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tv   This Week With George Stephanopoulos  ABC  December 23, 2018 8:00am-8:58am PST

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>> announcer: "this week" with christmas chaos in the capitol. >> we're totally prepared for a long shutdown. >> an impasse over how to pay for the president's border wall forces a government shutdown in time for the holidays. >> you're not getting the wall today, next week or on january 3rd when democrats take control of the house. >> after saying he would be proud to shut the government down over border security the president is blaming the opposition. >> totally up to the democrats. >> under pressure from the far right the president upended a deal to keep the government open. how long will the standoff last and who will blink first? plus -- >> we're coming on the air with
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breaking news. >> president trump -- >> president trump just tweeting. >> james mattis is leaving. >> a stunning resignation. jim mattis calls it quits after the president declares mission accomplished in syria. >> our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now. ngo pull troops out from syria and afghanistan, but he now faces a backlash from fellow republicans. >> none of us believe that isis irrle mista aunfortunaty i thk a ic. tasought his party before.represent the bigg break in his first interview since being named acting white house chief of staff. n r t. an insight and analysis from our powerhouse round table. >> announcer: from abc news it's "this week." here now chief white house correspondent jonathan karl. good morning. welcome to "this week." we have witnessed an extraordinary level of chaos
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this week, even by the standards of the past two years. a sudden troop withdrawal, a stunning resignation, a break down in negotiations, a partial government shutdown and a volatile stock market suffering its worst week since the great recession. worst of all investigations setting in. investigations that have hit the president's former campaign chairman, nation security and personal lawyer this week brought down the trump family foundation. e signs that respect 1 ys theho support is beginning to waiver. >> man, have i become the ultimate outsider, right? >> donald trump campaigned on being a disrupter, proudly unpredictable, unapologetically playing by his own rules. now those very qualities are shaking the republican party.
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>> reporter: will there be a shutdown? >> we'll see what happens. >> after the white house signalled support for a bipartisan bill to keep the government open, the president suddenly reversed course, rejecting the plan because it did not include money for his border wall. >> we're going to have a shut down. there's nothing we can do about that. >> dragging reluctant republicans into a shutdown showdown. >> i haven't seen shutdowns ever work. >> i think a government shutdown is not a good option. signatse a jim mattis over the president's abrupt decision to withdraw from syria that prompted this loudest criticism from fellow republicans, including a rare rebuke from senate leader mitch mcconnell. i'm particularly distressed that mattis is resigning due to sharp
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differences with the president on these and other aspects of america's global leadership. a group of, is that rights, including four republicans, urged the president to reconsider the syria withdrawal calling it a costly mistake that threatens the safety and security of the united states and emboldens isis, iran and russia. after reports of the president's plans to also withdraw thousands of troops from afghanistan, one of the president's staunchest allies in the senate issued an ominous warning. >> if we withdrew any time soon, you would be paving the way for a second 9/11. >> all this played out again back drop of a rwall stree it was not only tht recession, track to be the worst december since 1931.mivay. the justrview since getting job.
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he's also been at the center of the shutdown negotiations. mr. mulvaney, thank you for joining us. >> good morning, jon. merry christmas. >> merry christmas to you. let's start with the negotiations. where do things stand right now? >> the vice president and i were on the hill yesterday and before that meeting with democratic leader mr. schumer. also various members of the republican party in the house and senate. we gave them an offer late yesterday afternoon. we're waiting to hear back from them right now. >> what's the bottom line for the president? is he willing to accept anything that does not include money to build a new border wall even if the democrats are willing to what our bottom line is. it's a fair question as to what we would accept. the president is not going to not accept money for a border wall. what people call a wall and another person might call a fenche steel --
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>> with the spikes on the top. i didn't see any design like that. >> exactly. that's what we want to build. that's what the president needs to have money for. as to what the number is, the democrats offered us $1.6 billion a couple weeks ago. then they offered the president $1.3 billion this week. that's a negotiation that seems like it's going in the wrong direction. we've insisted on 5. the discussions are between 1.6 and 5. >> i was out with the president throughout the presidential campaign. mexico was going to pay for this wall from day one. let me remind you what he said the day he announced he was running for president. >> i will build a great, great wall on our southern border. i will have mexico pay for that wall. mark my words. >> mark his words. now, the president has forced a government shutdown because he's insisting that american tax payers pay for that wall. what gives? >> if you ask the president
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he'll point to you immediately to something else that didn't get a lot of news which is the new u.s./mexico/canada agreement which is so much better than the nafta deal that american workers are going to do better and you could make the argument that mexico is paying for it in that fashion. >> he's asking for billions of dollars from american tax payers right now. hasn't he broken one of the central promises of his campaign. >> let me finish. another story i don't think you covered this week and i don't know why no one did is mexico agreed for the first time in history to keep asylum seekers folks trying to get into the u.s. on the mexican side of the border. they said folks will be in mexican facilities. maintained by mexican officials. they're doing more for border security than democrats in congress. we're in a good place getting the wall built and getting mexico to participate in our border security. >> none of that is mexico paying for the wall.
