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tv   Up With David Gura  MSNBC  December 30, 2018 6:00am-7:01am PST

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politicize the death of two immigrant children who died in u.s. border patrol custody to score political points to fund his border wall. tweeting, any deaths of children or others at the border are strictly the fault of the democrats and their pathetic immigration policies referring to the deaths of 8-year-old felipe alonzo gomez who died on christmas morning. just two weeks after the death of this 7-year-old guatemalan child, jakelin maquin. joining me this hour, katie fang, matt welch, editor at large for reason magazine, ellie and maria, the president of the future media group. >> you got it. >> as soon as we get our plates i'll welcome everyone to grab a
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doughnut because we're here for an hour together. let's talk first, matt, i'll go with you. let's talk about what we heard from john kelly here and i'll start with the biggest headline, it's not actually a wall. >> yeah, this would be a great way for trump to pivot and make this thing stop. right? he's given donald trump an out. >> right. >> trump has hinted at this talking about slats and drawing diagrams of a fence that's -- that no one has ever seen the plans for apparently earlier. the thing that i'm really struck by in the kelly interview is more to do with afghanistan which is to say that he posits himself as the adult in the room preventing us from withdrawing too early from afghanistan. we have seen this with jim mattis. why it is that the elite establishment, elite commentary, the moment they freak out about trump, it's not this, that and the other but when we withdraw
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7,000 troops from places that they have been for 17 years. this is ridiculous to me and i think we should think about that as we're criticizing. >> it's interesting to say the least given the fact he's a general and when it came to troops overseas it seemed as if he was the adult in the room. he had said that he didn't want the troops withdrawn from afghanistan or from syria. lining up with the timing he made the -- the president made the decision about syria right after the announcement, basically a couple of weeks or so after the announcement that john kelly was leaving as chief of staff. >> i reject the notion that there are any adults in the room. what i think is happening is -- >> now or then? >> ever. >> i agree. >> what we have -- >> i want to say i agree. >> we have a bunch of complicit people who are all there for their own reasons so they have their pet issues that they care about. maybe for kelly it was afghanistan. maybe for, you know, who knows what jared wanted or what sarah huckabee sanders wants. nobody is willing to do the hard
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work of standing up to this president and stopping him. when you look at his tweet -- like when kelly says i have compassion, that is a lie. that is -- >> wow. >> but he's lying. he has no compassion for these people. look at trump's tweets. i think people would be more outraged by them if we reported them in the original german. >> but to give him the benefit of if -- of the doubt in the interview. >> what did he -- >> it's interesting to see an issue where he says we have to build up the economies of the countries in like that, when you have a president who you used to work for, you know, tweeting out a couple of days ago or so, saying he'll withdrawal from guatemala or honduras until they stop the immigrants from coming to our country. >> can we remember that john kelly didn't just appear on the
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scene. he was involved with the southern command. southern command oversees all of the military operations from mexico to the point of argentina. the southern most point. so you're thinking what does that have to do with it? he understands what's happening with central america. not over the past five or ten years or let's just say since the mid 1980s when the united states was sending over a million dollars a day into el salvador. this is all connected. i care so much -- by the way, in the interview he says first of all he calls them illegal immigrants. there's no such thing as a illegal immigrant, no illegal human being on the planet. >> put the camera on maria. >> general kelly, there's no such thing as an illegal human being? get your grammar correct. but immediately he says illegal immigrants they're not bad people.
