tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC January 10, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PST
and thanks for being with us today. craig melvin picks it up in new york. hi, craig. >> good to see you. good afternoon to you. craig melvin at msnbc headquarters in new york. what's the deal? a court strikes down the president's daca decision after he holds that open meeting on immigration, seemingly giving both democrats and republicans what they want. does anyone know what the policy will be, though? working group trying to figure that out right now. also, president trump saying the russia investigation is, quote, the single greatest witch hunt in american history as democrats call out trump for not doing more to protect russia from our elections. a deadly river of mud running through parts of california scorched by those wildfires. the dramatic rescues we are seeing as families. we'll get to those stories in a moment.
but a few moments ago, president trump opened his first cabinet meeting of the new year, but not before pausing to take a victory lap. the president started his remarks by saying, welcome to the studio. and then went on to taut everything from his tax win to shrinking unemployment to new plans for health care reform. those remarks coming one day after that extraordinary all-access meeting on immigration. today the president hailing that meeting no surprise a success. >> we agreed to pursue four major areas yesterday of reform. securing our border, including, of course, the wall, which has always been included, never changed, ending chain migration, canceling the visa lottery and addressing the status of the daca population. we want to see something happen with daca. >> the president, though, angered that a district court got involved. yesterday a judge put the brakes on any plan to let daca expire
and let d.r.e.a.m.ers lose their protected status. the president tweeting this, it just shows everyone how broken and unfair our court system is when the opposing side in a case always runs to the ninth circuit and almost always wins before being reversed by higher courts. let's get some highlights and reaction from the white house on immigration reform. >> reporter: there's concern from the white house about the court intervening when in the words of the white house they believe the meeting yesterday showed a real potential path for a bipartisan solution on immigration when it comes to issues from the president's point of view, more border security, which he always includes a wall and from democrats and, more broadly, republicans who also support an extension of protections under daca, which is for young immigrants brought here as children without documentation. so, the white house feels like right after the president had
this lengthy, televised, lengthy conversation with lawmakers where he seemed to be bouncing around different ideas, not a definitive plan from the white house, but an openness to try to work something out, so they're frustrated by that. press secretary sarah sanders referred to as-t as outrageous that the court would intervene, adding something of this magnitude should be through the normal legislative process. that's the take from the white house. of course, today, the president brought in the cabinet for his first meeting of the year and referred to it as the studio, a play on the fact that he had that lengthy televised session yesterday, referring to one of the most important government rooms outside the white house as a studio refers to where the public can communicate directly to the public. also referring to the boom holders, the audio engineers and technicians who provided sound saying that regardless, they would always be employed. well, we think that's true, too. the president trying to play off
of the media reviews. at times talking about his good reviews for his performance which he equated to work yesterday. it was interesting to watch some of the faces of others, assembled to work for the president in that room. you could see an occasional smile and that kind of thing which makes you want to read between the lines. the president seemed to enjoy the, quote, reviews as he described it from his performance yesterday, which he referred to as work. it was a lot to consume. today not taking questions. that was notable that the president who spoke so lengthy did take questions yesterday. wanted to simply review his greatest hits list. then asked the assembled white house media to lead. >> kelly o'donnell for us at the white house. thank you. yesterday's 55-minute on-camera negotiation over daca was a bit of a rare look at the push and pull for this president's ear. immigration hard liners
whispering, build the wall. democrats whispering, let d.r.e.a.m.ers stay. and president trump looking fairly relaxed saying he'll sign essentially whatever they give him. jose diaz-balart joins me from miami. always good to see you, my friend. thanks for some time this afternoon. >> great seeing you, buddy. >> are we closer or farther away from a decision to restore daca? are we closer or farther away from plans for that border wall? >> i think we may be closer to the possibility that these 800,000 young people, mostly young people, who know no other country but the united states and who have had some sense of legalization since daca was instituted. we may be closer in finding some way of avoiding the fiasco, which would be the first week of march, hundreds of thousands of people who know no other country but this one, essentially undocumented. every single day that passes,
more than 100 daca recipients lose their daca. what happened in california with the federal judge could help in the short run, but it's very clear that the only thing, the only solution is a legislative solution. what was interesting about this 50-minute plus out in the sunshine conversation between the president and republicans and democrats is that they're all saying they want to see some solution but the details are what are really complicated. this group of more than 20 legislators has agreed to meet as early as today, senatorses and representatives. in this group will are people like raul labrador, the congressman, who is absolutely against something like daca being instituted in law. there are other members of congress who think with these four points that there was no pushback on any legislator that was in this meeting. these four points together could
in the final days cause these young people to be able to remain where they are. you know what's interesting, craig, if i could very quickly say, one of the questions people have about immigration reform is we need to know who are the people that are in this country. these kids, these young people have been registered. there's a background check on everyone. everyone knows who they are, where they are and what they're doing. to make these people, who are registered, unregistered doesn't seem positive for any side of this discussion. add to that that people have been losing tps -- temporary protective services. more than 200,000 el val va doer by the end of the year, more than 50,000 haitians, and more than 2,500 nicaraguans.
