tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC December 24, 2019 8:00am-9:00am PST
he wants. he's the head of the senate. people remember they treated us very unfairly, didn't give us due process. didn't give us a lawyer, didn't give us anything. now they come to the senate and they want everything. >> nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson traveling with the president in floor. she rejoins us. i'm also joined by joyce vance, former u.s. attorney in the northern district of alabama. she's also an msnbc contributor. ms. jackson, i'll start with you. let's start with impeachment. it remains very much on the mind of the president apparently on this christmas eve. >> it sure does. you can tell by what he said in this pool spray over mar-a-lago. just down the road, hosted up at west palm beach. you saw the president engaged in cable news, watching fox news it seems, quoting or talking about different segments he heard related to impeachment and also related to the economy. it's clear the president is trying to get a message out that
relates to the positive things he's done over the past year and will do over the next year. chief among them, focusing on economic numbers as the president so often does. the specter of impeachment yet hangs over this white house because there is still a holiday hiatus on any negotiations over a senate trial. the president has said today, as he has said all along, that he believes democrats have treated him unfairly. what i thought was interesting from that clip you just played from him, craig, was the way the president talked about senate majority leader mitch mcconnell, basically saying the ball is in senator mcconnell's court. it ooh es a reflection of what we've heard are the z in the past. it was a full-throated endorsement of mcconnell's ability to shepherd this through. not to say the president won't have potential discussions or back channels with the senate and republican leaders there about how a trial would look. senator mcconnell himself has acknowledged that. right now you have both sides
dug into their corners, not just republicans but democrats saying hey, as chuck schumer said, we want not just witnesses but documents as well. you have the house speaker saying i'm not naming impeachment managers on the house side until we know what a senate trial would look like. so we are in this sort of moment, craig. listen, do i wish i had hot breaking news scoops for you? sure. i don't think we'll get any until january 2nd, 3rd, 4th after the new year. right now both democrats and republicans seem comfortable saying, hey, you go think about it over the holidays and let's circle back. >> what do we know about how the president plans to spend his christmas? >> we know he spoke with troops this morning. that's why he was speaking with reporters in the first place. it was a lighter moment for president trump. this is a bit of a holiday tradition for him. he's done it over christmas and christmas eve over the three years i've been covering him.
service members could ask him questions, also. one person asked him about what he is getting for the first lady, for mrs. trump for christmas. the president said, i got her a card and i give her a lot of love, i guess i should start working on the present. i'm sure she will appreciate one under the tree. in past years we've seen the president and first lady do the norad santa tracking. there's nothing on the president or first lady's schedule now about that. that may pop up later on today. >> hallie jackson in west palm beach, florida, on this christmas eve. joyce, let me turn to you for a moment here and let me ask you about the possibility of these new articles of impeachment. explain the argument by lawyers for the house judiciary committee. >> sure. so what we learned from house judiciary lawyers yesterday was that the two articles of impeachment that the house has
already voted on might not be the entirety of the articles of impeachment when all is said and done. and this is something that comes as no surprise to anyone who has ever practiced criminal law because criminal lawyers know an indictment, and as we've talked about a lot, craig, articles of impeachment, are sort of the equivalent of an indictment in a criminal case, that indictment can be amended. it can be superceded with new charges or even new defendants up to a time that a defendant goes to trial. that's to say there's no artificial cutoff that says once we pass articles of impeachment, then no other bad acts committed by this president can be brought to life. as additional evidence trickles in, as witnesses become available, i think doug ledder who wrote for the house yesterday that position we're discussing now was referencing the fact that if don mcgahn's
testimony, the former white house counsel, becomes available, it might mean the ten instances of obstruction of justice laid out in the mueller report are viable. those are criminal violations of the united states criminal code. republicans claim the president isn't charged with crimes. it would be appropriate to bring those forward if the evidence becomes available. >> you mentioned formeder white house counsel don mcgahn. why are they so interested in mcgahn's testimony? >> mcgahn was a key witness to obstruction of justice. he was present when the president talked about firing bob mueller in an effort to end the investigation into the trump campaign and russia. the president actually asked mcgahn to go ahead and fabricate a document that they could put into the files that would deny the fact that the president had ever tried to fire mueller. so in the mueller report there's this well-thought-out sequence of events with documentation. but congress has a little problem that prevented them from
specifically charging this in the articles of impeachment, and that's the fact that mcgahn declined to testify. so the democrats are now in court seeking his testimony. we don't know when or if that will become available. but in the articles of impeachment there is a mention of the mueller report. you have to read it carefully, but they bring forward the notion that the president has engaged in a course of obstruction of justice throughout his presidency. i suspect we'll see more on this down the road. >> i want to ask you about your new piece in "time" magazine. here is the headline. "trump may be acquitted in a senate impeachment trial. that's not the same as being exonerated." you write if vital witnesses can't testify, where relevant evidence is unavailable and where some members of the jury declare their allegiance to the defendant instead of to a fair process, it's hardly justice. we just heard from the president
