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tv   MSNBC Live With Kate Snow  MSNBC  January 11, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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because he missed the first round. thank you for being here. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i won't take that full ten minutes. mr. tillerson, thank you for your willingness to do this. you're going to be hitting the ground at a very difficult time as far as u.s. relationships around the world. they've spiralled out of control from time to time. and we are not in a good place in many parts of the world, primarily because of u.s. policy. and it's going to be rethought. it's going to be redeveloped. and i thank you for willing to take -- for willingness to take that on. i was struck when you were named, that this is something that's been a bit off of the radar screen of most americans, and that is, the importance of the work that the state department does in dealing with our companies and with commerce in foreign countries. most americans don't realize how difficult it is to do business
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overseas. and the -- and the state department really needs to focus -- >> we have been listening to rex tillerson's confirmation hearing before the senate foreign relations committee. i'm kate snow joining you now at 3:00 eastern time/noon out west. we will continue to listen in on that hearing and bring moments to you as warranted. let me get to kelly o'donnell who's been watching this entire hearing all day now. kelly, big headlines. anything in the last couple of hours that might derail the nomination? >> reporter: going that far is a challenge. that's a really high bar. when you have a voice on foreign policy like that of marco rubio, who ran for president, challenging rex tillerson on matters of russia, that is very notable. we heard from senator bob menendez of new jersey who was bringing up one of the more
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famous quotes of donald trump from announcing his candidacy, derogatory comments of mexico and rex tillerson separated himself from those words and talking about the strong partnership he would want to have with this long-standing neighbor and friend, as he described mexico. the president-elect also tried to repair the relationship and the things he said in his news conference today. so, the recently retired ceo of exxon who has had a global reach in his business life is being challenged on matters where he might differ from donald trump or on areas where some of trump's more controversial statements or tweeting habits could, perhaps, conflict with the work of the secretary of state. so, this is a very high-profile hearing, rigorous questions. that's what stands out. this won't be an easy ride for someone new to public life. being a ceo made him a public
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figure but public life is something different. we saw that play out. he had big support, roberts gates speaking on his half, former senator sam nunn, speaking on his behalf. there's been a lot of comings and goings. we also had protesters, not quite as colorful and loud on the first day of confirmation hearings with jeff sessions. green peace was here saying, reject rex. trying tone courage senators not to support this nomination. the numbers are so strong in favor of republican nominee like this, but it's important to watch how the questioning is going. any daylight on russia is something to note. we also heard questions about climate change, where he said -- tillerson said he doesn't want to not have a seat at the table for international conferences like the big paris agreement but he wouldn't go so far as to give an opinion on that. in some areas still needs more
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time to make some decisions. but he has been on the hot seat. seems fairly comfortable in that role. but the questioning is very rigorous and it's on big matters that are in the national conversation today. kate? >> kelly o'donnell, thank you so much. can i ask you one before i let you go. so much going on. i wanted to ask you about james mattis, pick for defense secretary. we thought he was going to have a number of different hearings. we're hearing one of them is being held off. what's the deal? what's going on? >> reporter: well, the unusual thing with james mattis is because he's only been out of uniform for three or four years, that does not meet the requirement to be the secretary of defense. the law states very clearly, it must be seven years or more. so, unlike the confirmation process, which is playing out here, for mattis it would be a two-step process, where congress would have to pass a new law -- it's not just a waiver,
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conversationally we can call it that, that would exempt him from that requirement. that means the house would be involved. confirmation is just the job of the senate. the house is not going to hear testimony from mattis but, instead, just take the vote on the floor. it's widely expected this waiver, again in the conversational way, will be granted, but they're just removing one of those steps. now, there are people in the house side who would say they to want hear from james mattis, they want to have an opportunity to get his views. i think leadership views the confirmation process, which is senate only, will give mattis enough time on the hot seat, enough time to talk about the issues relevant to the department of defense at a time when there are so many hot spots around the world. so, that's the difference. he is the only cabinet nominee who needs that two-step approval. and it appears that republican leadership is just trying to shortcut it a little bit. >> kelly o'donnell following all of the interworkings on capitol hill on a very busy day. not just that action today but
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also president-elect donald trump giving his very first press conference since july of last year. if you missed it, here's what was covered today. he admitted that russia was behind the dnc hacking, though later said it could have been others. he did not condemn president vladimir putin. trump used much of the press conference to outline steps that his team is taking to separate him from his business. in that context, trump also revealed that this past weekend, he declined to make a $2 billion business deal with an interest in dubai. he also said he would name a new supreme court nominee within two weeks of taking office. on health care he said republicans would be, quote, simultaneously submitting a repeal and replace plan for obamacare. so, no repeal and then a dig delay before the replacement. trump did not answer one of the final questions of the press conference. he was asked, did he or anyone in his campaign have contact with russia or russian interests during the 2016 campaign?
