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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 26, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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weekend. and some very sad news this morning, remembering a music legend. these are live pictures of fans gathering outside the london home of pop icon george michael paying their respects after his sudden death at the age of 53. more on what his manager says happed and details about the cause of death. we begin with the diplomatic fallout with israel. prime minister benjamin netanyahu summons the u.s. ambassador of accusing president obama of orchestrating the u.n. security council vote against israel. the white house denies this and tensions at a boiling point but with president-elect donald trump's plans for the middle east, all of this could change. nbc's kelly o'donnell is at west palm beach covering the trump recessi transition. we heard from netanyahu regarding dealing with one or two presidents at the same time. >> reporter: well, good morning, tamron. this is really a striking series
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of events that played out over the holiday weekend, when you have a friend of the united states, benjamin netanyahu, accusing the united states of actually setting into motion this critical anti-israel resolution at the security council. as you point out, something the u.s. denies and at the same time, warning the obama administration that they would look to donald trump for help if the u.s. current administration didn't do more. so this is a complicated drama that has some history as we know. the president, president obama, and benjamin netanyahu has had a tense, at times, difficult relationship and this all dealt with a resolution before the u.n. security council. israel said that's the wrong forum to deal with issues related to the jewish settlements in the west bank and east jerusalem. the united states viewed the resolution as being complicated and chose not to use the veto power and not to vote at all and by stepping back, allowed the
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resolution to effectively, be passed at a time when israel sees this as a real affront so donald trump was brought into this, in part, because of his sort of posture that he's taken during the campaign and now the transition to be critical of president obama on israel and benjamin netanyahu seized on that, asked donald trump for help and tweeted, sort of his president in waiting proclamation use and then after the events played out, tamron, donald trump, again, tweeted saying that the big loss yesterday referring to friday for israel and the united nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. too bad but we will get it codo anyway. benjamin netanyahu called the u.s. ambassador and also others on the security council to meet with him christmas day to vent his frustration, displeasure and
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anger about this, the israel government believes that the u.n. is not fair to israel and has been anti-israel for a long time and that's what made this all the more difficult. and as you pointed out, he has said to john kerry, friends don't take friends to the security council. so very tense times and we see another example where donald trump is willing to sort of use the authority perceived by other nations to weigh in on matters while barack obama is still very much the one and only president of the united states. >> kelly, can you speak to the remarkable made sure of that? you had the president-elect on the sideline but a world leader in a sense playing these two ends of our leadership. i mean, netanyahu now ordering that until trump takes office, no one should travel to or meet with officials from nations that voted for the resolution. this is a remarkable event that we're seeing play out here with these three individuals. >> reporter: and we don't have
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historical reference point to compare it to because other presidents-elect did not take these steps. he could certainly be focusing on his own transition. there are top cabinet positions still to be filled and other government jobs that must be found pointed. there are 4,000 jobs the trump transition has to fill 1,000 of those for senate confirmation and still positions in the 15 person cabinet yet to be filled. there's plenty for donald trump to be doing and yet he is agreeing to be a part of this sort of international conversation and seems to have no qualms taking a position different than barack obama. >> kelly, thank you. let me bring in james. the president of the arab-american institute. thank you for your time this day after christmas. benjamin netanyahu essentially playing these two ends of our leadership. the president who is currently
