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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 22, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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thanks for watching this hour of msnbc live. i'm chris jansing. i'll be back here. but right now andrea mitchell reports. >> hello chris jansing. right now on andrea mitchell reports, collision course. donald trump locks arms with israel prime minister netanyahu on expanding jewish settlements into palestinian territory. in a major split with the obama administration and decades of american foreign policy. a showdown vote at the u.n. has
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been postponed for now. slipping through the cracks. the suspects berlin attacker was known to both german and american counterterror agencies and labeled a potential security threat. so how did the 24-year-old from tunisia, now the center of an international manhunt, get away? and new additions. kellyanne conway now the highest ranking woman in the new white house with more announcements expected today. and good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. we begin in berlin where the international manhunt is intensifying for a 24-year-old anis amri who is described as armed and dangerous. fingerprints found in the driver's cabin of the truck lead them to believe that amri was the attacker. today angela merkel said the suspect had been known to authorities and even had been tracked for some periods of time as a potential threat. two u.s. intelligence officials tell nbc news that amri was
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known to american counterterrorism agencies as an isis sympathizer and was on watch lists. one of tens of thousands on the radar of news agencies. overnight germans conducted several raids looking for the tunisian national in connection with the truck attack. joining me with the latest, ann thompson in berlin. the big question how did this guy get away from german authorities, how was he even on the loose after being on everyone's radar for some time? >> yeah, andrea, there are two big questions today. first of all, where is anis amri? first of all, where is he? so we've seen the raids, the raids here in berlin and the raid in dortmund overnight as police have searched for him. so far they've come up empty. the second question is why did amri slip through the cracks, as you said? he came to germany in july 2015.
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by march of this year police had him under surveillance. they had identified him as a potential threat to germany. and he was under surveillance for six months. they thought that he was actually going to rob some place, to try to get cash to buy guns, to execute an attack. that didn't happen. as when he was under surveillance, they did see him deal drugs in a park here in berlin and get into a fairly violent bar fight. but none of that manifested itself into an arrest. this summer, however, he was picked up for suspicion of having false documents, but was later released. he had applied for asylum. that was rejected. he was to be deported, but then that hit a problem. he did not have a valid tunisian passport so there was nowhere to send him. so german authorities had to get that pass port from tunisia. that came two days after the attack. so that's the problem with all
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the cracks. then as far as how have they connected amri to the attack that happened here monday night when that truck sped through the christmas market at 40 miles per hour. they've got a couple of things. first of all, the fingerprints you mentioned, german media have reported that they found amri's papers in the cab. so you can see how they're building their case. now, at this hour the federal prosecutor who is in charge of this investigation, he is going to hold a press conference. and we hope to get some more clues about just why they are so focused on anis amri. >> anne thompson, just a fascinating manhunt and a really terrifying situation for germany. thank you very much. the israeli/palestinian conflict is front and center in american politics. today donald trump and israel's prime minister netanyahu are in lockstep opposing a u.n. resolution that would bar
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continued expansion of israeli settlements that were into areas that were set aside for a palestinian state in the camp david accord nearly four decades ago. netanyahu tweeted this morning his demand that the u.s. should veto the anti-israel resolution at the u.n. security council on thursday. put on the spot, the outgoing obama administration, which has condemned netanyahu's support for the settlers and is poised for a major split with israel and the president-elect. kristen welker is in palm beach near mar-a-lago. in is the central issue now between the trump white house and of all the foreign policy disputes, this one is front and center. and overnight, as my reporting reflects, netanyahu was able to pressure egypt, which was sponsoring this resolution on the security council on behalf of the arabs and the palestinians, pressure egyto ba down and postpone it. to get egypt to go against the arab allies and side with israel. and the u.s., i've been told,
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was prepared to abstain, which would be an unusual step indeed siding with the rest of the world against israel. >> it was. and it was also unusual for president-elect trump to insert himself into this discussion earlier today. transition officials telling us they did give the white house a heads up before the president-elect put out this very strongly worded statement, andrea. i'm going to read you part of the statement right now. it says as the united states has long maintained peace between the israelis and the palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties and not through the imposition of terms by the united nations, this puts israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all israelis. now, of course, president-elect trump has been a bit of a hard-liner on this issue. he just appointed someone to be his ambassador to israel who is also seen as a hard-liner. some would say he's even further to the right than netanyahu
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himself. the fact that he inserted himself while president obama is still in the white house is what's significant here. typically you don't see a president-elect do that when it comes to cases of foreign policy. but this is an issue that president trump campaigned on and so he's clearly signaling he's going to make this one of the key issues when he is, in fact, in the white house, andrea. >> and very clear that the obama administration wants to send this signal and support the rest of the world by abstaining before they leave office because once donald trump comes into office with the appointment, it still has to be confirmed but the nomination, i should say, of david friedman to be ambassador, he's donald trump's bankruptcy attorney in the past, he has no diplomatic experience, he and jared kushner's father, in fact, charles kushner, jointly created this foundation that supports the most radical of the settlers and they are to the right of netanyahu. they created a political problem for netanyahu.