a few moments ago, joyce, basically contend that what happened in the house was a sham. he wasn't afforded representation. what do you make of the president's argument? >> the president's monstrous inability to understand the american system of justice, continues to be painful to listen to. it's important to say what happened in the house of representatives is a lot like an indictment in a criminal case. no defendant gets to go into the grand jury. he can be invited, he may show up. but he doesn't have the right to be in there while the prosecution is eliciting information from witnesses to decide whether or not there's probable cause to indict a defendant for criminal conduct. here is what happened in the house. there was no special counsel, no independent counsel investigating president trump's conduct in ukraine. the house was forced to act as an investigative body. there is no right for
representation there, but no nonethele nonetheless, the house repeatedly at different steps along the way invited the president to participate, invited him to send a lawyer. what we heard from the president this morning is largely a fabrication. the point at which a defendant is entitled to representation, and by extension a president charged with articles of impeachment, is at the trial in the senate. that's a trial that should be a fair process. there should be witnesses. there should be evidence. but from the first minute any of this happened, president trump said my white house won't participate. we won't send documents pursuant to subpoena. we won't make witnesses available. in other words, they're trying to effectuate a sham on the american people where the truth can't be learned, and that i think is because they're afraid of the truth here. >> joyce vance, we'll leave it there. thank you. enjoy the holiday. >> merry christmas. despite the house voting to impeach, this has still been a good month for president trump.
the headlines from "the washington examiner" "it doesn't stopped and trump racks up wins even as impeachment grips washington." joining us david drucker from the aforementioned washington examiner. thanks for joining us. in the piece you pointed out that the president has enjoyed an extraordinary period of policy successes over the past two weeks. the usmca trade agreement, $1.4 trillion budget deal that includes funding for his new space force, regular funding for his border wall, the elimination of those obama care taxes. you point out that the democrats get something, too. what? >> this is what happens when you have compromise. there was no cut in discretionary spending. there are new benefits, pay raises, paid for child care for federal employees. we know president trump has tried to axe the number of
federal employees, has not rehired in any event. what we saw here is the first time the president has negotiated or democrats have negotiated with him in a real way. it's easy to get things done in washington when everybody gets to spend money and everybody gets to claim victory. democrats got many of the things they wanted. the president got things he wanted. what was interesting is that the president got some long sought-after items, things he really needs to be able to show voters that he's actually doing some of the things he said he would do, negotiating trade deals for one. he got it all done in the midst of being impeached which is going to stand as a black mark against his presidency. that's something he told me and my colleagues when we interviewed him, right around the time house democrats voted to formalize the impeachment inquiry. the president doesn't like impeachment. he thinks it's a stain on his presidency. yet, it was during the period of the conclusion or at least we think the conclusion of the investigation and the vote that he was able to secure a lot of
the things that he's been bragging for three years that he could get done but had not yet accomplished. >> you mentioned the no cut in discretionary spending. we talked about it a number of times in this program. there was a time when members of the president's party would have insisted on cuts and discretionary spending. there was a time republicans talked about debts and deficits. no one seems to talk about that anymore in either party. >> funny about that, craig. look, i suspect you'll hear republicans talk about that again when there's a democratic president or when republicans end up in the minority in the senate. at some point it will happen again. maybe not in 2020, but at some point. democrats will win the white house again, maybe not in 2020, but at some point. republicans will rediscover their fidelity to smaller government and to dealing with the runaway spending that has caused debts and deficits to rise. it's something trump complained about, said obama never did
anything about. but one of the things that members of both parties have discovered, and this includes republicans in dealing with their own voters is there is not a lot of push from voters -- not a lot of victories to win with voters if you cut spending. basically the way voters look at it, the spending they want is important and the spending their neighbor wants is a big waste of money and vice versa. guess what? it's easier not to cut spending. nobody cares. true, if you poll it you will find that voters will say in their basket of priorities we've got to do something about this debt. we've got to do something about the deficit. democrats will complain that republicans are spending money on tax cuts for the wealthy whether or not it's true. republicans will complain democrats are spending money on social programs that are rife with waste, fraud and abuse. guess what? in the end of the day, everybody cares about other items in their basket of priorities a heck of a lot more than spending, soing in gets done.
