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tv   New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman  CNN  December 21, 2018 4:00am-5:01am PST

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or dental procedures. eliquis, the number one cardiologist-prescribed blood thinner. ask your doctor if eliquis is what's next for you. when a guy like mattis says he's gone, there's something dysfunctional. >> it's very normal at this point in the administration to have turnover. >> anything that indicates knowledge is leaving this administration. >> we have a white house in crisis. >> the president is doing everything he can to shut the government down. >> i don't think this is a debate about the wall, i think it's depriving the president of a win. >> it's not about the wall. it's about destroying our immigration system. >> this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to your "new day." it's a busy friday. >> that's how you are going to
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call it? it's a busy friday? >> i like underestimates. >> okay. >> this morning lawmakers say they are shaken and stunned by the sudden resignation by defense secretary, james mattis. they are facing a government shutdown about 17 hours away now, and they are watching a stock market that has fallen 3% this week alone. also more than 10% since the start of this month. the headlines this morning speak volumes. "the new york times" reads upheaval in washington. this is from the washington post, a tailspin, under siege, trump propels the government and markets into crisis. it appears mattis quit over the president's decision to pull troops out of syria and his sudden decision to with draw half of the troops out of afghanistan. and mattis made the argument president trump is too friendly
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with the u.s.'s adversaries. >> the house scrambled and passed the bill with border wall money, but that dead on arrival to the senate. many senators, they are home already for the holidays. unless somebody decides to compromise quickly, more than 800,000 government workers will go without paychecks in the run-up to christmas. joining us now, maggie haberman. we are so happy to see you. we want to know what the heck is going on this morning after everything we have seen. look, james mattis made clear, he quit effective at the end of february because he thinks the president is too disrespectful of u.s. allies and too so list tuesday of adversaries.
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you call this an astonishing rebuke of trumpism. >> it is. he makes clear he does not agree with the key tenants the president has espoused over the last two years, and these are things he campaigned on, and he made clear he was against extensive stays for the u.s., and nobody should be surprised, and mattis made clear, there's one president and it's president trump and he himself does not feel like he can serve this administration anymore given the deep divisions between himself and the president. he's the first person to do this. it's not just that mattis is a person of stature, and james mattis for a long time had been the person of a binkie for lack of better way of putting it for democrats and republicans for
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some sense of calm or guardrail within the administration, and i am not sure that was anything more than amirage, because the president did more of what he wanted to anyway. people have been able to delay the president but not dissuade him from what he really wanted. mattis would convince him, and i think it's hard for people who are increasingly, particularly in the republican-held senate, who have issues with the president's conduct -- we are going to hear a lot more of that in the last coming months when the house will have the investigations. >> mattis spelled it out for everybody. he wrote a letter. this wasn't a leak. this was not unnamed sources. >> no, he put his name to it. >> yeah, he said while the u.s. remains the indispensable nation
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in the world, we cannot serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to our allies. that's his version of sounding an alarm. >> it is. again, i think it's important to keep stressing, the degree to which what has been striking about the reporting we have all done about this white house and president is how little so many of the people who work around the president respect him or believe in what he is doing. you would not have these kinds of leaks if they did respect him or did believe in what he is doing, and mattis, again, is the first person to put his name to where he has differences with the president, and to not make it personal. to make it very clear this is about how you see america's role in the world, how he sees america's role in the world. the president did something that made people, many people, unhappy about syria, and did not have a lot of planning or normal process, and the officials at the state department were
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stunned, and many in defense were stunned, and this is what he said he wanted this whole time. anybody who is surprised probably shouldn't be. anybody that was surprised that there was not a normal process followed also shouldn't be. >> maggie, anybody thinks this is going well close to the president in the last 24 hours? i am not being glib here, other than russia that has come out and praised the moves that led to the resignation of james mattis, i have not seen anybody come out and say this is going just like we thought it would. >> i think for people who are critics of the president, who was campaigning, including republicans, some of them privately would admit this is exactly how they thought it could go. within the white house, and this is always the case, there's a bunker mentality, people watch the news and they feel like we are only focusing on certain, what they would call negative aspects, and it's not a great
