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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  January 2, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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wishes for his former political opponents. he said crooked hillary's hop today huma abedin has been accused of violating basic security protocols. remember sailors pictures on submarine? jail! exclamation point. the deep state slam garnering attention from one of the most conservative legal minds in the country. former assistant attorney general under george w. bush, jack goldsmith who responded, quote, that would be the deep state justice department run by real donald trump appointees, jeff sessions, rod rosenstein and chris wr aray. here's sarah huckabee sanders talking today. >> what did the president mean when he said the deep state justice department? and does this administration believe that the deep state is a real thing, that there is this shadow government out there
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actively plotting to sabotage him? >> look, the president finds some of these actions very disturbinging and he thinks that we need to make sure if there is an issue, that it's looked at. but if there was anything beyond that, i would refer you to the department of justice that would look into it. >> does he believe that the entire justice department and it's more than 100,000 employees are part of this deep state. >> obviously he doesn't believe the entire justice department is part of that, you know, one of the things the president has done is appoint christopher wray at the justice department. >> does the president believe in ghosts and as is often the case, the twitter war against the backdrop of a widening russia probe. quote, the white house is still working under the shadow of robert mueller's russia investigation, despite repeated assurances from the white house legal team that the inquiry is
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wrapping up. to ring in the new year with us, from the "new york times," jeremy bash, national security analyst and chief of staff at both the cia and the pentagon. and jeremy peters with the "new york times." and john hiel. former democratic congresswoman donna edwards, now a senior fellow at the brennan department of justice. mark, let me start with you, you had some blockbuster reporting over the holidays that we're going to get to in a moment. this ongoing war against his own justice department is the thing that he has done that i have heard the most consternation from some of the most conservative figures in sort of the republican legal circles, people like ted olsen, former solicitor general, i think
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congressman pete king from new york, worried about the politics of that, that the republican party could ultimately unbrand itself as a party that's aligned itself in law enforcement. does your reporting about this hot war against the justice department reveil aal any consternation of any of the apintees at the department department at this point? >> it's unclear whether there's among the political appointees, whether they feel embattled or they feel that the president is after them, you know, certainly the rank and file at doj and the fbi, people who are the career employees would i think probably take it to heart, they would begin to think that the white house is at war with them. i mean this idea of the deep state is something that i think, you know, last year and in 2016, was this view that this was a political tack that the president was taking, a lot of people attribute it to steve
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bannon's thinking. but steve bannon is long gone from the white house. the fact that the president starts the year off this year, indicates this has sort of become pretty deeply ingrained in his thinking that the national security establishment is out to get him and the enemies need to be rooted out. >> jeremy bash, there's another word for it, a paranoid delusion, it started as one of the intelligence community general hayden talking about these people aren't the ondon't the president, they also protect americans. >> that's right, nicole, i mean there are two types of people at doj, there are the career professionals, the badge
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carrying career law enforcements and people who defend civil rights and civil liberties for all americans and they serve, they don't care if they are republican or democratic, they are career professionals and then there are the political api appointees and thin this case, it's president trump's political appointees. he did it against the cia, he did it against so called judges. his own political appointees would not rush to their workforce. we have heard deafening silence from them and i don't know how long this can go on. >> the russia investigation -- >> hi, nicole. >> happy new year. >> thank you, it's good to be back, i went away 11 days ago, and i came back and i think i
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left during a sentence and then came back during the same sentence. >> the "new york times" reporting over the holiday how the russia inquiry began. during a night of heavy drinking at an upscale new york bar, george popadopoulos made a statement about dirt on hillary clinton. about three weeks earlier, mr. popadopoulos had been told -- the hacking and the revelation that a member of the trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors -- into russia's attempt to disrupt the election and whether any of president
