tv First Look MSNBC December 31, 2019 2:00am-3:00am PST
there are more underserved communities julie burkhardt has her eye on. she's watching the court and the anti-abortion activists trying to stop her. but hi everyone, 4:00 in new york and blockbuster reporting in "the new york times" among the most incriminating conduct about the president and closest aides in the withholding of congressionally approved military aide for u.s. allies and russian adversary ukraine. it is a kind of reporting that forces the conversation about the target-rich environment that trump's most senior advisers could represent as witnesses in an impeachment trial of donald j. trump. the heavily sourced new report relies on dozens of interviews with current and former administration officials. plus, previously undisclosed
documents and email exchanges that reveal in the starkest terms yet the behind the scenes scrambling by the president's top national security advisers, to try to curb trump's determination to withhold military aid. >> from that times report, it sounds a whole lot like a failed intervention, quote, in late august, defense secretary mark esper joined secretary of state pompeo and john bolton the national security adviser at the time for a previously undisclosed oval office meeting with the president where they tried but failed to convince him that withholding aid is in not in the interest of the u.s. brand new email exchanges like this one, between mulvaney and robert blair are sure to further scrutiny of their knowledge of the questionable legal grounds on which they withheld the aid. mulvaney says, i'm just trying to tie up some loose ends did. we ever find out about the money about ukraine and whether we can
hold it back? blair says it would be possible, and not pretty. and writes, quote, expect congress to become unhinged. the white house tried to cut spending passed bit house and the senate. the times pulling back a curtain on a nasty episode to blame the entire episode on the pentagon an effort undertaken by the way after the president was briefed and made aware of the whistle-blower complaint against him. on september 10th, the times writes, the day before president trump changed his mind, a political appointee at the budget office wrote a lengthy email to the pentagon's top budget official with whom he had been at odds throughout the summer about how long the agency could withhold the aid. he asserted that the defense department had the authority to do more to ensure that the aid could be released to ukraine by the congressionally mandated deadline of the end of the month. suggesting that responsibility for any failure should not rest at the white house. 43 minutes later, pentagon official elaine mccuster hits
then on a brief but stinging reply. quote, you can't be serious, she wrote. i am speechless. end quote. that's where we start today with some of our favorite reporters, and friends. joining us from washington, betsy woodrough swan, politics report fore the daily beast. here at the talk, elise jordan a former aid in the bush white house and white house reporter from the associated press who has had a long day, both of you had a long day. jonathan, and "new york times" washington correspondent mike. mike, the bombshell in here seems to be not just knitting together the congressional testimony, which we all heard, but these new emails which seem to be particularly in equipmenting in terms of knowledge of really shaky legal ground for withholding the aid. the story shows how much more information that is out there that was not uncovered by the house intelligence committee. here is a reason why, in federal investigations, due put an end
date on an investigation. you take all the time possible to develop as strong a case as you can have, to give to the jury. you try and get all of the witnesses to testify. you go to court to get as much of that testimony, if they're not willing to talk, to get documents. but here it is. three reporters, three of my colleagues, who went out and were able to learn new things about new events that is even more, gives even more insight into what was going on and actually bring you inside the room with the president in ways that we had not seen before. and it's just remarkable that here we are, the impeachment investigation is apparently over, they impeached him and sent to the senate but these are facts that are not in that. >> i think if you talk to sources on the house intel committee side, they would tell you that they were in a jam, that no legal effort has succeeded yet. and that it certainly has
dragged on. >> well, they dropped the subpoena on former deputy national security adviser kupperman. they didn't want to fight. that they asked for the judge to throw out the legal questions on that. and three month ors four month ors whatever they're done, since september, that's not enough time for things to play themselves out in court, to learn and to try and get these facts. now, i think with the democrats would say, they would say look, we believe that this case is strong enough, as it is. and that's why we said that it wasn't worth waiting. but i think that all things being equal, looking at this politically, they know that there will not be enough votes in the senate, based on this case. >> betsy, that is the reality. i mean i think what mike is saying is right. they had enough evidence to impeach him, to, in their view, prove that the aid was withheld, because the president wanted these investigations into the bidens and into 2016, and he
only released the aid when he got caught. if anything, this reporting confirms an affirms the case they presented to the full house. but the politics are unchanged. not a single republican has expressed really that much enthusiasm for even listening to the facts as presented in a trial. >> this really showed a formidable effort by the white house to keep congressional republicans in line. even in the house, in the early days of the impeachment inquiry, there were some hill republicans who indicated that they felt pretty darn uncomfortable with the way the ukraine story had played out. one of the most prominent ones was congressman francis rooney, a former ambassador himself, who was on one of the committees looking into this whole situation, he said publicly multiple times that he thought there was activity that happened that did not go the way it should have gone and then he voiced concerns that many other republicans held privately. but ultimately, of course, he voted against the impeachment effort. and the fact that every single