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>> technically. you and i both know it can't work exactly like that. i can't spend any money at the office of management and budget, the department of homeland security can't spend money from mexico. we have to get it from the treasury. >> i understand that. that's not how it sounded in the campaign. how do we get out of this? there's been one proposal put forward by newt gingrich together with don graham, editor of the "washington post." they're proposing a compromise where the president gets money for the wall and allows a path to citizenship for the dreamers. whether you support money to build the wall or regard it as a waste, everyone knows it's of central importance for the president. he's proving he's prepared to fight for it. why shouldn't congress take advantage of the best opportunity in years and give the dreamers the open door they deserve? would the president be open to a grand compromise where it's amnesty for the dreamers and he gets money for his wall? >> i don't like the word amnesty. the president has made it very clear he's willing to discuss a larger immigration solution. the wall does not solve all our
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problems, a border fence does not solve all of our problems. so many laws are still broken. the reason so many people are still trying to come here is they know our laws work to their advantage if you're trying to enter the country illegal. that needs to be fixed as well in order to solve this issue of the difficulties on the southern border. we are more than willing to talk about all those things. >> citizenship for the dreamers? >> citizenship is one of those things that many folks in our party disagree with. folks inur the point is this, yes, we're more than interested in talking about larger agreements. no one has shown any interest in doing this. >> this shut down happens amid a brutal week on wall street. look at some of the headlines. we have signs of a bear market. the worst week since the great recession. the worst month it looks like of december since the great depression. the president we've heard over and over talk about the stock market as basically a barometer of his leadership.
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now that we're seeing this dramatic down turn bear some responsibility? >> no. the fundamentals are still strong. ask anybody who talks about the market and they'll still tell you they still talk about the fundamentals. what are the fundamentals of the economy? unemployment is still low. capital investment is high. gdp is growing at above 3%. all the things the president said his economic policies would deliver have delivered. the stock market goes up and down. we're no more happier than anybody else. love to have a conversation with you about some of the things the fed is doing. >> let's talk about that. by the way, he took credit when it was booming. you've mentioned the fed. it was a year ago the president nominated jerome powell to lead the fed. this is what he said at the time. >> based on his record, i am confident that jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great
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economy may face. >> the fed is now led by his man who has raised interest rates again. "the new york times" is reporting that the president has told advisers that powell, quote, will turn me into hoover with these rate increases. hoover presided over the great depression. does the president think it's potentially that bad? >> it's not at all unusual for a president to complain about the actions of a federal reserve chairman. ronald reagan is famous for it. a book just came out a few months ago where there was a passage his fed reserve was called into the chief of staff's office and said the president is telling you to lower interest rates. it shouldn't be surprising to anybody the president is not happy the fed is raising rates. we think they're driving down the value of the stock market. >> but hoover? is he worried we're on the precipice of something really bad? >> the fundamentals will drive
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the economy. they didn't have the same fundamentals back in the 1920s. i recognize the president said hoover, but no one thinks we're going into a great depression. >> does the president believe he has the authority to fire the fed chair? >> no. i'm sorry. we should have talked about this. i think he put out a tweet last night specifically saying he realizes he does not have the authority. >> we heard from secretary mnuchin and he said that. we haven't heard directly from the president. >> i spoke to the secretary last night about a bunch of things including the lack of yay appropriations and the shut down and he mentioned it to me. >> i want to get to the pentagon and syria. you're currently still the
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budget chairman. you're one of the real deficit hawks, budget hawks. you're founder of the freedom caucus. how crushingly disappointing is it to you to see the deficit and spending? you had a 600 billion plus deficit in 2017. now we're approaching a trillion dollar deficit. it's driven overwhelmingly by out of control government spending. >> it's hard. it really is. i have to keep reminding myself that the president's budgets, the things he and i do together, have been fiscally responsible. the budget you're going to see us put out in a couple months will continue that fiscal responsibility. i can't convince, the president can't convince congress to go along with those things. congress spends the money. they're addicted to that spending. i was proud of the president coming out and talk about this nickel plan. going to all the agencies and getting them to reduce their spending by 5 cents on the dollar. the president gets it. we need a willing partner on the hill. i'm worried that democrats are coming in to control the house because they're not famous for their fiscal responsibility.
