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tv   The Beat With Ari Melber  MSNBC  December 28, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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good evening. mike flynn flipped on trump. then there were leaks trump would flip. you may remember. tonight trump's lawyer denying it all with a pretty big statement on the record saying this is complete nonsense and more fake news. as a response that echoed president trump's rejection of the whole mueller probe. this is public positioning we're getting. we'll bring you more than that. tonight is december 28th. that's not just any night in the flynn saga. in fact it was one year ago today that the obama
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administration announced it was punishing russia for that election interference the election services determined and slapping serious sanctions on russia. so it is pretty interesting, exactly one year later to take a look back which is what we'll do right now. president-elect donald trump was on holiday at his florida resort just like he is now and this is how he reacted that very night. >> generally about sanctions. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think the computers have complicated things very greatly. the whole age of computers has made it where nobody knows what's going on. >> you can see the cameras pulling away from don king holding the american flag. >> a year later we know the public nonchalance, the president saying it is time to move past this which was a reasonable thing to say, it actually concealed these very busy efforts inside the
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transition team which are under investigation. mike flynn rushing to contact the russian ambassador asking him not to escalate the sanctions situation. if mike flynn hadn't made that call and lied about it to the vice president and the fbi, consider that the entire russia probe that is consuming the trump administration and has major criminal exposure, the whole thing might not exist. sally yates might not have testified. and donald trump wouldn't have asked to let the comey investigation go. a matter of now inquiry. all that broke on may 16th. and then a day later this happened. >> breaking news, the justice department is appointing a special counsel to take over the trump campaign/rush investigation. the fbi naming robert mueller as special counsel.
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>> that was big and trump didn't like it. if he or mike flynn could all just go back to exactly one year ago today, you could imagine them not making that phone call to rush or delaying it and avoiding a whole lot of 2017. where is the investigation going now? for now, i bring in a lawyer and mayor of new york city. and jennifer reuben with the "washington post" has written that flynn could implicate any number of trump officials but that it is trump himself who may have the most to lose with his cooperation with mueller. how do you reach that analysis and how does that dove tail with the new details from donald trump's criminal defense attorney saying, no, they won't go after flynn. >> just like in watergate, it is the cover-up, not the crime. in this case the cover-up assumes that michael flynn did something wrong. at least donald trump thought he did something wrong.
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or michael flynn thought he did something wrong. then events played out. he decided in fact he had to fire him. he decided as you said, that he then had to put some leverage. put some weight on then fbi director jim comey. then he decided towed fire james comey. then he decided he had to threaten james comey and on and on and on it went. >> so it is not so much what in any given instance in any particular conversation. it is flynn's existence. the fact that he and donald trump had their relationship and strangely, since donald trump cares about nobody other than donald trump, that he felt so compelled to rush to flynn's assistance. what we don't know is the conversation, whether he was wired. there might be something that
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does truly constitute the smoking gun. we know that he went to the fbi to try to get them to ease up and then he went to the head of the fbi to stop or block or impede the investigation. that's the makings of an obstruction claim and that's where the greatest liability lies. >> and you put your fingers on it. a, there's all there activity. and b, why go to those lengths? why lead to a special counsel? why even be taking a step toward obstruction unless there was something there that was so hot that you wanted to hide. that's how they look at it. i'll go to my other lawyer here. i want to point out, who is doing these denials? john dowd has worked on this before.
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the person make thing claim tonight, oh, no, we would never go after mike flynn is the lawyer who claimed the free styling authorship of one of the most infamous tweets of all time. it was so bad. donald trump doesn't apologize for a lot of tweets. not only did they apologize. they retracted this thing. this was written by donald trump @real donald trump. i had to fire general flynn because he lied to the vice president and the fbi. he pled guilty to those lies. it's a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. that was nothing to hide. >> that would look like the knowledge that nine committed a crime and that's why he was fired. and asking someone to stop an investigation is about as textbook for obstruction as you can get. he didn't write it but came up with it and said it over the
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phone. that's his denial. if you're representing a client who was facing potential criminal charges, and has a penchant for tweeting and has a number of what can only be called grossly inconsistent tweets already on a variety of issues including why he fired comey in the first place. and what he thinks about flynn. very, very positive tweets about flynn in terms of what a lovely, wonderful guy he is. so it is a little sfrank we would both have a tweet from the president admitting that he had knowledge that there was a lie to the fib by a very high ranking official and his administration peflt also found out on january 26th from sally yates, had in fact appeared to have given essentially -- let's say he lied.