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i have nothing but compassion. but then he -- right then he says he blames the immigrants for the fact that they are coming, for the fact they're dying. he turns and blames them. he has a broader understanding of the historical context and he's not showing us to it. what he does reveal and this is why inside the mail room i was upset. i was saying words i can't say here because i was zero tolerance for people who continually lie about these things. and frankly -- >> do you think that kelly is lying in this interview? >> for him to say he has compassion for these children when he knew exactly what was happening with zero tolerance, he knew exactly what was happening. if he was going to be the adult in the room he would have said, this needs to stop now. he didn't. >> he blamed it on sessions for the zero tolerant -- >> he punted it. this administration is specializing in the punt, to pass on the buck to somebody else. but what's important is, matt brings out the point, it's afghanistan. there's a tipping point and elie
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says it as well, enough is enough, that's a song. but people are needing to remember these are children that are dying. whether you want to be indifferent to the plight of a central american coming to the united states fleeing persecution, these are children. i don't care -- what is it a steel slat, a concrete wall. i don't care. and these are children who from a legal standpoint the government's been aware of the conditions that are happening at the borders for months. >> for years. >> for years. >> decades. decades. >> and that's why it's important for people to remember it's irrelevant if he wants to take stand via an article and saying i was the adult in the room and if trump wants to ignore it's on trump. it's important for people to understand, whether you want to blame the parents for coming to the united states and he's known for a long time about the conditions in central america. that would be the genesis for
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this. >> and the proximate cause, let's be clear. the proximate cause of these children's deaths is the federal government. the latest child died because he didn't have access to a pediatrician. trump again -- trump has made on the fly child concentration camps on top of facilities that are not meant to house children and they provided none of the essential services that children need so that they can live while they're under captivity. >> when you have secretary nielsen visiting the border because she wants to revisit the medical care with a lot of the children that are approaching the border you have the president simultaneously tweeting out and politicizing the death of the children and blaming the democrats for immigration policy. >> if you go and you speak to the people who have made this journey, and hello, there are millions of people in central america who are living there and they're not leaving. so there's not a flood, there's not an exodus. there's just not. these are the most desperate. if you speak to them about this
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journey, which we know the train, the rape, the whatever, what surprised me in my many years is when they'll say, all of that was really hard. but the most traumatic stuff happened once we crossed into the united states. we were taken by immigration officials whether they're border patrol or i.c.e. we're put into refrigerators, ice boxes. this is why children are dying. adults, we have the resistance to be put into the room that is -- who knows what temperature. they're going to say it's to keep it sanitary, but it's a form of hygiene. >> they're saying they don't have water. >> so the trauma is happening here in this country. they're able to survive that trip, but when they get here, when they -- when they need the medical care, when they're asking for it and it's denied but not only denied can i just say it again. i have been reporting on this for years upon years upon years.
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and nobody seemed to care. because it's like it's just a bunch of illegals, who cares if they're put into ice boxes. now it's happening to children who don't have the resistance to survive being put into the refrigerator for days. they just don't. >> john kelly was part of the decision making architecture to reduce the number of refugees we are taking into the united states. we are doing this at a time when the global population of refugees has doubled over the last six years. so when you don't allow people to come in, when you cut the number of legal immigrants which is another john kelly thing, what's that going to do? >> not being held for asylum in mexico versus the united states. >> correct. illegally in my view you turn them down for asylum applications when they go through points of entry here. show up, knock on the door, can
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i come in please, no. go to the desert? people are going to die. >> we started obviously off with the interview that john kelly gave to the los angeles times. and i want to continue on that track and then i want to circle back to the illegal immigration conversation and shutdown because there's so much to parse out in the hour that we're together. so i want to read something from peggy noonan who wrote in "the wall street journal" with regards to people leaving the white house and what they are or are not saying about the president. let's go with that first. this is what she writes, trump insiders come out of the shadows. i want those who have worked with president trump to tell us what it's like in this white house. i want them to put their name on it. how does he really operate each day? what do you see as you witness him doing his job? the press reports he watches televisions for hours, doesn't read, rants, rages, nurses petty resentments, doesn't understand the constitutional limits on his office. are these things are true? what else is true? it is enough time to have
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observed and come to conclusions. it's enough time to describe with confidence how things are really -- really are, matt. i mean, she's asking basically so many of these people that have left the trump white house in the two years he has been in washington to speak out about what's happening in washington. so we have an accurate depiction of what's taking place. we know what our leaders in this country doing. and how the checks and balances are or are not working. >> i think what she's asking for is more resignation letters like jim mattis'. >> did he go far enough? >> he's a military guy. he won't actually sit there a and -- >> be like hyper emotional about it. >> go crazy on the sitting commander in chief. >> really the only person that we have full -- we have had a full throttle hearing from is amoroso, right? why does everybody laugh? >> it would be nice if in happened. i would point out that we have a lot of journalism that's coming
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out of this white house and it's pretty good journalism and yes, way too much of it is off the record. if you're going to work in this trump white house, you can't speak on the record critically about donald trump and last. you're going to last as long as nikki haley. she might set the record for someone who doesn't criticize the president and then she gets out and she does. people go for their own reasons. yes, but some of the reason is wanting to do the best possible service. wanting to have their own ideology reflected in views. a lot of different reasons you work for the white house. but you can't stay if you criticize the white house. >> it's unnamed sources coming out and then the trump presidency, the administration, looks at those unnamed sources and they say it's not true. there's no one who can say, well, it is true because i said it. >> but would it matter? >> why not put your name behind what you're saying, right? >> because it wouldn't matter. >> why wouldn't it matter?