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although he did sort of answer that on the way to the elevator with a simple no. finally, trump announced he has picked david shulkin as va, veterans' affair secretary perform he's the current undersecretary at that department. to give you an idea of what it was like in that room today, this is some of what he had to say about reports that russia has compromising intelligence on donald trump. >> i want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they, in fact, did that. a tremendous blot. because a thing like that should have never been written. it should never been had. it certainly should have never been released.
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president putin and russia put out a statement today that this fake news was, indeed, fake news. they said it totally never happened. somebody would say, oh, of course, he's going to say that. i respected the fact he said that. if we had something, they would have been glad to release it. if putin likes donald trump, guess what, folks, that's called an asset, not a liability. do you honestly believe hillary would be tougher on putin than me? i think it was disgraceful, disgraceful, that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. i think it's a disgrace. and i say that -- and i say that. that's something that nazi germany would have done and did do. have i no deals. i have no loans. i have no dealings. we could make deals in russia very easily if we wanted to. i just don't want to because i think that would be a conflict. we're going to create jobs. i said i will be the greatest jobs producer that god ever created. and i mean that.
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finally, obamacare, i thought it was never going to be asked. it will be repeal and replace. it will be essentially simultaneously. it will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week but probably the same day. could be the same hour. so, we're going to do repeal and replace. very complicated stuff. >> just a taste of a lengthy news conference. let's head over to trump tower. kristen welker was in that room earlier. she joins me now. it was a spectacle to watch. first of all, how would you characterize what happened today and what stuck out to you as the biggest headline? >> reporter: well, it was extraordinary. i think it underscored that this president-elect is comfortable being in a state of battle, as you just played there. he battled against those press reports, against u.s. intelligence agencies, essentially accusing them of leaking that information. the fact that according to u.s. intelligence officials who tell
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us there was briefing material prepared about the fact that russia may have some incriminating against -- information against him, although uncorroborated information. that's an important point to make. one of the big headlines is he acknowledged for the first time he believes u.s. intelligence officials that russia was behind the hacking. he got a little tougher towards the end of the news conference and said if he could speak directly to vladimir putin, he would essentially say, that type of behavior is not going to be tolerated. he dodged a question on whether that means he would take punitive action. will he leave in place sanctions from president obama? i pressed him on the point, does he believe his u.s. intelligence officials, the very u.s. intelligence officials he's going to have to work with over the next four years. take a look at that exchange. >> do you trust your u.s. intelligence officials? and what do you say to foreign
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policy experts to say, you're actually weakening national security by waging this war of words against that community? >> intelligence agencies are vital and very, very important. >> reporter: so, that was his response. not a direct answer. i tried to press him on that, kate. but he dodged that ultimately as well. underscoring, though, that he has appointed a commission to within 90 days give him a set of recommendations for how to improve sish security in the wake of what we saw in the 2016 race. he covered a range of topics, everything from health care to that border wall, saying is he going to build a wall but acknowledging congress may pay for it first and then he will have mexico reimburse the united states. one of the reasons why this press conference was so long and so wide-ranging, this is his first press conference as president-elect. typically we see presidents-elect hold a news conference within the first few days of getting elected. it's also his first news
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conference in 160 days. the last time we heard from him in this type of a format was over the summer. >> kristen welker summarizing a really lengthy news conference. thank you. i want to bring in a couple other folks with me. katy tur, who has been covering donald trump since day one, and doesn't ever get a day off, she's here. >> that's true. >>al li velshi -- >> you did have a vacation. it's true. >> ali velshi is our business expert and can help us wade through what we have learned. katy, let's zero in on the business of the -- the trump empire. today was always billed as the day he was going to explain -- >> remember, this press conference was supposed to happen in december. he was supposed to come out and say how he was going to definitively separate himself from his business. make sure that the american public knows he's working in their interest and not in the interest of his own wallet. that's what the purpose of this press conference was. he quickly touched on russia and then tried to move to the business. took some questions.