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>> yes. >> and that he was compromised and yet it took 18 days for donald trump to take action on michael flynn. >> so i want both of to you stay with me. we're driving toward the other big question. how will congress pick up these threads when they come back to work on this. john, your view on what you've heard from our esteemed panelists. >> first of all on, john dowd, his denial makes zero sense. to say we won't impugn the integrity of michael flynn. whether donald trump or john dowd wrote it, they called him a liar. so the story is a little odd in the first instance in the "washington post" talking about plans to go after flynn's credibility. it is perfectly obvious they're already doing that. so i would set that aside.
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even if john dowd's credibility is hire than it is for the reasons that you mentioned. the second issue, i do think the senate will continue its investigation. it is going to follow through to its conclusion. that's the body. unlike the house which is working pretty hard in a cooperative way. mark warner, richard burr of north carolina, are trying to get to a consensus report. they're working well together. they're talking about issues like is donald trump jr. going to testify publicly having met with committee staff? i don't think anybody invests much hope in the house investigation. that has gone so far off the rails with devin nunez, with the way he has handled this. i'm not sure whether the house is capable of reaching any kind of conclusion that will have bipartisan credibility. >> did you ever see the movie, inception?
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>> i didn't. >> okay. well, there is a concept in the movie where there's a dream state and then a second dream inside the dream. and that's sort of where i think devin nunez is taking it. where he wants an investigation of the investigation in that proverbial second dream state. he doesn't seem the actually want to do underlying investigation. if you saw the movie, it wouldn't help. the movie is as confusing as my description of it. >> he is acting as a fog machine, blocking forward president. the serious investigations in the senate with richard burr and mark warner. mark warner told me they will conclude their investigation this calendar year. i don't know when that will be. he said that he thinks bob mueller will conclude his investigation in this calendar year. >> it will be fascinating.
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>> finally, your thought on where this goes. if you've seen inception, it is up to you. >> i have not seen it but your description gives me everything i need to know. will not. i think no matter what we say no, matter what donald trump says, there is bob mueller grind go away. he has his indictments, witnesses who have flipped. he will find whatever he is going to find and he will issue more indictments for more senior people. he may issue a recommendation for the house to proceed. and i think most of 2018 and in fact election of 2018 is what should the american people do about that? congress won't be ang to take any real action. the voters will get to decide. >> a shoutout to the voters. thank you for being part of our coverage. we have a very big show.
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we are one year in and donald trump's claims. do you go jones gets certified today. >> they left me with a mess. but we're cleaning up the mess. we're cleaning it up. and with time, we'll have it spinning like a top. >> if you watched our show, you know that i'm talk humphrey bogart tonight and the story of donald trump's travel ban. what happened this year and where it is headed, potentially the supreme court next year. and a very important story. we look back at police killed in the line of duty this week. the sibling of a fallen officer joins me. dad promised he would teach me how to surf on our trip. when you book a flight then add a hotel you can save.
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today alabama formally
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certifies, and things cut both ways. it caught a lot of people by surprise but so has the democratic resurgence. as the year comes the a close, who can forget one of the low points when people were literally laughing at the idea of trump winning. it turned stale in 2016 but is now a reality in 2017. >> anybody from the democratic side of the fence who thinks, who is terrified of the possibility of president trump better vote, better get active, better get involved. this guy has some momentum is that we'd better be ready that he might be leading the republican ticket. >> i know you don't believe that but he want to go on. >> ha! laugh all you want. but underestimate the voters' desire for change.
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all kinds of change at your peril. from alabama to blue states, we're seeing demand for blue change which may be why today, president trump is saying the economy is doing great. he cites sales. he also touts rising stocks. by that measure, financial analysts say it rose more in obama's first year than trump's, and he cites jobs although it was better under obama than trump. most politician dozen take credit for a good economy. here's how bill clinton put in it 2012. >> we democrats, we think that country works better with a strong middle class, with real opportunities for poor folks to boring their way into it. who is right? well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the republicans have held the white house 28 years.
