Skip to main content

tv   Smerconish  CNN  December 22, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST

6:00 am
>> reporter: almost anyone? you mean someone understands tax laws better than he does? ♪ anything you can do -- >> reporter: he can do better. >> i have better everything than they have, including this. >> reporter: jeanne moos, cnn. >> no, you can't! ♪ yes, i can, yes i can >> reporter: new york. ♪ i'm michael smerconish in fi philadelphia. we welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. after outcry from conservative media, the border wall standoff shuts down the government, but we're still here. here's what i want to know, which threat is the most perilous to the president as he heads into christmas break? the markets, the military, mueller, or the media? my answer might surprise you. and, when the president announced withdrawal from syria,
6:01 am
there was a vehement reaction from the right, and many on both sides questioned his timing and motive, but is he actually correct? i'll ask former congressman and presidential candidate rand paul. and the stock market has its best december since the great depression. could there be a worst time for a new re-election ad asking everybody to thank president trump for the economy. >> thank you, president trump. >> thank you, president trump. >> thank you, president trump. meanwhile, the dnc just announced a dozen presidential debates but there are so many democratic contenders you need a score card. i've got a better way to help sort the field. here's a clue, think march madness. plus, with no shortage of news, we've had quite a year together, a fun look back at the people and moments that we shared with our wide range of guests and topics. remember this? >> you are now doing the job of
6:02 am
the white house, just so everybody knows that. >> i don't think the white house would agree with that. but first, the president finds himself in peril, like at no point during his 2-year-old administration. the last few days have brought a series of sobering issues. i've got a question, which of these is the biggest threat to trump? the markets, mueller, military, or the media? please go to smerconish this hour and weigh in. i want to know what you think. there's a strong argument for each. the markets are on track for the worst december since the great depression. i remember asking james carville is it still the economy, stupid? he said keep in mind that heretofore president trump has benefitted from a strong economy. where would his approval numbers be, which by the way have never passed the 50% threshold, if he loses a strong economy? perhaps we're about to find out. then there's robert mueller's probe. smart money says it will end in
6:03 am
early 2019 and we'll see the outcome. already he's charged 33 people. three senior trump associates have pleaded guilty to various charges, paul manafort, michael flynn, michael cohen. roger stone may soon face his time in the barrel. the house intel committee voted anonymously to turn over a transcript to stone's testimony to mueller that might be a precursor to charging him with percentage. we wi -- perjury. clearly mueller and the southern district of new york probes pose peril to trump. james mattis resigned as defense secretary, the last adult in the room many say. will others follow him out the door? will there be unrest in the middle east? will some hostile power try to take advantage of mattis' policy disagreements with the president? most perilous to the president, the markets, mueller, military, they're all valid, but the correct answer, in my view, is choice number four, the media.
6:04 am
and i'm not referring to those outlets which frequently fact-check the president, not "the new york times," not "the washington post," not cnn, not msnbc. nope, i'm talking about the conservative media. think matt drudge, ann coulter, breitbart, fox news and rush limbaugh, who by the way the president had to apparently reach out to this week to assure that he would stand firm on funding for the border wall. five years ago i wrote a novel called "talk" that accurately predicted that we would reach a point where a republican president had yielded control to a talking head, and we're there. the current government shutdown would arguably not exist were it not for the president capitulating to these people with microphones. if not for ann coulter and rush limbaugh, the president right now would be in mar-a-lago. but if the president loses the support of the conservative media, that will lead to an erosion of support among house and senate republicans who live
6:05 am
in constant fear of being primaried as a result of being at odds with these media mouth pieces. if nothing else, president trump is a political warrior. he's proven he can sustain serious blood letting, but his achilles heel is the conservative media. if he loses them, then any combination of the markets, the military and mueller can cut short his time in office. joining me now to discuss is salina zito, national political reporter for the washington examiner, "new york post" column i ist, and frank sesno, author of the book "ask more: the power of questions to open doors uncover solutions and spark change." salina, where am i wrong? >> you're not necessarily wrong. i think you've laid it out very
6:06 am
well. i think the conservative media is an important component in terms of keeping his coalition engaged, but we also have to remember a lot of the conservative media early on in 2016 didn't have his back, were skeptical of him or sort of liked him, sort of didn't like him, and he still was able to turn out record numbers -- not just him but the primary process had record numbers of turnouts among republican primary voters, and he still won before they all lined up with him. so while they're very important, they're not the -- i don't -- i think actually the most dangerous thing for the president right now is understanding that his coalition isn't just populous, that there are conservatives in there as well and some who are very hesitant to support him.