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the president of the united states and the president-elect. what do you make of this strategy and how does it strike you? >> well, look. benjamin netanyahu has a record of being a spoiled child. he's throwing a tantrum and going to do what he can to make life uncomfortable for leadership here in the united states. the problem is that donald trump has acted in a way that i believe violates the logan act. you can have one president at a time and cannot have the president-elect acting as if he were president calling an egyptian leader and making threats to withdraw or pull back a resolution. republicans didn't accept this m in the last year of barack obama's presidency. but now you have republicans saying in the last month that he can't act on foreign policy without interference. that simply is not an appropriate response. >> as we mentioned, netanyahu is accusing president obama of orchestrating this u.n. security
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council vote against israel and the white house denying it but not just coming from the opposition just from netanyahu or donald trump, a person who's critical of donald trump in the past. senator lindsey graham. this is what he had to say on cnn. this aired on saturday. let's play it. >> he told me when it comes to the u.n., the gloves were off and i told him, that too. so i will respond in kind. 22% of the united nations budget comes from the american taxpayer and i'm going to lead the charge to withhold funding until they repeal this resolution. >> that's graham referencing a conversation with netanyahu now saying he wants to withhold funding until the resolution settlement is withdrawn. and you have benjamin netanyahu's words to secretary kerry, friends don't take friends to the u.n. security council. where does this go or are we just in a countdown until the president-elect is inaugurated? >> friends don't take friends for granted in a way that netanyahu has. president obama just signed a
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10-year $38 billion arms deal, the largest ever to any country in history. he's protecting israel from iran as it were, but the question is who protects israel from itself? and its settlement program is so outrageous and is so frustrating, not only to the united states, but to the entire world community and violates fundamental rights of a people who are captive under that occupation, so the problem here is that the u.s. did the mildest thing it could possibly do which is let a resolution pass that the entire world community supports. a similar resolution to the general assembly just about a month ago got 156-3 vote and the 3 were the u.s., israel, and mike ranesha. they bring countries into total conflict with the world community and as israel moves forward with the effort to
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legalize, quote unquote, the outposts that were built illegally and a whole range of other policies and trump pursues his policies, cut money to the united nations. this could be a calamitous four year administration. >> the representative calls the vote a victory. samantha power was saying and i'm going to read a bit of her quote. some may cast a sign that may have given up on a two state solution and nothing could be further from the truth, pivoting to the future with this new president. do you believe that we're seeing the end to at least some of the conversation, the little of the progress if it can be called that on the two state solution. >> there hasn't been progress in well over a decade, maybe two decades now. and the point is 600,000 settlers understand, well, east jerusalem is not the city of east jerusalem but a swatch of territory about 8% of the west
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bank that includes 22 palestinian villages and drew a line that said, this is jerusalem and the building not only of settlements but jewish only roads for travelers to travel back to israel made it impossible to envision a two state solution where it would be and how it would be economically and politically viable. that's the problem the u.s. was standing up for at the u.n. but frankly, what i look at this resolution as saying, the settlements are illegal. you cannot do it. it reaffirms an american policy that goes back to the beginning of the occupation and puts the u.s. in the same corner as the rest of the community and i hope donald trump doesn't act in a dangerous way to undo this or try to remove the u.s. from the u.n. >> thank you so much for your time. we greatly appreciate it. with the inauguration day 25 days away, president-elect trump is trying to, according to his team, untangle some of the potential conflicts of interest
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over the weekend, trump announced he's dissolving his charitable foundation that came under fire over how its funds are used and joining me now, senior politics editor, sam stein and msnbc contributor. sam, good morning. good to see you. >> good morning, happy holidays. >> happy holidays, these questions about conflicts of interest. and donald trump with his children, it's limitless here and you and i both know the story. barack obama's inauguration was famously reported republican to gather plotting how they would block this president coming into this office with message of hope and change. what is abohappening behind the scenes or looking at with these obvious conflicts of interest beyond this foundation? >> sure. first of all, the foundation was sort of a conflict of interest but mostly about not much charitable giving at all.