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the democrats, 24. in those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private sector jobs. so what is the job score? republicans, 24 million, democrats, 42. >> that is the argument for democrats on the economy. but donald trump suggests today the argument is over. he won and it is now time to thank him. >> thank you for fixing our economy. >> thank you for keeping my family safe. >> thank you for putting america first. >> thank you for supporting israel. >> as veterans, thank you for reminding to us stand for the national anthem. >> i want to bring in the professor in nyu. and howard who served as
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ambassador under barack obama. >> who is right? >> so clearly, donald trump is not responsible for any of this job growth. he will never say thank you to barack obama. he is inheriting really positive things and he will ultimately destroy it because we know he doesn't understand money and he lies and he's the king of bankruptcy. so this new tax policy and all the subsequent policy there's drag down not only the american economy but the american people as well. >> well, donald trump is a master of taking credit and the voters put him in there so there's some truth to it. the thank you ad speaks to the base but i'm not sure what we're getting for it as republicans. >> the ads are part of his branding and that's all he has. branding. he says he's doing a great job and he thinks if he says it long enough, people will believe it.
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he told he signed the most legislation. we have the internet and we know that's not true. he says he has the greatest economy. we can read and we know that's not true. the fact he consistently says things are lives, not false truths. we've never had a president who lies at this level that is so outlandish and we can actually fact check these things. >> you're speaking not only truth to power but also math. so as a republican operative, he seemed to be on this early. to have doubt about all the numbers. take a listen. >> so many people can't get jobs. the unemployment number as you know is totally fiction. don't worry about it. it will take care of itself pretty quickly. >> donald trump is the master of delivering a message and people
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believing it. he delivered a message of change and wash stinks and he got elected. when he says it, the base beliefs it. right now they'll believe the. at a cuts will help. i believe it will some. >> your take on whether reality an undertow here. >> we know what the truth is. we know la donald trump's truth is. but remember, these ads are for an audience of one. by his administration to donald trump who mainly sits in the office or down at mar-a-lago saying doesn't anyone realize how great a president i am? and the administration is forced to say, mr. president, you're doing a great job. the problem will come next year in the mid terms and in 2020 when credibility will matter. who would rather take the truth to toledo, ohio, or to
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allentown, pennsylvania? would you rather be with joe biden or on donald trump? and it is not just numbers for you and your entertainment and to make you feel better. >> i think the ambassador makes a point from beanie severe. the idea that your word is your bond and you have to be believed. she's saying very different. if the message excites people in the base, the truth maybe doesn't matter as much. >> here's the genius of donald trump. he's already facts in question. we know that donald trump will lose something. when the rubber hits the road and list base realizes the schools are crumbling and there is no money due to these tax cuts that will not trickle down. so the safety net is being
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rimmed out. so all these things are being taken away. the only thing they have left is their whiteness and that won't feed their bellies or education their children or keep a roof over their heads. >> when it comes to the tax problems. 72% of people don't itemize their deductions. they'll realize an increase in their paychecks but they'll see a decrease in their tax refunds. but that's what he had to have and the republicans had to have going into the mid terms to make an argument that they've done something in the past year. the only thing they had was gorsuch. we do know that trickle down economics did not help the american people. >> it depends what you call trickle down economics. >> in my tax bracket. the definition of insanity is doing it the sail way. government has gotten too big,
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too large. his base is solid. >> we could seat you together and still have a nice conversation. you're not at the family table yesterd yet. how does the fallout from the travel ban fit into this 1946 classic, casablanca. >> on what ground? >> i'll shocked, shocked to find out gambling is going on in here. >> your wins, sir. >> everybody out at once.
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steyer: the president's national security adviser -- guilty. his campaign chairman -- under indictment. his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians. the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at needtoimpeach.com and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law. a farmer's market.ve what's in this kiester. a fire truck. even a marching band. and if i can get comfortable talking about this kiester, then you can get comfortable using preparation h. for any sort of discomfort in yours. preparation h. get comfortable with it.
