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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  December 14, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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silence a playboy model. all of it contradicting the past denials. >> first of all, nothing at the trump organization was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. >> let me tell you that i never directed him to do anything wrong. whatever he did, he did on his own. >> he directed me to make the payments, and he directed me to become involved in the matters. >> survivor, and the contest to become the next chief of staff is a reality show and grudge match between some bold-faced names. >> we are interviewing people now for chief of staff, yes. >> how long is the list? >> five people. really good ones. terrific people, and mostly well known. >> and follow the money. fe federal investigators are digging into the cash for the
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inaugural campaign and what did they get for their money? >> this is the president who was prepared to roll out the staff, and the goal he had in the inauguration was to raise his hand and take the oath. good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. and michael cohen sending a clear message to donald trump, and in an abc news interview of what he told special investigator mueller. >> why should we believe you you now? >> because the special counsel believed the information i gave them was credible, and there is a substantial amount of evidence that proves i am telling the
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tru truth. >> and a joining us is msnbc contributor kristen welker and attorney barbara quaid, and also matt miller who was former chief spokesman for attorney general eric holder. and so let's talk about the conflicting stories, and michael cohen, a key witness against the president, and he says that there is more backup, and we obviously think that there are tapes because we have heard some of them. >> and we have heard some of them, andrea, and it is remarkable to hear from michael cohen for the first time since the sentencing on wednesday. he essentially disputed something that we heard from president trump yesterday in his interview with fox news in which the president said that he did not direct michael cohen to make those hush money payment, and michael cohen said that he did and there is proof to back it up, and andrea, we were able to read through the court documents filed last week which underscores the point. so we have been pressinging the white house officials about
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that, deputy press secretary hogan gidley who is saying, look, michael cohen is someone who has acknowledged lying, and so he is not believable. but, again, the problem with that argument, andrea, is that cohen says that there is kr corroborating evidence. this is something that is increasingly engulfing this president and white house and we saw it yesterday when the president lashed out angrily in the interview, and he said that the only mistake that he made was in hiring michael cohen in the first place. so this is becoming not only a growing legal, but a growing political problem for this president, andrea. >> barbara, what about the legal aspects of this with the president claiming first of all, and saying incorrectly, that this is a civil case and not a criminal case. and then the other defense that the edwards' case, john edwards of course, show that this, you can't take this to court, and rudy giuliani has been on that as well. and le's do a little fact checking here. >> yeah, sure. sometimes there are civil
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infractions related to campaign finance violations, typically for technical violations, you turned in the paperwork late or made an error in the math or omitted unintentionally omitted the documentation that should have been here sh, and those ar the kind of things that get handled civilly and with a fine, and instead, you are using criminal intent and intent to deceive and defraud is when it comes into the realm of a criminal case. and proving willfulness is the tricky part, but it sounds like what michael cohen is saying in the presence of the ami witnesses and recordings could establish that evidence of willfulness. the other piece, the so-called john edwards' defense is that he said i made the payment not the violate the campaign finance law, but i wanted to save my wife the personal embarrassment, and that could be a plausible theory here as well, but it sou sounds like the evidence suggests that is not the case. what michael cohen said today there is a conversation with president trump, and they knew
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it cams on the heels of the "access hollywood" tape where it was revealed that he had made disparaging comments about women, and it would be devastating for the two news sto stories to come out before the election, and so the decision was made that it is necessary to make these payments to influence the election, and that is going to make pit the heart of the criminal violation, if it is true. >> and that is what michael cohen you just with referenced had to say to george stephanopoulos on abc. >> he was trying to hide what you were saying, correct? >> correct. >> and he knew it was wrong? >> of course. >> and he was doing that to help his election? >> you have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about two weeks or so with before the election, and post the billy bush comments. so, yes, he was very concerned about how this would affect the election election. >> to help his campaign. >> to help him and the campaign. >> matt miller, how serious is
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this? how do you respond to the white house saying that this is a minor thing and it is not something that people care about and it is not actionable, and even trying to say it is not a felony. >> well, it is a crime, and we should not be coming up with the hierarchy of crimes that are serious and less serious and it is serious if the president commit nis crime. and this is not a -- it is a high standard that we should hold a president to. and what we have seen in the past few days is that the president is shifting defenses and moving from one to another as it is falling apart that. he didn't have it at all and he did not have the affairs and did not pay the hush money, and this is not true. then move nod the john edwards' defense to avoid personal embarrassment and we have evidence that is not true, and we know it, because when he satt in the meeting in august of 2015 with the publish of the national "enquirer" he did not say, what can you do to help me to avoid personal embarrassment, but he asked what can you do to help my campaign.