>> a good spot to end it. thank you, david drucker. merry christmas. >> you, too. thank you, craig. we're also learning on this christmas eve that the united states could soon remove most if not all of its troops from west africa. "the new york times" reports defense secretary mark esper is currently weighing the proposals. according to the times, the discussions of a large scale withdraw from west africa include ab donning a recently built $110 million dron base and ending assistance to forces battling in mali, niger and burkina fas so. >> kevin, for folks that haven't been following this story over the years, why are there u.s. forces based in west africa? >> there are u.s. forces all over west africa, north africa, just like in the middle east to fight terrorism and also to train local forces.
that's one of the pillars of the pentagon's global strategy, the idea that it's teacher to cheap a man to fish than feed him a fish. the pentagon has tried to build strong partnerships, especially throughout west africa because the pentagon is trying to identify or america is trying to identify real partners across the continent in the last decade since they opened up africa command, to do just that, to carry out the global war on terror. >> what's the thinking behind the reported drawdown from the pilgd r pentagon's perspective? >> the drawdown is about this idea of great power competition. after trump came to office and the last three secretaries have signed on, it's more important that the military focus attention some would say back to china and russia, the great powe powers, and a little less on
counterterrorism. so much attention to iraq and afghanistan after 9/11, that it's due. mark esper has tried to get the ball rolling after shanahan wasn't moving much on it. we had a couple weeks ago from the "wall street journal" they were considering a drawdown in afghanistan of a few thousand troops, up to 4,000 or maybe higher. now we're hearing this out of -- not just africa but deep down in the report, also latin america, that there are more troops available to shift toward asia. i'm less worried about the number of troops than the signal it sends about what's important to this administration and to the pentagon because there's a lot of pushback underneath the chattersphere that it makes sense, but really great power competition is only so much about the military. the fight in china is not a military one, it's an economic
fight, technology and intelligence. the united states will still need is special operators in west africa, east africa, the middle east and anywhere there are terrorists if the administration believes it's the duty of the united states to go after terrorism. >> kevin baron, thank you, merry christmas to you, buddy. >> merry christmas, craig. good to see you. around the country, more than 100 million people are set to travel between now and new year's day. we'll tell you which regions will feel the most pain. what you need to know before you head out today perhaps. also, joe biden making new promises to the people in my home state, south carolina. what he's saying about voter rights and how it could affect you in 2020 and perhaps beyond. ♪ limu emu & doug
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if you haven't already left for your holiday destination, you might want to rethink your plans. more americans will travel this holiday season than ever before. the american automobile association, also known as aaa, estimates 115 million people will take to the roads, rails, skies between now and new year's day. among them, nbc's kathy parks who is in woodbridge, new jersey. she's watching the cars go by. aaa says about 105 million folks will be on the road between now and the new year. what are you seeing so far? >> reporter: hey, craig, that's
right. it's going to be a busy holiday season. we are here at the grover cleveland service area. it's certainly been a popular place for folks to stop before their final destinations. behind me ask tis the new jerse turnpike. you see the cars whizzing past me. it's been like this all morning long. so far no problems to report. things will take a turn. according to aaa, december 26th and 27th travel times might double or even triple in some major cities between the hours of 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. so keep that in mind. overall congestion this week should be done because, as you know, the kid does are on their winter break and a lot of folks are extending their holiday vacation. meantime, if you're flying, you'll be joining more than 7 million americans who will be taking to the skies and earlier today chicago's o'hare and midway, there was a brief ground
