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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 29, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST

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a government shutdown stalemate. one week in, no end in sight. both sides standing their ground. is anyone searching for middle ground? >> there have been zero negotiations in the interceding weeks. this thing is going nowhere. >> this is something that i think is going to be with us, unfortunately, for the long haul and that both sides are digging in on. >> up next, conflict, casualties, and barriers to compromise. plus -- will he or won't he? confusion over whether trump will answer any more questions from robert mueller and why he may not have any choice. the young faces of tragedy.
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what actions should the border patrol take to keep young migrants safe? i'm frances rivera at nbc headquarters in new york. here's what's happening. we begin with new reaction from democrats on day eight of the partial government shutdown and the detail of how low the president was willing to go to end his own shutdown. nbc news learned trump backed off on his original demand of $5 billion for the wall, revising that figure down to $2.5 billion. democrats rejected that figure a week ago and are doing so again today. >> we're not going to allow the american people to be held hostage that $5 billion or somewhere south of that ransom note in order to build a ridiculous border wall that's not going to make anyone safe. >> if he wants to see us increase border security, we'll go there, we'll do this. but we're not going to use seventh century technology for a 21st century problem just
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because in the middle of a campaign speech he thought he would say "build a wall." homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen is visiting arizona today on day two of her border tour. she was in el paso, texas yesterday. that's where felipe alonzo-gomez, an 8-year-old migrant guatemalan boy, crossed the border with his father. he died in the hospital. he's the second child to die in cpb custody in under a month. kelly o'donnell joins us with more. >> the president is casting out the appearance of being ready to make a deal. we reported on the fact that he has cut in half his demand for border wall funding according to our sources. that deal presented to democrats. chuck schumer leading the way as the top negotiator for them as the highest ranking democrat in the senate. but no response from democrats so far. the president sort of killing
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some time this weekend when there appear to be no active negotiations happening. so he has lashed out at democrats, saying they're spending too much time worried about persecuting the president and investigating the president and not enough about trying to resolve this. you've got the white house trying to put some of the blame on nancy pelosi who would be the likely speaker when elections take place. it's something that the entire new congress must vote on and she's already the choice of democrats. and yet you've got to get to that point where she's actually elected speaker. so white house officials, including mick mulvaney who is the acting chief of staff and the budget director, have been seizing on that point to suggest that somehow that would be a reason for democrats to not want to act at this point, even though the real pressure point is in the democratic senate where they would need some votes from democrats in order to pass any kind of ultimate funding package. here is mick mulvaney making that case against nancy pelosi. >> here is what i think is
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happening. this all comes down to mrs. -- with mrs. pelosi's speakership. left to his own devices, chuck schumer and the senate democrats would probably cut a deal but they're protecting mrs. pelosi. sheds have the votes. if she cuts a deal with the president of any sort before her election on january 3rd, she's at risk of losing her speakership. so we're in this for the long haul. >> pelosi's aides point out she has not received any direct communication from the white house since december 11th, so this idea that it's about her, they reject. they say democrats are in favor of border security but not funding for a wall they call immoral. and when she takes the gavel after that election, presuming that all goes as planned, democratic aides say they expect they can pass something from their side without funding for the border wall right away as a sign that they are prepared to reopen the government. but can it get through the senate, can it get the president's signature? those are the sticking points. when shutdowns happen they either resolve very quickly,
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which didn't happen in this case, because they're close to the end and there's something to negotiate, or we have these long, protracted impasses when the two sides have difficult to move positions. an unwillingness based on their basis or the issues on hand, to come together. that's where we are right now. we expect it will go into next week based on what the players are saying and perhaps beyond that, we'll have to see, frances. >> we'll hear from the president, i'm just checking, it's been two hours since his last tweet. we'll see if it that changes. kelly o'donnell, thank you. joining me now, jill corbin and john nichols. to both of you, welcome as we get started with you, joe. we've got the president saying again he wants to make a deal on border security, dropping that term "wall." so you have that. and the white house's latest offer, half of what we heard from before, in and out of it's now it's at $2.5 billion in
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funds. are these significant concessions and do we see more coming from the white house? >> it's significant that the president is willing to negotiate down from $5 billion, which is the number they had put out there originally. more significantly, as the white house has said, democrats have said, negotiations have ground to a hoalt. there are very few lawmakers even in washington right now. the white house has made no outreach to nancy pelosi who they're trying to blame for the shutdown despite the fact that the president, as we all remember, said he was willing to own this shutdown. you've got both sides digging in their heels. it doesn't sound like the white house is willing to go below this $2.5 billion. it doesn't sound like democrats are willing to go above the $1.3 billion they've suggested they are open to. but keep in mind that that's not a huge gulf anymore. so potentially when everyone gets back to town, when the new congress opens session, maybe you'll see some movement. >> that's the thing, when we talk about what would it take, john, you've got democrats who
