tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 16, 2018 4:00am-4:30am PST
toughness? >> from her. >> from marabel? >> yeah. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." i'm craig melvin. thanks for watching. good morning. i'm dara brown in new york at msnbc world headquarters. it's 7:00 in the east, 4:00 out west. here's what's happening. the president's world under fire. what lies ahead as his inauguration spending is about to come into question on capitol hill. >> we'll sit down with the democrats. >> now the president and the gop are feeling the heat after a new ruling on obamacare. plus this. >> i told you donald, you don't have a press secretary because you weren't elected president. >> the ghost of christmas past haunting "saturday night live." we'll show you what happened when kellyanne conway showed up.
new this morning, health care is at the center of a renewed political debate about different conditions. the health coverage millions of americans could be in peril after a federal judge in texas ruled that the affordable care act is unconstitutional. the landmark house law remains in effect pending appeals. the case could make it to the supreme court. president trump calling for a new legislation less than three weeks before democrats take control of the house. >> if the republicans and the democrats get together, we are going to end up with incredible health care, which is the way it should have been from day one. >> also this week, a high-profile sentencing in the mueller investigation in about 48 hours, michael flynn will become the first member of the trump administration to be sentenced. the fornler national security adviser has been cooperating with the special counsel. flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the fbi about his communications with the russian ambassador
during the presidential transition. every entity associated with president trump is now under investigation. >> there's literally no aspect of the president's life that seems not to be under criminal investigation now. i'm ready, alex, frankly to declare this the most corrupt administration in american history. >> he did not say, hey, i made these payments and secure -- he denied doing it at all. that's because he knew it was illegal. so right now we have a sitting president of the united states who committed two felonies while running for president. >> meanwhile, growing outrage after this 7-year-old girl died in the custody of u.s. border patrol. the father of jacqueline powell says his daughter was healthy when crossing the border illegally. her family, protesters and democratic lawmakers are demanding a transparent and neutral investigation. members of congress also condemning the detention of conditions of the migrants and teenagers held at a remote
center in texas. >> we're turning our backs, not just on these people but on our best traditions. we're causing suffering. in the case of jacqueline, 7 years old who we learned died in the custody of cbp. >> i am shocked and outraged by what i saw in there. there are 2700 children, ages 13 to 1 in essence locked up there in a child prison. well, i think we need to shut it down. >> and now, more on what's next for the affordable care act. here's kelly o'donnell with the details. >> a downpour did not dampen the president's reaction. >> it's a great rule for our country. >> following a solemn visit to arlington national cemetery, president trump spoke fort first time about a texas federal court overturning obamacare anticipating a higher court showdown. >> we'll sit down with the
democrats, we'll be sitting down with them and get great health care for our people. >> that sudden call for cooperation at odds with years of raw political conflict. >> we've decimated obamacare. >> health care is on the ballot and health care won. >> but friday, a texas federal judge upended the volatile obamacare debate. a 55-page ruling changed the key requirement to buy health insurance. after congress eliminated mandate tax penalties last year. without it, the judge ruled the entire law is now invalid. threatening many popular provisions like protection for preexisting conditions. free preventive care screenings. young adults covered on parents' plan until age 26. a new dose of anxiety. >> made as uncertainty to people who now aren't sure that the
benefits that they have and the insurance that they have can is going to remain. >> no changes happen immediately. insurance contracts are locked in through next year making time for an extended legal fight. >> this is an enormous law. if the entirety were to be found unconstitutional it would cause major chaos in the health care system. >> after the president and congressional republicans failed to deliver on their promise to repeal obamacare, republican state attorneys general on the change and the tax penalty and brought this case hoping to undermine the law. the affordable care act has been reviewed by the supreme court twice. this would be a different argument if justices take it up a third time. dara? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you for that report. joining me now, twor reporters. good to have you both. jonathan, we heard the president calling on republicans and
democrats to pass new legislation on health care. do the republicans in congress want a new political and legislative fight over health care and what about the democrats? >> republicans tried to repeal obamacare when president obama was in office. they tried to repeal and replace obamacare when they had the president, the senate and the house and republican control and were unable to do so. now there's a court striking it down. there is no indication that there's any desire or ability on the part of republicans in congress to work with democrats to get any sort of health care fixes, any obamacare fixes. i think the democrats would prefer to see, rather than working with republicans on health care fixes, they would rather see the supreme court or perhaps the circuit court and the immediate level there reverse this decision. basically what we know is that there is no ability and has been no ability for the last decade or so for either of the sides to