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>> defense spending is sky rocketing. he's bragged about that. he's done nothing to talk about entitlements. spending across the board has gone up. >> we should have that conversation. the last two budgets we put out have included the most aggressive reforms of mandatory spendsi spendsing spending, what some people call entitlements. >> let's move to defense secretary mattis. was the president surprised when mattis handed him that letter of resignation and did he try to change his mind, try to get him to stay? >> i don't know the answers to those questions. i'm going to give you an educated guess. no. i think the president knew for quite sometime that secretary mattis and he did not share some of the same philosophies. they didn't have the same world view. you heard the president say a couple weeks ago in an interview that he recognized that mr. mattis -- he called him a democrat. he recognized that mattis had to leave the obama administration
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over similar type disagreements. >> you saw mitch mcconnell's response. let's bring it up again. he's said it's regrettable that the president now must choose a new secretary of defense. i urge him to select a leader that shares secretary mattis' understanding of these vital principles and his total commitment to american service members. we've seen other republicans call for the president to nominate a mattis clone. what is the bottom line for the president? does he want a defense secretary willing to challenge him or does he want somebody that will be lock step in his views? >> the president wants a little bit of both. i look across the cabinet agencies and who the president thinks is doing a good job. this is how i describe it. it's folks who didn't always disagree with the president, but don't always agree with him. it's the same well i dealt withe level of discourse. it's the same well i dealt with the budget. if i came to you and said,
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mr. president, you told me to raise spending by $1 for every department, i would say i can't do. i'm not that guy. i can't see it your way. it would be the omb guy and the president don't degree. he didn't do that. he had the nickel plan to reduce. mattis could never get on the same page. the president told people since the campaign he wanted to get out of syria. he's entitled to have a secretary of defense to that same end. >> it's not just mattis. it's brett mcgurk, he was top u.s. diplomat in the battle against isis. he's resigned, also to protest the president's sudden withdraw from syria. he said in an email the recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of a policy articulated to us. it left coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered. any chance the president changes his mind about this? >> no. i think the president has told
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people he doesn't want us to stay in syria forever. you're seeing the end result of two years worth of work. it's not unusual for a president to lose members of the cabinet over these types of disagreements. chuck hagel quit in the obama administration over similar types of disagrme abinet secretaries should leave. >> if you look at what the president responded to mcgurk, he said he nev m h presidential envoy for the global co liegs coalition to battle isis. how is it the president doesn't know this person? >> you know the answer to that. the administration is thousands -- the executive branch of government. i don't know who that person is. >> you don't know brett mcgurk? >> it was an obama appoint tee -- >> he was a rehnquist clerk. he is a life long republican. he is not an obama appoint tee.
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this is not a democrat. >> he's well-known within the folks that follow this topic. the fact that the president of the united states doesn't know oun't cause concern. >> i want to get into this decision to withdraw from syria. mcgurk opposed it. whether or not the president knows him. mattis opposed it. pompeo opposed. john bolton opposed it. anybody on the president's senior national security team in favor of this move? >> jon, in all fairness i've not been heavily involved in that decision. i'm not the chief of staff yet. what little i know i wouldn't tell you on this program. i apologize. >> let me ask onmostion. the president is blaming in a tweet overnight the media. he's saying that the media hit me hard over this decision. they should have praised me. this is not the media. we saw lindsey graham called it a terrible mistake. marco rubio called it a mistake. lindsey graham called it a disaster on multiple fronts.