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and then michael cohen is my attorney and i had no knowledge. i didn't know it was a crime. i thought it was okay. and so michael cohen significantly undermined it when he said that it is wrong and the president said that he used him for p.r. and not legal work, and so the very last defense at all is that it is not a serious crime. it is not a legal argument that is not ultimately an appeal to congress if you ever get to impeachment that the president cannot be indicted and this is a political matter and these are not high crimes and misdemeanors. >> and kristen, the president in that one interview with fox was trying to have it both ways saying, well, he is my lawyer, and my lawyer is expected to know these thing, and so it is not up to me, and to tell my lawyer what to do, although it is up to him to tell the lawyer what to do, and in the with one way he is saying he is my lawyer and then not my lawyer and doing pr and communications and low-level stuff, and so there is no lawyer/client privilege and
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we can talk to him about everything that took place with you, and so perhaps that is a rabbit hole they don't want to go down. >> you are right, andrea, and speaking to the broader point that matt is making, and not only do the explanations keep shifting in terms of what he keeps doing in terms of the hush money payments, but the relationship with the lawyer and how he is characterizing it keeps shifting and remember when he first started talking about michael cohen, he was defensive of him until michael cohen flipped. all of that has flip and he has of course gone into the counter punching mode trying to not only lash out, and can discredit michael cohen, but to downplay the entire relationship, and what is notable, andrea, we are seeing this president try to take over his own communication strategy, and time will tell as to whether it is working, but he is really taking the reins here, and that is striking given the fact that this is a growing crisis. typically, you would see his communications team out front
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and center. we have not had a briefing in several weeks. it has been the president taking the lead on the messaging about all of this, andrea. >> and at the same time, david pecker, and this is another element brought into it this week, the cooperation that we knew was taking place with the tabloid, the catch and kill process. barba barbara, how damaging is it that cohen who is, you know, been pleaded guilty to lying to the perjury to congress, so he can be attacked on the stand, but you have david pecker, this long time friend of the president's also as another corroborating witness to what was alleged there. >> yes, andrea, corroboration is important when you are using a krob ray or the of someone who -- corroborate someone who is pleading guilty of getting a
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benefit for their testimony. so one of the things that you have to ask yourself, does their testimony line up with testimony of other witnesses, documents or other evidence, and here, i think that david peck ser someone who is not biased against president trump, but in fact, a ally of president trump, and so he would have enhanced credibility there. is also reporting that another employee of a publisher of ami was also involved in the the meetings, and alan weissenberg might also have more corroborating testimony. and as we heard from matt, the shifting stories can demonstrate some evidence of willfulness, and you only lie when you know you have done something wrong, and so in combination, all of these things are pointing to michael cohen is credible according to fact-finders
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looking at the evidence as it lines up. >> and one other piece from michael cohen, he is not finished yet. watch this. >> how does this end for donald trump? >> you know, that is sort of getting tointo the whole investigation right now between, you know, the special counsel's offi office, the attorney general's office, and you know, the south district of new york. i don't want to jeopardize any of their investigations. >> he still has a story to tell. >> yes, he is fighting on too many fronts. michael cohen who is cooperating with the southern district of new york into the president's alleged campaign finances, and also, the campaign finances, and he is not the only one co-
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cooperating, because so is mike flynn and rick gates is cooperating with sndy investigation and of course in coordination into the presidential campaign, and also, another investigation going out today. and so they are going through methodical to flipping them and getting them to testify against a broad scheme of criminality. >> that means that you need a chief of staff and legal team around you, and more to come on all of that. and thank you so much, matt miller and barbara mcquaid and kristen miller. and as we say, celebrity apprentice, and who are the finalists in the chief of staff search? you are watching "andrea mitchell reports." n car insurance!? they helped with homeowners, too! ok! plus motorcycle, boat and rv insurance!