6:07 am
the sort of firing of mattis and nikki haley leaving, those sort of important institutional experts leaving the administration are something that concerns more conservative parts of his coalition. >> frank, i want you to see a video clip about a very interesting message that was left for one rush limbaugh. roll it. >> i get this direct message, you tell rush that if there's no money in this, it's getting vetoed. if there's no money, if there's no money for a wall, i'm vetoing this, plain and simple. this was the message that i just got. >> frank, i don't think we would be in a partial government shutdown at this particular moment without those voices like rush's on the right. am i wrong? >> no, i don't think you're wrong at all. look, donald trump is a media
6:08 am
president, a media creation. this is his background, this is how he got his microphone and his camera. he never met either of which he didn't like as a candidate. that's how he rose to prominence. he has had this kind of relationship with the conservative media, breitbart, limbaugh, fox for a very long time. when and if they turn on him, it's cataclysmic. it's who he listens to. that's the whisper in his ear, not a whisper a lot of times but a shout. and it's who his base listens to and follows. if anything, as we've seen through the trump presidency, his base has been pretty darn rock solid. so if the foundation under the base starts to crack, that's a serious problem. you just showed limbaugh. ann coulter's column was positively devastating, gutless president in a wallless country she wrote, calling him a douche bag, a gigantic douche bag and
6:09 am
she said -- i want to read this. either trump never intended to build the wall and was scramming voters all along or he has no idea how to get it done and zero interest in finding out. michael, i think that it's not just criticism. it's withering criticism from the core, from the foundation on which he's built everything. >> selena, i get the argument that you make that the trump coalition these days includes a variety of component parts, but as americans are waking up this morning and coming to terms with the partial shutdown of the government, if they're to ask me in sound bite form what most explains this, my short answer is that the president ka pit lated to these media mouthpieces. that's why we're here. >> right, although he did say -- i think it was like two weeks ago he did say, look, there's going to be a government shutdown if there's no wall, and then it was sort of radio
6:10 am
silence and then it reemerged with this sort of chorus of conservative media. look, this is actually one of the things that both populous and conservative traditional republicans find very important. this is one that keeps his whole coalition together and on the same page. so it's sort of smart for him to -- you always say don't -- this isn't the hill i should die on. i don't think he has a problem being on this hill, walking up this hill, because he does understand that conservatives and populists have his back on this. what's really sad, michael, i think is we've kind of gotten used to these government sh shutdowns. >> true. >> i don't think that's a really good thing, right? people at home are like, eh, the government shutdown -- >> but they'll get it together.
6:11 am
i agree. i feel part of that. i wonder if the house gets back together at noon. i hope it happens. one last thing quickly for frank. there are a lot of moving parts here. we're talking about spin, spin that i think has led to a partial government shutdown. but frank, there are also facts at play that are impacting the marketplace. will you quickly speak to that? >> yeah. you asked what's the problem here, the military, mueller, the markets or the media. i would say it's all of them. the media is the magnifying glass, but it really is actually and ironically facts that are starting to happen. people can see the markets and where they are. that's a fact, that's a number. that's what they're experiencing. mueller, this is happening through the courts. people are saying what they're saying, cohen, whatever, those are facts. you can't dispute those. you see the wall, the shutdown, those are facts. people respond to the reality around them, the facts, and as we see this now play out, it actually may be the facts that are donald trump's greatest enemy here.
