tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC December 20, 2018 7:00am-8:00am PST
topic one, syria. and the president's call to pull u.s. troops turning friends to foes on capitol hill, talking to one senator pushing the president to reconsider. vladimir putin is praising president trump's move today and that breaking news we're following. acting attorney general matt whitaker who apparently does not have to recuse himself now in the special counsel investigation. our team is set up and ready to go on this incredibly busy thursday. we start this morning with a whole bunch of anger directed at donald trump, anger from some corners over a promise he kept on syria and anger from others over a promise he didn't. the border wall. that bill to keep the government open passed overnight by the senate does not have the money to pay for the wall the president wants. conservative allies are red hot about this, accusing the president of blowing his last best chance to keep his promise to his base before democrats
take control of the house. then there's syria. the timing of that troop withdrawal, starting almost all of washington. the president, he says this morning, it's no surprise at all. he has been campaigning on this for years. garrett haake is on the hill for us. kristen welker is joining us from the white house. garrett, let me begin with you. fill us in on what the latest is with the shutdown discussion in the house as paul ryan, really, gets ready to take questions on this. >> after the senate passed the cr with senators on the floor singing christmas carols, it looked like smooth sailing to keep the government open. as i stand here this morning, that's not quite so clear. republican house members have been leaving their thursday morning meeting amongst themselves. republican leadership is trying to say this is not us giving up on the wall. this stop gap funding bill february 8th is a good idea and rank and file republicans aren't buying t i talked to some conservatives who say that passing the cr would be a complete surrender on the wall,
giving up any leverage they might have to ever get the thing built and there are other issues, too. there's no disaster funding in this cr, which some members want. right now, things are just a mess as a retiring republican congressman just explained to me downstairs. take a listen. >> let's optimistic leaving this meeting than i was coming in. i think there's no consensus right now on what the best way forward is, at least among house republicans. >> did he say if the president supports the cr if he would actually sign it? >> that's unclear. >> reporter: getting this thing through the house, the reality is most democrats will support it. they're perfectly happy with a surrender on the wall and then convincing the president that this is something he should sign. neither of those are a foregone conclusion as i stand here right now. >> cool. awesome. good news. >> merry christmas. >> reporter: super, duper awesome. let me ask you about those two big issues. what you're hearing from the
president in the white house on the shutdown issue and then i want to talk about this syria backlash. let's start with the shutdown. what's up? >> reporter: i was determined to get you a definitive answer about whether president trump would actually sign this short-term cr. i was determined. i have to tell you, i don't have an answer yet. white house officials say, they're trying to get clarity on this. we are reiterating what we've heard over the past 24 hours, that the president will want to review this bill before he signs it. it's a pretty basic bill, though. >> right. >> essentially keeps the government open until february and delays this fight until valentine's day. still no definitive answer but a tweet from the president, hallie, which potentially gives us a little bit of insight. the democrats, who know steel sl slats wall are necessary for
border security, are putting politics over country. if you read between the lines, he raises infrastructure. that's something they plan to tackle in the new year. we do expect to hear from president trump later on today. i can tell you, i have been talking to his allies who say they are bracing for the real possibility he will likely sign this. they believe he has boxed in his critics overnight, once allies, very critical of him. ann coulter saying he has completely folded on this campaign promise, sean hannity even pressing to hold him firm on this. >> and anger from republicans on capitol hill over this syria issue. he seems to be moving away from his we defeated isis line, as he continues to defend his decision. >> reporter: right.