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the apprentice part ii. the president's hunt for a new chief of staff is turning into "star search. " ""the son-in-law is being name checked along with former new jersey governor chris christie who was the u.s. attorney sent jared kushner's father to prison. and another choice, the 2016 campaign manager david bossie expected to the white house today and allel three of them met with the president yesterday about the job according to reports, and now, don mere and andy card, the former chief of
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staff in the george w. bush administration, and both of them nbc political analysts. and so, jonathan your latest reportings or the hunches or whatever we are going on as we continue to report on something that is not possible to report since we don't know what is basically in the president's head. >> that is right. and first of all, there is an element of the theeter of the absurd here as we have seen celebrities from jose canseco and piers morgan raise their hand, and some more serious than others. and so he has not settled on the replacement. he thought that heed with one lined up last week, nick ayers who was all set to take it, but they disagreed about how long he would stay in the post, and then he bowed out and leaving the president in a awkward position leaving john kelly here in a lame duck. you hit on some of the names menti mentioned chris christie, and jared kushner, of course, already a white house job, and
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some suggestion that while he would want to do the chief of staff role when he does have a pretty expansive portfolio, and christi e, of course shg chris christie who was apparently fired and some bad blood and also prosecuted jared kushner's father in new jersey and sent him to prison, and david bossie who is expected to come today and e hogan gidley said that he expets the president's decision to be soon, but he wouldt not offer a exact timetable. >> all of this as the president needs to gear up from the democratic on slaulgt of investigative committees with -- onslaught of investigative committees coming on board with the democrats in january. and what is all of this going to do to challenge the chief of
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sta staff? >> well, it is going to challenge a chief of staff, but i would say for the names, you should be careful about having a son-in-law as a chief of staff, because you need somebody na you can fire. and that is important, because you may want to change person personalities, and you may want to fire the next chief of staff, so don't hire someone that you can't fire. secondly, there is hard-lines especially when the president is going the enter the political season in addition to all of the investigations, and lines that people can't cross. you can't cross the line of being his personal attorney. you are working for the government. you can't cross the line for being the campaign manager, because the campaign is run by people who are not in government. you don't want to violate the hatch act, and can you want to set the example of not violating the hatch act. so i would say, david bossie, jared kushner, and neither one of them should be there, because
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bossie would attempt to be the campaign manager, and you can't let that happen, and the people around him would have to know that there is a hard-line, and we are guard to chris krchristi and he may be the most eligible chief of staff, because he understand understands the role of political leader, and he understands the role of the executive leader and he understands the role of an attorney, and he understands the role of the prosecutor, and so, maybe he is the best of the bunch that is out there. but i would be careful. this is going to be a challenging time for the white house who is going to be needing a lot of discipline on the staff to do their job rather than preoccupied with trying to address an investigation or remove a cloud or get involved in a campaign stay there. to do their job for the american people to help the president to do his job. >> and this photo from the white house christmas reception that reince priebus tweet ed out whih shows a smiling john kelly and a smiling reince priebus, and jonathan, maybe they are smiling
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because they are well out of what jim baker is -- let me clean it up, the worst job in washingt washington. >> yes, we did not see those smiles when they had the positions here in the building behind me. and reince priebus was the first chief of staff who many, many the building and inside and outside of the building did not do enough to install discipline in the west wing and the oval office in particular was often compared to grand central station in terms of in and out and distracting the president of doing what he was doing and mind you he was encouraging this behavior. and john kelly did clamp down oit, and streamlined the policy process here in the building, but he and the president had a sort of falling out as the months went on. and trump really shook against the policies of kelly, and the staff tuned out kelly after the handling of rob porter, the aide who was accused of two instances of spousal abuse, and two background checks here in the white house did not pick it up. and kelly and the president
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barely speak these the days, and so there is no change that is needed with the president's allies, i believe heading into this january the democrats in control of the house, and accelerating by the day, and so the economy is showing signs is of slowdown which would be damaging to the president's bid, and so most people around the president do hope they will make a decision soon before he begins the christmas break when he heads down to mar-a-lago. >> a lot to be watching. jonathan la mere, thank you for the reporting and andy card, great to have your perspective. thank you, both. >> have a good weekend. and them too, the house of the senate and the secret payment payments of sexual claims. amy klobuchar is going to join us next right here on msnbc. [woman 1] this...
