tv MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi MSNBC November 19, 2018 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
my time is up this hour. cas casey picks it up. we're going to start this hour at the shifting strategies of the white house and capitol hill when the midterm elections finally come into focus. good afternoon. i'm kasie hunt in for ali velshi. president trump has shifted his rhetoric from dire warnings to happy talk. more talk of bipartisanship and working with nancy pelosi. this amid a ramped-up fixation of robert mueller's russia investigation and another deadline from trump's legal team. they say written answers to the special counsel's questions will be submitted by thanksgiving,
answers the same team said would be done last week. complicate matters? the fight of the person who will oversee the investigation. now three state democrats are suing over acting attorney general matt whitaker. the president is standing by picking someone who talked so openly about shutting down the probe. >> i did not know he took views on the mueller investigation as such. >> reporter: and when you found that out? >> i don't think it had any effect. if you look at those statements, those statements can be viewed either way, but i don't think -- >> reporter: you said there is no collusion. >> what do you do if a person is right? there is no collusion, he happened to be right. >> add to all that the president's battle with the media. we expect the key ruling on cnn's suit against the white house and its decision to revoke press access for jim acosta. let's start at the white house for nbc news jeff bennett and nbc news justice correspondent
pete williams. pete, i want to talk to you first about this lawsuit that was filed by three democratic senators. it claims that this appointment violates the constitution's appointment clause. i know it's had a couple other challenges to whitaker already. what's different about this one? >> the difference, i think, is who is suing and where. this is three democratic senators, three members of the senate judiciary committee, sheldon whitehouse of rhode island, mazey horano of hawaii and the senator from connecticut. they're saying we have a right under the constitution to vote because a person who is in a cabinet level job like this has to be senate confirmed. matt whitaker wasn't senate confirmed to anything, even before he was put into this job when he was working at the justice department as jeff sessions' chief of staff, so this appointment is unconstitutional and that's why we get to sue. the other two legal challenges are asking the courts to rule
that the name jeff sessions that was on a lawsuit has been improperly automatically changed to matt whitaker. they say that shouldn't happen. that's a bit of a bank shot legally, so this is a more direct approach, and they say that the justice department is wrong to defend this. now, the office of legal counsel last week, kasie, put out an opinion saying this is entirely a constitutional choice because the supreme court has ruled in the past as sort of an emergency situation somebody can fill in one of these jobs temporarily without having to be senate confirmed. the senators say there is nothing emergency about this. there was a deputy attorney general all set and ready to go if there had been a vacancy, and then they say that the office of legal counsel's opinion is premised on the theory that there is something different about acting attorney general than being attorney general, but given that they have the same powers, they say that can't possibly be. >> jegeoff bennett, what's been
the white house response to all this? the president could potentially make this go away if he just appointed an attorney general or told us who he was going to pick. >> reporter: an administration official believes the president is standing on firm constitutional ground as it relates to this lawsuit. before the lawsuit was filed, the view of the white house was the president's selection of matt whitaker as acting attorney general was entirely legal. but to your other point, ka sirkskasie, the legal aspect of this, the president had no intention of replacing matt whitaker, that the acting a.g. should be the one to see the end of it. that is precisely the premise the democrats are disputing here. there is another part to this, too, is that if the president were to announce a full-time replacement now and proceedings were to begin, that person would
face a whole host of questions related to russia itself, and the thinking at the white house is that would be unfair to the nominee, whoever he or she might be. >> it certainly would not be a fun hearing to have to go through. geoff, on that topic, how likely is it that we're actually going to get these answers from the white house by thanksgiving? how many of these self-imposed deadlines have come and gone? >> reporter: kasie, i think i'll have a better idea after thanksgiving if they meet their thanks ggiving deadline. the special counsel said he wanted these questions answered by july 4. it is now november 19. trump's legal team said they won't have anything to do with obstruction of justice. they think it falls outside the special counsel's mandate. it's also true, though, that those questions are where the president is most vulnerable, given his decision to fire the former fbi director james comey and the pressure he put on jeff sessions back when he was a.g.,
kasie. >> geoff bennett, thanks. pete williams, perhaps i will see you back here on thanksgiving day if any of this is any indication. thank you both. what is next in these investigations and what can we expect? with me now is former u.s. congresswoman liz holtman. she voted to impeach president nixon and she wrote a book called "impeaching trump." with us is msnbc contribute tore. charlie, i want to start with you. we're heading into the holidays here and a real crunch time in the mueller investigation. why now for these democratic senators to sue, and is there any chance that this will actually result in courts taking action in time to impact whether or not whitaker can oversee the release of mueller's findings? >> a lot of that depends on when mueller actually produces findings. we're all in the dark. we think he's writing a report.