he released that video overnight shot by the white house, hallie, in which the president essentially declared victory, saying we defeated isis. a very different tone in his tweets. do we want to be there forever? time for others to finally fight. and then he sort of pushes back against this notion that this should be a surprise. he says getting out of syria has been no surprise. i've been campaigning on it for years and six months ago when i very publicly wanted to do it. i agreed to stay longer. he goes on to defend his decision in a series of other tweets. bottom line, though, this decision did catch a number of people within the administration off guard, and lawmakers, including republicans on capitol hill, who had very harsh criticism for him, including senator lindsey graham, someone that the president listens to, who compared this decision to former president obama's decision to pull out of iraq. so, he is getting mounting criticism. the one person who seems to like this, russia's president vladimir putin, hallie, adding
even more fuel to his critics' fire. >> kristen welker, thank you. let me bring in charlie sykes, donna edwards, and msnbc contributor and white house correspondent for pbs newshour, erin blake. thank you all for being here. let me start where kristen left off. when you look at the backlash from this, it is coming from a lot of different corners, including the president's favorite cable network. watch. >> to those who say we have defeated isis in syria, that is an inaccurate statement. to say they're defeated is an overstatement and is fake news. >> this is a really bad decision, and if i'm a cabinet official and i think every one of them had their advice disregarded or not asked, i would be pretty furious about it. >> i don't know who advised that this decision be made but it's a
terrible mistake and, unfortunately, i think we're going to pay a price for it if it's not reversed. >> the issue, of course, as our msnbc reporting team has discovered, the president sort of did it, right? he was getting very different advice. >> this has been a shambolic week for the president. we said that before. with syria, i don't think he anticipated the reaction. it looks like he's weak, caving in, bugging out. it sets up a foreign policy disaster. he's now in danger of losing his base on the wall, his hard core base on the wall and some of the people who have been willing to look the other way like lindsey graham when it comes to syria. here is somebody who could have planned, i defeated isis and yet by leaving and declaring victory prematurely, he not only has defeated isis, he he has given russia a big win, iran a big win
and put syria in a situation. this has multiplied his problems. >> we talked to senator king about this idea that vladimir putin came in and was like, yeah, dude, go for it. i'm down. >> it's clear that the president is flailing. you know that to be true when you have your chief supporter out there and rebel rouser vladimir putin celebrating. and an ordinary presidency, a president would have consulted with senators on the hill and on the house side and with his national security team, and then brought forward a real policy. this is not a policy. i don't know what the president is doing, but he's jeopardizing our standing with our allies. you can see that around -- the french this morning are like, what are you doing? >> obviously, there have been gains when it relates to the fight against isis there, right? that's true, not disputable. u.n. security council meeting happening now to talk about solutions in syria. this is becoming an issue not
just here at home, not just dominating capitol hill, where garrett haake was, but dominating the international community as well. >> two things i think. first was this idea that president trump was going to surround himself with these generals and they were all going to be the people -- >> the grown-ups. >> yeah, the grown-ups or people who guided his presidency. instead we see a president who says i don't care what general mattis says. i don't care to tell him what i'm doing. i'm the president. i'm here for two years. i know what i'm doing. i'm going to take this step. as a reporter who covered arlington cemetery, these military cemeteries who feel already invisible feel that the country is not supporting them in the way that they should. now you have people who have given their lives in syria and their comrades will say we're abandoning early. >> he did it in a way that he didn't have to respond to any kind of questions about his policy going forward. this is a problem. >> he will have to respond to questions about what is he going to do if the house passes this
temporary fix to keep the government open, aaron. and there he's also on defense, getting blasted, charlie. >> right. >> here on capitol hill. here is a small sampling of some of that over the last 18 hours or so. >> it's time that we deliver on behalf of the american people and fulfill the promises that the president made many months ago. >> when nancy pelosi is speaker, do we really -- i'm supposed to believe, we're supposed to believe that we're then going to build the border security wall and keep the promise from the 2016 campaign? no way! >> trump gets nothing and the democrats get everything. >> trump will -- it will just have been a joke presidency that scammed the american people, enraged, you know, amused the populists for a while but he will have no legacy whatsoever. >> i'm having flashbacks to the 2017 debt ceiling debate when trump basically gave the farm to democrats and the republican base went with it, members of
congress, republicans in congress went with it. as jim jordan just said there, this is really the last chance that trump has to get that wall funding. i don't think it was ever going to happen in the first place. but starting next month in february when this continuing resolution, piers, democrat control the house. that is the expiration date. all those members of congress know t i don't know if the president does. but they're telling him right now they're not just taking it like they did in 2017. >> go fund me page has been set up to raise a lot of money for the president's border wall. people now are trying to crowd fund for the president's wall. the goal was set at like $1 billion, charlie. the base does care about this. the president's base. he's typically listened to them. it sounds like he's getting ready to go, well, what are we going to do? >> the tone is right, here, though. you have the most powerful voices in his base saying he's doing all three of those.
