tv Washington Journal 12162017 CSPAN December 16, 2017 7:00am-10:01am EST
crypto currency. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. "washington journal" is next. ♪ morning.d it is saturday, december 16th, 2017. topping the headlines, president trump yesterday called actions by the fbi this graceful. -- disgraceful. this referred to revelations that two fbi officials working on the probe of hillary clinton's private email server and special counsel robert mueller's probe of russian election interference exchanged pro-clinton and antitrust text messages -- anti-donald trump text messages. the president vowed to rebuild the agency.
a new poll shows the majority of americans believe that special counsel robert mueller has a conflict of interest because of his past ties with former fbi director james comey. we are asking you, do you have confidence in the robert mueller russian probe? republicans call 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. reach us on twitter @cspanwj, and on facebook at .com/c-span. -- facebook.com/c-span. let's look at what the president said on the white house lawn yesterday. it is a shamep: what happened with the fbi but we will rebuild the fbi and it will be bigger and better than ever. it is sad, when you look at the documents and how they have done that is really, really disgraceful. you have a lot of angry people seen yet.
it is a sad thing to watch. i am going today on behalf of the fbi, their new building, when everybody, not me, the level of anger at what they have been witnessing with respect to the fbi is very sad. host: more on that from the washington post today. it said the president appeared to be referred to revelations that a senior fbi official exchanged anti-donald trump and pro-hillary clinton this text messages while working on hillary clinton pro of a private you mail server while she was secretary of state and during investigationller into russian interference into the presidential election, including the possibility of coordination with the donald trump campaign. this comes as the relationship between the white house and the justice department and the fbi, the fbi's reputation is in tatters over its handling over
political sensitive information. do you have confidence in robert mueller's probe? mississippi, democratic line. caller: i do have competent in mueller. people running the fbi are conservatives. for anybody to say that he has a problem, they are wrong. and the fbiervative is being run by mostly conservatives and the people sending me texts have a right to their opinion and a right to their vote. . agree with their texts host: howard is on the line, calling from anderson, california on the independent line. what do you think? caller: i think we have real problems.
we have the media that has been -- could you imagine if donald trump had done some of the things that happened in the last administration? for if we had done some of the things that have happened or been found to have happened -- and what we are calling an investigation, but we are off track and -- in terms of it being an investigation as it looks more like a takeover of, not just the government, but the democratic political party. we have so many charges from 2016 that we should be looking at. what happened for bernie sanders? cnn'sappened with coverage and giving hillary clues to what was going to go on? and the comments we have, donna brazil, i think people are
great. we need to come together as a nation. host: the things you were talking about, those were certainly political problems for -- caller: it is beyond political problems, we are interfering with an election, correct? isn't it electoral interference? the things we are talking about? that is a fair question. -- robertoint was mueller is a prosecutor and is looking to see whether crimes were committed. do you see a difference between his probe and asking questions congress should ask about what happened during the election? caller: the question robert mueller is supposed to be looking at is what occurred during the 2016 election, right? what do we think about using gps? -- fusion gps? what do we think about hillary
clinton and the fbi donating to that organization? what do we think about -- i do not believe in conspiracy theories, but what about the deep state at what has gone on with people? andatch the news from 2016 day after day there were releases of what the president was saying to people, conversations he was having with leaders from other nations. cnnt you think -- i love feared but i -- i love cnn. i am almost that up with you guys. you have people who call in and say we did not treat the last president like we are treating this president. john and everybody on the station say, yes we do, we treat them exactly the same.
when we questioned president obama about honesty and ct,egrity as far as the aca a when we looked at him telling -- let's talk about russia for a second. host: just a couple of seconds left because we have a lot callers. caller: one more item. when you look at russia and you see that we have made these accusations about donald trump, but when we look at russia and saw how barack obama and hillary clinton handed them a reset button on day one when barack obama said that you tell vladimir putin, this is my last election, i can be a lot more cooperative as soon as the election is over. host: let's look at what president trump said while speaking at quantico a little while after calling the fbi disgraceful.
president trump: you represent the best of america. we you leave us with a debt can never hope to repay. today, we honor you. we thank you. and we know that, by your example, some of the children here today and watching at home, will be inspired to fill your shoes, to continue your service, to follow in your footsteps. and to take the oath to carry wear the shield, and to join the ranks of heroes. thank you to our police, thank youto our sheriffs, thank to the fbi. and thank you to our law
enforcement families. god bless you all. thank you very much. host: republican line from texas. the you have confidence in robert mueller's investigation? caller: yes, i do. host: why is that? anything do not see that shows he has not done competent work. agentsts between the fbi , as soon as robert mueller found out they were having him come he got them off of his case and it made me feel more confident that he is doing his job. like the closer he gets to doing -- to getting the facts out, the more people are turning against him. when he was originally appointed as a republican -- by a
republican, everybody thought it was great. it looks like he is giving facts that may be going against what donald trump is doing, everybody is starting to turn against them. i would say -- turning at -- starting to turn against them. -- turn against him. let him get to the end of the investigation but running him down before time runs out, it is undercutting our political process, or our judicial process. host: let's look at what the reported,ted -- hill a majority of voters say special counsel robert mueller has a conflict of interest because of his past ties to former fbi director james comey according to the latest harvard -- harris survey feared -- survey.
54% responded that the relationship between james comey amounts to aeller conflict of interest including 70% of republicans, 53% of independents, 40% of democrats. byron on the line from louisiana , democratic line. are you confident in robert mueller's investigation? caller: every confident, more so than i am with the president and his tweets. he is getting too close to the truth, i think and they are trying to stop them in any way they can. i agree with the republican from texas. believablemuch more than the president that gets up at 5:00 in the morning with all of the tweets. he is worried he is trying to get rid of him.
--t: is there a concern robert mueller was tasked with looking into russian meddling and it seems like he is looking into other things, the president's financial records and other things. do you think the probe is getting too broad? caller: that is the problem. we do not know any of donald trump's financial records except for one year somebody got in the 1990's. that is the main problem. russia has been backing donald trump 420, 30 years. -- for 2, 30 years0. host: newsweek has a piece on the poll we just talked about, headlines -- americans think robert mueller and james comey our friends, they are not. it says that a majority of americans believe that the
russian investigation -- robert mueller and james comey our friends despite the fact that the men have never visited each other's homes or spend much time together outside of work. both are registered republicans and james comey succeeded robert mueller as the head of the fbi in 2013. it said that they served in the administration together at george h.w. bush -- george w. bush but are not known to have a close relationship. jeffrey is coming from illinois on the independent line. good morning. caller: thank you very much. i believe that mueller is doing a great job. in terms of connecting the dots. in terms of american conversation about this issue, we do not connect dots.
that is what he is doing. the closer he gets in terms of connecting all of the dots, he will be disparaged and in many forms or fashion. the american people need to not allow that to happen because we need to get to the truth. concerned,hould be why are we having this conversation about russians involvement to our president? there used to be a thing called a mole. we were concerned about moles. i believe, that is the reason for this investigation, they believe that donald trump, our olesident, is a russian m funded by the russian government and that is why we need to make sure this investigation is done with the highest degree of integrity.
mueller is doing that. i would ask you, there has to be other research out there besides putting out one research article that states 54%, you need to put a balanced perspective because there has to be other research them something saying the majority of americans believe that. that is one research. i would ask c-span to find other research to balance the perspective. int: about your confidence mueller, is there concern about you have these fbi officials tasked with the investigation who were making these comments program hillary clinton and anti-donald trump. ,f you were under investigation would you want people exchanging messages saying that they do not like you? caller: here is the deal on that. you take the individuals, i do not know how many investigators mueller have.
i would imagine there would be two people -- there is probably 200, you are, talking to people out of a large number of people and mueller cannot control every single human being part of this investigation. flynnr has identified lied under oath, and identified that president trump's campaign manager has been indicted. criticaltten to two pieces of truth that the american people should allow. ,e are talking about two people that is the numerator, the denominator is a big number and that is a small percentage. he fired those people immediately. -- heoes to show you that has the highest level of integrity and he is doing the
right thing. i hope the american people allow this to be completed. host: republican line, nevada. it morning, corey -- good morning, corey. caller: i have a different take on this. when mueller was first appointed , both sides were praising him. after the prosecuting attorneys he started appointing were publicly known to support the clinton campaign, everybody reversed themselves. i look at that as an indication -- noteller had at least saying the prime suspect, but mueller would have wanted to point people who publicly supported hillary, if he suspected that maybe there were some 30 fbi hillary clinton supporters that were in the fbi, ?ho better to root them out
if it turns out to be that way, the left would accept known hillary clinton supporters busting these dirty cops, so to speak. it does not say hillary had to know anything about it. it could have been overzealous supporters feared if you are a , -- i think hillary peopleould encourage that say, donald trump supporters, and maybe discourage hillary clinton supporters. for this reason. i am sure mueller did not know what would happen. i think the fact that he has
about half of that team as being publicly known supporters is a good insurance policy in case the investigation can go somewhere, not expected. i wonder if other people would have -- i have never heard this. i am curious to know if other people think it would explain that, and explain why the justice department seems to be acting differently about providing documents. they are stiff arming the congress. rump directed documents to be provided? general sessions said something, i do not remember exactly, this may be
something different than it appears. it makes me think, mueller could have the last laugh of all his buddies screaming, what was he thinking? you could throw your briefcase out and hit 100 lawyers and 20 of them would be good and none would have contributed to the campaign. my guess is, one of his criteria was specifically -- not just hillary supporters but publicly known hillary supporters would be someone that would be a great benefit on your team if that investigation happens to go in a certain direction. host: ed calling from washington, d.c. on the democratic line. are you confident in the russian investigation by robert mueller? caller: yes, i am very confident and i work under the state department and i know the intelligence business.