>> we think we know a lot of things. >> mueller is not talking, and what comes out of the president's lawyer's mouth, which is usually how we learn about these things mayor may o not be accurate. the wheels of justice turn slow. it was assigned to an appointed judge a few minutes ago. he'll assign briefings and orders and it will probably be weeks or months before there will be any definitive answer on whether there is merit to the case or even whether the senators, indeed, have legal standing to ask the question in the first place. >> liz holtzman, do you think the argument the democrats have is compelling enough and does it have legal standing? >> well, the legal standing question is tough, because i remember as a member of congress when president nixon engaged in the bombing of cambodia and i sued because i said congress had never approved it and therefore my vote was taken away from me, the courts ruled i didn't have standing, so i'm hoping that the senators do better than i did,
but i think on the merits, there is no question that the president has avoided the top principal office. in other words, the cabinet officials have to be confirmed by the senate. if they're not confirmed, if there's a vacancy, then that's filled by someone who is confirmed. attorney general is one of the top cabinet positions. that was a decision made by george washington. we can't jump that process as president trump wants to do. he's putting himself above the constitution. i looked at the two clauses that the president must have a senate-confirmed appointment to principal offices. if there is an emergency, the next provision says, well, the president can fill vacancies, that's a constitutional provision, but those provisions have to be read together, not in
opposition. the second provision carries out the first. so if there is a confirmed attorney general replacement, that's the one that should go in and rod rosenstein is the person, or actually, there is another person who has also been senate-confirmed in the justice department. >> so the reason, of course, we're talking about all this is questions around whether matt whitaker would be willing to essentially keep mueller's findings from the public. the president was pressed on this by chris wallace. he was asked whether or not it would be okay with him if whitaker tries to limit this investigation. take a look at how he answered that question. >> i did not know he took views on the mueller investigation as such. >> reporter: and when you found that out? >> i don't think it had any effect. if you look at those statements, those statements really can be viewed either way, but i don't think -- >> reporter: he says there is no collusion, he says you can stop the investigation.