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trump trump -- >> we have a really important piece of information, what it does is it obliterates of the one of the cover storiy ies tha the trump administration made up. i wonder if you can get back to the why, why trump acts so crazy. >> you have piled a lot on my plate. there are two things to think about and they con join the two things that we're talking about, one is why they behave the way they behave and the story itself. just remember now, the "new york times" again killing it on this story, this is an incredibly important piece of reporting. the coffee boy, according to the trump white house, knew enough that he was going around to top administration officials in london, months before the dnc hack became public. june of 2016 is when "the
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washington post" first reported by the dnc hack. donald trump's standing up on the eve of the democratic convention, russia, unleash the emails. we now know that the coffee boy, not a coffee boy it turns out, knew enough to be talking about it with australians, we don't know who he talked about it with other than the australians, but we know he may well have been talking about it to some of his colleagues on the trump campaign. but this is a really important piece of reporting, which leads to the question you first asked, which is why, i don't think this is paranoid delusion, i think this is softening up the ground, relentless attacks on justice department and this fbi are all about softening up the ground with his political supporters and others on the day he has to wage a war on bob mueller and when the report is twibefinally, he wants to have had months of
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attacking this set of career officials and appointed officials so that the ground will be softened for the moment that he has to do what right now many people still believe to be unthinkable, but i don't think is unthinkable at all. >> your by line on this story, a wonderful piece of reporting, i wonder if you can take us through some of what is now established. this piece seems to take place -- what started under the obama administration, the context of the collusion between the trump administration and russia? >> we have known for system time that the -- end of july of 2016. one of the big questions, us and a lot of other people have tried to establish is, well, what got it started? we reported over the weekend that one of the key things that got it started was popadopoulos
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and the straaustralian. what we know from a few week s earlier is that popadopoulos was told about a russian intermediary about these emails, these thousands of emails that the russians had. we were told about it two months later and then a couple of months after that, it goes to the fbi and they launch the investigation. what we don't know is who else popadopoulos told about this. as obviously as john said, it's a huge question, if he told the australian during a night of drinking, did he tell other people inside the campaign, and that's a big question. and so then once it's established that this investigation began, another thing in our story is now
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showing how pop lpopadopoulos, e was helping to broker meetings in 2016, between the president and general sisi in egypt. >> the extraordinary attempt to follow -- the house intel committee orbit that are closely aligned with donald trump, that the dossier was somehow a piece of fake opposition research which put all this in motion. that seems like the nail in the coffin as being the thing that instigated possibly ties between donald trump and his campaign and russia. >> i have never put a lot of
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stock in the counter intelligence -- even if there are points of weakness in it, there are still a very strong foundation to go to a fisa court, to obtain a warrant, to listen to the communication from foreign intelligence officers peeking with associates in the trump campaign. we're not going to use the word collusion, we're not going to set the bar where the president is setting it, as there had to be active day by day work between trump and the russia federation. i think there has to be evidence that people in the campaign knew of and welcomed the russia investigation is unpatriotic and its enough to show a very bad set of facts for the trump team going into the election. >> another thing that i had, jeremy peters, do which also view the testimony of the
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intelligence officials that served under the obama administration, after the point when they learned about russia's efforts to meddle in our election. do we now view the testimony of individuals of john brennan and james clapper, knowing what they knew and what started this counter intelligence investigation. >> absolutely, what mark and my other colleagues have reported, i think have really peeled back the layer of what -- this layer of misinformation, that the trump campaign and the trump white house have always tried to throw over this story, which is a partisan witch hunt. hillary clinton had done similar things, and the justice department didn't go after her, they're only going after trump because he's trump. not only did the justice department want to lay the ground work for an all out assault on the justice department, on the fbi. they have been doing that for a month. in fact there's an entire news network devoted to doing this every single night.