house republican voted against impeaching the president indicates pretty strongly that it is quite unlikely any senate republicans are going to peel off. and it really gets to one of the single biggest challenges that investiga investigators have been looking at is the timing, they are up against the clock, they wanted to get it done quickly but at the same time in the interest of moving fast, they haven't been able to talk to some of the witnesses like john bolton and mick mulvaney who would be the potential to be the most important. >> mick mulvaney, he has confessed to what the president was impeached for. let's watch. >> he also mentioned to me in the past that the corruption that related to the dnc server, absolutely. no question about that. but that's it. that's why we held up the money. now there was a report -- >> so the demand for an investigation into the democrats was part of the reason that he -- to withhold funding to ukraine. >> the look-back to what happened in 2016 certainly was
part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. and that is absolutely appropriate. >> withholding the funding. >> yeah. >> you just described a kwoipd. it is funding will not flow unless the investigation into the democratic server happened as well. >> we do that all the time with foreign policy. and i have news for everybody. get over it. >> that will never not shock me. but here's the thing. i think now, that standing there, he must have known that he had emails that were responded to by pentagon officials who simply wrote back, i am speechless. i mean he was the president's sort of inhouse agent. if rudy was his outside channel, mulvaney was his inside channel. >> here is what i think is important to remember about mick mulvaney. in his heart, he is a, that might not have been in practice during the trump administration, and disappointed in mick for that but he likes the idea of
ending foreign aid that he thinks is counterproductive. he likes cutting funding, so in theory, he liked this idea. in practice, it was going against congressionally mandated funding that should have been released and executed. and he admitted it. >> but his conduct, and it's true, we haven't seen him, he is not a witness, he doesn't have any intention to appear before congress, but he was careful. he was watching out for someone's legal equity, it is not clear whose, this times report has the most interesting revelations here at the end. mulvaney is said by associates to have stepped out of the room whenever trump would talk to mr. giuliani. to preserve mr. trump's attorney-client privilege, leaving him with limited knowledge of about their efforts regarding ukraine. white house chief of staff and talking about efforts with ukraine and why is it that trump
had a private lawyer stepping out of the room. >> if he is cognizant of the attorney-client privilege, he has some awareness of what is going on. >> i agree, that is perhaps the most illuminating detail in the story. and esper and bolton, and pompeo trying to urge the president to reconsider, we talk often the president doesn't have guardrails around him, that is true but this is an effort in some of the administration to get him back on track and we saw that during the mueller probe time and time again, it was the staff refusing to carry out his orders that led him to not being impeached that time around. but there is some effort there. and this is a story as the president points out who is urging executive branch lawyers to override the congressional funding mechanism. to disregard that congress has the power of the purse. simply because he was the president. and therefore, he could decide what to do with this aid. which not only goes against the
constitutional, the obligation, but defies the face of checks and balances. this is again a president who is testing the absolute bound ris of executive power here. >> this is from the piece. by late summer, the top lawyers of the office of management and budget who had spoken to lawyers at the white house and the justice department, were developing an argument not previously divulged publicly that mr. trump's role is to simply allow him to override congress on the issue. not the first time, i don't know fe googles these things or what, but has said oh, i can do anything as president. this is another sweeping interpretation of his powers as president. >> one of the odd by-products of the trump era is the president's unusual view of the law. and the different things he has tried to do. i know that unrecusals, they actually do exist, but the idea of early on in his presidency asking the attorney general to unrecuse himself, the president's mind just works differently on what --
>> i don't think it is his mind. i think it is his guilty conscience. but i mean, i think if you stand back and look at this, i think it puts rob portman as one of the last republican senators on the phone with the president before the aid was reported. you and your colleagues i think have reported that trump was briefed on the whistle-blower complaint against him. another revelation uncovered by a news organization, not just house committee investigating the president. what is the broader picture look like? >> the broader picture of the entire story? >> they knew they were bending the law at best. they were trying to blame it on other agencies. and the president was the driver. as fiona hill testified to. this was the operation. not in a regular channel. >> but this is the anatomy of how the administration responds to the president. and we have seen it whether it was the firing of comey, whether they went along with it, whether it was the attempted firing of miler, where they didn't, mueller, where they didn't, the one constant of all is the president in these incredible demands that he puts on the