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and then introduced a lawyer that he hired to go through this. and say how he will separate himself. he's going to put his businesses into a trust. it's not going to violate the emoluments clause because the forefathers could never have foreseen that donald trump would have a hotel room and that's not necessarily a violation of the emoluments clause, which says that no politician can take money from a foreign government. they think this is an equal value transaction. they had a stack of papers up in front of donald trump, a bit of a show and tell that we didn't get to see any of those papers. he just said, look at all the forms i've signed in order to do so. this was in part to try to muddy the water and talk about how he's going to do without any clarity exactly, but how it would actually work. they were just saying, basically, trust us. there won't be any conflicts of interests. when you talk to ethics lawyers, and they've been reacting --
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>> we will later in the hour. >> they have been saying, this isn't really a blind trust. this doesn't really separate himself. there are still all sorts of ways donald trump could be influenced by a foreign government, that he could still be influenced in his decision-making for his own businesses. they've called it a continuation or potentially leaves him open to quite an array of corruption and conflicts going forward. i would note one last thing before we get ali to actually explain all this in better detail, is that the law firm that he hired to do this, to separate himself, is a law firm -- you really can't make this up -- that got an award as the russia law firm of the year. so, this is another way in which the trump team is entangling itself on russia on a day they're trying to be very firm in saying he has not been compromised by russia, he has no relationship to russia and he's got nothing to do with them.
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he hired a law firm that has gotten the russia law firm of the year award. >> ali, one of the things she said this lawyer from that law firm, is there were a lot of ways they could have gone. she went down a list, we could have done this or that and they didn't think it was appropriate to completely sell off all his assets, for example. >> she said it wouldn't be feasible, wouldn't be possible. she was just making things up. this was really weird to listen to her say the emoluments couldn't apply to profits from his hotel room, that he couldn't divest or do a blind trust. that's incorrect. >> no one knew that word. can you back up a step? >> the emoluments clause is the only part of this conflict of interest issue that donald trump is facing that actually applies to him. all conflict of interest laws applying to federal employees do not apply to the president. >> which they said over and over. >> because as jake -- as we heard earlier, you can't -- the
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president is a part of a separate branch of government. so he has -- the only thing they did for the president is put in this emoluments clause. the idea is that you cannot take money from foreign governments or gifts from foreign governments. in the case of his hotel or ordealings, does he -- if people stay there from other places, does the profit he gets from that compromise him as president? what they've said is while it doesn't apply to him, this is what his lawyer said today, he will donate those profits at the end of the year, they'll donate them up and donate them to the u.s. treasury. the whole thing is weird. it doesn't establish a separation of responsibility for the company. he has said he will transfer -- he will put the company into a trust that will be run by his grown sons. >> they said he would have no communication with his sons about the business dealings. >> which is just -- it just doesn't hold water. he has done nothing throughout the campaign except discuss how close he is to his family.
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it wouldn't pass legal muster. it's just not relevant. as he was leaving, in fact, this is what he closed his press conference on, he said, if they don't do a good job when i come back in eight years, you're fired. the entire implication is he's the boss now, he'll be the boss then. we're not really separating anything. >> no matter what he is going to have an interest in how his business proceeds, especially he's going too back and take it over in fou to ght years, if he wins re-election. >> thank you. appreciate it. a quick programming note. at 6:00 p.m. nancy pelosi will be joining greta -- "for the record with greta" to discuss donald trump's press conference and latest intelligence briefings. that's at 6:00 p.m. tonight eastern right here on msnbc. joining me now, retired admiral james.