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rm rejected the offer from the white house, what would the incentive be for the democrats to compromise at this point? is there a greater risk of facing backlash? >> you hit all the marks there, it is a complicated situation. look, here's what we need to understand. the democrats have a caucus that has many people who are very, very passionately against this wall, and frankly passionately against the president's policies as regards immigration. so the suggestion from the white house that the senate is protecting nancy pelosi or something like that, that's not the reality. the reality is that the democratic caucus has some folks who are ready to cut a deal. it has other folks who are really very uncomfortable with any spending on a wall. and so you're going to get them back into town. at that point the negotiations are going to get real. but there is an incentive here, and this is the important thing to understand. shutdowns tend to be covered poorly, not by you folks but just in general, because they don't come in one fell swoop.
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they come over time. so today we learn that next week if something doesn't happen, the smithsonian will start cutting back its hours. we learned that the epa is now running out of money, going to have to start furloughing. and more and more agencies fall into this category. so the full reality of the shutdown will start to be felt i think quite severely next week. and at that point, the pressure for a deal with going to get intense, not just on president trump but also on the democrats in congress. >> and there you go, the finger pointing will intensify. jill, you write about that, the blame game, the president and the democrats playing that. the president is tweeting, saying, i'm at the white house, i'm right here, how about a deal? who will blink first? >> i think you guys already talked a little bit about this, but really, the incentive structures here are very complicated and make reaching a deal very complicated, because you've got a president now who is entering into this new phase
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of his government, suddenly being president with a divided government, with democrats taking control of the house, and you've got a president who very much feels like his best strategy is to dig in, he wants to make sure he's not alienating his base. you remember the outcry that he heard when he signaled that he was willing to agree to a deal before christmas, where you had everyone from talk radio hosts, folks like rush limbaugh screaming at him. >> ann coulter as well. >> yeah, you're going to lose the support of your base if you do this. you've got the president's incentive to dig in. and now you've got this newly emboldened democratic party, they're coming in, a lot of new, young members who will want to make a name for themselves and one easy way to do that is to be in opposition to trump, and folks who are not going to want no give in to this, saying the wall is not only ineffective but is a horrible message to send, they don't want to give the president and inch and don't
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have any incentive to work with him. >> john, not just the money, but the language here, the terminology being used. >> you know, look, one thing to understand is the american people, as they think about this, for them, there's an intersection of all the things that are going on. so yes, they are hearing about the shutdown. they're concerned about that, at least to some extent. they're also watching this chaotic stock market. and here's the significant thing. they're hearing about children dying at the border, a suggestion, i think, that the immigration policies aren't working, that there actually is an element of inhumanity here. all of these things come together in people's heads. i think that when we try to separate them, we lose sight of what really will be the pressure on the president at the end of the day. if his poll numbers continue to be bad on this, if it frankly looks like people really are blame him not just for the
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shutdown but for being obstinate about it, the pressure for him to back off on funding for the wall or to back off at least somewhat, will become great enough that the pressure from his conservative friends, talk radio, won't be sufficient to keep this going. but for now, for now, he is deferring to a narrow sector of the right, not even the republican party, a narrow sector of the right. and the question is, when does the great mass of american people move those poll numbers to a point where trump cannot neglect them. >> that's the thing, where is the give there, jill, when it comes to the president, looking at his state of mind outside of what he's been tweeting so far, which is expected to last beyond the new year. we know he's alone, we know he's uprooted his holiday plans, having his family join him in washington. how is that, when it comes to uncertainty versus confidence with the president? >> the president is in a very lonely position, he's tweeted "i'm all alone at the white
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house here." he had to cancel christmas plans, he's at the white house by himself. we wonder what the tweets will look like as he's there and his family is down in florida. you also have a president who is facing so much more than just the shutdown threat. as democrats begin to assume their positions, as the heads of all these committees. we'll start to see the influx of investigations, of subpoenas, as committees start to ask questions, demand witnesses, about the president's actions, the president's businesses, digging into corners with their newfound power, we have potential impeachment proceedings to begin, we have the mueller investigation that obviously is still continuing. and with every single new court document, with every piece of information we learn it seems to get worse and worse and closer to the president personally. so things are only getting more difficult for this president as we get into the new year. >> jill colvin, john nichols, thank you so much. a new poll on who is to
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blame for the shutdown, trump or the democrats? plus the red letter day facing the white house. why it could mean big trouble for the president. shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial allow you to take advantage of growth opportunities with a level of protection in down markets. so you can be less concerned about your retirement savings. talk with your advisor about shield℠ annuities from brighthouse financial, established by metlife.
