tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 31, 2017 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
that's from me. have a safe and happy new year. the news continues now with ayman mohyeldin. >> i'm sure you'll be heading off it a fun new year's eve party tonight, right? >> just in time for the 6:00 party tomorrow. we're hours away from 2018 and security will be tight for this year's new year's eve celebrations, especially here in times square where police have been out in full force making sure the celebrations go on without a hitch. and this new year's eve is shaping up to be one of the coldest on records with windchills below zero. we'll have a live report on that. and a turning point was a drinking at a london bar, the catalyst into the investigation into russian meddling?
we'll break down the latest reporting on that. what to watch out for in 2018. the new year will be crucial for both republicans and democrats as the midterm elections loom. we're also counting down to 2018, just a little less than eight hours to go here on the east coast. you're looking at live pictures there from moscow, the latest city to be ringing in the new year. but we want to begin with a developing situation out of colorado. the douglas county sheriff's department says one deputy is confirmed dead and four others are wounded following a shooting near littleton. authorities say the deputies were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance early this morning when shots were fired. two civilians were also injured. the sheriff's department says the suspect was also shot and killed. >> we are familiar with him, and more information will come out a little bit later, once we've positively identified him. there were well over 100 rounds fired in this engagement. the 100 rounds was from
the suspect. >> now, a short time ago,
president trump tweeted out, "my deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in douglas county and their families. we love our
police and law enforcement. god bless them all." security very much on the minds of the police in new york city tonight. times square, as you can imagine, will be packed with tens of thousands of people welcoming 2018 on a frigid new year's eve, and there are some changes in security precautions this year. nbc's anne thompson joins us live now from times square with more. anne, break it down for us. how are police keeping things safe there tonight? >> reporter: well, i think the biggest difference, ayman, this year is the concern about a repeat of the massacre that happened in las vegas in october. and so, along with spotters this year, the nypd has dispatched snipers to be on the ready in case anyone would try to pull what that man did in vegas when he killed 58 people. they have detectives working with each of the hotels, working
with each of their security teams so that they know what's going on. here, down here at ground level, it has been very, very sight security. people have been wanded, their bags have been searched. even in this frigid-cold weather, they've had to unzip their winter coats and their bodies have been searched, because police want to make sure that this goes off without a hitch. there are no credible threats against the celebration or the city tonight, but police are taking no chances. this is the kind of event that from the department of homeland security's perspective is on the same level as the super bowl as far as a potential target for criminal activity, so they're being very, very careful. but right now, this is one of the more pleasant parts of the long wait for the people behind me. they're actually getting to hear the soundcheck of some of the acts that will perform tonight, and they're dancing along and bouncing along to the music, and that's helping them keep warm, which is not an easy task.
>> they'll need all the help they can get to try to stay warm throughout the night. anne, enjoy your evening. nbc's anne thompson live for us. as you can imagine, not only security concerns, but bitter chill and weather on the minds of a lot of folks there for this new year's eve. and for that, we bring in msnbc meteorologist bonnie schneider. bonnie, what have you got? >> ayman, as anne is reporting, it is just so cold in times square, and the numbers will be going down from here. we're expectk the temperature to feel like it's negative 5 when the ball drops right at midnight. currently in new york city, the temperature's 14 degrees, so it's not much warmer than right now than it will be at that point, but we're looking for cold temperatures across the country, certainly even colder than what we're experiencing here in new york. minneapolis right now is negative 5. and those negative numbers are really going to be a problem going into the overnight low temperatures. but first, 163 million americans impacted today. they're under some sort of windchill advisory, meaning the temperature feels dangerously cold, and that will persist straight into 2018. we're not looking at any changes for a warm-up. this is new year's day, early in
the morning. if you're up, we're going to be seeing temperatures feeling like they're well below zero, dangerously so for places like green bay, down through kansas city, where the windchill, 25, negative 25 degrees. 25 would feel warm, actually. now, as we look towards the middle of the week and the end of the week, there really isn't a warm-up. if anything, it's getting colder in many locations. we'll look for the numbers in richmond, virginia, to drop down to 8 degrees in the morning. and then your morning lows in new york city on friday climb only to 6. that's how we're starting things off, so it's really looking cold out there. unfortunately, we're going to be seeing very cold conditions as we go through the rest of this first week in january. and as we look towards the south, we've got low pressure working its way across florida. we'll look for some rain there in the northern part of the state. a little bit of a wet start for new year's day. eventually, that will push offshore and we'll see additional showers. but temperatures are warm in south florida. that's really the only place where it is warm. even the gulf coast, down through mississippi, georgia and alabama, are facing freeze warnings in the morning for new year's day.