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nice to see you. how are you? >> i'm doing well, kate. >> let's talk, first off -- gosh, so many things to cover here. let's talk about russia first. donald trump now saying in the press conference today that he does not believe -- rather, let me say that again. that he does believe that russia was behind at least some of the hacking that occurred. he did not condemn vladimir putin. he did condemn the reporting over the last 24 hours about a summary attached to the intelligence briefing materials for both him and for president obama that indicated that russia has some kind of intelligence on him. he disputed that. what do you make, as you listen to all of this, and everything he said about russia and that relationship, what do you make of it all? >> well, first of all, i think, kate, one of the big winners in all this remains vladimir putin. his objective in all of this has been to undermine our confidence and our democratic system. so, in addition to the various acts of cyber malfeasance
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leading up to the election, now we continue to see this ongoing strain in the system that bleeds over into the secretary of state's confirmation hearings. this kind of confused picture that president-elect trump is portraying. the other big loser here is the intelligence community. he continues to be on this note of lack of confidence. their playbook is blotted kind of thing. kind of the controversy continues. it's not benefiting anybody at this point. as far as the report itself goes, so implausible yet it's been an implausible year. >> donald trump tweeted earlier this morning, are we living in nazi germany? he was asked about that comment. here's what he had to say. >> i think it's a disgrace. and i say that -- and i say that, and that's something that nazi germany would have done and
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did do. i think it's a disgrace. that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public. >> so, there he's referring to that dossier that was released not at all by nbc news, but by another media outlet. whether or not it was appropriate to use the term nazi germany, does he have reason to be angry over all of this? >> if he is correct that none of it is true, then he absolutely has every reason to be very, very angry. and here, kate, we see another kind of loser in this process is the media 37 you see a very reputable news organization like cnn that ran that story last night and then can't even ask a question at the news conference. >> yeah, he wouldn't -- i was just going to -- cnn reported -- just to interject. cnn reported a portion of this story that last week both obama
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and trump had been briefed and that part of their briefing had included this material. they did not release the entire dossier. that was done by buzzfeed. that'st i think trump's main complaint is, that's out there now. i'm sorry, continue with what you were saying. >> simply that the media has been kind of across the spectrum on this issue, which shows you how confusing and difficult it is. and i think that it's going to -- the other problem for president-elect trump is the kind of antagonism leading over from the campaign with the media seems to be continuing. so, the intelligence community, the media, kind of the losers here. russia looks like a winner in the process thus far. >> donald trump also made other news today. he announced david shulkin as his pick for v.a. secretary. as an admiral, i'm curious on your thoughts. he's undersecretary right now. never served in the military of armed forces.
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he's an obama appointment who will now carry over into trump. >> i think this is a very good appointment. i put it in the category of general mattis, general kelly at department of homeland security, rex tillerson despite challenges at the hearing i think will come through and be a good secretary of state. this is a good appointment. medical background, plus that experience at va during some very tough times would say that we're going to get good service out of this fine doctor. >> admiral james stavrides, always great to have you with us. thanks so much. >> thanks, kate. up next, we're keeping an eye on rex tillerson's day in the hot seat. after the break i'll be joined by someone in that room. massachusetts senator ed markey. he had a chance to push and question his pick for secretary of state, rex tillerson, on u.s. intelligence, on russia, and also on global warming and climate change. we'll get to that in just a moment. to do the best
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today's big kor cconfirmati hearing on the hill, rex tillerson. the conversation did turn to compliment change at one point, brought on by democratic senator ed markey. >> we have evidence in the past of exxon during the time you have been there, supporting groups opposing climate action and also trying to silence groups that have been critical of exxon. so, give the american people, given your personal history at exxonmobil and the actions of that company, some reason to