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even mike huckabee said it's a betrayal of the courage for syrian christians. >> this is something he told people to their faces he was going to do. you ran a clip earlier about the clip of mexico. if you had stayed with that clip, you would have seen him say we're bringing our men and women back from syria. he's been telling people he was going to do this from the beginning. if he has tonight against the defense department to do that, that's what he's going to do. >> let's talk about your new job as acting chief of staff. you'll be the third chief of staff in less than three years. two years. how will you succeed where your predecessors failed? >> i think i know the president better now. when reince priebus came on, he and the president hadn't worked together very much. john kelly didn't have much experience working with him. i've worked with him now for two
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years. we've had some great conversations about what a chief should do. i had a conversation with james biker, widely regarded as one of the great chiefs of staff, last week. he reminded me again, you're not the chief of the president. you're the chief of the staff. you're not going to change the way the president acts and operates. you have to make the president successful. over at omb, i had this mission we would be quietly competent. i don't think you can be quiet in the chief of staff's office, but you can be calmly competent. >> you're the acting chief of staff. how long do you expect to stay? >> i talked to the president about that. every position is temporary. we all serve at the will of the president. he could fire us all tomorrow and everyone knows that. that's the way cabinets work and the staff works. we'll take a couple weeks, couple months and see if he like the way i'm handling the job, if
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i like the job. this is an ordinary thing to say you and i have to spend a lot of time together. let's see if we can get along. >> this clip from 2016 days before the election has been making the rounds. let's play it. >> do i like donald trump? no. is he a role model for my sons? absolutely not. we have two of the most flawed human beings running for president. in the history of the country. i'm supporting donald trump as enthusiast cli as i can, given the fact i think he's a terrible human being. the choice on the other side is just as bad. >> that's made the rounds. >> yes. >> have you talked to the president about it? >> sure. we joked about it. what's wrong with washington, d.c.? people spend a lot more time looking at what people say instead of what they do. the president knows that i've been fighting with him to fight for ordinary americans. he likes having me around. i like working for him. >> before you go, the deputy
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chief of staff, zach fuentes, told people he wants to stick around for six months so he can get a big retirement package from the coast guard. is that the kind of thing you would allow somebody to stick around for six months without a real job? >> i'll put my donald trump omb hat back on. donald trump doesn't let anybody sit around doing nothing. zach's a good man. we'll find something for him to do productive. >> mick mulvaney, thank you for joining us. >> thanks, jon. >> coming up we'll be talking to democratic senator and potentially presidential candidate for 2020, jeff merkley next. later the power house round table. we'll be right back. >> announcer: "this week" with george stephanopoulos sponsored by ibm. ibm. the engine management systems coordinate with autonomous vehicles. financial data, so now we can predict the future. our new flexible propeller design. by collaborating with public schools on a program called p-tech, ibm is helping students build
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joining me now is oregon senator jeff merkley, a member of the foreign relations committee. he's also weighing a presidential run in 2020. senator merkley, thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome. good to be with you. >> you just heard soon to be acting chief of staff mulvaney saying the president is not backing down. he's not going to agree to anything that doesn't include funding for his border wall. how do we get out of this impasse? >> i think the president is determined to carry this forward at least until the democratic congress comes in. it's not about border security. he's sitting on over $1 billion 94% of what we recent him last
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year for border security, that he hasn't bothered to spend. if you're not going to spend that money on an issue, you don't care about it that much. it's politics, not policy. >> look at this question of the wall. this is something the president campaigned on. it's something the house has voted to approve funding for. it's something that half the senate roughly has said they're willing to support. why are the democrats so insistent, chuck schumer, insisting that nothing for the border wall? why not give in a little bit? >> we're absolutely willing to fund border security. the american people want us to spend money in a smart way. $5 billion is a lot of money. that's 650,000 children attending head start. it's 2 million meals a day for a year for seniors and to spend it on a 4th century strategy rather than something that improves d a er security be clear.