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nick, nick, we need a decision. these days we all feel a little anxious sometimes. but if you could see inside my mind; you'll find i go to my happy place. see if we let tensions run the show up here, then our bodies won't perform at their best out here. wait, aren't we going to the sound check? priorities. so i'm partnering with cigna, to remind you that how you're doing emotionally affects you physically.
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politics is about public money. we can either manage it efficiently or waste it. the president wants us to waste it. we're prepared to negotiate for an efficient border security plan that does the right thing
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by the american people. >> that was u.s. congressman and next chair of the democratic caucus, hakeem jeffries. 47% hold president trump responsible for the shutdown with 33% blaming democrats in congress. joining me is congressman brenda lawrence from michigan. does that poll make democrats less inclined to cut any deal with the border wall? the public is laying the blame with the president, so the democrats can hold out? >> let's be very clear. what the democrats are asking for is border safety. and border safety is not defined by building a wall, a fence, or a chain link whatever, steel slats with points on it. it's about security. one of the biggest challenges we have on our border is the lack of immigration judges that can help expedite the process.
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we need to ensure that our trained workforce is sufficient, the numbers are there to address the issues. building a wall is not the same, it is not synonymous with border security. the democrats have never backed down from funding and investing in border security. >> let's talk about the dollars here. we've learned that the white house made an offer last saturday to senator schumer that was half of the original number, so we're talking about $2.5 billion for a wall. is that an acceptable number to you? >> without a plan, when you ask the president, he has no plan. he does not understand what the budget is. he doesn't even know what he is building. how can we, being the gatekeepers of the public dollars, the taxes, say to the people of america, we have no idea what we're going to do, we just have someone that keeps flip-flopping and saying he wants a wall, and we're going to put your tax dollars into it. mr. president, i say constantly,
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what is the plan? how much will it cost? how long will this wall or your border security plan, what is the plan? when he comes forward with a clear, concise plan that will provide border security, that's when we can start allocating funds. i will never support just a random plan and a political promise. >> congressman, republicans are trying to shift the blame to nancy pelosi on the shutdown. let's remind everybody what mick mulvaney said yesterday. >> this all comes down to mrs. pelosi's speakership. i think left to his own devices, chuck shume and hchumer and sen democrats would cut a deal. she doesn't have the votes. if she cuts a deal with the president of any sort before january 3rd she's at risk of losing her speakership. >> you have mick mulvaney suggesting nancy pelosi doesn't want to make a deal because of
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her vote for speakership on january 3rd. is there some truth there? >> no. nancy pelosi's record speaks for itself. she is the most experienced in running a majority in the house of representatives. she has been very clear with her message and we as a democratic party, this has been a transformation for us. she and the party. we recognize the pressure and the responsibility of being in the majority. and we are committed, we are committed through her leadership to move our country forward, to do more than talk about a wall. to talk about education, gun violence, immigration plans. to talk about how are we going to fix our infrastructure. so nancy pelosi is not the target. they would like to deflect. and i want to say something else. having this woman be the next speaker of the house, with all this experience, having a record number of women coming into
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congress, we are so excited about this opportunity to lead. and you know what, you can sit on the sidelines and point and say, well, they're the problem. everyone, every republican, every democrat who is elected to this house has a responsibility to get to work and take care of these issues for america. >> but wouldn't there be a concern that she may risk losing some of these progressive votes if she says, all right, i'll take you up on that tweet, mr. president, i'll meet with you, let's cut a deal? >> nancy pelosi is not a person who makes random decisions. she is probably the most strategic political leader i've ever seen. she's focused on what the people want and what it means for her to represent the democratic party. the democratic philosophy. and what we believe in, we believe in being for the people. and nancy pelosi has continuously shown that she will move us forward in that direction. >> i want to ask you, congressman, about this new poll and the public's appetite for