if you're looking for a warm spot, pasadena in california for the rose parade. we'll have a temperature of 64 degrees. that's about it in terms of warm weather. ayman? >> california always starting off the new year in fashion. bonnie schneider, great to have you with us. thanks for that. switching gears for a moment to iran, where it's day four of protests. the demonstrations began as protests against the economic woes plaguing that country. they have since mushroomed into broader protests against the government itself. now, according to iran's semi-official news agency, two people have been killed in those protests. activists say they were shot by police, but the iranian government claims the deaths are the results of foreign agents. now, the chaos garnering the attention of president trump, who tweeted earlier today, "big protests in iran. the people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. looks like they will not take it any longer. the usa is watching very closely for human rights violations." u.s. ambassador to the u.n. nikki haley also weighing in on the situation by tweeting out,
saying the iran people are "finding their voice," "the iranian government is being tested by its own people. we pray freedom and human rights will carry the day." also, iran's president hassan rowhani addressing iranians in a televised event. the government is accused of trying to quiet protesters across social media platforms. the bbc is reporting telegram and instagram have been restricted in the country, and the founder of telegram, pavel durov tweeted "iranian authorities are blocking access to telegram for the majority of iranians after a public refusal to shut down and other peacefully protesting channels." for the latest on what's happening, let's go live to nbc's matt bradley in london with more. matt, give us an update on what the situation is like there on the ground in iran this evening. >> reporter: well, just today, ayman, iran's government appears to be going on the offense against these protesters, and that's just as they went into their fourth day and after president donald trump issued as
many tweets, four tweets on the situation in the islamic republic. and as you mentioned, president hassan rowhani has just broken his silence. he hadn't made any comments in the four days of these protests, but in comments to his cabinet, he ensured activists that they had the right to protest, but not to commit violence or destroy property, and he took a veiled swipe at president trump, without actually naming him. he said that those who called iranians terrorists have no business sympathizing with our nation. as you saw in that tweet you just mentioned, ayman, he kind of hinted again that the iranian state was a terrorist state. but only hours before iran's very moderate president, and president rowhan sink a moderate, he defended the right to the protests, the iranian government announced it was suspending access to social media services instagram and telegram, which is a service that's kind of like whatsapp, except it's much more secure and it's popular in iran. they said they had been used to organize those protests across
the country. and rowhani's more salutary words came hours after the interior minister warned that the protesters would "pay the price" for their violence. so different messages coming from different parts of the iranian government, but this increasingly firm government reaction comes as the unrest in iran has spiked over the weekend. it started on thursday with isolated anger over rising prices, corruption and unemployment, and it morphed into demonstrations against iran's leadership and its clerical ruling regime, and that's very rare. there have been protests against leaders in the government, but to actually go against the ayatollahs behind the government is very bold. the protests are the largest since the so-called green movement in 2009 when angry students protested against the re-elect of mahmoud ahmadinejad, who they said had been falsely elected. there are fears that they will suppress the uprising as brutally as they suppressed the
protests in 2009. >> and we should emphasize, some of the pictures you're seeing from saturday were protests organized by the government to show support for the government, not the protests that had been beginning since thursday. nbc's matt bradley live for us in london. thank you very much. and ahead in the 5:00 hour, we'll take a closer look at the situation inside iran with an all-star panel. you don't want to miss that conversation. up next, the russia investigation. how a night of drinking between an australian diplomat and former trump campaign adviser george papadopoulos reportedly led to the fbi's investigation into russian meddling. plus, new questions about the gop's attack against special counsel robert mueller. is it going to work? that's next.