6:12 am
>> thank you both for being here. merry christmas. we appreciate you. >> merry christmas. >> thank you. don't forget, i want to know what you think. go to my website at i love this poll question, which poses the most peril to the president, the markets, mueller, military or media? i'll read some responses during the course of the program. go to smerconish facebook page and twitter account and we'll see what you've got. cathet katherine, what do we have right now? it's funny, i don't remember electing coulter, limbaugh, hannity, ingram or anyone else on fox to any office but these are apparently the ones who are running the country. chuck, they are. they have a stranglehold over ideologues who comprise the most reliable primary voters. the members of the house and senate know that. they're scared to death of being primaried. that's why they listen to those voices and for too long. you've heard me say this all year. the rest of us have seeded too
6:13 am
much of the debate to the loudest voices. smerconish, as for his base, i think it's the military because it's the few times his network has been consistently critical of him on. he may actually have a few of them distance themselves from trump. charity, stick around because i'm about to get into that very next subject, the whole role of whether the president was actually correct in what he said relative to syria. i've got a very interesting guest, the best guest, to talk about that. up ahead, the democrats have announced a dozen presidential debates over the next two years, but how will they handle the crowded stage with as many as 30 hats being thrown into the ring? i have a radical proposal. and, as just mentioned, the president caught fire from both sides this week for pulling us out of syria and a drawdown of troops in afghanistan probably next, but was he wrong? i will ask former presidential
6:14 am
candidate ron paul. ordinary eggs? not in this house. 'cause that's no ordinary family. that's your family. which is why you didn't grab just any cheese. you picked up new kraft expertly paired cheddar and swiss for eggs. beat that! kraft. family greatly. fresh-baked, and hand-crafted, with 100% clean ingredients. just a few good reasons to give into your cravings. now delivering. panera. food as it should be. havi is not always easy. plaque psoriasis it's a long-distance journey, and you have the determination to keep going. humira has a proven track record of being prescribed for over 10 years. humira works inside the body to target and help block a specific source of inflammation
6:15 am
that contributes to symptoms. most adults taking humira were clear or almost clear and many saw 75% and even 90% clearance in just 4 months. and the kind of clearance that can last. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal, infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms, or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. join over 250,000 patients who have chosen humira. ask about the #1 prescribed biologic by dermatologists. humira... and go.
6:16 am
but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions
6:17 am
whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. the president unleashed a firestorm and he's now eyeing reducing troops in afghanistan by half. many question the timing and his
6:18 am
motivation. i heard from radio callers on sirius xm who wondered if the move was more about knocking mueller and michael cohen out of the headlines than it was a thought-out policy, especially where he caught his own military apparatus off guard. this past july john bolton said we would be there as long as the iranians are there. even if that cynicism about the president's timing is correct, was the president necessarily wrong? i hope he's right that we've defeated isis in syria, although i have my doubts, but like the president, i'd like to see us out of syria and afghanistan too. 17 years removed from 9/11, it seems to me that the fundamental question is whether we make america, america, not the world, more or less safe every time we expand our international footprint. for far too long our rote response has been to open a base every time there's a hot spot discovered somewhere in the
6:19 am
world. that puts a target on the back of all the men and women we deploy and plays into the hands of al qaeda and isis recruitment as they argue that we are interventionalists intent on a presence on what they regard as the arabian peninsula. one other thought, although you'll never hear him say so, president trump surely knows that he's now recognizing what president obama figured out. as david sanger pointed out in "the new york times" this week, trump's view that the american forces cannot alter the strategic balance in the middle east and should not be there was fundamental shared by his immediate predecessor, barack obama. it was mr. obama who, at almost the exact same moment in his presidency, announced america's removal of the last troops in iraq, fulfilling a campaign promise. we can add the name of my next guest, at least in this regard. joining me to discuss is
6:20 am