>> what happens if there is no collusion? he said there is no collusion, so the number one reason is he would have been wrong. >> charlie savage, that was actually a different answer on fox. when he was asked whether or not he was going to limit the mueller investigation, trump said he would not get involved in doing that. what kind of additional legal problems does that create, and is there any way around that to kind of force the report out into the public if whitaker does decide to quash it? >> what would happen is, in january, when the democrats take over the house of representatives, they would use their subpoena power to try to force it out of the executive branch. the executive branch, then, of the trump administration would assert an executive privilege and we would have a big court fight. it would take a long time. i think that's part of the reason democrats are worried about what whitaker may do, especially before january. we're still five weeks away from when democrats have any powers
at all. that's one reason we're seeing these flurries of lawsuits because other than complaining, they just don't have a lot of tools right now to express their anxiety that something really big is about to go down. >> charlie savage, liz holtzman, thank you both so much, and liz, congratulations on the book. breaking news. a white house official confirms to nbc news that the white house will not fight to seek revocation of jim acosta's press pass. let's go to geoff bennett. geoff, what do we know? >> reporter: remember the end of last week, the white house had to reinstate jim acosta's press pass under a temporary order. he was to be removed of it for 14 days, but now we've learned the white house will not fight to seek the revocation of
acosta's white house pass. we could see how this plays out. might the white house reserve the right to revoke his press pass if decorum becomes an issue in the future? remember, that was the way they tried to frame this issue after suggesting that acosta somehow inappropriately dealt with an intern, was holding a microphone during that tense exchange with the president. we'll have to see how that plays out. for now white house officials determining that they will not seek the revocation of his white house press pass since it was reinstated, kasie. >> does that defuse the court situation that was playing out? there was a request where access to the white house is not written down in law, it was our tradition and norm, and there was question that taking this too far would hurt the overwhelming cause of press access. does this mean the overall
action has been defused? >> reporter: this is round one, the question of the press pass itself. the larger question, which you can think of as round two, has to do with, was it constitutional? was the revocation of that press pass constitutional or legal? that has not yet been decided. to your question does it defuse the overall debate? no, but at the current moment, this is certainly a win for press freedoms in that the white house by court order, at least as it relates to this court order issued friday, is effectively giving up, saying they're not going to revoke his temporary press pass, the one that was revoked temporarily at the end of this period, kasie. >> geoff bennett at the white house, thank you for the update. i want to talk a little bit about this with our reporter jonathan allen. jonathan, you've covered the white house for many, many years, and this is something we suddenly saw, all of us who have done this with many different presidents over the years, have come to expect in terms of access for our viewers and re readers who deserve to know what's happening with their
public officials, and it does seem that the white house after, it seemed to me, they were just going to keep pushing through with this, actually said we'll have to back away. >> i'm not sure if they saw it was in their interest to have a huge fight over this particular issue. obviously the court decided that jim acosta wasn't given due process. i'm not sure they want to see a position where it was possible the court could rule there was a first amendment right to access for reporters. i think the danger for the media, of course, was there would be a positive or affirmative ruling that there was not a right to such access and maybe that's both sides if something is decided. >> those are public buildings. the public has a right to walk into the hallways and office buildings. the capitol itself is a little more restricted. but they can walk up to members of congress. that's their constitutional right, essentially. but that's not true of the white house which is on lockdown a lot of the time. >> even before you started covering the hill, before i started covering the hill, i'm
from the area, and i remember a time when you literally, as a member of the public, could just walk in. you didn't have to be part of a tour group. there was very little security on capitol hill. we live in a time, obviously, after 9/11 where that has been locked down a lot. but the idea that people can go visit the public officials that our government is essentially a representation of us, that these are taxpayer-funded buildings -- >> by the people for the people. >> exactly. this is a democracy and they are represented in part to that protection of press as an advocate for people, in terms of a immediate yaer fmediary for t terms of asking questions. i see when you're talking to members of congress, you have incredible access to these folks to ask them questions on behalf of the public. the truth is it's not just valuable to the public and to the press, it's valuable to the members of congress and it's valuable to the white house.
i would argue having the press in the white house is actually more of a benefit to the white house because it's able to disseminate information quickly through the television media, through the print media and other forms of media because there are people in that room, in the white house briefing room, that are easily accessible and it's the reason, traditionally, that the press has had access. so maybe the trump administration is a little worried about cutting off that tool. >> i kind of wonder what the president would do all day if the reporters weren't there. jonathan allen, thank you very much. tomorrow marks two weeks since the midterm elections and we are finally done counting votes in florida. after numerous recounts, it went to rick scott, giving the republicans two seats for now. susan smith and mark espy were forced into a runoff.
