tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 21, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST
the president wants the republicans to ram through his vote with just 50 votes and not 60. and now, the firstt in american history shattering confidence in who is in charge of the world's most powerful military as james mattis is to leave. and mueller is saying that they are tying up more loose ends and is there going to be more movement today? >> on a breaking newsday, i'm andrea mitchell in washington n. is what is happening at this hour. republican senators have been at the white house now since 10:30 this morning trying to avoid a midnight government shutdown trying to talk the president into backing down on his $5 billion demand of a border wall. and when they went in he was demanding a nuclear option to get them to approve his
proposal. and in the midst of that, there is another crisis and the historic protest of the secretary of defense, jim mattis is resigning in an extraordinary letter outlining the d disagreements with the president on national security. joining me is kristen welker at the white house, and garrett haake on the hill, and national security and military reporter courtney cubii. and kristen to you, at the white house, they have not come out of the meeting. they were supposed to be in the senate session starting at noon today and still in with the president. thet president was supposed to sign the criminal reform bill at 11:00 this morning, and that has not happened. what do you think is going on inside of this meeting with the republican leaders opposing their own president, and we saw that extraordinary letter, and the statement from mitch mcconnell yesterday after mattis
resigned, and he is standing up to his president now. >> he is, and there is so much uncertainty here, andrea, and that is the word of the day today, and frankly yesterday. you can see that there are reporters gathered here behind me, and they are just getting called back right now to an event with the president. and so presumably, they will try to get some questions to mr. trump about all of this, about his discussions with the republican senators, and any closer to finding a a way out of what seems like this the imminent partial government shutdown. now, i spoke with hogan gidley, a moment ago, the deputy press secretary here, and i asked him what is going on there, and what is the president's message to lawmakers today, and he said, look, he didn't know. so andrea, we can't underscore that you have is a president who is trying to figure out his next steps in real time. we are seeing it play out on twiter with the the threats. one of the president's tweets
today, shutdown today if the democrats do not vote for the border security, and i asked hogan gidley about it, and how can say that when he is on tape saying that he was proud to own the shutdown. and gidley pushed back and said that the house is going to have to pass something. so there are a number of plans on the table, and the president has opposed all of the of them, and putting the hopes on this border wall which democrats will not be voting for, and this is on the backdrop of general mattis' stunning resignation. >> while we are keeping an eyep on the door of the west wing when the marine guard is posted, and when that door opens, maybe they will be coming out or going to the bill signing, and that is a bipartisan achievement, and the fact that they did get the criminal justice sentencing are
reform through, and looking at the right side of the screen, that is the senate floor, and the chaplain has gavelled down as they said they would at noon, but they are not going to do anything until the senate leadership returns from capitol hill. and garrett haake, at the capital right now, what is happening? >> andrea, we are operating in what is an information black hole this morning. this morning, there is no plan or strategy or anything set to actually keep the government open, only tactic, and answers, and small steps to small questions with the house passing their version of the continuing resolution which included money for the border wall, and disastrous sentiment where they acknowledge that the votes are not there. the democrats will never vote for this, and it needed to get to 60 votes and that would not happen, and the president was tweeting about the nuclear option, and the idea to change the rules in the senate to move
legislation with just a 50-vote majority. i want to dispense with that as quickly as possible. it is both illegal and politically impossible, and there is a law, and if you want to read john cornyn's twitter account, but he talks about how you cannot change this on a budget-related bill. so politically, it is untenable, and the republicans don't want to do it, and the democrats don't want to do it, and three prominent republican senators i am aware of coming out on statements this morning bob corker, and orrin hatch, and many of them are retiring some sooner, la mar alexander in 2020 opposing it and not doing it and it is not happening. the big question is that we are right back where we started last week. what can pass the two houses, and what is the president going to sign? is there an off-ramp for the president? i suspect that is a big portion of this, and what is enough of a victory to get through both house, because right now, it is
apparent that there is nothing that can that the president will sign. >> and garrett, thank you so much for that, because the reality check, and even though it is proposed by steve dane, and one republican senator, and picked up on fox news, and then the president tweeted it out. he was taking the cues from fox news, and one from the senator on nuclear option, and starting a whole firestorm based on no legal guidance from the legislative aide or the chief of staff or anybody else advising him. and courtney cubii, and mattis is leave us with no doubt of why he is leaving and detailed in an eloquent letter. i believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are
