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tv   Inside Politics  CNN  December 31, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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welcome to a special new year's eve edition of inside politics. john king is off today. elizabeth warren, who trump calls his dream come true opponent makes a move to a 2020 run. on day 10 of the government shut down, the president is tweeting for democrats to give him the votes needed for his wall. are you sure tomorrow is really going to be 2019. james mattis is referencing lincoln in his farewell note.
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>> i don't want to overstate the situation, but he had that delightful quote as you go through hell, keep going. i wouldn't like to experience to the nether world, but this is a tough period. >> another hardening there. we begin with news from the 2020 campaign trail and we are keenly aware that it's still 2018. elizabeth warren announcing today she is exploring a run for president in 2020. take a listen. >> because no matter what our differences, most of us want the same thing -- to be able to work hard and play to the same set of rules and take care of the people we love. that's the america i'm fighting for. that's why today i'm launching an exploratory committee for president. >> warren's announcement hardly comes as a surprise. over the first two years, he positioned herself as a major
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adversary to the president and the republican party on the whole. the now famous rebuke turned rallying cry to mitch mcconnell. she persisted in her video. she highlights that persistence, focusing on the efforts to address wall street and economic inequality. mj lee joins me live from boston. we knew it was coming and as a fill in anchor, i'm thrilled to have the political news, but why now? >> phil, what we are hearing is her decision to launch the exploratory committee was a decision made some weeks ago. now the source that i talked to said this decision was not about other potential democrat who is could get into the race, though you have to imagine that did shape their thinking in some way or another. i'm told that this was about wanting to get the work started. they are eager to start building
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out an apparatus and operation and make the important hires that they need to make to get a presidential campaign off to a start. the video you are talking about released earlier today gives us a good sense of what candidate she will be and issues she will be focused on and not surpriseding thesurprised i there. she will be fighting for economic equality and big banks and corporation and insurance companies and holding government accountable. these themes catapulted her to prominence and it's clear that the themes will be at the very foundation of her eventual presidential campaign. in that video, it was not surprising that we saw some cameos from president trump. it is a reminder that senator warren has been an outspoken critic of the president, but it is going to be interesting to see how she actually handles the back and forth with the president because a few weeks ago when she released the dna test, that didn't go over well.
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it was described by so many as a major misstep and quickly because i know you appreciate this, i wonder how she will handle dealing with the press. she was known as the senator who would not do hallway interviews and now that is obviously not the case and changed in recent times. again, this is going to be two years of her being on the campaign trail if everything goes her way. curious how she is going to handle reporters. >> no question about it. mj lee should be following this story from boston. >> jill colvin with the ap, here we go. hope you guys got your rest the last couple of days because the campaign has started. it's not official until there is
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a tweet and we now have the tweet from elizabeth warren. she said one thing i know i can't do this alone. powered by $1.8 million in grass roots donations. this is not my fight. it's our fight. join us now. i start with you. you want to talk about getting benefits on the staff side. what's your view of getting in now? >> i think the surprise challenge is on the messaging side. this gives her potentially a little bit of time to kind of have a reset on the message after attempts to clear the air on her heritage backfired. if you get in before it's ultra crowded, you get time to feel your way around. that's part of the challenge that she faces. there will be dozens of democratic candidates and the cluster of people who we heard from a lot who were candidates
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or might have been is her space. how she is going to distinguish herself from the other newer, fresher, younger candidates who are less of a lightning rod on the republican side, that's her challenge and she has to figure out her messaging. >> there is going to be how many million democrats running in 2020. excuse the new year's eve hyperbole, but there is a limited number of big name staffer who is can raise the money you need in 2020. getting them early, nobody is paying attention to the news. she can start hiring and that gives her a head start. >> you talk about the message. i want to play a piece from her video where she talks on the policy side. there is going to be a huge debate on that. take a listen to this piece. >> today corruption is poisoning our democracy. politicians look the other way
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while big insurance companies deny patients-saving coverage and big banks rip off consumers and while big oil companies destroy this planet, the whole scam is propped up by an ecochamber of fear and hate designed to distract and divide us. >> i'm going to watch this from his last campaign. it's a big question. there are legitimate policy differences. i think everybody gets pegged into the progressive how left can they go. you hear a lot of the low hanging fruit issues. the policy which warren has a good track record on in terms of depth, will that matter? >> it will matter a lot to democrats. she is unloading red meat for democrats. these are the issues they want to hear about and that they are interested in. at the same time warren is a lightning rod and a divicive figure and trump will pounce on
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the same messages. i'm very eager to see what tweet he puts out, considering how much leverage he's gotten from elizabeth warren. cory said about how one of trump's political skills is creating a foil. the media is one of those, but also elizabeth warren is another one of those who has obviously become a divicive figure. >> one of the interesting things is where democrats meet with him and he goes on the elizabeth warren rant for a reason none of them can figure out. i want to get to one, what rachel is talking about. warren had folks in the early primary seats for months. that was me that was made clear. to go back to the boston globe editorial, while warren is an
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important voice nationally, she is a divicive figure. a unifying voice is what we need after donald trump. warren missed her moment in 2016. there is a reason to be skeptical of her candidacy. that's the hometown newspaper who wanted her to run in 2020. is there something there? the idea that she may run? >> that's always the question that people will be asking as well. if joe biden decides to throw his hat into the ring as well. this is a crowded field and the fact is that people know elizabeth warren. she has the highest name recognition of the field and the early polls suggest that really what the need and the interest in democratic party is for fresh voices and new faces and younger people who capture this new movement in the party that we saw through the elections to the house in 2018. >> i want to bring up the "usa today" poll on 2020 contenders with democrats and independents.