the president will hold two rallies on the eve of the runoff. joining us from hattiesburg, mississippi, vaughn hilliard. vaughn, you're back to your natural habitat of covering a senate race in the south with an unexpected twist. >> reporter: exactly. >> seucindy hyde-smith is more trouble than we thought because of those comments she made raising all those questions in the south about the terrible history around that. where do things stand, and does the espy campaign feel like they can pull this out? >> reporter: kasie, it's interesting, the air around here in mississippi is pretty similar to that of what we felt in alabama just about one year ago between doug jones and rory moore. you've got doug moore, a long-time congressman here, and
with those recent comments you were just referring to from the republican cindy hyde-smith who was appointed that seat in the spring. the senior strategist for this campaign as well as mike espy and he said the way they look at this campaign is mike espy has to win at least 35% of the black vote. if they can pull off more than 25% of white voters, that's where there will be a disagreement here. i want to play for you a little bit of sound. we just met artis smith here, and i think you'll hear from him what democrats hope they're able to turn out on this next tuesday just after thanksgiving, kasie. >> especially the mississippi vote. that's where a lot of us come
from. >> reporter: kasie, that was artis smith responding to cindy hyde-smith's comments about being around for a public hanging. what artis said in conversations with other black voters, friends and family, he said people are energized to turn out this next tuesday fully aware of the stakes of this senate race, and fully aware that mike espy has a shot in this. i talked to henry barber. he's the rnc republican national committee member coming all the way to hattiesburg, and he said this race right now, he views it as single digits. what cindy hyde-smith needs to do is make the exact contrast of mike espy versus a conservative in this race. focus on what it means to be a conservative in mississippi. this is a long time now republican state, so it's interesting we're even having this conversation. another note, tomorrow night is
the debate between cindy hyde-smith and mike espy, and tomorrow night donald trump will be appearing here with cindy hyde-smith and to what extent will she be able to turn out republican voters. and lastly, those chris mcdaniel voters, 16% of the electorate voted for chris mcdaniel. a lot of them are unhappy with cindy hyde-smith. a lot of question marks. >> this is where they stepped in to save her from mcdaniel. sources tell us that face look leaders mark zuckerberg and cheryl sandburg are blaming botched communications for the damage. security officer alex stamos joins me later in the hour for one of his first ever television interviews.
the ever challenging firefighting and rescue efforts in the northern part of the state where the camp fire has taken the lives of 77 and left nearly a thousand unaccounted for. you're watching msnbc. for. you're watching msnbc. george woke up in pain. but he has plans today. so he took aleve this morning. hey dad. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. tylenol can't do that. aleve. all day strong. all day long. now introducing aleve back and muscle pain, for up to 12 hours of pain relief with just one pill.
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search and kris teams are combing through debris after fires destroyed thousands of acres in the state. since the camp fire first broke out november 8, the death toll has reached 77 people while almost a thousand remain unaccounted for. it's not just issues of burned-down homes and limited resources. the smoke is raising pollution levels that are outranking some of the worst air quality levels in the world. and then there is another obstacle that complicates search and rescue efforts: rain. with me now from sacramento is chief ken pinlaud from the forestry. thank you for taking the time to be with us today. how does the rain, first of all, help in fighting these fires but may actually complicate your efforts? >> absolutely. the rain, of course, will help dampen the atmosphere and help put the fire out or at least
reduce the spread more quickly and help firefighters in that regard. it will also clear out the air quality. we're all looking forward to that benefit. conversely, we have hundreds and hundreds of search and rescue personnel and others combing all the fire area. they're looking for any additional victims, and obviously that will make that a bit more challenging. >> can i ask you about -- the president visited california over the weekend, and he made some comments that have drawn scorn, actually, from around the world because he pointed to what the leader of finland had said about raking leaves. can you, as an expert who works with these all the time, just kind of explain to us what kind of conditions make fires like this worse and whether such care as raking the leaves would actually make any sort of difference? >> absolutely. raking leaves is very important for the homeowners when they're doing their defensible space, that 100 feet of clearance