the reason i am confident, robert mueller -- 17 intelligence agencies supported this investigation. the reason i am confident, angela merkel, when donald trump went to the g20 meeting he got up from the table and walked around all of the g20 people and embarrassed the united states. he went around the table and sat down next to vladimir putin. there are three newspapers of the world that endorsed hillary clinton. she was the only president -- the most qualified person to ever run for president in the history of this country. newseather journal, dallas , -- atlanta journal, dallas trump hasld embarrassed this country. he pulled us out of the global
warming aspects of the nation and pulled -- he is embarrassing , taken people off their health care. c-span, you are doing a great job. i speak german. angela merkel has a phd in quantum physics. [indiscernible] she was hoping hillary would be president. the only female leader of the world, hillary would have been the next leader and going against the establishment that threaten our freedom and our world peace. host: other headlines -- this one from cnn, saying that president trump's lawyers are set for a key meeting with
special counsel next week as the president's private lawyers are slated to meet with robert mueller and members of his team as soon as next week. what the president's team ansiders the ability to get opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of the next steps in the probe, according to sources from a with the matter and sources believe this meeting has greater significance because it comes after the completion with interviews with white house personnel requested by the special counsel and after all requested documents have been turned over. request more still documents and more interviews but no request have been made to interview the president or vice president sources tell cnn. betty is on the line from green bay, wisconsin on the independent line. there you are. sorry. what do you think? caller: i support him 100%.
he is republican but an independent. he is so qualified. the republicans and democrats both said that he was outstanding. this was before he started the investigation. i work for a republican congressman during the watergate. i went through that. i saw it all. what donald trump is doing is far greater than what nixon did. i cannot believe he will get the , becausef the people downs the fbi and other agencies and he is supposed to lift them up. the first red flag i saw was
during the campaign when asked why he was so popular company smiled and said because i tell people what they want to hear. that is not an answer. you are supposed to talk about what you want to get done. me other thing that bothers is the fact that the russians were in the oval office with no americans. that is the degrading of the office. the only people he does not talk about or against, is the russians and the kkk. mueller is doing a great job. listening to william browder yesterday, russia is really dangerous and people have to realize it. that is my opinion. host: ok. thank you. thomas is calling from north las vegas, nevada on the republican line.
do you have confidence in special counsel mueller's investigation? feared to, not really correct the one person, there are 17 lawyers and eight or nine of them supported clinton and the democratic party. i agree rush is dangerous and we should help the ukraine. -- russia is dangerous and we should help the ukraine. the russian only provable interference is hacking into the server. they released emails that showed collusion between the oppressed and the democratic party. collusion against sanders with hillary clinton. those things change the elections and they expose the truth. why are americans so offended about the truth being known? that changed more votes more than any other act. host: russian intelligence
officials found that russians attempted to access voter logs, put up fake advertisement on social media. our you concerned about those things? caller: you are concerned about hackings but that is not interference, that is attempted. ie commercials, they sent think one million or less than one million. between all of the different elections, it is a drop in the bucket. i am sure the commercials they pay for our other commercials people are running, pro-gun and things like that, it will not change positions. but the emails they expose to wikileaks, that actually showed collusion between reporters and news agencies that were supposed to be independent and the hillary clinton campaign.
there is doubt among the public with anything that attacks donald trump. he has done everything he said he what or has tried to since being elected. i did not vote for him. i voted for the libertarian party because i did not trust the rhetoric. but as far as i'm concerned, he is doing a good job in keeping his word. he is fulfilling the promise he made to the people who elected him. host: let's look at what congressman jim jordan said at a hearing this week, calling for a second special counsel. to be appointed to investigate hillary clinton. >> this is one of a lot of americans are believing and i certainly do. thejames comey fbi and obama justice department worked with one campaign to go after the other campaign. that is what everything points to. fig about what we have learned in the past several weeks, they pay for the dossier and we
learned about peter struck and bruce and his wife. what will it take to get a second special counsel to answer these questions and find out what if peter was up to what we think he was. generalve an inspector with 500 employees and 100 million dollars budget and that is what he does, investigate allegations of misconduct involving department at employees -- department employees and that is what unveiled the text messages and will be involving with interviews. >> we are awaiting that report. that does not dismiss the fact the country things we need a second special counsel and 20 members of this committee think we need a second special counsel. all kinds of senators think we need a special counsel. what pattern do you have to have, what text messages to you have to see before we need a second counsel?
>> we take very seriously the concerns of 20 members of this committee or one member of this committee that we have a responsibility to make an independent innovation and we will. >> brian on the line from illinois. caller: thank you for c-span. i wanted to get into mueller's background, a marine corps veteran in vietnam and educator from princeton and the university of virginia, which has a very prestigious law school. i completely have faith in his investigation and do not see any -- people think it is political and take offense but it is the best thing for america altogether. callers sayve had that if president obama would have done this or that, if you would have gotten caught with half the things they have caught donald trump on so far, with
what he has done, they would have been screaming to high heaven to have him impeached and get him thrown out of office. trump could have avoided all of this if he releases tax returns and he still can. and say, these are all my financials and there is no reason i would collude with russia. he still will not do it. until he releases his tax returns, i am waiting on robert ieller's investigation and trust everything he will be going through to get the answers we need. host: bruce is on the republican line from baltimore. what do you think? caller: good morning. a lot of people have a hard time focusing on one incident. the last person said about his tax returns which has nothing to do with what is going on. jordan.ah for jim
some people do not listen and do not understand what thomas -- seann talked about hannity, the conservative outlinedhost, problems. , mark n the evening levin laid it out piece by these, how robert mueller and some of his surrogates in the fbi were involved, connected to hillary clinton, through her campaign. a lot of money changed hands. the individual that refer to donald trump as an enemy of the state was absurd.
ridiculous, over the top. someone mentioned the kkk. donald trump does not have anything to do with the kk. k. people are biased to the point they are not objective. i voted for donald trump and support him. i do not have confidence in mr. mueller's investigation and donald trump supports the fbi. he has concerns that there are people in the hierarchy in the fbi and from the previous justice department that perhaps were partisan. and politically motivated. as far as hillary clinton being the most qualified person to ever run for president, that is
absolutely ridiculous. host: more headlines from the washington times, democrats and republicans are split as to whether robert mueller should be fired. republicans and democrats are deeply divided over whether they would support the firing of special counsel robert mueller as a means to end his investigation into russian meddling into the 2016 election. a public policy polling survey found that 44% of republican support firing be special counsel on 24% oppose it and the majority of democrats, 71%, oppose dismissal of robert mueller. the findings were released thursday as the investigation came under attack by republican lawmakers who have raised concerns about political bias on the part of the investigators. david is calling from georgia on the independent line. are you confident in the mueller probe? caller: absolutely not.
one or two things have happened, either mr. mueller did not vet people he put on his team, or did it in a way to ask you the investigate -- hinder the investigation. ynn and paul manafort have been indicted and it has nothing to do with the campaign. that is what the original investigation is supposed to be about. --peterrtant exchanges strzok and his girlfriend writing back and forth, they mccabe share that andrew -- they have an insurance policy ,f donald trump got elected they would make sure he would be impeached or stop anything he would try to do.
nine of the people on his team are big democratic donors to the clinton campaign. like i said, mueller either did write in apeople rush to put a team together or would it in a way that create a conflict of interest. --t: let me ask you this there is no rule against members of the fbi staff giving campaign contributions or even making statements that are political. there is nothing that prohibits that. why is it a key factor? caller: because of the extreme way these nine people have stated against donald trump. it does not make sense. fair investigation , you do not put people like
this on your team. as far as peter strzok being outed, no, he was put back and personnel where he has access to all of the records. he can further promote his agenda. this is not fair. i do not think mueller these to be fired, because that is what they want so they can damn the president about it. a separate probe needs to happen. denise is calling from cincinnati on the democratic line. what do you think? caller: good morning to you and your listeners. we are losing sight of what the situation is all about. it is about the russians hacking into our political system. that is what this is about. it is not about donald trump.
he just happened to be a pawn but does not realize it. it is about the russians. why so many people have turned a blind eye into the russians taking over. it is not the democratic party or the republican party. they are not in control. it is the russian party. our president called and talks to vladimir putin who tells him what to do and he does it. what does the president have to talk so long to president putin about and we have to wait so long to get a report? host: you say the investigation is about russia, but so far most of the things that have come out of the investigation, the indictments, do not have anything to do with russian meddling, rather financial problems or people not registering correctly with the federal service, in the case of paul manafort.
or lying to investigators in the case of michael flynn. do you think the investigation has gotten away from russia? caller: no. you use the word "directly." that is what go -- that is what is going on. you have to follow all of the leads. you have to follow all of the people. whether it is our president. he may not even know that he is being used. using him puts the united states in jeopardy. puts us all in jeopardy. he is following all of the paths, and they will lead to the answers. prosecuting or persecuting, or speaking against the president. it is about getting control over
what has happened to the united states by russia. host: blake is on the line, independent line. are you confident in them investigation -- in the mueller investigation? caller: yes, i am. news, and all of these new stations, it is like a man game they are playing with people. it is you you believe. i believe russia had something to do with interfering with our election. i also believe that everything that mueller is doing when it comes to investigating people, money, it is all connected. , paul manafort, michael flynn, what does that have to do? it is all connected, you cannot separate them.
for people to look back to try to dismiss it is no good. you look at things. if you look at certain new stations, it is a mind game. itis like lawyers going at in a courtroom and one trying to get you to believe this and another trying to get you to believe that. you have to have a strong mind. people who vote republican, they are weak minded. that is my opinion. they cannot believe the truth. headlines,ome other the washington post says that jared kushner is shopping for crisis relation firms. a senior white house officials are searching for a crisis public relations form according to people familiar with the matter. his lawyer has quietly called at least two firms, the inquiries have happened in the past two weeks and officials at the firms
were asked not to discuss the conversations. the lawyer said, she confirmed he was looking for a firm that would handle media for all high-profile clients who receive attention from the press. other clients include robert menendez, whose month-long corruption trial ended last month when jurors deadlocked. orlando calling from alabama on the republican line. are you confident in robert mueller's investigation? caller: no, i do not have a lot against robert mueller except for the way he went about getting people. he did not vet them. it is horrible because it shows that the clinton campaign paid for this dossier. the fbi paid on the dossier. it clearly shows collusion between the fbi and the clinton campaign to bring down the republican campaign. if there is a crime, like so many of them, involved with the
clintons, one of the wives of the $750,000 from the clinton campaign to run for an office in the government. -- third inecond command over the fbi. there has to be some way that we can stop all of this collusion really thewhen obama safety locks from keeping people to use the fbi as a weapon -- weaponize in the fbi, like they did the irs against another political party, that is the biggest crime that has ever been done to this nation. before it is over, there will be a lot of prosecutions.