all people who are registered and who have been here for decades. so, it's very complicated. time is running out, craig. i hope they can reach some solution but that's what, at least yesterday, everybody said they were willing to do. >> jose for us there in miami, wanted to get your take on it. thank you so much, sir. thank you. at least one guest at that white house meeting in immigration had no invitation, a party-crasher, who wanted her seat at a table and she got is that seat and a legit invitation from me today. chair of the congressional hispanic caucus joins me live now from the capitol. congresswoman, thank you for your time. i understand your colleague, nancy pelosi, she pushed to get you on the list. the white house specifically said no, citing space issues. so you hopped in a car with steny hoyer, who was invited and you just showed up. why do you think you weren't on that list? >> i really can't opine about why i'm not on the list.
i think that there is a sense about who the best stakeholders are on a variety of issues for the white house. while we've had some contentious meetings with chief of staff general kelly and others about immigration issues in particular and daca. we were outraged they rescinded and then had a notion this was not going to cause turmoil in the lives of these young people and their families and their employers. so, that might have had something to do with it, right, the kind of comfort level of who's in the room. but steny hoyer offered for me to ride in with his security detail. i did that. in fact, the white house treated me with respect and had me right at the table. and i'm grateful that i was able to fully participate. >> after the cameras stopped rolling, what did we miss? what was the conversation after the journalists left? >> well, you know, i didn't even really notice -- of course, i could see the footage when the
general left, but i would actually, as i'm listening to some of the national reporting, push back just a little. it's not that all of the members in that room agreed. to every issue that the white house, general kelly or anybody else identified that we were going to do that in order to solve the daca problem, but i will say that when general kelly left the room and said, this is really congress' fault again. i think his words were, we've been fiddling around. in fact, republican leadership from the senate really pushed back and said, that is not the case at all. and when the white house -- this is -- i'm adding -- creates a false sense and an emergency and hurts individuals like daca recipients in the mix, that's really outrageous and then to point at congress. in fact, we've been having meetings and negotiations about this every single day.
if the white house had done something like this earlier, perhaps we would be much further along and they never had to rescind it in the first place. >> a lot of folks scratching their heads after those on-camera negotiations, especially some of the president's loyalists. later the president tweeted, as i made very clear today, our country needs the security of the wall on the southern border, which must be part of any daca approval. was that made clear in the meeting to you? what did you hear? >> you know, the president, both to his credit and then really a problem, he affirmed every statement everybody made. senator feinstein said, we just need d.r.e.a.m. it's clean. this is a discreet issue. let's just take care of the daca kids and then move on to other issues if you want us to have a full-on debate about immigration reform. he said, okay. and then leader mccarthy said, no, no, no, you know, we have to do all these other things.