presidential candidate and congressman ron paul. i think you and i have a tendency to see this issue in the same way. let's agree that the president's execution was ham-handed, right? >> yeah, it could have been much better and i think he has a tendency to go in a direction diplomatically he does a poor job even when he's doing the right thing. it should have been done and i think he has a firm ground. it's not like -- i don't see it as a political event as much as he had good defense. he campaigned on it. he said it was a bad war. he wanted to get out. the timing, you might argue, a little bit there. i think it had more to do with his discussion with erdogan, domestic politics here at home. i think he's doing great. i think it's fantastic that he's doing it. i find what is fascinating is bringing together the various groups. in a way, it used to be that progressives were more the anti-war people rather than the
6:21 am
republicans but now some republicans are looking for the progressives and some are demanding that they stay. there's a few though -- what i like about what's going on in the discussion, there's a few well known progressive liberal democrats that can't stand trump but you know what they said? he's doing the right thing. i like people to stand out on principle in spite of their personal biases, and i think this is good. i think that -- i'm so happy that he's going to maybe move it on to afghanistan. >> let me play devil's advocate with you. you referenced the call from erdogan and you know the argument that gets made is one of we have now left the kurds vulnerable. respond to that. >> well, the first thing is i don't think that's true but if it's true it's an internal problem for turkey. and there's been hints that -- there's been discussions before.
6:22 am
i think they have to determine what it is, but that's not our responsibility. if you're running an empire, it's our responsibility. this is the whole point, should we start our debate and our plans from the assumption that we have the moral obligation to run an empire that we are the great nation, we spread american exceptionalism and therefore we have this moral obligation, or should we believe in a republic and we have no business there which is designed by the constitution. the whole thing would be different. but unless we attack the subject of should we have an empire, unfortunately, the concept of the empire is well entrenched, bipartisan and has a lot to do with oil, has a lot to do with the military and the special interests, but the empire is very convenient. then there's people who don't have any monetary benefit and it's this patriotism, we are powerful, we have this obligation and we have to stay there and in every war because
6:23 am
we're expressing ourselves because you can't have a weak boss and that is what i think has to be challenged. >> here's another criticism, a critic would say, wait a minute, congressman, we, thank god, have not had a serious attack on our shores since september 11 and that's because we've been so activist overseas. respond to that. >> i think it's probably in spite of it. i think we've done some things. if the airlines had been totally in charge of their own security, we would have never had 9/11. of course if we had never been in the middle east we wouldn't have had 9/11. bin laden was very clear, he said the reason we attack is because you've beencessantly an lives, thousands of children killed in iraq. i don't like that the u.s. government has their military on the holy land of the arabian princip peninsula and he was convinced that the americans never treated the palestinians fairly. it's our intervention that
6:24 am
creates the problem. that's what they're using. we have to stay or they'll concede -- they're starting to concede now. >> i get it. listen, it took me years to realize that it's not because we like lap dances and lattes and jeans from the gap that they hate us. initially i bout into that narrative. one last thing, a third criticism because, again, i tend to see it the way you do so i want to raise these arguments. a kittic wou critic would say w 2,000 advisers in syria if for no other reason than to gather intel, we should have left them in place. what's the quick response to that? >> there's no practical benefit from that. that means you're planning to do something. my big concern right now is that we will stay too much involved. we need to have a clean cut and just come home. will that bring the cia out, bring our special forces out? will there be sanctions? will we have foreign aid with
6:25 am
conditions? this is a teeny, teeny step away from the militant empire that we operate, and it's so impractical but it's a step in the right direction. >> congressman, thanks for coming back and have a great christmas. >> thank you. same to you. let us see what you're saying on my smerconish twitter and facebook pages which i understand are blowing up. twitter, the best offense is a good homeland defense. if we get hit, we hit back hard and go on the offense. you know what my approach is 17 years on, my thought process? we used a shotgun post september 11 when it should have been a sniper's approach to go after and kill those responsible for the events of september 11. dare i remind everybody that zau wa heary is still out there. you can watch videos in the last couple of months, we've still not killed him.