they are trying to destroy donald trump's progress. he went against republicans and democrats. he had a problem with from -- republicans and democrats. --does not take it paycheck take a paycheck, every penny he makes, he and john kennedy are the only presidents that never took it paycheck. he gets all of his money to charity. he has lost $2 million probably by trying to help this country get out of debt and get jobs in this country. they are trying to destroy him because they want cheap labor. they are destroying the black man and blue-collar worker in this country trying to ship jobs overseas where big companies will not have to pay high wages to their labor. it is about destroying the working man. the guys dollar cap is trying to bring jobs back to the country, -- because donald trump is trying to bring jobs back to the
country, democrats and labor people like to keep black people under their thumb and they have destroyed every job -- i work in a machine shop, it was not just white people who lost their jobs when they move jobs overseas, i have black friends a lost jobs. it is not a color thing. it is a class thing. host: and other headlines on the front page of the "wall street journal" -- they talk about the gop tax plan that is poised to pass as republicans are on the verge of delivering the most significant changes to the u.s. tax code in more than three decades after a series of last-minute deals appeared to remove the last obstacles to passage next week as it would deliver $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over a decade and re-order large chunks of the u.s. economy, the gop ending a euro for control of the congress and the white house delivering lower taxes for individuals, business owners, corporations, but the
individual cuts will expire after 2025. it has a chart that talks about how the rates in brackets are changing with the top rate going rateso 37% to 39% and the in between each being adjusted. according to the latest proposal released yesterday by republicans. you can see the full text of the plan on c-span's congressional chronicle page as well. see it on c-span.org. robert calling from alexandria, virginia. are you confident in the probe by robert mueller? caller: i am not but i am an independent. i do not support the donald trump agenda almost at all. pro is ank the mueller
problem -- probe is a problem, i understand that when hillary clinton was interviewed by fbi ,eople about the email server she was not put under oath and there was no record made of the conversations. that she wasusion grossly negligent was changed to extremely careless. which means that she would not have had criminal responsibility. whereas grossly negligent would indicate she would. interviewed, he was put under oath and a record was made. that tells me that they were trying to go easy on hillary. get the, trying to trump administration.
a different in the way that the investigations were handled by the same people in the fbi. that shows bias. host: michael is on the line from greenville, north carolina. democratic line. what do you think? caller: this is a very entertaining program this morning concerning me mueller investigation. what inspired me to call was maybe four callers ago. the man was saying that the investigators were not objective. referenced sean hannity and mark levin. abouty who knows anything conservative talk radio, they do not pretend to be objective. conservatives want it both ways.
they do not want to hear anything other than right-wingers. they takeccording -- what they say as fact and have been doing it for 20 years, they drink the kool-aid, but objectivity from talk radio and conservatives, they are not objective, c-span is objective. it is laughable. there is no objectivity from conservative radio. people talk about the people and mueller's team are not objective, give me a break. host: new york times reports about the contraception ruling by president trump being temporarily put on hold. a federal court on friday blocked the administration's rules that made it easier for employers to deny insurance coverage of contraceptives for women. a judge in the federal district court in philadelphia issued a
preliminary injection and said the rule contradicted the text of the affordable care act by allowing many employers to get out of providing contraceptives if they had religious or moral objection. in the lawsuit filed by the state of pennsylvania, the judge said the rule would cause irreparable harm because tens of thousands of women would lose contraceptive coverage. mark on the line from columbus, ohio, independent line. are you confident in robert mueller's probe? caller: 200%. the guy who called from alabama is right about one thing, this is a class war. that he willealize lose. it, 45 isr putin puts a useful idiot. all you have to do is complement this man and he will do what you want them to do.
ump has no idea what it takes to be president. he cannot even read from a teleprompter properly. this man has disgraced american. as a veteran of this country, i am a shamed. i cannot believe that maybe in a couple of years i may be fighting a war on my street against russia. that is what they are trying to do, turn this country into russia. mueller is trying to stop it. it does not matter what come fromparty cops because their main objective is to put people in jail. they do not care who you vote for a do not vote for. they want to put you in jail. that is a cops main interest and that is what robert mueller's wants to do, seeing that justice is done. host: we are asking you if you
have confidence in robert mueller's russia probe? republicans call 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. in the meantime, another headline on another matter from the washington post talking about secretary of state rex tillerson and his message on north korea. the secretary of state on friday vowed to keep squeezing north korea with sanctions, warning it faces economic ruin if it continues to pursue nuclear weapons after he had a sharp exchange with pyongyang's envoy to the united nations. speaking at the united nations security council, tillerson said north korea must demonstrate its interest in serious negotiations by stopping its missile tests -- forfor an under find an undefined time. secretary tillerson: we have
been clear that all options remain on the table in defense of our nations, but do not seek or want war with north korea. the united states will use all necessary measures to defend itself against north korean aggression, but our hope remains that diplomacy will produce a resolution. week, id earlier this sustained cessation of north korea's threatening behavior must occur before talks can begin. north korea must earn its way back to the table. the pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved. in the meantime, we will keep our channel supplementation open. -- communication open. this message we will repeat, the united states will not allow the regime in pyongyang to hold the world hostage.
to hold northue korea accountable for its reckless and threatening behavior today and in the future . we ask every nation to join us in exerting sovereignty to protect all of our people. we ask all to enjoy a unified effort to achieve a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the korean peninsula. thank you. host: we return to our discussion of the mueller investigation and whether you are confident of it. tennessee, democratic line. caller: i was calling to say that, every time mueller investigation gets close to the truth about donald trump and the russians, he brings up a breaking news, he brings distraction, north korea, anything to distract us. now he wants mueller out. it reminds me of watergate. republicans want him out but god in heaven has this in his hands. like up in alabama.
the lord stepped in and they got out and voted. he is trying to hide this. he knows he had collusion. he is trying to fool the american people. it is time the good lord is stepping in and watching over donald trump, he will not get away with it. if they get mueller out of their, it lets no -- let us know he did have collusion and he is trying to hide it. host: at the environmental protection agency this week, it was a less than comfortable environment, a plumbing problem put sewage on the floors of the agencies washington headquarters early today. wastewater was spilling into the third floor of the william jeff is a clinton federal building -- william jefferson clinton federal building. the depression era building is known to have plumbing problems
and there is a photo of wastewater coming through the water fountain at the epa yesterday. not a great situation. dan calling in from oregon on the republican line. are you confident in them investigation? -- in the mueller investigation? caller: not in the least, he is as corrupt as hillary. it is timely you put up the waste picture when mentioning the clintons, all roads lead back to the clinton foundation. before the investigation started, this was corrected. -- crooked. let me use a phrase -- this is a nothing burger. in the end, donald trump will be even dictated. he has done everything he said he was going to do.
it has all been for the american people. i do not understand how folks on the left do not get it. it is amazing to me. he is trying to make the country great. recap -- just a to recap -- all the roads lead back to the clinton foundation. host: the mueller investigation is about russian meddling, are you concerned about russian meddling? caller: have we found anything? how long have we been investigating? zero tangible information about the russians investigating anything. excuse me, about the russians being involved in our political system. there is nothing can create. -- concrete. have you come up with anything? it was a nothing burger made up
by cnn, they ran it for months and now you are talking about it. host: independent line, indiana, are you confident in the robert mueller probe? caller: no, i think it is a waste of time and money. trump is a billionaire, he could've gone on with the rest of his life and not worried about anything, he wants to change the country and have a better place for everyone to live. the crooks are on the democratic side. dillard clinton, obama, and as many people who voted for donald trump, when we get tired of this and stand up, it is like the democrats did and all of their craziness when the elections were going on and all of the people started riots and fights. voted for people who donald trump, if a railroad him and these people stand up, there will be so many numbers against the establishment, it is not
funny. they need to quit it, quit wasting their money and let him do his job. he wants to make america great. everybody is mad about immigration, but if you look at what sean hannity said, it costs us $135 billion per year to take care of them. that would fund medicaid, that would fund welfare, and still leave $50 billion a year left over to help our country. what he has done is just fine. the money they are wasting needs to be stopped. it needs to be stopped. he needs to drain the song. the siny swap -- drain wamp. just like one joe biden said this is a big deal, millions of dollars went missing and nobody looked for it. host: democratic line, seattle. you have the last word this hour.
inler: i have confidence mueller. if i want to address these right wing johnny rebs going to find it odd -- don't you find it odd that he doesn't want to get to the bottom of this with putin meddling in our election? are there any patriots left in been slackt have not waggled? and they cannot win an election without cheating. why do they keep bringing up hillary and obama? they are not the president no more. do you know what i am saying?
