tv MSNBC Live With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC December 17, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PST
and good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. we are following breaking news this morning. federal prosecutors have decided to file the first criminal charges related to the san bernardino mass shooting. >> good morning, jose. several law enforcement officials tell us that these charges could be filed as early as today against enrique marquez, the long-time friend of one of the san bernardino shooters and is a former neighbor of farook's. he's been questioned by the fbi since really very shortly after the shootings because he was quickly identified as the person who originally bought the two assault rifles that were used in the shooting. although he has told investigators that he did not know about the plans to conduct the san bernardino shooting.
nonetheless, what he has told investigators we understand is that he bought the rifles in 2011 and 2012 as a favor for farook so that farook wouldn't show up -- wouldn't have to undergo a background check and wouldn't show up in the records as having purchased the rifles. now, we've also been told that he and farook talked about the possibility of an attack in 2010 but that farook decided not to do it because of some unrelated terror arrests in southern california. there had been questions about whether farook knew any of those people that were arrested and picked up in the arrest back then but the fbi director james comey said the authorities have found no connection there. marquez we're told has been talking freely with the fbi since shortly after this shooting without a lawyer and that now since the beginning has been pretty clear that he'd face some potential charges and now we stand those could be filed as
early as today, jose. >> pete, any idea of what he could be facing? it's very, very preliminary still. >> we don't know. that was under discussion as late as last night. at the very minimum i suppose they could charge him with firearms violations because you can't buy a gun for someone else and then just simply give it to them in california. that has to be recorded. and if somebody gives you the money in advance and you buy the gun for them, there is a question about whether that's a straw purchase under federal law. but whether he'll face other charges, potentially terrorism charges, we just don't know. we'll have to find out. >> pete williams, thank you very much. good seeing you this morning. and president obama will be visiting san bernardino tomorrow where he will privately meet with families of the victims. the stop was added to his previously scheduled trip to hawaii where the first family will celebrate the christmas holiday. >> tashfeen malik came to the united states on a k-1 visa because she was farook's
fiancee. turns out malik was an avid use offer social media, but right now the u.s. doesn't scour social media while vetting visa applicants. >> we need to look at whether there are means and whether there should be and how we can do it but clearly the social media has placed a whole new burden and a whole new set of questions but not impossible ones to resolve. and i think we need to look at this very, very carefully, which is what we're doing before we scr jump to a whole sale prohibition. >> and checking social media is not a new idea. ari melber has a memo that proposed exactly that, right? >> that's right. what this proposed to do is to
authorize customs and immigration officials to look at social media, at least in the public format, to make sure that folks were not, according to the memo i'm quoting here, at risk for fraud, crime or, yes, national security, jose. now, our sources say and it include as former senior department of homeland security official says that this policy went all the way up the line, normal comments, review, privacy lawyers and then for some reason was not adopted at policy here in 2011. here we are several years later and what we know of course is there's been tremendous interest in fixing this, bipartisan in going into facebook and social media review and yet this was something that was frozen out. i did call the department of home land security there, they basically point out they have three pilot programs to try to integrate social media and they're open to this change. and security experts say this is not simple. you can't just add facebook and a digital review to everyone and
not expected it to slow down the pros's lot. but the headline according to this exclusive memo, though we've redacted some operational details for security reasons, pu we're publishing in a matter of public interest because it shows there were many people in security trying to fix this but they were apparently not successful. >> ari, this is so important. you and i spoke about this the other day. there are so many cases, i've reported on it in telemundo and elsewhere where folks that are being deported or folks getting married that don't have their documents or have an expired visa, when they get checked, they get checked not on their personal history but their fabds, twitter and everything else and this person doesn't get checked and they're coming from another country. >> that's the question and that goes to policy, jose. there's some kind of patchwork where you say some are being
checked, perhaps informally where at the policy level, this is not a screening. at one point years ago there was a fire wall preventing custom officials from accessing social network. why? like a lot of company the government was trying to prevent people from goofing off. this new member open newly obtained from 2011 reflects that issue and says they were trying to create parameters that would respect privacy and would say this is for official business only, not just doing your own private or personal social networking on the government's dime. up heard secretary kerry saying, hey, we want to figure this out. what we're learning today is a lot of folks on the security side felt they figured this out years ago. you see the response we got, the department conditioning additional ways to incorporate the use of social media review. we spoke to folks inside the government saying we've been trying to encorp rate this for
years and we've frozen. >> now to security at theme parks. walt disney world, sea world orlando are now installing metal detectors at team parks. the disney parks will also stop selling toy gun, including water guns and will no longer allow people over 14 years of age to wear costumes. universal orlando spokesman said metal defectors have been used at special events, this is just an expansion. our parent company owns universal. >> and now to the story of bowe bergdahl's reese lease.
>> translator: some people are worth more than a thousand men, individuals, and he was worth maybe more than 5,000 individuals. >> we've got this coverage from all angles. cal perry is with me and richard engel reporting this morning. cal, what else did you hear on this episode? >> it gives phenomenal detail on the days and weeks following bowe bergdahl walking away. they talk about how they moved bergdahl around, they talk about their impressions of him, at one point saying they thought he was basically kind of gutless. we don't hear a lot from bowe bergdahl in this episode. we do hear one more time from his own mouth really saying he thought he was in way over his head. >> doesn't matter how many kung fu movies you watch, doesn't
matter how long you're a martial arts fighter or whatever, you have to be realistic when you're facing those type of people. these people, they have no hesitation, they have no problem killing you. >> jose, one of the things that makes it so kind of gripping is that we now know the u.s. military is going to push through with that court martial. the show started with that this morning saying that in many ways this is the trial that we're now listening to and this kind of detail is so rare, especially for the u.s. military, which does not like to talk about these issues which affect the unit cohesion, any of the things that affect morale, which this so clearly did. we don't generally hear this kind of detail on. >> people may not realize the scope of the search that went on for bergdahl and the lengths soldiers went to try and find him. >> well, there's almost nothing more important in a war zone than finding a missing soldier. and this was an incredibly
important mission. it went all the way up to the cia, to the white house, special operations forces. we've interviewed soldiers who were involved in the search. they've talked about dozens of searches that were conducted, how troops were brought into the area, how they couldn't do other missions because of this. his disappearance became a mission and it became an enormous one for a long, protracted amount of time. when you listen to this podcast and it's fascinating on many levels, you get into his mind but it also brings you back to afghanistan. i've spent some time at these tiny little outposts, and you know, bergdahl's plan according to these interviews was he's going to walk off his tiny remote outpost and he was going to walk through the night and get to the main operations base in the area. he left his weapon behind, he
left his night vision behind and by doing this journey, he was going to raise attention. it is just such a risky operation, such a foolhardy thing to do. i think even the taliban were surprised to find this american wandering in the open desert in broad daylight when they pulled up and surrounded him on he says about five or six motorcycles. >> richard, he may have wanted to raise attention and what he raised was tension for so many people trying to find him. i want to play for you one more piece of the podcast from one soldier who talked about how he and his many soldiers felt about bergdahl. >> we hated him, absolutely hated him. it was like, well, if we see him, he's not going to last. >> like seriously or just kind of blustery, like i'm really
pissed? or do you think like it's possible he really could have gotten -- >> yes, i do. the conversation had come up. >> they're saying if they would have found him, they were willing to get rid of him, to kill him. is that surprising? >> that's not surprising. they would have also been tried and sent to prison had they done that, but soldiers were tasked to go and find bergdahl, and especially after soldiers knew he had deliberately walked off his base for this mission that only he understood what this mission that he's trying to explain. so as these soldiers were on a patrol, in their vehicles, walking up the mountains, putting their own lives at risk and according to some assessments several soldiers did lose their lives in missions that were related to the search, i can imagine how they were
cursing his name and plotting what they would do if they ever found him. >> i mean, cal, we're really getting just a better idea of just how dangerous that moment in time was and how what he did affected the lives of so many people. >> and richard knows this better than anyone. as journalists, we deal with this on imbeds. we don't want to put anyone in danger, don't want to change events in any way. it wasn't surprising hearing these soldiers, this camaraderie that they were worried when he was brought back in one of the helicopters they might do something to him. one sound bite was saying they were going to kick the bleep out of him, and they were talking about soldiers who were going to go get him.