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>> talk radio. >> that is devoting to doing this every single day. >> fox. >> not only are they on the air, where trump listens to them every night. they're in his ear on his phone what i they talk to him. >> i don't want to make you uncomfortable. what's wrong with paul ryan, paul ryan used to have some kind of moral authority within the republican ranks, someone if you were to take a stance, could tell devin nunes that e-- why won't paul ryan and mitch mcconnell stand and say that it's obvious from this and other reports, that we don't know what we don't know about the russia investigation. let's lay down the political weaponry and let this thing play out, why is there no leadership in the republican party? >> you saw that in the fluff
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fest after that tax bill was passed. as long as they think they're going to get their agenda passed, they're going go break ranks. there are two things that we ought to under line in red ink here. first was the interview that donald trump gave to michael smi schmidt under the "new york times." the primary role of the attorney general was to protect against any type of investigation. today you have the president of the united states urging the department of justice with it's vast investigation of power to go after political appointments, opponents, these are not normal things. but i do think that there is that moment where you step back and you go, the president says i
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have absolute control over the department of justice, but the reality is that a president who does not respect those norms and those guidelines in fact has tremendous power. a president who does decide he's going to use the vast powers of the department of justice to go after his political opponents and to protect his family and his allies, i know the "new york times" has said we shouldn't be worrying about authoritarianism. now we have the president exercising his absolute power over the justice department. >> today he slams is career doj -- sick doj on a potential witness against him. beyond abnormal, dangerous. >> in 2016, the president began
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his attack on the intelligence committee, he continued his attack on the department of justice, on the judiciary, and today we see he continues that attack and says that the justice department should be used against hiss political enemies. i have been playing a game called where in the world is paul ryan in the last six months and i haven't found him yet. i think the republican party is in real danger here, and they have been in danger for a long time, when they allow the president of the united states attack the department of justice, we know that popadopoulos is not a coffee boy. he doesn't even drink coffee according to these latest reports. >> the pop popadopoulos was not a coffee boy. but one's instinct is this person was the kind of person
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who would have wanted to spread that word among his colleagues, let me say one more thing that relates more to paul ryan and mitch mcconnell. in september of 2016, jay johnson and jim comey and lisa monaco had a meeting with the gang of 12 on capitol hill and sat with them in the middle of september, in the middle of election and said, guys, we're under attack by the russians, we need to bring together both parties to take a very strong position against this intervention in our elections and mitch mcconnell and paul ryan said wire ne're not going anything to help you. it's one of the most unpatriotic things that any congressman has ever done. they turned a blind eye toward it in the middle of the campaign. >> and just to under score the importance, i mentioned mccabe and he calls this the political
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version of a 9/11. mark, thank you so much for your reporting and for joining us today, everyone else is sticking around, when we come back, bracing for impact, republicans staring at a grim reality acknowledging publicly that a democratic wave is possible. also ahead if donald trump acts like he has no idea what a president is supposed to do, it's because he doesn't. some amazing new reporting about the degree of donald trump's ignorance about the office he holds and his addiction to the spotlight. and an i didn't know where i was from ethnically. so we sent that sample off to ancestry. my ancestry dna results are that i am 26% nigerian. i am just trying to learn as much as i can about my culture. i put the gele on my head and i looked into the mirror and i was trying not to cry.
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. 2017 and all of the blasting through guardrails and norms has left many of trump's allies with a deep sense of dread after 2018. that's the mood after talking to more than a dozen current and former white house advisors. they're bracing for a possible democratic wave in the 2018 electi elections, and on certain republican legislative agenda, add to this the prospect of impeachment, as axios does with this. saying sources close to trump say he's finally recognizing a harsh reality, if republicans lose the white house in 2018, it
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will pose an exsi sen shall reality. lots of questions that make me wonder if everyone wants a do over in 2017 and if maybe all of the white house shenanigans as helping the white house and the fire squad that was 2017 will look like a scene from the rom com compared to what's ahead of them. >> we know with donald trump he doesn't change, he's been the same man for many years and the same president for a year now. and i fully expect for 2017 to have its ups and downs but to continue to see the chaos that we saw last year. >> and paul rucker, you have witnessed the political operation, which seems like not
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even a story, because you have had multiple reports now, but it's a narrative where everyone seems to avoid the elephant in the room which is the president. >> the white house is trying to get a sort of more robust political climate -- if you look at alabama, where both of the candidates that he campaigned for and endorsed lost. they want to turn that around, they want him to be a powerful force out on the trail. he wants to be campaigning for republicans running for senate and house and they need a better operation at the white house to try to manage that and make some of these decisions and there's a lot of discussion under way with the president and his other advisors about who they might bring in to help organize that operation. >> jeremy, this seems like a lot of effort at fixing something that is largely cosmetic, and that is a lack of organization
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or a lack of political process. the larger problem seems to be the fact that there is no -- not just brain drain, but there's not a clear desire as to what the president wants to do next as president. >> right, there's nothing really to run on. the one thing that they're going to run on is this tax bill, and what do americans, at least many americans at this point know about the tax bill? it's a big question mark, they're trying to file their property taxes early, because they have no idea if they're going to be hit with this huge increase next year. right now we don't know what the political ramifications of this tax proposal will be. a lot of people will see an increase, it could be a negative for republicans. what donald trump has never really been good at is running on something, it's running against something, which of course is the republican party's problem at large. >> let's listen to mitt romney
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who's back in the news today from the campaign. >> the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third grade theatrics. we have long referred to him as "the donald." watch how he responds to my speech today, will he talk about our policy differences? or will he attack me with every imaginable low road insult? >> we know what he chose and i remember you on the circuit reacting that in real time. romney back in the headlines because he may run for the seat that oren hatch will vacate when he retires. we covered his interesting remarks. but we were talking about the vacuum created around any clarity of an agenda.