answer aan't that guy reporter's questions? host: coming up, we will have ellen mitchell from the hill to talk about the status of the long-term spending bill at the defense department. later on, ever wonder what happens to all of those returns after the holiday shopping seasons? kroll from pacific standard will tell us. ♪ >> this weekend, c-span's cities tour takes you to saratoga springs located in upstate new york. with the help of our spectrum cable partners, we will explore the history and literary life
the city, known for its famous mineral springs. today at noon eastern on book tv. >> this is the place where ulysses grant penned his memoirs in 1885. he was dying of throat cancer, and his family was facing serious financial problems. at this point in his life, he was a man trying to take care of his family. and we get to tell a story here that most people don't know about. >> and local author and former federal prosecutor andrew mckinnon shares his book "sheer madness." >> growing up, i thought the person that was addicted to heroin was living under a bridge and a pushing a shopping cart. but that is not the case. one of the most abused drugs right now on wall street among traders, and these are elite, professionals, are opioids. >> sunday at 2:00 p.m., we will
take a trip to the saratoga race course. and we will visit the saratoga national historic park. >> the new york times magazine said the battles of saratoga when the most important battles ever fought in the entire world in the last 1000 years because they resulted in general -- resulted in the general's surrender. it was the first time in history that a british army surrendered. >> watch c-span's tour of tv.toga springs on book and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3, the c-span cities tour, working with our cable partners as we explore america. internal --on "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is ellen
mitchell from the hill to discuss defense spending. much for joining us today. guest: thank you for having me. host: let's look at what president trump said ahead of the signing of the bill this week. it increases the size of the american armed forces for the first time in seven years and it provides a military servicemembers with the largest pay increase in eight years. now, congress must finish the job by eliminating the defense sequester, and passing a clean, appropriations bill. i think it is going to happen. we need our military. it has got to be perfecto. this time of grave global threats, i urge democrats in congress to drop their shutdown threats, and send clean funding
and a clean funding bill to my desk that fully funds our great military. protecting our country should always be a bipartisan issue, just like today's legislation. bill this defense spending , $700 billion spending bill, walk us through what are the top line items in the bill. guest: some of the biggest items in the bill, it is quite a lot of money. it has more ships, aircraft, 20,000 more troops. trump has said he really wants to give the military a bump up. he is really pushing for this bill to be funded at that $700 billion level. at military.com, they break down some of the things in the latest in daa that was sent into action. signed into law by the president
and comes with a 2.4% raise for our troops. 27,000 more troops submitted. higher co-pays. it also cuts the widow tax, a specialaking survivor indemnity allowance. how is this different than past ndaa's? guest: over the past several years, defense talks had been wanting a bigger number. 's thate has 20 more f-35 was requested. this has 13 ships, which is five more than what was requested, 20,000 troops, 2.4% increase in military pay, which is not happened in the last eight years. this one also has several billion dollars set aside for
missile defense. the white house asked for this, obviously with north korea in the headlines, it has become a big funding issue. host: and so, what does this -- talk a little bit more. what does this budget tell us about the priorities of the trump administration? you mentioned north korea. are there any other things we can glean from this to get an idea as to how what the priorities are for president trump and for general mattis? guest: the priorities are as you expand on the platform of i am going to give you a bigger, better military, the best you have ever seen. military piece to be secured over years have not being funded. and general mattis was in the room with budget negotiators that usually does not happen. ahead of the pentagon is usually not involved with these kinds of negotiations. thethis was really just
administration showing how important it is for them to fund the military. i really think that having imparted one room democrats it may be they should let us have this giant increase, but of course, the democrats want parity, which is any funding increase in the pentagon , they want equal funding increases for domestic programs. host: we are joined by ellen mitchell of the hill. we are talking about the defense budget bill that was signed into law this week. she writes for the hill, and what you wrote about was the role that matt is played in having a seat at the table. you said the former marine corps general presence was meant to be in adult in the room and impart the importance of listing long plays defense spending caps as president trump seeks to do with
congressional democrats to fund the government in the next year. mattis is perhaps the most respected figure in trump's cabinet, and was confirmed in an overwhelming 98-1 senate vote. trump seems to be aiming at harnessing the political cloud in the bargaining session. so talk about, you mentioned the fact that the government has to find a way to keep itself funded over the next year. how does the ndaa and mattis' presence plays into that? guest: i think republicans are certainly hope it helps. right now, we have got until december 22 before the next resolution is over. right before christmas. the republicans are really hoping to get a certain bill passed, which is they want continued resolution for the domestic programs, and then
fully defense funding until 2018. and democrats have already said that they won't go for that. so i think that having mattis in ,he room was just kind of a way if not get the democrats to come over to their side, just impart, hey, we do need an increase in defense. host: we are joined again by ellen mitchell of the hill, formerly of politico. we are talking about the defense spending bill. is on the democratic line
to many lawmakers thinks that the military made more money. less,l be several billion i forget, than the $700 billion that they spent in january. it certainly is not going to be as low. host: we're joined by the hill's ellen mitchell. republicans can call (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002.
and if you are active military, we have a line just for you, (202) 748-8003. there is a piece inside which talks a little bit about concern over the defense spending that we are talking about, according to the congressional budget office. the budget analyst at the conservative american enterprise institute, the deficit burden created by the tax bill will likely stressed future defense funding. is that a viable concern? guest: it is a big concern for democrats. the top democrat on the house armed services committee reported late last month that it is kind of an act of insanity that republicans want to push this tax bill through and think it will not affect defense
spending later down the road. adding $1.4 billion -- trillion to the deficit. the top democrat said something similar. we are spending money on the military to give tax breaks to the rich. republicans have largely not seen this as an issue. they have said no, this is two different issues. this is a tax plan and defense spending. it will be so much money for this tax plan. but the democrats are pretty skeptical. all right, paul is on our democrat line from spending.
caller: how are they expecting to keep a great defense spending when they are cutting taxes. will you please keep reporting the news and keep that on the front page? thank you. tot: the question was back the democrats being skeptical with this tax cut. guest: they are saying it will not affect military, but with this tax plan, i cannot really it will ultimately
affect the military. you cannot predict the future. fundt would be hard to the military of the level that secretary mattis was hoping to find them out. ok.: again, we are talking to helen mitchell of the hill about the defense spending bill. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats , (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. and active military members, (202) 748-8003. on a different matter that got proposedntion was the transgender band was blocked by a federal court recently. that was something that was one of president trump's priorities. talk a little about that and how might it affect the budget. the concerns with the medical costs would be a big
burden for the defense budget. guest: right. as you recall, trump came out with a bombshell tweet that he would ban all transgendered people from the military. ash carter said the military would be allowing transgender individual starting this past summer. mattis kicks that down the road to january 1. he said he wanted to study the issue. in august, president trump cannot with the official trans-gendersan from the military. advocates have raised a lot of alarms about that. they think it is very discriminatory, and a federal judge said the pentagon would have to go ahead with the to recruitate
transgender individuals in the military. host: so it was two parts, one was to not allow people to currently serve, and the judge overruled that and allow those who are currently serving. guest: right now, they are issue, an studying the panel of experts at the pentagon are looking into this. they will come back february 21 with recommendations for isretary mattis, and that what the white house and the administration kind of argued, that we need until that panel to halt back, we need this, and the courts have largely secular to go ahead with january 1 date. meantime, our gender reassignment surgeries being covered, or are those on hold, too? guest: those are being covered.
the administration did seek to halt of those, but they have to continuing. independents on our line incorporated, new hampshire. caller: good morning, c-span. i want to bring up a point. i've not seen any news on this. today, in buffalo, new york, at the naval club, history is being made. the u.s uss little rock is being commissioned alongside its and thenake decommissioned years ago. i find it ironic that in the military, we do not talk about these new commissioning's and others that occur. it is not like we are not building anything. we had a question oversupply. the last i knew, there were like muslim hundred 80 tanks in the budget. they are all -- like 780 tanks
in the budget. they are all brand-new. the contracts said we could only build so few a cure. they did investigative reporting into what is truly happening in the military and where we spend the money and where we do not spend it on our soldiers. guest: i cover more the administration then the budget side of the defense. host: talk about, for example, the recent naval ship accidents that we have seen over the last year. was there anything in this budget meant to address that issue, the preparedness when it
comes to that? guest: not that i saw, but the navy is independently taking a look at this issue. obviously, it is a very big concern. ships, two four incidents, two other where a ship ran underground. navy officials have been called up to capitol hill. they are working on a study to look at why this happened, what they can do about it, and they will be back on the hill, certainly the navy secretary, richard spencer, he told reporters this past trying to work out how this can be addressed in the next fiscal
year. host: michael is on the line, the republican line from vermont. hi, there. caller: good morning and thank you for having me. i am a veteran and i joined the vietnam, and as a result of that, many of my supervisors and peers fought in vietnam, one of the things at war,time was after a long the military, the equipment, soldiers, all become weary after a long war. it takes a toll on one's equipment. issues that we are dealing with today, i hate to tell you, are like deja vu for me because it is so similar to the post-vietnam era, that it is frightening.
and for the 1% of us that join ,he military and fight the wars issues are-psycho coming about today, or extraneous events. and that is all i have to say. thank you very much. heard that there have been parallels drawn between soldiers going on, you know, several deployments, coming back a little weary. that is a big issue right now for the air force, and their fighter pilots. they have a shortage of fighter pilots right now that are largely being driven by the fact that they are going to multiple deployments. they are coming back.
there is a shortage that they are immediately being sent back out. it is an issue the air force is trying to tackle right now. they are offering them more money to stay in the service. they are looking at stretching out the time before they deploy. it is certainly a topic i have heard on the hill. host: linda is calling from riverton, new jersey under democratic line. good morning. caller: hi. i'm calling about an article that i read from forbes magazine december 8, 2017. it is entitled, has our government spent $21 trillion of our money without telling us? and it was co-authored with the successor of economics at michigan state university. and mainly looking into military expenditures that are not accounted for. if you couldndered
stick to that? guest: i did not read the article, per se, but that is as far asic for years where is the money going? how is it being spent? the pentagon actually just this audit began an official department-wide. they really want to know where this money is going, how they can prevent ways in the future. this is a topic that lawmakers have really gotten down hard on the military about. but that audit will not be finished until sometime in 2018. host: ellen mitchell, the reporter for the help her you can find her work at thehill.com ellen mitchellat 23. coming up, we will be taking more of your phone calls. republicans can call 202-748-8001. democrats can call 202-748-8000.