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>> peggy noonan is one of the people who believe that if people really understood what trump was like they would turn on him. every -- we have every evidence to the contrary of that. every evidence is his base will stay with him no matter what. >> but it's not necessarily a question of whether or not people would turn on him. it's a question of what's happening. >> but to what end? to what end? >> are the republicans -- is she expecting suddenly the republicans to stand up and say, okay, that's it? >> does marco rubio have a line too low he won't cross, of course not. he's one of the people that's going to go with trump no matter what. lindsey graham -- he's going to speak out against him a couple of times but when it comes to actually voting for these evil policies, lindsey graham is always going to be there. peggy noonan still lives in a world where there are like good republicans who are going to rise up and -- that's not going to happen. that's why she wants the named sources. she thinks by having named sources that'll put susan collins' feet to the fire and that just -- there's no evidence
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that's going to happen. >> let's get pragmatic. you're working for the white house. you put your name on something whether you're there now or you leave, of course it's safer if you do it when you leave. but maybe there's a nondisclosure or a reason why they can't say something. a reason it has to be unnamed that's the basis behind why you're not having put their imprimatur upon opinions and say what it is. but yasmin, there's no confusion. we talk about it day in and day out here. we talk about the fact that he's flighty, unpredictable. he's stupid some days if not all. he is unconstitutional. he doesn't understand legal limits. how many lawyers has he had that gave him sound council and he ignored it? >> you have john kelly, you're basically there to normalize everything, to make it more palatable. and -- >> duty as he said. >> yes. you know, this is very sad to
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say, but in some ways it's like, i don't want you to make it more palatable for us. i want to see exactly what -- >> what's happening? >> this president, pulling out oft syria and afghanistan i want to see that. i don't want to see another excuse me, white man making this palatable and a little bit more normal for the rest of us. this is not normal what's happening. us as journalists are really struggling with this. we will look back at this moment in history and say, oh, what? because this is not normal. >> with that, we have got a lot more for you this morning. and we need plates, everybody. up next, with the government shutdown in the ninth day the stakes could not be higher for thousands of federal workers looking to make ends meet. we'll talk about what it takes to get the government open and
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i don't like some of the democrats using these as political pawns. >> isn't that what the president just did? >> no, the president is not doing that. the president does not want the children to come on the perilous journey. >> that is exactly what the president just did on twitter yesterday. welcome back to "up." that was kellyanne conway moments ago on cnn as the
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partial government shutdown is entering the ninth day. they're locked over a stale nate move stalemate over the border wall. >> i will take the mantel, i will shut it down. i won't blame you for it. >> with 800,000 federal employees either furloughed or forced to work without pay you would think a republican controlled house and senate would be working overtime to reopen the government. but instead of a flurry of activity it is crickets on capitol hill. [ crickets ] mike viqueira is in there somewhere. we can't find him. we did a hit with an hour or so ago. joining me now is incoming vice chair of the democratic caucus representative katherine clarke. welcome to the program. so much appreciate you joining me this morning.
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you've got a couple of days left until we can reopen this government. what's the plan? >> oh, thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to be with you. and i can tell you the plan. when democrats take charge on january 3rd, we are going to pass the bill that the senate agreed to as did the president. and put an end to this shutdown that is having a devastating effect on over 800,000 federal employees and can potentially ripple out and really harm our economy in general. this is a temper tantrum of this president. that's all this is. and it's time that we get back to the real discussion about border security. >> so how do you intend to get it past the president's desk too? >> i think that we have to look at what is really happening here. and call the president on his bluff. he says he wants to protect the american people. he says he's for border security.