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if you look at the poll, elizabe elizabeth warren, 33% think someone entirely new gets 59%. whoever that guy is. they should definitely run. this is the question. is there no excitement or a lack of excitement? >> people want a fresh new face. what happens when the people gain attention? anybody running in this climate is going to be a divicive figure. you will have donald trump labeling them on twitter and have him going to rallies again and again, bashing him with the lowest blows he could think of. we saw where he went with hillary clinton. he will be more vulnerable in this election and these people will be defined by him. >> so much of how she came to the senate which was to be for consumer issues and the individual against the corporation or the individual against the government or
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whatever. so many of those have been issues for what will be the democratic ticket and it has to be frustrating for her to hear what she built her momentum on. again, i think that's part of the timing for her. you can try to reclaim the mantle for some of those. >> bernie sanders as well. saying this is my stuff. >> my thing! >> the rnc put out a statement. senator warren couldn't be more out of touch with her lack of support from voters on top of her phony claims and minority status. now that she is formally running, people will see she is a far left obstructionist and a total fraught. here we go, i guess. more on the 2020 race in a moment. before we go to break, several cities around the world are ringing in the new year. here's a live look at bangkok. we'll be right back. are you taking the tissue test?
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talk to your rheumatologist. right here. right now. humira. the field of could be 2020 candidates is quite crowded. only a handful have taken steps towards a white house run. elizabeth warren is the latest hopeful to make a move, annou e announcing her exploratory committee today. julian castro announced earlier this month and john delaney has been running since i can remember. he announced in 2017 and former west virginia candidate richard ojeda said he is in the mix. others are keeping it going, not quite committing to a run, making sure they contrast with the man currently in the white house. >> he is an angry emotional unstable man sitting in the white house. >> is that your campaign speech
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for 2020? >> in the history of our country -- >> you sound like a man who is running for president. >> i'm not going to announce right now. i'm looking at it and i have time. >> do you have time? >> sure. i have 40 years of working for this party and plenty of friends. i don't have to rush into this. >> gotta love dana bash. he knows everybody in the history of the party. given how many people are considering this right now, what kind of space is there for -- we talked about elizabeth warren. how about bernie sanders? bernie sanders was the hot outside candidate in 2016. what space is there for him? >> bernie sanders was the trailblazer when it came to the progressive movement. everyone sees him as the darling and could potentially run.
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he is older and white and a male and doesn't fit the demographic that the democrats want to talk about. women minorities running in the election. when my colleagues reported this great story about how bernie sanders staffers from 2016 are wanting to sit down with him and talk about a problem on the campaign. with the me too movement and women in particular, this would be a problem for him on the campaign trail. he has issues there. are when i read it, it's hard to see. going forward, we talk about bernie. bernie sanders is tweeting. he put a tweet out. must have the courage to take on the greed and ideology and fight
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for a world with racial and environmental justice. will this be an easy struggle? certainly not. it's a fight for the stakes being too high. tweeting shortly after elizabeth warren. >> i'm still here! >> the skirmishes between the outside supporters of beto and bernie sanders as well. what do you make of this? >> this is what's going to happen each candidate is going to try to outdo each other. we are talking about the space that is trying to get to the left of the other. when i talk to republicans who are close to the white house about this, this is what they are excited about. while they are worried about the investigations, this is a little bit of light for them. they are expecting that the democrats are going to be fighting each other and eating each other up. they see it as an opportunity to shift the scrutiny and the headlines. they see it as an opportunity for them to make some some progress and paint the left to be even more out there than they are.