welcome back, everyone. we are back with the latest news on the fbi's russia investigation. "the new york times" reporting that the fbi launched the investigation based on a tip from an australian diplomat who spent a night drinking with former trump campaign adviser george papadopoulos. now, papadopoulos, according to the "times," bragged over drinks that russia had illegally obtained thousands of e-mails from hillary clinton's servers and offered them as political dirt to her rival. no response from papadopoulos and the white house yet. they are declining comment. that report contradicts the president and many gop officials who maintain that the russia probe stemmed from a controversial dossier compiled by former british intelligence agent christopher steel and financed by the dnc and clinton campaign. it also raises questions about gop attacks on special counsel
robert mueller and the fbi, who appear to have been acting on reliable intelligence tips from a longtime u.s. ally, that, of course, of australia. joining me now malcolm nance, author of "the plot to hack america," katie fang, msnbc legal analyst, and rick tyler, msnbc political analyst and republican strategist with foundry strategies. great to have all of you with us on this new year's eve. malcolm, let me begin with you, if i may. how does this latest reporting from the "times" change the narrative that we've been hearing coming out of gop circles for the better part of the last several months? >> well, the narrative from gop circles is completely different from what we knew even as early as july of 2016. you know, when i wrote "plot to hack america," there was a section in there. in april 2016, judge napolitano, a contributor to another newschannel, had made mention on television that there was an internal debate where russia was arguing whether they should
release all of hillary clinton's e-mails. that report went away and then cropped up with donald trump's statement on july 27th asking russia to release 30,000 hillary clinton e-mails. and we've always wondered, how did that arc go from judge napolitano to donald trump? clearly, there were operations and discussions well before that report got into the mainstream media, and this appears to be where it started. >> so, to that point, it seems that one of the central figures in all of this has emerged to be george papadopoulos, who is the first to be charged in the russia probe, and now according to the "times," he's essentially the figure that launched the whole investigation, i guess when he bragged about that information with the russians of having dirt on hillary clinton. what does this tell us about mueller's investigation and george papadopoulos, who the trump camp has really been trying to downplay ever since his name was first linked to that mueller investigation? >> yeah, so, i've been saying they want to call him the coffee
boy, but maybe he's the comb fefie boy. everybody made a thing about the fact that it was just george papadopoulos, you know, the coffee boy who's pled guilty in october of 2017, but he is key, because facts are key, the evidence is key, and what's happening to george and how is he working with, you know, robert mueller. when you think about it mueller is piecing together his case, piece by piece, step by step, doing so with complete and utter discretion. so now we're having a little bit of the onion peeled back and we're starting to see that statement of the offense that george papadopoulos released and admitted to in october of 2017 were the facts, you can actually now plug and play. you can take the names from "the new york times" article, plug them into that statement of the videos and now it's all starting to make sense. >> to that point, rick, you can imagine that everyone in the republican party is probably agreeing with this approach of let's attack robert mueller, let's go after some of those senior members of the fbi and
try to dig up as much dirt on them as possible. do you think that there's a growing rift over this in terms of what's traditionally been the party of law and order in the republicans, that they're going after the fbi and the department of justice? >> yeah, i think it's not only dangerous for the republican party, it's dangerous for our institutions of democracy when you attack the fbi and the justice system. people need to be able to count on impartial justice, impartial investigations. and look, george papadopoulos, who used to work for sam clovis, remember, sam clovis was a radio talk show host turned political operative. he was told by sam clovis, and clovis denies it, that the trump administration would be very interested in improving relationships with russia. that certainly made -- that seems to be where papadopoulos got his ambition to start making these connections and trying to get a meeting with putin, and that happened in that famous meeting, where supposedly, sessions, who couldn't remember the meeting, then suddenly