around your home. that's where that piece is critical. there is about 30 million acres of forest landscape in california, so actually raking the forest floor is not practical. but actually reducing the fuel loading in our forest through thinning, through harvesting, through using prescribed fire, all those tools we have in the toolbox, those are all very important. maybe metaphorically raking the forest floor is really what it's about. but it's using all of these tools to get that done. >> this fire is also affecting areas more broadly. uc berkeley canceled classes monday and tuesday because of this. what are some of the other impacts on the region as you all try to battle with this? >> obviously the air quality. we've had obviously numerous sporting events, schools, all have been either postponed or diverted to other locations for a number of days, many through the thanksgiving holiday weekend. also impacting area hotels. we are literally trying to take care of all the victims of this
fire and ensure that they're sheltering in place, that they're utilizing every available hotel or airbnb, because our first priority is certainly to take care of the people that have been so tragically impacted by this fire. >> and finally, you all have been working around the clock. how are you and your team holding up? >> i am so proud of our firefighters, our law enforcement partners, our public safety, all the public safety and health officials. many of them worked for the first 48 hours without relief. we're able now, as we're getting closer to containment on these fires, we're able to get relief and rotate crews in. their spirits are high. i think everybody is in this fight. we're all about serving this community and taking care of these people. >> chief ken pinlaut with the forestry commission. thank you for all your hard work and we are so grateful for you. facebook has faced intense criticism over its handling of user data and russian
interference during the 2016 election. the company's former chief security officer, alex stamos, says the social media giant isn't the only one to blame, and he has suggestions of what can be done in congress to keep this from happening again. this comes after a trying few days for the company. there are intentions in facebook's ranks as they take an approach to deal with criticism from lawmakers and angry users. it forced several executives to leave the company and drew friction between ceo mark zuckerberg and long-time chief operating officer cheryl sandburg. zuckerberg blames sandburg and her team for the blowback on the political scandal. a research firm accessed private data during the 2016 campaign and used it for political research. this report came days after the "new york times" detailed how facebook struggled to respond to
russian disinformation operations. according to "the times," the company hired a research firm to spread information about facebook's critics, including philanthropist george suros. the criticism of his company and disinformation was warranted, but sandburg said the timing of the investigation was unfair and simply at times not true. stamos, whose name came up in the report, wrote an op-ed responding to it. he said cheryl sandburg was angry when he wrote the op-ed on facebook but no one told him not to investigate it further. and alex stamos, who is an msnbc contributor and also a professor at stanford university joins us. it's great to see you again. >> thanks, kasie. >> one of the things you wrote in the op-ed was this.
yet face books' short comings do not stand alone, the massive u.s. intelligence community failed to provide actionable intelligence on russia's information-warfare goals and capabilities before the election and offered a dearth of assistance afterward. this is an explanation i did hear from them as hearings were going on on capitol hill. at this point, is the administration doing what they need to do? this seems to me facebook trying to deflect blame. >> there's been a lot of improvement in the relationship between the intelligence community and facebook since 2016. this doesn't deflect from facebook's blame. facebook has a lot of blame to take, but if we're going to address these issues, we have to look at the three major parties that can deflect these operations. it includes the government and the mass media, like nbc. so what we tried to talk about in that op-ed is we need to
understand who is responsible for understanding who the adversaries are. things are better in 2018, but we need more action from congress to build the structures in government for groups who are responsible for coordinating this kind of response, and for making sure that the public is getting the intelligence and information they need before this happens, not two years afterwards. >> facebook is claiming the "new york times" story is, in places, incorrect, as zuckerberg said. to your knowledge, is anything they reported incorrect? >> a lot of the story falls outside of my personal experience. all the stuff about lobbying d.c. and such, i can't really shed any light on that. >> the critical incident that involved you. >> the parts that involved me, i think cheryl frankel, i know her very well, i sat with several interviews with her. i don't have any factual disputes. i think it's important to look at what happened on facebook, and we have an overall context.