people around him. there are fewer guardrails there now. there are fewer don mcgahns. there are fewer, you know, chief of staff s. those folks are gone. and they get a lot of credit, you know, through the lens of history, for being people that stood in the way. now there were a lot of things that went on that didn't turn out so well. but i think you are seeing what happens when the president feels even more emboldened, even more comfortable in office, and has even more confidence and able to do the things he wants. >> mike pompeo, betsy, is back in the room, as folks here have said, and his response has been almost purely political. and not really smooth. let's watch his first, i think george stephanopoulos was the first to question him on television. >> i will tell you what i saw transpire, and how president trump was working to make the evaluation about whether it was appropriate to provide this
assistance. >> but that's what i'm asking, is was it an appropriate condition -- >> george i'm not going to get into hypotheticals and secondary things based on what someone else has said. you would have never done it when you were a spokesperson. i'm not going to do it here. >> it is not a hypothetical. >> it is. george, you just said, if this happened, that is by definition, a hypothetical. >> the chief of staff said it did. >> you asked me if this happened. it is a hypothetical. i told you what i observed, what i saw the process, related to this very funding. >> when i saw that, that is the worst sunday show appearance i've ever seen by an administration official, i stand by, that but what is amazing is how much more we know about pompeo knew and when he knew it, he was on the call, the only cabinet secretary on the call, he was standing in front of the president's desk, alongside mark esper and john bolton pleading with the president, to release
the military aide to ukraine saying it was in the u.s. interest and obviously knew what the holdup was because everyone who was sounding the alarm, via text to each other, and up the chain of command, worked for him. >> that's right. and administration officials knew pretty early on that the only reason the aid wasn't getting sent to ukraine, at least from folks with visibility into the inner-agency conversations, was the omb was holding it up. that was made clear from multiple people's testimony. and it is also obvious and indispuceable that the entire trump national security team thought sending the aid over was vital. pompeo is a trump loyalist. the longest serving, first as kroi director and secretary of state. not that many individuals have been part of the trump administration since jump street. and part of the reason he has been able to pull it off is he has been so close to the president in terms of what he's willing to say publicly. something really important to keep an eye on is this meeting he will be attending in kyiv in
a couple of day, he will be heading over there and meet with the president of ukraine and bill taylor, the former u.s. top diplomat in kyiv will be leaving shortly before pompeo gets there and whether or not the secretary of state stays as close to the president as he has been in that trip is going to say a lot about the direction and the future of the u.s./ukraine relationship. >> just bring, tie this together, with the latest developments, that were mentioned, that one, that pompeo is heading to ukraine, and i would guess that the missions to try to repair the u.s. relationship there, but trump took another call with putin, and the first readout came from the russians, not the white house. >> and that's become standard procedure. in fact, the readout from moscow came almost a full 24 hours before we learned of the white house, put out its own accounting of the call and frankly nearly 12 hours before the white house confirmed the call happened and largely based over russia, putin thanking
trump for help foiling some sort of terrorism plot allegedly in russia in the last few day, details of yet which have not been fully released. >> did ukraine come up? >> not that we've heard but that doesn't mean it didn't. let's remember, the hallmarks of the putin/trump calls is how much we don't know in. in helsinki, there was time before what was reported. >> five calls and no notes. >> and the meeting in hamburg back in 2017 in a similar setup. house speaker pelosi often says, all roads lead to russia. and we certainly know in this case that part of the president's animosity toward ukraine, because he has been siding putin's talking points about ukraine. >> the whole time. >> and putin has put in his head that ukraine is corrupt and can't be dealt with and shouldn't be getting the military aid. >> i want to go back to you on rob portman. i am perplexed, the omb director, the job in the bush administration, i have been most perplexed by his silence, and
turns out he was one of the last people on the phone, the last republican senator, as current reporting suggests, there may have been others, why didn't the house committee call him and say what did you say to trump? you were the last person he talked to before the aid was released. >> he also had met with president zelensky. he wasn't in the meeting with i believe, with senator johnson, was also on the congressional delegation it kyiv and it is odd, he hasn't been able, we haven't heard his side of the story. >> but he knows exactly what the laws are. >> exactly. and he doesn't have an executive privilege. he has an obligation to the taxpayers of the united states and his constituents, that's what he has. after the break, the ukraine scandal revealed the dirty underbelly of the rogue operation run by rudy giuliani, it would appear, and today the "washington post" adds to the disturbing picture, the new reporting about rudy's efforts in another country in crisis. >> also ahead, is donald trump doing enough to combat a
terrifying wave of anti-semitic violence in new york? and the president's national security adviser covering for the president's pardon of a military leader whose fellow soldiers called him toxic. all those stories, coming up. ♪ $12.99 all you can eat now with boneless wings. only at applebee's. iand i don't add up the years. but what i do count on is boost high protein. and now, introducing new boost mobility with collagen for joint health. when taken daily, its key nutrients help support joints, muscles, and strong bones. new, boost mobility.
