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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  January 2, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST

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ma tellt matell created this girl with the hopes of her becoming the first person to land on mars. and my daughter may have changed the game and her hopes of getting an american girl doll with luciana in the mix, she just might get one. that. >> wraps us up this hour. i'm stephanie ruhle. coming up, more news with my friend hallie jackson who is not an astronaut, but i do think she's out of the world. >> i do believe she deserves the late christmas present, the american girl doll. >> she's a good one. president donald trump is back home here in washington, back to work and back on twitter in a big way. but he and congress got to move fast with deadlines on the budget coming up and talks on the border on infrastructure, on immigration, all have to be hammered out in what is now an election year. and what about that 2018 buzz word, bipartisanship? especially with democrats already chipping away at the new
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tax law. we're talking about that and the movement on the korean peninsula. overnight action, potentially, next week happening at the dmc. talking between the north and the south, the wedge that could drive between the u.s. and seoul if that actually happens. plus, what are the chances that pyongyang competes in the winter olympics? spoiler alert, slim to none. and california is riding high in 2018. as of this week, it is now legal to buy pot for fun. so if the golden state is going green, why is the black market not going away? our jacob zoberoff is joining us later in the show. but first we'll go to kristen welker standing by at the white house. and kristen, the president is waking up just behind you for the first time in a week and a half, back home in d.c. after the holidays in south florida. nation's capital, frozen, literally, also politically. so how is the president planning to, let's say, thaw relations over the next few months? >> reporter: well, i think
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you're going to see some arm-twisting behind the scenes, hallie. and happy new year to you. but we'll see the attempt at the bipartisan outreach begin tomorrow when the onb director nick mulvaney is going to sit down with congressional leaders, democrats and republicans and try to tackle some of those big issues you just talked about. the government's going to run out of money in about three weeks. so at the top of the list, how to overt a government shutdown. and also the thorniest issue, immigration. democrats want to deal with the dreamers issue. president trump showing a potential willingness to work with them, but he wants funding for his border wall. of course, the big question is, will democrats work with the president. so far they haven't really shown a willingness to do so. and as you said, hallie, this is 2018. so those midterm elections are looming. there are other big issues they want to address, everything from welfare reform to infrastructure reform. that is something the democrats want to get done.
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but again, will this partisan gridlock break? that's the big question. and republicans have one less vote in the senate now, hallie. >> kristen, i want to stick to the topic of more on the president's agenda coming up. but i have to ask you about the tweet he sent this morning raising a lot of eyebrows. apparently, we don't know this, but he could be watching "fox & friends" and is tweeting about something that was on the show. fill us in. >> reporter: well, bottom line, this underscores the extent to which the russia probe is still getting under the president's skin. today this tweet really aimed at trying to turn the page, trying to say, look, forget about the russia probe, focus on what is really important. go after my political rivals. he tweeted, crooked hillary clinton's top aid huma abedin has been accused of disregarding basic security protocols. she put classified passwords into the hands of foreign agents. remember, sailors pictures on submarine? jail! deep state justice department
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must finally act? also on comey and others. not the first time he's called for the justice department to investigate hillary clinton and her allies. one of the few times we have heard him refer to the deep state. and those e-mails that he mentioned from huma abedin were released last week after a freedom of information act request. but they are the same e-mails, hallie, that the fbi said it was reviewing at the end of the 2016 race and ultimately determined didn't rise to a criminal level. so a lot here. and the president clearly trying to turn the page away from the russia probe, even as he and his top aides here are trying to focus on his agenda as well, hallie. >> kristen welker at the white house north lawn. welcome back. see you there later on. and capitol hill correspondent kasie hunt is back from vaca. congress is coming back, too, but they have a deadline for the budget in a couple weeks. and they have still not returned from recess in their state. so where do things stand when they get back to town tomorrow? >> reporter: happy new year to you, hallie. from the perspective of