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congress is finally making sweeping changes to clean up a broken system of how it handles its own sexual harassment scandals. after decades of covering them up a. a new bipartisan measure
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that president trump is to sign is going to hold members of congress personally liable for claims of harassment that they commit. and accused lawmakers can no longer use taxpayer settlements. and amy klobuchar is behind this bill. congratulations are in order, and it is a big step and hard fought. >> yes, a lot of people were involved. senator blount was the republican leader and of course, jackie speier and others in the house, and it is the focus here is to change a system that really was designed to protect the politicians instead of the vi victims. it had cooling off periods, and very hard to figure out the byzantine rules that were involved. what we with did is to simplify it, and put a legal representative in place for people to report things to, and then we made the members individually liable, and some people said wait for the new
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congress, and wait for the new women to come in, and we felt that we needed to clean up our own mess and start with a new system next year. >> and what about the criticism that it is not far enough. >> it is going far in achieving the results for the victim. what the victim wants is a process that you can use, where you can understand what your choices are, and that is transparent po the publto the p and that is good effort and bipartisan and unanimous support in the united states senate. >> and how much was this propelled by not only the revelations of the past year, but also by the disaster of the kavanaugh hearings were? >> i don't know if that had as much to do with it as what was going on around the nation, and we should be setting an example in congress, and this not just famous people, but the nurse in the hospital, and the factory worker on the front line and if we can't get our act together, it is hard to ask other places
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to do the same. so i hope that we set a good example with this bill. >> and i asked yesterday about the saudi bill and yemen resolutions with bernie sanders, but then it was reported by the "new york times that he and elizabeth warren were huddling, and he went off on me in be bernie fashion with a twinkle in the yishgs and he said that you in the media are asking about this, and i don't want to run on this or that and i want to run on pharma and a litany of the thing things to run on. and so you are clearly more than one of 20 people, and maybe more than 20 or 30 people, and many of whom are in the senate, and how do you navigate decision making? we are hearing from joe biden, i will be deciding over the holidays and i don't know how many times i have heard him say that, and so many people, and who is the ideal candidate to
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take on donald trump if he is on the ticket? >> and i do want to say one thing about the kremen resolution, because it was a big deal with the 56 votes to finally start doing our constitutional duty to say that we shouldn't be involved in funding a a war thfund ing funding a war that has killed or starved 86 million kids. and so, even though house may kill it next week, it does not mean we can't go after it next year. >> with a different house. >> yes. >> and let me finish up. how much do you take that vote, the unanimous vote saying that mohammad b mohammad bin salman was responsible for the murder in contradiction no the president and the secretary of state and everybody in the cabnet and other than the cia director and 56-41 to rebutte the president's foreign policy on saudi arabia, and that an outgrowth of him being weakened from the
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investigations some. >> well, it is the facts when you have this horrendous war going on, and without any check from the congress. so that is the first part of it. and the second part is the murder of a journalist, and innocent journalist with who worked for the washington post, and went in to straight en out his marriage license basically and to get things in order, to get marry and he is murdered in cold blood and yet no sanctions against the person who report after report shows ordered it. that is the congress saying, look, we want to have relations with saudi arabia, but we with want to make sure that our country is still the beacon of human rights that it should be. >> and last i looked, minnesota neighboring iowa, and the midwest is critical. iowa caucus is important. why are aren't you the ideal candidate? >> well, i am considering this, and i think that it is really important that whoever we put up has an understanding of those voices that weren't heard in 2016 from the midwest and really from the middle of the country, and from the middle of our citizenry. there were too many people who
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got left behind, and when i look at this, i am someone who goes not just where it is comfortable, but where it is uncomfortable. i am someone who believes in the time of chaos that we are seeing in the white house that it is a time when we should be governing from are the opportunity, and that means everything from doing something about the pharmaceutical prices, and it means getting the immigration reform done and not because it is the moral thing to do, but because it is good for the economy. and changing the way our tax laws work so that we can encourage more jobs here in america. >> and what about the so-called progressive wing, sherrod brown obvio obviously from ohio, and also the midwest. >> sherrod is a great friend of mine, and we came in together into the united states senate and we have campaigned together many times in ohio, and he has been in minnesota. so i think that you are going to have a lot of people looking at. this and think they competition is healthy. it is good for the democratic system, and we will see who is really in and out in the coming