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the vacuum ais filled with trump's bigger than life personality. >> i'm not sure what helps him at this point, but there's no question that, as jeremy said, the tax bill continues to be an open question, it's not very popular now, it might get a little more popular as time goes by, it might turn out that people will see a little bit of improvement on their taxes and the payroll taxes as we go forward into next november. the romney thing is interesting, because he's a guy that's got a lot of gusto up for attacking mitt romney. it was too late for it to have an effect in 2016. but it's clear, especially the way that donald trump messed him around on the question of the state department, romney doesn't want to do this because he wants to be a senator from the great state of utah. he's been probably the most
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consistent anti-trump voice among republicans at the highest senior level. but luckily, from the anti-trump point of view he got rejected and he's been very consistent. if he runs will he be a full throated anti-trump critic? if he wins, will he be constantly be taking president trump on? a troubling thing i would have thought for donald trump, but he likes punches. >> the saddest moment from my never trump friends is that romney follows ryan and rubio into the deep trench of shame. i would hope that's not the case. but it does seem like the ultimate trolling of trump, in that speech, he held nothing back, he made steve schmidt seem like sean hannity, like a cheerleader with what he said.
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but, look, mitt romney could represent at least the beginning of the decency caucus in the republican party. but i don't know. >> i don't know, don evans, because he did go and avail himself as donald trump to serve as the top diplomatic -- he offered to represent donald trump around the world. i think's disqualified. >> i think that, you know, mitt romney is going to get in this and donald trump is not going to be able to help himself when it comes to romney. so we can fully expect a barrage of tweets. but mr. trump began his year tweeting against his enemies et cetera. he began the year the way he ended last year and the way he will continue this year and he's going to see republicans across the board, in state and local office, and in congress run away from him and beaten at the polls, and that's been clear through the special elections that have taken place already. even in deep red republican
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districts where republicans have won, but by very narrow margins, the president is going to see this full steam. and i don't think he's going to see the benefits of this tax plan, because what the tax man gi gi gi giveth, the health man taketh away. >> he's going to be difficult to defeat in utah, where his popularity, his approval rating is substantially higher than president trump's. >> phil rucker, it's great to see you, happy new year. when we come back, how can we make the upcoming year more about me, asked no president ever. we'll talk about donald trump's addiction to the spotlight when
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we come back. ♪ with expedia, you can book a flight, then add a hotel, and save. ♪ everything you need to go. expedia a
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. we're back at work. a reporter, conservative media figure and the president of the united states walk into the clubhouse. what happens next is a 30-minute interview with the "new york times" in which the president revooel r reveals that he admires the way eric holder protected the former president. but behind that, a more enduring question, what's behind the president's insatiable need to be the star of ever news conference. your league micha-- trump said another reason i'm going to win another four years is that newspapers, all forms of media are going to tank without me. the "new york times" will not be the failing "new york times,"
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but the failed "new york times," so they'll basically have to let me win, and they'll be loving me, because they're going to be saying, please, please, don't leave, president trump. what is wrong with him? >> it's the old adage, there's no such news as bad news, no publicity except bad publicity. i think what he fails to understand is people are not tuning in because they're necessarily admiring of him. they're tuning in for the train wreck aspect of him. >> i often think, what is wrong with him? want to go alphabetical or what? >> doesn't this show get old after a while? >> the trump show, i just assumed he was joking about it. >> no, he's not joking about it.