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now to my closing comment on 2017. the most come pre hencive legal test was not resolved. it's an important test of how
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far the president's powers go. who gets to be in america and what discrimination means. many of the controversies in this trump era are about what trump said or did or what he can get away with. but this test is broader than trump and the precedent it sets will almost certainly outlive trump. the tests began with a rhe rhetorical shock wave. advocating discrimination. >> donald trump is call for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states until our country's he representatives can figure out what the health is going on. >> at the time, many doubted trump meant the words coming out of his own mouth. but a week into his presidency, the nation witnessed this. >> airports across the country crowded with demonstrators saturday night.
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>> reporter: a lot of people who just feel very upset about this order that has been issued. there are all kinds of signs here. some say deport trump. some say we've been here before. refugees welcome. no ban, no wall. >> this place is almost filled to capacity. easily more than 500 people right now making their voices heard. >> many were upset. within about 48 hours, trump failed that very first test, a judge blocking part of his travel ban. >> the energy has not stopped. the big success they're celebrating is that a federal judge saying that those who have already received legal payments to enter the united states, the documents required legally to come to the u.s., can indeed still come to the united states and will not be sent back to their country of origin.
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>> legal challenges came swiftly over the weekend. more were filed today and still others are in the pipeline. they all say president trump doesn't have the power to do this on his own. >> that was important. the first of several rebugs in the courts. reminders that the vast powers of the presidency are not unilater unilateral. they are subject to supervision. they serve under the limits of our constitution interpreted by independent judges. that's the law. the battle that began in 2017 may be resolved in 2018 because a supreme court may decide whether his revised travel ban is legal. the president has great power, as i reported that weekend. under the president at the time, supreme court judges may withhold part of the travel ban
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if they don't find it is discriminatory. is it likely to be upheld? probably. we can say there is great executive authority. >> it depends on whether it is a security american ourer a illegal discrimination. that's the law. as we take stock of this year, there is more than the law at stake. what about our values? when we debate immigration, we're debating who we are, where we came from and who we want to be. and this falls squarely on the 75th anniversary of what is widely considered one of the greatest american films of all time. the plot turns on the scramble to move migrants and refugees from war torn areas to get to safety in america and introduced audiences to humphrey bogart. he wants to be an island. he won't take sides. he rejects any moral obligation
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to help those migrants to get from danger in morocco to safety. when ingrid bergman asks him to consider the human human prize -- >> i'll not fight go for anything anymore except myself. i'm the only cause i'm interested in. >> that wasn't just a character's selfishness. rick obviously embodied something we've been thinking about here. that recurring strand of american isolationism that says maybe it is better to leave the world's problems alone. the film presents that view sympathetically, at first. plenty of people go through the idea that tackling will problems. but he goes beyond that. he takes a side. he had argued the choices he faces were inconsequential. he told his former lover this. >> where i go, you can't follow.
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what i have to do, you can't have any part of. i'm not noble but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people doesn't amount to a hill of beans. >> he decides the proshs worth fighting for. while it is considered a war movie, when rick intervenes note that it is not through violence. he intervenes for come bastion. she was fleeing the nazis and rick puts his compassion first and imparts a message to ilsa saying she must leave cass blank did with her husband or she will regret it. >> that maybe leaves the ground and you're not with it, you'll regret it. maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon and for the rest of your life. >> rick was sleeping to ilsa. but you don't need to be a film buff to know that he was saying
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it to himself. taking action rather than muddling through with inaction. the parallels today. these issues aren't limited by time. i think they're about human nature, about ethics, and politics, too. and that makes them timeless. there was a time when we thought we could close our doors and look only after ourselves. if our society demagogues looks at anyone who attacks everyone who thinks it might be appealing, it will probably reinforce and heighten these divisive dynamics. humphrey bogart's character endures 75 years later because so many people can relate to where he started. as the american isolationist who wanted to be left alone in this
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dangerous world. and people can relate to where he ultimately landed as an american who helped others, refugees. we're all on this planet together. donald trump may think this debate is partisan but it's not. leaders of both parties have argued protections. it was reagan who first asked to us make america great again and it's no shock that donald trump stole that line while draining it of reagan's immigration substance. reagan had his controversies but he never implemented a tram ban like this. in the end was whether the lose go people have had enough. rick risks his life to get they will on the play and he has never reason to believe he will
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pay the price with freedom. then the classic closing. >> that 10,000 francks should pay out expenses. >> i think this is beginning of a beautiful friendship. >> 2017 was hard in many ways. we know that. it is even harder to keep an open mind to friendship and compassion. and we know that compassion means recognizing the humanity of people we like and people we disagree with. we could use a little more of that in 2018.