and independents can call 202-748-8002. later on, andy kroll, contributing writer for the pacific standard magazine will join us to talk about the strange aftermarket come all those holiday shopping returns, where they go? stay tuned. >> jefferson probably knew more about more things than any single man in north america. that include franklin and who would be his only rival. and everyone was impressed by jefferson's knowledge. adams was smart, but he did not , but he did have dipped in history and law that jefferson did not have. it was not because jefferson could not, he was just not interested in the law as adams. >> sunday on c-span's q&a, professor and historian gordon would on his book "friends divided," about the different
political views of jefferson and adams. believed that all men were created unequal, and did not believe in american exceptionalism. we americans are no better than other nations. the opposite. he is and to nurture. that is what most americans believe. we were all born equal and the difference was due to different experiences. different environments. that is what education is so important to us americans, and so important to jefferson. >> professor and historian gordon wood on c-span. >> sunday night on afterward, washington examiner editor keith "ffler on his book
bannon: always the rebel." >> spent a lot of time with steve bannon. you heard of his goals and talk about what he wants to do. what ought have you given him to be able to help reach those goals? >> you want me to be utterly honest or utterly hopeful? i tend to agree with a lot of what he says. i think there is a decent chance because i think steve bannon believes that the electorate has already changed. even in the general election, hope was victorious despite , andus flaws with trump despite a lot of controversy, they elected him. i think steve bannon believes that already, the longing for populism and nationalism is there. he believes it is already
victorious among the base. were it has not changed is in washington. it has not changed its in the leadership in some parts of the republican party, particularly the senate, and that is what is driving him. afterward sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two's book tv. "washington journal" continues. host: we are taking your calls this hour again. republicans can call 202-748-8001. 202-748-8000.call independents can call 202-748-8002. at beaufort, south carolina. blasting fbimp leaders, but praising police officers before and during his comments at quantico. st. louis post-dispatch is
heading to the final release of the tax bill. the gop seems to have the bills to pass the overhaul, pointing out votes like bob corker, who had initially express concerns about that bill, is now on board. isrochester, new york, it the focus, their senator, kirsten gillibrand has emerged in the spotlight in the national scene in her battles with trump and in her advocacy. and the journal-constitution focuses on support for the gop tax bill. the gop has cemented support their, including folks like senator marco rubio from florida. a key person there as they wrangle through the last bit of items to get full support, at least enough support to send that built a pass. jeff is calling from lexington, oklahoma on a republican line.
what is on your mind, just? -- jeff? caller: the last caller who , ied about the overspending 2000, iin 2005, and in came home from deployment, and had to have the ship refitted in the laboratory for chemistry. they got rid of the old one, which was a color metric. it went to a liquid. reagentswords, liquid and everything in it. the piece of equipment cost about $30,000. reagents was $50,000. and every time the ship took a five degree roll, we spent
$50,000 buying new reagents spent 12 hours cleaning up the machine and drying it out. ,ow, this was on board a ship and it was the army who bought it for us. they don't know what happens on board a flat boat. a five degrees roll ain' t nothing, and spending money like that, you know, somebody got a kickback somewhere. believe me. we spent two weeks refitting the wet to put the dang thing on could a state with a color metric and kept going. decidedone in the army we need to change all this.
they did not think too well. that is all i have to say. thank you. host: event is on our democratic life in philadelphia. good morning. caller: good morning. i know your guest left already, but i was just curious about the many exports of weapons that the u.s. since to various countries like saudi arabia and sell to various countries -- vietnam, other countries. go through thes military budget, or is that a separate fund, or private contractors who sell those , andns to those countries then another country i had, i don't know if anybody can answer it out there, but with us being at war, and properly funding the wars, i do agree with the democrats that we do have to
since the end of world war ii. never been a friend of ours since then, and they are not today, and for anyone to believe that they would be an ally of ours is simply -- that is wishful thinking. this investigation and russian interference in our election has conclusively decided by all .7 it is unanimous that they interfered in our election. the trump team said there is no interference. we are close to it. they have taken plea bargains. you do not do plea bargains if you did not do anything wrong. now, all of a sudden, everybody at the beginning, and bob was decided to leave
this investigation. could not find a democrat or a republican to say anything negative about them. now all of a sudden, many republicans are coming out. why is that? is calling in from misery on our democratic fine -- missouri on our democratic line. caller: i want to wish your family a merry christmas and all a merry christmas. i want to talk about the tax cuts. i'm not a fox news preacher. i do not get into it a whole from what i can see, it is a lie. number one, it is stealing from oor to give to the rich, and it is covetous, which is green. if these republicans think that these three commandments are not as important as adultery or
murder, they have that another think coming because if you hurt the poor, that is a big deal to god, and he is not going to turn a blind eye to this. why i am glad i got in this morning, because i wanted to make sure that they know, these people that are going to vote for this, they know everything i just said. if they do go ahead and vote this, i call for a peaceful, nonviolent protest on washington, d.c. get your vans, get your trucks, fly your flags, a get on the 495 down,nd start shutting it go real slow, and shutdown washington, d.c. i hope somebody organizes that, and if they keep going the way they are, we are, we're going to have to do a lot more protesting. i want to thank you, and baking season, god bless you all. "st: we have more headlines,
president trump will not talk about pardoning michael flynn." friday wouldmp on not discuss yet on whether he would pardon the former national security adviser. federal investigators probing russian interference into the 2016 election. the former aide, michael flynn, recently pleaded guilty to lying with moscow's ambassador a month before mr. trump's inauguration. asked friday whether he would pardon mr. flynt, mr. trump said "i do not want to talk about pardons of michael flynn yet." caller: good morning, kimberly. of things -- the american resist protests are sponsored by soros. and the former governor or mayor of new york, if they want to spend some money, they should just donate it to the treasury.
the white house press conferences -- they should not .ave opinion writers they should just become news journalists and keep the opinions to the tv. senators, democratic personnstantly ask the they are interviewing to pledge to them or commit to them. kimberly, you spread a falsehood. you said they are investigating trump's. finances that turned out to be not true news. the subpoena was for flynn's records of the bank, not president trump's. c-span.u, see standard host host: sean is calling from nashville, tennessee on our independent line. caller: good morning. i want to say merry christmas
and all that stuff. i mean, to elect trump, it was a good thing to show what the united states is about. the fact that they could elect a man like that, that just shows america's standing, you know, to be the united states, you have greedy, violence, and rape. that is the united states of america, under the faith in god, and that is the way it is. you have to look at the law that the only way afghanistan and all them can be beat is the united states and russia have to get together to beat the middle east. but the united states' greed, rape, that is the only civilization that they offer. believe that. and goodbye. host: the hill reports that
president trump reached out with senator john mccain, who is hospitalized. was on therump phone with cindy mccain, wife of john mccain, on friday. trump joint to discuss side effects of his cancer treatment at walter reed medical center, according to sarah sanders. called totrump to check on senator mccain's health. mccain was hospitalized due to side effects of cancer treatment. bonnie is on our republican line. yes, my question is that it is sad that rubio and corker and then are holding trump
hostage. they want their pet project before they will vote yes. how much of a costing the taxpayers for all of these projects? that is where we're going in debt. about trump, there is a lot that i don't like, but i have been watching, and he has not even had a chance to prove whether they can work or not. but these politicians, the more they get, the more they want. thank you. host: all right, and arlene is calling in from sandusky, ohio on the democratic line. caller: i just wanted to comment on the tax break that they are giving to the donors that they have. athink it is no more than ponzi scheme that the republicans are playing on the american people. one thing, what they're doing is taking our money, giving it to their donors. the donors are saying that they
are not going to use that money different companies that they own. they are holding the money, i believe, so that they can redistribute it back to the people that they want elected. and they are using our money, the american people's money, to do so. i find a problem with that. there is so much that is going that our country today they are using our money. that is all i have to say. thank you. plan more on that tax on today's "washington post." it sets of the highlights of the final bill. tax cuts for most people, but especially the wealthy. the bill will reduce the top rate from 39.6% to 37%.
that would be a big savings for people at the higher end of the earnings deal. a giant task of corporations. the corporate tax rate would drop 221% from 35%. key deductions would remain. the bill would preserve the deduction for mortgage interest up to $750,000 and state and local tax reductions up to $10,000. we would see the end of the health care role. the bill would end the affordable care act of individual mandate. it is also estimated that the senate version of the bill would cost $1 trillion over a decade. the next call is from ithaca, new york on our independent line. good morning. caller: can you hear me? host: i can hear you. what is on your mind today? caller: c-span, thank you.
i really appreciate over the years your challenge to be neutral. i would just like to ask some i am totallyause concerned and confused about all of the things that are happening. a lot of things, i am sure later on, we are all going to be, like, shocked. my question is -- with what is bill,on now with the tax are there ways -- it looks that this is to me going to pass, and yes, boo-hoo about all the individual states about want to get their quirks
to get the bill passed. my question is -- is there any way in our current democratic f this all turns out to be devastating, are there ways later on in this presidency, as it is right now,, to undo any of that? trashing andn to the divisiveness or any of that kind of stuff. concerned about what can be done if it is devastating, because i do believe it is devastating. if it is just about getting a i am real concern
because all the things that have happened in the past, especially in congress, no hearings or any of that. the left, the right -- it does not matter to me as much as it undo if this all turns out the way some of the economists, the way everyone -- you know, i appreciate the media, and i also understand you are not perfect, but are there ways of undoing what i believe is going to be devastating? host: robert is calling on our republican line from rockville, maryland. good morning. caller: good morning, and thank you, c-span. merry christmas. you are doing a great job as usual. ladies and gentlemen, my fellow americans, i would just say that remember the president has, in life, when on the trail and confronted with the snake am i
mean, if you have a sword, do you strike first? that is the weight on the president's shoulders. i would support him. may god bless him. what a great honor to work for his administration. he is defending us from a potential nuclear war. even when i am progressive and thought, i support the president, as i did the last president. merry christmas, happy new year, great job. thank you. "ost: the "washington post reports that some of president trump's judicial picks are running into headwinds. federal court vacancies. they hit severe towar turbulence this week, as he was forced to withdraw two nominees and an embarrassing video went viral showing a third struggling to answer rudimentary questions about the law.
