. so if i decide to run, chuck, the reason i'm going decide to run are three things. number one, i have a strong vision for our country's future. secondly, that i've shown both the local level and the national level an ability to get things done especially to create opportunity for people. and third, i've lived a life
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experience of coming from a neighborhood and a family where we were struggling and i can identify with those folks that are struggling to reach their dreams and i've actually reached my dreams. i can identify with all of those folks out there who feel like they've had success and they've reached their american dream. and i know that when you're president, you have to work with congress and you have to work with folks and states and local governments and the private sector as well to make sure that everybody can prosper in this country. >> you know, in an era before donald trump, your resume would have been seen as not long enough yet to run for president. maybe not enough foreign policy experience. that might have been something. obviously, you already have more i think political experience than president trump. but answer that. you're going to be running against a lot of people with a lot more experience and some voters may say, you know what, we went with somebody really inexperienced with donald trump. i want somebody with a longer resume.
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what would you say to that voter? >> first of all, i think you have to start earlier than that, right? we need somebody right now that is president that has common sense and has some impulse control, right? it's a lot more basic with this president than that. i'd say that i've had the opportunity during the last few years to travel to nearly every state in the country. in my life, i visited different foreign countries. i've taken the job of whether it was hud secretary or mayor of san antonio seriously. i tried to make sure that i could work with folks that have different views from me. and what the american people want right now, i think, they want somebody who, number one, they believe that they can trust, that has integrity. secondly, is trying to unite americans and not to divide them.
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and then somebody that they think is going to actually take this office seriously and try and work with folks to make sure that everybody can prosper in the united states. and the thing is, right now each of those things is missing in this president. >> you know, there is some -- a bunch of texas democrats that wish you and your fellow texan that is thinking about running for president beto o'rourke wouldn't run for president. dear beto and julian, one thing the 2018 election results made clear is that texans have a real chance to make this a purple state. good democratic candidates can win. there is work to be done here. and it's important work. run for president and the message is that you're not especially interested in that work. and just maybe texans shouldn't be that interested in you." . why not run statewide in texas? john cornian's senate seat. can you run for governor. what do you make of that wish by some texas democrats that yourself and beto would stay in state? >> well, i'm sure there are going to be great candidates that will run not only against john cornyn but in 2022 for governor and other statewide
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offices and so, you know, that's not what i'm focused on. what i'm focused on is that i have a strong vision for our country's future and on january 12th i'm going to make an announcement about my plans. >> is there room for both you and beto o'rourke in this race? >> i have no doubt that there are going to be a bunch of folks running this time. he's a very talented, very impressive guy. my brother and i were proud to support him when he ran against ted cruz. and i think that there are going to be 20 people up on that first debate stage. >> fair enough. secretary julian castro, former mayor of san antonio and on january 12th we'll find out for sure if you're an active candidate for president. thanks for coming on and sharing your views, sir. >> thanks a lot. >> i hope you and your family have a merry christmas. >> merry christmas. when we return, a look back at some of the people we lost in 2018. >> what do you want your legacy to be? >> i want somebody else to define the legacy. i think history will get right and point out the things i did wrong and perhaps some of the things we did right. things we d.
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welcome back. this is a bittersweet moment for us at "meet the press." as we do every year, we're going to look back at the friends and politics, culture and media whom we lost in 2018. ♪ >> how did 5 1/2 years in a prison cell in north vietnam as a prisoner of war prepare you for the presidency? >> i think it helped me define the principles that i already held. i think it gave me a better understanding of the value of commitment to a cause.
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♪ amazing amazing grace ♪ >> i have never considered the united nations irrelevant. i think it's a unique organization, an organization that can bring the whole world together. ♪ >> opening statement that those who much has been given, those
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who much is required. a lot have been required of the kennedys along the way. ♪ >> at 12:52 p.m., the announcement came. the court's decision on ending segregation was unanimous. ♪ >> it's not easy to meet the press. and i have had the privilege of meeting the press in many countries and i must say that i make it as much a matter of prayer as i do any sermon that i ever preached. ♪ >> you know, when we part we don't say good-bye in hawaii. instead, we say until we meet again. >> somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps.
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and preside over the white house as the president's spouse. and i wish him well. >> i will keep america moving forward, always forward for a better america, for an endless and enduring dream and 1,000 points of light. ♪ being diagnosed with cancer made me rethink everything in my life. the things that became important to me were the relationships with people. we pulled together closer as a family. i had so many people at ctca helping me find a way to go through the treatments, to prepare me for anything i would've faced. cancer showed me what true living is all about. so i started helping at a school for special needs children. i think they do more for me than i do for them.