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>> some of the issues are you talking about. some of the issues that democrats are divided on. you look at the policy and never seemed to breakthrough. democrats have made a clear play on this. you pull up the major issues and the health care reform. where are people going to stand on that. raising the minimum raise and trade and tariffs. mideast policy as well. it's fascinating. what do you think breaks through? >> on the specific issue or set of issues, what breaks through? >> it's a great question because i think we don't know. there are some things they think you are going to see democrats lock all together on and environmental climate change. preserving the health care expansion and there will be brought agreement on. how do you it, those are discussion points for debates. on some of these other issues
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like foreign tell us, there are going to be differences on trade. the one that president trump if he were more disciplined use as a wedge for democrats. >> we are going head to a break and keep this going. up next, 10 days in and counting, the shut down dragging on in 2019 and as we head to break, elections wouldn't be elections with candidates talking about not running. >> i am not running for president in 2020. >> i am very flattered, but i feel like it's time for me to step off the high wire. >> the american people should have no regrets. i wasn't ready. [cell phone rings]
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>> it is now day 10 of the partial government shut down. no end in sight. president trump is digging in on the demand to fund his signature campaign promise. in what has been a familiar pattern is hitting down on his own outgoing chief of staff. an all concrete wall was never abandoned. that was his current outgoing chief of staff who told the "los angeles times" to be honest, it's not a wall. the president still says wall or barrier or fencing.
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now he tended towards steel slats. we left the concrete wall early on in the administration. democrats are not budging emboldened by the fact that they control the house as of thursday. both sides have enough with the blame game. >> whether it's the president tweeting and blaming somebody or blaming the democrats or whether it's the democrats blaming the president has brought us to the impasse that we are today. nobody is going to win this game. nobody wins in a shut down. we all lose and we kind of look silly. >> yes. most everyone looks silly in shut downs and at least if they are being honest that they pretty much all look silly. tweeting a lot and saying i campaigned on border security which you cannot have without a strong and powerful wall. he made clear and this is a
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campaign promise. he is not going anywhere at the moment. you talk to the white house. what's your sense of how this plays out? >> they seem to be digging in their heels that they're going to stick with this. trump continues to tweet about it. he is not backing down at all. the funny thing is so many of his supporters on this specific issue are not so interested necessarily in the wall either. i talked to a lot of immigration groups who are the most adamant about immigration and border security, but they don't necessarily think the border wall is necessarily the most effective strategy. they are concerned about the shut down and the spending bill proposal because it has a lot of guesswork in there. they are worried it could be pushed through. it's an ironic group of allies going on with those on the far right and democrats who are trying to stop the wall and prevent something that could be worse. >> they want that far more than
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anything else. the wall has become this issue right now. what's your sense on the democrats not going anywhere. how does this end? >> hard to see how it ends. we need to wait as the impact starts to impact people's lives. we have been in this holiday period and people realize they want their families to visit washington, d.c. and can't go to any of the smithsonian museums. it's hard to see what is seen as caving. the president believes this is a winning issue for him and the white house believes this is playing well and if he gives in, he feels like he abandons his base, something he is nervous about going into 2020. they have no interest in giving him this win and why would they? >> we know how it plays out.