increasing in tension with ours. it is clear that for example we want to the shape a world consistent with russia's authoritarian model. my views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly opposed to this. >> and he laid it out saying that the two threats are china and russia. and when he is talking about the allies, he does not lay out what allies he is talking about, but looking at the decision made just this week. swun is to pull all u.s. troops out of syria, and backlash from the republicans and the democrats on the hill, and the analysts saying it is going to leave the kurds, the ypg, and the syrian democratic forces who the u.s. has been working with
in a lurch by pulling out the leave them in that last little bit of area to clear of isis. the second thing that we learned this week is that the white house asked for new plans for withdrawal of u.s. troops from afghanistan. again, you know, a strong allied resolution which is a nato allied mission that we hear so much about from is secretary mattis about the importance of the alliance and how many countries are involved, and while he does not say that in the letter exactly what he is talking about, it is fair to infer that he is talking about specifically these two plus other issues to come up with these two alliances that are called into jeopardy just this weekend, andrea. >> and while we are speaking about this and setting this up, the senator tim kaine is joining us from capitol hill. and senator, you are an expert on foreign policy, and your son is on active duty, and you are deeply immersed in all of these
issue, and in military affairs. what is your reak shction to th loss of what this means to the loss of secretary mattis going forward? >> andrea, this is a tragedy. i have been in public life for about 25 year, and jim mattis is one of the finests public officials that i have ever worked with. he has been a source of stability in this country, and when the news broke yesterday that he would be leaving an ambassadors of the allies have been reaching out the senators to basically say what the hel slshgs going on? the allies are frightened and as you pointed out he laid out two blunt reasons. he believes that we need to strengthen alliances, and he believes that we have to stand up to authoritarian adversaries, and he does not believe that the president of the the united states shares those the values. so this is as loud an alarm bell as could be rung by a public servant of gravity and depth
that secretary mattis has. >> who else could stand up in the national security ka cabinett? would bolton or pompeo stand up? because we have not seen any sign of that as something as important as the khashoggi issue? >> no, they don't have the gravitas except for general dunford, but his role is more operational role in many ways, though he is very blunt. general dunford if you ask him bt, and months ago we did if we should stay in the iran deal or exit, and he said my military judgment is to stay there, but we have lost general mcmaster who spoke truth to power, and now secretary mattis, because he is going to speak truth to power, but he is no longer willing to have his name associated with policy to appeasing the adversaries and kicking around the allies. >> in fact, president trump
ignored secretary mattis's recommendation to replace joint chiefs dunford when his term expires in october, and in fact, insulted joe dunford ten months e earlier to make him a lame duck, and doing it in a very inappropriate way. >> and a cascades set of these this week. the announcement of syria took everybody by surprise, and are reporters said that you are on armed services and foreign relations and were you aware of this and i said, no, the administration was telling me the opposite two days ago, but ask the republican committee chairs because maybe they were briefed and i wasn't, but the answer is that they were not briefed either. the afghanistan news, and we had two hearings in the last two weeks with the pentagon on where one was open and one closed and i asked is there any plan to change the troop strength in afghanistan, and the answer is no. so to some degree, they are ignoring advice of the pentagon,
but to some degree, they are not seeking the advice of the pentagon, and as somebody who is on these committees in a state that is connected to the military with a child in the military, i find this very, very frightening. >> and in fact, i just want to update the viewers that the meeting of republican senators and the president is apparently over, because we have seen some people coming out. the pool that is of the photographers and the camera people, and we can see mitch mcconnell there leaving and presumably headed to the hill where you know well is to reconvene at noon, but waiting for their return from the white house, and we don't know if there is a agreement if any, and senator shelby there as well. >> and let me tell you what we want do. i have a long rule from about elementary school that you do not back down to a bully. you never back down to a bully. we ahad a bipartisan deal that the white house signed off on and the senate passed unanimously less than 48 hours
ago and now the white house is backing down, and the president said, ale though i said that i would take the deal, but i am not, and give me $5 billion. normally, if you want to add something, offer something. and this is what he has offered. my a offer offer is to not puni government workers before christmas. and so he bows to bullies like russia, and turkey and now china, and i don't believe that you will see him saying you give me what i want or i will punish 800,000 federal employees. >> the vice president of the united states told the republican leadership that they were on board with this just 24 hours ago, and all of this blew up without the vice president knowing about it. the other piece of this is turkey and erdogan, and a lot of reporting out there about the phone call between the president and erdogan on friday.