remembered that he shot down the idea. but it's interesting to me that the administration was so aggressive about russian relations, and obviously, the russians had exploited this. but it does destroy the whole narrative, the reality has caught up with the reality star administration. the dossier was not the impetus for this investigation, but in fact, george papadopoulos' connection. and when "the new york times" story begins the opening line with "after a heavy night of drinking at an upscale london bar," you know the story's not going to go very well for you. >> absolutely. good point to that. we'll talk about russia's end game in a moment with malcolm, but katie, when you look at the others mueller has charged, michael flynn, paul manafort, gates. when you put them all together, what kind of legal picture does this paint for the trump campaign in general and for the president going into 2018? >> well, you know, it's just the beginning. and as we know, that "the new york times" article references michael flynn toward the very end, stating that george papadopoulos was hoping to be
able to partner up with michael flynn to make things happen, but we also know that comey was pressured by trump to let the flynn investigation go. so, going into 2018, robert mueller is just starting. sorry to break this to the trump campaign, but this investigation has just gotten started. and i want to point out something, guys. you know, it doesn't mean that because you've been interviewed by robert mueller's team, that means you're not going to be the subject of another interview. and as more and more is revealed, i wouldn't be surprised if people are sent back for round two with the mueller team. >> yeah, indeed, the investigation continues to roll on. malcolm, let's switch gears for a moment. i want to ask your perspective on something. you've got putin, who sends a holiday message out yesterday expressing hope for "cooperation" between the two countries. when you kind of juxtapose this with what has happened in the last couple weeks, there's been a little bit of rift that you can say republicans will look at and say, look, president trump is not doing everything that president putin wants or in agreement with russian foreign policy, for example, ukraine,
sending lethal, defensive, but lethal weapons to the ukrainian government. what's putin's end game, do you think? >> it's his end game is pretty clear. this man is puppeteering, you know, the leadership of the united states by sending out essentially his perspective of what he thinks donald trump should be doing, which is continuing that narrative of the united states needs to cooperate with russia, better relations with russia is always a good thing. he looks like the statesman when it all comes out. however, the united states government has three branches to it, and what happens in congress with sending weapons to the ukraine, you have to remember, donald trump still has not signed the bill for sanctions against russia, which was voted. he is maintaining putin's narrative, and that narrative is we should all get along. the question -- but this brings us back to papadopoulos real quick. when this conversation started with him, as he was bragging about what they wanted to do getting hillary clinton's e-mails, you once again have to
come back to that question we always ask in the u.s. intelligence committee -- why? what is the motivating factor that all of these players wanted with russia? what is it that they get from russia that is going to be given to them, whether it's financial, ideological, or personal that made them go through and go from an ambition to conspiracy? >> right. rick, very quickly, back to the gop, and how will this new information revealed by the united states, papadopoulos really kind of shared this information with the australian diplomat, to australian intelligence and back to the u.s., prompting this investigation -- how is that going to change the gop strategy in its efforts to discredit mueller's team now? >> well, look, they're going to say that the coffee boy gets drunk at a london bar. i mean, they're going to diminish him and say he was never paid by the campaign. by the way, it's not unusual not to pay for advisers to campaigns. that's common. but what the foreign advisers
are looking for is positions in the state department and in the intelligence community. they're not really looking for paid positions with a campaign. so, fact that he wasn't paid is insignificant. but it is significant that now they have this connection, and they'll do what they always do, they'll downplay it. >> i was going to say, i've hung out with a lot of diplomats. i don't know a lot of diplomats that hang out with coffee boys from campaigns. it's going to be interesting -- >> coffee boy/foreign policy adviser. it's a new thing in washington. >> that's what i was going to say. certainly jobs that did not exist in my daefl. thank you for being with us and happy new year to all of you. all right, 2017 will certainly go down as a year to remember in politics with 2018 hours away. immigration and infrastructure are two of the big issues on the hill heading into the new year. up next, we'll preview president trump's agenda for 2018. sometimes a cough gets in the way of a good night's sleep.