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>> he gave rise to the return of investigative journalism, so thank you, mr. president. >> the reason we have 3.5 million subscribers is because people want the truth. they don't want the trump fog machine. >> what's interesting about both those examples that you gave from that incredible, another incredible interview of his is that they both reflect the same kind of set of mind about everything. they're both deeply he's saying the media eventually will fix the election so i will win. so they'll all rally around me, they'll prop me up, so his view of the election is fundamentally corrupt. and then he talks about holder. my views of the collusion, we're not supposed to use that board
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anymore, but again the same thing is true of tabout the hol thing, i admire holder because he protected barack obama. whatever he talks about whether it's his view of the press or the obama administration, or how the justice department works, it comes from this deeply dark conspiratorial idea of how the world works, none of it is how it seems, there's all these darker forces conspiring against him. they're either before himm or they're deep in the shadow s somewhere. >> the only way to have power is to have conflict. and that may be fine in the domestic political context, but it's dangerous in the national security context because as president, if you're seeking conflict everywhere in the world, you may actually get us into a war. >> and one of the other things, let me take this to you first, jeremy bash, peter baker, this is celebrate "new york times" day. maybe he's right.
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peter baker had a piece in the "new york times," he said to peter baker, this is chief of staff john kelly, one thing trump almost never does, he very seldom asks how other presidents did this, said john kelly the white house steve chief of staf. but after 911, i was asked to look up how, when and where the president spoke about the first world trade center bombing. t i mean i have never seen played out, how dire, how ignorant of history, but just completely unmoved by history. >> and anyone who's been privileged to be in public office know that we are standing on the shoulders of people who came before us, even if we're from a different political party, you know you're a
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temporary occupant of an office that we'res have had to try to deal with. and for a president of the united states to ignore that, it's not just ignorance, it's arrogance and i do think it's dangerous. >> where in in vacuum, how do democrats figure out how to rise up and fill it? >> one on the election front, they have to run in every single district, the way that their district is demographically set up. and the other thing i think is having a united front that has some moral high ground. and one thing that the president has never learned, we talked about this before, he always punches down and i don't think democrats can do that at the same time. but they have to be real clear about how they would be different for the country and that's coming through, but it's going to be a long year. >> coming up, protests in the streets of iran and the president's response of course is a tweet.
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iran is in turmoil as the most significant protests in eight years continue for a sixth day leaving at least 22 dead. iran's supreme leader has accused the country's enemies of meddling and u.s. ambassador nikki haley has called for an emergency session of the u.n. security council. trump tweeted, quote, the people of iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt iranian regime. according to e according to lindsay graham, tweets aren't enough. >> it's not enough to watch, president trump is tweetingympa
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people. but you just can't tweet here, you have to have a plan. >> it's a snake pit, there are personality tensions between the president and tillerson, between the president and mcmaster, between mcmaster and tillerson, it's broken and must be fixed one way or another. jeremy, let me start with you, iran, an intractable problem, an undeniable hot spot. how debilitating is it to have a national security team that isn't fully functioning. >> inthis is a critical moment, nicole, this is where the president could benefit from the was counsel on his team. be t but the president should go out there in a statesman like fashion and treat the situation in a delicate way. because if the president of the united states comes across too
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pro the demonstrations and too con the -- so i think it's important that we express a lot of support for the demonstrators, but do it in a very delicate way, and this is where i think twitter and other social media outlets by the president simply don't fit what the president should do here. >> what should he do instead? >> i think he should meet with his team, prominent american -- and convene dialogue among world leaders about other ways that the iranian people can be support and that the iranian regime's support for terrorism can be confronted. >> charles, this is one of those moments where you root for some wisdom to prevail, because this is an opportunity for the people who have a lot of differences between the leaders and the leadership, which is very anti american. i mean it is in america's
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interest for the protesters to prevail this time. what should happen? >> this is a great opportunity for presidential leadership. so i'm glad president trump is speaking out on this, i'm sorry that he's doing it by twitter and i'm sorry he's squandered so much moral -- you want this country to be able to stand up, you know, with the iranian people in some ordsort of a coherent way, but jeremy is right, this is the exact moment you want to have the adults in the room. this is how you do it. you don't have to be silent. you don't have to do what obama did, and this was one of the failures of the obama administration, not standing behind the green revolution, but if you are going to stand with the iranian people, here's the way to do it. and i wish, although i want the president, and i want the country to stand by them. i'm just concerned that we're
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going to do it with as you point out sufficient wisdom. >> the moves that the white house has made by clearly aligning the united states with saudi arabia, uae, clearly putting our fingers on the scale of iran. but just break down how fraught this moment is at this moment in iran. >> there's the precedent of what happened with the iranian r revolutions and there were so many hopes hathat were crushing. >> and it became a moment where in the early phases of it, people believed it was the first great social media revolution, twitter played a huge role in that. and people believed there may be a big change coming around, which is a swloe moving
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progressivism that's been happening for some time. it will be difficult to be fair, as one tries to be to this president. this is a very delegate, very tricky president, in which a very experienced president and great diplomatic skills and great moral authority would have a hard time finding the right spot. when you asked jeremy, what would you say, jeremy took a great shot, but there's no perfect formula to land this plane and say the right thing for the demonstrators. we saw this in egypt. but in the context of a president that lacks that kind of moral authority, lacks the kind of staff your with his allies, and with all this infighting happening within his national security team, makes it hard for the president to get this right, not impossible, but very difficult for people who want the right outcome in iran.