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congress, the new year feels a lot like the old one because we are right back in the middle of trying to figure out how how solve a crisis around government funding, spending, that big battle that they essentially just set aside at the end of their last -- at the end of last year. so they have to pass a budget now by january 19th or at least pass another spending bill of some kind to avoid a government shutdown. remember there is still all of those kids on the chip program, funding for that got extended until march, but they still want to try and do a permanent reauthorization about it. obviously, there are a lot of families waiting on them to do that. and they have to decide what to do about obamacare. do they actually prop up those insurance markets or does that turn into a political impossibility? then, of course, you have dreamers. another 800,000-plus kids waiting to find out what they're going to be able to do before march when that program ends. mitch mcconnell, the senate majority leader has said, he'll put something on the floor of the senate if they can get some kind of a deal. and that is really just the beginning of this very long
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list. and it does sound like there's a little bit of a difference in approach coming from the opposite sides of capitol hill. i think that will be an interesting dynamic to watch coming up. so far, you have seen paul ryan and mitch mcconnell be basically on the same page, but now ryan is having a same conversation about entitlement reform. mitch mcconnell essentially saying there's no way we're going to do that. we need to work with democrats. they are not interested in that kind of a project. we'll see if the president decides to go for the infrastructure bill where he might be able to get some democrats, but shaping up to be a pretty tough year already. and this is what, january 2nd? hallie? >> yes, happy 48 hours in. kasie hunt live for us there. kasie, appreciate it. with us, we have dave hoppy, our panel for the next 55 minutes, two reporters who cover the held, kelsey snell of npr and molly hooper from "the hill." thank you for being here. dave, we'll start with you. the to-do list that kasie is talking about is certainly lengthy. there's a budget dilemma here.
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the other dilemma with the deadline is what to do with daca. that one in early march. so if donald trump does hold firm that a daca deal has to include the border wall, does this get out of the starting gate? >> there's more issues than the wall. >> yeah. >> you have to line them up in terms of timeliness and order. the first thing is to get the government funded. >> that deadline is first, january 19th. right. >> that probably does not allow enough time for a daca deal to be done. >> before january 19th, right. >> it sounds very difficult. having said that, the democrats are going to say, we won't provide you any votes for keeping the government running unless you give us daca. but daca has several issues. it is not just the wall. there's citizenship issues, chain migration issues, these are things which you can find solutions to, but all people, all sides have to be ready to compromise here. republicans have to allow all of these people to stay. do they have to allow them to be full citizenship or not? that's another question and a very difficult one. the democrats are going to want
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that, but are the republicans going to be able to give on that? or is there going to be a middle ground for both sides? >> and the president, obviously, tweeting about this, talking with some of the issues you brought up, chain migration and others, but when you talk about the idea for a compromise, kelly o'connell was out this morning and didn't sound like she was talking compromise. here's what she had to say. >> she's made very clear that there is no deal on daca unless the wall is built, unless there is funding for the wall. he's made this very clear. >> molly? >> well, actually, it is interesting, i have talked to some republicans more moderate republicans who have said, okay, we're probably not going to be able to build a whole border wall, partially because of environmental laws and you can't build places along the border. >> and eminent domain. >> you just hate that, right? that said, there are portions of the wall down on the southern border in disrepair that need to be built up, they need to be fortified and reconfigured. and if donald trump, this is why it is interesting that donald
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trump's chief of staff john kelly is not meeting with the key foreign congressional officials on monday, but nick mulvaney and mark short, it is interesting because if there's a way that congress can right this so that it looks like, okay, i'm getting a border wall -- >> border security is becoming a key word here. >> border security and building up portions of the wall, hey! the border wall. >> and democrats are not necessarily against that. that is something they have agreed to in the past. they don't want new wall, they don't want new border agents, but they have been pretty open to some other options. >> the difference between -- 2018 looks a lot like 2017, but there's going to have to be a difference. based on the rules of what is happening on the hill, you have to have democrats on board if you are a republican. there's not going to be a lot to pass on party lines. >>. a lot of the things have to be done in regular order. the things they did on party line were done under reconciliation or tried under reconciliation. >> do they have a shot to be able to get democrats on board