next on the agenda, welfare reform, infrastructure, daca, health care, and of course, building that wall on the southern border. joining us now, political writer at the l.a. times, jay newton small, contributor at "time" magazine and noah shackman, executive editor at "the daily beast." great to have you all here this new year's eve. sima, let me begin with you and start with the president. lately, you've been talking a lot about bipartisan, even in some of his tweets over the holidays. his interview with "the new york times," he said the following -- "the new york times" bipartisan -- "they should definitely come to me on health care because we can do bipartisan health care, we can do bipartisan infrastructure and we can do bipartisan daca." but just this morning,
the president tweeted out this tweet -- "democrats, why would smart voters want to put democrats in congress in 2018 election when their policies will totally kill the great wealth created during the months since the election.
people are much better off now not to mention isis, va, judges, strong border,
second a, tax cuts and more?" does the president want to cooperate with the dems or fight with them when you kind of juxtapose those two sentiments? >> i think we've seen this all year, which is sometimes when he's not getting what he wants from his republican members, he will sometimes call chuck and nancy into his office to talk to them. so i don't know, i think it will depend on the policies. for example, you brought up daca. a couple months or a couple weeks ago there was talk about perhaps reaching some sort of solution that called for some increased border security but provided some relief for daca recipients. then a couple days ago, i think he tweeted that daca's not going to happen unless i get the wall. so i think we're getting mixed messages here. >> jay, the president meets with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi on wednesday, but as is custom, he prefaced the meeting with an incendiary tweet, saying "the democrats have been told and fully understand that there can be no daca without the desperately needed wall at the southern border and an end to the horrible chain migration and ridiculous lottery system of
immigration, et cetera. we must protect our country at all costs." so, can both sides, you think, get what they want out of this meeting? >> well, it's going to be the big challenge, and i think it's going to be a real lightning rod for the elections, which come in november, and there's really not a lot of incentive for either side to give way here, because if they do, it's basically a defeat ahead of those elections and their bases going into the elections depressed. so you want to come out of this saying look, i won this, i got a victory, i built a wall or i protected d.r.e.a.m.ers. and if you don't do that, then you really risk sort of not doing as well as you hoped in the midterm elections. and the longer you wait, the harder it is to pass anything the closer the elections get. and it's a very hard thing i think for democrats to accept building this massive wall in exchange for d.r.e.a.m.ers just as i think it is a hard thing for republicans to stomach giving essentially a path to citizenship for millions of children who are brought here as illegal immigrants by their parents.
and so, it is a huge challenge, and i don't know where that bridge will form. >> let me ask you about the president meeting with the gop. the gop is somewhat divided on what to do. we've heard some want to take on welfare reform or entitlement reform. mitch mcconnell not leaning that way. some are reluctant to take on infrastructure because of how expensive it's going to be. so, when the president huddles with the gop leadership at camp david in the new year, what do you think is going to come out of that in terms of a clear agenda going forward when they can't seem to agree? >> i'm not sure there's going to be a clear agenda and i'm not sure by the way there will be any kind of deal on immigration. over the past year, the trump administration has quietly been pushing to push down legal immigration more and more, so i'm not sure you'd see a deal there, and i don't think anybody knows quite yet what is going to come out of that huddle -- >> is there any issue with the gop saying let's rally around this and try to get this done in 2018 ahead of the midterms? >> yeah, i could make an argument for some kind of entitlement reform or infrastructure, but i don't
think the path is clear yet. and i'd like to add, i think foreign affairs will overtake domestic affairs this year. you've got potential trouble in north korea, of course. you're seeing these protests in iran. we've still got tens of thousands of troops in afghanistan, and i think any one of those three could be major flash points that eclipse the domestic agenda. >> important point. let's talk about infrastructure quickly because it's been a big drum beat for the president, the trillion-dollar plan focusing on rebuilding roads, bridges, airports, even railways, expected to be revealed next month. will he be able to cross the aisle on this page? do you think democrats can get on board with a $1 trillion plan? >> i think earlierly this year he talked about this, and this did seem to be bipartisan appeal. today at lunch with florida governor rick scott, they talked about the nation's crumbling infrastructure. but the one question i have is with the tax deal that just passed that added $1.5 trillion to the national debt. if this nation does a massive infrastructure plan, how will republicans be willing to do that level of spending to
