tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 19, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
that wraps th s up this hou "msnbc live" and we bring in the lovely as always andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> thank you. and now, president trump declaring victory over isis preparing to pull troops out of syria. >> the number one job is to defend america against the people who are trying to attack us. and even though you are tired of fighting them, they are not tired of fighting you. >> and deal or no deal, mitch mcconnell says that i have a deal to keep the government open until february, and will the president sign on? >> we need the government to remain open for the american people, and i hope that democratic friends join next
year ready to join the americant president and the senate ma j majority and the american people in our desire to secure the border. shuttered and shamed. the president is ordered to close the family charitable foundation after the state's attorney general accuses him of using it as his piggy bank. >> it is a charity, and it has aims that are not your own mo y money, and trumm treated it as if it was his own money. and good day, everyone. i'm andrea mitchell in washington. president trump is greenlighting a major shift in america's syria po policy, and two senior defense officials telling msnbc that the president is preparing to withdraw troops from the war torn
area. acknowledging there are more
than 2,000 other troops at times, and president trump is justify i justifying the reported move today by saying that we have
defeated isis in syria and the only reason for being there in the trump presidency. joining us is richard engel and nbc white house correspondent chris theten welker. first to you, for the rational from the white house for doing this, kristen? >> well, as you point out president trump tweeted basically mission accomplished tweet. and this is what press secretary sand sanders is saying. she is going further than the president saying that we have started to return the troops home as as we are transitioning to the next phase of the campaign, and again, the president is saying that we have defeated isis in syria, and that is the only reason for being there in the trump presidency, and that is why president trump is going to make this move, but remember, andrea, he campaigned on a promise to pull out the troops from these various different foreign engagements.
this is his america first foreign policy, and it has not been met without criticism. you have lawmakers on cap al tall hill including lindsey graham who said that this is not the right move and comparing it to the obama foreign policy. and you have other h lawmakers speaking out as well, and then of course, the united states allies who are concerned that this could embolden militants and give new rise to eye circumstances and -- isis, and concern there. and they say that there are 200 troops there, but at times that number has been much higher and closer to 2 th,000 if not more, andrea. >> and also congressman and veteran military veteran adam yikeberger saying it is not true that isis has been defeated. richard engel, you been there in
the region, and how is this playing with turkey and the allies the syrian kurds who turkey is determined to defeat there. and isn't this going to expose them to all kinds of problems? isn't that is going to help iran and russia? >> so, this is a very significant decision for all of the reasons that you talked about. there are two main problems w sh it. one, isis is not yet defeated according to the military official, and so president trump declared victory in time for the christmas holidays and says that the u.s. troops are leaving because their mission is over, but we have been told that there is still a small but very violent and active isis presence in that part of syria, and military commanders worry that this siege could are regerminate and that the group could grow back effectively. the other part is a moral question. there are many lives at stake,
and what about the partners? the u.s. has been fighting in syria with a kurdish-led force for the last four years now. they have been military commanders have told me time and time again the best, the hardest fighting, and the most reliable and the most dependent allies that the united states has had in the entire war against terrorism as it has been called. they have been successful, and they have carved out an autonomous enclave with u.s. backing. if the u.s. troops are pulling back from the autonomous enclave and i have been there and seen the u.s. troops working with with their kurdish partners and the friendships that have been founded, and if the americans left the kurds would be totally exposed and turkey has already said that it will move in militarily to take over that space or at least to destroy the kurdish position there. so that would be a devastating blow for an american partner on
the ground, and moral betrayal. it would also benefit assad, because it would take americas s out of the area, and benefit russia, because by withdrawing the american presence from this region. that is why a lot of the people ma in the military have been pushing against this move for months now. this is not new. with we have heard from president trump going back to this spring rumblings saying that we with should leave syria and the war against isis is over, and the u.s. military is pushing back. we will see the if they are able to push back much longer according to the reuters news agency with an unnamed u.s. official the time frame is to start pulling the troops between the next 60 to 100 days. >> richard engel and kristen welker thank you so much. and joining me is john brennan, a former cia and security analyst, and so have we defeated