that's a real problem for donald trump. right now he needs that base. >> we have breaking news coming in to us from the hill. kasie hunt, there's a reason we've not seen house speaker paul ryan appear at that podium yet where he's said to be holding his last news conference at speaker. what's going on? >> hallie, that's right. ryan is very rarely late for really anything, and if he is, there may be something going on behind it. that's what we're hearing from sources inside the room. this is a gop conference meeting to talk about this cr that would extend dhs funding through february. of course, that would not give the president his border wall. we are told that the house speaker actually stepped out of the room to take an emergency phone call from president trump is how one source described it to us. so the question, of course, what they're talking about, what the president is telling him. the meeting has not been going well. obviously, we've been reporting about how conservatives have been displaying their anger with the president over essentially
giving up on the wall funding. some of the hosts we know he watches on "fox & friends" for example. for republicans here on capitol hill, they went into that meeting angry that they didn't have a clear assurance that the president was going to sign this cr if they voted for it. on the one hand you have the freedom caucus members who are frequently kind of out of line and not necessarily needed to pass this because democrats have said they'll get on board. those rank and file republicans, even some of whom are leaving congress because they lost their races, are saying that the president is leaving them hanging by not saying in public what he's planning on doing. so, you know, obviously we don't want to speculate too much about how this conversation between the house speaker and the president is going. >> could just be well wishes for the holiday, kase. 30 minute convo and how is your family doing. >> i'm not sure that's how it totally works, hallie. >> i think you're right. >> one thing that's worth
pointing out, the house speaker talks frequently about how these kind of calls make a difference privately. he comes under criticism for not standing up more to the president in public. he says that's because you have no idea what i'm doing behind the scenes to try to stabilize the ship of state. so if i'm paul ryan i'm not going to be speaker anymore. my family is waiting for me to come home for christmas. i'm probably telling the president to please get behind this. >> yeah. >> whether or not that's working -- again, we are speculating a little bit. we simply don't know. let's watch. i suppose the president's twitter feed and hopefully we'll hear from the house speaker in a few minutes. >> our white house team is already working to figure out what exactly the president is talking about in that emergency phone call with paul ryan. lots developing this hour. charlie sykes, donna edwards and aaron, thanks. i'm talking with one of the senators who has sent an angry
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you're looking at the u.n. security council meeting. they're talking about a solution to the ongo iing civil war in syria. the backlash to the president's decision is just growing in washington. there's anger, frustration from key republican allies, who are telling the commander in chief to reconsider his decision. right before the show i spoke with angus king, independent of maine, and intelligence and armed services committees who signed on to a letter asking the president to change his mind. senator angus king is joining us now. thanks for being back on the show. >> absolutely, hallie. glad to be with you. >> this letter, you say, came together about an hour when normally something like this would come together in about a week. can you explain why you think there's any chance that president trump will reconsider after seeing this? >> some of the names on that letter are people that he
normally expects support from, tom cotton is probably his biggest ally in the senate and he's on the letter along with lindsey graham, marco rubio, jim shaheen. it's a bipartisan letter but heavy on the republican side. joni ernst. the decision appears to have been made with very little, if any, consultation with any of the people who have expertise or knowledge in this area. that giant sucking sound you hear this morning is a vacuum being created in northeastern syria. into that vacuum are going to step the russians, assad, particularly isis and the iranians. it was a disastrous foreign policy decision made based upon a disastrous process, as near as i could tell. >> you mentioned russia there.