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it's under investigation for having a false or bad registration in the state of new york, that he shut it down is sort of a distraction because the real conflict of interest stuff comes with the trump organization that's massive business empire, holdings all over the globe and we don't know the extent of his conflict of interest because he hasn't released his tax returns. so while this is an interesting development, i don't think it's going to put the issue to rest. to your point, democrats continue to go on this and they'll continue to do it until they actually get a peek at his tax returns because those will give you a map of where the con fli conflicts rise. i had a conversation with dnc candidate tom perez asking about this very question. do you have strict opposition, like republicans did to obama or do you try to find ways to work with trump on a few legislative matters where there's overlap and my sense in talking to him or senator schumer and other
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people on the hill is they're still figuring it out. they don't want to just give up on things like an infrastructure bill because trump supports it. if it helps their own districts, i wouldn't be surprised if they went along. >> let me bring in richard painter. he is the chief ethics lawyer for george w. bush administration. let me get you the jump in before we start talks about legislative compromise. going back to the conflicts of interest or the potential for them, if you were advising the president-elect at this point in the next 25 days, what would crow teyou tell him to do? >> i would commend him for deciding to dissolve the foundation and his children for retreating from the charitable fund raising work. i think we learned from the clintons that mixing politics and public office with charitable fund raising and foundations is a very bad idea and that's not what we want going on in the trump milligrammilligram administration and also needs to separate himself from his
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for-profit businesses. money coming in from foreign governments that would violate the emollients clause and security with name all over the world, bribery investigations potentially, and we see with the new york attorney general that a lot of the attorneys general and plaintiffs lawyers are not going to let go. it's going to be very important for donald trump to separate himself from his business enterprises and focus on being a good presidents. a lot of work to do. a crisis in the middle east and u.n. is spreading there, global warming, a lot of things to deal with and he needs to focus on his job for the next four years so he can do a good job. >> going back to this foundation, the new york attorney general who the president-elect is accused of being partisan said that the trump foundation is still under investigation by his office and cannot legally dissolve until that is complete. putting the foundation aside, deutsche bank, this is one example, richard, that's germany's largest bank and we reported on this during the primary, they're in negotiations
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with the justice department of settling claims of handling these mortgages back in 2008. these negotiations could be affected because donald trump has reportedly some loans or deutsche bank is his biggest lender. the bank will be overseen by the german government here. it's one thing to commend him for small actions taken but if you're avoiding the big entree, what is the point here? and that's what it seems. >> divest. he needs to sell off his business interests and pay off these loans. we cannot have a president of the united states who is indebted for hundreds of millions of dollars to any banks because deutsche bank is in trouble now but all banks get in trouble. he needs to regulate the banks, prevent another financial crisis and we can't have the president indebted to the banks. >> if he does not, what would you advise republican leadership to do? do we need hearings on this? we're at a point where if he
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doesn't take some of the advice you and others have given for many, many weeks, then what? >> it's going to be a disaster. you're going to have private lawsuits. as you said with the new york attorney general, lots of people nipping at his heels in every part of his business empire that he refuses to divest from, so kind of a scandal after scandal. hearings on the hill. it's going to be a mess and interfere with his ability to be an effective president. he needs to focus on being president. there's a lot of work to do. and the last thing we need is the president who's indebted to the financial services sector when that's where the trouble was back in 2008. we certainly don't need another financial crisis. it's going to be his job to prevent it. and not to have to worry about his business empire and also not to worry about his buildings all over the world with his name on them and protecting them from terrorists and all the other issues. that's not what he should be doing. he should focus on being president of the united states. >> richard, i'm going to let you
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go. stick around with us for a second. the the larlarger picture here. many times and the media has been accused of being distracted by the shiny object, not that the concerns of the foundation are not substantial but in reality, as richard pointed out and we'll let richard go here, the bigger issue could be hearings down the line, sam, of consequence far greater than whether or not the foundation's money was used to buy a po trrtt or helmet of a football player. >> not just any helmet but a tim tebow helmet. >> yes. >> we see some of the prbsoblemg arising. donald trump making overtures to officials in foreign country about his business enterprises. it happened in england. muddied the call he had in taiwan and seen it with ivanka sitting in on meetings with japanese officials when her
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company is doing business overseas. so even if he is operating from the most benevolent unimpeachable angle here on all of these foreign ventures, there is a cloud hanging over him as long as the business is operating and has an invest men and people question whether it's for personal advancement or the country. >> are there indications his transition team, his key advisors including his daughter, maybe not the sons, because there's been questions over the chari charity. do they understand the gravity of this? >> from my reporting, the essence i get is that the family itself is incredibly attached to the business name and wants to find a way to thread the needle here, essentially, keep the business in tact in some form, keep them involved, maybe not directly, so that if they emerge
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from the white house in 4 or 8 years, can go back to running the enterprise and top aides saying, listen, that is functionally impossible. you can't keep this thing rubbiru running at the top and not have the appearance of conflict of interest or direct conflict of interest. they're meeting with lawyers, going through the motions. it remains to be seen whether they can resolve this thing. >> sam, thank you so much for joining us. happy holidays. >> happy holidays. coming up, another stunning loss. this one, just hit us all so hard especially his fans for so many years. pop culture icon, tremendous musician, george michael dead at the age, he's only 53 years old. live in london looking back at his legacy and what his manager is saying about the cause of death as we mourn the loss of george michael.