there's reporting that is the key phone call that persuaded the president against all advice of his security officials and mattis to withdraw from syria because erdogan's request calls the kurdish fighters that are our best allies, and he is calling them terrorists, and if that is what persuaded the president, and they could not talk him out of it. >> andrea, that reporting is frightening, because there were bits of evidence on the table when the president made the announcement about the pull-out of syria, and of course, an announcement that turkey would buy patriot missiles to the united states and i saw that close in time and when there even reporting of the phone call i wondered about the connection. the kurd in northern syria have been the best partners that the
united states has had in defeating this caliphate idea of e isis. isis is still alive and they still mean harm to americans and others, but at least the territory is shrunk, and it is because of the u.s. working with the allies and nobody more important than the kurds f. we abandoned the kurds now, and if turkey goes in to do what they have suggested they will do to take on the kurds and u.s. abandons these people who have stood side by side with the military to defeat isis, it is going to be a mark of shame on this country. i can't imagine that it was not one of the major factors that secretary mattis was grappling with if he is now contemplating the prospect of the syrian pullout, and close u.s. allies who fought side be by side with american troops to defeat isis, and getting target ed by turkey and the u.s. is going to be standing aside to let it happen. who would ever stand with us aga
again? who would fight side by side with us again if we abandon them? na is a very significant worry as i am talking to the democrats and the republicans here that they have right now that the president is being, positioning to abandon allies to a very, very challenging fate. >> senator tim kaine, thank you very much for being with us today. >> thank you, andrea. and now, on the senate floor and talking about the shutdown is senator schumer. >> abandon the shutdown strategy. you not getting the wall today, next week or on january 3rd when t the democrats take control of the house. just two days ago the senate came together to support a proposal by leader mcconnell unanimously, every democrat and republican to extend government funding through february without partisan demands. what it would accomplish is that the government would not shutdown, the fights that we are
having would be postponed to a later day and millions of americans would not be hurt this crists mas week. so let me repeat that. the senate, every democrat and every republican has already unanimously supported a clean extension of government funding. democrats supported the measure, because we do not want to see the government shutdown. we have no demands other than that. and we had every indication that the president would sign the legislation as did our friends, the republicans on the other side of the aisle in the senate, and yesterday, president trump hounded by the radical voices of the hard right threw another temper tantrum, and here we are again once again on the brink of what if president said that he wanted a trump shutdown. the president will try to do his
be best to blame the democrats, but it is flatly absurd. president trump called for a shutdown no less than 25 times. in our meeting in the oval office president trump said, quote, if if we don't get what we want, i, president trump, will shut down the government. i am proud to shut it down, said president trump. i am not going to the blame you, meaning the democrats, and i will take the mantle of shutting it down. and those are president trump's words and nothing that he does or says today can undo that. no democrat has called for shutting the government down, and we are all working to avoid it. the president seems to the relish it. he seems to feel that it is going the throw a bone to the base. the problem being that his base is less than one quarter of america.
mr. president, president trump, you cannot erase months of video of you saying that you wanted a shutdown and that you wanted the responsibility and blame for a shutdown. president trump, you own the shutdown. you said so in your own words. and president trump may get his wish unfortunately, but it does not have have to be this way. democrats have offered two alternatives and republicans, leader mcconnell, has offered one. the democrat s has have offered pass the six bipartisan appropriation bills plus a one-year continuing resolution for homeland security. we have also offered a one-year continuing resolution for all of the remaining bills. republicans have offer ed to pas a short-term continuing resolution through early february.