vladimir putin came out this morning and praised this decision by president trump. what do you make of that? >> well, what does that tell you? the people who praise the decision, russia, turkey has said it's a good idea. by the way, one of the worst things about this, hallie, is that we've basically left the kurds to the tender mercy of the turks and it's a betrayal. these are people who stepped up, they were our staunchest allies, the kurds, in fighting isis. they literally took bullets for us and we're walking way from them. and what happens over the next several weeks or month in terms of turkish retribution on the kurds, i think, could be a real catastrophe. who is going to help us next time if you ask people to come in and join a coalition and then you walk away from them when they're in danger? is this going to have long-term ramifications? >> you point out that people
have signed on to the letter that you have signed, asking the president to reverse course. he is defending his decision on twitter, quoting people like senator rand paul in the senate, saying i'm proud of the president today, that he is declaring victory. senator mike lee said i could not agree more with the president's decision. why do you think the president will listen to you and tom cotton approximate marco rubio and not rand paul and mike lee on this? >> tom cotton has been one of his most staunch foreign policy defenders. if you took a poll in the senate it would probably be somewhere close to 98-2. the two that you heard from this morning, i haven't heard anybody else that thinks this is a good idea. by the way, none of us want to leave troops in the middle east indefinitely. all of us want to bring the troops home. the question is, how do you do it? do you create a big problem by doing it in this precipitous way? there are only 2,000 americans there, but they're performing a crucial role of stabilizing,
training and being a buffer between the turks and the kurds. so, you know, there may be one or two or three in the senate but i think the vast majority feel the same way i do. >> senator, before i let you go, got to ask you about that vote overnight by the senate to try to keep the government open. the house could take that up later today. are you confident that the president will sign the short-term fix to keep the government open? >> i don't think anybody can be confident on what the president is going to do. i think he has some concerns, although he tweeted this morning he's going to take the battle into the new year. i think that's a sign that perhaps he isn't going to veto this legislation. if he does, he's going to have fulfilled his promise that he made a week ago. it's his shutdown. congress is offering him the opportunity to fix the budget, to get us forward into the new year and he's going to have to weigh that very carefully. >> very quickly, do you believe democrats have successfully killed the president's border wall? >> well, you know, i don't think it's just democrats.
the dirty secret around here, hallie, is very few republicans i've found who have any appetite for the border wall. everybody is for border. everybody is for border security. everybody is for strengthening border security. the wall is just not the way to do it. it's expensive. it doesn't make sense and it's just not the right answer. i don't think it was democrats. i think it was congress, generally, that just didn't think it was a good idea and exercise their responsibility. >> senator king, thank you for coming on and talking through the news of the day with us. appreciate it. >> absolutely. good to be with you. if you weren't sick of breaking news yet, we've got more for you coming up in a second. a crossover between the russian investigation with special counsel and the one in congress all over that guy, roger stone, robert mueller's team requesting the official transcript of what he told lawmakers during private testimony. there is action on this in the last couple of minutes. we will tell you what it is. spoiler, maybe not a good sign for roger stone. we also have breaking news as it relates to the department
you know that shutdown drama we've been following? looks like things may be getting more dramatic. we're just learning from a capitol hill team that one of the republican leaders told a house conference there will be a second meeting later today to talk about the short-term funding fix. we are watching that. we are watching several breaking developments in the special counsel's russia investigation. we have just learned within the last 30 minutes that ethics officials at the justice department have advised acting attorney general matt whitaker that he does not need to recuse himself from overseeing the mueller team. what about the guy that might replace him permanently, william barr, the guy who president trump wants to take over as attorney general? chuck schumer is calling on the president to go back to the drawing board and pull barr's nomination, he wrote a memo highly critical of the mueller investigation. the house committee meets behind closed doors. they have just voted to release