so, i said, look, we don't have till march. we have to get this done. we only have until january 19th. 15,000 daca recipients have lost their jobs, they've lost their status, their lives are put on hold, they can't teach in our schools, they're out of med school and law school. this makes no sense. it's so incredibly unfair. he said to me, you can keep the room as long as you want. you know, i could even mediate for you. so, he was very -- which i appreciate, very affirmative, but the confusion then is for anybody who thinks there were any deals reached, we walked out of the room with leader mccarthy identifying several areas, some of them discreet, border security we would say is discreet enough, depending upon what that is, and we want to do something to protect d.r.e.a.m.ers and reinstate daca. the other issues that deal with more comprehensive immigration reform i have no doubt will be
reformed but the hispanic caucus and others will say those belong in a different debate at a different time and we'll see where we go. >> what about a wall? >> the wall for the hispanic caucus and so many -- both republicans and democrats in the house, certainly, is a nonstarter. when the president -- >> in any form, congresswoman? >> well, craig, this is the issue. when he talked about that we got structures that are falling apart, i didn't disagree that that should be addressed and that that is a reasonable issue to address. when he said there are environmental issues, mountains and rivers that you can't be dealing with, there was general sense of agreement. when we talked about fencing and we've already authorized billions of dollars for those sorts of structures and smart fixes like smart technology, it's really going to depend on what we are talking about in terms of a physical barrier. if the white house goes back, you know, to 2,000 miles of wall, that's a nonstarter.
but if we're looking at securing the border and roads and technology and repairs and some structures, i think many members of congress are interested in those border security. i want to tell you the hispanic caucus is really cautious about what that might look like. and we are not interested in investing and dividing this country with a wall. >> okay. mexico going to pay for it? >> i -- i think that if mexico's going to pay for it, they should have been invited to the meeting so they could be part of the negotiations. so there wasn't enough space for mexico at that meeting either. >> congresswoman, thank you. >> you're very welcome, craig. thanks for having me on. don't like the conversation? change the law. president trump's response to all the coverage surrounding a controversial book about his white house. also a stark warning. a group of senate democrats claim the u.s. is not ready if russia goes after our elections again. why, in large part, they're
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unprepared for russian interference in this year's midterm elections, more than one year after intelligence officials confirmed russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. dianne feinstein's release of information has intensified the partisan divide over democrats and republicans. the president tweeting, the fact that sneaky dianne feinstein, who has on numerous occasions stated collusion between trump/russia has not been found would release testimony in such an underhanded and possibly illegal way totally without authorization, is a disgrace. let's bring in nbc news national political reporter mike and elizabeth holtzman, former congresswoman from new york, who sat on the how judiciary committee when they recommended impeaching richard nixon. mike, let me start with you. senator cardin today justified the democrats' action in releasing the report with this.
>> the current president of the united states barely acknowledges the threat posed by putin on u.s. institutions. never before has a u.s. president ignored such a grave threat and growing threat to u.s. national security. >> why release the report now, mike? >> this process began more than a year ago. they set out to as comprehensively as possible to look at the ways russia under vladimir putin over two decades has sought to undermine not only the u.s. democracy but democracies throughout western europe. it's 200 pages long. it details how russians sought to rig the olympics to favor russian athletes, but also more severe steps by orchestrating a coup in montenegro. it cultivates documents from 19
allies whose embassies and representatives participated in it. it's hard not to overlook the first recommendation this report makes, which is the president needs to take a much stronger stand in responding to russian efforts. we heard from senator cardin today that putin will keep pushing until we push back. what we see is cardin -- the reason he said this was only democrats putting this report, he thinks a lot of republicans will sign onto the recommendations. there are dozens of them. he wanted to in as unvarnished a way as possible get forward this message that a lot of our allies are saying, that the u.s. is not doing enough to respond. >> the president not only went after senator feinstein in that tweet this morning, the president went after the entire investigation itself. he tweeted, the single greatest witch hunt in american history continues. there was no collusion, everybody including the dems knows there was no collusion. and yet on and on it goes. russia and the world is laughing at the stupidity.