each one of those proposals would pass the house and the senate. each one of the proposals contains $1.3 billion of real border security. not a wall. there is no wall in those proposals. democrats support real border security and not a wall. and by the way, that is in addition, in addition to the lo year, and a vast majority of which the trump administration has not spent. they are asking for loads of money, and they have not spent last year's money, and it is clearly a political gambit to appease his base. while chuck schumer is laying out the posture, what are you hearing from inside of the pool of the president and what he is saying now that he has finished the meeting with the republican senators. >> andrea, it is the first sense of what happened in the meeting between president trump and republican senators and this is
from the pooler, and so these are not exact quotes. they are a sort of the rough log of the reporter in the room writing in real time. he says that now the senate is looking at it, and presumably meaning this latest piece of legislation, and he called it a great meeting. he reiterated something that he tweeted about today and he says that the strategy is totally up to the democrats as to whether or not there is a shutdown and that despite the fact that he is on the camera saying that he would be proud to own the shutdown. he says that we are going to be working very hard to get something passed in the senate. he also took aim at pelosi saying that he could not get the votes in the house, and concluded that he did. and the remarks are ongoing now, andrea, now it is up to the d democrats as to whether we have a shutdown tonight, and he says that he hopes that there won't be one, but he is prepared to ride it out. if there is one, andrea, and that is significant that he is prepared the ride it out. sarah sanders said that the
president won't go to mar-a-lago which is the original plans for the holiday if in fact there is a government shutdown that he would be here trying to reopen the government, but it is hard to see how that would happen over the holidays, and so the president increasingly backed into the corner over all of this, and as questions mount over whether or not there is an actual plan to rele solve this and we continue to track the readouts as we get the readouts from the pool reporters in the room with the president. >> thank you, kristen welker. >> and in a single sense of independence, and the first trump cabinet officer to praise jim mattis at the wrath of the president. former ambassador jim coates saying that the experience that jim mattis has brought to the decision-makings is invaluable.
his leadership of our military won the admiration of our country and allies. and now joining us is the chief international security and also william cohen who is former republican senator and house members as well going all of the way back, and admiral, let me say that you have posted your analysis on why jim mattis is resigning, and beyond syria, and the things that broke his back, but going all of the way back. why don't you fill us in. >> i have known general mattis for decades and jim knows him well. we worked together as a navy p captain, and before i say anything else, i want to nominate secretary cohen to come
back as the new secretary of defense. and let me ask you a question, and knowing jim very well, i know that he has struggled from the beginning with some of the moral questions that he is seeing coming out of the white house, and he has to lead a force where you go to fort levin worth if you commit adultery and he has a president on record paying off a porn star and he has to the deploy troops in basically a fake deployment no the border when he knows that there is no seriouses threat there. and he has told to pull the troops out of syria, and he is working on the troops potentially coming out of afghanistan, and so, andrea, it is a drum beat. i think that jim mattis put in two hard years as the secretary of defense. i will always support him, but he hit the point where he felt that he was no longer a guardrail on a very impestuous
president, and he felt that it was time for him to go. >> and secretary cohen, you have seen the way that a cabinet works. you came in as a republican in a democratic administration. the dysfunction in this white house, in this cabinet and in the national security cabinet where we have been told a authoritatively this decision to with drau the troops from syria came out of the suggestion fromrd juan and not an ally, and yes, a member of nato, but not with our national interests at heart. how do you repond so that? >> well, it is stunning. stunning from the decision of that, and more importantly the way it was done and the timing. the timing is important, because if you are looking at what was taking place throughout the week, there was a lot of sequential bad news. bad day after day after day with the general, former, the lieutenant general flynn. the dismantlement of the trump
foundation, and this decision coming on in terms of whether or not we should pull our troops out, but the timing is curious in terms of whether or not this is an intent to deflect attention away from what was taking place, and it is bad news, i understand it. but also in terms of the way it was done. that is just as important, because the direct order to implement it immediately meant that we would put in jeopardy the very people that we have been fighting alongside and advising, supplying, equipping and training with against isis. to immediately send the message to pull out now is simply was a case where secretary mattis said i cannot abide by this, and i am to give my best advice to the commander in chief and my best ed advice is to not do this and if we have to have a drawdown, let
me do it with an intermilitary way, and to do it in a way that does not put lives at risk a and when the order was get them out now, it is too much for him to respond to. he did the right thing. if you come to the situation where you cannot carry out the order with the objection that flies in the face of everything that you believe in, you have no choice but to resign. >> i know that you gentlemen are going to be standing by with us, and thank you, secretary cohen and admiral stavrides, because we are going to the floor where mitch mcconnell is going to report to the president. >> and quite controversial in a more political moment, and in a moment when both parties put the obvious national interests ahead of any personal spite for the
president. it is support the additional border security and disaster aid that the house added to the bill. i am proud to vote for it. mr. president, it is not a radical concept that the american people's government should be able to control the people and the goods that flow into our country. it is not a radical concept that physical barriers achieve ale role in securing security unlesz there is a caucus of lawmakers who go to bed at night with their front doors wide open that i am not aware of. what is radical, mr. president? what is way out of the mainstream? this absurd premise of the far left's idea that achieving law enforcement on the southern border is somehow in itself without compassion or discriminatory or immoral.