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when republicans are not looking -- they are looking at a slimmer margin. doug jones getting sworn in meaning one fewer republican in the senate. >> now you need nine as opposed to eight. and you may lose republicans here and there and may need more than nine democrats. but there are a range of issues here. if you are really going to solve parts of this problem, you have to go beyond just the border wall, which is a very important pa part, and the president made it an important part, but you have to go beyond that because other issues are brought in here. if you can find that compromise, can actually solve a longer-term problem than just funding the wall and daca. it can be the basis for a longer-term immigration. >> step back for a second. i look at this more broadly. when you talk about policy issues to get done, daca is among them. the immigration program protects 800,000 young immigrants brought to the country when younger, but this year is overshadowed by the midterms. not just by the russia investigation, but it is an election year. these people have to go to the
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polls and voters come november, and there are 124 planned days of actual work this year. even as these men and women are working on getting elected here. >> just that it is interesting, in keeping that midterm in mind, there are at least 34, 35 republican that is wrote to the gop leaders ahead of $in t-- in middle of december to say, we need to do something about daca and the dreamers. as david knows, you won't get all the conservatives or liberals. >> david knows that well, right. >> and the thing is, is the reason why this funding bill is so important because there's a lot of concern, as you know, who don't like to vote for any funding. >> there's no reason they have to do a long-term spending bill in january. they could kick it down the road another month to give themselves more time. that's a much easier thing to do and something they don't -- >> but you run into the defense hawks. >> we have been running into defense hawks on this for years. >>. that's true, but the further you go into the year, the tougher it
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gets for the defense department. and it is much tougher to do these on a month-by-month basis. so this will bring up other issues and make it more difficult to get some of those fairly hard core conservatives to vote for another three weeks or four. >> i want your quick final thoughts, dave, bottom line, end of 2018, flash flood 363 days from now, will president trump and the republicans have more than one major legislative accomplishment to point to in 2018 or no? >> i think they will. >> what will it be? >> i think there's a possibility of doing something on infrastructure. but you're going to have to do it differently than it was done nine years ago where president obama said it failed and there weren't enough shovel-ready projects. you have to involve the private sector. there has to be some market interest in these projects. that's what trump is looking at. if they can do that, there are things to happen on health care as well. >> dave hoppy, great to have you on the show. coming up next, the surprise
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diplomacy between north korea and south korea as we learn overnight that the two countries are open to talks right before the winter olympics. what all this could mean for washington and seoul not long after the new nuclear threats from pyongyang. that's next.
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so for the first time in more than two years, north and south korea said they are willing to do something most neighbors nations do, talk.
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kim george u.jong-un said he wa seriously thinking about sending olympic skaters to the olympics in pyongyang. now i want to bring in pentagon correspondent hans nichols joining me live. and molly snell is also here. >> reporter: hallie, good morning. from the president, we had a mixture of sanctions and how they work. they could be forcing kim jong-un to the negotiating table mixed with a bit of an insult. but also the possibility, he didn't rule it out, we have to say, look at the president's tweet. here's what he said. sanctions and other pressures are beginning to have a big impact on north korea. soldiers are dangerously fleeing to south korea. rocket man now wants to talk to south korea for the first time. perhaps that is good news, perhaps not, we will see. we just heard from secretary
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mattis at that point. every time you ask someone here at the pentagon what options are being thought of, what they are considering, they always say this is a diplomatically led effort. >> how likely is it to have open-ended talks between north korea and south korea? >> from the u.s. side, if you take tillerson's word, and it is not consistent with the message from the administration, but tillerson has always talked about wanting negotiations. where the difference is on what sort of preconditions you have there. you have seen tillerson say no preconditions. but generally that doesn't seem to be the case. that's been walked back by a variety of white house officials and state department officials. it seems to me that the general view inside the administration is that you can have talks as long as there is some sort of pause on the north side in terms of testing nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles. >> can you hash out here, hans, the olympic effect on this?