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fact set for the president and i don't know how it becomes a positive or negative, but they feel as if the world is moving against them and they think that it's unfair. i think it's hard to keep working in a place if you tell yourself that the coverage you are seeing is accurate, but at the end of the day, most people in the extended government apparatus outside of the white house, and by that i mean in the state department and in the department of defense, they do not think it's going well, and they are worried about what is going forward and who is going to be willing to fight on the u.s.' behalf in the future. this has massive implications, this decision about syria. >> part of the chaos, maggie, is even when it is going well for the white house, they had a prison reform bill passed that had not been able to happen. the democrats, for decades -- that was this week, i think. i really lost track. >> yeah, it gets signed today. it's understandable we blink and
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it's gone. >> so much is packed into 24 hours. it's the president that steps on the victory, and it's the president that then decides that he is going to pull troops that day out of syria and out of afghanistan without consulting with the pentagon and his defense secretary quits in protest. the media did not do that. >> yeah, alisyn, you know very well, this is a president that is a chain reaction president, except the things he is reacting to is usually his own behaviors, and then he acts to other reactions to his behaviors, and that's what happened in midterms for a year where you have republican senators and house members incredibly frustrated he would not talk about the tax bill, and instead he had to go off on the tangents and fight twitter wars with people instead of talking about things he accomplished in office. you are seeing the same thing with the justice reform bill.
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even his harshish critics on the democratic side said it was a win. it has been very hard to do under any circumstances in the last several years prior to the president, and it got done and he can't just talk about that because instead he is having phone conversations with rush limbaugh to reassure him that he will defund the government if he doesn't get money for a border wall. that's what he is focused on. >> i want to follow-up on two things you said. number one, you referred to james mattis as a binkie for many republicans in the senate. >> i enjoyed that. >> i enjoyed that a lot. >> i never use that word. >> i want to note that moment. what it means is that's significant here. another point you were making this could have a ripple affect into the president's survival, quite frankly, and all of this stuff might be connected because republican support may be
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wavering. >> yeah, we are in a critical moment. a number of conservatives who worked on the campaign and supported the president and now say, you know, i regret doing that, and this was a mistake, this administration is, you know, off the rails, and all of these investigations that are coming to a head will be a huge problem. they are disgusted, for lack of a better word, with what they have seen, the details that came out of michael cohen plea deal. that is going to intensify as we get into the year. it takes 20 senators to vote in favor of impeachment. republican senators to vote in favor of impeachment. this could be a critical moment. it also could not be. the president has pulled back, but i think this one might be different. >> maggie, because the time continuum means nothing to me anymore, i think it was yesterday that you were on.
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>> it was. >> okay. and it appeared president trump had sort of acquiesced what was going to happen, in order to avoid a government shut down, he even tweeted i will get by border wall funding somewhere, and mitch mcconnell had worked hard to put together this resolution, and then something happened and everything blew up and now the government may shut down at midnight tonight. what happened after 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning? >> well, what happened was actually just more fallout from what had happened about 14 hours earlier, which is ann coulter saying he will not survive his term or get re-elected, and he unfollowed her off of twitter soon after that, and another staunch ally of the president made clear the president would face blow back from the voters
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he said would stick with him even if she shot somebody on fifth avenue. they are running out of patience for not delivering what is a bedrock promise and moving away from it, whether his wall of a wall was realistic or not during the campaign, and whether or not he believed in it himself, he knew his supporters did and it became a big symbol. and he had a conversation, according to rush limbaugh yesterday where he reassures him after limbaugh had been critical. that's what happened. this president is aware if his base starts to lose him, that's when the impeachment issue that we talked about before, if you assume house democrats are going to go ahead with that, and the senate will have to vote on it, and if he loses his base then he really doesn't have anything and he has always been incredibly invested in preserving that base more so now. >> the politics of what he did yesterday made sense.