e isis, and is the war over? mission accomplished? >> no, because we have destroy ed a lot of it, because of the work of the troops, be but it still a has a presence in syria and western iraq and again the ground, ground, but it is by no means defeated completely, and that is why this decision, and whatever the decision is still unclear the magnitude of it has two dimension, and one is the practical impact, and what does it do with the day-to-day cooperation with the american forces and the kurdish allies the ypg which is the ma are lish sha -- militia responsible for the progress. and secondly, what is the political signal no tto the all and the russians and the seyrias and assad and the turks. we know that there is concern among the allies that there is turks who may be moving between
the ypg and the kurdish paramilitary organization that has been causing problems for turkey. >> we know that the president spoke with erdogan, the turkish president, and there is a lot going on between the u.s. and turkey and not to the say the least of michael flynn that we will talk about in a moment. but a spokesperson said that the coalition has lifted the impact of the opposition forces, but the campaign is not over. with we have started the process of returning troops home from syria as we transition to the next phase of the campaign, but she doesn't say what it is. and for operational security, we will not provide further details, but we will continue to defeat isis wherever it operates, so we don'tb have the information that we need to assess including the republicans on the key committees will want to assess how much are we pulling back and exposing the
syrian kurdish allies to be pull pulled out? >> well, this is typical of the trump policy with which is policy by tweet. a tweet this morning pulling out of syria, but the details have yet to be announced or decided i would argue, and i am deciding why he had to make this announcement now, because it is 2,000 troops and limited investment, but the returns are significant to make sure that isis is not going to be as richard engel said rejgenerate and cause new problems for us with the partners in the region. >> half of the troops deploy nod the southern border for what is a questionable purpose that the military did not fully support initially, but they are saluting and going along with the commander in chief. and this is at a time when there is considerable behind the scenes tension not only with is secretary mattis, because rude
appointment announcement ten months before the joint chiefs t tenure done by tweet on army/navy day and we are not sure what john bolton is doing here, but it is not coordinated. >> i don't know what type of the national security process is -- >> they are not meeting. >> bit is more of the impulsive ti of mr. trump to deflect and have people look at other issues as opposed the other thing ths t are in the news such as the closing of the trump foundation. >> and a now, i want the ask you about michael flynn. you have worked closely with him for years. you knew him going up through the ranks of intelligence and then he ran the defense intelligence and of course fired under president obama. general clapper has spoken out about this and you have as well that something happened. and what about the revelations, the revelations and the
indictments of the partner and what was happening in turkey, and the fact that the security adviser designate was working with a foreign government against the interests of the obama administration if not the u.s. policy. >> well, he had a reputation of being aggressive and he was limited to what he could do with the uniform, but once he was retired he sought some of the initiatives without thinking through the impact and the implications of it. whether it is the relationship with turkey or russia and going over to moscow and participating in the dinners there, and so i think that mike flynn just started the to go down a slope, and then when het got involved in the trump campaign, unfo unfortunately the lack of ethics and principles that surround the trump campaign and team was something that mike flynn i think react ed to and this a no
positive way. >> how do you explain that he gave a speech in cleveland that rachel maddow aired the other night as the coupe was taking place that night against erdogan, and it is july of 2016 and gives a speech praising the military saying that as they take over for erdogan aring to the to be secular and not islamist, and then 11 days la r later, he is signing a deal for $600,000 according to the indictment gaiagainst the exact what he said 11 days before that. is this greed? >> yes, and it is reflecting a lack of responsibility on the parts of someone like mike flynn because of the government and the military experiences he should have realized if he wanted the go through the route of being basically a lobbyist, he should have acknowledged that and not continue to present himself as an independent
thinker and someone who is advocating for the national security interest, and he made a number of egregious mistakes throughout the last year or so before the election is, and it was just compounded then by some of the opportunity that he had as donald trump's principle national security adviser when he was appointed. >> and there is something else that he has or could deliver to robert mueller about the russia con n connection or something else, and why was he going to be given such a great deal? >> i don't know, but it seems as though he certainly met robert mueller's expectations for providing information over the course of 19 interviews f. there -- if there is more, i don't know being so close to the trump organization. and he is one of the most intimate advisers to mr. trump
in that critical period of summer and fall of 2016. >> john brennan, it is always great to see you. thank you very much and for being with with us, and if i don't see you, a very happy holidays. and shutdown avert ed. congress comes up with with a plan to avert the shutdown. will the president agree? you are watching "andrea mitchell reports" right here on msnbc. you're gonna really love voting online for your favorite. you can even enter for a chance to appear in an upcoming geico commercial. this fire's toasty, linda but the best of geico collection sounds even hotter. to vote for your favorite geico ad and enter to win, visit geico.com/bestof. that's geico.com/bestof.