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>> welcome back. an outpouring of tribute from friends and fans of george michael. memorials being place outside of his home in london. the pop star's home. this was in oxfordshire, england. shocking news spread and starting to sink in. no immediate official cause of death for george michael. he was just 53. local police call it unexplained bu not suspicious. steve patterson has details from los angeles for us and what we
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know. steve? >> reporter: police make entry to his home at about 2:00 yesterday. he's unresponsive. pronounced dead at the scene. there will be an autopsy that has been announced in plan for a later date, but for now, people across the world who are fans and people who knew him best are in shock about this legend's passing. here's a look back at his legacy. ♪ freedom >> reporter: music that made an entire generation move. ♪ baby >> reporter: those catchy melodies with a little social commentary. ♪ never going to dance again >> reporter: all tied together, became a mega hit. and turned george michael from teen pop singer to an international icon. a career spanning four decades
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spawning ten number one singles selling more than 21 million albums in the u.s. alone. michael rose to fame in the early '80s as one-half of the british pop group wham with songs like freedom, careless whisper, and wake me up before you go go. the group became one of the biggest acts in the world before they split in 1986. the following year, michael's debut solo album "faith" went critical and generated four number one hits. michael who wrote and produced nearly every element became a world famous sex symbol. ♪ sun going down on me >> reporter: in the '90s, more chart success including smash hit with elton john but in 1998, the singer made headlines after being arrested for exposing
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himself to an undercover police officer in an l.a. public restroom. after the incident, michael came out as gay and became an advocate for aids prevention and gay rights. but the songwriter who achieved so much success in his mid 20s said the attention was too much. he told matt in 2004, he wanted his private life back. >> so free to the amount of attention pointed directly at me. >> reporter: more recently, suffered a series of health scares including a near fatal bout with necessity mpneumonia >> the hospital they rushed me to was absolutely the best place in the world i could have been. >> reporter: tributes on social media began pouring in almost immediately sunday night including wham partner, andrew ridgeley who said, heartbroken at the loss of my friend. forever loved. forever remembered as a music
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legend. ♪ last christmas i gave you my heart ♪ >> reporter: as you saw in the piece there, twitter has been going berserk, unsurmountable. these are a few. william shatner tweeted, is the year over yet? too many people passing away. rest in peace. shaka khan chimed in, another beautifutalent taken away. rest in power, george michael. 2016 is just brutal. of course, referring to all the death we've had this year in the world of celebrity and entertainment and music. again, his manager says that he was found unresponsive, that there is going to be an autopsy, he believes the cause of death was heart failure but that autopsy is yet to be announced about when that will happen. >> steven, people should check out
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there's an article. why george michael was a true pop visionary. thank you. fierce blizzard conditions move across parts of the midwest and northern plains causing major delays and road closures on one of the busiest travel days of the year. people getting ready to head back home after celebrating hopefully with family and friends. when people can expect relief, especially those of you who are traveling. i'm only in my 60's. i've got a nice long life ahead.
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welcome back. president obama looking ahead to life after the white house. in a new interview on the x files from cnn and university of chicago institute of politics, obama talked about what's next.