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>> not to mcconnell they don't. >> remember, it's politics being played with 800,000 people that are not going to get paychecks. >> yeah, i think that's a huge problem. the politics also could make more sense if he had not said all these other things before. he tends to say these things as if nobody was going to remember what was said five minutes ago or tweeted five days or five minutes or months ago, and that's not how government works. >> and i want to read you, mitch mcconnell is not totally on his side here or -- mitch mcconnell is really upset with the president. >> yeah, he is. >> the president is leaning on mitch mcconnell in a tweet just moments ago -- >> and rebranding. a rebranding alert, listen to this. >> dramatic reading? >> senator mitch mcconnell should fight for the wall and border security as hard as he fought with anything. house republicans were great
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yesterday. >> remember when it was going to be the trump shut down. >> yeah, he said during an oval office meeting that he would gladly own a shutdown, and i think his supporters took him at his word which is why he had a problem earlier this week. mcdonnell is frustrated with the president and he is unhappy about mattis' resignation, and mcconnell has been unhappy before and it has not necessarily moved the needle, so let's see what happens. >> maggie, thank you. >> binkie. james mattis is their binkie. >> i find that analogy really disturbing and telling. >> dead on. ethics advisers told matt whitaker to step away from the russia probe, but whitaker is not recusing himself. do his arguments own up? ♪heading west to where the sun sleeps♪
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the justice department is explaining why acting attorney
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general, matt whitaker, decided he should not recuse himself from the special counsel's russia investigation. an official advised otherwise, but in a letter to congressional leaders, dog leaders say whitaker has a lot of respect for mueller. joining us to discuss, the author, kenneth star, and cnn chief legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. i think we under explained what happened. matthew whitaker decided not to ask for an official ethics he view because? >> he was going to get an official to recuse himself. >> instead he asked for the opinion. the opinion tells him there's no legal conflict here. you don't have a legal conflict because you don't have a family member that works in the special prosecutor's investigation and you were not part of the
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campaign, but there's an appearance of conflict so we think you should step aside, and he says, nah. >> i don't think so. both attorney generals, mr. whitaker and mr. barr, they were chosen by the president not in spite of their conflict of interest, but because of their conflict of interest. the only reason donald trump is aware mr. whitaker exists is because he was on cnn criticizing mueller. he's an undistinguished attorney. mr. barr, a very different story. a very distinguished attorney. the only reason he is attorney general is because he criticized mueller. he is a perfect example of why he should be recused, but he didn't do it. he knew that was what jeff sessions got fired of, because he recused himself. >> one was in the justice department, and you know what
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it's like to work in the justice department. should whitaker asked for an official ethics review? >> yes. i think the processes and procedures of the justice department are terribly important. those procedures have integrity and it's very wise to follow those procedures, turn square corners. we expect that of government officials. i take a different view than jeffrey with respect to bill barr. i served under bill barr under bush 41. he has been the attorney general of the united states. there are a precious few of those, and moreover he conduct the himself with great honor and integrity, and we will probably get to his memorandum, and then to put whitaker with bill barr with his record is unfair. >> i will get to bill barr in a second, but i want to emphasize
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the point you are making on matt whitaker. you do think there should have been an official review, and when they said you should step aside, do you feel he should have? >> i think he should weigh seriously the process that resulted in that advice. then it's his judgment and he's accountable for that judgment. had i been in his place, and i am not in his place, i would have said i want to know what the ethics experts at the justice department say, and i will weigh that carefully, and i would say those recommendations would have have very heavy presumption of correctness, and that's a long way of saying you better follow the ethics advice that jeff sessions did, but if he disagrees, he will be accountable for that. there has not been a hint that i know of, no public hint there