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republic republicans are dangling the president's demand for $5 billion border wall. they are agreeing to keep the government open up till at least february. >> we will continue to a clean continuing resolution later today to make sure that we don't end this year the way began with it, with another government shutdown, because of the d democrats allergy to sensible immigration policies. with e need the government to remain open for the american people. >> joining me now is msnbc's kasie hunt, and how do you read the tea leaves. steven miller came out sunday and no deals, and $5 billion and then the hints from the president and sarah sanders and saying that we will get the money from the mexican wall by renegotiating nafta which is crazy. >> totally unaware of how the trade deficits work. >> and so this is so the
companies don't have to pay the thins that they have to pay for, and that is money nfor the private sector and it is not. it is not getting money into the government's -- >> no, let's be clear, mexico is not paying for wall and congress does not want to pay for it either. >> and this is not an incorrect way that mexico going to be paying for the wall. >> and there are conversations and insinuations that they will take it from other pieces of the budget, and that is hitting snags as well. it is not good idea to take money from the military for national security purposes to build the wall, and the are reality is that there is nott that many republicans in congress who believe that a physical wall of the kind that tr trump wants to build is the smart way to defend the southern border, because they have different needs and they can have fencing or drones or other thing, and so disagreements with the republicans on the hill and the president on this issue, but the democrats have all kinds of leverage, because the president president cannot pass this without them, and no way they
were going to be pushing this forward a. and the big question on the hill is how did mitch mcconnell convince president trump to go along with the short term deal, because there were smoke signals they would not go for it, and now, nobody is saying no. however, as we all know the wild card is the president. there is that one time and i forget when in the last two years, because it has been so i bill that it was not clear he would sign it, and we all panicked, but then he signed it. so as far as i'm concerned, it is christmas is not safe until that president's pen is on the paper. and congress is not interested in a different outcome. >> and so -- >> very personal, andrea, to me. >> yes. and the fact is that this is going to be coming due, this bill is due february 8th or so, and after the january period when nancy pelosi does not want
to thave this fight lininging u the votes to become speaker, but at some point they have to either explain that they have are made a big concession from the white house or give him something. >> it is trickier negotiation than perhaps some democrats realize that it might be. and with we are testinging the waters of what divided government is and the contentious meeting in the oval office is a taste of where we might be and the democrats when they are in charge, they will bear more responsibility, and part of the reason that the republic republicans don't want to have a shutdown, because they control the entire government and easy to see where the blame would go. so there is a lot of unpredictable twists and turns and things to learn from washington in the coming year. >> i have my money on you that you will go right across the street to tell them to get it gone because i need to get out of here. >> i think that somebody has to go down pennsylvania avenue to make sure of it. >> thank you, kasie.
>> thank you, andrea. and the charitable taking, and the family business is now out of business. super emma just about sleeps in her cape. but when we realized she was battling sensitive skin. we switched to tide pods free & gentle. it's gentle on her skin and out cleans the other free and clear detergent. dermatologist recommended. it's got to be tide.