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new border wall, none? >> that's right, none. border security all the way. border security all the way. in fact, the president has a lot of money we gave him last year for border security and he's not using it. >> what about this idea of a compromise where the president gets some money for his wall in exchange for agreeing to provide some kind of legal status for the dreamers? >> you know, we went through the broader negotiation last year. the president said bring me a bipartisan plan. i'm ready to move on the dreamers. we sent up two senators from each party that went and briefed the president. he went within two days from being i will take the heat, i will back this plan, to completely backing down as soon as he was attacked by breitbart. we have a president who has no interest in the broader negotiation. we have a bipartisan plan on the table. we have a 2013 plan that would
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address both of these issues. we're ready for a broader discussion. the president hasn't been there. >> the 2013 plan which you supported included money for some 700 miles of border fence. now you just told me -- >> border fence, border security. >> a fence, a wall -- >> there's a difference between a fence and wall. >> there is? >> 30-foot concrete wall, 30-foot steel spikes, that's not the smart way. that's what all the experts on the border tell us. i went to the border a couple times. when you talk with the border guards, they fill you in on what's happening and say the president's vision and understanding of the law, he just doesn't get it. he doesn't get the drugs are coming through tunnels and they need high security censors and personnel. all that we support. the things that are effective we support. broader negotiations, let's have them. >> you heard mick mulvaney say the fundamentals of the economy is strong. do you agree?
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>> i had to laugh when i heard him say that. the economy has delivered just as planned. when they were putting together the $2 trillion giveaway to the wealthy from the tax bill in 2017, they said this is going to increase wages for working americans. that didn't happen. they said it's going to reduce the deficit. that didn't happen. mick mulvaney is saying today we need to cut medicare and social security. that was the big plan. give away the national treasury to the wealthiest among us and cut the benefits for ordinary working people. you're not going to find support for that strategy rip off ordinary people to give extra money to the rich. >> the revenues are up slightly since the tax cut. it's spending that's gone up so much driving the deficit. the other big story, the withdrawal from syria and the resignation of jim mattis.
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you've been critical of american military involvement in the middle east. do you support this decision by the president to withdraw u.s. troops? >> in syria we have a complex set of folks on the ground, a big alliance. the fact is that this was done without close consultation. i think he said it all when he said he didn't have any idea who mcgurk is, the person coordinating all the work in syria. who's the first person you bring in to talk about an exit plan, when it's the right moment, when the objective is do you honorllies that are there, turkey and the folks from kurds? it's a whole set of pieces he didn't think about and talk
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about and work out. it's very precipitous and leaves our allies and partners in the field out in the cold. there is a moment you have to withdraw, but you have to do it in a coordinated smart way. >> before you go, you were just in iowa this week. you've said you're considering a run for president. i know you haven't made that decision yet. let me ask you do you have any doubt you're prepared to be president? >> well, that i have no doubt about. there are three things keeping me up at night. one is the corruption of the we the people constitution through gerrymandering and voter suppression, the second is the climate destroying our environment, the third is a complete negligent for the foundations for working families. if don't take on very powerful forces, we won't address these big three threats. i can tell you that families are really suffering in my blue collar communities and communities across the country. we're going to have to make a difference and change that. >> senator merkley, thank you for joining us this morning. >> thank you very much, jon. up next chris christie and donna brazile join our power house round table.
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been pretty consistent on. the two are trade and on the border. so i can't say i'm surprised by it. i think the execution and the strategy could have been significantly better. i'm not surprised where we've ended up which is he feels like he has to take a stand politicly. as you said, it was a central promise in the 2016 campaign. >> that was mexico paying for it. that wasn't tax payers paying for it. >> listen, i was in those debates. there were a number of us debating another side saying a wall wasn't the best way. the centrality of the promise is not just the mexico payment, although that's part it, but it's the wall itself. >> explain to me why democrats aren't willing to give anything on this. ld get -- come on. >> what was that sound?
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>> that was quite a groan. >> that was the sound of nancy pelosi about to take power. i'm groaning because democrats have offered the president a little bit to get a lot more and he rejected it. he rejected it because he thought he could get more from a republican controlled congress. he didn't get it. my good friend, it's christmas, we'll show a little love here. >> of course we will. >> let me say this, the president, he's unravelled. things are unravelling. this is more than a wall. by the way he promised a beautiful wall. now we're talking about steel slats. >> i think steel slats are beautiful. >> really? >> i don't have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times i heard democrats say it's unravelling over the last two years. it's unravelling. this is it. this is the point -- >> would you prefer the chaos? >> it feels differently this time. >> it's chaotic. >> no, it doesn't feel differently to me. this is who this president is.
