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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  December 16, 2017 5:30am-6:00am PST

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good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters in new york. the tax bill is scheduled for vote on tuesday. it appears republicans do have the support to get it passed. in just a few minutes i will speak with congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania about the tax bill. a defiant roy moore is telling support issers the battle is not over. he's asking for contributions to a fund to help him possible contest his loss in tuesday's election. hollywood responding to a series of high profile cases of
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sexual misconduct. executives and major entertainment figures have establish aid commission on workplace equality. that group will be led by anita hill. new attacks from the president against the fbi. this just moments before speaking at the agency's national academy graduation ceremony. >> it's a shame what's happened with the fbi. but we're going to rebuild the fbi. everybody. not me, everybody. the level of anger of what they have been witnessing is certainly very sad. >> let's bring in zelena maxwell for the clinton campaign now progressive program or for sirius xm. and joe watkins, aide to george w. bush, and michael steele, former adviser for jeb bush's campaign. good saturday morning to all three of you. attorney general jeff sessions provided something of a
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different take on the fbi yesterday. let's listen to that. >> president trump clearly suggested that the reputation and the status of the fbi is in tatters. do you share that view? >> well, i don't share the view that the fbi as functioning is not functioning at a high level all over the country. >> how do you make sense of the president's insistence that the fbi is in tatters? >> we are seeing a coordinated and strategic smear campaign of not only the fbi but the mueller investigation. that is their tactic in this moment as the investigation clearly is closing around the president and the people closest to him, his family members. we had don jr. testifying for nine hours. we had reports that the president's personal attorneys are meeting with special counsel. something that wouldn't normally be done if not for the president
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himself being under investigation for obstruction. and so i think that what we're seeing here is the president and his allies. because this is also a media campaign. it's not just the president echoing the lines, attacking mueller and the fbi, but you also have other networks, fox news, conservative radioing cooing the same attacks. and i think they're laying the groundwork for firing mueller or trying to shut down the investigation by defunding it. and i think that as american citizens we have to remain very vigilant in this moment as they do that. because it's very serious and dangerous what they are doing to this institution. >> it all comes as house republicans are waging their own attacks against robert muler and his investigation. in fact, here are some of the remarks made during this week's house oversight committee hearing with rod rosenstein. >> i think it is is seriously concerning the team that has been assembled in certainly
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counsel's office that by all appearances consists of a number of highly partisan liberal democrats. >> we are now beginning to better understand the magnitude of this insider bias on mr. mueller's team. >> this is disgusting, unaccountable bias. and there's no way that could not affect a person's work. >> evidence of an actual vitt rhee ol'ic. >> i think the public trust in this whole thing is gone. >> joe, did she say this is an attempt to try to discredit mueller? by the way, isn't bob mueller a republican? >> that's right. bob mueller is a republican. this is an effort to discredit him. he is doing a very, very good job. he has done more in seven months than it takes special counsel to do in years. he's charged four people.
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he led a very, very thoughtful, thorough investigation so far. he's done nothing to lose the confidence of the american people or anybody in government for that matter. i think bob mueller is going to continue to do what bob mueller is going to continue to do. he's going to be thor he row. he's not going to show his hand. he won't be dehe tered by any smear tactics. he's going to get to the bottom of this at the end of the day. >> michael, ranking member adam schiff is speaking out about a similar thing he has seen. >> they're refusing to schedule any of the witnesses to come in in january. and there are literally dozens of witnesses that need to come before our committee who may never come before the committee if they shut this down. i think they're on the verge of renegativi
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re reneging. they are signaling we may never hear from them. >> do you worry they are trying to shut down the investigation by years end to lay the foundation for president trump to fire bob mule senator. >> that's exactly what i'm worried about. >> is that a valid concern? >> no. i think that the president is a counterpuncher. he feels he's being attacked. he and his allies are circling the wagons. i don't think there is any chance that the bipartisan investigations could wrap up quickly or the mueller investigation. we will be dealing with this issue well into 2018. >> there was another moment rather noteworthy. i'll play it for you. here it is. >> would you considering pardoning michael flynn? >> i don't want to talk about pardoning michael flynn yet. we'll see. >> the president had another opportunity to shoot down the possibility of a pardon. he didn't take it.