it's really a unique look at it. >> thank you, appreciate your time. >> defense secretary ashe carter after he occasionally used his personal e-mail for work-related matters. >> what i did that i shouldn't have been doing until a few months ago was occasionally use my iphone to send administrative messages, no classified information and backed up as records, but to my immediate staff. and even that i shouldn't have been doing. when i realized that, i stopped. >> nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins me this morning. >> it's my fault, is what he said. it's unimaginable to think
because secretary carter also acknowledged many of those e-mails, he actually used in his private e-mail, official business, after the hillary clinton scandal up on capitol hill had broken wide open, where she was exclusively using her private e-mail servers to conduct government business. so it's hard to imagine that anybody in that position would have done that knowing the kind of fallout that hillary clinton had suffered up on capitol hill already at that point. now, officials here stress that none of the information was classified, there were no secrets whatsoever. it was kind of boring day-to-day housekeeping kind of e-mails back and forth. "new york times" is the one who broke the story. they foia'd and got 72 e-mails in the month of april alone. he was sworn in in february and apparently this went on for several months before the white house placed a call to the
pentagon to say essentially what the heck are you doing? >> and then there's the point that he makes that he backed up all of those e-mails and that would make it different from former secretary clinton. but then there's the issue of, you know, the fact that, as you say, this has been a big story. when you hear there's been nothing classified on that, you just hope that's true. >> right. but the problem is that when secretary carter and much of his staff first took over here at the pentagon back in february, there was a sense that many of his minders, many of his staff members who essentially follow him and make sure that appointments are kept, that he's getting the right information, there's a sense that many of them are somewhat tone deaf or the secretary himself is tone deaf not to realize with hillary clinton being pilloried up on capitol hill and in the media worldwide, that he would go
ahead and his staff would allow him to continue to use -- to conduct government business, as minor as it's described, to conduct government business on his primary -- or on his private e-mails is, again, unimaginable. >> and he stopped, right? >> well, he did stop. he did stop when finally the white house called and said what's going on over there? and it wasn't the nfc, it was one of the white house lawyers who called who probably read them not only the statutes but the riot act. >> jim, thank you very much. good seeing you this morning. we're just getting started on this busy thursday morning, starting with donald trump's victory lap from arizona to late night tv. plus vladimir putin endorsing trump? with my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go...
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donald trump is riding high after tuesday night's republican debate. the front-runner flew into arizona wednesday to a raucous crowd of thousands. trump is continuing to ride a wave of support. >> everywhere i go i have crowds like this, everywhere. we have the biggest crowds by far. because there's a movement going on, folks. this isn't just like let's go and have a good time. somebody said, oh, trump's a great entertainer. that's a lot of bull [ bleep ]. i'll tell you. we have a message. we have a message. and the message is we don't want to let other people take advantage of us. >> well, the candidate clearly on a victory lap there. and overnight on jimmy kimmel, trump seemed almost statesman like, calling for unity within
the party. >> i would like to see the republican party come together and i've been a little divisive in that i've been hitting people pretty hard -- >> a little bit. >> and ultimately we have to come together and get this thing done. >> steve kornacki in new york. good morning. >> good morning, jose. an interesting bit of news involving trump this morning out of all places russia. when you think of russia, when you think of vladimir putin, one of the story lines in this republican race has been belligerent rhetoric from republicans towards putin. you had chris christie saying he'd shoot down russian planes if he set up a no-fly zone. trump says he welcomes putin's intervention in syria. what does vladimir putin think of donald trump? he held his annual press conference at the kremlin. he said he's a very flamboyant man, very talented but it is not
up to us to decide if he is worthy, it is up to the voters of the united states. he is an absolute leader of the presidential race. he says that he wants to move to another level of relations. he said i repeat, it is not our business to judge this work of his. and weighing in this morning as well, he called these nice words between these two men, it's a match made in heaven, trump and putin, so vladimir putin weighing in on this race. >> it's nice to see the leader of russia in his last press conference of the year with his clothes on, which is really, really nice for december. >> well, trump admits he's been a divisive figure but he's still
taking jabs at jeb bush. >> he almost can't resist. the subject came in in that late-night interview last night. he tried to be conciliatory butch he still got some digs in. let's take a listen. >> he was a happy warrior, but he's never been a happier warrior. he's having a hard time running. he was supposed to be because of the name everyone thought he was the odds-on favorite. i defined him, i gave him this term low energy. i said he's a low-energy individual. we do not need in this country low energy. but honestly i think jeb's a nice person. i don't know if he's enjoying it or not but i think he's a nice person. >> jose, an interesting bit of news to follow up on that this morning, there was a story yesterday and we talked to the bush campaign on the air yesterday that they were looking into potentially having jeb bush coming out and saying he won't endorse trump if he's the nominee. there is a story in "the washington post" and they said they would not be eligible for
the ballot in north carolina if they didn't swear to support the republican party so that's off the table. >> and marco rubio, hallie johnson spent time with him yesterday. here's what he told her about his view on immigration. >> i recognize my position is not a majority position in my party or in large parts of america. it may not be possible do that. we shouldn't let that stop us from doing the other things. even if we never reach the debate of green cards, we still have to do the border security part. the democrats hold that part of the debate hostage. >> you get the sense of rubio is coming to the realization that winning one of those early states is a steep, uphill battle and he's looking maybe post-iowa? >> well, new hampshire d-- iowa is one thing, new hampshire is one thing. he might have a better chance in
a state like new hampshire. at the same time, this immigration issue, he's also succeeded rubio has in the last day or two turning this around a little bit on ted cruz. and ted cruz has been trying to come after rubio from the right, saying rubio is for amnesty, he's with the gang of eight all of this. rubio brought back comments that ted cruz made in an amendment ted cruz tried to offer when the reform bill was working its way through the senate and comments that cruz made that were supportive. ted cruz who is trying to go after rubio for the right, he's forced on the defensive on this a little bit as well, which is a bit of a surprise. >> steve kornacki, good seeing you. see you shortly. after the break, the lavish holiday party that has yahoo! ceo marissa meyer under fire again. plus metal defectors at disney
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and now back to breaking news we brought you at the top. hour. walt disney world and sea world announcing security changes to their theme parks and universal studios is testing new measures. let's go to the latest, jason guy, an anchor at our nbc station in orlando. what are you hearing? >> reporter: we're hearing the theme parks are beefing up security. there are measures like these metal detectors but there are plenty things unseen and these theme parks are not talking about it. here in orlando along with the disneyland parking out west in california are adding these screening measures. when you go in typically they check your bags and they check them pitch officers there at the gate. now they'll have secondary sk e screenings, they can pull you out the line and put you through
a metal detector, sea world is confirming that procedure is taking place at that theme park. here at the parks for disney we've seen increased law enforcement presence over the last few weeks and we've also seen some dogs out there. they're using those to check bags. and there's something going to impact those of us who are kids at heart. anyone over 14 can no longer wear a costume into the parks. >> so, jason -- >> you can't take that costume and wear it into the park. >> so what's the name of the big ha hairy monkey in star wars? i can't wear my chubaka outfit? >> no. and no more toy guns will be sold in the parks. they're not going to be allowed