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has been any interference with the investigation? >> none of that. the reason for that we now know, up until yesterday whitaker was not exercising the oversight role. rosenstein was. now that the memo has been written by the department of justice, matt whitaker has made clear he will over see the investigation, until former attorney general, bill barr, is confirmed as the next attorney general. let me read you the statement from bill barr, the letter he wrote, the recommendations he had to say about the mueller investigation and we will talk about that, the memo that they were talking about. it appears mueller's team is investigating a possible case against the president, apart from whether mueller is a strong enough factual basis for doing
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so mueller's obstruction theory is fatally misconceived. mueller's obstruction theory is fatally mi fatally misconceived. that's the opinion of the person that might be the next attorney general. i don't know how he knows mueller's theory, but if he does it's fatally misconceived. >> let me start by agreeing with ken about one thing. bill barr is a very dextinguishd attorney, and he served honorably, and that was then. then we have a situation as a private lawyer he volunteered to send a 19-page memo denouncing robert mueller in the most important ethical issue that the new attorney general is going to face. that doesn't mean bob barr is a
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bad person and it doesn't mean he is wrong on the law, although i think he is, but what he did was he voluntarily injected himself into the highly controversial issue and that's what he will have to face as attorney general. he should not be doing that. that is inappropriate, even though bill barr is a very distinguished lawyer. >> jeff star? >> i love jeffrey, but he is so wrong. first of all, he is wrong on the law. what that 19-page memorandum sets forthwith lots of citations wi , and he is warning and the american people should be warned, prosecutors -- i was accused of this, stretch the law. when i read that memorandum, i am saying, bill barr, god bless you because what you are doing is sounding the alarm and saying here is a potential stretching
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of one provision of the law. he's not denouncing the investigation. he's not denouncing bob mueller. he is saying this prosecutorial theory of obstruction is dangerous to the presidency, not to president trump, he is not putting it in personal terms, but he is making it clear in the memorandum that the president does and should be held accountable if he truly violates the law of obstruction. this is where jeffrey and i disagreed previously. he uses witness tampering and destroying evidence and he refers to the crimes of nixon and clinton, and those were real crimes not the exercise of executive branch powers, so i respectfully disagree with jeffrey's analysis. it's a lawyer expressing his view, and it sounds like an office of legal counsel's opinion, which is also what bill barr did for a living at the justice department before he
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became a distinguished attorney general. >> i agree about the scholarly nature of the letter and it's tkpwoupbdz f grounds for a disagreement about the obstruction charge, and what my point was, here you have a private lawyer out of the blue injecting himself into this very controversy that he would supervise as attorney general. that to me is a conflict of interest. you shouldn't be -- i mean, he was chosen, i have to assume, because of that letter, not in spite of it. that is inappropriate. >> judge starr, we have to go. would it be appropriate to ask him, when you become attorney general you said the obstruction investigation is fatally flawed, will you shoot that part of the investigation down, and should he have to answer for that? >> absolutely. the confirmation hearing is that
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kind of give and take. what is it -- here's the other point i would make. bill barr would go through the process, and i have every confidence, he would get the expert advice, and i have a feeling he would follow that advice. that's yet to play out. but i see this as a concerned citizen that sees the problem, and this is where jeffrey and i profoundly disagree, a prosecutorial carrying out a view of a statute that is extravagant and unfounded and peril to the executive branches, and leave donald trump aside. >> ken and i -- i am pleased to say in this holiday season, we agree it's a good question at a confirmation hearing. >> i will say attorney general barr did not leave donald trump aside, and he wrote the letter to the trump team so they knew his legal opinion on that, which is interesting. thank you for being with us.
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alisyn? the past 24 hours have been some of the most turbulent since donald trump took office. that's next. and while you're at it... bring the tree. ford f-150 best-in-class payload. best-in-class towing. built for the holidays. hurry! it's the final days to get 0% financing for 72 months on ford f-150. see your ford dealer today. for 72 months on ford f-150. there's brushing...and there's oral-b power brushing. oral-b just cleans better. even my hygienist said going electric could lead to way cleaner teeth. and unlike sonicare, oral-b is the first electric toothbrush brand accepted by the ada. oral-b. brush like a pro.