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>> when we come back, wittingly or unwittingly, the president did a whole lot more than golf over the holiday. so that's the idea. what do you think? hate to play devil's advocate but... i kind of feel like it's a game changer. i wouldn't go that far. are you there? he's probably on mute. yeah... gary won't like it. why? because he's gary. (phone ringing) what? keep going! yeah... (laughs) (voice on phone) it's not millennial enough. there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you! so we're doing it. yes!
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here are some of the headlines you might have missed if you were in a news blackout during the holiday. this is part of the administration's holiday news dump. a repeal of the fracking rule.
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a roll back of offshore drilling rel regulations. the firing of everyone left on the hiv aids advisory council: donna, these things were put in place carefully and in many cases with bipartisan support and essentially ripped by the stroke of a pen. >> the deep water drilling was in response to a disaster. and these were all things done by obama. and they are gone, gone, gone. on the sendis bureau, they are asking a question on the census about citizenship. imagine the chilling effect that's going to have on people accurately reporting. and that impacts obviously resources and services that communities get. they did this on the friday before christmas. on the friday before new year's. and guess what, nobody pays any attention to them. what a strategy. >> not just future resources but
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also the future vote. because it affects how the congressional districting is done. and again, as someone pointed out, the people established the census of the united states did not want to know how many citizens lived in the country. they wanted to know how many people lived in the country. that's the whole point of the census. of all the thing that happened over the period of time this is the most pernicious, outrageous and generally frightening. >> to pull it all together. what we have been talking about all hour, for a for white house everything i mentioned would be a week's long scandal. >> exactly right. as one white house official put it to me, every week in the trump white house is like a dog year. that's even more true in the news cycle. >> every week like seven human years? >> seven human years, yes. >> no wonder i'm so tired. >> comes from someone in the white house, too, by the way. no, but i mean the bar has risen so high now, to the point that i guess when we are worried about the outbreak of nuclear war, the
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rollback of little regulations or seemingly little regulations doesn't really come across our radar. that's a real commentary on -- i don't know if the it's much of a sfreej but the ability of this -- strategy, but the ability of this white house to confuse people with just the volume nows issuing of policies and scandal and tweets. >> i think any administration would be doing these sorts of same things. the hard thing to come to a judgment on is how damaging are the repeals. a lot of them were recent. what are the enintended consequences. this is one of the big accomplishments. >> if you are proud of something, you don't dump it on a holiday friday. we will neek in one more break. we'll be right back. they can even pay their bill- (beep) bill has joined the call. hey bill, we're just- phone: hi guys, bill here. do we have julia on the line too?
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'k, well we'll just- phone: hey sorry. i had you muted. well yea let's just- phone: so what i was thinking- ok well we'll- phone: yeah- let's just go ahead- phone: oh alright- the award-winning geico app. download it today.
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for hours but we are out of time. thanks to jeremy, don, and charlie. i'm micolle wallace. mtp daily starts right now with chuck todd. hi todd. >> if it's tuesday, will this new year unleash a new president? tonight, new year's resolution. why the president appears to be ringing in 2018 unleashed, like never before. plus hatch is out. could this many senator romney? >> i have decided to retire at the end of this term. >> as orrin hatch closes out his decades-long career, myth romney now has an opening to come

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