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have confidence that the climate agreement negotiated by secretary kerry and president obama, will be something that the trump administration state department will honor and that u.s. leadership will continue on the issue of climate change around the planet? we are not just any country. we cannot be a laggard. we must be the leader. the world expects us to be the leader on climate change. please give us those assurances that you will guarantee that the state department will be the leader as it has been in advancing a climate agaenda for our country? >> well, if confirmed, senator, i'm sure that there will be opportunity, and i know the president-elect will want the opportunity to do a fulsome review of our policies around
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engagement on compliment issues through global accords, global agreements. as i indicated, i feel free to express my views to him around those. i also know that the president, as part of his priority in campaigning was america first. so, there is important considerations as to -- as we commit to such accords, and as those accords are executed over time, are there any elements of that that put america at a disadvantage? >> joining me now is the senator you heard in that exchange, massachusetts senator ed markey. nice to see you again. >> thank you. >> that exchange you had about climate change, did that satisfy you, his answer? >> no, it did not satisfy me. look, donald trump has said that climate change, global warming is a chinese hoax. and so in order for the american people to be confident there's going to be an american government advancing the goal of dealing with that problem, we
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have to hear the correct answer from his secretary of state. well, the secretary of state said today, the nominee, is that he's going to do this in conjunction with a conversation with donald trump. well, that means the administration is going to believe that this is a hoax. and the problem here is exxonmobil, the company for whom rex tillerson has worked, has actually funded groups which are climate deniers to spread this sense that climate is not a real issue that has to be dealt with in urgent fashion. >> it's my understanding that tillerson himself, as a person, has had a different point of view than perhaps the company did in past. >> well, as recently as 2015 exxonmobil was still giving millions of dollars to groups like the manhattan institute that our climate denier groups. so, there's a real reason for us to be skeptical about this
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issue, as well as being skeptical about exxonmobil's interest in russia, for example, as the former ceo of exxonmobil is nominated as secretary of state. right now exxonmobil controls an area the size of wyoming inside of russia for oil and natural gas drilling. >> let me ask you about that because you brought up sanctions that are in place right now on russia. and today at his press conference president-elect trump said he did not think that the new sanctions from president obama against russia were too much or went too far. but he didn't address whether he would do any more. know you asked tillerson about that as well. do you sense any daylight, any difference between rex tillerson and president-elect trump when it comes to dealing with russia and the sanctions? >> well, again, the issue with rex tillerson is that he is only going to recuse himself for one year from any matter that deals with exxonmobil, inside of russia or any other country.
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well, these sanctions issues are going to keep raising their head. so, we now have revelations that even donald trump has accepted that the russians were hacking into the american election. so, then that calls for additional sanctions that could hurt the bottom line of exxonmobil. so, we have to basically get a very clearance from rex tillerson, whether or not he would support additional, tougher sanctions. and today he would not give a yes to the question i asked him as an answer to, i think, a very central question that not only democrats but republicans are asking. what is our relationship with russia going to be? how tough will we be on putin and russ? and will this exxonmobil conflict in any way interfere with the clear judgment we're going to need in order to apply new, tougher sanctions where they are appropriate.
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>> just a note, senator, as i'm listening to my producer tell us that tillerson just now said -- say it one more time. he's not ruling out a muslim registry. know you're out of the room right now, but that news just came out of the hearing as we watch that live picture. senator, you know, you're saying all this and yet the numbers are -- they need, what, 51 votes to get him through and you're a democrat. you don't have the majority. did you hear anything today that makes you think, okay, this country will be all right with rex tillerson as secretary of state? >> again, as i said, i'm hearing republicans who are also raising questions, especially about our relationship with russia, how tough we can be on russia as more and more revelations become public. and this question that you're raising right now about a registry for muslims. americans? inside the united states of america? that goes to the fundamental core principles of the u.s.