perhaps add more to the debt, or are they going to have to find cuts elsewhere? >> jay, what's the incentive for democrats to work with the president heading into 2018? they feel like they're on a high note. big polling suggests they're in a good place. you've got the seat they just picked up in alabama. can they be a party that just campaigns in the 2018 midterms on saying no to the president, or do they have to stand for something? >> you have to remember that mitch mcconnell going into barack obama's first midterm elections basically said look, it's our job to block the president to make sure he's not re-elected, and that means blocking all of his initiatives. so by right, democrats are saying why shouldn't we do the same thing, block everything, deny the president a victory? the last thing of tax reform that went through is the last thing they can get through with a majority vote in the senate, which is 50 votes. everything from here on in requires 60 votes to be filibuster-proof, and that's extremely hard in an election year. election years typically get nothing done, so this ambitious agenda that the president and republicans are trying to roll
out is incredibly unlikely with democrats on bored this election season. they might say, okay, great, you want to work together? let's wait until after the elections when our majorities are much bigger and we'll have a bigger say. >> noah, looking into 2018, obviously with all these issues we're talking about, but the one thing that's kind of hanging over all of the agenda is going to be the mueller investigation. >> that's right. >> and you even heard that from the legislative affairs director at the white house, marc short, who has said that's become a big distraction. can anything get done while this investigation continues to roll on? >> well, sure. i mean, some things can get done. the tax bill is some evidence of that, but i do think that as indictments pile up, and i'm almost certain you'll see additional indictments, i think and as the election drags on, it's going to be harder and harder. >> yeah, i've seen some people describe it as a potentially perfect storm, that in the mueller investigation heats up and then you have democrats take control of the house, it could change the dye nayic of everything in washington. >> absolutely, because if the house flips and the senate flips, all of a sudden, it could be impeachment time. >> thank you all so much and
>> the new president's message to a deeply divided nation. >> this american carnage stops right here. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. >> sean spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts. >> an abrupt and stunning resignation from national security adviser michael flynn. >> this administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. ♪ >> the fake news media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the american people. >> good morning. the recess? president trump strikes a different tone in his address to congress. >> top white house aides are celebrating the speech as a grand slam. >> a new russia revelation. attorney general jeff sessions acknowledging he talked with the russian ambassador. >> breaking news, president trump in a shocking tweet this morning, accusing former president obama of wiretapping trump tower. >> he doesn't really think that president obama went up and tapped his phone personally. >> the fbi is investigating
possible ties between trump associates and russian operatives. >> putin hated secretary clinton so much. >> make no mistake, this was a monumental day. what president trump dismissed as "fake news" we now know is very real. >> meltdown for the republican plan to repeal and replace obamacare. >> justice neil gorsuch takes the bench at the supreme court today. >> a stunning move dismissing the man who's leading an investigation into the president's campaign. >> the dismissal is casting a large shadow over the russia investigation. >> i was going to fire comey. i said, you know, this russia thing with trump and russia is a made-up story. >> lordy, i hope there are tapes. >> the president accused of giving highly classified information to the russians in the oval office. >> con fefie, a new one. >> president trump is lashing out on reports he's being investigated.
>> you are witnessing the single greatest witch hunt. >> in a stunning staff shuffle tonight, a familiar face stepping down and a new one stepping in. >> i'm a super optimistic guy. >> blowing a kiss to the cameras on his way out. >> another major white house shake-up. reince priebus is out. anthony scaramucci is gone after just days on the job. >> the dow is now up 20% since president trump was elected. unexpectedly banning transgender from serving in the u.s. military. >> a u.s. president for the first time suggesting what sounded like a nuclear first strike. >> fire and fury like the world has never seen. >> military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded. >> donald trump finds himself at a practically unprecedented position. he is praised by white supremacists. >> i think there's blame on both sides. >> president trump's controversial chief strategist, now the latest high-profile departure. >> sheriff joe arpaio. >> sheriff joe can feel good.