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well, the wall is not the way to obtain that. so let's have a real discussion about how we help get cell service to our border patrol that often don't have it. how we look at what federal researchers are looking at that one of the real threats is tunneling. we can do lots of things with technology to improve our border security. let's get to that real conversation and get on to what the american people want us to focus on which is an agenda for them. >> congresswoman, obviously the president saying he'd take responsibility for the government shutdown. do you think he's doing that right now? he said in his office, in the oval office with chuck and nancy shall we say, that this was going to be his government shutdown because he wanted the $5 billion for the border wall and that's not going to happen.
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do you think he's taken responsibility for the shutdown? >> no. it's like everything in this administration. it is run by chaos. and he tries to deflect. he tries to create situations so we won't look at what's really going on. and he never takes responsibility. this is a failed campaign promise about mexico building a wall that was never going to happen. and now he is trying to say i'm not responsible, democrats are responsible. it is the theater of the absurd at this point. but what is unfortunate about this situation is that the impact is potentially dangerous. we have not only the impact on our coast guard, tsa workers, border patrol, our forest firefighters who have just been so brave in california not
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getting paid and federal workers across the spectrum that support homeland security being asked to come to work or being furloughed and not receiving their paychecks. but this can ripple out through our security. it can ripple out through our economy. and the midterms have showed us it is time to get back to those issues that the american people want. let's get corruption out of politics. let's have an infrastructure bill that is looking at rebuilding america. not building a failed policy wall on the southern border. and let's make sure that we're protecting health care for all americans. >> what do you make of kellyanne conway's comments where she says the democrats are using the death of the two young children as pawns despite the fact that her boss, the president of the united states, tweeted out what he did about the two young children? >> i can tell you that just when
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i think this president can't hit a new low, he does. and using the death of these two children, jakelin and felipe, young, young children in u.s. custody as political pawns is frankly disgusting. and what we need to see is leadership here. how about a president who says this will not happen under my watch? we will do everything we can to fix a broken immigration system so that we can have a system that works for everyone. that protects the security of the american people and is fair and just and welcoming to refugees. this is who we are at our heart and this president is so focused on this wall and getting his way that it is -- he is not seeing what is happening. my trip to the border a few months ago was one of the most deeply disturbing trips that i
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have ever been on. to watch the chaos that this family separation policy was being rolled out, there was no plan. there was no plan for reunifying these families and it was cruel and amoral. and nothing has changed. courts have restricted this presidency and this administration, but the chaos that they are trying to build and to use children as the pawns in this immigration debate is just so deeply, deeply disturbing and distressful. >> all right. congresswoman katherine clark, thank you for joining us. back with much more. and rudy giuliani said it's time for bob mueller to put up or
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shut up. once more, kellyanne conway on the shutdown. >> why aren't they counteroffering with something that means something to them? we haven't heard from them. it's complete crickets. we haven't heard from them it's complete crickets
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we have heard laws can be done by thanksgiving, by the end of the year. what's your ultimatum? >> it's put up or shut up, bob. what do you have? there's those of us who believe you don't have anything on collusion. by the way if you did it's not a crime so what the heck are you doing? >> certainly he knows his audience, doesn't he? that was obviously rudy giuliani. come on, elie, rudy giuliani on fox saying put up or shut up. he's been putting up for quite some time, bob mueller. not like we haven't seen any developments in the mueller investigation. he seems to forget manafort. sorry. i keep going. he seems to forget cohen. >> a lot of facts out there. people who are behind bars or about to be going behind bars. >> look, my ultimatum is rudy giuliani punts himself into the sun. giuliani -- he's not relevant to the investigation.
