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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 21, 2016 9:00am-10:01am PST

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>> i'm not worried about going to buckingham palace or parliament. >> i feel confident with the security guards around. i'm just going to enjoy my vacation. mexican fireworks. 31 killed at a blast at a popular market outside mexico city. still no all-clear. [ explosions ] and the bathroom battle. after losing millions in sports and cancelled deals politicians fight over trans gender rights. >> repairing the image of north carolina requires the repeal of hb-2 and then to begin the important conversation of how we are protecting all north carolina yans. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. breaking news in berlin.
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german officials say the manhunt is zeroing in on a tunisian national, a 24-year-old who arrived in berlin last winter, now named as a possible suspect in the truck attack that killed 12 people and injured dozens more. officials are appealing to the public for help in the search. they are offering a reward up to 100,000 euros. isis claims responsibility but has offered no proof of it. cities across europe are on heightened alert. at buckingham palace, increased security in place to prevent a similar attack during the changing of the guard. joining me now, anne thompson in berlin. this is increasing the pace of the investigation. they initially arrested the wrong man. what can we learn from what the federal prosecutors will say about the suspect.
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>> reporter: they have lost about a day and a half on this investigation. not only searching the city of berlin but germany and, in fact, the continent of europe. for this man who is, again, identified as 24-year-old anis amry. we can put his picture up again so you can see him. born in tunisia. they announced a public man hunt. this is a case, i'm told under german law when they think they have enough evidence to make his name and picture public. what is the evidence they have? german media were reporting today that in the cab of the truck that plowed through the christmas market on monday night they found identity papers linked to this man. that apparently reportedly is the connection here. as far as the city of berlin goes, you know it's been interesting. berliners are stoic and they are going through this day or the ones we have talked to are
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determined that christmas will not be ruined by what happened monday night. they have spent the daylighting candles, placing flowers at a myriad of memorials across the city. in the ultimate act of defiance christmas markets re-opened today. private security was checking bags as people entered the market. there were barricades around the entrances. people were going about their business trying to enjoy the holiday spirit mindful of the people who died and 48 people who were injured. >> one note here, berlin has fewer cameras that are in other capitals, perhaps because of their own history in east berlin, eastern germany and
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concerns about that surveillance. they didn't have a real time video to check. the location of the market and the environment. >> they have also asked, andrea, for people who were at the market on monday night to upload their cell phone videos. so the police can look at those as well. this is really difficult to try to put together the puzzle. they will do it frame by frame to build a solid case against whoever it is who they ultimately point to as the suspect in this case. right now, all their focus is on finding this tunisian national to see what he knows and what he can tell them happened monday night. >> anne thompson, thank you very much. for more on this, let's bring in jack reed of rhode island.
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>> thank you very much for being with us. it's awful to talk about terrorism but that's the era we are living in. the german security and the possibility that this was isis. what do we know about whether this man has escaped and maybe left europe? >> germans and all of europe are pursuing this individual. noticed by all european communities not just germany. it is unclear if he was a self-inspired terrorist or being directed by isis. that's part of the investigation. the critical issue is to get this individual in custody as soon as possible so he cannot do more harm. i know the german and european authorities are trying to do that. >> i want to talk to you about russia. russian officials, the
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spokesperson for vladimir putin today saying that communications with the u.s. are frozen, whatever that means. john kirby said that's not the case. john kerry talked to lavrov yesterday but there were new sanctions levelled by the treasury department yesterday. we don't know if it's ramping up because of ukraine or whether this is a not so subtle signal about hacking. what can you tell us about the situation with russia now? >> well, the russians intruded significantly on the election process. that's been confirmed with high confidence by all of our intelligence agencies. this is a serious situation. if we cannot have full, fair and free elections our democratic process is compromised. i have joined senator mccain, schumer, lindsey graham to call for a joint committee that will not only is it study this incident but other issues of cyber security to cut through the usual and very time
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consuming committee structure so we not only can know and tell the american people what happened, but we can also craft legislation that will be comprehensive and will help in the future, not just in elections but other cyber intrusions. this situation is serious. the russian reaction is they have denied culpability but the denial is patently false. >> i have heard from democrats and republicans and former national security officials not happy with the white house response before the election. when the russian responsibility was first determined. if not earlier than october 7, certainly by october 7 when we heard from general clapper and other top officials from jay johnson. are you satisfied that the president was proactive enough? was he too worried about not appearing too political and not worried enough about showing strens against vladimir putin? >> first your point is well
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taken about not appearing to be overtly political and trying to sway the election. he was clearly supporting the democratic candidate, secretary of state clinton, but to introduce something like this, i think he was somewhat reluctant. it was not as clear at that juncture, the depth, the scope and the intent of the intrusion. he, in fact, directed or allowed the general to make a public statement which implicated the russians. so it became part of the public debate. what we would like is a detailed report of what took place, attributing motivation if that's possible without compromising on security and information and intelligence. also steps which make the public or might be covert to ensure that the russians know they cannot take these actions against the democratic process.