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how do you interpret what he said? >> he's of course wait to go see what happened with michael flynn. he is cooperating with the special prosecutor. that's something that he has got to be concerned about. he doesn't know what kind of a deal or understanding he has with the special prosecutor. and he's wait to go see what the special prosecutor has to say about what michael flynn has already told him. but clearly the president is being very coy about this. he's not going to play his hand just yet. he is not going to try to sweeten the pot by offering a pardon when he doesn't know what kind of a deal he has struck with the special prosecutor. >> your take on this? the president said, look, i'm not going to talk about it. could he have said there's no discussions about that right now? wouldn't that have been better? >> yes, of course. but donald trump is always going to say the thing that keeps us talking about it and wondering what he meant. i think what he meant is what he said. he hasn't been speaking about
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pardoning. he's not thinking about that yet. again, i think there is still a real risk that his son or son-in-law can get wrapped up in this investigation. and what we have seen from bob mueller is he is not going to leak out any information before there is a court filing that is unsealed. and i think that that is testifying for this white house. i think the plea agreement that michael flynn filed was a warning sign to this white house that things are getting really serious really fast. and it's no surprise that president trump has been increasingly erratic. i think it always corresponds with what's going on behind the scenes in the investigation. if you look back and you mirror the timelines together on the same day as the manafort raid he was attacking andrew mckade on on twitter. the president is not a complicated person. he is a simple man. he is somebody who says erratic things often. but you can figure out what he
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means when he says it. when he said we're not talking about a pardon yet. he means yet. he means that is something that's on the table, and i think we should take it seriously. >> all right. stay with us. i'll get back with you in a few. straight ahead, the $1.5 trillion tax cut. how can republicans convince skeptical americans it's all for their own good? up next, someone who voted for that original bill next hour, judge for yourself. how can you defend nominating someone for judge with no courtroom experience at all? >> have you ever sat on a jury trial? >> i have not? >> civil? >> no. >> criminal? >> no. >> bench? >> no. >> state or federal court? >> i have not.
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tell your doctor if you were in a region where fungal infections are common and if you have had tb, hepatitis b or c, or are prone to infections. xeljanz xr can reduce the symptoms of ra, even without methotrexate. ask your rheumatologist about xeljanz xr. money managers are pretty much the same. all but while some push high commission investment products, fisher investments avoids them. some advisers have hidden and layered fees. fisher investments never does. and while some advisers are happy to earn commissions from you whether you do well or not, fisher investments fees are structured so we do better when you do better. maybe that's why most of our clients come from other money managers. fisher investments. clearly better money management. this whole process has been a sham. the fact is this is a historically unpopular giveaway
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to the multinational corporations at the expense of the middleclass. and the republicans know that if there's any real sunlight on this, this bill is going to dry up. and that's why they're moving with the speed of light. i'm telling you this debate is far from over. >> democratic senator widen on the final version of the gop tax bill. it is now heading to the house for a vote on tuesday. charlie dent of pennsylvania is a member of the house appropriations committee, co-chair of the tuesday group, and good friend to us. good to see you again. thanks for joining me. >> thank you, alex. >> i would like to know how you will vote on tuesday. do you know? >> i'm still reviewing the bill. it was passed out of the house. but so far i like most of what i see in this bill. the tax code is far too complex. it's over 70,000 pages long. two-thirds of my constituents do not itemize. rates will be lower. child tax credit will be doubled
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from $1,000 to $2,000. there are various things that i think are very important. so i think so far i like what i see. i have an issue with the individual mandate repeal. the agreements would be helpful in mitigating any damage from that. >> in terms of how this is playing out across the country, sir, you heard the senator saying republicans are just trying to rush this historically unpopular bill through. there is a poll that says 52% think the bill will hurt them. only 30% say it will help. are the republicans losing the pr side of this fight and why do republicans appear to be rushing this bill through? >> well, first, sure, i think on the pr side we have had a lot of challenges on this bill to be sure. i heard what the senator just said. many have been thoroughly debated, particularly on the tax
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side. trying to bring the tax code in the 21st century is long overdue. taking the tax rate to 21% brings us to the level of every major developed countries in this world. moving to a territorial tax system. this has been thoroughly debated for years. doubling the standard deduction, lower rates for most individuals, providing for greater simplification for most americans who do not itemize. that is the case in my congressional district. i believe this will be very beneficial to them. while you're right about the public relations has not been particularly good is because people don't know what's in the bill or don't understand what's in the bill. as people learn more, i think they will see a lot of beneficial aspects. >> i want to get your reaction to a prediction from senator bernie sanders about where he thinks this tax bill will lead us. let's listen to him.