an official transcript of testimony from long-time trump confidant roger stone. the washington post reports a request for that was made by robert mueller's team. this is the first time, remember, that mueller has asked the committee to turn over any material the panel has collected as part of its investigation into russian election interference. why does this matter? why is it significant? it means mueller may be getting ready to charge roger stone with a crime. i'm joined by nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian. washington post national reporter carol letting, and an msnbc and former deputy assistant attorney general tom dupre. aaron and yamish are also here in washington. carol, let me start with you. the house committee has voted to release these stone transcript. >> it's pretty striking information. my colleagues and i wrote a story yesterday about basically mueller asking the committee for
an official transcript of the interview, and so the result is that now, you know, the special counsel is going to get a copy. >> yeah. what does that mean for roger stone? what are prosecutors looking for? >> what we're told by multiple federal prosecutors, current and former, is this is the step you take before you're going to charge someone with lying, because a transcript is your evidence of whether or not someone lied under oath. an official transcript is how you measure whether or not that person, against the evidence, was telling the truth. and there's no other reason for mueller to seek this transcript than to bring a charge. >> carol, let me pause you on that. ken, let me bring you in here. related to the news from the department of justice that acting attorney general matt whitaker is totally cool to oversee the russia investigation. what do you make of that? >> that's right, hallie, a person close to the situation has said that whitaker has been
advised that he is fully legally clear to oversee the mueller investigation and, in fact, has been seeing regular briefings. he has never been recused from the mueller investigation, after having roundly criticized that investigation as a television commentator and seven house republicans would say that would make a person question his impartiality. doj advisers have now cleared him. he's being briefed on the investigation and mueller has to consult him on any major investigative move, hallie. >> tom, you know this agency. what do you make of that decision? >> it doesn't surprise me. things that whitaker said about starving the funds, it would be a bad idea to shut it down. that said, i don't think it meets the standard for refusal. many people in public life make public statements and if they do, i don't think it means if you're ultimately confirmed that
you take a position in government that you then have to recuse. >> the president, whom he wants to be the permanent attorney general, bill barr, a new memo has been revealed. unsolicited memo to the doj saying this investigation was based on a fatally misconceived theory. now chuck schumer is like, pick a new pick, donald trump. not going to happen, obviously. but could this be a problem for him? >> i think it will, obviously, provide a lot of fodder for the confirmation hearings. you've publicly stated your view of the mueller investigation. do you still hold these views and why? from time to time in washington you have former high-level officials write these things gratuitiously, send it in to their colleagues and say here is what i think about it, maybe never anticipating it could come
back to haunt them months later if they're nominated for something and called to account or asked to explain their advice at the time. >> carol, go ahead. >> i think it's interesting. one thing we've learned about this presidency is that a lot of people try to share their views about how crazy the witch hunt is, and how ill-conceived robert mueller's appointment was when they're auditioning for a job. we know that matt whitaker conferred with friends about going on television to discuss his concern about the probe and ways he could shut it down mostly because he wanted president trump's attention and maybe get an appointment to a much lesser job than he ultimately was appointed for. the question becomes, was barr doing something similar by sending in that memo? was he telegraphing something? >> ken, what do you make of it? >> well, it's interesting. i mean, i think it's not necessarily going to be dispositive because after all, the president can't be indicted for obstruction of justice under
current justice department doctrine. if mueller believes that trump is obstructing justice and presents a report to congress, there's very little that barr did can do about that. and there is a legal argument to be made that trump had an absolute right to fire the fbi director and, therefore, mueller can't question that. i think that's a minority view but appears to be mr. barr's view. it's not clear that it will affect what robert mueller ultimately does. >> let me come back to you to wrap up final thoughts. you started this conversation with carol's reporting in the washington post. what does it mean now that the intel committee will release these? >> not a good sign for roger stone. >> you have to be a little worried if you hear that news. he will talk to stone, get stone's testimony, compare it. they may be looking for perjury. they may be looking for obstruction issues. the way i see it, this may be the final piece of the puzzle that mueller needs to fit in.