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institution, of the declaration of independence. we just can't build a wall around our country to keep out muslims, keep out anyone of any nationality that we happen to fear as some again eric group of people who are a danger to our country. that is just a fundamentally un-american concept that is going to have to be completely understood before we take any final vote on rex tillerson as our secretary of state, if what you just reported is accurate. >> and that's happening as we speak. senator, thank you so much for stepping out for a moment. massachusetts senator ed markey with us on capitol hill. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> we're keeping an ear and eye on that hearing. we're monitoring every word, we promise. up next, unprecedented cory booker becomes the first senator to testify against a fellow sitting senator during another cabinet confirmation hearing. his strong words against attorney general nominee jeff
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a lot going on this hour on capitol hill. that's a live picture out of the senate foreign relations committee. that's rex tillerson, nominee for secretary of state. i just want for the record to read exactly the exchange that just happened in that room. tillerson was asked by a senator, do you support creating a registry for muslims? tillerson's answer -- i would need more information about how such an approach would even be constructed. if it were a tool for vetting, it would probably extend to other groups that were threats to the u.s. as well. i would just need more information on how that would even be approached. that coming in just now from that hearing. meanwhile, a lot of drama at another hearing today. the second and final day of senator jeff sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general. for the first time ever, a sitting u.s. senator testified against one of his own colleagues. senator cory booker, a democrat,
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argued senator sessions, a republican, has not demonstrated enough of a commitment to civil rights, equal rights and justice for all. here's part of what senator booker said. >> senator sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job, to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all of our citizens. in fact, at numerous times in his career he's demonstrated a hostility towards these convictions and has worked to frustrate attempts to advance these ideals. >> a short time later, civil rights leader john lewis also testified. >> it doesn't matter how senator sessions may smile, how friendly he may be, how he may speak to you, but we need someone who is going to stand up, speak up, and
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speak out for the people that need help, for people that have been discriminated against. it doesn't matter if they're black, white, latino, asian-american or native american, straight or gay, muslim, christian or jews. we all live in the same house. >> for more, i want to bring in nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. he's been following this hearing closely all day. pete, it wasn't all testimony against jeff sessions. there were also defenders. >> right. this is day two. that's the way these hearings go. there are people for and against the nomination. among those speaking in favor of senator sessions were two former republicans who served on the justice department, michael mukasey, and larry thompson, the president of the fraternal order of police, a member of the commission on civil rights, among those speaking against him was the president of the naacp
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and an advocate for sexual abuse victims. but two peopl whonew jeff sessions when he was the u.s. attorney in alabama spoke in favor of his nomination, including willie huntley, who was a former deputy to sessions in that job. >> one of the things i can say about jeff is he has always been the same person that i have known. he's always been available for me and always been there when i needed him. at no point in the time that i've known jeff has he demonstrated any racial insensitivity. and i see my time is rapidly winding down. i would just like to say that, noo my opinion, jeff sessions will enforce and follow the laws of the united states even-handedly, equally and with justice for all. >> so, both these men who worked with him in essence said despite
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the policy differences, if you just know jeff sessions personally, you would know he's a man of integrity, not a racist. someone who's honest and hard working. it appears sessions is headed for confirmation. in terms of the timing here, obviously, the committee can't vote until they get the nomination. they can't get the nomination until donald trump is inaugurated. the earliest they could act on it is week after next. the democrats can put a hold on it, ask for a delay. that seems like it will happen. perhaps a vote on the nomination early in february, kate. >> pete williams, thanks so much. you're looking liveow at the confirmation hearing for rex tillerson. that's trump's pick for secretary of state. we continue to monitor that for you. we'll bring you news from there as it happens. (vo) maybe it was here,
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i want to bring in msnbc's kasie hunt right now. she just interviewed vice president-elect mike pence up on capitol hill. what did you learn? >> reporter: mike pence back up here, meeting in this case with
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senator tim kaine, in case you're wondering why we're standing outside of a democratic senator's office. he's making rounds talking to senators of the opposite party. he'll meet next with senator joe manchin of west virginia, another democrat. pence, as we know, has been playing a very critical role in shaping how the administration -- incoming administration's priorities are going to wind their way through capitol hill. this is, of course, a big picture, deal-making president-elect in donald trump. mike pence is someone who has known these hallways very well, understands how work gets done here and is playing that role. my question for him was about how they're going to deal with repealing obamacare. the senate is beginning to lay the groundwork for that repeal in work they're doing on a budget resolution this week. and there are a lot of senators, especially from rural states, republicans, who have concerns about repealing this law without having a replacement plan in place. so, that's what i talked to mike pence about. take a look.