i'd like to mention one thing, the trump foundation is a small foundation, and people contribute and i contribute, and the money is going 100%, 100% to different charities and inclu includinging a lot of military. i don't get anything. i don't buy boats or planes. >> well, not exactly. joining the c during the campaign, donald trump samade much of the charit but now the charity is out of business saying it is more than a checkbook to promote his b business interests and some of the examples are shocking. we get the inside scoop from the political reporter who has done all of the reporting on the foundation for years. and margaret carlson here from daily beast, and charlie sykes who is here from the wisconsin cold, and we have it much more comfortable from where you have been. and david, you have won the
pulitzer for all of the work on the trump money, and i no e that barbara underwood is an elected democrat, but the fact is that she had the goods on them in terms of the what she called a shocking pattern of illegality and the working in cahoots with the campaign and illegal, and give me the best examples. >> first i should say that barbara underwood is not a appointed democrat, but she an employee. so in this, he had used the charities to settle legal disputes to settle the b businesses where they should have paid $260 million to pay the disputes the charity paid the money in instead. he used the charity to buy art pictures of himself and one he hung up at the golf club as a
decoration at the golf club. and also, at age underwood, he used it as a arm of the campaign, and used the charity to maximize the appeal to voters and including giving away charity checks in the middle of the political rallies in ohio and new hampshire. >> and the favorite example, and the favorite, favorite example is the $7 paid at one point to well, we don't know why, but it is $7 the entrance fee for don jr. when he was 11 years old. so if you are a billionaire or gazillion a gazillionaire, and you charge the charity to pay for your son's boy scouts -- that is shocking. >> and it is shocking how low he could go. and i don't think that we would be here today with the underwood
causing the foundation to be dissolved and thank david pharynhold for the are reporting and stunning. he did not buy a boat or a plane, but he got the $7 fee for the son. and the portrait of the tim tebow helmet which by the way, now, they have to sell that, but it is worth $975 and all of this grift is worth $975, and he paid $42,000. so even as a grifter, he is not a good businessman in that he has lost -- >> he is a cheap grifter. >> and lost $47,000. >> and charlie sykes, what about the fact that the fountain, and you know, the big donation of $100,000 to the conservancy to central park for the mountain outside of the trump plaza hotel to renovate the fountain. >> this is not a charity, but a slush fund and a scam and a
grift. but david's reporting was so solid before the election, and we knew it. so it is central though to the the sort of the big lie behind donald trump which is that he was a u successful businessman when he wasn't, and that he was a philanthropist, when in fact, he was engaging in self-dealing. all of these thing, and part of that, this cumulative effect of realizing how much the level of the sleaze, the self-dealing, the greed and pettiness that underlies donald trump and now seeped into the white house. he is not allowed to run a charity, but he has the nuclear codes. >> and we are at the part in the movie where we say, they are all in on it. and look at a ivanka holding up the check which, you know, it is like you are at a publisher's clearinghouse where the money never gets to the people it is intended for, and are remember
that david had to report on the gift to the veterans after he canceled the debate, and an event. >> and david, what about the fact that the a.g. in new york says that the trumps and their three adult children cannot be part of a charity in new york state which mean s ths that thep presidential library could never be in new york, but in florida or any other place he wanted to have it, but are there legal implications beyond the civil implications? >> well, the lawsuit, and the settlement and the agreement to close the foundation is going to end part of the lawsuit, and the lawsuit continues the a.g. underwood against the trumps. she wants trump to particularly pay millions of dollars of restitutions and fines, and she is also going to want to ban them, and wants a judge to ban them from serving on any charity in new york state. and the trump kids for one year, i believe. and the argument is that the trump kids were on the board of
the foundation, and they had a legal duty to look out for the asset assets to make sure that their father was not misusing the assets and the board that they are on had not mett since 1999 and so if it is penalty imposed it is not that much of an effect right now, because he not on the nonprofit, but there is a symbolic thing, and this man who is the most powerful man in the world would not have the moral fiber that new york state would say to be on the board of a staten island little league. >> yes, and the pulitzer is not enough for all of the work you have done on this, and martha kaufman and charlie sykes, nice to have you in from the cold. a and so there are some fun left in politics as first lady michelle obama stopped by jimmy al fallon to talk about her new book, and then they surprised some folks right there on the elevator at our own 30 rock. >> that's it.
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hours after jacqueline's death, her father still coping with the loss was asked by the c.a.p. to sign documents in english denotes the level of unfairness and indecency. >> that is the father of the 7-year-old girl from guatemala, and joining me is julia ainsley and also reporter who has been all over this. this tragedy is a symbol and the emblem of the larger problem, and they are closinging down the intake facility or shortchanging them on the staff iing and the asylum seekers are driven to go illegally into much more dangerous place, and also not staffing these other border points with with the proper medical care. >> that is right.