>> tom, carol, ken, thank you. i want to go back now to the hill. kasie hunt, our correspondent, is joining us with yet more breaking news, kasie. what's up? >> you bet. continuation of what we were talking about earlier this hour. we were expecting to hear from paul ryan and other republican leaders at 10:00. that leadership press conference has now been canceled. the official explanation is that they are upstairs from where we are, voting on the house floor and that their conference meeting ran so long that they had to cancel it. couple of problems with that. they could easily come back down here after casting their votes and talk to us and also they control the floor. so if they wanted to move or extend the vote, that would also be an option as well. there is a possibility that there will be another press conference from them or the first press conference from them later on today. we also learned that, as we talked about earlier, the president was on the phone with house speaker paul ryan.
short-term continuing resolution. lot of unhappiness both from the right wing of the conference that are saying they want the president to fight on this border wall and from the moderate rank and file -- not necessarily moderate but the mainstream of the republican conference, who say that the president simply hasn't been clear enough as to whether he will sign that cr. we did see a tweet a few minutes ago from the president. it did not seem to be something that was more positive and he did not definitively say one way or another whether he would sign this bill if they pass it, hallie. >> kase, hang with me here. we're showing that tweet and how the president said he was promised the wall by leadership would be done by the end of the year. he seems upset this morning based on what we can tell from his twitter feed, kasie. based on your reporting and intuitive sense of where things
are going on the hill, does it seem like we are potentially headed for a real messy or messier 24/48 hours than everybody thought yesterday? >> definitely a messier 24 hours. i would say when i got up this morning, i didn't think anybody's christmas plans were necessarily going to be at risk. i don't think that standing here right now, talking to you. that doesn't mean that they couldn't figure out a way to work it out. but i do think that phone call went with the speaker is going to be a real tell for what happens next here. kevent mccarthy is in a real bind, one member told me. the incoming leader, possibly the person that that tweet was aimed at. mccarthy put a $25 billion border wall proposal bill, filed it separately. that's a big shift for a member from california, who i certainly had conversations with before, who thought that the idea of building a wall was simply impractical. many, even republican members of congress think that a wall is not the right solution for every
piece of the border, that border security involves many more different technologies, fencing, other things like that. kevin mccarthy used to be in that corner. of course, he is very close to president trump and will be taking over a conference that, frankly, has got a lot of trump republicans, who didn't lose their races and a lot fewer suburban, more moderate republicans who might have been willing to stick with them. hallie? >> kasie hunt, tied to a camera for us this morning. thanks. we'll look for more developments in the next little bit. >> we're following another developing story in d.c. homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen was in the committee room ten minutes before they called a recess before she could speak. we'll find out what that is all about. she is expected to be discussing several hishs as it relates to homeland security and what's going on at the border. we have breaking news on that. you are watching msnbc. that. you are watching msnbc i just got my cashback match,
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vote. that's not really on her. >> got it. >> but this is something to watch. there's a lot of questions for kirstjen nielsen to answer right now. >> what do you expect them to touch on? >> republican will want to talk about why these measures from the trump administration. they'll want to talk about that and what dhs is doing. democrats will ask a lot of questions about the 7-year-old girl, jakelin, who died earlier this month and spent an hour and a half in custody of customs and border protection on a bus before they were able to administer medical care and it was too little, too late, unfortunately. they'll want to talk about what precautions they're putting in place to avoid that. they'll want to talk about the buildup of immigrants on the border, asylum seekers. all these immigrants have to do is come in legally, the president said.
they're waiting their weeks, months at a time, trying to get in. more and more are forced to go these illegal routes. we may also hear news about new policies that the dhs, nielsen's department may be enforcing. >> we have some sound from congressman nadler. i want to play a little bit of that. >> on what planet can a humane, democratic country deport parents without giving them the opportunity to have their children with them? and without maintaining records so that you could identify them afterwards? the fact that this was handled so poorly and some separated children have yet to be reunited with their parents is unacceptable. mass kidnapping by the federal government is criminal. >> julia, is that a taste of the tone we can expect over the next little bit here? >> i think so.
and remember, democrats are about to control this committee going in the next year. they could launch a lot of investigations into how dhs handles some of these policy this is year. specifically the separation policies. they ripped families apart because they started processing all parents crossing illegally and they didn't have a plan for reunifying. it took months and a lot of parents were forced to decide between deporting without their children -- they either deported with or without their children while the children could stay here and get asylum or at least apply for it. they didn't have a plan that was hard to match these parents and children back together. they'll definitely get into that. another thing, there was a major blow to dhs yesterday when the judge, same judge for the michael flynn case said they could no longer use these asylum policies not protecting victims of domestic violence and gang violence. that's something that democrats have said should be protected. they really had a win in court.