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repeal and replace it or is that too hard politically? >> the president-elect has made it very dleer to leaders in congress that we to want repeal and replace simultaneously. so, we're working with legislative leaders at this very moment to begin to craft legislation that will repeal the most corrosive elements of obamacare, the individual mandate, the taxes, the penalties, but at the same time, moving separate legislation that will allow us to introduce the kind of reforms in american health care that will lower the cost of health insurance without growing the size of government. >> reporter: that's a lot of work to do. isn't that going to pull the rug out from under people? >> well, it's not. the president-elect is making it clear, as he said in philadelphia last fall, that we are -- we're committed to an orderly transition. the american people in november voted for change. >> reporter: so, essentially what mike pence is saying there is that they're going to do this in two places. they're going to repeal the health care law with this budget
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resolution. that only takes 51 votes. then they're going to move another piece of legistiono try to replace it. that's a lot more challenging because it requires democratic votes. this is exactly the plan getting a lot of pushback from republicans who think that they have a lot of people back home, whether they're hospitals that will struggle financially or patients who rely on this law, who would face a lot of trouble if this law were simply repealed and no replacement plan in place. starting to get some details here for how the president-elect is going to flesh this out. he said a couple of contradictory things in the last couple of days. he addressed it briefly in his press conference today. trump saying they were going to repeal and replace potentially on the same day at the same time. that doesn't seem to be how it will play out if what the vice president-elect says is true. it would be very, very difficult. let's just say, you can't build up 60 votes in a day. getting 51 together to repeal
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this law is a lot easier. that's the challenge facing republicans right now. >> kasie hunt following all of it on capitol hill, literally, following the vice president-elect. at that same press conference donald trump explained how he plans to separate his presidency from his business. >> my two sons, who are right here, don and eric, are going to be running the company. they are going to be running it in a very professional manner. they're not going to discuss it with me. again, i don't have to do this. >> i want to bring in kathleen clark, a law professor at washington university. kathen, nice to have you with us. thanks f being withus. >> thank you for having me. >> let's start with the plan. you just heard a little bit of it. the plan is to turn over mlgt to his sons, to transfer his assets into a trust by january 20th, but it's not a blind trust. you're an ethics expert. how do you read that?
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>> president-elect trump is not doing what he needs to do in order to ensure that he can act as president without conflicts of interest and without violating the constitution's emoluments clause. so, this is -- the press conference was really an exercise, a showmanship exercise of going through the motions of doing something about the ethics problems he faces without doing what he actually needs to do. >> emoluments, by the way, merriam webster just tweeted it's their number one lookup. people looking up that word, trying to figure it out. they also talked about trump's team not engaging in any deals oversaes, right, not having any foreign deals for the next four years. and deals within the u.s. would now be approved by a new person, an ethics adviser who has yet to be named. that all sounds good on paper. >> it's not nearly sufficient. what we actually need donald trump to do, to ensure that he's acting in the interest of the american people and not in his own financial interest, is for
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him to divest from that business, from the trump organization. only then can we be assured that he will be acting -- when he acts as president, he's doing it on behalf on behalf of you and me and the american people rather than acting on behalf of and to benefit the trump organization and himself. >> but to pushback, you heard his lawyer today say that divesting would be almost impossible in her words. it would be cumbersome, it would be too difficult to sell off all of his assets, a lot of it's in real estate. in fact she said that that could create more conflicts because then you've a bidding war and people trying to buy his things, his properties. what do you say to that? >> the transactions involved in divestment could pose challenges. and the lawyer may actually be accurate. it might be that donald trump cannot divest from the organization because we simply do not know what the extent of the debts of that organization are. you cannot divest from debts.