>> the backlash is building over president trump's immigration decision. >> his combative speech, including harsh warnings for both north korea and iran. >> rocket man is on a suicide mission. >> the sports world standing up to the president by kneeling down. >> get that son of a bitch off the field right now. he's fired! >> last-ditch effort to repeal obamacare is officially dead. >> we are disappointed at certain, so-called republicans. >> in puerto rico yesterday, the president met with those impacted by hurricane maria. >> you're throwing our budget a little out of whack. >> the state department official denying a split between the president and his top diplomat. >> the secretary called the president a moron. >> he said an f'ing moron. >> the president challenging the gold star widow's account. >> he couldn't remember my husband's name. >> breaking news tonight, the first indictments in the mueller investigation. >> president trump taking this unscripted swipe at the massachusetts senator. >> they call her pocahontas. >> former national security adviser mike flynn admits he
lied to the fbi. >> seven decades of u.s. policy changed in an instant. >> jerusalem is israel's capital. >> trump's triumph. the president basking in his first big legislative win. >> it's always a lot of fun when you win. >> all right, so, the new year will bring a series of new laws across the nation, and here's a look at how 2018 will be different. we're going to start tomorrow. marijuana may be sold in california for recreational use, but it won't be easy to buy. los angeles and san francisco do not have regulations in place yet for licenses to grow and sell recreational pot. transgender people may enlist in the u.s. military. president trump tweeted in july that the military would ban them, but a district court judge has actually blocked that ban. in new york city, pharmacies will be banned from selling cigarettes. it's part of a larger effort led by mayor bill de blasio to reduce the number of smokers in the city by 200,000 in the next few years. in guam, it will be illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to
vape or smoke cigarettes. and in illinois, it will have a new legal angle in custody fights starting tomorrow. judges may consider the best interests of pets in these battles, similar to how children are treated in custody cases. next, with the new year nearly upon us here at home, what can we expect in the world of politics? my panel will weigh in on what's at stake for republicans and democrats in 2018.
before you and your rheumatologist move to another treatment, ask if xeljanz xr is right for you. xeljanz xr is a once-daily pill for adults with moderate to severe ra for whom methotrexate did not work well. it can reduce pain, swelling and further joint damage, even without methotrexate. xeljanz xr can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections, lymphoma and other cancers have happened. don't start xeljanz xr if you have an infection. tears in the stomach or intestines, low blood cell counts and higher liver tests and cholesterol levels have happened. your doctor should perform blood tests before you start and while taking xeljanz xr, and monitor certain liver tests. tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr.
it's already 2018 in some parts of the world. revelers in north korea's capital, pyongyang, waved flags and ushered in the new year with fireworks. north korean leader kim jong-un also among the people bringing in the new year as the clocks chimed at midnight. the celebration capped a weekend of events in the communist nation, helped to mark achievements made in their nuclear weapons program, despite hardline resistance from the united states. well, heading into the 2018 midterm elections, the big political question is whether republicans will maintain control of congress or if democrats can actually manage to flip the house or senate. now, after the successful passage of the tax bill, republicans are signaling a change in tune, seeming eager to work across the aisle with
democrats, but will it last? noelle is a republican strategist and author of "brand-new america," and atimo amara, former president for young democrats of america. great to have both of you with us. on this new year's eve. noelle, i want to begin with you. what are your predictions for 2018? >> well, i think for the first time we're going to see some bipartisanship. >> wow. >> and we're going to do that with infrastructure. now, i think that infrastructure is something that both republicans and democrats want to play ball with, and you're going to also have a little bit of private support, too. a lot of transportation companies are going to want to get involved in this, and i think america is ready for it. you know, this has been a bizarre year on many levels. >> yeah, to say the least. >> and i think if we can get bipartisanship, which i think we can with infrastructure, it's going to set the stage because they're going to get used to
working together, and that's my prediction for the coming up 2018. >> atima, the floor is yours. >> yeah, i love noelle's i certainly think that the democrats have tried that before whether it was with the tax bill or even doing fixes to aca. both times the gop shut them down on that in the senate and house, so if they actually want to move forward and have conversations on infrastructure i think that that would be ideal for the country. certainly we have a lot that needs to be fixed, roads, highways, trains, et cetera. going politically into '18, this is not a great year to be a member of the house and in some cases a member of the u.s. senate. >> right. >> we've had about 33 legislative seats flip from republican to democratic control. we almost got the house in virginia. we had a map that was very hard as democrats to get and we picked up 15 seats in our
election this year in 2017. alabama, to say nothing of that. >> right. >> so, you know, positioning where we are basically historically it looks like we have a really great opportunity to get very close if not actually pick up the house. >> noele, thinking about what's brought us here, what would you say was the worst moment of the year politically speaking? >> there's so many but the one that i've zeroed in on because it just makes me sick is the alabama senate race. that to me was a travesty. the fact that it's a republican strong hold and we had the bannon movement getting involved and knock luther strange out who was a good candidate, who was probably a shoe in and so on many levels the roy moore fandango was probably i think one of the worst political moments for the gop.