>> elijah cummings has talked about this list of targets and dhs, they are laser focused when democrats take control of the house in a matter of weeks here on getting answers from this specific federal agency on certain trump administration policies. >> i'm not sure it's been fun to be kirstjen nielsen for months now. john kelly being out, chief of staff. they were very close and he was a big reason her being appointed in the first place. him being out will hurt her status. and now she has to go to this hearing and take her medicine as far as this policy and the 7-year-old girl. then democrats take over the house and it could be difficult. >> we know that the president has at least voiced his disdain for her and that the president
has butted heads for her. there's this idea that her days could be numbered and then you think about the fact that she's the public face for this. she's the one who has to deal with the questions about this dead little girl and deal with these kids that, in some ways, have also been orphaned by the united states government. i've interviewed parents who were deported back to their countries without their kids and some of those kids still don't have their parents. >> related to a new policy now for dhs. what's up? >> i can finally say this. this embargo has been lifted and is out there. the u.s. has been working with mexico. they've come to an agreement where any immigrant who is crossing illegally -- that means not between designated ports of entry, will have to wait in mexico while they wait for their asylum claims to point out. they're using part of the immigration nationality act, hallie, to try to justify this, that is really written for mexicans, saying if you come
from a country that touches the united states, you need to wait there. the majority of these asylum seekers come from central america. we could definitely see court challenges to this. they say they've worked with mexico to try to provide these asylum seekers with humanitarian aid while they wait. waiting for immigration judges to make decisions on asylum can take months. >> julia ainsley, thank you for that great reporting. yamiche and aaron, stick around. after the break we're going back to the drama that is suddenly playing out, related to the potential of what a government shutdown tomorrow night. gop press conference canceled suddenly. the president on an emergency phone call. what is going on? we're live at the white house, next. use, next
so shark invented duo clean. while deep cleaning carpets, the added soft brush roll picks up large particles, gives floors a polished look, and fearlessly devours piles. duo clean technology, corded and cord-free. so there have been a series of kind of unexpected developments over the last hour or so as it relates to whether the government will stay open and how angry the president seems after backlash from conservative allies that he appears to be breaking his promise about the border wall. bringing in kristen welker at the white house, kasie hunt is back again on capitol hill. also joining the conversation former white house chief of
staff to george w. bush and news news political analyst andy card, yamiche, aaron still on set. kristin, to you. the president held this emergency phone call to paul ryan. safe to say the president seems to be stewing over this, perhaps in a different place than he was 24 hours ago? >> reporter: i think stewing is the exact right word, hallie, and he's tweeting about it, and we're sort of left to read the tea leaves at this point because white house officials don't know exactly what was said between the president and house speaker paul ryan. they're trag ying to get to the bottom of that. let's take a look at his latest tweet, hallie, which says when i begrudgingly signed the omnibus bill, i was promised the wall and border security by leadership would be done by the end of the year. now it didn't happen. we foolishly fight for border security for other countries but not for our beloved usa. not good. remember when he signed that
omnibus he said i will never sign another bill like this again. that was back in march. he was enraged about signing that bill because it didn't include funding for his border wall and it infuriated his base. now his base is even angrier. they see this as his last best chance to secure that money for the border wall that he's asking congress for. he's left with these two bad options potentially shutting down the government over christmas, which would be politically very difficult, and then enraging his base even more. the mood here at the white house, hallie, seems to have shifted as well. i can tell you that earlier this week officials here seem to feel more confident about the fact that the government would stay open. now they're not expressing that same level of confidence. a lot right now up in the air. >> we'll see you in a little bit over at the white house. kasie you have a different backdrop than you did ten minutes ago. what have you learned? >> we run around a lot during the day, unlike the white house.
