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tv   CNN Newsroom with Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto  CNN  December 21, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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certain things be released early. it will also ease mandatory minimum sentences and give judges more leeway in sentencing. it's something this congress came together across the aisle to do. it is the president's son-in-law, jared kushner, his senior adviser, who was a huge proponent of this, who pushed this, and it ultimately happened. did not happen for decades. did not happen during the obama administration, and now it's happened. the president will sign it at 11:00 a.m. today. all right, good morning, everyone. it's the top of the hour. 10:00 eastern. i'm poppy harlow in new york. jim sciutto, you'll see him tonight on anderson cooper 360. we're so glad you're with us. republican senators are being summoned this hour to the white house in just half an hour. why? because a government shutdown, at least a partial one, is please than 14 hours away. funding runs out at midnight for the department of justice, the state department, and homeland security department among
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others, and president trump's promise, just last week, to take ownership of a shutdown in the name of border security and not to blame democrats, that was his promise, well folks, that no longer applies. this morning, the president not only is blaming democrats for blocking funds for his wall, he's demanding republicans overturn a senate filibuster rule so that they won't need democratic votes. it's called the nuclear option. by the way, mcconnell has signaled no less than a dozen times that it will never happen. still, the president is asking for it. all the while, washington and many other world capitals still in shock over the sudden resignation in principle of the defense secretary jim mattis and looming u.s. troop pullouts from syria and afghanistan. much more on that important move in a moment. but we begin on capitol hill this hour with our manu raju. looking for a last-minute deal. but you know what, manu. the president has changed, not
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accepting ownership for any of this, but it's he who won't sign anything that congress gives him so far. >> and people are deeply pessimistic here on capitol hill that anything can get resolved by midnight tonight. this morning's meeting could be very significant because they expect republicans in that room to try to convince the president to adopt the position that they took on wednesday night in which they thought the president was also onboard with, which was to agree to a short-term funding bill to keep the government open up until february 8th, not have that border wall money, but punt that issue until a later date. most senators left town, expecting the president would sign this, after he signaled he would. but after he changed his heart yesterday and dug in, things are deeply, deeply uncertain as we head into this possible shutdown tonight. the president has signaled to his allies in the house, house republicans like mark meadows who told me last night the
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president said he would not cave no matter what the senate does. expect around noon today, the senate to come into session to take up a move to consider the house bill. that first procedural vote could very well fail. that would just be 50 votes to begin to debate the bill. we don't think there will be 50 votes. even if they were to get the 50 votes, they need 60 votes to overcome a democratic filibuster. no chance that would happen. also no chance mitch mcconnell and republicans would go along with what the president has been demanding this morning, which is to use the nuclear aungz to change the rules to make it easier to pass legislation on a simple majority. not only does mitch mcconnell oppose it, a number of republicans oppose it. they don't have the votes to change the rules. all that means, the one option on the table, short-term funding bill to keep the government open. the president has rejected it. who's going to blink at the end of the day? we don't know. >> why you would ask your
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republican leadership to change the rules on something you said you would proudly own, mr. president, is a really important question this morning. thank you very much. let us know what you hear. in half an hour, the republican senators will be at the white house. let's go there. abby phillip is following all this. the rules aren't going to change. they're going to need 60 votes. you're not going to get 60 votes for a $5 billion set of funding for the border wall. is the president going to blink in this meeting? >> it seems like this meeting at 10:30 where republicans will be meeting with president trump about the border wall and also about this funding bill is an effort for president trump to really get his soldiers in line. as manu pointed out, they need 50 votes in order to get this first procedural hurdle to move forward. that would mean all republicans need to be in line and on the same page about what the plan is here. republicans were the ones in the senate who passed a clean bill in the first place. so president trump is in a position where he's convincing his own party to move forward
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with this new plan. meanwhile, we spoke to sarah huckabee sanders at the white house this morning. and it didn't sound very much like there was a plan at all for the president to go back to the drawing board in terms of negotiation with democrats in order to get more democratic votes to overcome the next hurdle, which would require 60 votes. so we are no closer here to avoiding a shutdown, and in fact, president trump has been tweeting all morning about the shutdown, pressuring democrats to vote in favor of his border wall, but also saying that if the government does shut down, this shutdown is going to last for a long time. that means hundreds of thousands of federal workers and parts of the government are going to be on furlough until further notice. president trump has already said if the government shuts down, he's not going to mar-a-lago where he was supposed to be headed for 16 days for a winter vacation. that's still the plan as of right now, but of course, things can change here at the white house, and we'll be looking for any news on that front as well.