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they have to plan out how they will pass this and they dowill it in two clumps. one extends into september and the homeland security part that goes into february. the senate and the republicans said that's a no go with them. they will figure out how to begin negotiating. the president has the two in january. he has a trip to davos before he appears and talks about how the united states is. the optics of the government not functioning are not ideal, but he could message it for some way and the state of the union a couple of weeks after that. between the two events and people not getting their paychecks, there is going to be increasing pressure to try to find some way to say that he has won and get this. >> can i make a quick point? while the white house is out there saying we are digging in and not budging, he is sending officials out there to sort of gauge whether democrats will
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buy. they don't trust these people he is sending out. like mike pence trying to strike a deal with schumer before it happened. schumer didn't know if he could trust him and if the president would change his mind. nobody speaks for the president but the president himself. lindsey graham had lurch with the president on sunday. >> he floated as a potential idea. take a listen. >> after lunch, i never have been more encouraged that we can get people talking. we can find our way out of this mess. the president didn't commit. i think he is open minded and i know there are democrats out there who would be willing to provide money for border security if we can deal with the daca population. hopefully we can get serious discussion started maybe as soon as next week. >> we have about 30 seconds. i know he has been reaching out
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to democrats and i don't know many who think that's on the table. are you hearing that? >> definitely not at this point. everybody thought a year ago that wall money for a daca fix was the ultimate something they put together. he heard from the far right and they didn't want to do any daca fix. he sided with them in terms of taking it to a shut down. perhaps he learned his lesson that the shut down he will not get anything from it. he changes gears and does a bipartisan deal. he is afraid of the word compromise and he is sending all the people to do that and talk with the democrats. >> the only take away is there. just about three more weeks in a partial shut down. >> i'm working on it. >> and boots, yes. up next, an american citizen detained in russia accused of being a spy. a live report from moscow and you are looking at pictures of
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topping our political radar, president trump is skipping his new year's eve party at mar a lago amid the shut down and instead will appear on fox news and will likely weigh in on the shut down and what he hopes to accomplish in 2019. republican john kyle's last day as a senator. the governor appointed him to
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the position after john mccain died in august from his battle with cancer. now republican congresswoman martha mcsally will take over the seat and worn in with the new class of senators in a few days. russia detained a citizen and accused him of spying. he can take 20 years in prison. checking in with matthew chance from moscow and this is something that is drawing everybody's eyebrows. what more are you learning? >> not a great deal is the short of it. look, just a few hours ago, the main cancer espionage agency and arrested a u.s. citizen and done it in moscow on december 28th. a couple of days ago before they announced it. they named it and no other details have been given about it at all. we have been in touch with the embassy here.
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the state department issued a statement saying they are aware of this detention. they expected the russian authorities will grant that. they inside a statement they are not prepared to divulge any more information. we are not clear about the circumstances in which this actually took place. clearly at the end of the year like this, it's almost like fitting that a year that has been dominated by espionage allegations. that should end a couple of weeks ago and maria butina, a russian pro gun activist pleaded guilty in a u.s. court. she faces up to six months in prison. this character faces up to 20 years in a russian jail. it's a category of crime which is far, far greater. >> we have a chance in moscow and no shortage of intrigue.
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>> multiple at the president. >> the generals are going to keep us safe. the most respected we have had in many decades, i believe. all i can do is ask my generals.
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president trump defending and amending the syria pull out plan today. we are slowly sending troops back home to be with their families while at the same time fighting isis remnants and responded to criticism saying that leaving syria was always the plan. some failed generals unable to do the job like to complain about me and my tactics which
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are working. it comes on jim mattis's last day as ver will not have any flair. it will be a short scripted phone call taking patrick shanahan from deputy to acting secretary. the transition comes two months sooner than mattis planned. live from the pentagon, you have been reporting. the transition is fascinating. what actually happens and what is shanahan walking into? >> hi, phil. this is as you said, a scripted phone call. general mattis will place a call to shanahan and they will have a brief conversation and it is pro forma. shanahan will take control and have the authorities in command. the call will be completed by 11:59 tonight. it comes on the last day when he issued a final message, if you
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will to the troops. the military historian quoting president lincoln and going on with perhaps what might be a slight dig at president trump. he did not mention him in his final message, but i will read to you what secretary mattis had to say to the troops. our department's leadership, civilian and military remains in the best possible hands. our department proves to be at the best when the times are more difficult. keep the faith in our country and hold fast alongside our allies aligned against our foes. alongside our allies. a dig at the president and what is perceived as the president's isolationism. shanahan takes office and will have to sort out what the withdrawal plan might be over the weekend. having a meeting with the president that being looks now like the president's rapid withdrawal just may not be so
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rapid, but no real answers to the questions about what happens next. phil? >> we have you to find out all those answers. thank you very much. barbara star at the pentagon and no shortage of things and soon to be acting secretary of defense. we came out and he was talking about this issue that was very big for him. take a listen to what he had to say. >> i think the president is come think up with a plan with the generals that make sense to me. the goal is to make sure isis doesn't come back. the president is taking this really seriously and the trip to iraq was well timed. >> here was what i was struck by. before the decision was made, it was reported by barbara and others that jim mattis came to the white house at the oval office and presented to the president why this was not a good idea and he thought it was