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impeachment. 39% of respondents say donald trump should be impeached and removed. 41% say nothing should happen. and 20% say he should be censured. where do you stand on these numbers? >> you know what i'm focused on right now is, donald trump is inappropriate on so many levels. he is the president of the united states. we have so much work to do to take care of the people of this great country. when i talked those issues of education of our children, health care, infrastructure, eliminating corruption, those are the things we need to focus on. and i'll tell you, 2020 is coming. we have a democracy. we need to get to work to elect a president that's going to move this country forward. but we will hold him accountable. i sit on oversight. we have over 51 letters that have been sent to the white house and to different agencies with a deadline of the 11th of january to respond. and one thing that's so
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important that everyone needs to know. these letters that we're demanding accountability for our government, are bipartisan. these are letters that the republicans have written to the white house. it is about who is getting security clearance. it's talking about how we're spending our tax dollars. it's talk about epa. the flint water situation. it is about immigration, and the children being separated. these are letters that the republicans asked for and the white house has not responded to a single one. we are going into this majority demanding accountability. and that's what america wants. >> you're saying these letters demanding answers here, and what if you continue not to get any answers? will subpoenas start coming? >> one of the things that we know the white house refuses to respond, even to bipartisan, republicans' request, when they were in the majority because
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there was no accountability. the republicans just sat there. when they asked for information from the white house, documents and data, and they got zero back, there were no subpoenas issued. we are going to use every ounce of responsibility, authority, that we have, because we are here to hold accountability of our government for the people who elect us. and so there will be consequences, subpoenas. and there will be answers, because that's what the american people sent us to washington to do, is to do the work, not to put our head in the sand just because it's not politically a good thing to do. >> congressman brenda lawrence, great to have you. >> happy new year. >> happy new year to you too, thanks. looking for answers in the deaths of two migrant children in u.s. custody. a former border patrol agent with what he thinks is the most critical. s is the most critical
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today homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen is in yu yuma, arizona, visiting officials at the u.s./mexico border, this after the death of
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a second migrant child held in border patrol custody. joining us is a former border patrol agent and the author of "deep in the shadows." thanks for your time here. as we approach this trip here, and we know that secretary nielsen is going there, what is something tangible that she could get done during this trip to the border? >> i think one of the things, i think it's important for the secretary to observe firsthand, and i think it also shows the concern that our agency would have and the dedication of efforts that they're doing to make sure that the children and all migrants coming to the united states are medically checked. i think it's important to know that one of the things that doesn't come out very often is that the only time that these children get any medical attention is when they're first encountered by the u.s. border patrol. they're placed in very difficult conditions when they leave their homes in guatemala, el salvador,
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and travel through mexico, many times traveling in tractor trailers, buses that are overcrowded, place income bad conditions. what happened with jakelin caal maquin, walking for hours on the mexico side and not the u.s. side. but i think the asset, it's important that she see firsthand and speak to officials out there, but she'll also see our agents are very dedicated to treating these children correctly, giving them the medical attention that they need, and that many of the health issues that they have, they ultimately suffer tremendously along the way. it's important that they know that. >> when it comes to the changes, what needs to be done there, we have a recent "washington post" article, you have the chief of the border patrol saying, our stations are not meant to house children and families, they have not been constructed to deal with the situations that we're