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wouldn't this all be happening if we weren't a month out from the winter games? >> reporter: so you started hearing before the olympics from the south korean side that you would have some sort of pause of military operations to give the breathing space that secretary tillerson thinks that you might need. here's the issue, the u.s. side has always been skeptical and reluctant to call it an actual pause. so even though we have formally heard it from the south korean government, that they would like a tactical pause of the joint military operations, the u.s. side is really declining to call it a pause. they are just saying, it's a bit of a tactical delay. it's that ambiguity that could lead to space. >> i want to bring in my panel on this. lindsey graham said, allowing kim jong-un to participate in the winter olympics would give legitimacy to the most illegitimate regime on the planet. i'm confident if south korea
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will reject this absurd overture and fully believe that if north korea goes to the winter olympics, we do not. >> he's trying to put out the idea that this will not be acceptable to a lot of people on the hill. >> ditto. >> what she said. there is a question of whether south korea and north korea talk whether this drives a wedge between seoul and south korea. do you see that happening? >> reporter: well, you saw that when president moon was elected. and you saw it with the tests from the north, you saw both the u.s. and japan and south korea trying to put on a unified front. the difference is a potential for a wedge. a wedge may be too strong, but there's a little daylight. and it is difficult to see how successful of negotiations you have had on the u.s. and korean side if they are not totally on the same page. we'll see whether or not a new ambassador actually gets confirmed so the u.s. has formal
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representation at the highest level in seoul. >> good point, hans nichols, always a pleasure to have you on. the first time in 2018, of many, i know. hang out for a couple minutes longer, we want to talk about the democratic leaders in the high-tech states trying to soften the blow of the new tax law of the people they hope to represent. that sets up states versus the feds. so what are these creative changes they may try to make? and how could it maybe mean more money in the pockets of voters? that is next.
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we are back now with a look at the morning headlines. millions of people across the country are heading back to work this morning in the cold. it is real cold, i get that it is january, but this is unusually cold. deadly cold, in fact, with at least eight people freezing to death across six states. even places like texas and louisiana are dealing with temperatures below freezing. and this wicked cold front will be tick sticking around a little while longer. in costa rica, investigators are trying to figure out why exactly that plane crashed on new year's eve killing ten americans. the single-engine plane crashed right off takeoff including five victims from one family from new york and a family of four from
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florida. the officials released a statement saying they are working with authorities to figure out the cause of the crash. and former fox news host gret gretchen carlson will be the new lead board member of miss america. she was a former miss america back in 1989 and one of the leading voices against workplace sexual harassment ever since her 2016 lawsuit against former fox head roger ailes. lawmakers in high-tax states are trying to figure out plans to get around the changes, particularly the change that limits that popular deduction for state and local property taxes. so, what are they trying to do? for "the new york times," these lawmakers could try to take state income taxes, which are now only deductible up to $10,000, and replace them with payroll taxes on employers, which are deductible.
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here's another option, it would let people replace the state income tax payments with charitable donations that are tax deductible to the state governments. i'm joined now by california senate pro-tem kevin delion. thank you for being with us. tell us why you think this will work and what the prospects are. >> first of all, hallie, hello from california. this is a highly unusual pro tax policy. but this is unique in policy because we have a sitting president that has intentionally gone out of his way to hurt states that voted overwhelmingly against his presidency. here in california, easily by a margin of two-to-one, politics is fueled by bigotry as well as massageny. so we have a tax law that could devastate the law in california. so we are trying to be creative and innovative. my attempt, when we return
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tomorrow, is to produce legislation that will allow californians to provide a charitable contribution to the city of california. in turn, what they can do is take a deduction, a federal deduction, which would be 100% tax credit. it is a work-around against this draconian measure that has stated the local tax and state deductions in california. >> it's a work-around that some legal experts that we have talked to said, man, that will be potentially problematic here given this does set up california versus the state federal government here. should california consider legal challenges to the new tax law instead? >> well, hallie, let me say this. all options are on the table, but this is not new to california because we have led the resistance when it comes to climate change, when it comes to the environment, when it comes to immigration. and protecting our residents, and helping to grow our economy, so fighting and resisting donald
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j. trump is nothing new to us. so if we litigate this in a court of law or move policy, we'll do everything we can to protect taxpayers. >> is this more about resistance and the political optics of this for you? >> no, hallie, this is about protecting california taxpayers. the average deduction for california taxpayers using the state and local tax deduction is 22,000 dollars. when donald trump and republicans gave a hard cap at $10,000, that is a big blow to the taxpayers of california. we are the sixth largest economy in the world. we are america's economic engine. when you hurt the state like california, you hurt the rest of america for every dollar that we contribute -- go ahead. >> i want to get to the idea of the optics of this, right? because, you know, there's a supremacy clause that our legal team will automatically pre-empt any state law that tries to legislate in areas controlled by federal law. so how do you get around that?