there. i guess a lot of light savers will be sold in the park. >> thanks, good to see you. >> take care, jose. >> marissa meyers is in the news after hosting an opulent holiday party. it's said she spent $7 million for the holiday party. the company disputes that saying the party cost around $2 million. >> what do relations between cuba and u.s. after restoring diplomatic ties? much more ahead. the only way to get better is to challenge yourself,
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lthe u.s. and cuba have jus confirmed they've reached a deal to begin commercial flights. not everything has changed. it was one year ago this morning we brought you the stunning, breaking news that the united states and cuba had reached a secret and historic agreement to restore diplomatic relations after more than half a century. we've seen embassies reopen in havana and washington in that time. the state department says american tourism to cuba has surged by more than 50%. here with me today just as he was exactly a year ago and not looking any worse for wear and tear, alex gomez. >> good to see you. >> viewers who may not be following the story as closely as you follow it, over the past year, we've seen a lot of things
changing, flight service reestablished, mail service reestablished. talk to me about the fundamental changes that have taken place. >> we've seen slow but emerging business deals between the u.s. and cuba. we maintain an economic embargo on the island. >> which still stands in place. >> and only congress can change that. but what we started to see are companies like sprint and verizon, now they have roaming agreements with the cuban government. you can book a room through air bnb, a san francisco-based company for rooms in cuba. that means american airlines will get on board and jetblue. >> talk to us about how there can be commercial airline flights between the united states and cuba when the embargo says that americans cannot be tourists in cuba. >> that's the thing. the people who will be going on these flights won't be tourists under the definition of what they're trying to do. there are 12 categories that americans are allowed to travel
to cube cuba. you can be a journalist, you can be going to learn about the cuban people. this agreement says you don't have to go through this long process of securing a charter flight, you can just book it online and do it like you're doing anywhere else. >> let's talk about what has not happened. one of the things that has for sure occurred in this last year is there has been a pretty substantial increase notice repression against human whites activist, like the ladies in white who go to mass every sunday. >> you heard from the obama administration this wasn't going to happen overnight. getting a 50 year government that's been there, a communist government run by the castro brothers are not going to see we're going to change everything. >> has it continued or has it increased? >> i'll put it to you this way.
this morning there was an e-mail from senator rubio, he's citing a 500% increase in repression. i look at the numbers down there. the cuban commission of human rights and national reconciliation and according to them through the first nine months of 2014, 7,500 political arrests. so far this year it's about 5,000. it looks like it's going down. you ask any cuban who is spending time in a cuban prison because they're trying to voice their opinion, they're going to say it's still the same and is worse. a cuban disis dent spent five years in prison there for painting raul castro's name on a couple of pigs. but the numbers are going down. >> what surprised you or what do you expect a year later? >> i think we're right about where people expected. a lot of americans in that first
month after we were here last year, it was euphoria, people were heading down in droves, and i think everybody thought this was going to happen very quickly. but any of us who spent any time in cuba know things don't happen so quickly. they've had trouble adjusting to our speed and accepting the changes we've been making so they've been taking it very slow, which is why we haven't seen a mcdonald's and starbucks on every corner down there. >> what can be realistically expected to change in cuba when the same exact people who on january 1st, 1959 before many of us were born took power are still in power today? >> we're going to learn a lot in april when cuba's assembly -- when the party has its once every ten year meeting to go over the constitution and go over the government. we're expecting to see maybe some changes there but realistically, the government is
not going to say we're going to allow more democratic participation and allow more political parties there. what you're seeing instead i think is more independence from actual cubans. a group of tech entrepreneurs were here a couple weeks ago, when we put the question to them we said how can we help? they said come down and spend money at our businesses. that's how it will get better for us if we have more money and don't have to rely on that government. >> between the two of us, i look a hundred years older than last year and you look better. clearly i'm not taking what you're taking for that secret. >> stay out of the sun. >> that will be the day. >> coming up, star wars is expected to have a massive opening weekend after more than $100 million in advanced ticket sales. and, yes, people are dressed as
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liberty mutual insurance. the wait is finally over tonight, "star wars: the force awakened" makes its premiere tonight. we're joined by emily yoshida, entertainment editor. she's going to give us a spoiler free. this could be an unprecedented weekend at the box office? >> indeed. it could smash all sorts of box office records. it has already set a new record for advanced sales, more than $100 million in advanced sales already sold for the latest "star wars" movie. both fandango and
movietickets.com have said they've sold more than "jurassic world." they actually started putting on new screenings. you can, in fact, still get a ticket for a 3 a.m. imax showing of "the force awakened." there were star-studded premieres on both sides of the atlantic and in canada. goldman sachs is estimated the franchise could bring in $2 billion, making "star wars," the third most lucrative film franchise behind "titanic" and
"avitar ". >> give us your take on it. >> when the press was originally guantanamo bay permission to see it, everybody said "don't spoil it." this film makes you want to not spoil it and protect as many details as possible. >> tell me why. >> it's a very nostalgic film. there are a lot of things that echo the original trilogy. i think j.j. abrams is doing his best to deliver something that feels more like the original trilogy than the pre-quels, which a lot of fans were disappointed in. >> how does it stack up with the better three of them? >> time will tell. i've been thinking about this a lot, how this is going to stack up, not only as a movie over time but within "stars wars" itself. it's so very similar, i'm going to try to say without spoiling anything to several of the original trilogy movies. i don't know if that's going to feel like it was original or
just doing the same thing again. >> if you are a fan of just three of the six, right, if you think these three are better than the other three, will you think that this one falls within that, i don't know, feeling, mood, et cetera? >> sure. the first third of it when it just starts going and all of these familiar feelings and music cues start coming in, you're like, oh, i'm back, which is a great feeling for a fan. >> talk about the hype. the american film institute has just selected film seven as one of the best of the year. >> oh, wow, i haven't seen that. i've seen pretty decent critical approval for it. our writer, brian bishop, who wrote our review, i think he gave it like a score of 90 or something on meta critic. it's up there. it doesn't really matter, though, honestly at the end of the day what critics think of it because, like we said, there's
so many people who are already going to see it. if you're a fan, you're going to enjoy it on some level, no matter what. >> olivia, tell me about the sale of tickets, as you're saying, is just through the roof. >> through the roof. add studios and theaters all across the country fans are lining up all the door. here in new york city, not quite yet. a lot of people buy tickets online. we expect them to start lining up before the 7 p.m. debut. people want to wait in line just in order to get the best possible seats. there are actually two guys sitting outside all by themselves on the sidewalk right now. they've been here since 6:30 in the morning because they're so perfect to have that perfect seat. >> by the way, we're being told now, just hearing now, that some resellers are getting $70 plus for tickets for tonight's 7:00.