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he does not care what they want. 2019 is going to be a real year for donald trump and for this investigation. mueller has put -- i don't know if you play chess, right? but all he's done is set up all of the pieces and he's closing in on the -- >> i can tell you that donald trump doesn't play chess. >> he doesn't even play checkers. he plays tic tac toe. >> i came prepared. >> i bought a knife here. because i eat mine -- >> do you eat pizza with a knife and fork as well? >> can someone get this person off set? >> in 2019, mueller is going to continue going after the money. that secret filing that came out just before christmas where -- >> but we know nothing about the secret filing. >> they're asking a foreign bank --
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>> sitting in the supreme court right now. >> that's going to come crashing down some time in 2019. not on giuliani's time line. >> i think the giuliani the whole year has shown people that people are in a position to defend trump as lawyers or in the public arena, on laura ingraham's show have all serially debased themselves. that's because the base client is not a good client. he's throwing everything against the wall. there was a secret society in february of 2018 i swear to god, ron johnson was out there talking about it. the fbi agents were talking about their meeting with the secret society that's going to bring everything down. it was a joke text between two agents and then they forget about that when they go on to the next idiotic defense. so it debases everybody. including people who came to age. mark meadows and jim jordan are ones i would single out for this, who came to prominence in congress who wanted to conduct oversight over the executive
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branch, particularly barack obama's executive branch. they thought that the legislative branch needs to up its game. they're trying to now threaten the -- threaten to impeach rosenstein. they are serially debasing themselves in this process and it's going to hurt them politically but also going to hurt the kind of norm that the legislative is supposed to do this in regards to to who runs the branch. >> you can't go out there and say what your client wants to say if it flies in the face of the law. that's what rudy giuliani does. i call it his destruction of credibility tour. every time he opens his mouth -- >> he just looks silly. he looks very strange and silly and unhinged. we as normal human beings we have to say there's something strange going on there. >> he said over his dead body. when we come back, prepared
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to spend 100 million of his own dollars and another is racking up twitter views by the millions. we're talking 2020 as those covert presidential campaigns get started. we'll be right back. l campaigns d.t starte we'll be right back. le means ev, so we improved everything. we used 50% fewer ingredients added one handed pumps and beat the top safety standards the new johnson's® choose gentle make yourself comfy. it's the biggest streaming collection of british telly ever. enjoy loved classics from the bbc and itv and discover exclusive new shows fresh from the uk. very good. brighten your new year with a britbox annual plan and get two months free. are you kidding? bring it on. this year, escape to britbox. sign up for an annual plan and start your free trial at
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the presidency is not an
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entry level job. we have some real problems. if you don't come in with concrete answers i think the public is tired of living to the same platitudes. if favor of god, apple pie. i'll have a plan when i get there. no. you have to have a plan. >> it's not an entry level job, everybody. michael bloomberg on "meet the press." he's among the 30-plus democrats waging a 2020 bid. look at this field. while none have announced definite plans to run yet, four senators harris, warren, booker, gillibrand are shifting into high gear and speculation is swirling around joe biden, bernie sanders and beto o'rourke. but according to nbc news, these three have been all but absent from iowa and new hampshire so far. maybe sort of waiting. part of the staring contest. candidates are playing as they
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wait to see who makes the first leap. our panel is still with me. give us some beto knowledge. you mentioned earlier that you have spoken with him and interviewed him in the past. >> yeah. so i work for the libertarian magazine and he came across the radar in 2009. he was one of the first elected democrats anywhere in this country to make the obvious point that marijuana should be legalized. this was a very brave point to make in 2009. he primaried an incumbent eight-term democrat for his congressional seat who is a border patrol agent. immigration hawk, drug warrior. he primaried him. i think it find interesting right now. there's a big online war between o'rourke and sanders supporters. it's interesting to hear, because when it comes to issues that i happen to care a lot about, specifically the drug war and also immigration which remember bernie sanders said immigration is a koch brothers plot to get cheap labor, right?