fairness and compassion don't mean only enforcing some of our laws half heartedly. fairness and compassion mean that we fulfill the governing duties for the american people. as we continue to throw up the hands and tolerate a status quo that is allowing too many drugs and dangerous criminals to travel freely into our land, then this federal government is not doing its duty. the facts are clear on this. the need for greater security on our southern border is not some partisan invention. it is an empirical fact. and the need is only growing. apprehensions at the border have doubled. the men and women of the border patrol are encounter greater numbers of gang members and more people with criminal histories,
and more families and more se e seizures of cocaine and fentanyl. and so this is more responsibility for border a patrol that is asked to do more is very real. and so there is nothing that sets this apart from other similar requests that the democrats have supported in the past. a lot of them have supported this in the past. there is no sharp distinction between the proposal my friends across the aisle have decided to oppose today and proposals that they have been happy to endorse in the past. the only thing that is really changing are the political whims way over, way with over on the far left. that is what has changed. so let e's not end this year th way we began it with another shutdown over the issue of
illegal immigration. remember this back in january? all because the democrats are unwilling to support commonsense measures to address it. let'sed a sans this legislation, mr. president, and pass it and finish our work for this year. let's secure our country. so mr. president, i asked the chair to lay before the senate the house message to accompany hr-665 and ask for the ayes and nays. >> is there a sufficient second? there appear s s to be. the clerk is going to call the roll. >> mr. alexander, ms. barrasso -- >> yea. >> what you have seen is mitch mcconnell calling the vote on the pass border wall, and he is not going to get the votes, and
he is showing the president in effect that they won't have to votes to pass it and then the to import from you. news from the supreme court that supreme court justice ginsburg has undergone surgery for cancerous growth on her lung. a spokesperson says that she is resting comfortably in new york because of the two nodules in the left lung which were determine ed determined to be malignant, and post surgery, no evidence of remaining disease. let me read more for those of you following this closely. first of all, and let me just say that after breaking three ribs, i have seen ruth bader ginsburg at an event at the french em bbassy, and at a premr of the theatrical release about her early life scripted by her nephew. she has been very social. she has been at the court here
with me as well is ruth marcos who has covered her for years. i wanted to share for all of us that she underwent what is called a pulmonary lobectomy and two nodules in the left lung were discovered incidentally at the sloan kettering, and they were at gw hospital at a time to treat broken ribs in a fall. and the thoracic surgeon says that they were found and scans before the surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. and no other treatment is planned, and chief juses tis ginsberg is resting comfortably. and ruth, this is i believe her third experience with different forms of cancer. we have seen that she comes back in each instance without missing
a a coucourt argument. i asked her how she was feeling when i saw her last wednesday or thursday, i believe it was, and she said, well, i'm over the pain, and it is a lot better, and i'm fine. >> she was back with the trainer last week as well. she complained for like in excess of 30 seconds, and she had been walking, because she had not been able to do her training regimen on the advice of friends and doctors, and she is an iron woman, but she is also a woman in her mid-80s and she is 85. she has this what sounds like once again something that was caught early on, and almost as a sort of a happy consequence of having broken her ribs. she had the scans that may have found these cancerous nodules early, and nonetheless, this is potentially earth shattering news. she is the fourth liberal vote
on a very closely divided court. if she were and you know, i think that every american should hope that she stays well, because it is the right thing to do, but if she were to become ill or forced to leave the court, it would give president trump something that very few presidents have which is the ability to name not just two in his first two, less than two years in office, but three justices to the supreme court. and we are getting ahead of ourselves, but ruth bader ginsburg is very energetic and strong and we should all be in such good shape at her age, but this is very serious news. >> and katy tur is joining me, because she was on the plane when ruth bader ginsburg was going to the new york obviously for this procedure. katy, did you chat with the justice? >> i mean, very, very briefly, andrea, and only to thank her for everything that she has done and all of the work that she has done on the supreme court.