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and if you can't, is this resisting for the sake of resisting? >> no, it's not resisting for the sake of resisting. let me underscore the following point that i made a few moments ago. california is the sixth largest economy in the world. we are the nation's economic engine. you can't hurt california taxpayers without hurting the country as a whole. so we are not resisting just for political optics. we are -- it's my role and responsibility as a leader of the senate to protect california taxpayers. we will litigate and see what the courts have to say ultimately, but we are moving forward with our own policies in california again to affect the california taxpayer. if donald trump and the administration attempts to unilaterally through the executive action revoke our authority by moving forward with this policy, you will hurt other red states such as florida, who have used novel approaches as well, similar to california. >> okay. kevin deleon, thank you for joining us on this snow to talk
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it through. appreciate it. coming up, we want to talk about the violent protests in iran that show no sign of slowing down as demonstrators clash with police. now the country's supreme leader is making his voice heard. coming up, we'll talk about how this could affect relations between the u.s. and iran as president trump throws his support behind the protesters. t , until you taste our new menu. discover more ways to enjoy seafood with new tasting plates small plates, with big flavor- like yucatan shrimp covered in chili-lime butter and caramelized pineapple. and if you like hot, buttery maine lobster, get your hands on this petite red lobster roll. for new entrees, explore globally-inspired dishes like dragon shrimp with a spicy soy-ginger sauce. with so many new dishes and all the classics you crave, what are you waiting for? come taste what's new at red lobster.
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demonstrations. here's what the president said, the people of iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt iranian regime. all of the money that president obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their pockets. the people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. the u.s. is watching. the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu also seeming sympathetic to the demonstrators. >> brave iranians are pouring into the streets seeking freedom, they seek justice, they seem the basic liberties denied to them for decades. iran's cruel regime wastes tens of billions of dollars spreading hate. this money could have built schools and hostiles. no wonder mothers and fathers are marching in the streets. >> nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley is following developments from the bureau in london. matt, put the president's tweet in perspective and explain what we are hearing from iran's supreme leader for the first time since the protests started.
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>> reporter: that's right, hallie. he has broken his silence as iran enters the sixth day of this crisis that has left more than 20 people dead and hundreds wounded. and now arrested. so he's the supreme leader of iran and really has the final say in any political decision. and what has alarm sod many iranians and observers of iran about these latest protests is that the demonstrators started to attack the ayatollah himself. he's considered beyond approach in iranian politics. so in the comments today, he echoed some other senior iranian officials and blamed the protests on the enemies of iraq. there's no other evidence so far with foreigners behind the latest demonstrations. it feeds to cold war
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conspiracies. and he also tried to claim kinship between what is going on now and the iran/iraq war in the 1970 revolutions. all of which he's trying to say the clerics in iran are a continuation of the victories. so president trump himself is also playing something of a blame game here. he's accusing president barack obama, of course, his predecessor, as you mention in the tweet, of, quote, foolishly giving money to the iranian regime as part of the 2015 nuclear deal. but a quick fact check on that, hallie, the u.s. didn't give money to the iranian regime. they defrosted hundreds of millions of dollars that the u.s. had frozen way back in 1979. that was when the current iranian leadership came to power against the u.s. so barack obama and other leaders who inked the deal, they lifted a lot of sanctions against iran, that's one of the reasons why the protests have started. because people were expecting the economic windfall that they didn't get.