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bad strategically. it doesn't have an effect and he is the secretary of defense. the help has been brief and revising and changing. what happened? >> the president has been briefed by lindsey graham and the national security adviser. every member of the military and congress and foreign allies. what happened is that the president has been wanting to get out of syria for a year and a half and keeps talking about it. keeps meeting with people who keep telling him the timing is not right yet. a lot of moving parts. doesn't call erdogan and that's cool off on the border and focus on the serious stuff. ends up getting convinced to pull his troops out. and not just the decision, but the way in which the decision was madeplexing and he
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has to do the protest act of designing. that created the crisis of confidence that paved the way for the visit to the white house in which he among others said to the president look, we know you want to get out of syria, but this is going to happen and the impact it's going to happen. israel said we are not comfortable with this. not just the pressure in the u.s., but the voices in israel. the president finally now within mattis's wake. >> i want to turn to you. you covered his campaign and heard pull out of syria in the early days of the campaign. we made it through given how much he was doing. i never understood how you guys had the stamina for that. what is different now? he is saying look, i campaigned on this. this is what i said. i want it to happen now. why they got all the issues and why is this not something he can do? >> the president has a way of operating where they had a phone call and seemingly decided at
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that moment he was going to make this decision to go forward with what he thought was having arguments with mattis and other people about this strategy. a similar thing has been happening where the president said this is what i want to do and this is the promise i made. why aren't we doing this? you had the other generals trying to convince him not to do this t. we had to look at that meeting. to be clear, the president does respond differently when he is hearing an argument from someone he feels like he trusts and potentially he is more likely to listen to graham than mattis. the president really likes to make people he is one on one be feel like they are being listened to. people often walk out of meetings with the president thinking he agreed to something when he hasn't. >> how long he is slowing down the withdrawals. he left that ambiguous. lindsey graham didn't say look, i changed the president's mind
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and he's backing down. he knows how to talk to the president to say slow itown. we will still going to pull out, but slow it down a little bit. i think that this highlights the debate in the republican party. the republicans are torn between do they want to be the military hawks or the isolationists are growing with folks like rand paul who don't want all these places in the mideast. obviously the president is still siding with those folks. >> keep a close eye on this. i haven't seen them go back on the hill related to a presidential decision as loud and public and as on the record as it was with anything he has done over the course of the last two years. we have to go. i think this is something that everybody should pay attention to. they haven't so much for the better part of the last two years. if you forgot how crazy 2018 was in washington, we are about to remind you. add up the years. but what i do count on... is boost®.
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luvs with nightlock plus absorbs wetness faster than huggies snug and dry for outstanding overnight protection at a fraction of the cost. live, learn and get luvs. >> i try like hell to hide that bald spot. i work hard. >> if anybody thinks he changed the presidency. that was president trump speaking last february.
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one of the many, many memorable moment moments and share some of their headlines and covering this administration. let's start with you. >> one of my favorites at the very beginning was with ronnie jackson came to greet the press on the latest physical. he went out and told us the president had taken this cognitive test to quell the questions being raised about whether the president was experiencing senility or alzheimer's. he winds up tabbing jackson to be the new va secretary. >> the other end of the year a few weeks ago, a lot of us thought that the president was going to okay this temporary spending measure that kicks everything without the border wall into next year. he was tweeting that he was
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going to tie a wall to the infrastructure deal. it looked like he was caving and all of a sudden he said he is not going to sign without the border. this is where we are on the shut down today. mark meadows phoned him and had been phoning him for the past few days. this is a conservative in the house and he said listen, you have to do this now for your base or they are going to be upset if you don't fight for this now. this story perfectly shows how trump changed the paradigm. he used to coordinate for the leadership on the hill. if you are close to the president and an early ally of his, you have the most influence. >> demise of the freedom caucus. >> one of my favorite stories is how trump's trade policies impacted farmers in the midwest. he was really impacting their pocket book as agricultural prices were going on, particularly for soy beans. it reflected the frustration
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that many midwest farmers had in their lack of patience or limited patience with the policies. at the same time i also think it showed how trump still keeps a grip on many voters in that midwest and rural america. they were sticking by him. also i think i really enjoyed writing it. >> that's important. all right. >> you have to enjoy your work, right? probably my most intense news experience of the year was an interview we did with president trump in late august. supposed to be 20 minutes and turned into 45 or 50 minutes and we got 15 stories out of it from north korea to jeff sessions to nafta. he later came out and falsely accused us of leaking an off the record portion to a competing news outlet. i have to say that aside, the two most important stories of the year for journalists were
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the ones that were tragic. the mass killing and jamal khashoggi's death. those represent the perils of what we do and what we do is important. >> thanks for joining us on inside politics. brianna keilar starts right now. >> i'm brianna keilar live from washington headquarters under way right now. cities around the world ringing in 2019 from hong kong to sydney to aukland, new zealand. fireworks, toasts and well wishes as people gather with loved ones to celebrate the start of a new year. >> 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!


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