that senator was senator kennedy questioning him, and that video was shared by senator whitehouse. it went viral this week. susan is calling from chester, new jersey, on the democratic line. how are you today? caller: good, how are you? on my mind was the previous election with doug jones and moore. i watch all the shows, and i never heard anything mentioned why jones really won that election. in my mind, it was a referendum for the alabama people. are you going to stay in the
antebellum south, or are you going to go into the future? if you are looking at alabama, and most of these businesses now, because they are international, offense of things, do you want to put your business in the south, or do you want to put it into the future? i think the alabamans -- i think they want to go into the future. i think they want to attract good business. do within, this has to all kinds of people coming in there. i think he did a great job, and no one ever mentioned how hard he worked. he was great until the last second. he worked very, very hard. another thing, and i noticed in his speech, which really impressed me, of course he had the adrenaline going, who knows what he is going to say, the first thing out of his mouth was "i am going to work for c.
h.i.p." you had me at the word "c.h.i. p." i mean, the guy is amazing. i do not think the guy gets the full credit for being himself. i really have a lot of hope for alabama, and they are going to attract good business and big businesses. and they will be the start of the new south because of this senator, and they finally got out of that antebellum head. that is all i have to say. thank you. host: "the washington examiner" reports a lawsuit over a reorganization plan. environmental groups are looking at a new wave of lawsuits and pressure pants to counter the agencymental protection administrator scott pruitt's plans to reorganize the agency and get businesses to not corporate with him.
host: val is on the independent line from minneapolis. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i wanted to mention a couple of things that i am concerned about. the first thing is net neutrality. doope they are able to something, you know, working with congress. hope they are- i
able to create another law that somehow can change what the fcc has done. in the other thing, you know, this thing about roy moore in alabama, you know, i did not recall hearing anything -- i was online following the story, listening to roy moore on the news, and how everyone was saying the racist quotes in alabama, but i do not recall seeing or reading anything about how black women could be typical players in the election. i was surprised when, after the election, they were like "black women came forward," i think the numbers were, like, 98% of african american women voted. i have not read all of the statistics, but i thought that, you know, it would have been interesting to hear something about that, you know, before the
election. the other thing that i wanted to mention was that -- what i am hearing a lot on the news, and men shows, is, it seems to this march to war with russia, you know, it seems to me just like they did that with iraq and with afghanistan, with libya. pe, you know,s hy coming up with stories, how that putin is, how the russians need to be saved from putin. the other day, you were interviewing a man, william browser, talking about the role, -- whosaid basically does russia think they are? they have an economy the size of
italy, and the people are , and, you know, they should be grateful when america asks them to do something. putin and the russians should be grateful. just junk basically. i did not see steve challenging him. i would like to have seen the. by now, for me, like i said, i have already seen the pattern. it is lightweight start saying crazy things like "they stole our election," which, we should all understand that is absolutely ridiculous. on our republican line, you get the last word in this segment, sandy, what is on your mind? caller: i think america needs to come together. we are a loving country, and congress, and all of the need to do what is best for america. we really need to take care of
ourselves and then start legal immigration. that is what we need to do. we need to come together, and we need to support our military. we need to get behind our president. he loves this country. thatd not have to take job. he did it because he loves us. i hope y'all have a merry christmas and look forward to a great new year. kroll fromg up, andy "pacific standard magazine," joining us to talk about the market for holiday shopping returns. later, the future of bitcoin and cryptocurrency with brian knight. newsmakers interviewed a democrat on the conference committee for the tax overhaul bill. a congressman from michigan
answers reporters questions. [video clip] do you expect that democrats will be united in opposition to it? >> absolutely. atrocious, andre when you combine two negatives, you do not get a positive or do you get a bigger negative. i think that will be true. they have not shown it to us. they have excluded us. took a call from the president yesterday, and he set as a candidate, i promised we would pass a massive tax cut for the everyday working american families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. now we are days away from keeping that promise. we want to give you, the american people, a giant tax
cut. it will be for the very, very wealthy. according to the bills that passed, and they make it worse on this, millions of families, next year, 13 million are going to pay higher taxes, primarily in the middle-class. essentially, they are not telling the truth as to who will benefit, and they are grossly, grossly misstating what the realities are as to the national debt. more than anything else, they want a tax bill because they have not accomplished anything else. it is desperation. so that is why the republicans are pulling together, even those who have deep doubts about this, he kissed they figure if they fail on this after failing on other things, then they are going to lose the election next
year. so essentially what is driving this is politics. on which makes waste, and bad policy will turn out to be bad politics. i am convinced of that. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we're joined by andy kroll, a contributing writer at "pacific standard." he is here to talk about a piece he wrote about the secondary market for retail goods. thanks for joining us. first, tell us what made you want to look at this issue -- what happens to the goods after we return them? guest: it is one of these questions whenever think about, taking something back to the store or mailing something back to amazon, which is kind of part of our everyday life. it is basically a tradition as a shopper in america.
is a whole hidden world, hidden economy, market that is massive and deals with all the stuff we send back. and editor of mine was one day thinking about buying a birthday gift and thought, where does that stuff go? she put me up to it and started basically, a a year-long journey trying to figure out the answer to that question. host: explain what you mean by the secondary goods market. is there an actual market that focuses primarily on goods that people bought at one time and returned? aest: there is a at there is massive market. when i say a hidden economy with the goods, people who ship it, people who auction it off and sell it to other sellers. it is a whole ecosystem, food
chain, whatever you want to call it, that really just deals with that t-shirt, that sweater, the television set, pair of running shoes we decided we did not want anymore. some of the players in this secondary market, economic backwater, we know about. bignow what t.j. maxx is, lots -- we know what those kinds of stores are. you go to t.j. maxx, and you know you are getting something that was taken off the shelf at macy's or some other department store. e are thousands of other businesses that are completely under the radar. they auction off used underwear -- host: returned underwear. we do not know that it has been used. guest: we do not know that it has not been used. what you are buying as you go
into this secondary economy, you do not get the full back story. you just know it has been bought and taken back or it was attempted to be sold but did not sell for various reasons. it is all over the place. no rhyme nor reason. flea markets in tijuana, that literally came up in the process of doing this story. host: andy kroll is talking about his piece about these aftermarket goods, everything from returned bicycles to returned women's underwear. thisve special lines for discussion. if you are a consumer who shops mostly online, call 202-748-8000 . if you shop primarily in stores, .ou can call 202-748-8001 is there a difference between the aftermarket products that we
see returned to places like amazon and they items that are bought in department stores and returned in person? guest: it is a really important distinction. the sort of average rate of returns in the united states is about 8% to 10%. so about 8% of everything we buy, we decide we do not want for whatever reason and take back. that is huge. the most recent numbers showed americans spot $5.4 trillion of stuff in a year. the economy we are talking about is about a half trillion dollar market, massive. $554 billion. so you have that 8% to 10% return rate. at just when you look online shopping, amazon and that kind of stuff, that rate of
return goes way up, 25% to 40%. it makes sense, right? we have all done it -- and that sweater looks great, but i do not know if it will fit and i cannot really tell what the color is, so i will order three of them and send back what i do not like. they practically beg you to send stuff back now. this return economy is only exploding in size as more people shopping andmerce fewer people go to brick-and-mortar and as malls close down. it is a really important distinction. that move to online shopping is fueling the growth of this hidden economy, this returns market. is this returns market being driven by the activity of the consumer? you pointed out, about 8% to 10% in-person stores. but online stores, 25% to 40%.