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months. >> how much is age a factor? is looking at the picture caught on capitol hill of joe biden and ckamala harris? >> very nice. >> and joe biden and elizabeth warren, perhaps, should they take a step back and give some of the younger senators and candidates a chance? >> i don't think that anybody has to step back, but everyone has to make their own individual decision if they are the good person to be running. and to beat donald trump, and they will make their own decision just as i will, and you should not exclude people based on anything except for being able to gather the support the win, and are they able to run a campaign with decency and dignity and we will really need that when you are looking at what we have on the other side with the president. >> leave it there. >> we will. >> and to be continued. >> happy holidays. >> amy klobuchar, and coming up, day one, and why are the federal
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prosecutors now investigating the president's inaugural committee? coming up on "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc.
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but he has plans today.ain. hey dad. so he took aleve. if he'd taken tylenol, he'd be stopping for more pills right now. only aleve has the strength to stop tough pain for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. federal prosecutorses are now looking into whether people from middle east earn countries illegally funneled money into
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president trump's inaugural committee in hopes to buy influence accord oing to "the new york times." and the focus is on qatar, saudi arabia and united emirates and whether they used straw donors to disguise their donation, and of course, federal laws prohibiting pac funds. and so we will bring in our guests. and welcome to you both. the head of the inaugural committee member tom barrett denied ever soliciting the players and you know these players so well from your diplomatic post in the past, and the credibility of this, and there were previous reports that russian players had been -- >> and ukrainians and others. >> and yes, and that probably manafort connected? >> may well be. and some version of this is not surprising, right? that foreign governments would be seeking ways to make contact
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with the trump campaign as it transition transitioned to becoming an inaugural committee as it transitioned to becoming an administration, and many of those foreign companies and foreign kcountries would have hd very little to do with donald trump or anyone around him, and for months and years before when either, you know, he was a candidate. and he didn't expect him to win. and so all of the sudden, they are in the position of trying to meet people and kind of get in the door and where that crosses the door to illegality is if they are purchasing access or influence and via improper donations to the inaugural committee, and that is what we understand the new york investigation to be about, and whether money was funneling in from sources where it shouldn't have been, and whether the people close to trump knew that. >> and in fact, when anne
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discusses, shannon, that period, because of the confusion with the transition as well, and chris christie having been fired aunl and all of the rest, and the ambassadors and ale lies were saying to me, we could not figure out how to get the prime minister in touch to make a congratulatory call to the president-elect until we called jared kushner, and he is the go-to guy in trump tower in the transition for a lot of to foreign connections just because he was sophisticated enough if no other reason to know that it was an important call. >> and so when we talk about the things involved with the inauguration, and mentioning tom barrack, a close friend of the president's that could be involved an jared kushner was involved heavily in everything happening at this time, and rick gates was heavily involved in the inauguration, and he has plead guilty and cooperating with the special counsel's office, and that is some of the figures here, but going back to the period right after the
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election, we continue to see sort of the disorganization, and the chaos and the missteps that happened then continuing to haunt this president. so much of his past, he can't get behind him, whether it is the transition and these conversations about the sanctions with flynn or what happened in this inauguration. i know that we are just in the very early stages of what is being investigated, but there was certainly a lot of confusion for people in washington to have access to a president-elect they had no access to, and tom barrett does not know washington or inauguration, and you had somebody associated with the first lady who was heavily involved in organizing this, and another person who is not familiar with washington and politic, and you can just see the opportunities for the missteps to be made and we don't know if they were, but you can see where things could have slipped in. >> and we know that, also, anne, there is a number of witnesses who this may not be a formal investigation and not mueller, but we know that there was a lebanese american sort of the go-to fixer guy who was