stop due due to fog, flooding in the ft. lauderdale area and shut down the airport for a couple hours. things are back to normal. craig, some good news to pass along according to aaa. it's actually a good day to fly because the clouds are significantlier. so a little treat this holiday season. >> kathy park in new jersey, thank you. coming up, joe biden's new op-ed on voter rights. we'll look at what he's promising and why he's pushing this message especially hard in south carolina. we're also watching the streets of hong kong on this christmas eve. police and protesting clashing once again. there are reports that officers have used teargas, a water cannon, an armored vehicle as well against demonstrators. we'll have the latest on this standoff in hong kong. superior to humira®proven
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record in south carolina, the state newspaper, biden emphasizing his half century of public office working on voting and sive rights. he writes, quote, 35 states have some sort of voter id requirement. these laws aren't about fraud. they're about making it harder for people of color to volt. i'm joint by npr's wallace summers. south carolina's primary still some time away, after iowa, after new hampshire. why put this out now? what's to be gained politically? >> absolutely. as we both know, craig, this is a state that looms huge in former vice president's path to the nomination. he's someone in south carolina and elsewhere who does well with african-american voters that make up a large number of the electorate there. it's critical looking at iowa and new hampshire. his campaign wants to remain a presence there. he's talking about an issue that's of importance,
particularly to voters of colors in that first in the south primary state. >> with regards to voter suppression, we spent time on the broadcast yesterday digging into this a bit. you had wisconsin purging, more than 200,000 registered voters. georgia purging voters as well, more than 300,000 in georgia before a chunk of them were actually restored. how closely are you watching this? >> we're watching this incredibly closely. when i talk to voters of color and particularly african-american voters in some of these states where republicans control legislatures, they tell me there's very concerned there's a calculated, concentrated effort ahead of the 2020 primary and general election to make sure the folks who are black and brown, who look like them, aren't turning out to vote, including to laws like those that vice president biden mentioned in that opini-ed overe
weekend. look at stacy abrams in georgia and the outcry after she lost that election. andrew gillum in florida. this is something galvanizing democrats. democratic operatives are putting a lot of time and effort towards ensuring that everyone has equal and fair access to the ballot box. >> stand by. i want to talk about two other folks, joel payne is with me, democratic strategist, former media advisory for hillary clinton's 2016 campaign and so is susan del percio, an msnbc political analyst. joe, let me start with you. this idea that you're going to make voter suppression a center point of your campaign. last check by about 20 points, there's the average of averages if you will. how much do you surmise is about
locking up the lead in the palmetto state. >> i think juana is absolutely right, this is a priority for the biden campaign to make sure people understand this is a priority for the former vice president. it is a galvanizing issue. it's an issue that a lot of democrats feel like are going to mobilize a lot of voters around the country. i think what's interesting about this as well is, if democrats show up, if democrats show up in places like georgia and wisconsin and florida and ohio and pennsylvania and michigan and so on and so forth, democrats have the numbers. you had a trump advisor yesterday that pretty much admitted that voter suppression was a part of their strategy last time around. this is an issue that's in the ether. i think the biden campaign is wise to play this up and make sure folks understand this is a priority. >> susan, let's talk about this morning consult national poll that came out on monday. i say national poll, i emphasize
that because distinction is very important. you've got joe biden in this national poll with a significant lead over bernie sanders, ten percentage point lead, margin of error at the bottom, plus or minus one point. registered voters, about 7,000 of them. again, this is a national poll. you look at some of the state polls, iowa specifically and you see mayor pete buttigieg continuing to enjoy the surge there. which candidate does joe biden have to worry about most, would you say, in iowa, south carolina, new hampshire, nationally as well? >> the national polls are what joe biden relies on because it continues to play to the narrative he is the best one and the most likely one to take on donald trump. when you look further into those polls, you see the head-to-head. biden typically does better than everybody else. what's interesting and why he may have put out that proposal today and talking about south