we're waiting for nancy pelosi who we are kpexpecting to addre reporters which would normally be her routine. there obviously are questions for her because democrats had pledged to give their support for this short-term funding deal. so if that were the case and a majority of republicans were fine going ahead, the speaker could put it on the floor, have most of his conference vote for it, get enough democratic support that it wouldn't be a problem, but that is currently all a bit scramblescrambled. i'm looking at talking with sources, members of congress on the floor, they are currently whipping, the term whipping here in congress means they're counting votes, seessentially t see if they have another option that the senate passed late last night. the questions at hand seem to be -- and i want to make sure we're still working through some of these details as to what these proposals would be.
one seems to be they're asking moderates if they actually would be willing to vote for a bill that would provide the $5 billion that the president had wanted for his border wall. now, this proposal, of course, is the one that nancy pelosi to his face told the president could not pass the house with republican votes, and there had been some discussion of doing this earlier in the week, but it had fizzled. now it looks like they are actually doing it. they are also asking folks if they would support a clean cr in the event that something like that failed, and there is also an ongoing discussion about disaster relief funding. that is another piece of this puzzle. but, again, at this point it is completely unclear whether or not any of that could get through. >> i'll let you take your seat, kasie. >> i have to wrap it up. i think we're about to get nancy pelosi, the incoming house speaker. >> keep us posted. andy card i want you to weigh in very quickly. we have developing news i need to get to. very quickly, is the president boxed in here?
does he have to sign this thing, or do you think he could veto? >> ultimately i think he's going to make sure he signs something and gets it done. right now there's a rodeo clown on the field and they're dealing with a bucking bronco, and nobody has the courage to get out of the way. >> that is a colorful analogy, my friend. thank you. andy, stick around, but i do want to get to something that's happening at the department of justice, rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general taking questions now on robert mueller and on bill barr. >> bill barr was an excellent attorney general during the approximately 14 months he served in 1991 to 1993. bill barr will be an outstanding attorney general when he's confirmed next year. the memo that you made reference to reflects mr. barr's personal opinion. he shared his personal opinion with the department. lots of people offer opinions to the department of justice, but they don't influence our own decision-making.
we have very experienced lawyers, and obviously our decisions are informed by our knowledge of the actual facts of the case, which mr. barr didn't have. i didn't share any confidential information with mr. barr. he never requested we provider any non-public information to him, and that memo had no impact on our investigation. >> very interesting. aaron, i know you've been working on reporting on this. what do you make from what we just heard? >> rod rosenstein is putting a good face on it. that memo goes beyond from what we saw with matthew whitaker and his public -- >> this memo that bill bar sent unsolicited over the summer to the department of justice blasting the mueller -- >> basically disasemiling the entire obstruction portion of it. i don't know how you become attorney general and allow this to proceed, if you say that portion of the probe is destructive to american government, which is exactly what he said. >> he's basically just saying i know this is going well. you need to get your facts straight and welcome to the doj where we will have press conferences when we think you're
wrong. >> we're going to leave it there, yamiche alcindor, aaron black, andy card, next time i promise i'll talk to you for more than 30 seconds. i swear. i'm out of time. i'm going to put it into the very capable hands of craig melvin. thank you. craig melvin here msnbc headquarters in new york city. breaking developments in the shutdown showdown. president trump accusing democrats of putting politics over country after the senate passes that continuing resolution to keep the government open until february. the big question in washington, even inside the white house right now, will the president sign the bill? no one seems to know. president trump defending his decision to pull troops out of syria. russian leader vladimir putin applauding the idea, shocked republicans slamming the withdrawal. whose idea was this? and going to trial, the judge dismisses a request by disgraced