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that's called bankruptcy. we know he has a lot of assets, what we don't know is the extent of his debts. >> so what is it then that you would -- if you were designing it for him, what should he do? >> i'd say that he needs to cut his ties. not just his management ties, but his ownership ties of his businesses. and demonstrate to the american people that he's prioritizing his work on our behalf. rather than this sort of half measure of giving management authority to his sons while retaining his ownership interest. >> what about just finally the argument that it's like when nelson rockefeller took over as vice president and very, very wealthy man and they keep saying we've never had a president with this kind of wealth, what about that parallel? >> people do say that? the truth is we do not know whether donald trump actually is as wemty as he likes to proclaim he is. at a minimum, we need disclosure, not just of his assets which is what he's
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disclosed so far, we need disclosure of his debts, how much does the president-elect owe and to whom does he owe it? we don't know the answers to those questions. >> kathleen clark is a law professor at washington university, nice to have you with us, thanks so much. >> thank you. we are keeping a close eye on the tillerson hearing happening on capitol hill. when we come back, we're going to talk to bill richardson, the former energy secretary, the former u.n. ambassador after a quick break. will your business be ready when growth presents itself? american express open cards can help you take on a new job,
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>> let's start -- there's so much to talk about. let's start with -- we were talking in the break about lockheed martin because we haven't talk about that this hour. it's one of the many things that donald trump brought up today calling on them to reduce costs on their f-35 program. he also touted that he's going to be a great business leader that he's bringing jobs back for ford and many other companies. is he taking too much credit and what do you think of him wielding this kind of bully pulpit to try to make companies make changes? >> well for me it's mixed because you mention, i was a governor, and one of the things governors do is they go try and snatch jobs for the state. you know, even if it's a small number. >> right. >> i don't like him interfering in the economy like threatening the gms and fords with border taxes and this f-35, but there's one side that i do like. i like him to say well we're going to keep these jobs here. we're going to try to incentivize the economy, this company to keep the manufacturing jobs in the u.s.
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i kind of like that, but i think it's going to ring hollow when he starts being president and, you know, he's got a commerce secretary, treasury, when are they going to do if he's going to tweet all these threats? you might as well get rid of the commerce department. >> let's talk about russia and the attention, unsubstantiated reporting in that document, we've not released it, buzzfeed has. he called it false, fake, garbage at one point today. what do you make of that whole story? do you agree it's false and garbage? >> you know, kate, i've yet to find something nice to say about the president-elect. i don't think he's prepared to be president, however, on this one, they are false allegations. and you know, we should be focussing on what he wants to do with national security. the economy, syria. you know, these are unsubstantia unsubstantiated, kwon what you guys on nbc are going to do or who leaked it, but we need to
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move away from them. so in a way when he wihines abot what was said about him, i think he kind of has a point. i think he's got a point. >> what about rex tillerson? facing a grilling right now as we speak and live pictures right now. still up on capitol hill. seems like he's probably going to make it through, i would think, based on our reporters who are there covering it, but there've been a lot of questions of him today. >> the big question is one his relationship with russia. is he too close to putin? i think he's going to have some problems when he answered that question about mandatory sanctions to senator rubio. when he wouldn't get pinned down. and i remember when i was going through confirmations. what you are told by your briefers is, get flexibility. don't commit to the congress that -- >> about yourself. >> yeah. that you're going to not be flexible. you want flexibility. he did pretty good. i must say, i listened to his
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questions, he didn't look like he was taking notes. >> impressed by his answers. >> so he has foreign policy stct. i still think there could hav been somebody better for that job because negotiating an energy deal, a gas deal, oil and gas, it's not the same as diplomacy. so i worry -- and especially this relationship with putin. is he too close to putin? what's he going to say to putin on syria? what's he going to say that putin we have 7,000 nuclear weapons, what's he going to say to putin about the hacking he's doing? and now it looks like the russians have gone into his own boss, trump, and published some bad stuff. >> governor richardson. great to see you again. thanks so much for coming in. nice to see you in person. that's going to wraup this. hour for me. i will see you back here tomorrow afternoon, 3:00 eastern time. that's noon pacific and 1:00 p.m. and new mexico. you can always find me on snapchat, twitter, and instagram, it's tbkatesnow, up
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next steve, hey. >> hey, good afternoon everybody. live here in new york. happening right now, those senate confirmation hearings for rex tillerson, donald trump's pick for secretary of state. they are continuing. as we speak, we are listening closely. we will bring you any news that develops for those hearings. first though, topping our agenda this hour, russia, russia, russia. >> i think it's a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public. >> donald trump defiant in his press conference today. responding to unsubstantiated claims that russia has compromising information on him. is he right that he's the victim of fake news here? lots on that. we will dive into it straight ahead. and also on our agenda, rex tillerson in the hot seat. >> is vladimir putin a war criminal? >> i would not use that term. >> well let me


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