>> i've seen more. i've seen them going for about $500 on craigs list. >> you're kidding me? $500 tickets? >> for the first screening, yeah. it's crazy. >> emily and olivia, thank you for being were me. i think all the star wars fans watching could say we didn't spoil anything. we're just helping you cope. a big win for first responders of the 9/11 attacks.
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supporters, comedian jon stewart. >> it begins to make sense to me about how our government works. we have a bunch of first responders outside, freezing their asses off in the middle of a field while our country's last responders, our country's worst responders, are inside nice and comfy and cozy probably having soup. probably good soup. wouldn't you say? they're probably having a decent soup. this is stupid. and embarrassing. >> joining me now is someone who directly knows the impact of this law, new york representative carolyn maloney. congresswoman, always a pleasure to see you. >> always a pleasure to see you with this good news. the force is with us, along with you and jon stewart, that helped draw attention to this important issue. and it is scheduled to be voted on tomorrow in the omnibus bill. it will be a very joyful holiday season for the first responders and survivors who will finally know that they permanently have
their health care. i drafted the first bill back in 2004. and we passed it in 2010. it expired this year. so it's very, very important to reauthorize it. and jose, you've covered this story repeatedly, and i want to thank you and your network. >> thank you. >> it's good for the country. it's vital to our security and to the health care of these heroic people. so thank you. >> it really just boils down to -- thank you -- to just helping people who really decided to help regardless of what the danger was for their personal safety. what is -- talk to me about this, because the expiration from 2010 to 2015, how long is this bill going to last, and when will these folks, you know, see its benefits? >> well, this will be permanent. that's what's so important, because their illnesses are
permanent. >> right. >> cancers and lung diseases and all kinds of terrible diseases. so the fact that it's permanent health care is incredibly important. it's a 3.5 billion health care program, $4.6 billion for compensation. it's all together $8 billion to make sure that our first survivors and our first responders have the health care that they so justly deserve. they were there for us, and it took us a long time, but we are there permanently for them. so this is really wonderful news. >> what took so long? >> well, whenever you're spending money, there's a lot of opposition. and i have a lot of respect for any bill that gets that fragile flower of consensus in the united states congress, but it's what we need to do. we need to work together in a bipartisan way to solve the problems of this country. and i'm sure that's what the american people want us to be doing, and we are doing it now with the passage of this bill. i'm absolutely thrilled that we
were able to get it done, and it was an effort by many people on the democratic and republican side. and it's going to be a joyful holiday for them. >> yeah. and no small part in efforts like yours. congresswoman, thank you very much for being with me. it's always a pleasure to see you. >> thank you for your contribution to making this effort a success. we are very grateful. thank you. happy holidays. >> thank you. >> you as well. thank you. a lot more ahead on this jam-packed day on msnbc live. this man, enrique marquez, expected to face the first criminal charges to stem from the san bernardino terror attack. we'll update the investigation for you. and defense secretary ash carter using his personal e-mail for work-related matters. we're going to get his explanation. and donald trump takes a lap through the west on his big plane. the holidays bring many challenges to the feet.
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good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. breaking news, the first criminal charges to stem from the san bernardino terror attack are expected to be filed soon by federal prosecutors. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. good morning. >> good morning. we believe these charges could be filed as early as today. and candidly, there's not a huge surprise here about the who. the who is enrique marquez, the friend of syed farook. and the idea that he might face criminal charges has been pretty apparent for the last several days, at the very least because he bought the assault rifles that were used in the shooting. he bought them in 2011 and 2012. and we understand that what he has told the fbi is that he bought them because he wanted to do a favor for his friend, syed farook, who did not want to be on the record as having bought the gones and didn't want to have to go through the background check, though, as far as we know there was nothing in farook's background that would
have disqualified him from making the purchase. at the least, he could face criminal exposure for that. authorities have said that the guns were modified. and if he had any knowledge of that, that could be a violation of federal law or there -- they could say, you know, he was more involved in a conspiracy here. we just don't know what the charges are going to be. but we understand that he's told the fbi during days of questioning in which he said he didn't need a lawyer, that he had no knowledge of the plan to do the san bernardino shootings, jose. >> pete williams, thank you very much. and president obama will be in san bernardino tomorrow. he'll be spending time meeting privately with the families of the victims. the stop in southern california was added to his previously scheduled trip to hawaii where the first family will celebrate the christmas holidays. security at theme parks, disney world, seaworld and universal orlando are now installing metal detectors. "the orlando sentinel" reporting they were installed ahead of the
premiere of the new "star wars" movie at disney springs in orlando. it's not clear how long the metal detectors will be up. parks will also stop telling toy guns including water guns and will no longer allow people over 14 years of age to wear costumes. universal orlando spokesman says metal detectors had already been in use at universal for special events. this is just an expansion. our parent company, nbc universal, owns universal. earlier this week, we learned that army sergeant bowe bergdahl will face court-martial. now in a new podcast, we're learning more about what happened after he left and the lengths in which the military went to find him. joining me now, msnbc's cal perry, senior editor for digital content and richard engel and jack jacobs, medal of honor recipient. cal, let me start with you. what did we learn in this new
episode? >> it's really extraordinary, the level of details in the days and weeks that followed bowe bergdahl walking off that base. we heard from people who were on that search for him, and we also hear from taliban commanders. at one point discussing how close they were holding bergdahl to exactly that search operation. take a listen. >> translator: of course, we could see this massive surge and the ground surge and also the airplanes. and that was the reason we were moving around, hour by hour, we were changing location and we were even changing bergdahl's dress and we were changing our dress. at one point, we came into close contact with american ground forces, like 500 meters while bergdahl was with us. >> now, as i mentioned, we also hear from u.s. troops who were
on that search. they discussed their feelings about bergdahl, some of which are they thought he was in many ways gutless. there was concern after his rescue there would be retaliation against bergdahl. an interesting look into a story that in many ways we thought we understood because timed, as you say, jose, with this court-martial. so in many ways listeners getting a sense of what this trial is going to be all about. >> yeah, and richard, you covered the search for bergdahl as it unfolded. i want to play what one of the men in charge of that search said in this morning's serial podcast. >> the team went in and looked up and saw the ceiling lined with c-4, and then there was also a car bomb with the trunk packed with explosives sitting in the middle of the compound. now, by the grace of god, they evacuated before the thing could go off, and it never did. but i would have easily lost 20 to 30 american green berets that night had that thing gone off. and it quickly became very apparent to us that the taliban
knew, and our sources began telling us that the taliban and the haqqani network knew that we were pulling out all the stops to find him and were feeding false information into our informant networks. >> this is really interesting. and do you think that people realize just how much danger these troops were in and how much coordination the enemy was having to try to get more of these americans in danger? >> reporter: well, when you listen to this podcast, you hear from the soldiers themselves. and i've spoeb ken to soldiers involved in that search as well. and they knew what they were doing was incredibly dangerous because on a normal operation, troops and their commanders will spend a long time plotting a specific mission. they'll map it out. they'll perhaps do other operations in order to shape the mission that they want to do. they'll bring in the resources that they need for a particular operation. a lot of planning goes in.