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ambassador bolton had basically indicated with body language that there was nothing much we could do about it. and he again, in the course of that discussion said that rudy giuliani was a hand grenade that was going to blow everyone up. what he meant by this was pretty clear to me in the context of all of the statements that mr. giuliani was making publicly, about the investigations that he was promoting, that the story line he was promoting and the narrative that he was promoting
was going to backfire. i think it has backfired. >> so we already know that former national security adviser john bolton wanted nothing to do with rudy giuliani's efforts in ukraine. that he was so alarmed, he sent aides to the white house counsel's office to report on those efforts. but turns out that wasn't the only shadow foreign policy effort of giuliani's that bolton was uncomfortable with. we reported in the "washington post" details that giuliani's behind the scenes efforts to make a deal, with venezuela's president nicolas maduro, including a phone call that took place in september, 2018. quote, on one end of the line, the venezuela's socialist president, the pariah leader of a disintegrating economy, and president trump administration was seeking to isolate, and on the other end, pete sessions and rudy giuliani and both part of a shadow diplomatic effort backed in part by private interests aimed at engineering a negotiated exit to ease maduro from power and reopen
resource-rich venezuela to business. according to people familiar with the endeavor. the post says this, quote, giuliani's willingness to talk with maduro in late 2018, flew in the face of the official policy of the white house. which under national security adviser john bolton was then ratcheting up sanctions and taking a harder line against the venezuelan government. not long after the call, giuliani told some of his associates that he had taken the idea of a soft landing for maduro to bolton. but he said the meeting hadn't gone well according to people familiar with the report. betsy, it is stunning. i have known rudy giuliani for most of my political career and this idea of him working against u.s. interests and not the u.s. interests as laid out by the obama administration or the clinton administration or the bush administration but the trump administration, trump administration policy as set by john bolton and the national security team was not the policy
that giuliani and pete sessions was trying to ex suit with maduro. >> it is soup super, super weird, because the very hawkish venezuela policy isn't just something that trump's national security team report supports, it is something that trump has been enthusiastic about and one of the only foreign policy issues where trump is almost very much almost by disposition aligned with the hawks in his administration. so for giuliani, kind of to peel off and to participate in this talk is extremely striking. it also comes as u.s. policy towards venezuela, under the direction very much of trump himself, is increasingly showing success whatsoever. no success whatsoever. in fact, since the sanctions of the venezuelan economy as a whole, what we've seen is this country grow more closely aligned with china and russia and generating concerns in some corners that venezuela is going to essentially reinvent itself with much more economic
closeness to those countries that are america's adversaries. this stuff is complicated and dealing with regimes like maduro's that have just created immense human suffering and pain on their own people is incredibly challenging. it is a difficult policy issue. and that's why it is so weird that the president's personal lawyer, somebody who is in private practice, whose clients are unnamed, and are private, was participating in a direct conversation with this head of state. >> so it is everything that you said, it is weird, but i'm wondering how weird it is that once again, in today's "washington post," bolton, it comes on the heels of these headlines, msnbc, in private speech, bolton suggests some of trump's foreign policy decisions are guided by personal interest. it was a great story by carol lee and steph ruhle and basically said trump's policy was compromised by personal interest. and axios, john bolton hits on
north korea nukes. what do you think he is up to? >> that is the question, what is the role of bolton and his lawyer who is managing the legal questions around this. what is the ends goal? is it to get him the political cover to testify? does he indeed want to testify? are these things, these discussions that he has had with the president that there are hints about in the press, are these things that he wants to put in the book that he is writing? i think it would be difficult to put them in a book and not testify to congress about them. but what does he want in the end? does he not want to testify? does he not want to go up against the president in such a forum? i think we will get more clarity on this when this judge in washington rules on the case of the deputy national security adviser who has been subpoenaed by the house. but known i don't know. >> he confirms some of that in an interview right before the christmas holiday. let's listen.