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hallie? >> matt bradley reporting for us from london. thank you. i'm joined by middle east expert from the john hopkins school of international studies and former senior adviser to richard holbrooke. back with me, kelsey snell and molly hooper. they are reporting that the state department is considering the new sanctions on iran, potentially, if the government cracks down on the protests. do you see that happening? and what would the impact of the sanctions be? >> well, definitely the administration will have to put some kind of a force behind this rhetoric. but it will not help president rouhani. matt is correct, part of the anger in iran is that there was a promise that the nuclear deal would bring foreign investment to iran that would create jobs and improve the economy. that hasn't happened. now it has them turning against the regime leader and against president row hauhani himself.
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so tightening this would only make the economic situation worse. >> the situation is developing in iran here. pakistan says the un ambassador had a response to president trump. pakistan is an anti-terror ally has given free to u.s. land and air communications, military base and intel cooperation that decimated al qaeda over the last 16 years, but they have given us nothing but invective and mistrust. they overlook cross-border safe havens of terrorists who murder pakistanis. so what is going to be the impact here, if, in fact, the president does cut off aid to pakistan? >> the pakistanis are thinking that the united states is once again going to leave them in the cold, having gone from what they wanted. and much like iran, the president's rhetoric is only
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convincing these governments to be more intransient and to increase the u.s. pressure. they are not going to buckle because the president is tweeting. in fact, the embarrassing thing from the republics is likely for them to lash out. >> we saw president trump offering praise to pakistan. so what changed? >> they have guarded intelligence in a counter terrorism effort that pakistan has gotten worse and always brings pakistan into the limelight. but the president now has been briefed that pakistanis are not as cooperative, but instead of engaging pakistan in a more systemic way through the diplomatic channels, he's doing it publicly. and that forces the pakistanis to react publicly. and i think they are also going to threaten the administration much more directly, that we can't cooperate less than we
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have, and if you're not going to give us aid and if you're going to embarrass us, we will give less intelligence and you're going to have a harder time fighting over there. >> thank you very much for joining us here for your perspective. appreciate it. coming up after the break, we're talking about what is happening at home. folks in california kicking off the new year with a new kind of business. recreational pot now legal out there. but while businesses are starting to see green, so to speak, part of the industry is still under the table. we're going to have a live report to talk about what is changing and what may not, next. it's the phillips' lady!
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as of this week, california is turning over a new leaf, so to speak. it is now legal to buy pot there for fun. you don't need a medical card anymore, so it means the state is now the largest legal marijuana marketplace in the world. but it does not mean that the black market is going away. msnbc's jacob soberoff is here with his part one of the week-long series "gold rush." i'm not going to lie to you, earlier i saw you on the "today" show in a hair net. and now you don't have a hair net and i'm bummed about it. >> the hair net was a little bit of a problem, as you can imagine. i had to take it off. it is a pretty fascinating time out here in california.
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starting yesterday in certain parts of the state and now today in los angeles, you can get this stuff. gold old marijuana flowers and all kinds of stuff, vape pens, patches, more vape pens, fruit slabs, whatever that is, honey, oils, with just your driver's license out here in the state of california. that's the big change, but an even bigger one is what marijuana is going to do to the california economy. the sixth largest economy in the entire world. take a look at this. this is how marijuana's been traditionally grown for sale in california. these are some big ones in here. illegally and in secret. >> this is typical of organized crime. >> reporter: the state's nearly $6 billion marijuana black market isn't going away any time soon. because it supplies up to 80% of america's illegal weed. but recreational legalizations created pot gold rush in california. >> this is definitely the one you're looking for.
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>> reporter: officials and investors hope california's $2 billion medical pot industry will expand quickly and put the black market out of business. researchers say legal pot could be worth as much as $5 billion this year. medmen, california's biggest medical dispensary chain with five locations, aims to expand statewide thanks to recreational sales. can you see more locations like this throughout the state once fully passed january 1st? >> absolutely. every single street corner. >> reporter: this is going to quadruple by customers wanting to know exactly what they're getting. when you walk into a restaurant, they have nutritional information, that's the idea, you're replicating that experience? >> correct, yes. if you're going to have marijuana be legal in this country, that's the only way this is going to work. the difference between the guy who sells pot to you on the street corner in a little baggie and a store like this is exactly this. if you want that information. >> reporter: that's also true of the fastest growing segment of the medical cannabis industry, vape pens.