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facing now. will changes like those possibly prevent more children from dying? is that the right direction to take? >> because of the fact that the border patrol is only there for processing the children, then they get turned over to i.c.e. and ultimately to health and human services where they're checked medically. i think the important thing is they recognize that attention needs to be given to these children and all immigrants coming into the country. but i think also, we need to point out that these conditions are horrific, the children that are coming into the country. the border patrol is equipped to handle those individuals who turn themselves in but then they get turned over to i.c.e. again, like i said, the secretary, i think all our officials are very cognizant of the fact that there's attention that needs to be given to those individuals. i think there's also another message that needs to be sent. taking off from that journey
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from central america into the united states places the children at risk. by the way, something that doesn't come out, we have two very tragic deaths in the past two weeks, my heart goes out to the families. but there are deaths. i served in mexico for eight years at the u.s. embassy and there were deaths almost every day for people coming through mexico, getting smuggled into the united states by smugglers. the danger is from the moment they leave their homes in central america, coming to the united states, with organizers, who i would consider smugglers, who promise them they'll make entry into the united states. we know that this is not going to happen under this administration. >> but is there any sense here, hipolito, that the policies of our current president, is it making it more dangerous for these children, after this second death, we may be seeing a third, fourth, or fifth deaths? >> no, i think the dangers are
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the children being placed in those particular conditions. look, two years ago we had 65,000 children coming unaccompanied to the united states. this past year alone, over 50,000 were processed by the u.s. border patrol. so one of the things that makes it very dangerous is the belief, like what happened with this 8-year-old young boy that died, was that his father believed that with his child, he was taken into custody, they had a better chance of being released into the united states, which has happened for decade. they get to our borders, we've had surges of children coming into the united states and migrants with expectations that they would be released and set up for a hearing at a later date with immigration courts only to not show up. and i think that's a tremendous magnet that reaches down to the people. the smugglers use it, it's advertised for people to pay thousands of dollars. i know that they are fleeing conditions that are in poverty, but the reality is that many of the relatives here in the united states who many themselves are illegally in the country, are paying thousands of dollars for
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these smugglers to get them to the border, simply turning themselves into border patrol, they get a chance to go into our cities. >> before i let you go, i want to ask you about what you would do, what would you like to see that would change the scenarios here, the one thing. >> i think we need all countries to work together. when i was the director in mexico city, we worked very closely with mexican authorities, making sure people did not make it through mexico to the united states. i think mexico is seeing the repercussions of allowing several thousand people onto the northern borders and not get allowed into the country. we need that cooperation. we need folks to be stopped before they get to our borders. i think we need the countries working together. and i think all our leaders in washington need to work together for a better immigration plan than we have right now. >> hipolito acosta, thank you for your time. >> thank you. still to come, why president trump's chances to be subpoenaed in the russia probe may have just shot up. have just shot up do you want to take the path or the shortcut?
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new today, president trump is taking aim at the special counsel once again. in a tweet, the president expresses frustrations with the investigation. quote, the mueller angry democrats recently deleted approximately 19,000 text messages between fbi agents. this is total obstruction of justice. all texts demanded. but earlier this month the justice department released a report announcing all of the 20,000 text messages between the amendments were recovered. joining me now is former u.s. attorney, greg bauer, and former
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federal prosecutor greg clemons. you have the president's lawyer rudy giuliani making these assertions here. what evidence could there be as far as the president and rudy giuliani basing these claims on, and could these do more harm legally to the president? >> with respect to the text messages, frances? >> right. >> i'm not sure what is being mentioned there by the president. there doesn't seem to be any basis for alleging that there are these mysteriously missing text messages at this point. that matter had been the subject of a very professional, very thorough report by the doj office of inspector general that was released some months ago. i simply don't know what to make of this latest allegation. >> it's also, on the side you have rudy giuliani who goes back and forth, sending mixed signals with his messaging. in an interview with "the hill" he said he believed the investigation should end soon.