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why are we surprised that he's upending everything. that's who he is. that's who people voted for. i don't feel it's any different -- >> i don't think they voted for this. >> the president surprised me this week with a tweet. that happens from time to time. look at this tweet. he said even president ronald reagan tried for eight years to build a border wall or fence and was unable to do so. that surprised me. i called up luke cannon, the great reagan biographer. i said did you ever hear that president reagan pushed for a wall? he said no. then this quote surfaced from reagan in 1980. >> rather than making or talking about putting up a fence, why don't we work out some recognition of our mutual problems? make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit and then they pay taxes here. >> what happened to that republican party? >> reagan was open handed on i am graks.
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i think too open handed on immigration. one reason the republicans are skeptical is reagan had a deal in 1986 and then one never really came. this strategy on the shut down is a box canyon. first rule of a shut down is don't take credit for the shut down. he blew through that rule in the oval office. the democrats know with every day that passes you get closer to january 3rd and nancy pelosi is going to take the gavel. the two outcomes here president is a defeat that he claims as a contributory or the defeat he blames on congressional republicans. >> how does it end? >> nancy pelosi opens the government on january 3rd. what does the president do, veto the bill and keep the government shut?
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keep 800,000 woshlg workers without pay. where does he go from there? the only -- you see a little bit of a glimmer with mick mulvaney. maybe after christmas somebody says -- they reach a number of $2 billion. the governments call it border security and trump calls it a wall. >> obviously there was a shutdown. mike pence, the vice president, went up and told the republican senators earlier that the president was okay with the measure to keep the government open. they backed down. then syria and mattis. i'm starting to hear something a little bit different which is republican senator after republican senator coming out and expressing openly criticism of the white house. >> the president has to be careful. there were deeper problems with mattis. the president thought he was ignoring him on everything. not just trying to talk him out of bad decisions on big things. mattis represented the marriage of the republican establishment to this president. the breaking of that bond is not a good thing for the president.
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he needs the entire spectrum of the party to feel warm towards him because he has these very high stakes political and legal fights coming up and he needs every single republican to have his back. >> what does the new year look like? is this this precursor? >> one of the things i've often said to the president when you're executing executive power in government there has to be an end game.ut iskn wt e end ga is here. it hasn't been articulated. all this stuff, the other thing this administration has not appreciated is the cross currents. everything affects everything else. the president comes from a world where each deal is discrete. we argue, we sue each other and fight and then it's only money and we move on. in this world everyone remembers every slight. everyone remembers every time they were told pass this and i'll sign it and you change your
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mind. they lie in the weeds and they wait to get you. if you have issues coming up like the mueller report, like potential investigations from house democrats, if you have those things, you have to keep your republicans completely in line with you to be able to fight off a political or legal attack from the other side. >> democrats smell blood. >> smell blood? he's splattered blood all over washington with the way he's treating not just general mattis, but the way he's treating other top republicans. leaving syria without a strategy is an open door for moscow. leaving the kurds without protection is an open door for iran. i don't know what the president's strategy is. you say he's not unravelling, this is the worst chaos i've ever seen in a generation. >> i would agree with that. you're talking about this presidency like it's a normal presidency. >> i never said that. >> i'm going to check his water.
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>> i've been in washington a long time. i've never seen anything like this. you were talking about leaving syria. the interesting thing is leaving syria is something probably obama would have done. he would have done it much differently. >> it's interesting these are obama and trump, complete opposites, but trump is doing the same thing in syria that obama did in iraq. the reason is obama wouldn't have been president and trump wouldn't have been president if they both wouldn't have opposed the iraq war. >> how do you explain afghanistan and giving the taliban some -- >> they're both horrible decisions. >> let me be clear since elizabeth brought up this point. i didn't say it was a normal presidency. this is what people voted for. >> no. >> wait a second. >> no. >> they voted for this stock market? >> you vote for when it's up. nobody wanted to give credit when it was up and nobody wanted to give him credit.