carolina is because that's his fail stop. if he loses, second, third, even fourth in iowa and/or new hampshire, it all lands in south carolina for joe biden. he's got to keep those numbers up and strong in case -- he's probably looking at the same polling a lot of people are saying he's not doing terribly well. he is worried about pete buttigieg. he's probably also very worried about amy klobuchar because she's peaking at the right moment for iowa. turning to new hampshire, that becomes more of an interesting state for him to play in because it's an open primary. you get a lot of other people playing in so he can attract more voters. it's all about south carolina for joe biden. >> juana, going back to south carolina for just a moment, at last check joe biden was the candidate of choice for pretty much every black voter in south carolina. do we see at this juncture any
candidate eroding his support, specifically among black voters in the palmetto state? >> we don't. i think that's something to keep in mind. joe biden performs as we've seen in recent polls quite well with black voters in south carolina, but also black voters in other states across the map the primary veers south. the biden campaign continues to emphasize that. what we know from our reporting and from past elections is that black voters and particularly black women are the backbone of the democratic party. it would be difficult, if not impossible, for any candidate to win this democratic nomination without the support of black voters. that's why i think some of the other candidates perhaps have some catching up to do if they want to be successful in this primary. >> susan, i want to go back to something you said a moment ago, senator amy klobuchar. it sounds as if the senator is enjoying a moment. we know she raised roughly a million dollars the day after that debate, her midwestern
sensibilities. would would assume they'd play reasonably well in a plies like iowa. do you think she has what it takes to go to the distance? >> i think we'll see her -- i think she'll do well in iowa. she's just hitting at the right time to build up her base. that's where she's focusing most of her time. but let's also not forget we're going see her and five other presidential candidates in washington come january 6 full time because of the trial -- >> assuming there's a trial. >> assuming there's a trial. i do think she can come in. where i think the problem will be is where will she go from there? a win for her is first, second or third place. who does that knock out? does it knock out a biden? does a warren or sanders, probably sanders, stay strong there because his support is so solid and pete buttigieg. it's a matter of the top five getting in and who edges out who. new hampshire becomes a whole new game where she can also do
well. i don't see her having the money or infrastructure to make it to super tuesday. >> joel, the candidates by and large taking a break for the holidays right now. if you are an andrew yang, if you are deval patrick, one of the other candidates polling in the single digits nationally, what do you do? >> well, i think you're thinking about the limited resources you and where do you use those resources. we've had a lot of talk about national polls and kind of magazine profiles. there's big national campaign. this campaign is moving to a phase now where it's very much about ground game. it's about tactics on the ground, how do you turn out your voters and how do you keep your burn rate down. how do you also make sure the limited resources you have can go the distance. maybe you decide i can't invest in new hampshire, so i'm going to south carolina or i'm going to spend my time in nevada or iowa and south carolina. you start to kind of -- if you're one of thoelz candidates
with a more limited, very narrow path to a nomination, you start to be very specific about what you're going to do with your time and resources. i think if you're one of those second-tier candidates, you're starting to make decisions based on that. >> you mentioned burn rate. that's something we talk a lot about here, how fast you're spending all that money that you're raising also matters a great deal. joel, juana, susan, merry christmas to all three of you. an urgent warning from the pentagon about the take-home dna tests that are wildly popular christmas gifts. we'll tell you why the military think they can be quite the security risk. we're also taking a hard look at one of the most urgent issues of 2019, if not one of the most urgent issues of our time, climate change. r issues of u time, climate change ustrated thy activities cause wrinkles and there's nothing you can do about it? now there's a solution! downy wrinkleguard is a fabric conditioner that helps protect you from wrinkles all day.