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so if friedman does get confirmed, it will be a very different policy. in any case, a very different policy than that pursued by president obama and john kerry. a big announcement today, kellyanne conway, questions as to whether she'd be in or out and heading the political wing of the trump white house outside and continuing her business, but now she's moving to washington with four kids and her husband and taking on this role as counselor to the president. >> andrea, she is someone who is credited with helping president-elect trump win the white house. remember, she was his third campaign manager to come in and really right the ship, if you will. that's what a lot of his supporters think. she helped him with his outreach to women voters. she was the first woman to be named the campaign manager of a republican presidential campaign today in a statement president-elect trump touted the fact that she broke through a
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glass ceiling. that term rankling some democrats, some clinton supporters, but the bottom line is this is someone who played a very significant role to candidate trump. she was a frequent presence on television shows, on our air certainly, across cable news networks and she's clearly going to have his ear in the white house. she's going to help him not only with messaging but also with helping to promote his legislative policies. so there are a lot of question marks, a lot of buzz about what role kellyanne conway might take on. today we have our answer. she's going to have one of the top positions at the white house as a counselor to the president, andrea. >> kristen welker, thank you so much on all of that. joining me now from tel aviv, david keys, the spokesperson for prime minister netanyahu. mr. keys, thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. this u.n. resolution has now been delayed. my reporting is that egypt has pulled back on the scheduling of the resolution for today, the vote. and it was a result of pressure
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from israel. certainly we saw that the prime minister came out overnight with a very strong statement indeed. >> yeah. well, of course, israel's made its position abundantly clear. it's a position that actually accords with what president obama himself said in 2011, very eloquently, i might add. he said that peace won't come through resolutions or statements at the united nations. and susan rice echoed those words as well at the united nations. and what this resolution seemingly wants to do is to impose a solution on israel. and it actually will push peace further away. it won't bring peace closer together. peace will come about when the two parties can sit together in a bilateral fashion for direct negotiations without any preconditions. that's prime minister's netanyahu's position. unfortunately, the palestinians have yet to say yes to our repeated offers to sit without any preconditions for peace including today. >> let me unpack it just a bit.