does the president hurt himself by posting tweets like this repeatedly? >> well, he hurts himself with rational people. he doesn't hurt himself with his supporters, who think anything he says goes, but the fact of the matter is this dossier has -- was conducted -- this chris steele guy is a very highly respected person in the intelligence world, was in charge of the russian deaths for british intelligence, and british intelligence is not a slouchy organization. we know that. for a very long time. he put together a report, some of that has now borne fruit. the report says that the russians were trying to peddle information to -- about the election. well, we know donald trump jr. took a meeting with russians to get information. there are other things that have turned out to be confirmed in that report. the fact of the matter is that we need to get to the bottom of what happened. and for the president to be
saying, time and time again, this is just a witch hunt, is a kind of obstruction of justice. it may not be a criminal act under the criminal laws, the penal laws of the united states, but i think it's an abuse of the power of his office. he ought to be saying, we're a free country only if we have free elections. if we don't have a free election, we don't have a free country. instead of trying to make sure that the elections that we have are going to be fair and free, he's trying to stop any investigation into what's happening and he's lifted not one finger to make sure that our election system will be free when we go to vote in november 1918. >> the mike, the congresswoman made reference to this so-called steele dossier compiled by former british intelligence officer for fusion gps. still mostly unconfirmed. the steele dossier uncovered
that the criminal campaign helped trump. there was a long-term cooperation cooperation between trump and russia, trump may be vulnerable to blackmail and the trump team was aware of the russian's leak to wikileaks. how important was the dossier to investigators? >> i spend a lot of my time dealing with the three main congressional investigations into russia and potential solution with the trump campaign. i can't think of a clearer example in the ways in which these investigations have tended to break down along party lines than this dossier. for democrats they're treating it as almost a road map for their investigation. there are a number of things they think they should be looking into based on what was in the dossier. on the republican side, the dossier now they say it's been discredited and the focus of their investigations now is increasingly the ways in which the fbi may have used that as the primary basis for launching their own criminal investigation of the president who's in orbit. i think you look at what we saw
just in the last week, on friday you had senator chuck grassley, the chairman of the judiciary committee, make the first criminal referral in their investigation, suggesting that christopher steele, the author of the dossier, may have lied to investigators. then days later you have his democrat counterpart, dianne feinstein, taking this unusual step of releasing the transcript without republican input. >> mike, thank you. congresswoman, thank you as well. it was good to have you. a new approach. president trump firing back about a controversial book about the white house saying maybe it's time to change the libel laws in this country. gadi schwartz is on the ground in california after those deadly mudslides. >> reporter: we have a look at the staggering amount of damage coming up right after the break.
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hoist at least 50 people to safety, saved at least another 50 people who were trapped and hurt on the ground there. nbc's gadi schwartz has made his way to montecito, california. what are conditions like on the ground right now? >> reporter: search and rescue still out here right now. in fact, you can see those firefighters are checking debris. those mountains back there, that's where all this mud came from. that's the burn scar from that huge thomas fire. basically what happened, this road was almost a river of mud. let me show you how destructive it was. this car right here, you could tell, it's been rolling over and over and over again. this is something that we're seeing on a lot of these vehicles, a lot of houses. it says, clear, which means there's no one inside because they've checked inside. but the cab is completely crushed and up to the steering wheel there's mud there. it's not just this car. let's walk down here. this is basically the situation all the way down to the ocean.
if you're familiar with santa barbara and montecito -- watch your steps. there are some wires here. none of these wires are energized. here are two cars that basically collided in this mudslide that was just absolutely horrific. happened around 3:45 in the morning. let me show you just right around here. as the mud made its way down, it shot off into some of these houses. some of these houses have about three or four feet of mud in them. other houses were completely swept off their foundations. a lot of those houses floated all the way down this street. there are pieces of houses along the beach here in montecito stretching all the way down, probably about a half a mile from here. so, that's just some of what we're seeing out here. and it is just this area alone. we know there have been several rescues. there was a little boy found at the 101 alive. he was rescued. we also know up the street there was a 14-year-old girl pulled out of the rubble.