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>> the financial times reported on saturday, senator, that a well known security seminar, the cambridge intelligence seminar was being run covertly by a russian spy agency with a british cover. so sir richard dearlove, the head of mi-6 and others have resigned from it. michael flynn was a recent participant but the russian intelligence was sponsoring it all the time. i have confirmed with american sources, intelligence sources that the russians are active in this space. they do a lot of covert sponsorship of think tanks and academic organizations. potentially we could be outing them as an asymmetric response to their cyber attacks. can you give us insight into this? >> the russians are sophisticated when it comes to cyber operations. they employ their own intelligence services.
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they use criminal elements, surrogates, try to infiltrate. try to i cmake it look as if its no connection to russia at all. they are diligent. they spend a lot of time, effort and resources doing that. this argues not for a committee by committee review. it's obvious it is a comprehensive joint committee that will propose legislation. this is not just an issue of a military cyber intervention. this embraces the fbi, department of homeland security. the justice department. our laws in terms of notification if they are the subject of hacking. all of this has to be done and the most effective way is to
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study jointly and move quickly with legislation that will go to the floor and be adopted. as long as this russian cloud is hanging around questions will be raised. we have not discovered what is the source, the motivation and the course. >> i wanted to ask about a hostage family, a story i have been working on of an american woman from pennsylvania. this propaganda video released by the taliban. we believe according to intelligence she's somewhere -- they are being held somewhere in the tribal region along the pakistan, afghanistan border. the two children never before been seen, being used that way. the state department denounced it as reprehensible. these toddlers were born in captivity. she was pregnant at the time.
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they are appealing, the family, friends and she in this video appealing. this is clearly propaganda, appealing for a prisoner swap for a known taliban prisoners. this was done with bo bergdahl. what would be the objection for president obama? they are pleading with him to do something before he leaves office. what would be the objection to a prisoner swap in this case? >> i saw the video. it is heart rendering and indicates how despicable the taliban and the hakani network are. we are looking at every means to secure her freedom, the freedom of her children and her husband. they have made demands about releasing terrorist prisoners being held by afghanistan and
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u.s., but principally afghans. we have explored the options but the ability to negotiate, ability to be sure that they will go ahead and deliver on their part of the bargain, if there is a bargain is a practical constraint. we are spending every effort to free this couple and their children. it is despicable what they have suffered. >> there were a lot of complaints from the muller family, the foleys and since then the president said the fbi would not constrain private citizens from making payments, would not prosecute. there is supposedly a coordinator. but you are indicating to me there is some ability to negotiate privately, a prisoner swap if you were aware, if you knew that the deal would be
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kept. >> there are constants from what i can discern and what's been reported publically attempts to communicate directly. mostly indirectly to the taliban. as you know, they have the presence in the arabian gulf and the gulf states through discussions. i know efforts are being made to try to secure the freedom of these individuals, the mother and father and children. in addition our central command was quoted publically as this is one of the top items on his list of what he would like to accomplish very quickly in terms of using the intelligence to locate them and if feasible to see what we could do in any dimension. efforts are under way. it's difficult because the taliban is difficult to determine if someone is speaking for them is truly able to
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deliver on what they say. i think we have to exhaust every possible means to liberate these terribly unfortunate people. >> there could be a military option? >> well, you know, again, we are trying to locate, as you referenced one of the previous individual hostages. there was an attempt to militarily secure his release. but that proved when we went on the site that the individual wasn't there. i don't think we have excluded anything. the key thing is to ensure that these young people are not harmed in any way. that's the first. then the second is to secure their freedom. we are looking at every option but we are very concerned about unduly injuring them or prompting the taliban to do something that would cause their injury. even more than they have done already. this is one example.