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because the u.s. position has been -- and you're absolutely correct, of course, president obama has been reluctant to go against israel at the u.n. and i'm told in frustration and perhaps because his term is just about up, only less than a month left, was prepared to do so at least by abstaining if this did come to a vote. but in terms of the settlements, the argument from the obama administration would be that these continued settlements, which are now dotting what was to be palestinian territory and the creation of a palestinian state, would make it impossible to stitch together any contiguous territory to create a state so that the two-state solution de facto becomes moot, that the palestinians would not be able to negotiate for a state once all of these settlements continue. bipartisan u.s. policy going back to camp david has been that the settlements are illegal and both republican and democratic administrations. so the outlier here would be the
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incoming donald trump administration. >> look, the presence of jews living in judea is not the -- when israel pulled out every single jew living in gaza, tens of thousands of rockets were shot at israel. and a group that threatens genocide came to power in gaza. we have to look at the root of the problem. and that remains the persistent palestinian refusal to recognize israel as a jewish state in any boundaries whatsoever. israel has over a million and a half arab citizens living inside of israel. and they're pk spk justices and serve in the knesset. the palestinian demand to evict every jew from the west bank certainly doesn't bring peace any closer together. so my ardent hope is that the two parties can come and sit together and work together for mutual recognition to live in
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peace and harmony with one another. that's israel's position. willing to recognize a palestinian state and all we ask in return is that our very right to exist is recognized as well and that that state doesn't become a bastion of isis or hamas that will continue to threaten israel. >> and if the u.s. does end up abstaining and letting this resolution go through, what would be the israeli reaction to that? >> well, i certainly hope it doesn't happen. and i hope that president obama doesn't abandon his very eloquent words and his commitment back in 2011 not to support any anti-israel resolutions, not to support any resolutions that attempt to impose peace, but instead will work to bring the parties together so that at long last we can sit together and forge a lasting peace as israel has done with egypt as israel has done with jordan. there's nothing that we would
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like more than to move this peace process forward. unfortunately, all of prime minister netanyahu's calls to meet with president abbas have been met with a resounding and deafening no. and that remains the barrier to peace today. >> thank you very much, david keys from israel speaking for the prime minister today. thank you. >> thank you. >> and coming up next, responding to the former senate majority leader george mitchell who served as president obama's special envoy for middle east peace. you're watching andrea mitchell reports, only on msnbc, the place for politics. complicated cash back cards? some cards limit where you earn bonus cash back to places they choose... then they change those places every few months. quicksilver keeps it simple. with quicksilver you always earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. 'tis the season for simple. what's in your wallet? ♪
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once again the united states is at cross purposes with israel's prime minister netanyahu. but now time is running out and netanyahu is about to gain a new president more in line with his own hard line towards the palestinians especially on the settlements issue. joining me now is george
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mitchell, the former senate majority leader who served as the u.s. special envoy for middle east peace. he has a new book called "a path to peace" a briefly history of israeli/palestinian negotiations and a way forward in the middle east. senator, great to see you. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, andrea, for having me. >> as you know, the egyptians on the security council sponsored a resolution that was to be voted on this afternoon then overnight netanyahu went into overdrive on the diplomacy side and my understanding is that they pressured president sisi to pull that back, but it was about to create a real confrontation diplomatical. donald trump came out and tweeted in favor of vetoing the resolution. netanyahu demanded that the u.s. veto the resolution. is this a resolution as it is now written that should be vetoed by the white house, by the state department? >> i've not had an opportunity to read the resolution yet.
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i've heard and read press accounts in general terms of it. i think the best result would be putting off this vote until after president trump takes office. now, let me say clearly, though, on the issue of settlements itself and security council resolutions, barack obama is the only american president in the last quarter century under whom no security council resolutions critical of israel have been passed, none. during reagan, both bushes and clinton's presidency, there were each of them there were several u.n. resolutions hostile to israel that were passed. so that ought to be acknowledged by everyone in this debate. secondly, on the issue of settlements themselves, in the 50 years since the settlement process began, eight american presidents, five republicans and three democrats, from nixon
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through obama have publicly and strongly opposed israel's policy with respect to settlement construction in the west bank. the criticism ranged from illegal to inappropriate to harmful to the peace process. president reagan said that the single-most important step that could be taken to achieve peace in the region for israel to halt settlement construction. president george w. bush specifically proposed a freeze in his road map for peace and assembled 90 counties in the world in support of it. so the question, the real question here is whether or not president-elect trump will continue the american policy of 50 years under both republican and democratic presidents or will reverse that position as to the united states. that would be, in my judgment, a serious mistake and a setback toward efforts to achieve peace in the region. >> well, his statement today
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certainly does that. also his nomination of david friedman. david friedman his bankruptcy attorney, no diplomatic experience who with the father-in-law ivanka trump, charles kushner, created this foundation supporting the most radical of the settlers. donald trump contributed $10,000 to that foundation. it's clear that everything he said that the president-elect plans to change that policy and his nominee is a strong supporter of settlements who called -- who name called j street american moderate jewish supporters of a two-state solution saying that they were like nazi sympathizers. >> let me make two points, andra andr andrea. i don't believe president-elect trump's statement did that. what he said was there shouldn't be a resolution at the u.n. enacted on this subject. by itself, that does not alter or continue the prior policy.