those rescues continue, those searches continue today. right now the focus is really on getting helicopters up into the hills. there's this canyon up there where 300 people were cut off from the rest of montecito. they're air lifting a lot of those people to this area. and they're going to be going through that for the rest of the day. back to you, craig. >> gadi schwartz with a gut-wrenching look at the damage there. for all of us who have spent time in that part of america, it's beautiful country. >> reporter: i think i might have lost you. >> that's okay. gadi schwartz in montecito. from california to puerto rico, recovery efforts after hurricane maria have been devastatingly slow for puerto rico. nearly four months after maria made landfall, more than 40% of that island is still in the dark. 80% of people in the resort community are still without power. officials are calling the area ground zero.
that's where our own reporter is reporting on the ongoing recovery. >> reporter: while the storm clouds have come and gone, hurricane maria still hangs over this resort community. >> you can see it in your neighborhood. you can see it in the community. you can see it in your work. >> reporter: christina vasquez rents water sports rental company. she says slow recovery has kept vacationers away durgts peak of tourism season. >> october and november were a month we didn't have no income at all. december 2017, 95 to 100,000. >> reporter: before the storm hit, the economy was known for beaches, fishing, tourism. now it's referred to as ground zero for hurricane maria. and almost four months later, power here is still at 20%. >> the main issue is we don't have enough power poles, we don't have enough cable, we don't have enough isolators.
>> reporter: engineers like frank are tasked with restoring the power. >> we are working home by home. each single house has a secondary line. we have to strap in the power pole, fix the connection there, make the line, and connect to the house. >> reporter: house by house? >> house by house. >> reporter: these restaurant owners people humacao has been left behind in the island's recovery effort. >> we're not seeing much progress here. there are certain areas on the island that are being restored at a faster pace. we were told that some time in march time frame we will have power. i don't see that will happening. >> reporter: they say their business has dropped 50% since hurricane maria. to make things worse, they've had to limit their dinner hours. >> people are scared to get out on the streets after a certain time because it's pitch dark. i mean, it's -- it's actually dark. there's no lights on main streets. that affects us because they
won't come into the restaurant. >> reporter: at the end of the day, the darkness follows them home. >> we had two power generators and they both went out on me. they haven't been working ever since. basically, it's batteries. our refrigerator is just sitting there. we haven't used it since maria came by. this is survivor mode, but we're not going to let maria take the best of us. >> reporter: craig, when you walk around here, you realize why the army corps of engineers refers to humacao as ground zero. this is an area that would be filled with tourists, foot traffic. it looks like a ghost town. look at the ravaged beach rentals behind me, small businesses up and down this coast all look like that. but again, for most local business owners, it boils down to the lack of power. they say that has slowed the recovery. in fact, the mayor of humacao
told me 300 businesses, including the biggest shopping center, remain closed because they have no electricity. >> again, a lot of folks looking at the situation there. it's hard to get your head around how it is that folks on that island still months later don't have power. thank you. an unprompted comment from the president last hour is raising some eyebrows. president trump explained why he wants to change libel laws. also, he served his country, he came home, but he could not vote. i'll talk to mayor joseph helly about his fight that's gone all the way to the supreme court to make sure it never happens again. can we do this tomorrow? ♪ can we do this tomorrow? if you have heart failure symptoms, your risk of hospitalization could increase, making tomorrow uncertain. but entresto is a medicine that was proven, in the largest heart failure study ever, to help more people stay alive
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we are goinging to take a strong look at our country's libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts. >> that was president trump a little more than an hour ago talking about reforming this country's libel laws. never mind just the sheer irony of the president saying that. it's the latest response to the book "fire and fury" by michael wolff who painted the white house, among other things, as chaotic and disorderly. the president tried to cease and desist. charlie sykes is an author,
commentator, msnbc contributor, and danny savalos, a practicing attorney, also an msnbc legal analyst. let me start with you. does the president -- first of all, danny, does he have any grounds to file a libel lawsuit here? >> no. i mean, he can, anyone can file a lawsuit, but as the most public of public figures, "the new york times" b. sullivan standard will apply to the president and he would have to show actual malice, reckless disregard of an obvious falsity, which, you know, it would be a very difficult hill to climb, but in addition, he would open himself up to our country's very broad, very expansive discovery rules, which means that -- remember, the reciprocal, whatever he can learn about the other side, they can learn about him. if he resists, a court will force him to do it. >> the president also suggesting there we change the law. again, you're the lawyer, i'm not. but wouldn't that have required changing the constitution?