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>> i have to be quiet for a while. and i don't mean politically, i mean, internally. i have to still myself and -- >> that's going to take some time. it's hard to leave here. >> it does. >> very oprahesque words there. on christmas day, president obama and michelle visited troops in oahu. the last time in the annual christmas tradition as president. joining me now, tammy leitner with more on what he said to the troops and the reflection from the interview. tammy, it sounded very oprah-esque when he said i need to be still and silent inside to reflect on what's next. >> reporter: tamron, you know, probably very bittersweet for the first family who really has their own traditions that they follow out here on the island. on christmas eve, president
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obama, he called soldiers who are stationed in iraq and afghanistan and thanks them personally for their service. on christmas morning, the family opens gifts, play games, sometimes sing carols and then later in the day, the first lady and president obama head to the marine corps base. he's described as one of the favorite things to do, meet with the troops face to face and he said serving as the head of the military has been the privilege of his life. he said his gratitude will not stop once he leaves office. he said that he is committed to standing by the troops every step of the way. let's go ahead and listen to more of what he had to say. >> although this will be my last time addressing you as president, i want you to know that as a citizen, my gratitude will remain and our commitment to standing by you every step of the way, that won't stop. >> reporter: one other thing
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that he said will not stop is he said he plans to continue working out at the gym on the military base once he's done serving as president and also using their golf course. we know how he loves to golf. thank you. >> thank you, tamron. winter weather creating troubles. a blizzard warning in effect for parts of the great plains that already had a white christmas but other starts like illinois are seeing a slight warm-up. so how will this weather impact travel plans? let's check in with msnbc meteorologist bonnie schneider. you've been very busy this morning keeping an eye on things. good morning. >> good morning, tamron. we have airport delays to let you know and l.a.x. continues almost an hour. delays in minneapolis, more improved. 30 minutes but look at this, 90 minute delays in west palm beach and newark, new jersey. not a great day for travelers on a busy one at that. the blizzard continues and what's interesting is the eastern part of north dakota, the blizzard warning has been
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extended all the way to 7:00 tonight so that includes grand forks. areas they're off to the west like rapid city, that advisory will expire by noon or 3:00 p.m. and areas southward. and we watch for freezing rain. it's just going to be enough to kind of glaze over the roads but definitely cause some problems later tonight and into the evening hours, all the way up to northern new england where we could see snow but maybe 1 to 3 inches. more of a nuisance for travelers. >> bonnie, thank you very much. we'll keep our audience updated throughout the day. thank you. coming up, growing concerns over president-elect donald trump's choice for attorney general. new details on who could stand in the way of his confirmation. ben jealous will join us along with hugh hewitt. (my hero zero by lemonheads)
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welcome back. benjamin netanyahu tops headlines this morning. the candidate meeting sunday, israel's prime minister made a startling allegation that the u.s. secretly led the u.n. security council to admonish israel for settlement in the west bank. the obama administration denies that claim. russian officials say a pilot or technical error to blame for the russian plane crash, carrying 92 people from sochi, russia, to syria crashed shortly after takeoff. everyone on board was killed.
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the music world is mourning the loss of pop super star george michael who according to his manager passed away from suspected heart failure at his home in england yesterday. george michael was just 53 years old. and a heavy cold kept queen elizabeth from attending the royal family's traditional christmas morning service. her prerecorded message was still televised. now turning to the trump transition and the approaching confirmation battles ahead a little more than 3 weeks until he takes office, the president-elect is readying his cabinet choice. his choice, jeff sessions, getting strong pushback this week. democrats are refusing courtesy calls with sessions, threatening to delay his confirmation over missing documents. until now, senator sessions looked like a shoo-in despite past controversies. he sits on the committee expected to rubber stamp his nominati
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nomination. ben jealous, the former president of naacp and visiting professor of woodrow wilson school and also, hugh hewitt, on the "hugh hewitt show." hugh, you have senator sessions reported to turn over 100 documents, more than attorney general loretta lynch produced. here's the problem though. they say dianne feinstein puts it this way. the key problem is he left out key documents even amid 150,000 pages of material. they cite, for example, the alabama senator had not submitted copies of speeches he delivered on behalf of trump during the campaign as well as public remarks dating back to 2003. he also did not include materials from when his judgeship was deraed concerning remarks about racism and african-americans.