6:26 am
please answer the survey question at my website at i think it's a real good one. which poses the most peril to the president, the markets, the mueller probe, the military meaning mattis' resignation, or the media? ahea announced a dozen debates for their presidential hopefuls but how are they ever going to include dozens of contenders on one stage? i've got a couple of proposals. ♪
6:27 am
6:28 am
as a home instead caregiver, for everything that i give, i get so much in return. hearing all of stanley's stories about his home, and everything that he's learned over the years, it reminds me that this is as much for him as it is for me. join our family of home instead caregivers and help make a world of difference. home instead senior care. apply today.
6:29 am
home instead senior care. ♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪
6:30 am
yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪ national committee announced a plan to hold 12 debates, 6 in 2019, another 6 in 2020. okay, but how are they going to fit everybody on the stage? rule remember that when faced with a similar situation in 2016, the gop solution was to have a kiddie's table. early in the process there were two debates on the same night. while dnc chair tom perez
6:31 am
wouldn't commit to what exactly would qualify candidates for inclusion, he mentioned factors like polling and grassroots fundraising. perez said, quote, we will likely have a large field of candidates. we expect that large field. we welcome that large field. okay. but they're going to have as many as 30 contenders, and unless it's staged on an aircraft carrier and runs five hours long, that will be a battle of sound bites, not substance. in politico, jeff greenfield, the five-time emmy award winning political journalist and historian offered his own prescription. his debate idea, don't hold any. his explanation, quote, no matter how the field is divided, the prospect of any meaningful exchange of ideas among even seven or eight participants is nonexistent. i totally agree with that observation but my solution differs from greenfield's. i have two suggestions actually. number one, if there really are
6:32 am
30 legitimate democratic candidates for president, then pair them into groupings of five or six. so maybe we have six individuals on a stage at a time on different nights and we've got five different rotating groups drawn by lots. or better yet, we emulate the ncaa and have a little march madness. first, we'd have seeds based on polling data, something like this, for example, joe biden who was polling at the top by most accounts, he would be the number one seed. so that would mean he would square off against someone who's not yet breaking 5% in the polls. that could be congressman john delaney who i happen to think is a very credible individual, just not getting a lot of attention. bernie is coming in at number two so maybe he would square off against the mayor of south bend. beto o'rourke is ranked at about number three so maybe somebody further at the bottom, say, cory
6:33 am
booker, would be his debate opponent. how about this matchup, elizabeth warren who polls at number three or number four against mayor mike bloomberg. wouldn't you love to see that debate on cnn one-on-one? and this is just one of several brackets. we could all vote through social media as to the debate winner or not. but the candidates would continue to square off against new opponents. i'm not saying that the nomination would be determined by the bracket system. i'm just saying that the debate component of the campaign would be handled this way. and yes, i know it's a little reality television-ish, but so was the way it ran in 2016, so let's embrace it and try to inject more substance into the process. still to come, the establishing is tanking, having its worst december since the depression, yet the president's re-election campaign is asking supporters to call him and thank him for the economy.