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prevagen is the number one selling brain-health supplement in drug stores nationwide. prevagen. the name to remember. a lot changed and left people, is free speech really in danger or are we overreacting to drama and hyperbole? the trump administration not the first to tangle with the press. in year one alone it has been led by a president censoring and banning citizens. taking up the orwellian ban on words themselves. and white house staff proclaiming citizens should not question the authority of trump or his aides. >> the powers of the president to protect our country are very
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substantial and will not be questioned. >> we are reviewing policies for affecting subpoena. we will give them respect but it is not unlimited. they cannot place lives at risk with impugnity. >> if you want to go after general kelly, that's up to you. if you want to get into a debate with a four star marine general, i think that's something highly inappropriate. >> so how does this record compare to history? on "the beat" this year, one expert said trump was the worst president for free speech since adams. which is saying something. my next guest literally runs the institute on free speech. they're tell a federal court because of the way the president uses the account, the public is basically being its right to speak in a public forum. he is a veteran of the aclu. thanks for being here.
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is this president worse than most you've encountered on free speech? >> i don't think there's any question that this administration is more hostile to free speech than any in recent memory. i think we see this in the administration's focus leak investigations, you see it in the president's willingness to block people from his twitter page for criticizing him. >> take the twitter page where you are in this fight. there are people who say don't be a snow flake. calm down. you can write what you want on the internet. the film side is that when it comes to your rights, this would be no different than the government kicking you out of a town hall event. >> that's right. if this were an analog case, it would involve a physical if town hall and a government official
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standing at the front of the room and kicking somebody out physically on the basis of their he comment on government policy. >> and the legal term for that is it is messed up. >> that's a first amendment term of art. >> i want to ask you when we study the bill of rights, the constitution bans it. but there are others that are really chilling. i want to show general kelly, who people respect for his service. do something i've never seen another administration do in who he thought could question him. ? does anyone here know a gold star paramount sibling?
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who knows a gold star person. >> i don't think this is a legitimate quality to use. i think that is part of a large er hostile questioning and hostile attempts. >> do you think it is a mood or a strategy? >> it's part of a strategy to degrade public debate, to core owed public confidence in public facts. it involves attack the media. you see many institutions thriving despite or even because of those attacks. but i think that there will be long term implications for public debate in this country.
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>> then the question becomes, does the thriving that you refer to, civic thriving or journalistic thriving. >> as i mentioned, we have a report on police killed in the line of duty this year. a sister of an nypd police detective killed this year joins me next. liberty mutual stood with me when this guy got a flat tire in the middle of the night, so he got home safe. yeah, my dad says our insurance doesn't have that.
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every year we look at each officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty. we speak to their families about their memories. each picture you see is the face of an officer who lost their life this year protecting their community. new data shows these fatalities are down this year while crime in new york has fallen to a record low. the levels of seen since the 1950s. in a moment i'll speak with the
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president of the law enforcement officer memorial fund who track this is step. he says the falling crime rate does go hand in hand with fatalities. it goes with the ambush attacks. officers killed in ambush attacks peaked at 21, the highest in two decades. that dropped this year. the numbers are only a small part of the story. these are real people with of course real families. as we reflect on those who serve, we think it is important to hear from them. now a single parent to their 4-year-old daughter, she told us she still remembers the time his shift would ends and says i'm waiting on him to return home and he's not returning. the families of the eight
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officers whose lives were stolen, it remains very raw. this woman was shot in a fatal attack. she was the first female nypd officer killed since the 9/11 attacks. a gunman approached and murdered her to a shot to her head. her sister said she hopes the detectives here will be remembered and that her sister be remembered for her spunk and her contagious smile joins me now. first of all, thank you for being here for this discussion. >> thank you for having me. >> what do you remember about your sister? what do you want people to know? >> well, i want the people to remember her by her spunk, her personality, the love for life, that contagious, contagious laugh that she had, that smile
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and those big, brown eyes. she had a heart. she loved everyone. >> as you're speaking, we're looking at some of the pictures that your family shared to think about her, you know, during her life. how did she come to decide to be an officer? >> well, when we were younger, you know, we grew up in watkins glen and the streets were always the streets. my brother franklin was the one that wanted to become a police officer and because of his asthma he didn't qualify. she felt in her heart, she felt that she needed to be out there for the people and she needed to defend the neighborhoods and defend the kids and defend the single moms and it was something that just came from inside of her. it was something that grew from inside of her. >> how did she like the job?