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>> i don't have to know what strain is in these. they tell me exactly what i'm getting, which is really smart. >> reporter: which one of these do you like the most? >> my favorite one is police. it is pretty self-explanatory. >> reporter: when cannabis pioneer be real founded the group cyprus hill, there were no vape pens or fancy dispensaries. >> it was definitely taboo in the beginning. when we first put out the record in '91, there were a lot of people that were going to jail with mere possession. obviously, as stoners, we didn't think that was right and didn't want that happening to us. and there was a lot of propaganda against the cannabis culture at that point. so, you know, we sort of helped to tear that down. >> reporter: what do you think about how far things have come? >> it is extraordinary, to be quite honest. >> reporter: so you have three cameras set up for live shoots. eight years ago he founded be real tv. >> you are one of the reefer kings, man. >> reporter: an online network devoted to music and cannabis. >> fortunately, this caught for
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us. in the beginning, we had to make calls and say, hey, you know, can so-and-so come down and do an interview with us. >> reporter: now people want to be booked on your show. >> now people want to be booked on the show. and now people call us. >> reporter: the most popular show on be real tv is "the smoke box" where celebrities smoke marijuana in be real's car. >> are we going to smoke up this whole -- >> we are going to smoke up the whole car. >> oh, wow, this is a beauty. so with full legalization, will this become a stop on the movie-promoting circuit and the politicians will stop by? >> i would hope so. >> reporter: who is your dream "smoke box"? >> well, obviously to have obama in there. >> reporter: obama. >> but i don't know if obama could hang in there. that would be a little bit too much. >> reporter: is it still too taboo? >> who knows, man. these days, i think everything is up for grabs. i mean, when you look at who is president right now, i mean, you can't put anything past
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anything. >> reporter: i don't think he or jeff sessions will be sitting in "the smoke box". >> that would be so awesome because i would get them so hammered. >> reporter: hallie, this is an ounce of the good old sticky icky marijuana flower. this is all the marijuana you can buy if you walked into medmen here in california. to be real, this stuff is still federally very illegal. schedule one controlled substance. the attorney general has not indicated he will enforce those federal laws here in california or across the country, but a lot of people are certainly worried about that. but again, the bigger question for entrepreneurs is who is going to make it and who is not? there are a lot of players out here in the newly legal cannabis economy out here. >> no chance jeff sessions ends up in the smoke box, my friend. thank you for that reporting. >> reporter: i don't think so either. we want to come back to talk about how the lights are off for more than half the people in puerto rico months after hurricane maria.
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and thousands of these off-the-grid homes on the island mean many of the people are not eligible for government money. so we look at what is behind the problem and what is being done to help, next. d to their breeding grounds. except for these two fellows. this time next year, we're gonna be sitting on an egg. i think we're getting close! make a u-turn... u-turn? recalculating... man, we are never gonna breed. just give it a second. you will arrive in 92 days. nah, nuh-uh. nope, nope, nope. you know who i'm gonna follow? my instincts. as long as gps can still get you lost, you can count on geico saving folks money. i'm breeding, man. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. but can also loweresterol, your body's natural coq10. qunol helps restore this heart-healthy nutrient with 3x better absorption. qunol has the #1 cardiologist recommended form of coq10 qunol, the better coq10.
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more than three months after hurricane maria ripped through puerto rico, nearly half of people there still do not have electricity. that's according to a new statement from the government of power provider there. we still don't know definitively how many people died during and after the storm.