this return mentality or is it that this market is pushing that? guest: it is both. it is consumers, especially american consumers. i talked to lots of folks who are academics who study return the havener in the market -- return behavior in the market. they say that when you go to germany, you buy your thing, you keep your thing. they do not return at the rate we do here. the united states and the u.k. are the primary drivers of returns. we're the biggest culprits here. it is partly an american thing. we are just used to it. it is also driven by the retailers. amazon, if it wanted -- not to pick on amazon, but it is each -- amazon could make it a little
bit more difficult to return something, but by making it a goodou build relationship with your customers, making it as seamless as possible. host: our first call is primarily an in-store shopper. caller: actually, i do both. shop in-store and online. i work for one of the stores you mentioned. i noticed we got less products in the store this year. most products we got were from stores that overbought. thought -- i think that a lot of the products we get our irregular products, products incorrectly or
just have problems. i wanted to know what you think about that. and i just want to say that i am not for president trump. thank you. guest: thanks. i appreciate it. it is a great call to get that in one of these stores. folks like you all have their own different vantage points. you are right on the second point about things that are defective or irregular. this returns market encompasses a lot of things, things that are --ght and return, overstock so the retailer bought too much and have leftovers so they move it into the returns business, defective, damaged. it is amazing. if there is the slightest dent and something, the retailer will take it off the shelf and pass it on the economic foodchain. on the first point, you are on
the cutting-edge of that more than i am about less overstock than before. but what people in this returns economy say is that the brand-name retailers are always looking ways to minimize their returns, because they lose money. they're always looking to buy just the right amount. that affects all the folks in the hidden returns economy because they are losing product and have to find the product. it is a really interesting development, and i appreciate you tipping me off. host: we're talking to andy kroll about his piece on the secondary market for retail goods. those who shop primarily online can call 202-748-8000. those who shop primarily in the stores can call 202-748-8001. we sort of joke a little bit at the beginning about whether these items are actually used or not, specifically in reference to things like undergarments. but let me get an excerpt of
your piece which speaks to the issue. this is retailers and manufacturers to face scrutiny from federal agencies over how they ship and dispose of hazardous materials. there are electronic waste laws, but there is little regulation focused squarely on the sprawling gray market where returned goods are sold and sold again. so talk about issues, not just quality issues, but whether -- but where these goods ultimately end up. is there a sustainability issue here? guest: there is a sustainability issue. i think the returns market was created, and it serves as a good thing because a lot of this stuff might have just gotten thrown away in decades past, so now that there is a way to resell it and possibly find another home for it, i think that is a an official thing --
beneficial thing. on the other hand, some of the stuff does not sell and ultimately does get thrown away. so having the auctions and warehouse deals and all that kind of stuff is part of it. both the retailers in the returns folks, they do donate a lot of stuff, as well. people really do want to get this stuff somewhere other than a landfill. you mentioned regulation, which is interesting, because it is not really there. a long timeng for and talk to a lot of people, and there is barely recognition of this massive $554 billion industry of returned goods. there really is not any regulation of it. i think that might catch up, but it is kind of operating under its own sort of self-written regulations at this point. host: we have a call from
mckinney, texas, primarily an in-store shopper. good morning. caller: good morning. i actually have a question. tores, andmarily in s i have actually worked for one of our biggest retailers, walmart. there are a lot of returned items and things like that that they do not use. my concern is with all of the returned merchandise, is there a that getsorganization their hands on this merchandise and are able to get it to people that may actually need this where they capitalize on it and make a dollar off of it? guest: it is a good question. there is a small percentage, from what i learned in my
reporting for this story, of these returned goods that do go organizations. maybe it is the salvation army or catholic charities. but what you have got to keep in mind is that when you -- when a retailer like walmart or amazon or costco, for instance, makes returns so easy to do for its customers and the returned policies are so generous, they get so many returns that it would not be economically wise for them, in their mind, to primarily give the stuff to a what haveor charity, you. they need to find a way to make money off of it. that is why they have these systems were they are selling them along down the food chain. it is not a profitable line of their business, but it is a way
to make some money, squeeze some money out of it, as opposed to just sending it out to the salvation army. a business incentive, and that definitely overshadows any kind of nonprofit, charitable approach. host: martin is an in-store shopper from philadelphia. caller: i also shop online, and that is why i wanted to point out something, mainly that i use my credit card -- every time i use my credit card, the numbers get stolen. understand allt these people using all these credit cards and do not have problems here and i have a girlfriend, and she never has a problem. every time i use my credit card someone is buying stuff in great britain. i have only been too great written one time and that was like 30 years ago. and as i have a leave into great britain one time and that was
like 30 years ago. i am in philadelphia. is a real issue. it is an issue anywhere where you use a credit card. there have been these massive hacks of our data. i have had my credit card hacked before and have been through the whole rigmarole to get a new one. the chips on the cards are to help that. it is only getting more advanced. hopefully future great britain shoppers are not getting your credit card numbers going forward. winners in thehe secondary retail market? motleyit is this assortment of businesses that have sprung up, folks who are not namebrand companies. they are sort of unique to whatever community you are in. in the story, it mentioned this auction that sold the used
underwear, and a couple brothers saw an opening and realized there were a big retailers that have these returned goods and needed to get rid of them, and they started a company to buy that stuff and then resell it to other small business owners, flea markets, the mom-and-pop places. it is an eight-figure company for them now. it israel real money, and they have a huge warehouse. -- it is real money, and they have a huge warehouse. i have never seen so many used children's bike until i went to their warehouse. i feel like they are the winners, and there is american ingenuity that has helped them be successful. host: you mentioned the auctions. how do the auctions work? what are they like, and who do they attract? about 50 of us sitting
in those green lawn chairs you see out in front of someone's house or backyard, and we are all wind up looking out on rows and rows and rows and rows of boxes and piles of stuff. some is wrapped in shrink wrap, holding it all together. other stuff is falling all over the place. a piece of paper in your hand with a list of everything going up for sale. numberl say, ok, lots 10, 532 pieces of women's underwear. little paddlese and will say 10 cents per unit. they did that for like four hours. it is clothing, intimate clothing, bikes, treadmills, air compressors, christmas ornaments. sometimes it is just a box that
says "assorted merchandise," and you do not know what is in it. andre just rolling the dice you hope there is a blu-ray player in there. but it could be like 15 boxes of glassware that is all broken. host: so it is luck? guest: 100% sold as-is. you roll the dice. primarily anr is online shopper, calling from georgia. , and youy question is talked about it a little bit onh the people lining up these lawn chairs -- as an individual, are these auctions advertised? what would i look for if i want to get into buying these goods and services? my second thing is a comment, because i work for one of these retailers, the third-largest employer in the world. they are competing with amazon
heavily. one of the greatest things about amazon that makes them competitive over the company that i work for is the ability to return and making it so easy. probably 80% of my customers, that is their complaint. my company uses these vendors to sell goods through their dotcom service, and we cannot return or replace the goods. so amazon as really solidified the market on that part. thank you for my call. guest: thanks for your comment. the comment at the end is really interesting. even as i finished doing this story, and you put it out in the world and talk about it, i still learn something about this whole returns economy every single day. your first question, how to get into this? selling, in terms of
this kind of stuff, i met lots of people who just kind of go to these auctions or to these resell, salvage businesses that buy and sell returns, they buy stuff and just sell it on ebay. some make pretty decent money out of it. what you want to look for in your own community, you want to look for names like salvage dealer or salvage auction or a resale company or store. they are out there, and they are in a lot of communities, especially in areas where there are big retailers nearby or a big distribution center for a big retail company, costs go, walmart, what have you -- cosco, walmart, what have you. averse logistics is kind of wonky industry phrase that will put everyone to sleep, but i always look for salvage, secondhand, overstock.
the auction i mentioned, they call themselves a salvage dealer . maybe there is a company like that in your community. host: are there any interests in companies changing the return amazon? to compete with we had the caller say that that is one of the things that helps them corner the market and stay so strong. are we seeing a move to make these returns a lot more easier? guest: it is interesting. on the one hand, incredibly generous return policies are only sort of fueling this returns economy. if you are a big retailer, it is a little bit of a headache. what do you do with this stuff, and where does it go? we have to contract with people to take it off our hands and negotiate prices. as far as i can tell, is outweighed by the
thatt, customer loyalty you create when you make it so easy to send stuff back. costco about amazon and -- costco is a company where i it buy a grill and cook on all summer, take it back at the end of the summer, and they will take it back and return my money. there is the furthest extreme, os, issue company, their return policies are absurd, how easy they make it. this is justpos, like going to the store. it is great. i think the trend is more -- how can we bend over backward for our customers to keep them coming to our website or our store as opposed to clamping down. host: our next call is from
connecticut, primarily an in-store shopper. caller: i shop online, too. i have a friend that has a business that he is 20 years into right now where he buys andrned goods from costco places like that, and he buys pallets and stuff and sells it at extremely low prices in his store. it is in the middle of a suburban area. he does great. the community does great from it. that is all i really had to say. thanks for taking my call. host: how common is it? go tommon is when we stores in our neighborhoods, it is part of this after sales market? really common. these types of stores are ubiquitous around the country. i live here in d.c. him up but i
wrote a lot of this piece in california because it is a big area with so many people, and there is so much of this market there. but i also went to half a dozen overstock stores and arlington, alexandria, and manassas. there is a store like this, a returns-fueled store -- you know, they pop-up on the side of military bases here in the region and cater to military families that may have a tighter budget. these stores are everywhere. host: john from arlington heights, illinois, primarily an online shopper. john, i know you're probably go into stores, too, but we have to break it down somehow. caller: very good. i do sometimes going to stores, but i am disabled now so i do most my shopping online. one of the things i wanted to point out is that your guest is talking mainly about light goods
. most of the purchases i make are pretty expensive pieces of equipment. i get very good deals on them. powerntly purchased a amplifier that would normally and i paid $2000, just over $600 for it. that is a pretty good price. i could not believe that i could get that from the store ,hat i bought it from, which unfortunately, has gone out of business. the that is the way i do my shopping for the type of equipment that i use personally. i getot resell it unless tired of it. there are stores like that better selling some pretty darn expensive stuff. host: andy, daca little bit
about that. this is for all kinds of goods. guest: i have seen stores of this kind were they have construction equipment and power tools. home depot is very much an element of this market, and they get stuff back and send it down the line to the returns business. them of that is ife you are a wise shopper, you can find incredible deals. i have seen the range of things this market and it is all out there. if you have the time and want to do the research, you can find good deals. host: tony is primarily an in-store shopper, calling from florida. caller: i have a question. can you return the president of the united states? --you do notrry have to answer that if you do
not want to. contributing writer for "pacific standard or coke you can read his piece at psmag.com. thank you so much for joining us this morning. coming up, the future of bitcoin and other so-called mercatusrency with centre's brian mcknight. we will be right back. >> this weekend on american history tv on c-span3, at 6:00 p.m. eastern on "the civil war," generals we love to hate. it is about confederate general joseph johnson. >> johnson critics argued that that he sotiv --
undermined the southern war effort as to make him a contributing factor in confederate defeat. to these critics, johnson was the real mcclellan of the west. [laughter] man who lacked the moral will to commit troops to battle unless he could be absolutely certain of victory, and since those circumstances never obtained, he seldom, if ever, sought battle at all. >> sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on reel america, the monthly reports on president lyndon johnson. his return after from new york, the president's oldest daughter became the bride of captain charles robb of the united states marine corps. it was the first white house wedding and 53 years. >> at 6:00 on american artifacts, the 200-year history of the willard hotel in washington, d.c., whose guest include abraham lincoln, world
war ii soldiers, and the first japanese delegation to the united states. >> abraham lincoln conducted quite of bit of business here here and he stay for 10 days. the first white house levy was at the hotel. when he introduced himself and his wife, who was quite a bit shorter than him, he said she is the long of the short of the new presidency. >> all weekend, every weekend, only on c-span3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us is brian knight, senior research fellow for the financial market's working group at mercatus center, and he is here to talk about bitcoin and the future of cryptocurrency. thank you for joining us today. for people like me who really do not understand this very well, bitcoin andt is cryptocurrency?