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>> whoa. >> just like that. >> it's beto who's the progressive on those issues and not bernie sanders. so he's a much more interesting figure i think ideologically than he is given credit for in the current wars on the left between who's going to be the next one. >> yeah. i'm going to let beto and biden and bernie just have their white guy off on twitter. see who comes out of that. one of them rise to the white guy top. then somebody else on the -- somebody with a little bit more soul in them on the other side will rise to the top. then we'll kind of have to decide between those two. the thing that i'm sure of is that michael bloomberg is not going to be president. i know he wants to be. i know he would probably be decent enough at the job. the democrats are not going to
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nominate another rich white businessman new yorker. that's not happening. >> why not put yourself on the platform and then get behind somebody who could be the president? >> be the kingmaker. he should be the kingmaker with his money as opposed to running himself. >> what you don't want to do is a repeat of what we saw in 2016 with the republicans kind of being disrespectful of each other through the primary. you don't want a repeat of that with the democrats. did you see the number of people putting their hat in the ring? so you don't want to have that happen. you want to have some cohesiveness in terms of how the democrats are approaching this. if not, who ended up winning? >> but here's the big question. okay, a couple of big questions here. let me start with this one. who does the obama camp get behind, maria? that's telling. >> i think -- >> biden. >> this is a phenomenal year for women who have run. >> right. >> and changed the narrative. we have had to as women. we have been forced to kind of change the narrative.
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but i think that this country again our central issue we cannot figure out race in america. so when you say the white guy, i feel like what's going to happen is that there will be a white male ticket. and i'm not comfortable with saying that because it will be crazy in 2020 but i feel like there's a need to calm that part of america. that -- so in the sense of who's a biden team going to do go for -- i'm sorry, the obama team, i guess i said it. biden. >> you won't see a woman as a vp? >> i mean, i thought it would be biden and kamala. i'm thinking now it might be biden with beto. >> so there's a piece that i read earlier in the week, i can't remember but i wish you could -- you're saying ugh? eat your doughnut. where it's vote for someone, get
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behind someone that you believe in. not behind people that you think can beat donald trump, right? because -- i bring that up because of what you just talked about. which is the fact that you feel people will get behind a white ticket. i felt you were inferring that that's who could beat the current president, right? and a ticket with someone like kamala harris or cory booker or more diverse ticket couldn't beat the president. but if people were behind a ticket that they actually believed in, maybe it necessarily wouldn't be a biden. is that what you were getting at? i'm wondering if -- what is the key to 2020 for democrats? >> look, i think that -- again, this side of our country that s is -- that is ready for so much change we experienced under barack obama and sadly a lot of stuff that didn't happen, there's that sector that wants that huge amount of progressive
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change. and i have always said the numbers will show that that can happen. that demographic if you build that coalition they will be able to topple. >> if you build it they will come. >> yes. and that's why -- by the way, i have been out of the country for a couple of weeks. i have come from the beach. i'm like not -- >> kumbaya. >> you know, but i feel like part of the response is going to be to white america and frankly actually post obama to say here's a guy who served in the obama administration. he's trustworthy. we can -- there were no scandals. by the way i have heard people who have been close to biden. i don't know him myself who say he tells the same stories over and over again and he's kind of older and maybe needs to refresh. so that's going to be happening too. but i'm sorry, maybe i'll change in three or four days. >> three or four days? >> i feel like the next eight
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hours. >> if you felt like you needed a law degree to understand the top headlines this year, you're not alone. we employed a lot of lawyers. two on our panel right now. when we come back, the highs and lows of what could be the most prominent news story of the year. and why it's still poised to be the biggest story of 2019 and maybe into 2020. we'll be right back. voice-command navigation with waze wifi wireless charging 104 cubic feet of cargo room and seating for 8. now that's a sleigh. ford expedition. built for the holidays. (hurry!) it's the final days to get zero percent financing plus twelve hundred and fifty dollars ford credit bonus cash on ford expedition
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♪ welcome back. it's been a year of investigations and indictments of subpoenas and convictions. i'm talking of course about con. i'm talking, of course, about bob mueller's investigation. here's a look back at what it has revealed so far. >> indictment charges 13 russian nationals and 3 russian companies for committing federal crimes. >> donald trump's former deputy campaign manager, the man with the beard, pleaded guilty two minutes ago. the charges he pleaded guilty to, conspiracy against the united states and making of false statements. >> the indictment charges 12 russian military officers by name conspireing to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. >> a jury in alexandria, virginia, convicted paul