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now it's down and they want to give him blame. that's not fair. this hysteria that i've never seen anything like this, this is what the american people voted for. they said the way washington was being run by both paerrties wast effective. >> they have wanted a disrupter. >> they wanted a disrupter. now they've the got a disrupter. don't tell me this is not what people expected. people who voty t >> you're not going to tell me those workers in michigan and pennsylvania who are about to lose their jobs from gm like this. no. they don't like this. they don't like this form of disruption. >> i don't know how you connect the two, donna. >> i can make a lot of connections. between his trade policies, tariffs -- >> you're telling me the ceo of gm is cutting these jobs because of trade policies. that's ridiculous.
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that's not why she decided to do it. she's doing it for her share holders. >> donald trump ran on saving jobs and bring in more jobs. >> we have the lowest unemployment. >> that was started under obama. under obama -- >> that's true. >> and anything bad happened is trump's blame. >> that's not what i said. >> what are you talking about? >> you're speaking for me. >> unemployment is the lowest it's ever been. >> there are clearly dark clouds on the horizon. >> dark clouds. >> which dark clouds? the stock market. >> the financial markets are reacting to the trade war with china. they're reacting to the chaos. it's driven by a global economy that is slowing down even though ours is doing well. >> rich, i'm old enough to remember when national review was dead set against donald trump. let's call up the cover you famously put out.
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you wrote trump is a political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the gop in favor of a free floating populism with strong man overtones. you've been more supportive since he won the nomination and presidency. are you seeing your worst fears? >> first of all, the context of that editorial is when we had 16 others guys to choose from, present company included. >> thank you. >> i understand that. >> he's been better on domestic policy than i expected. that's a big deal. our concerns about his temperament have largely proved out. unfortunately this week has been a prime example of it. >> is he starting to lose those -- i mean his bailiwick has been the republican senators who have been so supportive, by and large. the corkers and the flakes on
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the but mcconnell -- >> mcconnell's criticism this week about mattis' resignation was a big warning sign to the president. mcconnell is very disciplined. we all know that. he doesn't show his cards. the fact that that statement was so tough, we know what mcconnell thinks privately which is trump is a big problem for the party. to have it said publicly is a big problem. trump is -- fabulous reporting this morning by peter baker and maggie haberman. he's very isolated in the white house. he sees enemies every where. he's more distant from his children. he doesn't listen to jared and ivanka. he's watching a lot of teon. he doesn't come down to the ova. >> i'm with chris like this. every other week we have this news cycle. the wheels are never quite coming off the way they seem. this has been a bad week.
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he'll get someone respectable to be secretary of defense. these are plum jobs that everyone want. >> mulvaney, how will he do? >> that's going to be up to him. i was encouraged by hearing him say he wasn't going to try to manage the president. i think that one of the mistakes -- i think a very well intentioned mistake that general kelly made is that he tried to manage the president. i don't think you can do that. i think what you need to try to do is to say to the president what are the areas you want me to manage and manage those areas. if he impedes you in those areas, you say mr. president that wasn't our deal. mick is right he shouldn't manage the president. that's just not a job that's going to happen. >> but -- >> i wonder -- i want to ask everybody today if they have a 72-year-old relative whose behavior -- >> who is like donald trump? >> whose behavior they're attempting to change -- when people get older -- it's happening to me now. when people get older, they become more and more convinced of the fact that what they're
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doing is the right thing. it becomes harder to convince them otherwise. >> especially if they're president of the united states. >> add to it president of the united states, it becomes even harder. manage the things you can manage. if mick does that, i think he'll be successful. if he doesn't it will be hard. >> i'm looking forwa cannot wait to see this remarkable diverse congress come to washington, d.c. to hold this president accountable. to your point, he wakes up every day. if someone criticizes him, especially from his base, he just goes in the opposite direction. >> we are out of time. >> merry christmas. >> merry cistmas. merry christ you. >> we will be right back. christmas. >> merry christmas. >> merry christmas to all of you. >> we will be right back.
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that is all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news tonight."
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tune into abc this evening for a look back at the remarkable events of 2019. "the year," it's 9:00 eastern tonight. have a great day and a very merry christmas. "the year," it's 9:00 eastern tonight. have a great day and a very merry christmas. krakatoakrakatoa. up next, a volcano in
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indonesia kils hundreds. we will are have the latest. good morning. lots of clouds in walnut creek, and mid 40s and
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