>> well, you know, there's obviously a lot swirling around in that department, including some litigation that could affect my status. so i think, although i have a lot to say on the subject, the prudent course for me is just to decline to comment at this point. >> why not testify? people ask, i want you to have an opportunity to answer that. >> well, i appreciate that. but, as i say, dr. kupperman, a former deputy is in litigation now. on me what is a critical separation of powers question. when the house issues a subpoena, and in his case, and i think it would be true in mine, the president tells him not to testify, which authority controls, dr. kupperman went to court to seek the third branch's opinion in this conflict between the first two. >> elise, i have bird dog's pointers. john bolton is pointing at that chair in congress. although i have a lot to say on the subject, the prudent course for me is to decline to comment. he's not saying everything i know has already been testified to by my deputies. there's nothing i did that -- i
mean, if you don't want to show up, you say -- because i worked for people who didn't want to show up, everything i know is already in the public record, everything else is privileged. that's the answer of someone who doesn't want to tell their story leans on. >> no, you're totally right. that is one big tease, as is floating the book and, oh, john bolton has been accused of trying to keep all of the goods for his book. but i tend to lean toward one of the theories that you put out there, that bolton is biding his time and he's building up political cover so that when he finally goes to testify, he looks as though he's been forced. so he's hedging his bets in this era where republicans aren't sure if trump is the party forevermore in their political existence, in their lifetimes, or if there is going to be a shift away from it. so he is covering his bases. >> i know reporters hate when you sort of stand back or try to figure out where a story came from.
but this maduro reporting just has an undeniable sort of repeat of the pattern of the axios reporting from jonathan swan, john bolton's indictment of trump's policy, john bolton's indictment of the turkey policy. it sort of leaves you wondering where they did line up. >> right. and without speculating as to where this story came from, john bolton seems to be leaving some bread crumbs. it is a tease, as elise said, that there is stuff out there he wants to know, and certainly he has not been shy in asserting that he does not approve of this parallel foreign policy run by rudy giuliani. remember he called it a drug deal, what rudy and the president and others were trying to do in ukraine. >> so he calls it the ukraine policy was a drug deal. north korea, i think he said to jonathan swan, says trump's bluffing, on turkey, called him compromised by personal and financial interests.
what was he doing there? >> in venezuela? >> no, in the trump administration? >> one foreign policy decision that bolton agrees with donald trump on? i really honestly don't know. >> there haven't been many. i mean, certainly some of the hawkish approaches on the china stuff perhaps, but they disagree on russia, too. i guess we would assume bolton is doing it for the good of the country. he feels like he is serving his country in trying to move the president towards, in his mind, acceptable positions. but they were opposed on a number of issues, and eventually their personalities really clashed as well. there were hallmarks of loud shouting matches in the oval office that could be heard elsewhere in the building. and there was no love lost. the president really bashed him on the way out the door. >> so this is sort of back to your earlier point. it may be that he was more of an adviser in the mold of don mcgahn, that he didn't agree with him idealogically, but he was there to save him from what would have been catastrophic.
>> it's the phenomenon of the trump administration. it's better to be sitting in the passenger seat with the hopes of grabbing the wheel than be not even in the car. it's just time and time again, it's not a new story to this administration. i think that if you even go even further back on all of this, venezuela, ukraine, obviously important countries to the united states, some very odd things going on with the president's lawyer and phone calls. so what happened on the russia calls? what happened with the calls with saudi arabia? what's happened with north korea? what other involvement does rudy giuliani have? i just find it hard to believe that if it's happening with venezuela and ukraine, it wasn't happening on countries where there's more consequential sort of front of mind issues for the country. >> and some person close to the president said there's a reason he keeps calling it a perfect call, suggests that he's had that call with other countries. so sure we'll read about it in one of your newspapers.
betsy woodruff swan, mike schmidt, thank you for spending time with us. as federal prosecutors file charges, democrats ask if the president is doing enough to fight the rising tide of anti-semitism in america. that story next. % ofh. listerine® cleans virtually 100%. helping to prevent gum disease and bad breath. never settle for 25%. always go for 100. bring out the bold™
. the decision today from federal -- there's news today from federal prosecutors in new york about the brutal attack at a rabbi's home in monsey, new york. "new york times" reports this afternoon, quote, federal prosecutors on monday filed hate crimes charges against the man accused of bursting into a hasidic rabbi's home and stabbing five people at a hanukkah celebration. police stationed officers in front of synagogues. the president expressed his sympathy on twitter writing, quote, we must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-semitism.