she was fine. she was moving on her all, and from all appearances she looked fine, and walking on her own, and she spent the entire flight working in what appeared to me on some legal brief or something to do with the supreme court. she ordered a cup of coffee, and i mean, it is all anecdotal witnessing of what i saw yesterday. but she got off of the plane and walked on her own as well. she is not moving as quickly as other people on the flight were, but you would not have known from any outward signs that she was going to new york for a procedure. i honestly assumed that she was coming back here to see family for the holidays. >> and katy, she showed up in the premier in new york and washington for the film, the thee yat are ri cal film are release this week. thank you, katy tur for your reporting as well. and ruth marcos is going to stay
with me as garrett haake on capitol hill is witnessinging what is going on there. and mitch mcconnell clearly made a political speech aimed at the white house. he is is doing the duty as a good soldier. they had been told, and agreed by unanimous consent and you know better than anyone up there what it means voting on unanimous consent, and unanimous vote on that bill with the assurance of the vice president that this is going to be signed by the president. that is the only reason why they went ahead with it. so now they are going through the motions, and they will have this vote on the house measure with the $5 billion, and it is nott going to pass. >> no, it is not. and so what we will see here is two votes. the motion to proceed which needs a simple majority to get to, and later today, the vote on the wall money itself, and this is going to be 60, and it won't get it. so what you saw here from mitch mcconnell and richard shelby who we did not have on camera, but talking to reporters off camera is the posture of being dug in.
they stand with the president and support his call for this bill, and they will be blaming the democrats if the government shuts down. and mcconnell said that the d democrats should support border security and falsely saying that the democrats are in favor of open borders here, and dug in. but the reality is that this bill does not have the votes. so the question is, is there a plan b? we don't know. is there a goldilocks option to compromise to get something through both houses or the plan going to extend as far as the failing, and then back to the drawing board, because what you have here is a situation of the republicans and particularly the white house made two big tactical errors earlier in the process, they had the meeting in the white house where trump said on tape and on camera in front of the country that he would be proud to own the shutdown and the white houses gave assurances that the president would sign that clean c.r., and the clean funding bille that was voted on the other night, and allowed it to be voted on and passed
unanimously. and democrats can say, guys, we were all on board with this and we passed it unanimously, and the senate has acted and this is going to president. while you will hear the republicans today and perhaps in the many days ahead as this shutdown might drag on say this is a democratic shutdown, all of the walk-up, and the lead-up on this has been on the republican shoulder shoulders and will frankly remain so and remain at the doorstep of the white houses if they can't figure out what anybody can agree on past this next vote failing. >> what does this mean, ruth marcos, as garrett is describing it. there is no plan b, and so you have is a white house who does not have a defense secretary, and cabinet in disarray, and the chief of staff is leavinging and no one to stand up to the president, and no one to explain to him the bay six of legislative strategy where his own vice president signed off on this bill if they can't believe what the vice president tells them, and a former member of congress about proceeding on the
key budget bill, and who do they believe? >> i don't know. this is wheels off of the bus time in the administration, and therefore it is wheels off of the bus time in the country. i don't know that i have experienced a scarier more chaotic moment in the history of our country than yesterday, and i guess the aftermath today, the notion that republicans in control of the house and the senate and the presidency cannot fund the government, and that there was, you know, a path forward that the president criticized by fox news and other conservatives backed off on that, and it is extraordinary, and it does not auger well for the path going forward when come january, the democrats are in control of the house. >> with this gridlock, we have hundreds of thousands of federal workers who are eventually some of them, and those who are considered critical tsa but