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that's a separate decision that he will have to make. according to press accounts, mr. friedman has made strong statements as a private citizen in support of settlements, in support of israel annexing the west bank and other statements as well. now, he's not going to be the president. trump will be the president. and i hope that mr. friedman makes clear at his hearing that his statements were made as a private citizen. i think if the u.s. policy were to change in that respect, it would be a reversal of 50 years of american bipartisan policy as to the objectives in the region and how to achieve them, and i think that in the more extreme case, that of israeli annexation of the entire west bank would be a truly dramatic event and could
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lead to, i believe, very, very adverse circumstances for peace in the region and for united states interests in the region. but you have to differentiate between a person's private statements made before he took office and the statement of the administration within which that person serves. >> what about the determination by the incoming administration to move the u.s. embassy to jerusalem from tel aviv? >> it seems likely that will be done. i believe it will also be a reversal of prior american policy and a harmful one. i do think it could be done in a way that preserves the right of palestinians to have a capital in east jerusalem. that's the key question. the outcome, the only outcome, in my judgment, will have an israeli capital in jerusalem and a palestinian capital in east jerusalem in areas that are
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inhabited and have been inhabited by palestinians. if that alternative is completely foreclosed, then i think it would be disastrous not just with respect to palestinians but with the entire muslim world including many of the countries with which we are allied in the region because the palestinians have a free hand in negotiating on all issues like borders and refugees, but they don't have a free hand on jerusalem. jerusalem is a muslim issue worldwide and it will be of keen interest to saudi arabia, morocco, jordan, all of whom are allies of the united states and the nearly 1.5 billion muslims worldwide. so that's a crucial issue. i hope he doesn't make the move. but if he does, i hope it's done in a way that preserves the possibility of a palestinian capital in east jerusalem. >> and in a path to peace, in your book, you speak about the future and the past of
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negotiations, but what if the two-state solution is no longer viable given the incoming administration and the direction of israeli politics? as well as -- i should say as well as palestinian dysfunction. >> the fundamental purpose of our book is to try to gain support for a two-state solution. it's been much criticized and rightly so because after decades of effort it still has not been achieved. as a result many are saying, well, we have to do something else like a one-state solution or perpetuation of the current status. we argue in the book, my co-author and i, we analyze the alternatives and they're just not feasible and practical. the reality is the two have to be separated. that goes all the way back for over a hundred years and the best way to do i and really the only feasible way to achieve peace is through a two-state solution. president george w. bush made a strong speech in jerusalem in
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2008 and he said to the israelis, you have a state, a very successful state. you don't have security for your people. the way to get it is for the palestinians to get a state. and he said to the palestinians, you don't have a state. you want one. the way to get that is to see that the people of israel have reasonable and sustainable security. that remains the basis of and the objective american policy as i said through 50 years and eight presidents, republicans and democrats, although it's evolved over that time. and i think that's what should continue to be the united states policy. i recognize that support for the two-state solution is declining in israel among palestinians and other arabs and in the united states. and this book represents an effort to make the case that it's the only feasible, viable way to resolve this conflict. >> senator george mitchell. and the book is "the path for peace." thank you very much. thank you, senator.
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>> thank you, andrea. coming up, secrets of the russian hacking. homeland security secretary jeh johnson's conversation with rachel maddow. we'll talk about that coming up next.
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department of homeland security secretary jeh johnson told rachel maddow wednesday night that the obama white house will be more explicit before it leaves office about russia's alleged hacking of democrats. >> we're going to declassify as much as possible now that we're in the post-election period and we can do a full assessment of this election cycle, and any lessons is learned for the future. this was very plainly a big deal. it's not just a cyber threat. there are attacks daily, hourly, moment by moment in this country from a range of actors. and this one was obviously very, very significant. >> senator, thank you very much.