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another example of how despicable these individuals are. >> absolutely. senator reed, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> to you and your family, a happy holiday. >> thank you. >> donald trump is officially the president-elect. he's reminding everyone who won after hillary clinton's popular vote became official trump tweeted this morning campaigning to win the electoral college is much more difficult and sophisticated than the popular vote. hillary focused on the wrong states. nbc news correspondent kristen welker is in palm beach, florida. there's been a twitter storm. he wants everyone to know he won. >> reporter: that's right. it is clear it's getting under his skin that secretary clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. he's reaffirming that he won convincingly in the electoral college and trying to argue that he would have won the popular vote as well if he had
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campaigned differently. this after a war of words with bill clinton. bill clinton saying president-elect trump isn't very smart and saying the only thing he's good at is getting angry white men to vote for him. we saw a swift backlash from president-elect trump essentially saying it is bill clinton who's not very smart because he didn't remember the details of who called whom after election day. it was president clinton who called president-elect trump. but, look, this has republicans concerned. why is he tweeting again as he's holding the meetings. most relating to his transition. shouldn't he be focused on staffing up his administration, the fact he's going to be in office in about 30 days from now. the trump team saying, look, the tweets speak for themselves. they are not going to weigh in. this is how he operates. he is putting the focus on national security, meeting with
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the national security adviser michael flynn and a number of other top officials briefing him. he is receiving a briefing today. >> thank you, kristen welker. investigators in mexico searching what remains of a fireworks market outside mexico city for clues into what sparked a blast that killed at least 31 people. dozens more injured. another 12 missing. the vast majority of the market's 300 stalls were completely destroyed. local officials say the site was inspected last month. they didn't find irregularities. this is the third time in over a decade there have been major explosions at the same fireworks marketplace. coming up -- showdown in north carolina. the battle to repeal the controversial bathroom bill with a vote this afternoon. a live report from raleigh next on "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc, the place for politics.
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today the latest political showdown in north carolina to repeal the controversial hb-2 bathroom bill which restricts bathroom access to trans gender people. fall out from the bill's passage was deep and far reaching. companies pulling out costing millions in lost revenue. the department of justice followed a civil rights lawsuit and governor mccrory lost his re-election in part because of the dispute. at the state capitol they are debating to remove the bill. this after power was stripped from roy cooper. gabe gutierrez is in the middle of it in raleigh, north carolina, outside the house chamber. gabe, politics, hard ball politics on top of voter
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suppression. this is ground zero now. >> a lot going on in north carolina. a lot going on now within the past few minutes. sometimes parliamentary procedure moves slowly. now told it won't get started until 1:00. there were opponents of hb-2 throughout the morn iing perhap breaking for lunch. there are 105 lawmakers here at the state legislature. that means 53 will be needed to vote to repeal hb-2 which is has been so controversial. this morning in charlotte, the city council voted to repeal the rest of its discrimination ordinance and gop lawmakers at the state level said there was some question about whether hb-2
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the bathroom bill, whether it would be repealed today. we expect lawmakers back and the senate will look as well. >> thank you. coming up, high alert. popular tourist spots across europe under heightened security following the deadly truck attack in berlin. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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budapest and hungary as tanks were rolling through the streets. in italy, heavy police presence surrounded holiday shoppers in milan. joining me is a former nato supreme allied commander and chief security and diplomacy analyst. as a former nato commander you know this better than anyone. how hard will it be to find a man who got a big head start because they didn't have video coverage and they were holding the wrong man for 24 hours. >> going to be difficult. the real challenge in europe is anybody can cross the borders in the so-called shangin zone. there is no border patrol. no place to check. police forces do have to coordinate when they cross the borders. it is a very difficult task. >> this comes at a time when we had a horrible incident. the assassination of a russian ambassador in turkey, unrelated,
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we believe, of course. but there is a sense after the niece attack, the arrest of ordinary-seeming citizens in france who turned out to be terror suspects there is a sense that the europeans aren't on top of this. they have their own issues as wells as democrat stick concerns. europe is 30-plus individual countries each with its own language, customs, laws, border regimes. it would be as though the 50 united states all had a different approach to fundamental facts in law enforcement. makes it very difficult. what you need to succeed are three things. you need international cooperation among the entities. you need interagency cooperation
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between the organs of government and cooperation with the private sec tomplt it's a relatively small space. >> that's what e.u. political structures were to do is flatten that out and make communications better. i want to ask about russia. seems the rhetoric is increasing because we heard from the spokesperson in moscow saying communications were frozen. the denial from the state department was almost immediate. it seems an escalating tit for tat in exchange for the american complaints about vladimir putin, our own reporting, of course. yours and cynthia mcfadden's reporting that vladimir putin was personally responsible for at least the distribution through a cut out to wikileaks of all of the democratic material. and concern about russia trying to influence our election. >> pretty shocking.