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>> absolutely. you have 800,000 workers' jobs hanging in the balance, and paychecks ahead of the holidays if you can't keep this thing open. >> let's talk about all this with taluse, david drucker is here, political correspondent for the washington examiner. good morning, everyone. david, i thought that mexico was going to pay for the wall. what happened? >> yeah, well, mexico was never going to pay for the wall, and i think the president always knew that. that was a sort of symbolic campaign promise that he wanted to make to show how serious he was about his border wall. i think the bigger question is why did the president or the first two years of his presidency not make border security a bigger legislative issue. the president focused on tax reform, on appealing obamacare, the affordable care act. those are all worthy republican goals if you're a republican, but for somebody who prioritized immigration overhaul and border security, he could have made this a central piece of his
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legislative agenda at the very beginning. spent the last two years trying to push all sorts of bills to change u.s. immigration law, improve border security, along the mexican border. he chose not to do it. instead, what he's dealing with now is $5 billion that he's asking for that's not even going to pay for most of the wall, although it's a down payment. and there's no political incentive on either side of the aisle for him to get what he wants today. don't forget, this house bill that was passed because they were able to add a sweetener at the end with all sorts of disaster relief money, which people really care about, is going to expire at noon on january 3rd when the new congress is sworn in, and house democrats are going to be able to pass whatever bill they can get behind or want to pass. and it's going to create a whole new negotiation with the republican senate. and that's why i think we could be in for a shutdown that runs through the holidays unless the president blinks. he's now put himself in a position where if he blinks he's going to look worse than he was
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looking before. >> okay, but you know what. guess what. running the country and being president is not about how you look, right? it's about doing your job, making deals. and working with congress to keep the government up and running, right? for the american people. what happens behind those walls at the white house in 22 minutes? >> yeah, the president is going to, as abby said, try to rally the troops around, but it's not going to be the same type of situation he had -- >> but what can he do? even if he gets every republican on board, you're not going to get 60 votes for this in the senate if it has $5 billion in wall funding. >> yeah, and i think that's going to be the mission of the senators that are going over to inwhite house, to try to convince the president this is a losing game. there's no out here, no end game in which he wins $5 billion for the border wall, and democrats just cave, as david said, there's no incentive for democrats to play ball with the president on this request that he's made because he hasn't offered them anything to bring them to the table other than demanding $5 billion for a
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border wall that they don't want and they believe there are a number of republicans who also don't believe that's a wise way to spend taxpayer dollars. and the president's not offering anything as the deal maker that he said he was, to bring them to the table. and nancy pelosi is going to be taking the gavel in a couple weeks and they would rather wait out this president and say we're going to take power soon. you can throw what chuck schumer called a temper tantrum as much as you want, and shut down the government, and you, as you said, will take the blame and have the mantle of this, and democrats will take over and pass a very clean bill on january 3rd or january 4th. so the president doesn't have a lot of cards to play with but he's trying to show this base he's taking this to the mat and fighting as much as possible for the border wall he promised. >> if we step back and look at what the week and the last 48 hours have brought, you have a government on the verge of shutdown, a stock market that continues to plummet, off more than 1200 points this week alow, the resignation on principle by
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your defense secretary that shocked you yourself as the president. you have a shock, you know, withdrawal of troops from syria and a pending withdrawal from afghanistan. and then you have former republican senator and former defense secretary under bill clinton william cohen, who told my colleague jim sciutto this last night. listen. >> the president has taken a wrecking ball to every pillar of stability and security we have erected over the past 60, 70 years. he is systematically demolishing them. >> former republican senator, david drucker. and former defense secretary. what are the implications of this? >> i think you're going to see a lot more concern among republicans on capitol hill, particularly in the senate. i have to say that we don't know necessarily what avenue that concern is going to take, but two things to keep in mind. number one, senate republicans and house republicans got behind a veto-proof majority for a bill in july of 2017 that limited the president's ability to cut deals
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with vladimir putin. so there is some precedent on foreign policy issues for republicans on the hill to push back against the president. also, we shouldn't underestimate exactly how secure jim mattis at defense made republicans feel about trump. there's been a lot of concern about his rhetoric and his policies, but they all thought to themselves, as long as he has jim mattis at defense, it means he's not thinking of going too far beyond what we think would be best for the country and best for u.s. national security. with jim mattis gone, and not just gone, but the way he is leaving, you're going to see a lot more anxiety about the president's leadership than we have seen, and it's not -- we don't know yet what exact farm it's going to take, but i think we're at a different stage in the relationship between republicans on the hill and the president. >> this just from the president. i want your response to this. let me read it in full. the democrats now own the shutdown. the president writes this morning. a week and a half ago, the