border patrol, they will be paid retroactively, but it is well into january with and they are going into the holidays without a paycheck. >> they will be going into the holidays without paycheck, and spillover effects not just for them and their family, but other people inconvenienced by parts of the shutdown. it is no way to run the government, a tnd the question who is running this country, because it is ann coulter and rush limbaugh and not president trump and the republican party. >> and now, joining us from the pbs newshour joining us or from pbs i should say, and who can persuade him, and who on the hill can persuade him that he is doing a disservice to his own legitimacy and legacy going
forward to have this kind of chaotic shutdown at the same time as a cabinet breakdown. >> it is tough to say who is going to have the most impact on the president, because he has worn all sorts of hat ms. administration, and of course, while he is the president, he has been his chief of staff and his own press secretary and communications director and i had a conversation with the person who was a top white house aide said that it sis ivanka trump, but she has said in interviews that at the end of the day, my father makes his decisions, so if you can think of her having influence over her father, he se duis dug in. and so, general mattis, he loved to call them his generals, and so after two years he is thinking that he can do it his
own, and so are rush limbaugh and ann coulter and laura ingram want to make sure that the president is keeping to the small pool. >> and so it is a bill signing, but what are the first words of this? >> we are getting a few more nuggets of what the president is saying about all of this, andrea. let me read you the latest. the president opened up by sag, it has been a very busy two days, and positive things are happening. this is interesting that he referred to the wall, and steal slats, wall, whatever you want to call it, it is the same, and significant, because he is backing away from the initial language that we heard on the campaign trail, and he said that last night's vote main the hous was a tremendous evening for republicans and shifted to talking about criminal justice reform, and on a side note, he took a jab at beto o'rourke who lost the senate bid to ted cruz
saying that i thought that you were supposed to win before you run for president. so he clearly has the eye on 2020 as well. in terms of the partial shutdown of the government, it is not clear that there is any sort of plan. the president is watching of course what is happening in the senate and very closely, but as garrett has been reporting on so thoroughly, and clearly, it will be rejected and then that will send the message to the president that we need a plan b. what is the plan b? are there any contours of a plan b coming together? that is what remains to be seen, but again, the criminal justice reform bill signing is under way. it is a chance, andrea, for the reporters to also ask him a question, and right now the president has the floor, and we are hoping at the conclusion of that, the reporters will get some questions to the him, and real answers on where the negotiations stand right now, and whether or not we are in fact headed for a government
shutdown, andrea. >> and to set the record straight, sarah sanders indicated to all of you he is not leaving for the mar-a-lago vacation later today as planned given the likelihood of a shutdown. >> yes, and it is underscoring the fact that everybody on capitol hill and white house is bracing for that even wall ti and the fact that it seems as though it too late to find a way out of this at least by that midnight deadline. will they be able to find some are resolution in the coming days? what does this look like on monday when it is christmas eve and you have hundreds of thousands of federal employees, andrea, either at home or working without pay, and a lot of the folks need the paychecks not only because it is the holidays but to make the ends me meet, and that is when the political presses sure will build up. i heard from one trump ally who said, bottom line, he should have addressed the border wall
earlier in the presidency, because now it is at a crisis point, and the republicans are poised to es is sen shally lose their control of the house in a few week, and at that point, they won't have any leverage to get anything done. so even though he has been listening to the allies on fox news, they are not satisfied by what they are seeing, because they say, if it is a key priority for president trump, it should have been addressed in the early days when he had real leverage, andrea. >> thank you for, that kristen. a lot of the federal workers live in virginia, and joining me is virginia democrat senator mark warner who is the top democrat on the intelligence comm committee as well. so you are better aware than any of us as the issues are swirling around the president that we don't know about involved in the investigations, but what is happening now on the shutdown does indicate not a rational response to the just the numbers on the floor.