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i thought senator jack reed had this one right. we have to respond to this in a forceful way. clearly what the russians are doing is trying to freeze the frame. you're talking about freezing the communications. they want to freeze the frame until they get a much more compatible administration coming in. let's hope the trump administration recognizes that ploy for what it is. and will be willing to step up to the plate and take measures against a pretty obvious intrusion into the system. >> there is a leaked memo from trump transition people at the pentagon. foreign policy printed it yesterday. it doesn't have russia as a top security concern, a foreign policy concern for the incoming administration. they talked about budget cuts and defense priorities but not russia. >> that's shocking to me. every strategic national planning document has to address the fact that russia remains a
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significant threat to the united states because of their nuclear arsenal. as our relationship has effectively cratered over the last couple of years that level of threat rises higher. you know this. at the end of the day i was surprised not to see that. also, no mention of north korea which i would argue is actually the most dangerous country in the world. we have to wait and see what the priorities are. but that draft memo, i don't think, is a good place to start. >> thank you very much. thank you very much for coming to us from tufts. appreciate it. coming up, no escape. as thousands flee war-ravaged aleppo, where can they go next? ♪
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now turning to syria, we have seen video of thousands of people fleeing aleppo. what happens to them next? joining me now, david milliband of the international rescue committee. thanks for being with us. >> nice to be with you. >> i presume some are in red crescent refugee camps, some controlled by russians. are some heading to idlib? is there safety for the people? >> we have international rescue committee people on the ground 25 kilometers to the west in the idlib area near the aldunna town. the government has 1.9 million people. we are seeing over the next -- expecting over the next 24 hours 30,000 more people to come out of aleppo. these are fearful, terrified people. some are in and the great fear
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is they fled one version of hell in aleppo. the bombing, house to house raids but they don't know if the same vengeance will be taken in idlib as well. the tactics used by the assad regime and the syrian and iranian backers, the fear is they are used in idlib as well. >> we now see what i can only describe as a propaganda video. >> this little girl was tweeting from inside aleppo. she's been taken from where we thought she was in a refugee camp and is now in turkey thanking erdogan, sitting on his lap. i would like your reaction to it if you can see the video. >> obviously the big news overnight is russia, turkey went
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here. without western powers. they are the new rain makers in the middle east or at least in this part of i. the propaganda war is part of the effort. it is important to remind viewers that turkey is 2.7 million refugees in their country. they have been there five years. the turkish strategic aim in the conflict changed in the last six months. from trying to depose assad to worried about the kurdish force s. you're seeing a new access there. >> it's amazing considering everything. to push the political talks
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along blocked by the russians at every pass. now russia, moscow. >> the lesson that russia will take, the lesson assad will take is force pays. a member of the u.n., syria should be the site of such unspeakable abuse. there is a resolution to call for accountability of the war crimes. as the head of an ngo i have to say we have had eight of the hospitals bombed in syria this year, just in 2016. i want to know who gave the orders to bomb the hospitals? they are not under ground hospitals. they are places above ground marked on the maps that are giving emergency aid to
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civilians and they get bombed. that's the scene we see at the end of 2016. you can understand why people coming out of aleppo are worried they have left one version of hell with another coming. it is incumbent on all of us to make our own stand to ensure that the hell visited on the people of aleppo doesn't transfer to idlib. >> thank you for everything you and all of your teams are doing and the worst, most dangerous circumstances. thank you very much. coming um, new circles about michael flynn. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc.