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but key pieces of information were not in that. what do you make of it? >> i think some democrats will oppose senator sessions regardless of what he turns over. i'm not sure dianne feinstein is one of them. she's the ranking democrat on that committee. it's not unprecedented for a new president not to get their pick for attorney general. judge kimba woods was turned down. but senator sessions is probably the most qualified person in modern times. united states attorney, state attorney general, he's won four statewide elections for united states senate in alabama. if they haven't found anything serious against him, tamron, this all those races for the senate, they're not going to find it now. it may be sparky but it will be confirmed. >> the allegations made in 1986 that derailed his federal judgeship regarding race. are those not substantive enough? we're talking about the attorney general of the united states and we know the climate in this country and the scrutiny that
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both concern and should african-americans, whites, latinos about what's happening here. >> i think those will be discussed in depth and in detail but "the washington post" reported this morning, larry thompson leading african-american judge, i mean, lawyer and deputy attorney general under george w. bush came out in that article and said everybody knows there isn't a racist bone in his body. i think he'll get asked and have to answer those but the 1986 derailment was in many people's opinion, a miscarriage of justice. i think he'll get confirmed, specifically because of the rule when harry reid switched, he gave jeff sessions an easy path? >> hugh, you bring up unindividuu one individual but a lawyer, civil rights activist and husband was on the marion three defense
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team, sanders is adamant. he is racist to the core. >> i guess what's important about rose, when they came down for the selma montgomery march. forer to say that, there's got to be a reason and i think what can be confounding to most folks and our country has a short memory is the south is just the opposite. we talk about senator jeff sessions, but in the south, they talk about him as the former u.s. attorney. the one who went after one of king's lieutenants and in a move right out of the george wallace play book, as somebody a populist chose to blow a racist dog whistle at a key moment when he was trying to get more and better notice from conservatives across the country. and so it's hard, the funny thing is that george wallace also showed us how you unblow a dog whistle. you apologize specifically and
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come out and say, i was wrong. i have deep regrets. he needs to come out and say, i have deep regrets for attempting to send albert turner and his wife to prison for more than a hundred years. >> to apologize, you have to admit that's what happened and all of these allegations from racial slurs that came up during that federal judgeship confirmation to what you bring, he's never said any of these things are true. >> so the problem is that he doesn't even rise to the bar set by george wallace at the end of his life and that's what he would have to do and instead, he's chosen to basically lawyer up and deny, deny, deny and he has this scandal with documents that sounds a bit similar to the clinton scandal. i produced thousands of pages but where are the others? he's got some candor issues. >> hugh, where are the other documents and should they be produced and should senator sessions, once they are produced, apologize for some of
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these comments that have been a part of public record and now people are not anonymously saying them, they are on the record saying these quotes from him. >> i've studied this pretty closely. >> did you get the documents that senator feinstein received? >> no, but i think he'll have to answer the question about what documents specifically he's referring the buto, harry reid d the rules of the senate so you don't need 60 anymore. you need 50 plus one and i'm curious why the democrats spend time on him and not the supreme court nominee to flip at least three republicans to prevent or the 14 appeal court justices. they're not going to stop jeff sessions. everybody in the senate likes him. they know it's a fabrication about race. >> not everybody. >> fabrication? a fabrication? how is it possibly a
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fabrication? he tried to put one of king's lieutenants away for simply signing up people to vote. how can you sit here and say it's a fabrication? this man blew a racist dog whistle at a time when your party was trying to get the old dixiecrats and he was trying to move he was dixiecrat enough. and when he changed as a populist and blew the same whistle. calling it a fabrication, just frankly makes you look fundamentally dishonest. what happened happened. >> we'll leave it to the viewer, but i will say this, the allegation that jeff sessions is a racist is a fabrication, he brought a prosecution against three people charged with vote fraud. they were not convicted. they were all found not guilty, but it survived motions for summary judgment. >> in the deep south. >> evidentiary burden.
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if we never confirm people who lost cases, we wouldn't confirm anyone who had been a prosecutor. >> he did a lot more than lose this case. and frankly -- >> it's a thin narrative. we will see what plays out. >> the narrative that kept him from the judgeship in 1986. we'll see what impact it plays for a much more important position in our nation's cabinet. thank you so much. a mother in georgia had one christmas wish for her son who is in the army to come home for the holiday weekend and with only a couple of hours to spare, oh my goodness, her wish came true.