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but then changed on whether the president would answer any more questions. does the mueller investigation move forward if there is no interview and would there be a subpoena after that? >> the mueller investigation, i would submit, will move forward whether or not the president is ever interviewed. i think we may be moving into the phase now where the president, if he is seen as a target or a quasi target in the eyes of the special counsel's team, it may be that he is offered a chance to come in and explain why he should not be indicted. that would normally happen with respect to a target who might receive a target letter from the government. one of the complicating factors we have here, of course, is that even if the special counsel's team views the president as a target, we have this office of legal counsel opinion, actually a couple of opinions going back some 40 years at doj, which
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suggest that a sitting president cannot be indicted. so that complicates significantly the president's status, and the issue of whether he could be or should be interviewed by the special counsel. >> and where do you see it going, especially with rudy giuliani and the kind of mixed messaging, how will that affect this investigation? >> it's hard -- >> ben, i apologize, ben. >> thank you, frances. i agree with greg, i don't think it's going to affect the mueller investigation's -- certainly not the ability of the investigation to move forward. it will move forward regardless of what rudy giuliani says or does and regardless of whether or not the president submits to an interview. his comments are typical of the modern day rudy giuliani. incomprehensible and inconsistent. i believe that was the same interview in which he reopened the possibility of submitting to
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an interview, that he would have the president be interviewed by mueller over his dead body. it's more of guiliani's smoke screens, as are the crazy allegations about the supposedly deleted texts. it's just part of a pattern to distract. it's not a legal strategy per se, it's a pr strategy trying to get the public and the media to focus on their statements rather than their offences. >> "time" says paul manafort was millions of dollars in debt with a russian oligarch in 2016, quote, he owed us a lot of money and was offering ways to pay us back. what would that mean for him legally? >> well, certainly it would go a long way to buttressing the evidence that there was a criminal conspiracy involving the campaign, involving the candidate, now the president, and involving his businesses
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through the trump organization, and involving the russian government. there's an awful lot of evidence to suggest that even before the efforts to influence the election, that the russian government had enormous influence and control over donald trump because of his financial dependence upon them. but that additional information certainly enhances all of that and supports further the conclusions that i expect we will see at some point out of mueller's investigation. >> let's look ahead at 2019, greg. you've got the president facing this triple threat right now. you have got the new york attorney general, you've got the southern district of new york, special counsel. how does he go about managing that and surviving it, if at all? >> it's going to be challenging for him, there's no doubt about it, based upon what we've seen reported publicly to this point. traditionally what i think a president would do would be to continually reassure the
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american people that he is -- that he has done nothing wrong, if that's his belief, and that he has -- he has told his people to cooperate fully with the investigation, and that he himself is committed to cooperating fully with the investigation. but that of course is exactly the opposite of what we've seen so far. so i would expect we see -- we will see more of the same from the president, criticizing the prosecutor, criticizing the fbi, and trying to deflect as best he can the attention that should be aimed at him, because the investigation is aimed at him and his campaign and his businesses, instead of just, again, committing to cooperating as best he can. >> very quickly, ben, which investigation poses the biggest threat? >> i really think it's the combination. you've got the michael cohen, the southern district of new york investigation. you have the mueller investigation. but i would add to the mix, you
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have the new york attorney general and a newly-elected attorney general in leticia james, who is moving forward with the suit against the trump foundation, and very well could have grounds, we believe does have grounds to pursue a dissolution of the trump organization, that is, all of his business empire. so i think the combination poses enormous threat to donald trump and his family. and ultimately the biggest threat is impeachment by the house and conviction by the senate. >> ben, greg, thanks to both of you. still ahead, evidence suggesting president trump's political calculation about the border wall could cost him. ittee ittee is now in session. and... adjourned. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it.
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we used 50% fewer ingredients added one handed pumps and beat the top safety standards the new johnson's® choose gentle this just into msnbc, the president tweeting minutes ago about the situation at the border, writing, any deaths of children or others at the border are strictly the fault of the democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally. they can't. if we had a wall, they wouldn't even try. he goes on to tweet that border patrol needs the wall and it will all end. they are working so hard and getting so little credit.
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it comes as the government shutdown is now in its eighth day with no end in sight. joining me now, sher michael singleton amy, to you, i think that's you chuckling to that response.