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if it's so significant and i think it's generally agreed that it was, why didn't the administration make it more apparent, more ak res sybil before the election? the statement made it strong from the intelligence perspective saying it was done at the highest levels but without mentioning vladimir putin by name that just did not register. >> andrea, i do think it was clear before the election that our intelligence community had high confidence that russia was intentionally interfering with our electoral process. this was a direct assault on our democracy by one of our leading adversaries in the world. i'm very concerned about the trajectory of president-elect trump's foreign policy with regards to russia as a result. it is my hope that we will be able in a bipartisan way to step up and address both russian cyber hacking ofur election and the broader challenges that we face as a country addressing the challenge of cyber security
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going forward. we've seen hacks and break-ins that have affected everything from big box retailers to the federal personnel office to this attack on our election by the russians, and i think in the united states congress we need to work in a responsible and bipartisan way so that we can respond are more swiftly and more seriously to future issues just like this one. >> was president obama too cautious in the run-up to the election? >> i would argue yes. but i'll tell you as a senator, it was perfectly clear to me that we had an ongoing challenge. back in august i sent a letter to senator cruz who chairs the oversight sub committee of judiciary on which i serve as the ranking member calling for hearings in september about the impact on our election of russian hacking. frankly, it got very little attention in the news media and although i worked with a number of my colleagues to try and elevate the issue, some of my republican colleagues simply brushed off these allegations as a partisan motivated attack
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before the election. i think now that the election is over and it's clear that president-elect trump will be our next president, i'm encouraged to see real bipartisan efforts by senior senators both republican and democrat to call for a select committee to specifically investigate this incident and to make sure that we all understand the consequences for our future. >> and it should be noted that the day that that intelligence assessment came out, october 7th, was the same day the "access hollywood" tape shortly afterward came out. so you're absolutely correct that it did not get the attention that that statement deserved to get. it was very clear to anyone who knows how to read these things that they were talking about vladimir putin but that didn't register until abc news made that explicit this week. i want to ask you about the fact that you've got a suspected terrorist on the loose who had been apparently under surveillance by american agencies as well as on a watch list in germany. how does this happen? and a guy get away after a truck
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attack like that in an open marketplace? >> well, andrea, i do think that this heightens the importance of our sharing intelligence and of our strengthening the intelligence capabilities of our european allies. they have significantly greater threats to their security from folks who are citizens as well as recent arrivals just because of the sheer size and complexity of the potentially radicalized population in their countries. we've seen significant tragic terrorist attacks in france, in belgium, in the uk. and in no small part because of that, those other countries also our allies have instituted significantly greater surveillance programs. in the united states we're going to have to strike a good balance between our long cherished commitment to our civil liberties and what steps we might take in order to strengthen our security here at home. and i am concerned about the statements that president-elect trump made during the campaign
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about wanting to impose what i view as a ban on all muslims entering the united states or a step to revive a bush era program that profiled and tracked muslims within the united states. i think there are things we can do to strengthen our security. i think we'll need to learn some lessons from this tragic incident in berlin, this tragic incident in germany and how the germans are responding, but i think we need to be mindful of the ways in which the united states is an importantly different country in terms of our respect for the civil liberties and civil rights of all americans. >> does the administration's step to get rid of this dormant program post 9/11 program that hasn't been used since 2011, i guess, is that helpful or not as far as you're concerned? it's apparently to obviate the possibility that the incoming trump administration will be able to create this muslim registry. >> well, i think it's important
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that we raise the threshold that the trump administration is going to have to clear if they want to reinstate a program like this and that's how i view president obama's action is to make it harder to reinstate this program. i think we ought to have a national debate about the balance between liberty and security before taking such a drastic step. one that ultimately was broadly viewed as unsuccessful because it marginalized many loyal supportive muslim americans and it created more concerns and fears and litigation than it produced positive results for our national security. but that's a robust debate that i think we ought to have, both in the congress and nationally. >> senator coons, thank you very much. happy holidays to you, sir. >> thank you, and to you as well. coming up, a developing story about an incident with a passenger on a plane with ivanka trump and her children. details coming up next.