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upheaval in washington, a tailspin. these are just some of the headlines that president trump wakes up to this morning. as defense secretary james mattis resigns over disputes with the president, and lawmakers begin the countdown to a shutdown, and joining us, author of the "new york times" best-seller, "leadership in turbulent times." doris, you picked the right title. >> i am afraid so. >> i am afraid you did. let's talk about mattis resigning in protest over the president making a unilateral and sudden decision without consulting the pentagon about withdrawing troops from syria and afghanistan. give us the historical context of this, if there is one? >> the most important thing is what his resignation letter suggests is there's a lack of a stable team that has been
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operating in the last months. what you need for presidents, especially in turbulent times, are teams that can debate decisions and can listen to one another and can come to a rational decision at the end and hopefully come to some consensus. when i think about abe lincoln, the long debate about the aproclamation, and some didn't agree but they respected him so much they kept their disagreement private. you have james mattis, and others blind-sided by the decision because president trump will say i have an organization, it's myself, and i have the best instincts on foreign policy and i have a big brain. no president, especially in times of crisis, can operate without a stable team sharing credit with that team, and shouldering blame with that team and getting respect from the team and that team disintegrated one by one by one over the last few months and it's a big loss for him to lose general mattis. >> here's a portion from general
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mattis. he chose to make this public. he didn't have to. he wants to get this message out. here's a portion. while the u.s. remains the indispensable nation in the free world we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining alliances and showing respect to those allies. that's a message so important that he put it in a letter and signed his name to it. have we seen this ever before? >> not quite in this way with so many people, i think, feeling a sense that the team is not working together, and that the alliances that are formed every since world war ii are the stability of our foreign policy has been undermined one by one under president trump, and general mattis is putting that as a marker for other people coming in to make sure this is what you are going to have to do to persuade him you cannot operate alone, and he's an honorable man with dignity so he
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must have felt strongly to put these views out. it's better to leave that way than to leave under suspicion or to be fired by twitter, and so many of the other people have and have not spoken out in the same way. i think this is a healthy sign that he is doing so. >> when you say helpful, hopeful, i guess, what do you mean, for the country or for his own future? >> i mean it's hopeful for the dialogue right now, important for the country to understand this kind of decision making that is not going on in washington. i mean, new people are going to have to be coming into this white house. it's the most honorable thing in the world to work in the white house and you worry now that people knowing what chaos is in this decision-making structure, knowing they could be fired by a tweet, and knowing they might be called a name as rex tillerson was, dumb as a rock, or jeff sessions, weak, and you need to respect that team because they are working with you. these are not easy, these jobs, and the only pressure that can
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help that be relieved is to work khr collaboratively. when people share credit when the decision is good, that's good upper movement, and when you shoulder blame with them, that's responsible. none of those normal operations have happened during this team and i don't know where we are going to get it from unless at some point there's a glimmer of hope and president trump realizes it's not happening the way it should and he looks for a team that can work with him. >> he needs a team of like-minded people is what he thinks. you have written about abe lincoln's team of rivals, and that's not what president trump wants. for a while he had a team of adults, as they were referred to, but they are all gone or soon-to-be gone. where does that leave the
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country? >> i think it's all the more important for a president like trump that does not come in with military experience, with political experience, and really with a lot of leadership experience, because his organization was him in a sense, the brand in mr. trump to know that he needs experienced people around him. that's what lincoln understood. the night he won the election, he could not sleep. he realized he only had four terms in the state legislature and one term in congress, and the country was falling apart and he needed the experienced people by his side, and they were his rivals, and he said it's more important that i have these people and he somehow had confidence in himself that he could bring them around and sure enough within a short period of time, if they underestimated him at the start they knew they were in the presence of a extraordinary leader, and their disagreements were contained within their inner circle because they became a family and that's what you need if you are