some people are looking at very careful reporting by "the times" and they're overreading into it that there was a cover-up that some of these personality issues were really at fault. the truth is is that this was a horrible, very difficult historical moment. while the company didn't respond as well as it could have, i also don't think realistically there is a scenario in which all of this could have been prevented. i have nothing factually, but i think we also have to look at this report in the context of everything that was going on in 2016 and 2017. >> based on everything you know, having run cybersecurity operations on facebook, are you on facebook? do you trust facebook with your data? >> i do use facebook. but for all these services, there are two things you need to do. one, people need to be thoughtful about what kind of information you give companies, right? facebook is, by its nature, something used to share that information. >> why should that be solely the consumer's responsibility as opposed to, perhaps, a shared
responsibility between the company and the consumer? >> i don't think it's solely the consumer's responsibility. i think absolutely the companies have a responsibility, but we also just need to be careful about what we put on these things, and we have to be especially careful about the information we consume. the truth is, we are no longer in the world. we're 25 to 30 people who decide what is news and what is legitimate journalism. there are a lot of things facebook can do better, but no matter what, we're in the information environment where there is a lot more voices and that's going to increase our vulnerability to this kind of manipulation. i think individuals are going to have to be careful. there is no future in which the government and the companies together can stop this kind of behavior. we're going to have to harden individual citizens' resilience to misinformation if we're going to get through this. >> facebook's stock is down about 5% today. it's kind of dragging down the nasdaq, among other things. my question to you, with mark zuckerberg and cheryl sandburg
leading this company, would you tell your friends to buy facebook stock? >> if i could predict the stock market, i wouldn't have to have a job anymore. >> but i mean, are they doing enough to fix this? are are they doithey doing whato be doing? >> here is the challenge. i understand someone like mark zuckerberg having so much power. no one elected him into this position. but the ultimate version of public information available to public company is responsible to wall street. facebook needs to focus on growing more slowly, being careful about moving into new markets about what kind of impact that has, skpin veand ina lot of money into safety and security. they seem to be doing that. that's going to cost a lot of money and make the stock go down. there is a difficult part here. if you want the company to be responsible to the shareholders, that's probably actually going to hurt instabilithe ability toe problems in the long term.
>> do you think facebook is a responsible social actor right now? >> not responsible enough. i think there are a lot of people there who are wrestling with it. if positive change is going to happen, it's going to happen from the bottom up. that's what you're seeing in silicon valley, in a lot of places, is that a lot of these companies compete for the same talent. and a lot of people are questioning whether or not they want to spend their lives working on these products. i actually had a student last week come and chat with me because she had accepted a job at facebook and wanted to talk about the moral and ethical concerns. i think that kind of pushback from the individual employees is going to be, in the long run, more important than the positions of the top executives, because the decisions that got facebook into this place is not because there is a fight between two people or someone got yelled at in one meeting, it was tens of thousands of engineering decisions made over a ten-year period. we need everybody in silicon valley to be more thoughtful to think about how the products we build can cause harm. >> alex stamos, thank you very
much for your insight on this story. i am sure i will talk to you again soon. >> thank you. have a good thanksgiving. >> happy thanksgiving to you. joining us now to take a closer look at this is "wall street journal" reporter who covers facebook and other potential problems. she also happens to be one of my former high school classmates. deepa, it's great to see you. thanks for being on. >> thank you for having me. >> alex stamos was making the argument that this is not about the top two people in the company, it's about decisions that were made over a long period of time. i wonder if based on your reporting on facebook how much you think it matters, the tone being set from the top with mark zuckerberg and cheryl sandburg. >> i think the thing to think about right now is the fact that facebook and mark zuckerberg feels under siege. they are facing an impressive