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president says, i will own the shutdown, and everyone will like it because it's about border security. this morning, a completely different tune. will voters see past that? >> well, you're probably going to see that clip of the president owning the shutdown from the oval office playing on repeat across television if this government shuts down over this weekend. and that will remind voters that the president said it very clearly, despite what he's tweeting today, that he would own the shutdown. i believe the polling already shows voters are likely to blame republicans and the president for a shutdown if it happens, and more so than democrats. >> that's right. >> so he's trying to change the subject, but it's not looking like it's working so far. >> thank you both so much. have a nice holiday. still to come for us, defense secretary james mattis out. why? a fundamental disagreement with the president on how we treat our allies and our adversaries. his resignation that even shocked the president, ahead. also, acting attorney
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whetor surprise pizza,aco night, zantac works when you need it. it relieves or prevents heartburn in as little as 30 minutes, and lasts up to 12 hours. zantac. eat your way. treat your way.™ welcome back. the resignation of defense secretary james matting is sending shock waves not only across this country but around
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the world. a source tells cnn even the president was surprised when mattis resigned in person before him. moments ago, cnn learned plans right now are being drafted to withdraw all u.s. troops from syria. barbara starr joins me from the pentagon. look, this is the issue, this is the straw, right, that broke the camel's back. this is what mattis went to the white house to try to change the president's mind on and he couldn't, and he has withdrawn. >> that's right, poppy. what a senior defense official is telling us is mattis actually had written the resignation letter before he went to the white house. he had about a 45-minute meeting with the president. and that the president was surprised that mattis was going to resign, which may indicate the president really didn't understand who jim mattis always has been. the red line for mattis was the decision to get out of syria because the u.s. had promised, he had promised kurdish forces there the u.s. would stay and help them. by leaving u.s. forces
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abandoning the kurds essentially and there's a good deal of concern they will face a bloodbath at the hands of isis and nearby turkish forces. that's what mattis could not live with, abandoning a friend on the battlefield. and that's why you're seeing some of the reaction across washington and world capitals about the resignation of jim mattis, and the latest person to weigh in is dan coats, the director of national intelligence. the top intelligence official in the united states. he issued a statement a short time ago and just one thing i want to share with everyone is the director says, and i quote, in every aspect, jim mattis is a national treasure. he will be sorely missed. i think there is an awful lot of people that feel that way. you know, mattis basically is saying that he can no longer serve the commander in chief, and this is something that is being digested, if you will, not
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just amongst the capitals of our allies but amongst countries like russia, china, iran, north korea, and terrorist groups like al qaeda, isis, and the taliban. they are all watching very carefully to see what happens next. poppy. >> a national treasure. you can't put a finer point on it than that. quickly, before you go, barbara, the mood inside the military. right? 1.3 million plus active duty members serving. what do they think? >> it's very fair to say this morning there is a sense of uncertainty. and that alone should be a shocking development because the u.s. military, if nothing else, does not like uncertainty, and commanders always want the rank and file to concentrate on their jobs and not worry about politics, and not be uncertain. i can tell you when i came into the pentagon early this morning, several uniformed personnel stopped me in the hallway. other reporters having the same
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experience, talking to uniform people. they do feel a sense of uncertainty and they want to see what will happen next and what will happen in these wars in syria and afghanistan and u.s. military commitments around the world. will the u.s. now fully retreat? poppy. >> yeah, a very important question, barbara. thank you for the reporting. with me now, cnn global affairs analyst susan glasser and mark hertling. good morning to you both. susan, new column. here's what strikes me. quote, you write, when i started writing this column, the freak-out was over syria. by the time i mifinished it, mattis was resigning. mattis was out. what does the president's latest move on syria, afghanistan, the fact that mattis could not stomach it, as barbara just laid out, anymore, what does it tell you about the state of affairs? >> well, poppy, thank you. i think first of all, this is a day that america's allies had
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been dreading and fearing and hoping wouldn't come for the entire almost two years of the trump presidency. this is a worst-case scenario from their point of view. i have to tell you, even i was very shocked yesterday. the reason is not that i knew there was a rift, obviously, between president trump and secretary mattis for a long time, but i had been assured, as i'm sure many others had been, by sources close to mattis for a long, lawn time, that he would not leave unless there was some absolutely unbridgeable gap or something absolutely directly that he was ordered to do by president trump that struck at a matter of principle. in that sense, it's a worst-case scenario. and i feel like we can't underscore enough, a, the gravity of the situation, but b, the fact that it shouldn't really be either shocking or surprising that president trump has brought things to this state. what was amazing about writing that year-end column yesterday and then having secretary mattis