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senate democrats are outnumbered but they are plotting confirmation challenges to several controversial trump cabinet appointments. they are focused on a top official over whom they have no veto because he doesn't need to be confirmed. incoming national security
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adviser mike flynn. senator jeanne shaheen sent a letter questioning whether flynn shared intelligence inappropriately in afghanistan. senator, welcome. thank you very much. happy holidays to you. >> nice to be with you. >> michael flynn was cleared, i believe, and promoted after this incident. so is it fair to resurrect old history about what happened where he was sharing intelligence apparently with allies in afghanistan? >> well, i think the questions we raised in the letter didn't refer to the afghanistan situation solely. we pointed out that he and his consulting business went to russia, sat next to vladimir putin to celebrate russia today. was paid by the russian government to do that. he's had a consulting business which now he's said he's turning over to his son. it is not clear what interest he will maintain this that. it does business with foreign
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governments. his tweeting throughout the campaign, his use of classified intelligence restricted information, i think all of that needs to raise questions with the public about what he's going to be doing as one of the top security advisers to the president. i think those are legitimate questions that need to be answered. even though there is no direct role in confirming mr. flynn that they are questions that should be answered for the general public and for congress. >> what options do you have though? there is no confirmation, as you point out. and he and the chief of staff, other top officials who work for the president really are the president's choice. i mean, by law and also by practice. >> sure. as it should be the president's choice. there is a question about how classified information is
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handled. how intelligence is handled. i think that's the question we are asking. is the office of personnel management, are the appropriate offices within the administration, are they clearing him to have him handle that kind of classified, very important confidential informati information. >> do you have concerns about those coming up before you, the secretary of state for one? we have not yet seen who the deputy would be. a number of names have been bandied about. john bolton, elliot abrams, haas. we are not told who the number two would be who could have a lot of control over the state department. >> that's right. that's what the hearing process
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is all about. there are serious questions that i hope to ask mr. tillerson about his ties around the world, his relationships in russia, about exxon's role in denying climate change. i think those are all appropriate questions and he will have a chance before the senate foreign relations committee to lay out the case for why he should be the secretary of state despite some of the conflicts that he's got around the world. >> as more and more has been reported especially by nbc news, in fact, on vladimir putin's role in the hacking and the leaking of the democratic e-mails, are you concerned that the administration, the white house didn't take a stronger position, a more public strong position about this before the election?
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>> i called on the foreign relations committee and the senate to hold a hearing on the allegations of russian interference in our elections, the committee leadership chose not to do that. i'm pleased to hear there is an intent for not only the foreign relations committee but the armed services committee and the intelligence committees all to investigate in the upcoming session of congress, all of the allegations of russian interference in our elections and we had someone come before the armed services committee a couple of weeks ago talking about russia's effort to under mine democracies and this is one of the strategies they are using. they used it in ukraine, in eastern europe, now in the united states. it is an effort to under mine the values we have in our western democracies.
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it is a strategy like a military strategy, messaging strategy, diplomatic strategy. we ignore it at our own peril. this is a threat to america. we have to investigate and decide what actions are appropriate. i am disappointed the obama administration has not declassified some of the information which i think raises serious questions about russia's intent and about what happened in the election. >> senator jeanne shaheen from new hampshire, thank you very much. >> nice to be with you. >> happy holidays. >> same to you. family matters. as we see donald trump in palm beach. his adult children are at the center of new transition turmoil. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc, the place for politics. oh, that's lovely... so graceful. the corkscrew spin, flawless... ...his signature move, the flying dutchman.