6:34 am
what's wrong with this picture? >> thank you, president trump. >> thank you, president trump. >> thank you, president trump. a basketball costs $14. what's team spirit worth? (cheers) what's it worth to talk to your mom? what's the value of a walk in the woods? the value of capital is to create, not just wealth, but things that matter. morgan stanley
6:35 am
6:36 am
6:37 am
6:38 am
the markets are declining rapidly. stocks are on track for their worst december since 1931 during the great depression. even though the fed has rarely raised interest rates during market turmoil, that's exactly what they did on wednesday. this morning cnn is reporting
6:39 am
that president trump has begun polling advisers on whether he has the legal authority to fire federal reserve chair jerome powell. in a bad case of timing, president trump's re-election campaign released a tv ad this week urging supporters to call a 1-800 hotline to thank him for his accomplishments, especially the booming economy. friday's "wall street journal" lead editorial said this, it is well known that president trump invests fervent belief in the stock market as a performance measure. when it's rising as it often has during his presidency, he says that his policies are responsible. but what about a week like this with markets in decline including a steep two-day drop in the dow jones average. no logic exists that will allow mr. trump to take responsibility only for sunny days. joining me now is robert wilson, a financial adviser for wilson insight. let's begin with this, rob, he does need to own it, right? if it were obama's watch right
6:40 am
now, he would be blaming obama for it, so these numbers are his? >> of course he has to own it. there's no way to disconnect the craziness that's going on in washington with the volatility that's going on in the market, especially when we look at history. so if you think about 1973 when president nixon fired archibald cox and his then attorney general decided to resign in protest, the s&p dropped 14% between october and the end of november. now, that did happen in the middle of a bear market, but even when times are good, the markets have proven that they care about politics. in the late '90s when the stock market was absolutely on fire, the s&p dropped 20% in the weeks leading up to ken starr's report on president clinton which ultimately led to his impeachment. while the stock market would love to talk about things like product announcements and earnings and dividends, the things that are happening in washington can absolutely send the markets into a tailspin. >> i'm interested to hear that
6:41 am
analysis because i've heard from many others during the course of the week that this is all about a trade war with china and has very little to do with what i've been talking about all hour, the political volatility in the nation's capital. you think this volatility is playing a significant role in what's going on in the markets? >> i do think it plays a significant role but i wouldn't say that it's responsible for 100% of it. i think there are a bunch of tiny little cracks that at the end of the day ultimately make the dam fail. so the markets can overlook things for a while. if you remember, the morning of trump's election the futures were down about 800 points. people were a little bit afraid. then they started to say, wait a minute, we've got a republican in the white house, we've got republican control of the white house and the senate. that means lower taxes, less regulation, we think things are going to be good for a while. but the sugar high is starting to wear off from those tax cuts and so now you're thinking about what's going to happen in the future. the trade war is absolutely a problem, rising interest rates
6:42 am
and the political turmoil conflating together to create this volatility. >> how about the "r" word, recession? >> yeah, look, we've been basically playing with house money for the last, you know, nine or ten years, so let's put some things in perspective. yeah, the market is down from its highs but still up 25% from the election and up 200% from when the market bottomed in 2009. but you have to say, look, things have been good for ten years, ultimately the business cycle has to reverse. so we are going to expect that the recession is going to be coming down the line and unfortunately some of these policies could exacerbate that and make it come sooner than we hoped. >> final question, has a herd mentality now set in where the institutional forces are all going in one direction and no matter how many of the little guys, little men, little women in the process are out there, we can't control it? >> no question about it.
6:43 am
listen, when you hear a loud noise, you don't wait to see where it's coming from. if people are running for the exit, you run to the exit as well. when people start selling, sometimes it begets more selling. none of us have any control over what's going on in the market. what you do have control over is how you react to it. i liken it to baseball. when you used to play baseball growing up, the coach would tell you you have to be ready for the ball to be hit to you every single play. so investors fell asleep a little bit, maybe forgot how things can get bad very quickly. but if you're going to be in the market, you have to be prepared for these types of downturns and have a plan for what you're going to do the next time it happens. >> we must have had the same baseball coach. thank you so much. >> i think we did, but neither one of us made it to the majors so what happened? >> thank you, rob. merry christmas. >> thanks for having me. i want to remind everybody to answer the survey question, which poses the most peril to the president, the markets,
6:44 am
military, mueller, the media? still to come, as with everything in the accelerated news cycle, a look back at what happened here on this program in 2018. h-baked, and hand-crafted, with 100% clean ingredients. just a few good reasons to give into your cravings. now delivering. panera. food as it should be. a lot will happen in your life. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's derm-proven retinol works so fast, it takes only one week to reveal younger looking skin. neutrogena® i felt i couldn't be at my best for my family., in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured and left those doubts behind. i faced reminders of my hep c every day. but in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured. even hanging with friends i worried about my hep c.
