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tv   Matter of Fact With Soledad O Brien  KOFY  December 3, 2016 9:00pm-9:31pm PST

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with the island nation 90 miles from florida? but first, a monday eviction notice looms over the dakota access pipeline protest. will police move in? i'm soledad o'brien. welcome to matter of fact. native american protesters and activists have been ordered to leave the grounds of a pipeline under construction in north dakota. but the protests say they're not going anywhere. the standing rock sioux tribe and its supporters have been battling winter weather and freezing temperatures in cannon ball, north dakota, on top of their standoff with the government over the dakota access pipeline project. the $3.7 billion project crosses four states from north dakota through south dakota, iowa and into illinois. the 1,172 mile pipeline is designed to move nearly half million barrels of crude oil a day. the us army corps of engineers approved the project and
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granted the owner, energy transfer partners, the final permits in july. the company says it's done everything by the book and the project is 92% complete. members of the tribe and thousands of protesters who have joined them say the sacred lands will be desecrated and their primary water source is in danger. >> north dakota's only representative is congressman kevin cramer. a couple of months ago, you told me we can have a quick resolution. nice to see you congressman, do you still believe that today? >> a little late for a quick resolution. >> a resolution at all? can it be resolved? >> it will be resolved the question is how much mutual agreement will there be to the resolution and my sense is that there wont be much. the situation will be resolved by court or by executive order. >> eviction notice for monday. >> right. >> do you expect that will
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actually go off as planned? >> what is interesting is the corps of engineers gave this eviction notice and they don't intend to forcibly move people, which i understand, but they don't have to allow people back in. that is once thing about -- once you determine this thing is torres -- trespassing which is what it will be on monday, while you might not remove people, why you would allow people to come in with groceries or practical things, that changes. i would expect some will leave, but many will not. >> the tribe has claimed this our main water source, it is sacred land. are those valid complaints? >> it is a main water source, but at the same time it is important to note that their intake for water is moving 70 miles downstream by the end of this year. so it is not in close proximity. the pipeline is not in close proximity. the company has welcomed discussion about how to make it
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safer. it is already going to be 90 to 115 feet below the river, double lined, shut off valves and sensors. all the safety measures and will probably be the safest pipeline on missouri river until the next one is built. they are open to discussing how we can make it safer. >> how about open to a work around? why not move it? >> the problem with moving it is there are over 200 federal permits issued by corps of engineers that are crossing other waterways that are already depleted. -- completed. once you complete 200, it's hard to change the route for a quarter of mile or >> -- it's a quarter of a mile. >> that's roughly what it is. >> go ahead and issue the easement thaw intended to issue a while ago. then it will require a significant law enforcement
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force to protect the workers. >> can i ask you a general question? what do you think of the cabinet's suggestion at this point by president-elect donald trump? >> it is fascinating to me. >> as a republican and a strong supporter of mr. trump's and under consideration myself, i watched the mitt romney thing. half the time i think he is a genius and the other half i am irritated because here is this very disloyal guy. at the end of the day, donald trump has proven to be pretty successful in his decisions that seem odd in beginning. >> some of them. >> you are under consideration yourself? >> for secretary of energy. >> if you are under a similar process where people are tweeting and sending pictures of dinners, would you like that or find it weird. >> i would find it weird.
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one of the things that bothers me in watching this process to this point are people who are under consideration who make a big deal of the fact that they are under consideration. my wife and i have prayed about it. we are willing to serve in any way that serves our country astate and the best and watching others who are much more ambitious. >> rudy giuliani >> i find some of that not impressive. nice to see you congressman, thanks for talking with us. appreciate it. next, can trump the brand be separated from trump the president ? >> i have no idea. >> and the holiday season begins. essed yet?
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>> president elect trump's expansive business holdings, both domestic and international, are raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.