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resign in the middle of it was that it was very easy to incorporate into an account of a year in which president trump has made it very, very clear that he will not be constrained, that he is firmly in control of his national security team, and he is trump unbound. i think that's the story of 2018. >> unbound. general hertling, to you, when you take a step back and look at this from the perspective of, you have conservatives like mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader, saying he is, in his words, distressed over mattis. saying having to leave this way. marco rubio, go on down the list, lindsey graham. but then you have russia, top lawmaker in russia who calls mattis' resignation rather positive. i mean, this is like through the looking glass territory when it comes to who sees this as positive and who sees this as negative. who will replace mattis? i mean, what general do you
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believe would take this job knowing what it comes with and being in line with the president on all of these fronts, on the syria withdrawal, on the afghanistan partial drawdown? are you confident? >> i'm not, poppy. and good morning. first of all, what i would say is to echo what susan just said and what you're hearing is, secretary mattis was somewhat of a unique individual because he was universally admired in the military. people from the generals down to the privates. you normally don't get that with the secretary of defense. most soldiers don't care who the secretary of defense is, but he's also the person in the chain of command between the combatant commanders and the president. and what drove all that admiration and trust was the fact that secretary mattis is a man of integrity and he served and he knows what the real deal is on the battlefield and in engagements with our allies. i would also say that over the
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last 12 hours, as europe was sleeping when this happened yesterday, and that was my last assignment, i woke up this morning to all kinds of text messages and e-mails from former european colleagues concerned about this because they realize that the secretary was the guy that would smooth things out after the president was the disrupter. so having said all that, to get back to your question, who could replace him? i don't know. and it isn't going to be someone with his gravitas or his ability to move the bubble, and it shouldn't probably be a general because i think president trump has had his fill of generals. they stand up to him, and that's what he doesn't like. it's going to be probably a politician or someone who has the same ideology as the president, and that will be -- >> susan, on afghanistan specifically, we have learned there will be this imminent partial drawdown of u.s. troops
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in afghanistan. lindsey graham, republican senator, so worried about it, he says this is, quote, paving the way toward a second 9/11. then you have joseph dunford, general joseph dunford, america's top general, who just two weeks ago, gave this warning. >> leaving afghanistan not only would create instability in south asia, but in my judgment, would give terrorist groups the space within which to plan and conduct operations against the american people, the homeland, and our allies. >> wow. so now what? >> now what indeed. look, first of all, you should look out to see there are some thought that perhaps general dunford might follow secretary mattis out the door, and so that's one question, is whether he's even going to remain in the trump administration. he was excluded, according to reporting in "the washington post" yesterday, he was excluded from the decision-making meeting at which the president decided to abruptly leave syria. and again, you know, this is not just some process foul on the
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part of president trump. it's been clear for a long time that his inclination was to leave syria, was to leave afghanistan. he said so publicly. you have this insane, and it is an insane situation, by the way, where the president of the united states has repeatedly approved policies that he then feels free to disagree with, both publicly and privately. this is not how any normal government works. and it is impossible for allies or partners to understand what is the policy of the united states. you know, first of all, you have a situation where we know the president is much more complimentary of our enemies and adversaries than he is with our allies. so you have this situation of, you know, how are people supposed to keep fighting in afghanistan and syria alongside us? i think a level of uncertainty right now in geopolitics courtesy of president trump is through the roof. >> all right, look, remember, in afghanistan, it's us and our nato allies in that coalition doing this together. thank you both very, very much.
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general hertling, susan glasser, have a good christmas. still ahead, we're moments away from senate republicans who have been summoned to the white house in just three or four minutes they'll show up to meet with the president. can they reach a deal or does the government shut down partially at midnight. i get so much in return. join our family of home instead caregivers and help make a world of difference. home instead senior care. apply today. home instead senior care. at dewar's, all our whiskies are aged, blended and aged again. it's the reason our whisky is so extraordinarily smooth. dewar's. double aged for extra smoothness.
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all right. take a look. i think we have images.