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stomach pain, and constipation. some side effects can lead to dehydration, which may worsen kidney problems. i discovered the potential with ozempic®. ♪ oh! oh! oh! ozempic®! ♪ (announcer) if eligible, you may pay as little as $25 per prescription. ask your health care provider today about once-weekly ozempic®. there are new warnings this morning from the pentagon to military personnel. don't use those home dna testing kits. officials say they could present a national security risk. a defense department memo obtained by nbc news reads in part, there is increased concern in the scientific community that outside parties are exploiting the use of genetic materials for questionable purposes including mass surveillance and the ability to track individuals without their authorization or
awareness. i want to bring in our justice correspondent pete williams. pete, walk us through the pentagon's concerns here. a lot of folks are likely going to be opening one of these dna testing kits tomorrow morning. >> this was a somewhat surprisingly blunt memo issued december 20th. yahoo! news first reported it. it basically says, it urges military personnel not to get these kits. it says there's concern the information they send in could be used either to track them individually or track them as part of a military unit, putting them in potentially the military unit at risk. i have to say this is not a new concern from people at the defense department. back in july, the chief of naval operations was speaking about this, gave a speech in washington and said much the same, that military personnel should stay away from this. i think the reason this d.o.d. memo came out just before christmas is the memo says there
has been some indication that some of the test makers were offering military discounts, and for that reason they said they didn't want military personnel buying these. >> pete, outside the military concerns, what should the general public, what should regular folks be aware of the they're thinking of submitting their dna? >> so a couple of thoughts here. number one is that the dna companies, the testing companies that we talked to, 23andme and ancestry.com which are the biggest ones say, number one, they let their customers decide how much of their dna information is shared with others. they say they keep it securely stored. some of this generic data is shared with drug companies, for example. but they say that's not -- there's no specific identifying personal information, it's just
generic on the population as a whole. nonetheless, consumer advocates say the right thing to do is to look at the policies of these companies, how much control does the customer have over whether their dna is shared with anyone else at all. any time a large amount of data is stored, there's also the question of whether it's safe or hackers can get at it. that's true of any kind of data that's shared with anyone else. those are questions that consumer advocates say people should ask whether they want to do this. on the other hand, many people say these have been quite beneficial in identifying potential vulnerabilities to disease in a family they didn't know about or finding long lost relatives or where they came from. >> justice correspondent pete williams working hard on this christmas eve. thank you. >> okay. a close look at how the climate crisis advanced in 2019. our own al roker breaking down
the dangerous reality we all face and the emerging solutions that could save us in the next decade. you're also looking at pictures of hong kong a few hours ago. this is where protesters have taken to the streets once again. this is thestein a short time ago. we'll go back to hong kong and get a closer look at the situation on the ground right after this. situation on the ground right after this i'm part of a communiy of problem solvers. we make ideas grow. from an everyday solution... to one that can take on a bigger challenge. from packaging tape... to tape that can bond materials to buildings... and planes. one idea can unlock a breadth of solutions. at 3m, we are solving problems that improve lives.
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protests in hong kong have been escalating over the holiday. silent night antigovernment protests turned violent when hundreds of activists took to the streets and malls this is the scene earlier in hong kong. police firing teargas using pepper spray as they clash with protesters at a separate location. right now it is almost 1:00 a.m. there on christmas day. i'm joined by nbc's molly hunter. molly, what more do we know about these protests that are now, if my math serves me right, in their seventh month? >> hey, craig, that's right. it's ebd and flowed. we've seen intense violence in mid november. we saw weeks of serious violent protests at poly tech nick
university. it's been quiet over the last come weeks. tonight you see the video in the mall. one of the student protesters told reuters they thought it might be a good idea, a good opportunity to go to these malls on christmas eve. they would be popular with foot traffic, families, even kids of course. they thought it would be a good opportunity to spread the message there. that's one of the locations that became quite violent. a different location, a lot of luxury shops and hotels, that's what you're looking at right there. rows of riot police and protesters, similar scenes that we've seen. they're looking ahead to another new year's eve protest possibly which means this isn't going away any time soon. >> what's been the effect of these protests on hong kong? >> certainly hotels are already feeling the hurt, especially at the holiday season when so many tourists would go, especially
the locations down in heavily touristed areas. if you're a tourist, you don't want to go down there. basically these protests, the demands we've seen from these protesters have gotten bigger and bigger. the have gotten bigger and bigger. the governor of hong kong has been very slow to react and as they've grown, demands from the protesters have grown. i wouldn't be surprised if these new year's day protests in a week are even bigger. whether they turn violent, u.s. know, a crowd can turn on a dime, it can happen very quickly. i'm not sure what we'll see going into tomorrow. right now we are still hearing reports of tear gas, of pepper spray, of those crowds out on the streets. >> molly hunter there keeping a close eye on the situation in hong kong, where again, it is christmas morning. molly, thank you. as this decade comes to a close, experts are warning about new climate realities. temperature records she waresha
the world as we know it, and we're running out of time to stop it. nbc's al roker traveled the world to see the impact of these changes up close. >> reporter: when you're talking temperature, 2019 was one for the record books. this was the hottest july ever for the planet. five countries have all time national heat records. across the globe, the hottest june, july, and september. and the second hottest august, october, and november in recorded history. i traveled to south eastern greenland where the arctic is warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. that heat melt glaciers, sea ice, and greenland's ice sheet which lost 12.5 billion tons of ice in a single day, something scientists didn't expect to happen for at least another 50 years.