6:45 am
but in only 8 weeks with mavyret, i was cured. mavyret is the only 8-week cure for all common types of hep c. before starting mavyret your doctor will test if you've had hepatitis b which may flare up and cause serious liver problems during and after treatment. tell your doctor if you've had hepatitis b, a liver or kidney transplant, other liver problems, hiv-1, or other medical conditions, and all medicines you take including herbal supplements. don't take mavyret with atazanavir or rifampin, or if you've had certain liver problems. common side effects include headache and tiredness. with hep c behind me, i feel free... ...fearless... ...and there's no looking back, because i am cured. talk to your doctor about mavyret. but some give their clients cookie cutter portfolios. fisher investments tailors portfolios to your goals and needs. some only call when they have something to sell. fisher calls regularly so you stay informed. and while some advisors are happy to earn commissions whether you do well or not. fisher investments fees
6:46 am
are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. ayep, and my teeth are yellow.? time for whitestrips. crest glamorous white whitestrips are the only ada-accepted whitening strips proven to be safe and effective. and they whiten 25x better than a leading whitening toothpaste. crest. healthy, beautiful smiles for life. from capital one.nd i switched to the spark cash card i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. what's in your wallet?
6:47 am
6:48 am
ingenious space- neat nest™ by fasaving design. all designed to stack and protect the lids, and the pan surface. farberware neat nest™. stacked & intact™ hey, thank you so much for watching. it has been a whirlwind year on this program, and we've had some
6:49 am
great guests. i mohosted military veterans an celebrities/politicians arnold schwarzenegger. i spoke with two teenagers running for governor in kansas and to jill stein about the viability of third party candidates. i heard from tiger mom amy chua about our political tribalism, chatted with comedian d.l. hughley about how not to get shot. what else stands out? probably me quizzing best selling author of "fire and fury" michael wolff about how he talked his way into the white house. >> i think that we should point out that i'm someone in the white house that's obviously given you e-mails that i sent which is perfectly fine, but you are now doing the job >> how come i never get credit from the white house if i'm
6:50 am
doing their job? there was me being quizzed by rapper meek mill about my views on gun possession. >> i always dreamed of being on like cnn, being able to express myself. i grew up in america in a ruthless neighborhood where we're not protected by police, we're not. you grow up with people selling drugs in our neighborhood on our front steps, we grow up in ruthless environments, around murder, see murder seven days a week. i think if you grew up in my neighborhood, you see seven people die a week, you would probably carry a gun yourself. would you? >> yeah, i probably would. still getting e-mail for that response. james cargill stopped by and made this observation about brett kavanaugh's confirmation hearings. would it have been better for
6:51 am
the gop if cavanaugh failed, the base would have been so mad they would come out to vote. >> that's the money question, michael. i found myself today for the democrats, cavanaugh is worth more alive than dead. >> and roger stone was back about the hillary clinton wikileaks dump. do you think you're about to get in indicted. >> if the decision is made on facts and truth, the answer is no. if this is a political vendetta, anything is possible. >> i also looked at social issues from harvard admissions alleged bias against asian americans to the negative impact of iphones and social media on the next generation's mental health. i really appreciated being able to hold forth on a wide variety of subjects from joy reed's claims her homophobic blog posts were results of hacking to alex jones saying he had the free
6:52 am
speech right to call sandy hook a staged event. i asked why roseanne show had gone to number one. and why the brett kavanaugh hearings had more grand standing than evidentiary inquiry. i revealed how i arguably violated pennsylvania law by not voting twice in midterms, and asked why it remains so hard for so many americans to vote legally. the famous guests, they're fun, but i most enjoy talking to people that aren't well known, like the teenager whose youtube of him vaping in high school went viral, or the auctioneer that sold a license plate for $400,000. and there was nathaniel, a man i encountered on the street in june on the way to the studio that regailed me with his political views. >> i want to tell you something, i am a faithful trump supporter. i am a tie hard.