wouldn't we be talking about a fundamental change to this country's constitution, not just some lawmakers changing a law? >> the president can take a look at libel laws and he can keep looking at them as they stay exactly the same. here's the thing. defamation, libel, slander is mostly a construct of state law. the president cannot change state law. the president can't really change federal law. but the only way to do that is to change the way the supreme court and the constitution deals with the first amendment because all defamation is -- you have defamation here, you have the first amendment here. all the courts do really is define where the line is between those two. in the case of defamation, the president would need to somehow remake the way the supreme court views the first amendment liberty to speak out, especially against a public figure, about a matter of public concern. what matter of public concern is more public than that of the presidency? >> charlie, it seems like every time a negative report or book comes out about the president or he talks about changing this
country's libel laws. is that really the way the chief executive should be approaching criticism? >> no, but it's the way donald trump does. when women come forward, he accuses them -- he says they're lying and he's going to sue them, he's throwing it out. look, there's a zero chance that the libel laws are going to be changed. this is something both liberals and conservatives on the supreme court seem to be very clear on, that they are not going to -- they're not going to be dialing back on the first amendment. this is a moment piled high with irony. keep in mind that donald trump is a guy who has not hesitated to throw out his own slurs and smear, including -- remember when he suggested that ted cruz's dad might have been involved in the kennedy assassination? does he really, really want to have the libel laws opened up? that would change the legal status of his twitter account. this is one of the talking points he's used throughout the campaign. and rather than see it as a real threat to the first amendment, i
do think people ought to see it as this ongoing -- this ongoing attempt to delegitimize and undermine support for the media and for any sort of independent criticism of this particular president. and that is dangerous. if, in fact, you begin to, you know, plant the seed out there that we ought to have government action or legal action to punish people who actually engage in democratic criticism of the president of the united states. >> we're out of time, charlie. we didn't get a chance to talk about this offshore drilling in florida, but that's another big head-scratcher we'll have to get to next time. thank you d thank you. he served in iraq and afghanistan and came home to find he could not vote. now that case is before the supreme court. i'll talk to him about finding out he could not cast a ballot after serving his country. >> i broke down crying. i'm proud to say, because i'm --
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right now voters who do not vote in two consecutive elections and fail to return a mailed address confirmation form are automatically purged from voter registration rolls. voting rights groups say the statute suppresses minority votes. state officials defend the law saying the process merely keeps voter rolls up to date. i'm joined now by joseph helle, the mayor of oak harbor, a village in ohio. michael higganbothan is also with me, a professor at the university of baltimore law school. mayor, let me start with you. mayor helle, you were part of some protests at the court today because this is a law that hit you personally. what happened? >> you know, like a lot of young men and women, i signed up to join the army right out of high school, so i registered to vote when i was 18. i took off to the army, went to ft. benning, georgia, for infantryman. deployed to iraq in the surge in
'06 through '07. went again to afghanistan in 2009. got out of the army at the beginning of 2011. that fall went to vote and i was told my name wasn't on the rolls. i filed in november and again, my name wasn't there. they told me there was an issue. i went to the board of elections office. they told me i was purged from the rolls due to inactivity. >> you joined the lawsuit. you are named in the suit. why was it so important for you to take this case to the supreme court? >> i'm not a specific party to it. however, i have kind of taken on a profile across the country with this issue. it's important, not just as a veteran perspective but as a people perspective. the right to vote is the fundamental right that guarantees all other fundamental rights, and if we start restricting that from anybody, we start restricting the rest of our freedoms. >> mayor, thank you. let me turn to you here, michael. is the issue here purging the voter rolls or is the issue how