is a computer protocol used to set up a peer decentralized network where you have a valuable token, a bitcoin, and a distributed ledger. one of the thing that is unique is instead of a centralized party maintaining the database, it is maintained by all of the different computers on the protocol simultaneously. that is why they call it distributed ledger. the goal was to set up a system for payments and value transfer that really is not subject to reliance on a centralized party. host: why was this developed, and how does it work? developed by something that is a pseudonym of person or people. no one knows who they are. the goal was to have a trust was trustles exchange -- a
s system of exchange. it was so people could exchange value without having to worry that the counterparty would fail or refuse to allow you to engage in that transaction. so the way it works at the base level is the individual who accountbitcoin in their uses what is called a private transaction saying i wish to send a portion of the bitcoins to this public key, which belongs to someone else. it is often said that bitcoin is anonymous, but that is not true. you, int to come to would need to have the public key, and i would use my private
key. it would not be our names on the ledger, but it would be these keys associated with us. explain the difference between cryptocurrency and digital currency? guest: you could have a currency backed by government or you auld have something like currency used by a video game or something like that where you earn some points and can go items ort on xbox something like that. ies, of thenc integrity of the bitcoin system is maintained is you have the computer person notifying the system and checking and verifying the integrity of the system, and they're using very sophisticated methods to do so.
orck chain, every 10 minutes so, a new block updating the debits and credits on the ledger, updated by these minors. part of the system, part of the reason why you can encourage is theto have computers computer or the note that establishes the correct block is awarded a certain number of bitcoin. in that respect, they are sort of mining the bitcoin out of the ether. there is a limited number of bitcoin, 21 million, where we have mind about 16 million, 17
million, but as time goes on, the reward increases. the rate of mining is going to drop over time. you said there is a finite amount of this. how does that work him and who controls, bitcoin there is available? guest: it depends on the system. you can change it. reward eventually is going to go away, in which ers would charge transaction fees. host: a "newsweek" report talked mining andoin says a network that underpins the virtual currency, bitcoin, will require the world's current
production within three years, according to estimates. it said the amount of power necessary to support bitcoin has increased significantly in recent months. talk about that issue a little bit. guest: sure, there are concerns about the power usage that goes into bitcoin to to be the miner block, you have to do powerful cryptographic work, and it requires a lot of energy. the amount is subject to debate. you see fairly wildly differing estimates. that abc morern demand, the bitcoin becomes more valuable, so you spend more money to try to get them, and you will see greater drain -- the algorithm automatically updates the difficulty of mining based upon use. an increase of the
coin value, it could be harder and harder to be the winning m iner. and moresee more high-powered computing and more energy usage. that the bitcoin needs become that much more expensive before makes sense to mine. theeople drop out of system, the difficulty drops, and power usage drops, as well. whether that is sufficient is the debate, but how much energy you should devote to bitcoin, but it is not a one-way ratcheting. on the republican line from florida. good morning. .aller: yes we're having some trouble with him. david is calling from valley
stream, new york, on the democratic line. good morning. thank you for c-span. i have a friend who has $1 million in bitcoin the cussing about them early on here he told me he is only -- because he bought them early on. to take out aowed certain amount each year, and it seems like a scam. and not certain why your friend would only be limited to $10,000 a year. there are some issues with the law that there has to be some sort of reporting. that might be what is going on. buyersextent he can find for bitcoin, he can liquidate that position. isther or not there sufficient liquidity in this market is one of the open questions. about the value of bitcoin.
it has exploded in recent years. why is that? guest: the folks who think we are not in a bubble will make arguments along the line that people are starting to realize the value of bitcoin and understand the future value of bitcoin, realizing it would be a valuable item going forward, and there have been changes -- japan has changed his law to make it bitcoin andy similar assets. if you have a valuable asset and more people are coming into the market and the supply is not going of course on in my, the value is going to go up. people who have argued we are in a bubble will say most of this is driven by speculation, driven by people who see the increase and want to get in themselves on the assumption that the value is not going to go down. or that we are overestimating the potential value of bitcoin going forward.
host: there is a piece titled, "do not go into debt buying it coin, you idiot." something that says people are taking up mortgages to invest in bitcoin, perhaps hoping to turn $20,000 into their entire retirement fund. 2010ints out to a guy in that if a guy without held onto his bitcoin, he would be a millionaire. guest: i would say do not invest more than you can lose.
caller: i have been reading things about drug cartels and international organizations, criminal organizations, especially eastern europe and stuff like that, it is easier for them to hide their money with this bitcoin, because there is no we can trace it or anything. it is a way for them to launder their money. there is concern that bitcoin is being used for criminal purposes. we should note a few things, one, that is probably happening, but the number one currency for illicit activity is the u.s. dollar. this is not a unique thing. there is concern that things are untraceable. i think things are overblown because of this permanent ledger
. there are efforts among law enforcement and others to figure out who is linked to what account. there are concerns about privacy and whatnot. bitcoin can be used for good or for ill. whether it is an eastern european criminal gang holding money or an afghan woman hiding money from her abusive husband, that is different. i do not think we can indict the technology as inherently good or bad, it is how you are using it. by brianre joined knight of the mercatus center, talking about rick did cryptocurrency. republicans can call 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. demand -- independents,
202-748-8002. if you are an investor in bitcoin, 202-748-8003. let's talk about crypto jacking. the "london mayor are" has a piece that talks about someone realizing they had been crypto jacked from using a starbucks card. websites were found to be tes tog similar code on si generate cryptocurrency without knowledge of users. bay, and others have been found to be running cryptocurrency miners. popular video sites, including some allegedly loading mining software onto visitor's computers. could you be crypto mining without knowing? guest: theoretically, yes.
this goes into the broader concern. as more and more of our commerce and lives are done online and as we are more you bit -- more ubiquitously connecting, there are more opportunities for a bad actors to hijack our use computers for illicit purposes. is calling in from anderson, south carolina, on our independent line. caller: good morning. this is a very confusing investment vehicle, at least to me. i have been blind and have some trouble hearing. i have two questions. is there an insurance a value of any kind in this? government can the tax or is there a way to get around the federal reserve. thank you.
second question first. the irs has a position on bitcoin, and it is that it is property, so you should realize a gain or loss on your taxes if you use it there and it is like if you have a piece of artwork you bought for $100 in sulfur $200, you realize you are giving of $100. it can lead to challenging issues. if you were to use bitcoin to pay for coffee and it appreciated, that would be a taxable event. the value of the distributed ledger technology concept is not inextricably linked with bitcoin. bitcoin came out and really -- shook people
up as they were trying to refine the concept. we willtirely possible look back five years from now and say, well, distributed ledger has changed how we do a bunch of different activities. it is a possibility, and i really scrutinize before making a decision on any investment. mainstream is cryptocurrency becoming? "the wall street journal" reported about a rush for the cryptocurrency etf. it says the debut of trading this week is rejuvenating efforts to list the first linked toraded fund
cryptocurrency. a trio of fund companies in recent days have refreshed lands are filed for an etf that tracks bitcoin futures. a separate pair of u.s. etf's are also in registration, as is one in canada. structurebased etf analysts say, has a better approval.win is this becoming a more mainstream method of currency? more: it is becoming mainstream, and it is the currency usage versus the investable asset usage. will find wildly divergent views on this. there are people who argue that it has failed as a currency for technical reasons and because there has not been a lot of uptake. you can look globally and will ae areas, countries with monetary or currency policy is challenging, so in the journal
recently, there was an argument about how venezuelans are using bitcoin to pay for necessities, because their currency is so volatile and devalued. when we talk about how mainstream it is, the challenge is to sort of acknowledge that it is a value and the use cases will vary depending on the circumstances. right, a call from new york on our independent line. whether it is bitcoin or any other coin, it is important to save for retirement. what is equally important is doing things that bernie sanders is fighting for, and that is creating a system where people are respected and have dignity when they do retire. systems like in europe, they do not have the homelessness and europe. people are able to retire somewhat with dignity. do you have a question
about cryptocurrencies? caller: i am just pointing out that it is important to save. people are saving for retirement. that is important. money is a very important thing in our society. we need to build a system where people are even more important. eric is calling in from brooklyn on our republican line. caller: describe how the bitcoin s are issued. to underlying economic transactions or productive transactions, creating value somehow? an opinion you have if they have any value? guest: thank you for the call. peopleument is that what want is what the value is. what is the value of the dollar or a piece of gold, other than
what people are willing to pay for. as to whether or not they are tied to transactions, there are ways you can use it for productive transactions, using it as a means of payment and commerce would be one example. because of the distributed there is a lot of interest in the possibility of efficiencies on transactions that require multiple parties to share the same record, like clearance of settlements or securities. you see a lot of follow on with different transactions in mind. you will see cross-border remittances. a stock exchange announce they are moving for a distributed ledger method. they're not using bitcoin but
using their own model. it goes to show that there are potential productive transactions that can be used. host: a call from georgia on our independent line. good morning. caller: i invested a small amount of money in ripple, xrp, and another one. about it forxrp, lightweight five cent -- like 25 cents per. andit is like 75 cents per, that was for couple weeks. about 100 clients are using it to basically facilitate financial transactions. one that might have taken to popper three days now takes
about eight seconds, according -- one that might have taken two or three days now takes about eight seconds. we are seeing a broad-based rise and cryptocurrency value. a combination of a rising tide to sell boats or people paying attention to the specificcurrencies and potential use cases and potential value, it will remain to be seen. host: brian knight for the financial markets working group at mercatus center here you can find the website at mercatu s.org, and you can find brian on twitter. coming up tomorrow, americans for tax reforms grover norquist and andy greene will be here to discuss the final republican tax reform bill that will be voted on on tuesday.
another guest discusses threats to the u.s. homeland over the holiday season. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] host: >> the tax reform bill moves closer to a final vote, and last night, congressional republicans revealed their final version of the bill. for the next couple of hours, we will take you to the debates and announcements from this week. first, house ways and means it chair kevin brady spoke to reporters shortly after the bill was made public.