but for many democrats, trump is part of the problem in the rise of anti-semitism. "the washington post" reports, some house democrats singled out the president for criticism, arguing that he has been insufficiently clear in denouncing anti-semitism and has frequently perpetrated offensive stereotypes about jewish people. congressman eric swalwell, democrat from california, reupping his op-ed in the wake of the attack. he writes, quote, this isn't happening in a vacuum. it is happening as president trump and his allies dab until hate propaganda from unconditionally refusing to condemn the 2017 neo nazi rally in charlottesville to accusing american-jewish democrats of disloyalty. it is a way that is not seen in generations. joel payne, a democratic strategist, plus "washington post" bureau chief bill rutger. your story stopped me in my
tracks. it is almost akin to the reaction to the tragedies of the shooting where the politics used to wait for a federal investigation or any sort of reasonable time before people point fingers but the democrats speaking out to your colleagues in today's "washington post," pointing fingers at this president. >> that's right, and because of so many anti-semitic attacks this year and so many over the past three years since president trump took office. this has been rising on his watch and he has been very inconsistent about how and even whether he has confronted anti-semitism. there have been a number of moments over his presidency, most notably the charlottesville attack where he stopped short of condemning white supremacists and neo nazis and other hate groups in part based on reporting that seems to be the
president doesn't want to be cross-wise with certain members of his constituency that he is counting on for political support. the attack in new york the other day over the weekend, the president did condemn in a statement, but there is certainly more key do as the president of the united states. he could direct the justice department to take more formal action. key also use his bully pulpit, as the president, to convene more of a national discussion about what is happening in this country. and i think that's what democrats expect him to do, but he has not done so yet. >> and let me just put up a few statistics tounder score what you're saying. this is from the hand-picked fbi director christopher wray, a majority of the domestic terrorism cases that we've investigated are motivated by some version of what you might call white spectrum sest violence. early reports from federal investigators suggest those were some of the believe systems shared or adhered to by the suspect in the stabbing. and then this is also a
statistic that bolsters what you're saying. there is a 17% increase this year compared to just last year of anti-semitic incidents in new york city. a normal president of either party, of any faith, of any leader of this country, as you said, would sort of use his power, and use his office to call for an end to violence against any americans, whether they voted for him or not. >> that's exactly right. that's been the role of the president throughout history to be a moral leader, to confront these crises and the violence that divides our country. it's something, you know, that president bush confronted in his time, as you remember, nicolle. and this president trump, has just been very cautious and unwilling to use his moral platform as the president to take on hate. and it's not just anti-semitism, but he has been inconsistent in how he's confronted the spate of gun violence around the country.
he's been inconsistent in how he's confronted other examples of racism and hate here. and it's something you hear from democrats a lot, especially the democrats who are out in iowa right now trying to campaign to unseat him in 2020, who want to have a different kind of moral leadership in the oval office. >> you know, it's not a secret that the quid pro quo is how trump rolls. it's unclear to me why we ever debated that in the context of the impeachment investigation. i mean, here's trump talking about what he expects from jewish americans. >> i think that if you vote for a democrat, you're very, very disloyal to israel and to the jewish people. >> i say so, yeah. it's only in your head. it's only anti-semitic in your head. >> so it's anti-semitic in your head if you think that calling jews disloyal for voting for democrats that there's something
wrong with that? he's incapable of even pretending that politics isn't behind all of his foreign policy, vis-a-vis israel. >> aol, and i think you're smart to bring this up in the context of how the president views his support of the state of israel. he thinks that his, you know, kind of his get out of jail free card when it comes to moral leadership from the white house in terms of pushing back on anti-semitism. so this president has always been a transactional president. he thinks that if you vote for me, if you say nice things to me, that means that you're in good standing with me. and if you don't that means to hell with you. and i think this president has prove that that's how he rolls. he's certainly demonstrated that with his handling of this crisis. that's really what it is. it's a crisis of anti-semitism that we've seen in the trump presidency. >> you know, barry weiss texted me a couple months ago and said people aren't paying enough attention to this. there's more than an uptick in violence.