but when they were searching for bergdahl, because it was so time sensitive, because they knew they had to -- that they had the best chances of finding him in the first 24 to 48 hours, that they pulled out all the stops. they were just going from house to house. if they heard a rumor or half of an unconfirmed story, they would launch a mission. and as that soldier was just mentioning in the clip you played, in one time, they went to a house, acting on some sort of intelligence that they had. again, unvetted without much of a plan and found themselves standing in the middle of a compound that had been booby-trapped with a car bomb in the middle of the courtyard, and the soldier said he would have lost 20 or 30 men had that house exploded. so this is not the kind of mission that the military normally does. but in this extraordinary circumstance that bergdahl created, hundreds of troops were
called in to do round-the-clock incredibly risky, not pre-planned operations. >> yeah. and i mean, colonel jack, to put a context on it, the timing that this occurred, you know, afghanistan, which is a very difficult, dangerous place on a regular day, this was a really intense moment in, you know, in afghanistan. >> yeah. and i think that the -- the information we have now in the aftermath of his leaving is the principal reason why the commanding general of force com who is the court-martial convening authority decided to try bergdahl on the much more serious charge of misbehavior before the enemy before his actions directly or indirectly put all those soldiers at risk. other missions which would have been accomplished were not because all these resources were put to work trying to find bergdahl. and i think that's the principal
thing that convinced them not to listen to -- not to take the recommendation of the article 32 investigating officer and instead, as is his right, to go ahead and charge bergdahl with a more serious charge and put him on trial with a general court-martial. >> colonel jacobs, richard engel and cal perry, thank you very much for being with me this morning. appreciate your time. for the first time, we're hearing from defense secretary ash carter after the pentagon acknowledged he occasionally used his personal e-mail for work-related matters. secretary carter spoke to cbs news about the controversy a short time ago. >> what i did that i shouldn't have been doing, until a few months ago, was occasionally use my iphone to send administrative messages, no classified information and backed up as records, but to my immediate staff. and even that i shouldn't have been doing.
and when i realized that, i stopped. >> nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski this morning. jim, what more are we learning about this? he said it immediately stopped. how long did that take? >> i've got to tell you, given the timing of all this, at the very time there was a huge scandal, political uproar over secretary -- then-secretary of state, hillary clinton's, exclusive use of private e-mails to conduct government business, this was all occurring at the time that secretary carter continued to use his personal e-mail for government business for at least two more months. so he says it's my fault. he says there was no classified information. defense officials confirm that there were no secrets, no classified information contained in any of these e-mails. but it raises serious questions of judgment. not only on the secretary's part, but all of those aides to whom he was sending these e-mails. after all, this was -- this was
a huge story at the time, a huge scandal, yet they were tone deaf to the ramifications about the secretary himself using private e-mails for government business. >> and, again, the secretary insists that there were no classified information, you know, that was compromised, but are they going to investigate this? >> it's unclear. i mean, you know, the white house is the first one that blew the whistle on carter. i don't know how the white house found out this was happening, but one of the attorneys over at the white house, it's reported, called over to the pentagon and said what's going on over there? are you -- is the secretary using his personal e pail for government business, and they said yes. and it was only then that carter himself stopped using the e-mail. i assume that that satisfied everybody at the time. and whether there's an investigation or not, we haven't
heard anything from officials. >> pretty amazing, jim, that it was the white house that once again stepped in because otherwise who knows how long it would have lasted. >> and i can only imagine that perhaps one of these personal -- one of these personal e-mails somehow was forwarded to somebody on the nsc or somebody here at the pentagon shared it with somebody at the nsc, and they said, what? are you kidding many he? so they picked up the phone and called. it baffles the mind, really, to think that that many people who would have been involved in that chain, even if it's two or three or four, somebody should have had the presence of mind, situational awareness is what they call it in the military, but clearly the secretary and his staff had none of that. >> jim miklaszewski, thank you very much. >> okay. vladimir putin weighs in on the presidential race in the u.s. we'll tell you what else he discussed. in his annual marathon news conference in russia. take a look at that. plus, one year ago this morning, the u.s. and cuba
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and our environment, and if me driving a that truck means that somebody gets to go home safer, then i'll drive it every day of the week. together, we're building a better california. we have new twodevelopmentst of baltimore a daf a mistrial was declared in the freddie gray case. craig melvin joins us from outside the courthouse there. craig, good morning. >> reporter: jose, good morning to you. we can tell that you just a few moments ago, a meeting wrapped up in the judge's chambers here in baltimore, a meeting between william porter's attorney and a meeting between william porter's attorney and also meeting of the prosecution team as well. roughly 30 minutes -- we do not know what has come out of that meeting. of course, there were two major questions that are still
outstanding, the first of which being will they retry the officer, the 26-year-old officer, the first of six to be charged in connection with the death of freddie gray? will they retry him? and when will they retry him? keep in mind, again, the driver of the van, the driver of the van in which freddie gray died, that trial, cesar goodson jr., that trial expected to start on january 6th. so a lot of folks are wondering whether this is going to force all of those trials to be pushed back. again, that meeting wrapping up. we are waiting right now to get some sort of official rule with regards to what is coming out of that meeting, jose. when we have that information, we'll come back to you. >> craig melvin, thank you very much. congress is putting the finishing touches on a $1.1 trillion spending bill. but none of it earmarked as direct aid for puerto rico. the u.s. territory in dire straits, struggling to come up with payments to cover $72 billion in debt, facing default as soon as new year's.