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going to be in a time of crisis in particular. >> very quickly, doris, you have ever seen a precedent for the president causing more chaos in the country than he has contained? >> i have seen presidents who have come into crisis and chaos, but i do think the exacerbation of the crisis, james buchanan exacerbated in the 1850s, and it went down as the worst presidency in history, and i have lived with these guys, and now it's true when people say this is unpress tkepcedented. it's something different, except for the 1800s, which ended in the civil war. the partisanship is something we have not seen since the 1800s, and we need somebody to heal the e exacerbations. somebody arose, the citizens
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arose and took responsibility, and the mid-terms show long lines were waiting, and women came in who were never in politics before so they are still believing in politics, and that's what we need more public servants come into the situation with a sense of healing rather than exacerbating. >> thank you very much for all of your historical context. you have lived with a lot of guys. you are right. >> i am afraid so for a long period of time. the older i get the longer i live with them. >> let's not do the 1850s thing again. >> yes. isis has been defeated in syria is what the president says, but what is the reality on the ground? we get a reality check, next. ♪ ♪
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the resignation letter of james mattis made it clear he and president trump are not on the same page. how rare are these kinds of major disagreements at high levels? our cnn analyst, john avlon with the reality check. >> remember this from the campaign trail? >> i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me. >> it reminds me of the line, often wrong but never in doubt, and that may have been what led to secretary mattis' resignation yesterday. the tipping point? the president's decision to
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withdrawal from syria despite the advice of the military brass, and the president falsely stated we have defeated isis in syria, and that's not what the cnn footage taken earlier this week shows. despite the strong progress we made, this fight is not over. as one senior administration official told jake tapper, the president's decision will recklessly put america and allied lives in danger. it's a mistake of colossal proportions and the president fails to see how it will endanger our country. a bipartisan group of six senators agreed firing off a letter to the president to reconsider, and again the president chooses to please vladimir putin over the pentagon, and trump's isolationist impulse overturned
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half a century. and the vote of no confidence from mattis, and high breaks are very rare, and you have to go back to woodrow wilson when there was a resignation over disagreements over world war i. fast-forward to harry truman and the so-called revolt of the admirals, a rare public outcry over trump's attempts to slash budgets. as the vietnam war raged, mcnamara handed over his resignation to johnson once he understood there was no way to escalate out of the quagmire he created. and operation eagle claw failed, eight service members died, and carter eventually blamed his 1980 election loss on it.
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that's about it. it's been nearly 40 years since we have seen a resignation by a major cabinet figure over a policy different with the president. mattis didn't simply resign over a tactical plan, his resignation was over a world view calling out trump's alienation of our allies and embrace of ore adversaries. and now mattis joins this long list of trump officials that existed over were pushed out the door. >> he resigned over a world view, and i think that's very important to note, john. thank you very much. it was an emotional night in texas as the team won a championship for their coach. andy scholes has more in the "bleacher report." >> a christmas miracle. newton head coach johnson told his players in august that he
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probably would not live to see the end of the season. johnson had a double lung transplant in 2015, and earlier this year doctors told him he had just eight months to live, and johnson, not only still here but he led newton to a state title. >> i have been given a great gift, and people just don't understand that. the gift is i have been able to see how my life could affect people before i die. these guys, i mean, they touched my life and it has been a mutual thing, but i have been able to teach them a lesson you don't get to see most times. i told them last night, we talked about it, and we talked about wanting to win for me, but this is their time. i have had my time. >> this is the second straight championship for newton, guys, and i am sure it's one that that town and school will never forget. >> oh, my gosh, a double lung transplant. modern medicine is miraculous.
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>> what an inspiration. andy scholes, thank you very much. he served in afghanistan and now he sits in congress. how does he feel about u.s. troops being pulled out? we talk to him, next. ♪ heartburn and gas? ♪ fight both fast tums chewy bites with gas relief all in one relief of heartburn and gas ♪ ♪ tum tum tum tums tums chewy bites with gas relief a lot will happen in your life. wrinkles just won't. neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair's derm-proven retinol works so fast, it takes only one week to reveal younger looking skin. neutrogena® .