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but we do know that hundreds of thousands of puerto ricans have left the island to start a new life. on this show, we brought you all the stories. and today we're bringing you another one, one to show you layered the crisis is. politico, have you seen this? a stunning new report on what they call puerto rico's squatter population. tens of thousands of people who have been living illegally on abandoned land for generations who have no access or limited access to federal aid at all. politico reports that more than half, more than half of puerto rico's houses are considered informal. that's a euphemism for illegally constructed. and the report is that one in five of the homes are built on private or government land. so the bottom line here? those folks have no proof of ownership. and in most cases, that means they are not eligible for help from fema. so what is next? the author of the piece, loraine is here with us. an incredibly powerful piece. give us a breakdown of how we
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got here. why are there so many people falling through the cracks like this? >> well, this has been an age-old problem in puerto rico. some of the families have been living in the communities literally for generations. the squatter movement actually started as a quasi political movement back in the '50s and '60s when the island was transitioning from the agricultural to industrial economy. there was no housing for people in the cities. and so they just built on open land. and they called themselves rescuers of the land. land that needed to be used and they are using it. >> hud did not respond to your questions for the story, but based on your reporting and other people you have spoken with, how are officials, how are authorities planning to fix this? how high is this on their priority list? >> well, for puerto rican officials, it is very high on their list. this is a problem they have been trying to fix for a very long time. but maria, of course, is now bringing it to the form.
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hud is usually responsive to us, but they did not respond for this story. i do know that pam patton, the deputy secretary, was down in puerto rico a few weeks ago and toured the properties, and she was telling residents there's nothing that hud can do for them. >> that seems like it is obviously not a satisfying answer for these folks. >> reporter: yeah. and so we'll see. i mean, the governor's asked hud for flexibility on how we use this disaster fund. so we'll have to see if he gets that from hud. >> molly, the federal government needs to do more, is doing enough, where are you on this? >> reporter: the current dell j get /* delegate is a republican, i have seen her out pacing back and forth trying to get ahold of mccarthy. and they have been taking steps and making efforts to get help to puerto rico. i think that there is also an added wrinkle in this, in that puerto rico declared, basically, went bankrupt. that means we have a lot of financial issues that pre-dated
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this hurricane maria. so it will be interesting to see how this plays in the hurricane relief package. >> that's exactly the issue here. that there is a disaster-relief package to pass the house that hasn't passed the senate. and there are a lot of people saying, this is an opportunity to do more. the question is whether or not republicans are willing to spend more money here when they have already got a lot more they feel they need to spend on fires in california and oregon. and flooding on the mainland. >> and you have the texas flooding. >> final thoughts, is this squatters issue emblemattic of the hoops that puerto rico has had to jump through or issues they have had to deal with? >> how usual is it? >> it seems emblemattic of the struggles the island has had in getting federal help. >> this is a huge problem. this doesn't exist anywhere else, let's put it that way. it is unique to the island. and it is just not something that we have had to deal with before. >> lorraine, thank you for joining us with that powerful piece out in politico.
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and thank you for kelsey snell and molly hooper. we end with today's big picture. we are talking about the brutal cold because it is very bad, but look what it is doing to niagra falls. not totally frozen by coated in ice. the falls had one of the coldest new year's ever, temperatures well below zero, for the people who were brave enough to actually leave their houses to go check out niagara falls. they got an award. it's an amazing photo, but it is making me cold just looking at it. we would love to hear your thoughts as always on facebook, twitter, snap chath and , and instagram. let's go to stephanie ruhle. good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle. my partner ali velshi is off today. i came back to find him and alas, he's off. it is january 2nd, 2018. let's get this thing started.
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$n >> demonstrators are venting anger over spiking food and gas prices. president trump voicing support for the protesters, accusing iran's regime of engaging in terrorism. >> you just can't tweet here. you have to lay out a plan. >> what could be a major breakthrough in diplomacy between north korea and south korea. >> these will be the first formal talks between north and south since december of 2015. >> while kim struck a conciliatory talk with the south, his rhetoric against the united states remained. >> insisting the entire u.s. mainland is within firing range. and the nuclear button is on his desk. >> i don't see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point. >> and we have just gotten through a year of trump administration, thankfully, no geopolitical crises. it is hard to view that as sustainable given what is happening in places like north korea and iran right now. 2018 feels worse from that

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