nbc's luke russert joins me from capitol hill. luke, good to see you. why was puerto rico essentially left out of this legislation? >> reporter: well, if you talk to house speaker paul ryan, the answer was is that he wants to give time for the relevant committees to have a look at the internal finances of puerto rico and come up with a decision that he says best helps that island go back against years of mismanagement of the finances. nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, has said that's fine. we can do that, but this is a situation that demands quick action, that aid is needed now. she has been trying to get it into this government funding bill which is slated for a vote on friday. as of right now, that's not going to move forward. and ryan effectively set a deadline by march for congress to come up with some solution, at least on the house side. now, senate republicans, interestingly enough, have been moving quicker on this. they moved forward legislation that would have given puerto rico $3 billion in aid as well as a look at the finances.
however, the one thing that we have not seen from the republican side yet is bankruptcy protection. and that is something that democrats would like to see for puerto rico to get the same type of bankruptcy protection that the states within the u.s. get. so it's a political football right now. i don't think it's going to be a part of this government funding bill. the congressional hispanic caucus really wants it to be, but there really is just now a lot of time ahead of the christmas holiday, and that's where they are right now. it would literally take house democrats wanting to force a government shutdown for it to move in that direction, and i don't think they want to go that far for puerto rico, even though, jose, as you know, in florida, north carolina, new york, a very important political constituency. >> luke on capitol hill for us, absolutely, thank you very much. on wednesday, the governor of puerto rico blamed hedge fund billionaires who profit off puerto rico's troubles for blocking the help. >> today i am extremely disappointed. why?
because yesterday, yesterday congress missed an opportunity to do the right thing. hedge funds proved more persuasive over congress than the well-being of 3.5 million american citizens living in puerto rico. >> wisconsin republican congressman shawn duffy is trying to get new help for puerto rico. he joins me. good to see you. >> good to see you, jose. thanks for having me on. >> so this allegation that hedge funds that own puerto rican debt trying to prevent the territory from declaring bankruptcy because it will cut into their profits, right? i mean, that's what the allegations are by the governor. >> sure. i hear the allegation, but let me tell you what i do. i don't care about the hedge funds and so much the bondholders, i care about the puerto rican people. so contrary to what luke just said, i introduced a bill in the house before senate introduced
theirs. it's a bill i've been working on for eight months. it offers chapter 9 bankruptcy to the island of puerto rico just like any other state, all right? but we also have a financial stability council as well. and what -- this is a bill that -- or a council that is focused just on tax collection, budgeting and the finances of the island. and we empower the island. the people of puerto rico should have a vote. do they want chapter 9? you should vote on it. and so that's been introduced. listen, republicans care about the island. they care about the people of puerto rico. they want a solution that's actually going to work for the island. i think you hear democrats basically saying listen, throw money at the problem. throw them crumbs but don't help them restructure the island to make sure they get an investment in the island and lift opportunity on the island. and so if you don't have some structural reform, you're not going to see the growth. you're not going to see the opportunity. and you're going to continue to have a poverty rate of 50% in puerto rico. we have to fix that. and that takes -- >> but congressman --
>> yeah. >> doesn't the congressional hispanic caucus exactly support what you're saying? i mean, what you're saying is that there should be the possibility of restructuring, right? i mean, a chapter 9 bankruptcy, if that's necessary. that's something that for some reason is given to a lot of other states. we recognize puerto rico's not a state of the united states of america. it is a territory. >> yeah. >> but why is it that you guys can't get together on this issue? >> i think we will. i think this is the right approach. and to be clear, it allows subsidiaries, the municipalities of the eye lant to file bankruptcy like in any state. but puerto rico proper just like illinois proper can't file for bankruptcy. so this could address 35% to 40% of their debt. i think paul ryan is right. i pushed to get this in the omnibus bill. i care about puerto ricans on the mainland and on the island. so does paul and the rest of the republicans. but i think paul made a smart decision where he said, listen, i think we should have more public hearings, more input,
more debate and let's move quickly, but let's allow the committee to work the process as we get a solution out. what i don't want to see -- i'm sorry, go ahead. >> i'm sorry i interrupted. but time is of importance here, right? >> it is. >> so talking about already going into the new year, and then, you know, the finances come up. >> no, you're right. and that's january 1st. listen, the crisis continues to burn. and action has to be taken. but what i don't want to see happen is people just say let's throw more money at the island. let's appease people. let's buy people off. that's not the right approach. it didn't work in transit or chicago or d.c. it's not working for illinois. and those have been the democrat models. we need to help the island restructure the way it works. how it budgets. listen, there's a different tax relationship with each business that comes to the island which is right for cronyism. they have to restructure that. so you have solid, clear rules and laws, at least in regard to
taxes so you get people to invest in the island. and outside investment means more opportunity, more jobs for people on the island. jose, i'm in northern wisconsin. some of my communities, people actually have to leave their hometowns and go to other larger cities away from their families where they want to stay in northern wisconsin, but they can't because they don't have opportunity. on the island of puerto rico, people have to leave their neighborhoods and their families and their community and go to places like florida which are nice, but they'd rather stay in puerto rico where they have opportunity to raise their families. and so we have to look at that. it's for the a buy-off. it's a well thought-out strategy to actually get puerto rico back on track to prosperity. and that's what i'm working on. if you want to leave the island, great. but i don't think people should be forced off the island when they want to stay there in the places that they were raised. and it takes a big heart and a lot of debate to make this kind of thing happen. and that's why i've led the charge here in the house. >> yeah. >> bringing a working group of people together, republicans and democrats, talking about what we can agree on. and if you do that, i think you're going to see the house
act and hopefully the president join us. >> well, no. i mean, look, i think it's important that whatever is done can be done is done in short order because as you point out, you know, it's january where a lot of these bills are due. and there's, you know, right now no movement. congressman, thank you for being with me. i really appreciate your time. it's great to see you. >> we care about puerto rican people, less about bondholders. thanks. >> all right. let's make sure that happens, then. president putin gets candid about turkey and syria in his year-end news conference. we'll have the details for you next. ry? before earning enough cash back from bank of america to stir up the holidays, before earning 1% cash back everywhere, every time and 2% back at the grocery store, even before they got 3% back on gas, all with no hoops to jump through, daniel, vandi, and sarah decided to use their bank americard cash rewards credit card to sweeten the holiday season. that's the spirit of rewarding connections. apply online or at
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but zzzquil is different have pain medicine because why would you take a pain medicine when all you want is good sleep? zzzquil: a non-habit forming sleep-aid that's not for pain, just for sleep. russian president vladimir putin says russia's military operations in syria will continue until a political process bee gigins to end that nation's civil war. syria was just one of several issues putin tackled during a year-end news conference that went on for several hours today in moscow. let's get more now from nbc's keir simmons in the russian capital.
keir, good morning. what more about putin say? >> reporter: hey, jose. yeah, three hours, actually, he took questions for at his most emotional, clearly still furious when he talked about the turkish shooting down of that russian jet on the turkey/syria border. he described it as an enemy act and said of the leader of turkey, why couldn't he just pick up the phone? compare that, conversely, with what president putin had to say about the potential for washington and moscow to get closer towards agreeing, some kind of a strategy to take on isis, to solve the syrian crisis. president putin making clear that he still is committed to keeping president assad of syria in power, but at the same time, clearly open to a u.s. proposal. you'll remember, secretary of state kerry has been here in moscow this week, clearly open to a u.s. proposal to move forward. listen to what he had to say.