decisions that this ed administration has made over and over again that says a lot about the priorities and why they put the troops at the border rather than process asylum claims, and why they don't staff the facilities like where she showed up with her father, and medical personnel not there to prevent her from taking an hour and a half bus ride before she got medical attention, and the other thing that we learned yesterday, andrea, cpp has been saying that they are at xas tcapacity, and is where the asylum seekers should go, but they are backed up by the thousands, and we asked, what do you mean at capacity, and the advocates say they are clearly not at capacity, because there was a case where a high profile family, the one seen main the tr gas victims were able to get to the front of the line, and so they were not able to say that
they were at capacity at the border. it is influx, and mindset that it is ebbs and flows and not able to take them in. it is a meter and let in a few, 30 or 40 a day. >> the fact that they were using indelible ink to put arms on the -- it was mexicans on the other side, but the insensitivity, but the agreement to track people, and it is hideous hideous. >> they were -- i cannot believe it is americans who were writing the numbers on the arms, but it shows that there is a three or four-digit numbers and this is how many people are waiting to get in. many of them with serious medical problems like jacqueline, but were not able to screen them on other side of the border. the other thing that is coming is the agreement that the u.s. is trying to work out with mexico to hold the people there for longer until they come through to put the problem on mexico. it is driving up the images of
the more people on the border which can play into the president's hands in a lot of ways. >> and it is telling people around the world that in the images of people at our border with numbers p bei s being plac their arms is such a remind over the holocaust that it is not acceptable. thank you, ainsley. and joining us is republican will hurd, a member of the homeland security committee and also, former intelligence cia agent, i suppose, officer. congress mman herd, you have protested this policy which is creating mayhem at the border, and what can be done and what should you tell the white house from your experience there and at the white house some >> we have four minutes, and i can go on for the 234nextt four hours about what should be done, and talk about the acute problem of the death of the child
whether it is negligent or not, and reviewing whether they have the resources they need in order to handle a situation like this. this example leaves us to believe that they don't have the resources. so, that, that's step one, and step two, in a place like torneo, in my district, this is a temporary tent city in the border of el paso, and 2800 kids there in the tent facility, and 1,300 of them have already identified ay ed ied a sponsor sponsor with fingerprinting and why are these children not release nod teased to the sponst for the immigration court case with a family member rather than detention facility, and we know from the expert has the longer the kid is in custody, the greater the chances they have long term psychological and mental health impacts on them going into the future.
all of this is a symptom of the larger problem which is violence and lack of economic opportunity in honduras, el salvador and guatemala and we should be working with those companies to address the issues, and that is why we should be funding the state department properly and make sure that usaid can address the problem there p before it gets to our border. the mexican president announced $30 billion for economic development there, and so this is the way that we should be able to solve some of these problems. >> and apparently, there is a new ruling from a federal judge striking down some of the asylum rule, and the litigated forever, but with the deployment of the troops, was it a waste of money? is that where they should be putting the priority or maybe it
is helpful, but why not sending more judges and intake personnel. >> well, the person on the show earlier said why not more people adjudicating asylum, and in texas, all of the folks who work for these cases is in houston, texas, and they are not on the border. so how come some of the people there are not deployed forward to address this problem. there is a derth of the number of people in cdp, and 2,000 position unfilled. this is a larger problem of the retention issues within the border patrol. we need to address that so that we have the manpower there to address this influx. but again, this is all about root causes and when you are resort to snatching babies out of their mama's hands or trying to have kids in detention facilities for long periods of times a deterrent, then we heed to rethink the strategy. this is one of the reasons why i have been so aghast by these behaviors. now i will say that new
leadership at hhs and overturned one of the rules that were making it longer to have, and that were increasing the length of time that a kid was staying in some of the detention facilities, and so they recognized the impact that it was having. the head of the o.r.r.r. whi wi is the office of refugee are resettlement should have the decision, and this should reduce the amount of time that kids are staying this the detention facilities and close a facility like the one in my district by the end of the year. >> i want to say that the judge who just ruled against some of the harsher rules from doj and the same judge who is overseeing the flynn case yesterday has struck again. and so thank you, will herd on the hill, and herdonthehill is
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the senate intelligent committee has a busy week digging through russian hacking, and going through robert mueller who is going through the case and joining us is jay johnson who was with the obama administration looking into russian interference into our election in the day, and so all of the indictments havele come out that you proved that you had come on to something, and you didn't know how bad it was and nobody did at the time, but the fact that they are going after robert mueller? what is that telling us about -- >> well, i'm offended. i'm appall and all americans should be, but i am not surprised. i have been saying for some time that insofar as the dis
disinformation campaign by the russian government, we have failed to see the extent to which they influenced public opinion two years ago in 2016, and the recent reports to the senate committee highlight how pervasive this campaign was and that it may have well suspect ts from now we'll be finding out the extent to which the russians tried to interfere in the 2018 midterms. this is a large problem. the way to look at it, what the russians did, the efforts around voter registration databases to infiltrate that, the hacks on the dnc and this vast misinformation campaign they launched which was all throughout the internet and we are still trying to get our arms around it. >> how is what they're saying about robert mueller in these fake, you know, social media posts any different from what the president says almost every day calling it a witch hunt? >> they appear to be trying to publish and republish more of the same.