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and fearlwhat a year.s piles. your home improvement "to-do list" still isn't "to-done". but hey, at least you still have time to get the ford vehicle you've always wanted. just get to the final days of our holiday sales event. see you sometime between now and january 2nd. so you can end your year on a high note. ford. built for the holidays. it's time to get our best offers of the season. i was thinking...d clot could there be another around the corner? or could it turn out differently? i wanted to help protect myself. my doctor recommended eliquis. eliquis is proven to treat and help prevent another dvt or pe blood clot... almost 98 percent of patients on eliquis didn't experience another. ...and eliquis has significantly
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less major bleeding than the standard treatment. eliquis is fda approved and has both. don't stop eliquis unless your doctor tells you to. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. if you had a spinal injection while on eliquis call your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily... and it may take longer than usual for bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising. eliquis may increase your bleeding risk if you take certain medicines. tell your doctor about all planned medical or dental procedures. what's around the corner could be surprising. ask your doctor about eliquis. the united states is planning to cut its military presence in afghanistan in half. just like president trump's decision to withdraw from syria
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was a factor in james mattis's decision to resign. congressman, thanks so much for being with us. i had an active duty service member tell me he was devastated by the resignation of james mattis. what is your reaction? >> well, i am disappointed. i served with him over the past couple years. america is safer today because of his leadership at the pentagon. i'm grateful he has given the president a few months to make the transition. i'm sure the president will find someone of the same caliber to replace secretary mattis. i will be waiting somewhat impatiently to find out who that would be. >> mattis suggested that he thought the president was too o
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nice to enemies. >> secretary mattis's departure, obviously that is devastating news to our national security and the pentagon. a lot of leaders are disappointing, but we will look forward to this president picking someone of the same caliber. i have little doubt he'll do that again. >> you criticized u.s. troops withdrawing from syria. what was your reaction to the news as both a veteran and a member of the armed services committee that the president wants to cut our troof presence in afghanistan by half? >> i hope that's not the case. i served there a few years ago before being elected to congress. it is clear that the threat in afghanistan has evolved, the
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rise of isis in afghan poses a much more serious threat than what we have seen in many years maybe even since 9/11. a pull-out after of would be a threat to the homeland. that's why we have to remember why we're there to begin with, to prevent another attack on american soil like 9/11. i'm more concerned today than ever before. so i and other members of congress will call on this administration to rethink the strategy to pull troops out of afghanistan. but it is clear today that the work isn't done yet. >> you think if the united states reduces its troop presence by as much as we learned the president is asking for, you think it increases the chances of a 9/11 style attack. >> i think it could be because of the iris of isis k in
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afghanistan, which poses a more complex and more serious threat to the homeland of the united states and its allies as well. now is not the time to pull back troops. i have been critical of the administration over the past year because of the lack of attention to the south asia strategy. i have always thought the president would serve our efforts there better if he visited afghanistan and went and listened to the leaders on the ground. he would learn a great deal just like i did when i visited myself. >> to be fair, you're being critic critical. but you voted for the house bill last night to give $5 billion for the border wall knowing it will not get through the senate and that a shutdown the likely. the president wrote this morning
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there is a shutdown that could last for a very long time. would you be comfortable with that? >> nobody on capitol hill wants a shutdown. we still have time to get through this process when the senators return from their premature early vacation and come back to washington, d.c. today to do their work. we still have time to get this done to prevent a shutdown. what happened in the house yesterday was important. i am a rank and file member of the republican conference. our leadership listened to rank and file members like myself who come from districts with constituents who wanted us to vote on boosting border security funding like we did yesterday and send this spending deal back to the senate so they can take that under consideration, too. that's how this process of negotiation in the legislative process works. we still have time to prevent a shutdown. >> but the president did say that he was comfortable with a
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shutdown. he said, fine, fine. i own this. i'm happy to shut down the government if it's over border security. so if by tomorrow morni ining t isn't a deal made and the government is shut down, is this on him? >> it is dependent upon congress to pass a spending deal. we did that responsively so with about 70% of the federal government funded for the full fiscal year we passed before it began earlier this year. we have 30% of the federal government that isn't funded and we have a chance today to pass a spending deal that will prevent a shutdown and fund the rest of the government for the rest of the fiscal year. >> thanks for being with us. thank you also for your service. appreciate it. have a wonderful holiday. the president is awake and he is weighing in on all the events of the morning, the departure of james mattis and the government shutdown, which
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he says could last for a long time. "new day" continues right now. >> for secretary mattis, who has never been known to quit anything, this was the breaking point. >> his decision to resign is our worst nightmare. >> i have made my position very clear. my measure that funds the government must include border security. >> i'm glad the president won't sign the continuing resolution. >> trump will shut down the government, but it will not get him his wall. >> this is "new day" with alisyn camerota and john berman. >> good morning. it is friday, december 21th, 8:00 in the east. the darkest day of the year. and i don't think he's just talking about sunlight. there is a message being sent by u.s. allies, active duty service


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