get together and work on these issues. republicans have said they want to guarantee some of the guarantees in obamacare, including protecting the preexisting conditions and have been unable to find a way to fund that. >> what we heard nancy pelosi say, that the democrats made health care the centerpiece of their campaigns in the elections, they found health care was the most important issue among voters. 57% said the democratic party would better protect preexisting conditions. laura, is the president effectively handing democrats a gift in terms of political messaging? >> democrats have been saying from the beginning that they want to do something relatively quickly to shore up protections for preexisting conditions. as the polling noted, this is something that they talked about on the campaign trail. voters that i interacted with, this was their number one issue they were worried about. there are other options the democrats might pursue later on
in the next two years as they hold a power in the house. medicare buy-in allowing people 50 and up to buy in. expanding medicaid. but those things as we've mentioned would be really difficult to pass through our public incentive and get approval from trump. there are possibly things to shore up aca that they could maybe push through. >> jonathan, some of the republicans who are part of the lawsuit against the affordable care act, they campaigned on protecting preexisting conditions. what is the political risk for republicans if they pursue new health care legislation? >> there's a huge political risk here. there are notable exceptions to that rule. you've got gosh hauljosh haul i attorney general for missouri. they would point to him and say he didn't suffer for it. the major issue for democrats was protecting preexisting
conditions in which democrats picked up about 40 seats, historic wave election that they haven't seen anything like that since watergate. this is a huge risk for republicans. when they say they want to protect preexisting conditions, they haven't found a mechanism. they've basically eliminated the funding mechanism with the hope that a court would look at that and say, because the funding mechanism for the individual mandate has been eliminated, the entire law is unconstitutional. they got a court to say that. this judge in texas to say that. but basically, this was then sort of a back door approach to getting rid of obamacare. the sort of one two step of those things. if they want to find a way to -- for pre existing conditions, thy have to find one that wasn't eliminated. >> he said he will force to expose the lives of republicans saying they support protections
for preexisting conditions. what legislative moves is senator schumer talking about? what seems to be the strategy for the democrats trying to protect obamacare? >> look, there are a number of things they can do, whether or not the house passes clean bills that would protect preexisting conditions and schumer and others try to force symbolic votes, whether by trying to attach these bills to must-pass spending bills, you can also call up symbolic resolutions on the senate floor. those are ways to possibly force votes although it will be difficult. i think he's referring to that when it means putting these republicans on the record. because -- also in the house. he has -- pelosi will want to do it too. a number of the seats where republicans did hold on, it was by narrow margin and it was republicans who promised to protect preexisting conditions and promised that they would help fix aca. if she ends up putting them on
the record against that, those could -- seats could be easy targets in 2020. >> with this back in the headlines now, we'll be watching to see what happens. let's pivot now to the 2020 race. the new poll shows that former vice president biden is leading the pack likely to participate in the iowa caucuses. bernie sanders and beto o'rourke. jonathan, what are your take aways from this poland what should we be reading into this poll? >> it's early. with that caveat, i think it's fascinating that beto o'rourke a member of the house who lost the senate race is in double digits this early on. only one president was ever elected directly from the house. he wouldn't be elected directly from the house because he lost his job come january. james garfield. i think he's got the energy, the sort of lightning in a bottle right now in the democratic party and we're seeing that
reflected in the polling. if you're joe biden or bernie sanders, you say it's not so bad to be first or second and have 30% or 19%. you have to wonder with all the name i.d. across the country if you're looking at potentially a ceiling of support there at 30% or 19%. >> jonathan, i like you're going back to garfield there. jonathan, laura barron lopez. stay with us. i have questions about melania's trump latest controversy. ivanka trump and the inauguration spending. -morning. -morning. -what do we got? -keep an eye on that branch. might get windy. have a good shift. fire pit. last use -- 0600. i'd stay close. morning. ♪ get ready to switch. protected by flo. should say, "protected by alan and jamie." -right? -should it?
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president's inaugural committee now under investigation. nbc news has not independently verified reports. take a listen. >> clearly, the investigative walls are closing in on trump. >> the president's campaign is under investigation. his transition is under investigation. his inauguration is under investigation. his presidency is under investigation. that's far broader than anything that happened during watergate. those investigations are just starting. >> we have the southern district of new york, the new york attorney general, criminal investigations. i really do believe it's time for president trump to work out a plea deal. >> joining me now is ashleigh merchant. good morning to you, ashleigh. >> good morning. >> what's your take on what mr. painter said there? is it time he works out a plea deal. >> he's not going to work out a plea deal. while he's a sitting president, he's under protection.
they're going to wait until he's no longer a sitting president. the most likely threat is impeachment. but he's got his from all different angles. lawsuits. criminal investigations. he definitely has a lot of different things going on in his world. but i think that's part of the grand plan. i think that's what happens when you're doing illegal dealing and doing things that violates civil laws and criminal laws. you've got investigations into your companies and i think that's part of the strategy to investigate his company, to investigate his associates. to investigate his family. because that puts pressure on him. that's going to put pressure and that's going to build to either a memo that the department of justice gives to congress or potentially when he's out of office, an indictment as soon as he leaves office. >> it certainly seems like quite a web there. they question the ethics surrounding a president saying quote, everything he touches is poisoned by corruption.