number of challenges. the stock is down, like you mentioned. they're facing regulator pressure, users are angry. there is a feeling that the company needs to really take control. and that's where mark comes in. but the challenge is, just like alex pointed out, you have a company trying to unwind and doing a sort of forensic analysis of these tens of thousands of little decisions that were made along the way, and it's really hard. >> you report that cheryl sandburg wondered at one point whether she should be concerned about her job because there was an exchange between mark zuckerberg and cheryl sandburg about how this was handled? do you get the sense this is a current concern for cheryl sandburg? is her job at risk? >> as far as i understand it, the two are on better footing now. mark really needs her. he said this last week on a call with reporters. he said, i value cheryl's input and time, and she's very important to the company. so from a public standpoint, the
two executives are in lockstep. but that entire anecdote kind of demonstrates something interesting about facebook, which is this year they've been very focused on public perception of the company. they are very obsessed with the way they're portrayed in the media, the way that different press coverage comes along, different media criticisms of the company, and they think about it and talk about it a lot. it's arguably distracted them from trying to identify the root cause of some of these issues. >> deepa, great reporting. thanks very much for coming on today. >> thanks. coming up, president trump blasts the navy s.e.a.l. that led the 2011 raid that killed osama bin laden. it is suggested he could have caught bin laden sooner. ♪
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did. >> this president owes admiral mccraven and all the s.e.a.l.s involved in that operation an apology for what he said. he's undermining his position as commander in chief not only with those who conducted the operation but with the entire military. >> for more on the president's comments, we're joined by hans nichols at the pentagon. hans, good to see you. it was about a year ago when trump called out members of the media and he said in august, revoke my security clearance, too, and that came after the president had revoked john brennan's security clearance. talk a little bit about what kind of person bill mccraven is and how military leaders view him. do they see him as a political figure or is he revered as a military leader? >> he's revered. he's not seen as a political leader at all like many members of the armed services.
a lot of generals we talked to, k kasie, don't even vote for president because they want to stay apolitical. general mattis did that when he was coming up. he was in charge of saidcom during that mcraven raid on that compound order that eventually took out osama bin laden. they are ducking for cover. they do not want to be involved in this back and forth. here's what came in rob manning earlier today. mcraven is a private citizen and is guaranteed freedom of speech and expression and free to share his opinion. here at the department of defense we're laser-focused on defending the nation. when you look at a reason why pentagon officials are so uncertain about appearing on camera, it's days like today, because it's so easy for them to be caught in the crossfire between the president and some of their old colleagues. kasie? >> really unreal in a lot of
ways. not necessarily the republican party that i've gotten used to covering over many years. hans, on a different note, we learned today that the pentagon is going to send thanksgiving meals to troops along the border in texas and arizona who, it looks like, will be spending their holiday for apparently no reason because the caravan went somewhere else. >> we have a breakdown of the number of turkeys that will be sent out globally. but we can't give you the breakdown on the to your recollection keys just yet. let me give you the numbers. 978 turkeys. a lot of good food down there. they're just following orders to give them the semblance of a thanksgiving meal they would have at home. it's a long tradition in the military. they make sure to bring hot meals to any troops on the front lines. there is a tradition as well to have senior commanders serve more junior and enlisted men,
men and women in the military. we'll see whether or not we have some senior commanders serving and dishing up any turkey there along the border. kasie? >> hans nichols, thank you for that reminder and we are very thankful for our troops serving overseas on this holiday week. up next, with evidence piling up and pointing to the saudi crown prince role of killing khashoggi, they are denying having any involvement with the murder. denying having t with the murder. grill combos are back. now that's eatin good in the neighborhood.