6:53 am
>> damn. >> many people in my neighborhood voted for him, secretly. >> secretly on the down low. >> what's the attraction to trump? >> backbone. >> backbone. >> that's right. a man of his word. >> a man of his word. nathaniel surprised me. i can only wonder what surprises lie ahead for all of us in 2019. i am ready for anything. thank you again for watching, and thank you to the staff in new york and atlanta and here in philadelphia who work so hard to keep me on the air every saturday. still to come, the best and worst tweets and facebook comments, and the final result of today's survey question. which poses the most peril to the president? the markets, mueller, military, or media. go to and vote.
6:54 am
♪ not long ago, ronda started here. and then, more jobs began to appear. these techs in a lab. this builder in a hardhat... ...the welders and electricians who do all of that. the diner staffed up 'cause they all needed lunch. teachers... doctors... jobs grew a bunch. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. energy lives here. blended with purpose, for dry, damaged hair. with lush honey, known to replenish and royal jelly and propolis, known to nourish and repair. as a whole blend, it helps heal damage to the ends. blended makes us better. whole blends.
6:55 am
unpredictable crohn's symptoms following you? for adults with moderately to severely active crohn's disease, stelara® works differently. studies showed relief and remission, with dosing every 8 weeks. stelara® may lower your ability to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections and cancer. some serious infections require hospitalization. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you have an infection or flu-like symptoms or sores, have had cancer, or develop new skin growths, or if anyone in your house needs or recently had a vaccine. alert your doctor of new or worsening problems, including headaches, seizures, confusion and vision problems. these may be signs of a rare, potentially fatal brain condition. some serious allergic reactions and lung inflammation can occur. talk to your doctor today, and learn how janssen can help you explore cost support options.
6:56 am
remission can start with stelara®.
6:57 am
explore cost support options. ♪ there's no place likargh!e ♪ i'm trying... ♪ yippiekiyay. ♪ mom. ♪
6:58 am
so this will be interesting. time to see how you responded to the survey question. which of these four choices poses the most peril to the president. survey says with 12,693 votes, it is a majority, 54% say mueller. 21% say markets. 19%, i'm in that category, say media, and 6% say military. i'll leave the poll question up if you want to keep voting today. here's some of what you thought during the course of the program. what do we have, katherine. smerconish, you left out one m, michael. the biggest threat to trump is his mouth. todd, i like that you picked up
6:59 am
on the i wiat. peril to potus and the four responses. hit me with another one. dopey idea for brackets. let's embrace it and inject issues and talent into the process. dumb idea. would my kids be mad if i misread that. i am a 56-year-old. i thought you were saying it was a dopey idea, you're embracing my idea. thank you for that. i want to wish everybody a very merry christmas. and remember this holiday season, regardless of political views, we are all just a butter knife away from one another. "saturday night live" had this funny take on the family holiday dinner table. >> i can't believe your cousin made the drive. >> i know. it was so nice to see him. >> why do i have to take it off? why? >> this is a dinner table with
7:00 am
my kids. >> your race is against whites. >> i hope that's not your holiday table. let's all hope for more independence and bipartisanship in the new year. i am off next week for the holiday, have a merry christmas and happy new year. good morning to you. it is saturday, december 22nd. i am victor blackwell. >> and leyla santiago. we are hours away from a crucial moment in the on-going shutdown. the senate convenes at noon. will they vote today? will they have something to vote on today? >> it is the third partial government shutdown, entering the 11th hour. thousands of federal workers may now have to wait, many of them continuing to report to work with no idea when they'll get their next paycheck. >> and the week after