>> that's very important. it's a good thing you clarified. what would you consider the worst political moment of the year? >> definitely charlottesville and i say that not only as somebody who attended the university of virginia in charlottesville and spent many time after graduation working there and knowing so many of the people who still live there and watching that explode on a national stage was just surreal from a personal perspective but politically there just used to be a political consensus after the civil rights movement and so much blood was shed that siding with the clan or neo-nazis and saying there was anything good about people on that side was -- both sides of the aisle that that was not a good thing morally at all and we had a president who after watching a neo-nazi mow down a woman who was protesting actually hear the president say there are good people on both sides and that
was very low moral point. >> what would you say noel was the single best moment of 2017. >> it was the #metoo movements. movements change culture and this movement put women in the forefront and we're not going to to tolerate it any more. hollywood, workplace. it's one of the biggest turn arounds because it says that this is going to be changing, that it's not going to be tolerated and this is a win for women and a win for everybody and a win for men too as well. >> a lot of people can agree with you on that one. what was your takeaway in terms of the most opt mystic moment of 2017 politically. >> i would agree that the me too movement and it having
ramifications across all seconders be it media, but i would also say that just from the perspective of democrat, seeing so many people getting involved politically, the womens' march, a lot of black lives matter activist. a lot of young people for the first time after the 2016 election, this is my country, stepping up to run for office who never have and as a lot of those folks who ran in virginia, being a virginia democrat myself involved in politics there and seeing the young women, the young men, the people of color, the first two asian americans, the first two latinos actually take our house in virginia and that not be something that was even possible before. talks about a new generation stepping up to lead. >> i want to ask both of you very quickly final thoughts about the mueller investigation and how significant it'll be in 2018. do you think this will be a critical year for the mueller investigation or do you think
work can get done despite it lingering over washington? >> i do think that work can get done despite that it's carrying on and continuing only because we have some serious issues that need to have work done on it. we've got infrastructure, we've got health care. even those these are going to be very serious and they're going to continue we actually have business we need to take care of it. >> final thoughts? >> lots of balls still left to play on this. mueller definitely has shown that he is a consummate lawyer and investigator and we found things out after the fact. >> right. >> so i think that there's still a lot more to play out especially now with michael flynn situation earlier this month. >> lots of questions remain unanswered. thank you both for joining us. coming up, what to watch for in politics plus we're continuing to follow the
taking to the streets in iran, massive protests sparking a new war of roads between the iranian president and president trump and the russia investigation rolling into 2018, the key issues that will propel robert mueller's probe forward. that's all coming up on this new year's eve. greece, the latest country to cross the threshold into 2018. you're looking at live pictures from athens as people begin to celebrate. waiting for the fireworks to happen any moment now. we had moscow as well. aj thens is expected to be the next country in europe to welcome in 2018. it has already been ringing in in many other parts of the country, in many other parts of europe i should say as well as the rest of the world. there you see it just in time.