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the cia has concluded that saudi arabia's crown prince maumd bin salman ordered the killing of saudi journalist jamal khashoggi. with an interview with fox news on sunday, the president seemed to disagree with that assessment. >> he told me that he had nothing to do with it. he told me that i would say, maybe, five times at different points. >> what if he's lying. >> as recently as a few days. >> do you just live with it because you need him? >> will anybody really know? will anybody really know? but he did have certainly people tharpt reasonably close to him and close to him that were probably involved. you saw we put on very heavy sanctions. massive sanctions on a large
group of people from saudi arabia. but at the same time, we do have an ally, and i want to stick with an ally that in many ways has been very good. >> the president also said there is no reason for him to listen to a recording that reportedly contains audio of khashoggi's killing at the saudi consulate. calling it a suffering tape. joining us to take a closer look at this is the former spokesperson for the u.s. mission to the united nations and a former treasury department spokesperson. thank you for being here. why would the president want to disagree with the cia assessment here? it does seem as though he's more concerned with an arms deal than what appears to be this major egregious human rights abuse. >> right. absolutely. i think he is much more concerned with the arms deal. throughout this whole process, he's continued to distract from the actual issue and he's pointed to saudi arabia as a spectacular ally, as helping with our jobs and economic development. i don't think this arms deal,
while important, shouldn't be oversold. i mean, you're talking about $14.5 billion in revenue. and importantly, he treats saudi arabia as though we can't achieve our national security objectives without them. and while they are a key ally they were a key ally when i was in the government. they're not a necessary ally to our counterterrorism objectives or to countering iran. >> i want to ask you about the sanctions as well that the administration did put on some of those saudi individuals. there were some key omissions. i'm wondering what you make of the fact that some of these folks that you have pointed to have been left off. >> right. so, well, first, i'll take issue with president trump calling them massive sanctions. the sanctions on iran are massive sanctions. those with north korea are massive sanctions. these are not massive. and more importantly, they also don't show or reflect the willingness this administration has had in imposing human rights related sanctions. they did big sanctions released to turkey and north korea and others. and so this administration has
that willingness. what's interesting with the omission is that so there were 18 suspects in this murder. one of them was noted by the saudi government as having master minded this plot. that's general al asiri, the former deputy intelligence official. and he was fired from his job and yet he was left off the sanctions list. so i'm speculating here, but that could only mean two things. it can either mean the white house feels he's too close to the royal family. he is close, but ides find that hard to believe given that they himself fired him. or he could be cooperating with an investigation. >> i want to switch gears a little bit because one of the other questions i have here, one of the things we're looking at is turkey. of course, historically, an ally upset that all this occurred in their consulate. and now there are conversations about extraditing an enemy of
turkey's president erdogan who lives here in the united states. what does that represent from a human rights perspective? >> right, it's -- it goes completely counter to even the administration's own messages to turkey. i mean, the administration came out pretty strong back in the summer when they sanctioned two senior turkish government officials. the minister of justice and the minister of interior. in order to get the release of pastor brunson. and it was successful. that's what sanctions are for. they were targeted, and when we achieved our goal, those sanctions were removed. to now be implying this is up for discussion or part of a possible deal is just abheorren and it shows that we oare -- tht anything is on the table. even if it undermines our own human rights goals and other human rights abuses efforts when we go to counters those under
the global magnitsky act. >> thank you for your insight. we're going to be rouight bk after this. you're watching msnbc. ♪ ♪ i'm all for my neighborhood. i'm all for backing the community that's made me who i am. i'm all for my theatre, my barbershop and my friends. because the community doesn't just have small businesses, it is small businesses. and that's why american express founded small business saturday. so, this year let's all get up, get out and shop small on november 24th. i got croissant.
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any gains made in november. many investors wonder if the markets will hit correction territory soon. you can always find me on social media. thank you for watching. "deadline white house" with nicolle wallace starts right now. >> hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. in the same way that katie couric's interview with sarah palin revealed her staggering deficiencies as a vice presidential candidate and the yawning gaps in her knowledge about world events and policy, chris wallace's sunday interview with donald j. trump reveals that nothing is sake red. not a national holiday which america pays tribute to the men and women of the military who give their lives to protect our freedom and security. not the man who serves as the president's chief of staff or the woman who enacts his hard-line immigration policies. nothing and no one is spared from donald trump'ssi