>> translator: it is up to the syrian people to decide who they are to be governed by. and they should define the standards and rules of this process. an important thing to say is that support the initiative of the united states including the proposal regarding the development of draft resolution of the u.n. security council. and this resolution was conveyed to us by secretary of state mr. kerry. i believe we could support that. >> reporter: for you, remember, that russia is still under severe sanctions, led by the united states over crukraine. if president putin can move them towards some kind of an agreement with the u.s. over syria, maybe that offers a get-out clause for president putin. many of the questions, jose,
today from russian journalists were about the very, very difficult financial situation for the economy here. and you get the clear sense from the russian administration that they are looking towards 2016, towards the election with the comments, for example, president putin made about donald trump. they clearly are hoping that a new u.s. president might offer a new future for u.s./russian relations, jose. >> keir simmons in moscow, thank you very much. appreciate it. ahead in this corner is ted cruz, and in this corner, marco rubio. the republican candidates battle on immigration next. ( ♪ ) ♪ 100 days ♪ 100 nights ♪ to know a man's heart ♪ ♪ and a little more ♪ before ♪ he knows his own
he's never been a happy warrior, and he's having a hard time running. he's really had, you know, he was supposed to be because of the name, you know, everyone thought he was the odds-on favorite. and i defined him -- i gave him this term "low energy." he said he's a "low-energy individual." we don't need in this country low energy. but honestly, i think jeb's a nice person. i don't know if he's enjoying it or not, but i think he's a nice person. >> steve kornacki is here with us. steve, good morning. good to see you. >> you, too, jose. so the animosity between these two has really been building. the debate showed that they were, you know, not exactly the best of friends. >> yeah. to, that's certainly been one of the story lines here, and trump still getting some digs in last night. there's been so much animosity between them. there's been a lot of chatter around the bush campaign that maybe jeb bush would say would come out and announce that if donald trump wins the nomination, he won't support him. he can't support him. after all, he's calling donald trump not a serious candidate.
we actually talked yesterday to jeb bush's communications director, tim miller. and he basically, in a sort of roundabout way, confirmed to us that it's something the campaign had looked into. let me play what he said. >> this report today that says your campaign, that your candidate is considering coming out and saying i won't support him if he's the nominee, is that true, that that something that you're considering? >> look, i think we were getting a lot of questions about this. i think any campaign that wasn't doing due diligence on the ballot access laws and looking into this would be doing their candidate a disservice. the thing that we're focused on is making the case against trump, and that's what jeb did last night. and we're confident he's not going to be the nominee, and that's what we're going to be focused on over the next few months. >> so it's a little technical, but if you caught what he says there about due diligence, about ballot access laws, there's the thing to know. in a republican primary, and in primaries in general, these are different than general elections. which are pretty straightforward. in primaries, parties set the
rules. and republican parties in some states can set a rule that basically says you're not going to be on the republican primary ballot in the state unless you promise that you'll support the republican party nominee no matter who it is. so it turns out "the washington post" reports today the bush campaign about that due diligence that tim miller is talking about and determined that if bush made an announcement that he's not going to support trump as the republican nominee, he would not be able to make the republican primary ballot in south carolina or in utah or in kentucky. so as a result of that, it looks like that talk of jeb bush coming out and saying he wouldn't support trump, at least as long as bush is an active candidate, probably not going to be hearing that from him, jose. >> and steve, we're hearing from our own chris jansing that dr. ben carson is apparently canceling his trip to africa. it was a trip that had been announced previously. >> yeah. that is just breaking news in the last few minutes. i'm not sure of the exact back story there. i'm sure that we'll find that out. obviously with carson's campaign
for the last month now, it's been a series of discouraging developments for him, and certainly this overseas travel that he's been taking the middle east, designed to bolster his credentials on national security and foreign policy, something that's been a real trouble spot for his campaign, something he has struggled to talk about. and you've seen a sharp drop for carson in national polls, in the early state polls, and certainly foreign policy, national security, i think one of the reasons behind that. also, the simpler reason, too, is that simply that carson had early loyalty from evangelical voters. they had rallied around him, especially in iowa. they are now polling is showing clearly moving in the direction of ted cruz. and ben carson is left with a struggling campaign at this point. >> steve kornacki, thank you very much. see you soon. appreciate your time. the immigration wars have begun between marco rubio and ted cruz. both men accuse the other of being, well, soft on immigration. rubio has been pointing out that cruz's record on a pathway to legalization for undocumented
immigrants. but rubio still facing criticism by some over his participation in the senate gang of eight group that passed reform. here's what rubio tells our h l halle jackson about his position. >> i recognize that my position is not a majority position in my party, maybe not even a majority in large parts of america. it may not be possible to do that and we shouldn't let that stop us from doing the other things no matter what. even if we never reach this debate about legalizing people here or anything or green cards or anything else. we still have to do the border security part. that part is a no-brainer. no one should be against that. and the democrats hold that part of the debate hostage. >> with me now is ed o'keefe of "the washington post." ed, good morning. >> good to see you, jose. >> likewise. how much of a liability of being a part of the gang of eight in rubio's primary campaign? >> it is a liability because you talk to voters in iowa, you talk to them in new hampshire, across the country, they say, look, i like the guy, but i do have questions about the true nature
of his conservatism. if he was involved in this gang of eight bill back in 2013. he was a participant. he wasn't the most active participant, but he was a key piece of that group because he was able to give it sort of street cred, if you will, not only on capitol hill but across the country. if this young, new senator who is the children -- or the son of immigrants was involved in the process, the thinking was, then this will help sell it politically, not only to hispanics across the country, but to republicans to his community back in florida. he was part of it. he was with it. it passed the senate. and the moment it was determined that it wouldn't pass the house, he parted ways with it. and, you know, ever since he's essentially been running away from it. this is a liability for both of them, though, jose. for rubio and for cruz because, you know, at different times they have done and said different things. and ultimately, this upsets their chances during a general election campaign because they've been distancing themselves from an issue that's important to such a large bloc of swing voters. we talk about them all the time
on this program, hispanics who will see that the two guys running who happen to be hispanic, you know, do not want comprehensive immigration reform. >> yeah. even though cruz, it seems, as though for a general election would be less concerned about the outright support of some legalization. but rubio has, even when he's talked to hallie jackson, it's almost as if though he's saying yeah, i support the concept of the senate reform bill, but because it couldn't pass in the future, i am for piecemeal, but that's nothing really through. >> no, it isn't. it's actually almost exactly the same approach that jeb bush takes at this point, too. they realize that the politics are impossible. but if the stars aligned on comprehensive immigration was able to pass, well, they'd be okay, and they'd be for it. and you know, this is just a reminder that these guys were on opposite sides of the issues then. they're trying to be on the same side of it now. cruz was introducing various
amendments at the time that were designed to sort of blow up the bill, to put democrats on the record as opposing certain limits that republicans -- some republicans were pushing for. and now cruz is distancing himself from those efforts. and it's a mess for both of them. it's funny, though. both of these guys are trying to claim that they're not part of the washington establishment. that they haven't necessarily enjoyed their time on capitol hill because they haven't been able to get things done. but they were masters of legislative maneuvering at the time. and they're now arguing over that minutia. all in an attempt to prove their conservative credentials. and it will be interesting to see if either of them emerges as the nominee, how quickly they try to change their tune later into next week. >> ed o'keefe from "the washington post," thank you very much. good seeing you. today marks one year since cuba and the united states re-established diplomatic relations after more than 50 years. many things have changed. just this morning the u.s. and cuba confirmed a deal to restore commercial flights between the countries. but many other things have not changed, including that
communist regime's human rights record, which includes over 5,000 political prisoners detained this year alone. joining me now is someone who knows a lot about this topic, the director of the u.s./cuba democracy pact. good to see you. a lot of things have changed. for example, an announcement there are commercial flights to be resumed after more than 50 years. mail delivery is going to be regularized. in other words, there have been, and allen gomez from "usa today" that was talking with us in the last hour, was talking about how, for example, you can go now and rent a hotel or a house. you know, with private. there is some private enterprise starting up in cuba. >> actually to the contrary. let's start from the end backwards. >> okay. >> with regards to private enterprise, what we're seeing is that the regime's military monopolies are strengthening. they're starting to ex-appropriate a lot of the activity. >> air bnb doesn't work in cuba?