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manafort of filing false tax returns, faming to fail foreign tax forms. >> we are learning that george papadopoulos has been sentenced in the mueller probe to 14 days. >> bob mueller gets michael cohen to plead guilty again. >> michael cohen pleading guilty over lying to congress about a trump tower project in moscow. >> federal judge today said the man donald trump chose to be his national security adviser sold his country out. it comes despite mueller's recommendation that flynn serve no prison time. >> so much went on, but obviously this is why i have you guys all here, talking about what your special moments were with regards to the mueller investigation. >> it's like christmas all over again. >> katie, you are up first. >> michael cohen pleading guilty, i mean like twice and cooperating. and so it is the evidence. i'm an evidence lawyer, right? because that's what you got to be. the evidence that michael cohen has produced for the southern
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district of new york and the mueller team is something that we don't even know about. the breadth of which has been seized from him supports the concept of first of all he's said he lied to congress. we have russian contact deep into the trump campaign, the timing of it which trump has denied for a very long time. we have now campaign finance violations. who would have thought we're sitting in 2018, and the president of the united states would be an unindicted coconspirator. now we have cohen who is cooperating and giving all this information. he knows about the trump tower meeting where trump jr. who i think is on the indictment radar for mueller, we have him there. we don't even know what manafort is told or flynn is told. but really michael cohen was the pivotal major event of 2018. >> let's go to the southern district investigation as well and the offshoot. >> casey is exactly right about the pivotal event being michael cohen's guilty plea recently. but i like to take a step back
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and look at michael cohen in total. trump hired a taxicab lawyer, okay, who has pled guilty to campaign finance fraud by paying off trump's mistresses, who include a porn star and a playboy model. >> adult film star. >> and this is happening in real life, right? so like i think like the -- >> that's what's surprising, necessarily, considering his past as a private businessman. >> i think we're desensitized in this, that the president of the united states has hired this really kind of low-level fixer. and his decline is just i think, when we write the history of this, like michael cohen is going to have a whole chapter, which is kind of amazing given how close he has ended up being to the very heights.
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>> and how he went i think in his testimony in court was also really interesting because it was so telling as to that turn that he made, like you just said. matt? >> so rick wilson, campaign strategist famously said that everybody trump touches dies. >> geez. >> i would include the people that defended him and his own basic defense himself has led to direct problems for those defending him and for his own case, right? i mean, people are being strung up here for lying, for repeating the lies that the president himself has told to people or what we're going to hopefully, i think, find out is that instructed or coordinated the telling of lies here among his staff. so everybody who has been going out there and parroting these lies are exposing themselves to risk. sometimes it is legal risk but also political risk. this makes the republican party less attractive. what is the position of the republican party if it is just
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going to be out there and be shamelessly opportunistic when it comes to the exercise of power. >> we saw the ramifications of that in the mid-term elections obviously. >> so i'm obsessed with this. you know, when the question was like, what's the most important thing? obviously michael cohen. but i had jaw dropping moments the entire year. you know, i just literally am like, oh. what's strange for me is that the use of the word treason has been so moderated in this conversation. i'm waiting for there to be proof that donald trump knew about this meeting that was happening at the trump towers. i'm expecting that to happen. but i think the thing that i'm upset about the most regarding russia, and i'm upset about a lot of things, but when i was reporting for public television series about communities of color and how they were getting engaged politically, one of the things we saw in north carolina
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is black activists deeply engaged in black activism. all of them said, but we're not going to vote. that is part of what russian moles were doing and putting that conversation into black america to say, what you really want to be saying is don't vote. and that is something to me angers me so much because russia understands the main issue of race in our country. >> thank you guys so much. can we do a cheers with our doughnuts? >> happy new year! >> we'll be right back, everybody. i knew about the tremors.
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that's it for me today. thank you for watching. msnbc live with morgan radford starts now. >> hello to you and good morning. joy reed and a.m. joy will be returning next weekend, but this morning new political fireworks as the president blames democrats for the death of two migrant children. >> our president, who apparently lacks any capacity for human empathy, decides to use the death of two children as a political tool. i think it's really yet another new low in a president filled with new lows. >> i don't like some of the democrats using these deaths at political pawns. >> but isn't that exactly what the president just did? >> no. the president is not doing that. the president does not


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