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we have a rare inside look at president-elect donald trump at mar-a-lago in florida where
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he's taking meetings today, meeting with personal friends, doing apparently some staffing meetings. joining me for the daily fix, usa today's susan page and jean cummings. this after a week where his adult children have been in the news, not in a way they would like. eric and don, jr., were part of a brochure that tmz first brought up where they were supposedly going to be part of a big post inaugural celebration for those who could ante up and less than a week ago ivanka auctioned off tea with ivanka. that was then changed. they have to get this under control. they need an ethics officer, general counsel. well, they have one. but they need to dig into this. >> it was a $1 million donation limit to get this prize, this enormous access they have tried to walk back. that's an enormous amount of
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money, by the way. but the other thing is you feel they are in a learning curve. this is not a family that's been in public office before. there are things that are appropriate to do if you are in business but not appropriate if you are in the white house or steps from the white house. you get the feeling they are learning where the line is drawn. >> after a campaign where their father campaigned against pay to play and all the questions about the clinton foundation and whether inappropriate requests were made to foreign governments you would think they would be more sensitive. >> absolutely. that's the disappointment here. yeah, they are new to the system. but they are not rubes, for crying out loud. this is obvious stuff. you attack the clinton foundation for pay to play and then turn around and get your names associated with a pay to play. the meetings were particularly outrageous because the meetings with the president-elect would have come on the very first day
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he was in office. the day after inauguration day. a million bucks to meet with the brand new president on his first full day in office. this is just extraordinarily crazy. add to that both obama and president bush imposed new rules on their white houses to ensure their families could not raise money for charities. so it isn't like they didn't have a model. it's not like we haven't been here before. we have. there are rules in place now for 16 years that basically discourage family members from doing this because of the obvious con flicks of interest involved. >> the big controversies over the clintons and what happened when she was secretary of state. you have a new pole today. usa today suffolk poll on how americans will view the legacy of president obama. a mixed reading. you have been writing about this. 32% good, 18% great, 25% fair,
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23% failed. maybe too soon to rend these verdicts. >> assessments will change, but one thing we see is the huge partisan divide. more than 8 of 10 democrats think president obama will be seen as a good or great president. more than 8 of 10 republicans think he'll be seen as a fair or a failed president. huge divide. we asked for his biggest achievement and affordable care was the answer. we asked his biggest failure and affordable care was the answer. people look at this presidency through a partisan lens and see different things. >> there are a lot of people just briefly who would say the biggest achievement is the way he helped get us out of a possible depression. >> absolutely. killing osama bin laden as well. the long eye of history will be a little bit more generous to obama. >> we have to be generous to the people who follow us. so we are already over.
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thank you very much. more ahead. we'll be right back. ♪ see ya next year. this season, start a new tradition. experience the power of infiniti now, with leases starting at $319 a month. infiniti. empower the drive. (announcer vo) there's a moment of truth.etes, and now with victoza® a better moment of proof. victoza® lowers my a1c and blood sugar better than the leading branded pill, which didn't get me to my goal. lowers my a1c better than the leading branded injectable. the one i used to take.
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and better than that diabetes pill i used to take. (jeff) victoza® works with your body to lower blood sugar in three ways-- in the stomach, the liver, and the pancreas. and while it isn't for weight loss, victoza® may help you lose some weight. non-insulin victoza® comes in a pen and is taken once a day. (announcer vo) victoza® is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes, and is not for people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer, multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to victoza® or any of its ingredients. stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck or if you develop any allergic symptoms including itching, rash, or difficulty breathing. serious side effects may happen, including pancreatitis. so, stop taking victoza® and call your doctor right away
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if you have severe pain in your stomach area. tell your doctor your medical history. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration, which may cause kidney problems. now's the time for a better moment of proof. ask your doctor about victoza®.
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and that does it for us. for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." see you tomorrow. follow us online on facebook and on twitter. hallie jackson is here next on msnbc. hey, hall ji. >> hi, andrea. i'm hallie jackson. i want to get to the three big news stories this hour. first, german police releasing a photo of the 24-year-old tunisian man they are looking for in connection to the deadly truck attack on a berlin christmas market. we have the latest in the intense man hunt coming up. we are watching two live events happening now. the north carolina state legislature is meeting for a special session to look at the controversial hb-2 bathroom law. and in los angeles, a hearing is about to start any second in the robert durst murder case where lawyers are expected to go toe to toe over the release of an explosive jailhouse interview. we beginit