can we expect a wave of indictments like you've been talking about that can touch deeper into trump's world. i think we're going to continue to see indictments. we're going to continue to see more investigation. because what happens is they get -- let's take cohen for example. they diet him, they seize things in his office. documents that they seized from the cohen probe, that indictment, led them into other investigations. so that's what you see happening. you get one individual who is arrested. they're searched. they talk to fbi. they talk to the department of justice. they give more information and that broadens the investigation. so as we go on, we're just going to see this investigation growing immensely because every single person they're talking to, every single person that gives them information leads to more information. we're going to continue to see this grow as time goes on. >> ashleigh, a report says that the trump organization may have overcharged trump's own
inaugural committee and that ivanka was at the center of the negotiations. she had an ethics lawyer prepared to answer any questions as a criminal defense attorney. what does that tell you? >> that tells me that they have gotten information from different people that they're talking to that has led them to believe that there were some illegal things that happened during the inaugural committee. that that is going to stem to his family. i've always said, as soon as they put pressure on his children, that's when they're going to get the hint. because, clearly, he doesn't have any you allegiance to the other folks, to these associates that he has. the people that he's most likely to have allegiance to is his family members. if they can link different criminal activities to his family members, which it looks like they're getting closer to doing with this inaugural committee investigation, that's when they're going to put more pressure on him. that's exactly what they're doing at this point. >> ashlee merchant, great to have you here this sunday. >> thank you. why melania trump's
spokeswoman took off her gloves this weekend. firstm "saturday night live" takes on it's a wonderful life trump-style. here's the ghost of christmas past. >> i told you, donald, you don't have a press secretary because you weren't elected president. >> hello mr. trump. >> my god, you look incredible. healthy and vibrant. >> that's because i'm no longer eaten -- the devil did give me my soul back after we lost the election. i have to talk to my husband who i do speak to now. >> hillary is president? >> that's right. in this reality, all she had to do was visit wisconsin once. >> did they find her e-mails? >> they did. they were all bed, bath and beyond coupons. you better be 'cause it's red lobster's new create your own ultimate feast event! pick 4 of 10 favorites to create the ultimate feast you've been dreaming of. will you choose creamy lobster mac & cheese, tender, wild-caught snow crab...
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lady for comments she made in an interview. in it, the author who offered a book in the history of the first ladies claimed melania quote that she doesn't understand what it means to be first lady. it comes in response to her slamming what she called opportunists who used the trump family name to advance themselves. jonathan, melania's spokeswoman called her remarks condescending adding in part absurdity abound. reports focus on the trivial and superficial rather than the deeper issues facing our country that she has tirelessly worked to address. so your response to this? how would you characterize melania's treatment in the press? >> i think she's gotten very good coverage in the press. i mean, as most first ladies do, the sort of take on her has generally been much more positive than the take on her husband. she doesn't get criticized by
and large for the policies that she undertakes. you know, the president of the united states is the one responsible for the administration. therefore, he's the one who sort of suffers the slings and arrows of the editorialists. challenged by having his feet held to the fire. i'm not sure there's a lot to complain about if you're melania trump. also, i would note that kate brouwer who wrote the op-ed piece knows more about the first ladies of the united states than virtually anybody in the country, certainly more than her spokesperson does. would have the standing and the knowledge and experience with this topic to really make a judgment like the one she did. >> quite an article. laura, what do you think? do you think she's being treated differently than past first ladies? >> no, i don't. i agree with jonathan. michelle obama suffered numerous insults. she was criticized for wearing shorts. rush limbaugh said that she
weighed too much to be launching this initiative that encouraged kids to get fit and encouraged healthy eating styles. sarah palin criticized her for that also. that doesn't even cover the racist comments that michelle obama had to endure throughout the time that her husband was president. those came from a number of republicans at various levels across the country. i agree with jonathan, this was an op-ed. it wasn't written by a reporter like myself. so i think that the first lady has gone through what a number of other first ladies have gone through before. overall, her policies are respected. >> very interesting take there. jonathan, your quick take on this interview? >> just to say what laura said, hillary clinton is accused of killing her -- who committed suicide. maybe years by a lot of people.
my take on the interview is that melania trump is very -- >> jonathan, i have ten seconds. i have to wrap you here. >> thank you so much. we're out of time. laura barron lopez. great to see you. up is up at the top of the hour. we've shown just how far love can go. (grandma vo) over one hundred national parks protected. (mom vo) more than fifty thousand animals rescued. (old man vo) nearly two million meals delivered. (mom vo) over eighteen hundred wishes granted. (vo) that's one hundred and forty million dollars donated to charity by subaru and its retailers over eleven years. (girl) thank you. (boy) thank you. (old man) thank you. (granddaughter) thank you. our because of smoking.ital. but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. but then, we were like. what are we doing? the nicodermcq patch helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. nicodermcq. you know why, we know how.
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