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>> the richest people in this country who are doing phenomenally well, the largest corporations enjoying record-breaking profits do not need huge tax breaks which then drives up the deficit over a 10-year period by $1.4 trillion which leads trump and paul ryan to start saying, well, we have this big deficit. we're going to have to cut social security, medicare and medicaid. >> you heard it. paul ryan has said entitlement reform is one of his priorities for 2018. could senator sanders be right? >> well, let me just first say to senator sanders that my estimates are that a family of on four making $75,000 a year gets a little over $2,000 tax cut. those aren't huge corporations. clearly we need to engage in some type of overall fiscal reform in this country. i was one of the few people who were supportive of the simpson bowles initiative. it wasn't perfect, but it was a
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good start. of course entitlements need to be reviewed. i hope senator sanders will be willing to engage in a constructive discussion on that score. of the years he has talked about expanding those mandatory or entitlement programs which we know are not sustainable. >> okay. let's get to the issue of sexual misconduct. this week during a house overnight committee meeting with rod rosen stein, there was questions about the president. it was all raised there. let's take a look. >> i see you as a law enforcement officer and i value your opinion on these matters. would it be appropriate for you to investigate these and other allegations of assault and unwanted sexual advances by the president of the united states? >> congressman, i am happy to take any questions regarding oversight of the department of justice. with regard to that matter or any other matter you think warrants an investigation, i would invite you to submit the evidence and the department will
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are view it if you believe there is a federal crime. >> given the vast number of accusations against men and occasionally a woman across the country, what do you think should happen with the accusations against our president? >> well, i believe acting -- deputy attorney general rosen stein provided an appropriate answer to the question he was asked. that said, as it relates to accusations -- i'll bring this back to the house of representatives. as a former chair of the house ethics committee, i can tell you if any member of the house or staff brought an accusation of sexual harassment against a member, the committee will look into it. if there's an actual complaint filed with the committee we will look into it and take it very, very seriously. i suspect that would be the same situation down at the executive branch as mr. rosen stein had
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said. if somebody really brings a complaint to the justice department, i suspect they will look at it. you have to take it up with them. when i was chairman, we took every charge seriously of any hostile work environment, et cetera. >> on a personal note because i read something quite interesting, you announced you won't be seeking reelection in 2018. there's also word that you might move into the tv analyst business. you might leave your seat early, trigger a special election. can you let us know if that's something you're exploring. >> all i can say is that i have had a number of conversations with a number of people in a number of areas. i have not made any plans about my future. i have some ideas, but i don't have any specific plans. no definitive plans. all i'm doing right now is serving the people of the 15th congressional district of pennsylvania. i've been really busy just dealing with the appropriations matters, tax reforms, budget
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agreements. i'm up to my eyes in the v.a. that's where i'm focused right now. if my plans change, i'll let everybody know. i kind of like what you do. it's kind of fun to do the work you do from time to time. >> from time to time. >> it is, it's a fun job, it's privilege. it's a lot of work, certainly no more than what you bear. thank you so much. whether it's this side of camera or across the deck, either way, thank you so much. >> thank you, alex. oem ro omarosa, only now outing a lack of diversity there. did she just discover that? the moment a fish is pulled out from the water, it's a race against time. and keeping it in the right conditions is the best way to get that fish to your plate safely. bacteria can multiply to high enough levels
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that even cooking it will not destroy all of them. it's definitely the most important thing in my business. how fresh is the fish? where it comes from? how it gets here. the more i know, the better. sometimes the product arrives and the cold chain has been interrupted, and we need to be able to identify where in the cold chain that occurred. we took our world class network and we developed devices to track environmental conditions. this device allows people to understand what's happening not only with the location of that asset, but also if it's too hot, if it's too cold, if it's been dropped... it's completely unique. we ship fish, beef, poultry, vaccines, insulin. this is about monitoring and protecting everything we ship. i catch all this amazing, beautiful fish and then once it's out of my hands, i have no control over what happens to it. if you have a sensor that can keep track of your product, it keeps everybody kind of honest that way.