the extent of ice melt here in greenland will help determine just how high sea levels will rise. all this ice that's fallen off has been since we've gotten here. we've been hearing it and seeing it falling off. and it's going into the ocean. what happens? >> we are on the first step of a domino. >> reporter: because what happens in the arctic doesn't stay in the arctic. >> we've only had seven inches of sea rise globally in the last century. it doesn't sound like much but it's already affecting the intensity of coastal flooding. >> reporter: those rising sea levels and warmer oceans fueling more powerful hurricanes like dorian, which devastated the bahamas. and wildfires. alaska, 2.5 million acres burned. >> the link between climate
change and drought and wildfires is very, very strong. >> reporter: in the amazon rainforest in brazil, wildfires caused by slash and burn techniques raged at a record rate. >> the planet's on fire! >> reporter: triggering worldwide concern over the fate of the rainforest. one of the biggest absorbers of carbon on the planet. we hit a record of 415 parts per million of carbon dioxide, that's the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, a new record high. the winds right now gusting at over 55 to 60 miles an hour. and applications for the future, the u.n. announcing there could be as little as 12 years for humans to mitigate catastrophic global warming. >> we are in the beginning of a mass extinction. >> reporter: their recommendation, burning fewer fossil fuels, changing the way we produce food, and planting a
billion trees. australia downgrading their outlook for the great barrier reef from poor to very poor. and the national audubon society releasing a grim assessment, that global warming threatens two-thirds of birds in the united states with extinction. and climate change is threatening a way of life for an entire community of people we visited in alaska. >> the ice is not forming as what it used to. much thinner. >> reporter: more dangerous? >> more dangerous, yes. >> reporter: but in the midst of all these records, reports, and disasters, perhaps 2019 will be remembered as the year the climate movement reached critical mass for a planet that's on thin ice. al roker, nbc news. president trump speaking to troops this morning from mar-a-lago where he is spending christmas. we're going to look at what else he's doing this holiday as impeachment waits for him in
washington. and as this decade comes to a close, we're asking you, the people. what was the biggest story of the last ten years? think long and hard about it, then go to nbcnews.com/stories and tell us what you think. i was on the fence about changing from a manual to an electric toothbrush. but my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. she said, get the one inspired by dentists, with a round brush head. go pro with oral-b. oral-b's gentle rounded brush head removes more plaque along the gum line. for cleaner teeth and healthier gums. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand accepted by the ada for its effectiveness and safety. what an amazing clean! i'll only use an oral-b! oral-b. brush like a pro.
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tracker, we can see exactly where he is along that holly jolly route, music courtesy of norad, not courtesy of msnbc. right now he seems to be working his way through south asia. he's already delivered more than a billion presents had with that work efficiency, we hope he's getting a christmas bonus, extra milk and cookies, perhaps, maybe some extra carrots for rudolph, dancer, prancer, blitzen, we can keep going, alison. he had to noradsanta.com. that's going to wrap up this hour of "msnbc live" on this christmas eve. i'll see you back here on thursday. but right now, alison morris picking up our coverage. >> thank you, sir. hope santa gets here pretty soon. >> are you on his nice or naughty list? >> i think we're about to find
out. see you tomorrow. thanks so much, craig. a great day to all of you, i'm alison morris at nbc headquarters in new york. president trump is slamming nancy pelosi and the democratic party over impeachment, saying she's desperate. of course impeachment is in limbo right now because pelosi is in a standoff with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell until she gets assurances on how the senate trial will run. nbc news chief white house correspondent hallie jackson is traveling with the president. hallie, those strong remarks came after the president's annual holiday videoconference with the troops this morning. >> reporter: the clouds have definitely cleared here in south florida, alison, although you could say the shadow of impeachment yet hangs over the president. he knows we're here in sunny west palm just