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moments ago, republican senators arriving at the white house. the president summoned them there this morning. you see senate majority leader mitch mcconnell trying to find a way to avoid a looming government shutdown. the president last week proudly proclaimed that he would own a shutdown, and the american people would be supportive of it because it is for border security. that same president who said that, just moments ago wrote this on twitter. the democrats now own the shutdown. ryan nobles joins us on capitol hill this morning for more. walk me through what could happen behind closed doors at the white house today. in the oval, the president meets with these republican senators. they explain to him that there's no way to get 60 votes in the senate for a bill with $5 billion in border wall funding. there's no way the nuclear option happens, mcconnell has made that clear. so where is the deal here? >> well, in many instances like
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we have seen like this in the past, poppy, mitch mcconnell has attempted to be the voice of reason through these negotiations with president trump. kind of trying to explain to him the reality of the situation. especially as it relates to the senate. the senate is a much different body than the house. the strong conservative voices in the house have much more power and sway on the house side than they do on the senate side. so the president might have maybe an overestimation as to exactly how popular his legislation is because it passed the house easily, it may not have a full understanding of what's happening here in the senate. we know there's going to be at least ten republican senators that will be in this meeting with president trump, presumably, there will be some from the more conservative wing of the party that may encourage the president to continue with this standoff, but you know, we expect mitch mcconnell to make it very clear to him that, a, this legislation has no hope of getting the 60 votes necessary, and b, the nuclear option is in no way possible and that the president better come up with
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another plan. >> by the way, why are you asking for, you know, the nuclear option on this? if you said you would proudly own a shutdown a week and a half ago, mr. president, right? if the american people are so supportive of that, as he said, why would he be asking for mcconnell to do that? ryan nobles, thank you. update us when you get intel from what's going on in this white house meeting. meantime, the acting attorney general, matt whitaker, defying the advice of his own ethics department at the department of justice, saying he should recuse himself from overseeing the mueller probe. it is a stunning move. what are the implications? ahead.
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welcome back. acting attorney general matthew whitaker has decided to completely ignore the advice of his own ethics office at the department of justice. they recommended that because he's been so critical of the mueller probe, that he recuse himself from overseeing it. let's remind you, one of the criticisms that whitaker had of the mueller probe back in july of 2017, on this network, let's roll it. >> i could see a scenario where jeff sessions is replaced with a recess appointment and the attorney general doesn't fire bob mueller but he just reduces the budget so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt. >> our justice reporter laura jarrett who broke the news joins me now. he is that replacement, for now.
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until william barr is, you know, if he's confirmed by the senate, that's him. he has the power to do so much when it comes to the mueller probe. and he ignored, after multiple meetings with the ethics office, their advice to recuse himself. how big is this? >> it's significant, poppy. the justice department is trying to quell the concerns that we're now hearing on capitol hill about this entire situation, sending a letter to lawmakers late last night saying whitaker has no plans to fire the special counsel, pointing out that whitaker things he's, quote, a good man, a proeflfessional, ane would only go after legitimate targets. this is doing little to quell the troubling comments he said in the past about undercutting mueller and the ways he could sort of undermine the probe. and so democrats on capitol hill are also pointing to how this process played out, and what really happened here is although the senior ethics official found he had no legal conflict, meaning he didn't have a
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personal or business or financial interest in any of this, he did have an appearance of conflict based off what he said on cnn and other networks in his past writings and because of that appearance of conflict, that ethics official said if you're asking me what i would do, i would step aside. whitaker disregarded that advice and he instead relied on his own panel of advisers who recommended that he not step aside, poppy. >> it's significant. now the question is what will he do, right, with regard to the mueller probe? because he's the one in charge of it all. laura, thank you very much. we'll be right back. l going fort even though i live with a higher risk of stroke due to afib not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i'm up for that. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. so what's next? seeing these guys.