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>> she loved her job. she loved her job. she loved her co-workers. she called them her family. you know, she loved going to -- she worked at the family court at one time and loved working with those ladies there. and then when she felt in her heart that she needed to go back to the 46 precinct, she just kept saying, i need to go back home. i need to go back home. i always thought it was back home but i didn't know that it was back to her family, the 46 precinct. >> we were talking earlier about her shifts. why was she working at night? >> her decision was that she wanted to be there for her kids, the twins, peter and delilah. she wanted to be there when they were -- when it was time to take them to school, she wanted to be the one to take them to school. when it was time to pick them up from school, she wanted to be the one to pick them up from school. she wanted to be there for them, and this is the reason why she
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chose that time frame. >> and what do you tell them about their mom? >> i tell them when i do speak to them, you know, that she loved them, which they know, all three of them know that, and that, you know, her heart was theirs. and she just -- she just flourished when she saw them progressing and building something with their lives and knowing and seeing them going away to college in europe was like her joy and watching, you know, peter and delilah growing up to be wonderful, wonderful children. they never gave her any problems, and it was just a joy. and i always, you know, remember that my sister was a reflection of who my mother is. and whenever i would see her struggling to make things better for her kids, it reflected memories to me of how my mother
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struggled to make our lives better. >> and, finally, how is the police community nypd been for you through this? >> i definitely want to thank the 46 precinct, the 50th precinct, scott stein, jose puedro, chief rivera from the 46, officer rivera, all her friends from the courts, the family courts. they've all been there for the kids. they've been there for us when we were at our -- our lowest point in our lives with this tragedy, but they're there still for the kids and that's what's most important for us. they've been a family to these kids, and that's what we are so appreciative as a family unit. we are so appreciative that they have this support from the nypd. >> mercedes, i only got to meet you from talking about this story, and i really admire the way you're dealing with something that's obviously very
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difficult. >> thank you so much. thank you for having me. >> of course. i want to turn to as promised the president of the national law enforcement memorial fund craig floyd. craig, you just heard from mercedes. you lead this work. we've reported on this story with your organization's information before. walk us through how you view this. >> well, let me start by saying i'm so glad you had detective famelia's sister on because we must always honor and remember the fallen officers. we must always do everything possible to make it safer for the officers on the street that continue to serve, but we also must never forget the families who have been left behind and i'm afraid too often we take those families for granted. >> briefly, why do you think the crime is down in some cities? >> i think we're all working better together. law enforcement and the public that they serve. that's such an important ingredient of public safety. it's a partnership. we all have a shared
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responsibility to help keep our commune be knit tis safe, make them better places to live. that's what our officers want. that's why they became law enforcement professionals, but they need the support, the cooperation, the communication of the citizens they serve, and we're seeing that more and more this year. i believe that's one of the main reasons crime is down and why fewer officers have lost their lives. >> my thanks again to mercedes and to craig floyd. i appreciate your time. we will be right back. whoooo.
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steyer: the president's national security adviser -- guilty. his campaign chairman -- under indictment.
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his son-in-law -- secret talks with russians. the director of the fbi -- fired. special counsel robert mueller's criminal investigation has already shown why the president should be impeached. you can send a message to your representatives at needtoimpeach.com and demand they finally take a stand. this president is not above the law.
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i have one more programming note for you as we reflect on this very busy year. we have our full year ender special on "the beat" tomorrow. it has some of the best moments of the year. a look at what bob mueller taught donald trump with analysis and a collection of some of the worst dad jokes i've told on air. my producers made us make a reel. i'm not joking but it is about jokes. that's tomorrow 6:00 p.m. eastern. please check it out. our show's over. "hardball" with chris matthews starts now. flipping on flynn? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm steve kornacki in for chris matthews who's on vacation. the president's lawyers are responding to the washington post report that the president may ultimately turn on his former national security

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