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connected with at a love the countries and tom barrack in the past who was intercepted on arrival on the way to mar-a-lago last year for new year's eve. >> yes, and which would suggest that people had not learned their lesson a year on, but to shannon's point about that period of kchaos and how important that now is, i think that is exactly right. there was a, you know, a six-week to two-month period where they didn't have a full profession professional operation in place, and you know, that is the basis of a lot of the mueller investigation, and the trump tower meeting and clearly it is now the basis for at least this new york criminal investigation and probably others. >> and preliminary investigation. >> yes. >> and thank you very much, anne guerin and shannon pennypeace. and coming up, this tragedy at the border. lawmakers are demanding more details on the death of a little
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there are growing questions
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now over the death of a 7-year-old guatemalan girl who die died in border patrol custody last week after crossing the u.s./new mexico border with her father and large groups of migrants. the department of homeland security is confirming the child's death and saying that she and her father were in custody for eight hours when the little girl started to have seizures and her temperature spiked to 105.7 degrees. the emergency responders tried to revive her after she went into cardiac arrest and she l e later died at the hospital less than 24 hours after being transported. and jacob, what do we know about how this happened? >> well, it is horrible, andrea, and no other way to put this. we had a background briefing with the administration officials from the department of homeland security, and department of borders and customs, and members asked them to go on the record to discuss the circumstances of what happened and they declined to do that, but what we have learned is that the 7-year-old girl went
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untreated on a bus ride between the time that her father told border patrol agents transporting her around 5:00 a.m., and the time she arrived at a border patrol station at 6:30 a.m. she was vomiting and by the time she got to the border patrol station at 6:30 a.m., and talking about southern new mexico and near the arizona border, she was not breathing. she was airlifted after arriving at the border patrol station at 7:45 and made it to a hospital, and reportedly was breathing again around 11:00, but later died from the illness that she had suffered. she was part of a much larger group of 163 guatemalan migrants who were apprehended near the antelope trail there. and it is a terrible situation, andrea, but it is not one that is all that surprising give n te conditions that the migrants are crossing in these days. because of the enforcement strategy by the trump
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administrati administration, and critics would say harnlgly forcing the people to cross in the desert, and having a hard time presenting at the ports of entry, and this port of entry in particular was closed and they are crossing in more dangerous situation situations, and the larger contest we should all remember is that despite the over 10-year decade-long period of apprehensi apprehensions and the crossings going down, the deaths in the desert are going up. and critics of border patrol policy is saying that because of the deterrent-type policy w we are seeing on the southwest border. >> and the facts are that they are closing many of the legal crossing areas, and they are shutting down or not providing the mechanisms for people who are claiming asylum, and the judges are not there, and the lines are long, and the people are waiting for days in horrible conditions conditions, but the bottom line is how could she be on the bus and not given water, food, crackers and what people are supposed to be getting from the officials once they take custody of these children? >> i mean, it does make you sick to think about and i will say
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that the cdp officials said that when they were in the what is called the bounds forward operating base down there on the southwest border after being apprehended with the group of 163 people, they won't tell us that water, had request it. there's details we don't know and they're looking into this. another big question, commissioner of cpb testified on the hill on tuesday and he talked about the fact that this was a system, that is system, this border enforcement system for young men coming across and not equipped for families and young children to be coming across in ways like this. at that time on tuesday, this young girl had already died in custody. he made no mention of that. on this background call, dhs would not acknowledge, would not answer, would not say if they knew if the commissioner knew about the death at this time but