the significant things of these reports this week they set out that the russian government favored president trump. there's been some effort to kind of make it more general. well, it was an effort at sowing discord, at dividing us as a nation. but we concluded in january 2017, the intelligence community under president obama, that the russian government's aim was to favor then candidate trump. and this recrept report is a t reiteration of that. >> yes, we wanted trump because -- >> i thought that was extraordinary. >> and now with the president talking about another summit with vladimir putin, we still have not gotten past this president's denial of the intelligence that you and your colleagues, you know, concluded and the continuing intelligence about russian -- >> as an intelligence community clearly has, his dni, secretary
of homeland security, have acknowledged the russian effort, the russian campaign which is ongoing. my successor said democracy is in the crosshairs so his administration obviously recognizes the threat and recognizes the problem. >> you had so much to do with the border. we have seen these immigration policies. you had your own issues and they were deployments, as well, under president obama, but the fact that we are understaffing the legal intake centers for asylum seekers, driving people, more people to go illegally and then not staffing areas across the border or along the border with the proper health officials, doctors and nurses and others are telling us constantly this and then the death of the 7-year-old child, how do you get your arms around that? >> i cannot say that a similar tragedy couldn't have happened in the previous administration.
jakelyn's death, the 7-year-old guatemalan who died, is a tragedy. any time a 7-year-old dies in the effort to get a better life is -- >> a series of policy choices, understaffing the legal points of intake, driving more people into crossing illegally and then putting somebody on a bus for 90 minutes who's vom itting and -- >> i'm glad the inspector general is looking into this to see if there's things that should have been done differently and there probably were. that's not so much an issue of politics. where i think we're running into problems here is, first of all, this has been president trump's issue for two years now. he's owned this. and americans should be saying, what you are doing is clearly not working because migrants are crossing our border at record levels, and, you know, we talk about having people wait at ports of entry. that's called metering as was mentioned in the prior segment.
that's not new. this, however, has kind of a feel of making people wait as a deterrent. metering is so that migrants don't overwhelm a community on the southern border. and present health and humanitarian issues. a court has enjoined requiring that those seeking asylum go to ports of entry but the administration is very clearly trying to steer them in that direction creating this problem. >> we have to leave it there but until we see you again, happy holidays, merry christmas. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. bring all the gifts for under the tree and while you're at it... bring the tree. ford f-150 best-in-class payload. best-in-class towing. built for the holidays. bring home the f-150 with zero percent financing for 72 months.
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and today all of us are mourning the loss of a trail blazer. ♪ one two three four five six seven eight ♪ ♪ we're going to do it >> actress and director penny marshall known for her role as a factory worker laverne in this hit show died monday at the age of 75. she was born in the bronx where all good people were born into a show business family. her father a filmmaker and her mother a dance instructor. she got the big break in 1971 cast as jack's secretary myrna on "the odd couple."
even though gary marshall helped his sister get that job, it was the last time she needed the family connections. after the show ended, marshall turned to directing and became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million. the 1988 hit "big" starring tom hanks. she repeated that success in 1992 with "a league of their own." that movie about an all-women's baseball team in world war ii with madonna, rosie o'donnell and hanks who yesterday tweeted, good-bye, penny. man, did we laugh a lot. wish we still could. love you. mar s marshall's ex-husband said i loved penny. i grew up with her. she was born with a funny bone and the instinct of how to use it. i was lucky to have lived with her and her funny bone. i will miss her. penny marshall, a barrier breaker forever in a league of her own. >> are you crying?
>> no. >> are you crying? are you crying? there's no crying. there's no crying in baseball! >> a daughter of the bronx. penny marshall died at the age of 75. that does it for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online. here's ali velshi and stephanie ruhle for "velshi & ruhle." >> good afternoon, everybody. i'm ali velshi. >> i consider myself the laverne in our show. i want you to know. i'm stephanie ruhle. it's wednesday, december 19th. let's get smarter. >> the senate passed the criminal reform bill to reduce the number of inmates in federal prisons. >> to those who say you should never let them out, that's not working. >> bipartisanship cooperation. this is eight years in the making. >> jared kushner played a key role in this. i called him last night, thanked