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ask your gastroenterologist about entyvio. entyvio. relief and remission within reach. welcome back, everyone. millions are making their way home after the holidays on congested roads and through some crowded airports. gabe gutierrez is in atlanta hartsfield-jackson, i was at dallas last night, smooth sailing, but i'll bet it's a different story today for people there too. >> hi there, tamron. good morning, it is smooth sailing we're here right outside the major security checkpoint. the line here moving pretty well. there haven't been any major problems so far, though in the last few minutes they changed this main security checkpoint wait time from less than 15 minutes to 15 to 30 minutes, but
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people are still moving through quite easileasily. right through now the country the only major probable, according to faa, is minneapolis/st. paul, they have delays because of the wind and wintry kin conditions there, l.a.x. dealing with about 45-minute delays because of some construction, also west palm beach is dealing with some volume, so they're dealing with a slowdown in traffic coming in and out of the this traffic, the world busiest airport, they're coming through here, connecting through here, things seem to be moving pretty smoothly. >> thank you, gab. fans are lining up to pay respects to george michael at his two homes in england. more on the legendary career that spanned through three decades. what's your favorite george michael song ? we'll talk about it after the break. liberty mutual stood with me
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welcome back. music fans are still? shock today over the news of the death of george michael, admirers leaving tributes. publicist says he passed away officially, about about but no official cause of death has been revealed. deputy et tore at "people," j.d. thank you for joining mess. >> when is 2016 going to end as far as the loss of these music
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greats, including george michael, he was a visionnary, what he's written and his style. >> i think george michael was a transformative artist. he started as a teen pop star. by the late '80s, early '950s he had blended r&b, moment music, the opening bars of "faith" sad to say we start this had year, tamron, you and i talking about your friend princings and now we're ending it talking about george michael, about anybody who was around in 1989, 1990, that music took a lot of base r&b might have been to the mainstream. he was an incredibly talented artist, who was a troubled man, but really underrated in his contribution. >> the reality is most people will love a troubled journey especially with that level of expect aches. his private life was private so lodge, eventually revealing that
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he was gay, and supported the rights of others to have their voice. talk a bit about that part of his legacy and taking on the music industry. when you look rat that video with all the supers, what we called back then, people thought he was being cool, but that was taking a stand why he wouldn't appear in that video. >> he really had it, from the beginning, one of the things that strikes out is he was very conflicted about stardom and open about that. in fact, at one point frank sinatra wrote a letter about george michael, you know, fame is a gift and you were embrace it, but he really couldn't. i think it was hard for him. he was a musician, and i don't think he was ever covertable being the sex symbol he was made into in the late '8 ons, and would really prefer to be remembered for his musicianship. beyond that i think it's important to say that he never really embraced a public life.
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fame was note something he was comfortable with. his sexuality, big gay, he came out obviously that was helpful to a lot of people see sex symbol do that long before others did, but it wasn't a comfortable journey. he was a private person, and it was very heart for he to bra is that. >> what's your favorite song, j.d.? >> oh, my goodness, "freedom" i think. both versions. i lime the wham freedom and george michael's freedom. that classic album, "freedom" has to be the anthem. you can hear it today and it sounds as contemporary as it did in 1989. >> i was listening to "father figure" i think that song is on epic and the lyrics are brilliant. >> and takes you right back. >> you think about being at home watching mtv and just marveling at what other people% able to create and connect you to the
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world, even if you are in texas or wherever you grew . thank you, j.d., i appreciate you joining us again on this sad news. >> thank you, and i hope we have a better 2017. >> yes indeed, sir. for more on the life of george miblgal. his to people. com for their touching attribute bugts. that does it for this hour of "msnbc live" we're going to crank of some george michael and celebrate him and celebrate hallie jaxs, working very hard the day after christmas. >> hi, tamron. what a tough year for the music industry. hi, everybody. i'm hallie jackson, in this hour on msnbc, we begin with an enter national shake-up, benjamin netanyahu accusing the obama administration secretly setting up a them resolution. the white house says not true. >> for decades. american administrations and israeli


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