it's a 17% increase over last year. why do you think it isn't getting more attention? >> everyone is numb because there is so much hate going around just in so many different corridors. i think there was a statistic i saw that a lot of the hate crimes that had been directed towards muslim-americans, that that went to being directed towards latino americans, horrible. just the vitriol, the rhetoric that's coming out of donald trump. in focus groups that i've sat in, in the past couple of years with african-americans, with hispanic voters, hearing how they feel more threatened because of the rhetoric that is coming from the bully pulpit. we see this now with our jewish brothers and sisters. and no one is going to be exempt when hate is flowing freely from the white house. >> and hate crimes are up across the board since this president took office.
but there's certainly been a disturbing rise among anti-semitic acts in the new york area, of course the shooting in pits blurg, that synagogue the worst of all. and i think to piggy-back on your point, the president has sort of tried to inoculate himself because of his steadfast support for israel but also jared kushner and his daughter ivanka trump who converted to judaism. it's not just his lackluster response, but during the campaign they dove into anti-semitic imagery with hillary clinton and the star of david. and against globalism, had a very obvious anti-semitic overtone. at least the president, some have denied it.
and let's remember who else works in the white house. stephen miller and some of the reporting last month revealing his support of white supremacist groups, or at least white nationalist groups. so i think he has surrounded himself with that, and people close to the president have said to me that part of the reason that he's been so reluctant to condemn these sort of acts is because he knows that people who extend commit them tend to vote for him. ener depend® fit-flex underwear offers ener your best comfort and protection guaranteed. because, perfect or not, life's better when you're in it. be there with depend®.
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to end the corporate takeover of the government. and give more power to the american people. that's how we'll win healthcare, fair wages, and clean air and water as a right. i'm tom steyer and i approve this message. it's very troubling that we send folks out that have to make split-second decisions dealing with terrorists, dealing with bombmakers, and very, very difficult situations overseas. and what the president has said is we're going to stand behind our warriors, we are going to have their backs, there was an investigation. and, by the way, that's a selective group of seals. there are many, many seals and many folks in the special warfare community that support chief gallagher, that appealed to the president and asked him for this clemency. >> that was national security adviser robert o'brien defending donald trump's reversal of the navy's decision to oust chief
petty officer eddie galler. >> from the navy seals after he had been charged with war crimes. his comments come after the "new york times" reported that many men on gallagher's own team were alarmed by his behavior. >> i heard more rumors and stuff like that of him targeting civilians. >> i saw eddie take a shot at probably a 12-year-old kid. >> the guy got crazier and crazier. >> you can tell that he was perfectly okay with killing anybody. >> i see eddie playing with a knife. >> this is a case where some seals who are not supposed to take things outside the family turned in their own chief. >> the guy was toxic. >> we can't let this continue. >> "the washington post" editorial board laid out how courageous those men were to speak out. quote, these men broke the customary code of silence maintained by the seals because they thought chief gallagher's behavior violated something more sacred, the duty of the men and women to fight for the united states to fight for it honorably. it's the sacred duty that the president ridicules by allowing fox and friends and other media.
to lobby him and reward and excuse ethical lapses. those who tried to hold chief gallagher to account are suffering insults on national television, while the petty officer now retired with full honors is palling around with retired with full officers is palg arou paling around with the president at mar-a-lago. the idea that you could go on tv and said every president has the responsibility to have the backs of every soldier. >> members of i had own unit turned him in and didn't seem tory act when he was killing even minors. some of the video clips of his colleagues there, they're fighting back tears describing what gallagher did. it's not just them. they're, according to reporting, some of the defense leadership
at the pentagon was disturbed by the president's decisions here to reverse these judgments and restore him to full honors thinking it undoes the chain of command. the president has not shied away from this at all. he wrapped his arms around gallagher. gallagher was at mar-a-lago over the christmas holidays with the president and the first lady. >> this is former navy secretary richard spencer. >> so former navy -- >> stand for secretary of navy, go to order and discipline of the united states navy. that's a prime tenent. this erodes that. what message does that send to the troops? >> well, what message does it send? >> that you can get away with things. we have to have good order and discipline. it's the backbone of what we do. >> so i guess we're forced to be -- both things can't be true. if good order and discipline is the backbone of what the military does, and this can't be the president having the back of our fighters. >> this is troubling for a
number of reasons. what o'brien said there suggest that the men and women who he fight under the american flag don't have self-control on the battlefield. not many of them, a super majority of them to do. eddie gallagher is an exception to the rule. >> well, they all do except the ones that end up in the justice system. >> ed did gal letter is an excepti eddie gallagher is an exception to the rule. president trump has no idea what bravery on the battlefield would be. gallagher's own people in his unit reported out, he thinks that's bravery. that's how this president views the world, that's how he's led. that's certainly why he's decided to tie himself to mr. gallagher is who is going to become a very valuable piece on the campaign trail from what reporting has been telling us as well. he's going to be paling around at mar-a-lago and he's going to be on the campaign trail as well. >> that's the pieces that's so trumpian.