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all right, new details on the hugely consequential res nashz of defense secretary james mattis and how it went down. mattis was livid after president trump's stunning decision to unilaterally pull troops out of syria. now we have learned it was the threat by turkey's defense minister to level a brutal assault on u.s. allies, the kurds, and put them in ditches. that's in quotes, once the u.s. pulled out. it's that that really set mattis off. our white house reporter jeremy diamond has been breaking this news, reporting on the timeline of how this all happened, and that's important. mattis was able to stomach a lot that he didn't agree with, with the president. but it was the abandoned of our allies, the kurds, and knowing what turkey would do in response that was the red line for mattis. >> absolutely. it was that comment from the turkish defense minister that set mattis off. he was livid at this notion that u.s.-backed forces in syria could face a deadly assault from
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turkish forces as a result of this u.s. withdrawal. and so what the defense secretary did was he went to the oval office for one last time yesterday afternoon to try to convince the president to cancel his plans to withdraw u.s. troops from syria, but when he was unsuccessful in this very brief meeting, the defense secretary did what he had left to do, which was to pull out this two-page resignation letter and offer it over to the president. but this had been a long time coming, as you mentioned. defense secretary mattis and the president have had policy differences on a number of issues. but those policy differences largely stayed behind the scenes for much of defense secretary mattis' tenure at the pentagon. it was when the secretary of state, rex tillerson, and the national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster, were ousted in march, that's when aides began to suspect mattis' relationship with the president would begin to degrade. they had been, the three of them, urging the president
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against certain policies. now it was just up to mattis. he was the only remaining buffer and that obviously drew the president's ire leading to the relationship to degrade over the last several months. >> jeremy, important to know what the red line was for him. thank you for that reporting. meantime, right now, senate republicans are arriving at the white house to meet with the president. there's been a hang-up, though. a source tells cnn, quote, things are so chaotic at the white house that some republican senators can't get in because the secret service didn'teven have time to clear them while the staff was driving them there. we'll see how this goes. >> meantime, it's been called the e-mail killer. slack is a chat application that has become critical in many offices. the company started out making video games. watch this. >> it was an accident that we kind of found the slack product. it was born out of the way that we collaborated and worked together while making a video game.
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after four years, it was really apparent that the game wasn't going to work out, it was never going to be a commercial success, so we went back to our investors and said, would you like your money back? and they decided to take a gamble on us and instead said, keep that money. let's see what you can do with it next. slack is a collaboration hub for a workplace. a tool that ties together all the other tools you use to get work done. most organizations are still using e-mail and isn't really designed for the way that teams work together and collaborate. we saw that collaboration gap. we went to our friends at other companies in the bay area, and basically begged them to use this product, to give it a try. people would see the team next to them using this new thing, being more productive, being more engaged, getting more done, and it grew like wildfire. it's been really important that we have supported things like emojis and gifs.
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all right. are you ready for some good news? i certainly am. on the eve of the holidays,
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employees of a family-owned michigan company getting the holiday bonus of a lifetime. the owner of flora craft, they make foam products for the floral and craft industry, decided to give each employee a share of $4 million. this is how the ceo broke the news. >> what i'm going to do is i'm going to make available $4 million to be paid out in a couple ways. part cash, part your profit sharing, part in your 401(k). >> that man who made the decision, lee shaner, aka, santa claus. joins me now. oh, my goodness. i have been so excited to have you on all week after i saw this story. thank you for doing nice things for your workers. i was reading an average of
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$20,000 is a bonus that they're getting. some longtime workers there, $60,000. is that right? >> that's right. probably averages more than $20,000. well, that's about right. yes. >> why? why are you doing it and why now? >> well, my wife joan and i have spent the last 45 years in ludington. it's a little town. in fact, i was born there. through those years, we made various contributions to organizations and causes. and recently, when we have done this, i have reminded myself that the reason that we're able to do this is because of the success of the company and a great deal of success of the company is due to my employees. i hate to call them employees because actually they're more to me than just employees. but through their hard work and loyalty, it has made it possible to make these kind of donations.
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so i thought i wanted to do something just for them. >> there you go. >> so they understand i really do appreciate their efforts. >> what is the most touching thing one of them said to you? >> well, i've got to be careful here because i don't want to say something that maybe the person wished i hadn't. but i had an individual come up to me at a santa's workshop, a thing we hold on saturday after the announcement, and she thanked me very much. and she pointed to her face, and she said, i have wanted to have my teeth fixed for years. and now i have the money to do it. so there were other stories like that, but that really hits home.
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>> it really hits home. it's a big gift. quickly, ten seconds left, have other ceos reached out to you about this? might they do it too? >> no, i haven't heard anything from other ceos. >> all right. well, maybe, maybe they should take a page out of your book on this. i'm really happy for all of your employees, lee. definitely santa claus to them this holiday season. so thanks. thanks for passing it along, and thanks for being with me. >> all right. thank you for having me. >> of course. happy holidays. thank you all for being with me today. i'm poppy harlow. i wish you a great holiday. i'll see you in a week. "at this hour" starts now. hello, everyone. i'm kate bolduan. a sign of the times. unless something dramatic happens, the government is about to shut down by the end of the day, and that's not the only crisis facing the whousz right now.


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