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the scope of his holdings and the possible conflicts from trade deals, to commerce regulations, to labor negotiations, have put the emoluments clause of the constitution front and center. something many have never even heard about. if you don't know what it is, here is a little history. >> when president obama won a nobel peace prize with a $1.4 million prize, he asked his ethics lawyer if he could accept it. why? >> the emoluments clause. emolument quite simply, means payment. the 'clause' says "no person holding any office of profit or trust shall accept any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state" unless congress consents. >> it's the part of the constitution that puts president elect trump's business dealings around the world into question. could his negotiations with foreign governments for everything from hotel rights, to land deals, or even the deals he makes for producing clothing overseas be viewed as payments from a foreign
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state? the potential for conflict clearly exists. seperately, 'conflict of interest' laws extend to trump cabinet members, the white house staff and advisors. the ethics in government act, passed in the wake of watergate, requires government officials to place their assets in a blind trust controlled by a quote fully independent manager. congress did exempt the president from that law, but jimmy carter, ronald reagan, both of the bushes, and bill clinton voluntarily placed their holdings in blind trusts when they were elected. the trump administration will be subject to the anti-nepotism statute. after president john kennedy appointed his brother, bobby kennedy, to be attorney general, congress passed a law saying a public official quote "may not appoint, employ, promote, advance any individual who is a relative." it's the law that could restrict roles for trump family members in his administration. one final note, the ethics laws do require the president to
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publicly disclose all assets and business interests. president elect trump says he'll quote "leave his business in total." what exactly does this mean? lawrence noble was general counsel at the federal elections commission for throw presidents, represents and dement kratz. nice to see you and thanks for talking to us. what do you think trump means when he says he is going to leave his business in total. >> that is the big question and i have no idea. if he is divesting himself, selling business off, putting assets into a blind trust, that's fine. if he means he is going to leave to his children and keep financial investments in the business but his children will run it, that is not fine. that is a problem. everyone is now waiting until dec 15 to find out exactly what he means by this. >> is he in violation if the blind trust isn't really blind and its run by children.
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>> he is in violation if he still has a financial interest in it, and then it is going to be an open question about if his children are involved. there are two issues here. one is the emoluments clause and the other is how you are supposed to behave as president with conflicts of interest. we assume traditionally in some countries that you want to benefit and make your family rich. >> giving to things to children >> now trump said president can't have conflicts of interest. that's not true. what congress said is that they are not barring the president from having a conflict of interest. the conflict of interest exists. i think what congress was hoping and has happened up to now, is that president s would behave as though it applies to them and would see their positions as such that they have to avoid conflicts of
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interest. he will have those conflicts even though the statute doesn't say they are illegal. >> let's say any president says no, i am not going to divest, not going to do it. who is the authority that actually calls him or her eventually on that? >> the department of justice could enforce it. ultimately you have congress, i don't know if this would happen in this congress, but they could have impeachment hearings if they thought he was violating the law. >> where you think it goes? do you think he is going to divest realistically? >> i would like to believe, hope spring's eternal, but i don't think he will because if he was going to he would have said it by now. i think the thing that surprised me about this is he decided to run president , you would think someone would have said to him -- he has bright people around people -- someone would have said there is going to be problem, you own a tremendous amount. you are involved with foreign countries. do you really want to run for president ? and a lot of people in his position would have said, no i don't want to run for president , i don't want to give up my businesses, or would have said
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i'm going to make the sacrifice, i'm going to sell my businesses, this is my last act to speak. i'm going to go out there and do this and be president. >> a lot of rules out there. there are a lot of laws that apply to the president , to his administration that are the foundation of democracy and he really has to be aware of these laws and practices because they go to people's faith in our government and democracy and he can do real damage if he decides to ignore these. >> larry noble, thank you im -- for talking with us. >> thank you. >> coming up next, castro leaves cuba in a glass case. what does he leave behind? and, could three recounts flip who gets four years? will it make a difference at the white house?
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>> in advance of his funeral sunday, the cremated ashes of cuban dictator fidel castro have been touring his homeland under glass and heavy guard. castro has been out of office for ten years, and his brother,
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raul, remains firmly in charge. he has begun to normalize relations with the united states and will be leaving the. si in two years. but despite a trade embargo still in place, an economic cuban thaw has already begun. sol what stance should president trump take on a new cuba? pedro freyre is a lawyer in miami at ackerman law. he's helping to get businesses started in cuba. michael gonzalez is a senior fellow at the conservative heritage foundation. thank you for being with me. le me begin with you. if you were advising donald trump on what he should be doing in cuba, with cuba, toward cuba, what would you tell him? >> well, the first thing is to go back to supporting the dissidents, go back to taking a moral stance, go back to a reagan approach of giving the dissidents inside of cuba who are very brave and risk everything, moral support.