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♪ back now with "end game" and the shutdown over the concrete wall or is it a fence with slats or all of the above? take a listen. >> i'll tell you what it's going to be made of. it's going to be made of hardened concrete. >> a big fat beautiful door. right in the middle of the wall. >> it's going to be made out of rebar. >> a solar wall. >> you have to have see through. you have to know what is on the other side of the wall. >> and steel. steel slats. >> steel slats, whatever you want to call it. all the same. >> maybe it's a steel barrier or a wall as president trump tweeted yesterday. hugh hewitt, what is your level of patience on this stuff? you were a national security conservative. i know you're not happy about this. this sort of, the upheavel. i asked pat toomey at what point, if this were a democratic president, you'll be all over this person, right? you'd be criticizing the behavior. >> i'm frustrated because so much got done. two supreme court justices, 30
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appeals court justices, massive tax cut, massive tax reform and we haven't talked about the bipartisan prison reform on monday, the farm bill on tuesday, jerusalem embassy. he has a long list of accomplishments, but he does always seem to step on his story. and in foreign policy, the massive rebuild is good if you keep secretary pompeo and ambassador john bolton in the room and listen to them. he has a great national security team. he'll get a new good secretary of defense. julian castro, he can't be donald trump. i'll take any bet anybody wants to make, he could not beat donald trump. they're not big enough. they have to go after a long list of achievements and a huge personality. >> but i go back to can the president keep -- you know, how much more patience does -- do sort of mainstream conservatives have? >> i think mainstream conservatives and far right conservatives, you can see their patience waning thin this week. you had rush limbaugh saying the president's caving. you had laura ingraham saying bring on the shutdown. you had republicans who usually sing donald trump's praises
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basically telling him, look, you need to be a little stronger on this and figure out your message. i think the thing that is really important here is that president trump said he wanted a wall and promised that to people. even though there are all these republicans who say we can get border security money out of chuck schumer if you give up this idea of a wall. he promised this to so many people a simple thing he used as a messaging rhetoric he can't let go. >> amy, he can't seem to -- the reason he doesn't have his wall is because republicans won't give it to him. that's who has denied him for two years and now we're at the tail end of this thing. >> right. and there is this inability to get a win. right? if you're the great negotiator who is going to get the deal or to at least make what is not a great deal look better in a pr way, he's had plenty of opportunities to do that. and on the question of mainstream republicans left him, they did. in 2018. he lost every suburban county, orange county. that used to be the most conservative of conservative.
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now it's mainstream conservatives. they're all gone and they're not coming back. the path to 2020 now goes through the small town rural america vote which he believes that the wall is a thing to get them motivated on this. but if there's no wall at the end of the day and nothing -- and he's not selling the other parts of his message because he's so focused on i got to get this done, then what does he have to sell in 2020 to those voters who want to keep voting for him? >> there is a big picture reminder. this is the end of the republican house. >> yeah. >> they came in with a near budget shutdown in the first 100 days, joshua. they leave after three shutdown this year. they ousted a speaker in the middle. in many ways, donald trump is the -- you could argue, the freedom caucus president. in a way. and this is what it's gotten us. >> failed to repeal and replace the affordable care act on day one. that changed a little bit. it's still in place. i am beginning to -- and i think the wall is a serious thing. one of the key rules in
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television, show, don't tell. right? it's nice that you got all the things done on paper nice you you have all these things that you can can talk to people about, but a wall is a visual reminder. we put him in office to do big things. will look at this big thing he did. it's a testament in the person i believed in and voted for and going to shake up washington. i do not see how donald trump will let this go. because it is a signature achievement he can point to and say, see what i did? i think for a president who we know was kind of raised on broadcasting, that's how he made it to this point, i don't see a, how he lets the wall go. or b, how a democrat who can challenge him can challenge him without saying vote for me because i can beat the snot out of donald trump and we're going to march him down pennsylvania avenue. i feel like the next two years, regardless of who runs the house and senate is going to be very much about the optics of 2020. what are you going to see at the end of 2020 that will make you
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feel like your spent your vote well or you wasted your time at the ballot box. >> the number one promise that donald trump made was to deliver this wall. that's why we're not giving it up. joshua is talking about is they're literally saying out loud, and i think democrats have to find somebody, maybe who julian castro if he's going to be a little bit more biting. i think what democratic base is looking for is someone that is going to be in your face kind of candidate. someone who is not going to be at all nice, going to be at all passive and say look at my ideas and i'm going to beat the not out of this guy. >> you said something during the kavanaugh hearings, if they back off on him, it will be a disaster for the republican party. if he backs off this wall, is the base gone? >> no, this is where people misread the republican party. 5% of the base is gone. it is overstated, overvalued, overheard but this shutdown if, he defines it, chuck schumer is keeping the government shut over $5 billion out of $4 trillion of outlays. he wins. whatever he gets in the end, and what dick durbin told you, the news out of the show is the democrats will raise the money
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if they change the wording. president trump should take that and get the fentanyl stopped. go point at that new point of entry. he should take that deal. >> he is afraid of making it look like a cave because it's not about the wall. merry christmas to everybody around this table. happy and merry. and that's all we have today. merry christmas to all of you that celebrate it. we hope you have a safe and restful holiday break. as for us, we'll be back next week because we're not shutting down. if it's sunday, it's "meet the press." what they did to you... it hurts like hell. it's a hate crime. i got beaten up because i was different. so, i created a world where i can heal. are all of the dolls people you know? yeah, there's anna... [ gasps ] caralala... nicol... i just moved in across the street. ...and julie. you gotta love the pain.
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get our special tv offer a 4-week trial plus postage and a digital scale go to and never go to the post office again! secretary mattis came in, he met with the president, they made the decision and he won't leave for another couple of months. they have a good relationship. we expect him to continue to have a good relationship. the president has a great deal of respect for secretary mattis. he's going to stay on for another couple of months, i think that's a great indicator of the type of cooperation they have. >> let's not forget he's not just walking out the door, this will be an orderly process and it will continue to be a good relationship over these next couple of months. well, of course, those comments didn't age very well. in a tweet yesterday donald trump abruptly moved up


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