quickly ohio is purging the voter rolls? >> well, i think what is important to understand is that this is a practice that is permitted under federal law, removal is permitted under federal law, but the federal law specifically says you cannot remove an individual for failure to vote. so what the supreme court has to deal with is does this ohio process remove an individual in violation of federal law because it's a removal solely for the failure to vote. if you look at larry harmon and other individuals, you have to have some sympathy for them. here's a veteran who had some issues and he said i didn't want to participate, then he decides to participate and ohio says you can't vote. and he asked on the radio the other night, he said you know, if i choose not to buy a gun, ohio doesn't stop me from buying
a gun in the future. take that right away. so why is voting different? i think the supreme court justices will have to grapple with that notion as they decide this difficult case. >> the significance of address verification and why groups are tying it to voter suppression, especially around minorities, talk to me about that. >> yeah. i mean, this is an ongoing battle between democrats and republicans over voting rights. it started out with redistricting. it moved on to voter i.d. now it's dealing with voter purging rolls. this stuff is so critical, as your previous commentator mentioned, because it goes to the heart of american democracy. the universal franchise is one of the things that makes america so special. so the supreme court has to deal with that. this is very important. americans need to understand it
because it does go to the heart of our core democracy. >> thanks to both of you. we have some breaking news right now. i.c.e. agents showed up early this morning at dozens of 7-eleven stores in what was the largest operation targeting an employer since president trump took office. nbc's justice correspondent pete williams is standing by. pete, what more do we know? all right. we just lost pete williams. we will try to get him back here. let's take a quick break. in the next few minutes, president trump will be greeting the prime minister of norway at the white house. we will be watching for that and the joint press conference the two will hold this afternoon.
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conference after that. we expect the president will probably take at least two questions then. earlier this morning, of course, as we reported at the top of the hour, the president had his first cabinet meeting of the new year in which the president threatened to change the libel laws in this country. apparently there was also a phone call today as well. president trump today expressing a willingness to sit down with north korea, a phone call with south korea's president, president trump said he is in fact open to holding talks between the united states and north korea at quote, the appropriate time and under the appropriate circumstances. of course, it was just a few days ago that we learned that the north koreans would, in fact, be sending a delegation to the olympics in pyeongchang. in addition, it will also be sending observers and a cheering squad. the white house statement on the phone call said the two leaders
underscored the importance of continuing a quote, maximum pressure campaign against north korea. that is going to do it for this hour. katy tur is standing by to pick things up. i imagine you will have a bit of a preview. >> we will. the president talked about opening up the libel laws a bunch, talked about it on the campaign and while he was president. he said something today that struck me, people who print knowingly false information. we don't do that. nobody prints knowingly false information. that doesn't happen. >> again, the irony of the president, you know, talking about untruths. >> are you saying the president doesn't always -- >> i'm saying politifact in the first year of his administration said 1,000 or 2,000 things that were factually inaccurate. >> i believe it. craig melvin, thank you. have a good day. it is 11:00 a.m. out west, 2:00 p.m. at the white house. in moments we will see president
trump greet the prime minister of norway, as craig mentioned. the two leaders will hold a joint press conference next hour. we will carry that live. the country that has washington's focus today is not norway. it's russia, russia, russia. democrats say they are still a threat, that country is still a threat, and the man who could help stop that threat is not. >> the russian federation is engaged in relentless assaults against democratic institutions, universal values, and the rule of law. at home and abroad. >> two months before the first primary votes are cast in the midterms, now there's this new report from democrats sounding the alarm bell about russian interference. >> what this congressional report lays out is a years long, essentially hybrid warfare by the russian intelligence community to destabilize democracy around the world. >> senator feinstein defied republicans yesterday or many of them when she decided to release the august congressional testimony of fusion
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