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this is why they think obama has betrayed them with what he has done with cuba policy. go pack to that. speak as often as possible about the fact that the cuban regime lacks legitimacy, a regime that was never elected and stayed there through state terror and reverse the executive orders that obama put in place which have led only to the enrichment of the castro family and of the military. anything that has to do with u.s. companies associating with state-run enterprises, reverse the executive orders. >> the next question is would he actually do that? you are talking about a president-elect that comes from a pro business standpoint. pedro, if you were advising the president-elect, would you say to him you should actually get those u.s. businesses out of cuba, do all the things that mike thinks to do?
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>> i think the first thing i would advise president trump is, first thing is take the hippocratic oath, which is do no harm. cuba is a complicated place. there are about two million cuban-born persons in florida or their children. there is traffic back and forth of over 300,000 people visiting cuba every year. there is $3 billion worth of money that gets sent to families in cuba. now u.s. companies are getting tracks in cuba. the airlines are flying there. you can now use your smartphone in the streets of havana. all of this is helpful to lead to organic change in cuba, change within all of the system. so don't create a crisis where there is none. >> if you go book to what existed before president obama tried to normalize relations -- >> i am not arguing for that. i am not arguing for the status quo of benign neglect. i want a more active foreign
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policy in which we take a moral high ground. and rather than engage with military-run, castro family linked state-owned enterprises, we try to do everything possible to empower regular cubans. that is not happening right now. >> the u.s. deals with dictators and does trade with countries where we believe they have terrible human rights violations all the time. >> i was with the "wall street journal" for eight years. i thought it was going to happen, that as we opened the economy and they got more economic freedom, they were going to get more political freedom. well, 36 years later, the chinese are still not more politically free. they still get put in dungeons. i don't want another 40 years of cuba where they are not able to speak their minds, practice their religion or elect
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leaders? >> i think it was reagan who basically said capitalism promotes democracy, that you bring capitalism and that is sort of the best way to get democracy into a country. is that the philosophy that you operate under, that that would somehow free cuban people? >> i think when you open up communications, you expose them to ideas from the united states. you train their entrepreneurs. you have our academics visiting and businessmen dealing with them all the time. whether they work in the government or individually, that permeates the society and that is an agent of change. >> thank you, gentlemen. appreciate the conversation. >> next, the green party is spending millions on a recount. what's their return on investment? and a few low-energy alternatives to celebrate the holidays.
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>> in opera, it isn't over until the fat lady sings. in politics, recounts are now underway that probably won't change the result. but they do point out how close this election has been. first, a reminder of the electoral college. their vote officially happens in two weeks, donald trump now has 36 more than he needs for 270 votes to win. but the popular vote has the loser, hillary clinton, with at least two million more votes in her column. the clinton camp is involved in the recount in wisconsin, at least as advisors. it's one of three state recounts that the green party is funding from millions in donations they solicited online. donald trump won the state with just over 22,000 votes. in michigan, less than 11,000 votes separate the two candidates. and in pennsylvania, trump won with almost 65,000 votes over clinton, among the states six million voters who went to the polls. most party official believe a recount in these states won't change who won and who lost.
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so why bother? according to jill stein, she believes it's important to protect the integrity of our nation's voting process. next, the first christmas in bethlehem was a subtle affair. look what's happened since!
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>> there's a lot to love about the holidays, but let's admit it, most of us find the season stressful. and, there's research to back it up. online retailer, ebay, conducted a biometric study putting heart monitors on 100 shoppers while they hit the mall for holiday gifts. the results, nearly all participants experienced increased heart rates similar to those of long distance runners. in fact, 88 percent had heart rates of over 100 beats per minute. the take-away, a periodic pause to focus instead on the beauty of the season. we'll leave you with a few of those images today. three, two, one!
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[cheers and applause] >> merry christmas, everybody! >> see? was not that relaxing? >> thanks for joining us. we'll see next week on matter of fact. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute]
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