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>> i was chuckling. i'd even taken it a step further and said why don't weep as austin powers said, sharks with frikin' laser beams on their head. if we had a wall, it would make people wanting to come and cross illegally. i do agree with the president on that fact. just blaming the democrats on this whole entire debacle, i believe both sides are being very childish. they need to come back to work and maybe revisit things like daca. they did that at one point and it fell through and i think that was the fault of the republicans in the senate. i believe there are many other areas we can possibly compromise on to get this funding accomplished. that way children are not drug for thousands and thousands of miles with misinformation and possibly a terrible ending result. >> we're talking about the second one. will there be a third, fourth or
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fifth and then you have the president responding this way. >> well, i think for quite some time we've talked about immigration and how we're going to fix these problems and yet we have not been able to find a permanent solution for quite some time now. i think unfortunately through death we're sometimes forced to face the harsh realities of just how broken our system is. these are children. they don't make the decision to come here unfortunately, and while we can place a lot of blame on the parents and we can talk about why they should respect our laws, which i certainly believe they should, i also think the onus is on us to fix the system so that people can at least attempt to come here through a process that is more efficient. and i think that's currently lacking. so while i agree with the president, we do have to have a tough border, i think we can do that with compassion, which we have seen in the past with republican presidents such as ronald reagan and george w. bush. >> what we're not seeing right now is anyone willing to give
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here, peter. what's behind the standoff? what's driving it, which will apparently carry into the new year. you have the democrats here, nancy pelosi and mulvaney saying this is all about democrats protecting them. what's driving it for the democrats? >> for the democrats, it's originally accepting trump's declaration that he would take full credit for shutting down the government. as he often does, he lied. now it's a principle stand for the democrats. but that's quickly going to give way to the political reality, particularly when nancy pelosi becomes speaker in just a few days. >> when it comes to a compromise here, you have karl rove, a republican consultant arguing in the"the wall street journal" th if democrats and republicans cannot compromise, both sides will lose. is that wishful thinking? isn't there a loser when it comes to this? >> well, even mitch mcconnell said i believe a week or two ago that government shutdowns aren't
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good for any particular party. right now the republican party is still in charge. if speaker ryan wanted to bring folks back in the house and the same in the senate, they could do that in an attempt to address this issue. the problem, is frances, they don't have the votes, even with the republican party. that's a fair point from karl rove when the democrats take control of the house, the americans are going to expect them to do something. it's not enough to say we don't agree with the president, therefore, we won't do anything at all. people want compromise. they want to see washington work and right now it's failed for at least two years under republicans and i think the hope is that at least with some kind of a check and balance, we can see some improvement. if we don't do so, i certainly do think the american people won't be happy with either party. >> we've seen the president give a little bit when it comes to the terminology that he's using, coming down from the 5 billion to the 2.5. amy, you have the quinnipiac
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university poll that show 54% of americans say they oppose the wall while 43% say they support it. is it riskier than the president realizes, especially after campaigning on saying how many times have we heard it, rally after rally, who's going to pay for it? mexico will. >> i have a tough time believing polls. polls can be easily skewed. i don't believe that poll is correct in my opinion. i do know most people are in favor of calling stronger border security, whether you dhal a wall, a fence, whatever it may be. we are definitely in need of stronger border security. this is also past the point of being a campaign promise. it's dealing with national security and making sure citizens are safe. >> peter, how does the strategy and shutdown negotiations change for the democrats when nancy pelosi gangs tins the speakers?m
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>> both feel that the compromise will be $1.5 billion, but there will be a continuing resolution in the house that will be passed very quickly to be sent to the senate. if the senate does what it did in voice vote what it did a week ago, the senate will pass it and sent to trump for his signature. he says he will veto it. so consequently we'll see whether the senate republicans cowher to the president or pass the bill and send it to the oval office. >> to all of you thank you and happy new year. >> thanks so much, frances. happy new year. >> brian williams and nicolle wallace highlight the top ten stories of the year. wallace highlight the top ten stories of the year.
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that does it for me. my colleague jegeoff bennett tas it from here. >>i'm geoff bennett. the government shutdown is now in its eighth day and now president trump is threatening to shut down the southern border unless he gets the money he wants for the wall. and the president blaming the death of children at the border on democrats. mueller's mystery case. new details about a supreme court filing shrouded in secrecy that appears to be tied to special counsel robert mueller. what it could mean

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