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there are relevant members of congress supposed to be identified of these deaths within 24 hours. >> i know you are following up. thank you for staying on this story when others dropped it. >> you got it. >> joining me is charlie sykes and steve israel. charlie and steve, we got to talk about this because the border crisis is what the president's betting is going to help him with his base. and it is the hang-up, the wall, et cetera, on averting a shutdown. he thinks it's good politics. tell me your reaction to this. charlie, you first. >> well, obviously, this is a terrible tragedy and it's a humanitarian crisis. i want do get all the facts. it's very disturbing the lack of tran transparency from homeland security. that is humanitarian crisis that
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the president is demagoguing to score political points saying the solution is a wall, sending the army down to the border. none of which is going to make any of this safer. so we have this very -- we have a juxtaposition of the cruelty and the human loss versus the crude and i think -- again, crude and distortion we are getting from the white house. we're really seeing this week kind of the intersection of all of the corruption and cruelty of this administration. >> and the dhs secretary spoke when she was asked about it on fox. let's watch. >> it's heartwrenching is what it is and my heart goes out to the family. all of dhs. you know, this is just a very sad example of the dangers of this journey. this family chose to cross illegally. what happened here was they were 90 miles away from where we
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could process them. they came in such a large crowd that it took our border patrol folks a couple times to get them all. we give immediate care and continue to look into the situation and i cannot stress enough how dangerous the journey is when they come here illegally. >> it sounds like blaming the victim. steve israel? >> oh, absolutely. that is ludicrous and i have to say it's callous. look. we do not have a border policy. this administration is not pursuing a border policy. it is failing to keep a campaign sound bite to its base. it promised its base that it was going to build this great wall. and mexico was going to pay for it. now we are learning that mexico was never going to pay for it. will not pay for it. now we have an administration that is saying that they want the u.s. taxpayer to pay for this wall. and if the taxpayer doesn't pay for the wall they'll shut down the government to force them to
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do that. what this is all about, a tragedy with the 7-year-old girl or what you just heard from the secretary of homeland security, what this is all about is an administration that has no policy, that is flailing. we have a cruel and inhuman approach to these people who are not breaking the law. they're presenting themselves for asylum and this 7-year-old girl is a victim to those cruel and inhuman policies. >> and i think also the politics of the president's strategy on the shutdown welcoming it, embracing it, jon cornyn, the texas republican senator, no more loyal to the president than anyone said i don't understand the strategy. but maybe he's figured it out. charlie, i don't know the strategy but the shutdown is looming as of the 21st. >> well, the strategy is to keep playing his greatest hits which is he feels that he got to the oval office by pushing this idea of the wall that the mexicans
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are never going to pay for and doubling down on it. this appeals to the base and resonates to the base and that's as far as i think the strategy goes. >> thank you both so much. and more ahead. stay with us right here on "andrea mitchell reports." ier i. and while your pants struggle to support the heavier you, your roof struggles to support the heavier me. [laughter] whoo. [crash] and your cut-rate insurance might not pay for this. so get allstate, you could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me. mayhem is everywhere. so get an allstate agent. are you in good hands? but he has plans today.ain.
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today in your honor, mr. roker, we have decided to rename the plaza. >> oh!
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>> rokerfeller plaza. >> 40 years. before we go, we want to wish our friend and colleague a very happy 40th anniversary at rokerfeller plaza. we know what he does on the air. tracking the weather and so much more. but what you don't know is what al roker is as a mentor and a friend to so many of us over the years and so many in generations yet to come. al, in 40 years you're going do get your own smucker's jar. at your 100th. we love you. here's to another 40 at least. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online. here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle for "velshi & ruhle." i think you will have al on the sh show. >> we are. have a great afternoon. >> give him a hug from us. >> absolutely there. i'm ali velshi. >> i'm stephanie ruhle.
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it is friday finally! december 14th. let's get smarter. >> nothing at the trump administration was ever done unless it was run through mr. trump. he directed me to make the payments. he directed me to become involved in these matters. >> in retrospect, i made a mistake. because what he did was all unrelated to me except for the two campaign finance charges. >> he -- you have to remember at what point in time that this matter came about. two weeks or so before the election. post the billy bush comments. so yes. he was very concerned about how this would affect the election. >> to help his campaign. >> to help him and the campaign. >> if it is true that president trump directed these payments be made with the intention of influencing the presidential election, and then he tried to hide them, that could amount to a felony. >> the