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we're following developments this hour involving ivanka trump. tmz reporting there was an incident on a jet blue plane that ivanka trump was traveling on with her children and a passenger was removed. joining me is kristen welker and political reporter. you've been talking to officials trying to track this down both inside the administration and the secret service who travel with her. what do we know? >> well, the details are still coming together, andrea. here's what we know at this point. according to tmz, this happens earlier today. ivanka boarded a jet blue airplane with, as you say, her family. she was at jfk when a passenger apparently made some unwelcome comments toward her father, some negative comments toward her father, just how heated did it get? that remains in question. and there's a lot of discrepancy about that. but the passenger and his spouse, i believe, were removed
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from that plane. we have reached out to secret service to try to get some more details about this. they refer us to jet blue, but reiterate that she does have full protection as the daughter of the president-elect. she has full secret service protection. let me read you the statement that we did get from jet blue. it says the decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. if the crew determines that the customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane especially in the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight. in this instance, our team worked to remove and accommodate the party on the next available flight. now we've also reached out to ivanka as well as the trump transition team. so far no reaction. as soon as we get some, we'll update this reporting. >> nick, obviously any time a family member of the president is involved, an offspring and grandchildren, i mean, this is troubling, to say the least.
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the secret service clearly would be in charge of a situation like this. ultimately the captain of the plane is in charge. >> correct. it's very, very serious to make any kind of threat or harass a member of the first family or the incoming first family. you can imagine the reaction if this was a member of president obama's family. i think politics is kind of making us crazy unfortunately for a little bit for some people. we saw a few weeks ago a trump fan on a different jet berating customers who he perceived as pro hillary clinton. this behavior is deplorable. >> we have such a divided country and we're heading into the holidays but all the polling tells us that the passions that were exacerbated during this campaign have not subsided. >> exactly. look, the president-elect is not that popular with the country right now. he's very popular with his core supporters, but there's just this huge divide between the people who love him and those who hate him and there's no signs of it dissipating. he's a very polarizing incoming
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president for sure. >> meanwhile, ivanka trump is not just the offspring. she's a member of the transition team. she and her husband reportedly planning to move to washington. he's been discussed by his father-in-law as a potential middle east envoy. so he's a major player. >> yes, absolutely. look, that the kushner family, ivanka and jared will be central advisers to the president. they could have offices in the west wing. so these are kind of his first consig leearies in certain matters, two of his closest advisers. an attack on her is an attack on him. it won't be taken lightly by the secret service or by the win coming first family. >> you reported earlier on kellyanne conway joining the administration and joining the white house so she's not going to be an outside participate. she'll be very central to everything they do. more announcements coming today, do you think? >> we're expecting more announcements today, andrea.
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i anticipate they'll probably be staff announcements. the big one we're waiting for who is the press secretary going to be? sean spicer, jason miller, also some of the folks on fox news. so we're waiting for that announcement, will we get that today? there are big question marks. but cabinet positions remain unfilled, v.a. secretary as well as agriculture secretary. we're really focused on the staff positions. >> and director of national intelligence. we understand that -- >> that's right. >> fran townsend, the former top counterterrorism expert from the bush administration is one of the people in the mix and they've also interviewed carly feeiorina about that, that we'r still waiting for. coming up, new details on what edward snowden has been up to while hiding out in moscow. it's time for your business
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major news, a house intelligence committee releasing a declassified version of its investigation into edward snowden. pete williams joining me with more. i see a lot of black lines there. key classified. >> a lot of this report is redacted. so it's hard to tell. for example, this is a list of what the report says are vulnerabilities to the defense department. we don't know what any of them are. it says there are 13. you may remember in september the intelligence committee said edward snowden is a serial liar, that he claims he was trying to protect civil liberties but most of what he stole had nothing to could wi do with that. a lot of intelligence programs that he's compromised. this is now the full report. >> what you can see tells you what some. >> the new things in here, they say that -- i'm going to quote one sentence. since snowden's arrival in moscow has he has and continues to have contact with the russian intelligence services. now, he has always denied that
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and in a series of tweets today he says it's still not true. he says the report notes that in june 2016 the deputy chairman of the russian parliament's defense and security committee asserted that, quote, snowden did share intelligence with his government, snowden in his tweet says, this is if an npr report and they leave out the part where the guy says i assume that or it's my speculation that snowden has done this. he basically says it's a hit job on him, factually untrue things. a couple of new things. it says that snowden failed or flunked the test for intelligence agencies on how one of the programs worked that he disclos disclosed. this is the so-called prison program that dealt with e-mails. it says he flunked the part of the test that showed what the privacy protections were for that program. he's done an enormous amount of damage. a couple of details in here. of the 1.5 million documents that he took with him, that what
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he's leaked to journalists and has been reported is less than 1% of the total and that if you printed out all the documents he stole, it would be a stack three miles high. >> wow. pete, stay with us. we'll keep talking about russia and hacking next coming up. a lot more to come.