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it's really all about the network. you are looking at trillions of transactions a year. not too many companies in the world can even scale to that type of volume. who knew a tiny sensor could help keep the food chain safe? food has to be fresh. it's that simple.
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. >> i worked with 30 assistants to the president and i would look to my left and to my right and the only people who were there were folks that didn't look like you and i. there was a lack of diversity that i will acknowledge and at times it was very lonely. >> omarora manigault newman on
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her former working with president trump. >> i feel like she was acting a little brand-new in that particular clip and the reporter looked skeptical like you and i watching that clip. of course there is a lack of diversity in the white house. donald trump stood on national television and said there were fine people on both sides when one side had nazis. so that had minstration is not going to have a lot of diversity and a lot of black people, because they don't want to work for somebody that defends the klu klux klan. so it's surprising to me that omarosa generating this much attention, her firing, maybe she quit, happened on the same day donald jr. testified for nine hours, so perhaps this was one of those times where they were trying to distract us from russia news. i think it's not surprising a former reality star fired a former reality star from the white house and it generated this much buzz, but there are
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more serious issues an this was just an unfortunate spec cal. >> you know, in terms of the exit there and the buzz that zerlina is referring to, it's quite the reaction from the african-american community. let's take a look at this one from robin roberts. >> she says she has a story to tell. i'm sure she will be selling that story. bye, near flish sha. >> she will try to sell a book i'm sure. at the end of the day, the president needs one african-american, at least one at the table. we are an important and powerful constituency, whether the president likes what people of color say or nots, you need to have them in the white house talking to the president. there needs to be a senior adviser and other african-americans in the white house at least bring african-americans into the white house to talk to the president face-to-face. >> you know, michael hud secretary ben carson was
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concerned. take a listen to what he said. >> i would simply say that, you know, we are focused on everybody. and you know in my department at hud i don't think you will find any lack of diversity. and, you know, we just have to stay focused on what the issues are. >> you look at this from a political strategy standpoint, michael, how big an issue do you think this lack of diversity may be for the white house? >> it's huge. anyone that cares about the future of the republican party knows the party has to do more to reach out to african-americans, latinos, asian americans, the lgptq community. we cannot continue to win elections, to run the country relying on the votes of elderly white people. so this is a huge issue and the president is making it harder to make progress. >> look, there is another clip i want to play from omar osa. take a look at this. >> was it a tense conversation? >> absolutely. because i raised issues that i
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had concerns. i had some grave concerns. >> what kind of concerns. >> i talked to him about some concerns they had about issues about one very urgent issue and pressing issue that would affect the president in a big way. >> you do have a theory between the three of you what she was talking there? you are shaking your head? >> i have no idea. i have no idea. >> she is trying to pump a book. that's what it is, wait until my book comes out. i hope i get the same opportunity as omarosa to do what she's doing. >> me too. >> to set the audience up. >> as long as in your book, you don't talk about what i look like in the make-up room early in the morning. all right, you guys, good to see you all, thank you so much republican congressman leonard lance voted no on the tax bill last month. how will he vote tuesday? he will be here in my next hour to answer that.
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