it's not just the concept overruling and overriding what has for decades been a system while i'm sure not perfect works. the military justice system is handled within. it's sort of respects and honors those codes among fellow soldiers. the president reached in, mucked it up, threw it in the garbage and now he's taking someone whose peers thought he should be punished and putting him under his arm and trot being him out as a campaign prop. >> it does fit a pattern of president trump's be-haver in other realms which is that he likes to be the decider and intervene in our system of government and the way our military and national security and intelligence apparatuses are set up to make those decisions himself. to reject the advice of the people below him and that's what he's done in this case. but we should keep in mind how gallagher got on his raid dodar
he was talked up on fox news channel for months. president trump watches those stations closely and he listens to what those commentators have to say and some of them were forcefully and vocally advocating for gallagher. for trump there is a way to further connect him to his perceived base of support the conservative hosts and others on that network who he's going to be counting on for his re-election this year. >> elise, at another point in my career, i spent a lot of time there and from i remember there about the reporters and anchors, they had a decent understanding of the military. this seems to be an "f" you straight from fox news to the military. >> is jack keane still on fox news? i can't see him embracing this approach of military discipline and justice in someone who behaves the way that eddie gallagher's peers described
which is nothing short of sociopathic planning in detail and early on to kill civilians, garner up kills, targeting innocent young women, it's just sociopathic and it's wrong. and the fact that this what donald trump sees an as an ally, he's not cozying up to peace, he's cozying up to someone who has been accused of the very worst of war crimes. >> i'm a student of patterns. his pattern with the military isn't to honor its own traditions, it's to make up his own rules for them. his pattern as someone on the world stage isn't to align himself with traditional u.s. allies who fight side by side against america. i mean, his ole thing wiwhole th nato is they don't give enough. what is it about him that so rejects everything that's been in the national interest? >> it's its own ideas of what he
thinks bravery or heroism are. he said preferred war heroes that weren't captured about john mccain. he didn't serve in the military himself, a lot of presidents haven't. but he seems to have no real sense of conduct and duty and honor that the u.s. military and all of its branches, the vaftd, vast majority, super majority behave in that way. he doesn't. he sees them as serving himself, not the nation, himself. and he rewards acts of bravery or those touted on fox and friends. >> phil, thank you for spending time with us today. we're going to sneak in our last break. we'll be right back. sneak in t break. we'll be right back. $12.99 all you can eat now with boneless wings. only at applebee's. why are we doing this? why are we doing what? using my old spice moisturize with shea butter body wash... all i wanted was to use your body wash
and all i wanted was to have a body wash. about the colonial penn program. here to tell you if you're age 50 to 85 and looking to buy life insurance on a fixed budget, remember the three p's. what are the three p's? the three p's of life insurance on a fixed budget are price, price, and price. a price you can afford, a price that can't increase, and a price that fits your budget. i'm 65 and take medications. what's my price? you can get coverage for $9.95 a month. i just turned 80. what's my price? $9.95 a month for you, too. if you're age 50 to 85, call now about the number one most popular whole life insurance plan available through the colonial penn program. it has an affordable rate starting at $9.95 a month. no medical exam, no health questions. your acceptance is guaranteed, and this plan has a guaranteed lifetime rate lock,
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today, i want to thank my friend and colleague for doing this show last week. i've been a fan of hers longer than i've been a coworker of her. thank you for last week. thank you molt of all to you for watching. good morning and happy new year's eve. we're on tape this morning, the final day of 2019. what a year. it has been another unrelenting, fast-paced year of political news. the biggest story probably being the impeachment of president trump. before the democrats settled on the two articles of impeachment, we saw two weeks of testimony from witnesses, most of whom described in various manners how president trump attempted to shakedown a foreign power for dirt on a political opponent. one of those witnesses was ambassador to the european union gordon sondland. he was already likely the most anticipa