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"washington post" foreign affairs columnist david ignatius joins us now and, of course, also pete williams. david, russia, vladimir putin. it's now becoming central to the incoming administration, to the new secretary of state, if he is confirmed, you know, that the hacking issue is going to get only more controversial. >> the hacking issue is going to be a central concern for u.s. intelligence agencies over the next month. the director of national intelligence james clapper is leading an investigation that includes all the relevant
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agencies including the fbi, and the idea is that by january 20 when the inauguration takes place, a complete report will be made available to the president and to the president-elect on what happened. that's going to be a very sensitive matter. it's now really submerged into the government. there are not many leaks now about this process at all, but it's really important and i think will shape the next month more than we may think now. >> and david, there is no nominee yet to replace general clapper who is retiring after 53 years in government service. it is possible they don't replace him or are they thinking about dismantling this director of national intelligence post? >> there's been talk of undoing the post-9/11 reform that created that office. it's been controversial from the beginning. there are arguments, i think, that are correct that it brings
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a layering of bureaucracy that's in some cases unnecessary. the person who made that office work is general clapper, who is a 50-year veteran of the u.s. intelligence an was able to do with that job something that his predecessors really hadn't, finding the right person to succeed clapper is really hard. there just aren't that many. and i think that's part of what's tough for the trump team. very important job how will it calibrate, vis-a-vis the cia director who they already decided will be mike pompeo. i don't think they know yet. >> you also have, pete williams, a real discussion going on as to how the nsc is going to be staffed on this. they don't know yet. we don't know assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism has not been named. >> there's some question as to whether there would actually be such a person at all, whether he'd keep that position which is another post-9/11 move.
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>> which wouldn't be mike flynn deciding he can do it all, that's still to be determined. pete williams, thank you so much. david ignatius. more to come, thank you so much for today. and more ahead. we'll be right back. what time is it? it's go time. come on. let's go, let's go, let's go. woooo hoooo!! yeah!! i feel like i went to bed an hour ago. i'll make the cocoa. get a great offer on the car of your grown-up dreams at the mercedes-benz winter event. it's the look on their faces that make it all worthwhile. thank you santa!!! now lease the 2017 c300 for $389 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer.
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that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. i'm going to try to take a christmas hanukkah break unless there's breaking news. follow online on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports. >> crucial words, unless there's breaking news. enjoy your holiday off. >> i'm hallie jackson. german police say new evidence points to the tunisian suspect as the attacker now in the berlin market attack. special forces are going door to door to hunt for him today with the search expanding across europe. the vote on the unsecurity council resolution against israeli west bank settlements now indefinitely delayed coming after president-elect trump and the israeli prime minister
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registered their objections. plus a new report finds the russian intelligence agency that hacked the dnc used that same technique to target and kill ukrainian soldiers. we have a lot going on this hour. but we want to start overseas in berlin. matt bradley is joining me from germany. the german prosecutor just finished that briefing. can you tell us what we've learned? >> the latest of the latest is that german prosecutors and actually angela merkel and her justice minister and her -- well, all of her government basically said that they are more than certain now that this man who they're pursuing is indeed the man who committed the crime that happened behind me on monday night. they say that now in addition to having found his identification papers, they also found his fingerprints both inside the cab of the truck and outside on the side of the truck. now, they were fairly certain before that this man was the perpetrator,

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