>> it is working in cuba and is operating in regards -- but it's long existed. as a matter of fact, i would be all for all travelers, administration, to say all travellers should go stay in cuba. zoo which is a private home. >> it's minutia. less than 10% that do so. 90% are staying at hotels that are owned and operated by the cuban military and intelligence services. >> isn't it true that there are, let's say, spanish hotel chains that are there in cuba? >> no, those spanish hotel chains have management contracts. the owners of those hotel chains is the cuban military through a conglomerate which is run by raul castro's son-in-law. >> so there is no private enterprise. so what are these company taz these foreign hotel chains agree with? who runs these companies? there's no independent companies? >> absolutely not. those entities is run by a conglomerate which is run by raul castro's son-in-law. they own the entire tourism industry in cuba. according to "hotels" magazine,
the cuban military is the largest latin american hotel conglomerate -- well, latin america overall. it offers more hotel rooms than the walt disney world company. that's who we are supporting. so when the administration announces we want more travel to cuba, more travel to cuba is not an achievement. the castro regime puts billboards throughout canada, throughout latin america, throughout europe, wanting more tourists because that's their number one source of income for their repressive apparatus. >> so how can -- i mean, look, what the obama administration says is that the policies that you support for the last 50 years, vis-a-vis the cuban regime, have not worked. so let's try something new. and in this year, there have been some steps that have been taken. what is wrong with that when 50 years-plus, according to the obama administration, that you support simply didn't work? >> well, the metrics are that in 50 years, there hasn't been democracy and freedom in cuba. any law whether it's
racketeering laws or murder laws doesn't work because then people still chit those crimes. but it's a principled policy. the arguable fact is that today the cuban regime and its military enterprises are politically and economically more powerful than ever. and the fact remains that what we had before then was a politically and economic bankrupt dictatorship which is a principled pole in that regards. meanwhile, we're seeing repression skyrocket. last month we had 1446 political arrests in cuba. >> these are documented? zroo documented. names, addresses, prisons, et cetera. 1,446 arrests in november alone, the highest documented amount in decades. we have a cuban migration crisis. people aren't receiving the news of obama's administration's policy with any type of hope. they're actually wanting to get out at record numbers. >> because they think it's going to change. because they think it's going to change here in the united states. >> no. i think more than anything because in 1980 or 1994 they didn't think it was going to change.
what they think is changing now is that the united states has put its stamp of approval on the dictatorship that's oppressing them and that might not change. >> thank you very much for being with me. i appreciate your time. still ahead, how one hung jury can impact five other cases. plus, the next steps for prosecutors in the case for an officer charged with freddie gray's death in baltimore. i'll have that for you next on msnbc. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line.
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we're staying on top of developments from baltimore, a day after a mistrial was declared at the freddie gray trial. the prosecution and defense have just wrapped up a private meeting with the judge. no word yet on whether prosecutors will seek a retrial for officer william porter after yesterday's hung jury announcement. i'm joined now by former president of the naacp. it's great seeing you. >> it's good to see you. >> thanks. is your expectation is that the prosecution will seek a retrial? >> look, i certainly hope so. my response yesterday when i heard this was that actually this, in the world of prosecuting of cops, is pretty good news.
two-thirds of the time there's not a conviction. and so, you know, so to get a mistrial means that they were kind of, like, halfway there. and what we know is that when cases go back into court after a mistrial due to a hung jury, that more often than for the, there is a conviction. so at this moment for those of us who would like to see a conviction in this case, there is reason to be hopeful. >> and also, i think it's important that, you know, this has been a very open process, you know, from when this was announced. and so it doesn't seem like anybody's trying to hide anything. >> no, look. it's been a very open process. it was also great of the prosecutors who were successful at keeping it in the city. so often we see these things -- these types of cases exported into suburban communities that are seen as, frankly, you know, where the cops live. and so it is nice to see a jury of freddie gray's peers and
neighbors across the city, a jury that's, you know, black and white come together, you know, we need a process that will heal the city, and this is a jury that represents this city. >> yeah. and also, a jury that represents the peers of the officer that is accused as well, and that's also, i think, important. does it -- do you expect there to be -- because they are saying that this was probably the strongest case, and a lot of people were talking about that. if there's a mistrial on this, do you think it's going to have any impact on future cases? >> look, you know, we should expect that the prosecutors will recharge and will, you know, seek a new trial. we should be hopeful that they will win. and then we'll take it from there. you know, i mean, this -- you know, this -- you know, i think the sad part here, right, is only about 12% of our officers live in the city, and very few are raised in the city, and this is one who was raised not far from where freddie gray was raised. >> yeah. >> it's a very tragic case.
but at the same time, you know, so often we see cops charged, and they get acquitted right away. the fact that we've got a hung jury, the fact that that means that at least some of the jury was ready to convict should give us some peace that the prosecutors did a good job and that there's a possibility for justice to be done here. i mean, this is the -- this is one of two officers who should have called between stops three and four, according to the coroner, for help and chose not to. and so that's why so many of us, frankly, think that justice should be done and that he should be convicted. and again, a hung jury suggests the prosecutors are doing a good job. and one should be hopeful that they will recharge and that they will push forward. >> and the important thing is that justice is the thing that is underlined and final. >> absolutely. >> victory. hey, ben, thanks for being with us. it's a pleasure to see you. appreciate your time. >> thank you.
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that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. thank you for the privilege of your time. tamron hall is up next. (phone ringing) you can't deal with something by ignoring .t but that's how some presidential candidates seem to be dealing with social security. americans work hard and pay into it, so
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