this vote is not going to happen, and what is going to happen? >> well, andrea, you are are stating the obvious, the obvious that the republican leader snip the senate realized earlier in the week to at least to reports that the vice president came up and told the republican caucus that the president would sign the bill and the fact that a few voices on the right did and he basically pulled the rug out from underneath the house republicans and federal employees and showing how impulsive and predictable and increasingly ir rarational the president's actions have become. you are taking his lack of any plan or sense of reality about the budget, and you add on top of that the unprecedented move to take us out of syria without any consultation and potentially
out of afghanistan without any consultation, and the message that sends to our allies, and the potential bloodbath this that could take place in syria with the folks that we have armed and urged to fight against assad, and the open field that it gives to iran and russia and then the dramatic exit of mattis and every american should read that letter and we in the senate, 85% of the senate would agree with mattis' view that america is the most essential nation, and nation that relies on the stronger allies, and then if you are looking earlier at the week, it seems that ages ago, but i think that this is increasingly being forced by the mueller investigation, and you have this, you know, acting attorney general who had no qualifications other than the fact that he was against mueller and he is not take ing the recommendation of the doj ethics to recuse himself, and then you
have mr. barr who previously had a pretty good reputation, but writing an unsolicited memo almost appealing for the job based on his, again, anti-mueller tendencies. this is a white house that feels like it is under siege, and this is a white house that is paranoid about the mueller investigation, and this is unfortunately a president now who seems to be acting in an increasingly irrational way, without thinking through the consequences whether it is foreign policy or the hundreds of thousand ises of americans whose lives will be affected going into the holidays. >> do you see any way of averting a shutdown where perhaps this goes down they come back with something and dress it up as drons and s and other hi
security techniques? >> there were actually ideas that would work as opposed to 17th century technology a wall climb over or dig under. but i wonder whether that -- you know, window has shut, particularly since no one can trust this white house on any commitment, and again, i have compassion for my republican colleague who is we colleagues who went down this path who thought if we did the continuing resolution, kick the can one more time, not the best route but a route to avoid a shutdown and then to have the president change on a dime simply because a few for example nows commentators, you know, basically gave him grief, this is, you know -- we have talked before we are in unchartered
territory with this president but it gets more and more bizarre every day. >> and if -- just practically speaking, just very briefly, senator, if there's no agreement on anything or if there is discussion of some sort of virtual wall and some compromise and there's a shutdown at midnight, what can you do? will people stay on saturday, sunday? will it be a shutdown until january 3rd? >> i think that is -- you know, my belief is if there's a shutdown i think it's hard for me to see a way out other than waiting to january 3rd and in effect from the president's own personal politics, you know, you are giving a gift to the new democratic majority in the house that they get to come in on the first day and pass a resolution that the president would have to accept. >> senator warner, thank you very much. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll take a quick break. just a couple of messages squeezed in a then be right back. stay with us. entresto is a heart failure pill
that helped keep people alive and out of the hospital. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren, or if you've had angioedema with an ace or arb. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high blood potassium. ask your doctor about entresto. ♪ the beat goes on. yeah!
and joining me now as the senate voting, basically voting on the house bill. they won't have the 60 votes to pass what the president wants. that's a foregone conclusion. joining me is gene sperling. gene, we are watching a process of decision making in both domestic and foreign affairs that is pretty extraordinary. t
some fundamental things in the economy. trade, tariff -- the trade war with china. what are you looking at when you look at what's happening in washington today from a distance? >> well, i think when you look from a distance you have to wonder and worry will the world, will markets, will the economy start to digest a president unhinged? i think there are always those worries but there was so much excitement that there was going to be this huge tax cut, giveaway to some of us, to the largest companies, that people looked the other way. but to see this extraordinary thing and, andrea, you and i both lived through shutdowns over the last 20, 30 years. but to have a -- this republican senate majority leader with approval from the white house, put forward a stop gap measure and the president back off, to have him seemingly making erratic decisions on syria, his
secretary of defense stepping down. what we have seen at times on the trade side, together this should make people worry because if we have a president who is now not able to control congress, not able to pass legislation and cares only about distracting from his own personal legal problems and securing his space, then that means he is going to look for those few tools that he himself can control and i think what we're seeing in the last 48 hours is a scary sign of what could be coming. >> one of the concerns that some people suggest is that there's no one who can talk back to him now on foreign or domestic policy. >> no. you know, look. i think people always debated, you know, who should actually serve. i mean, when we all know there's many people there who are serving and find the president erratic and unstable and immoral
at times but i think a lot of us looked and said, gee, when it comes to mattis, comes to mcmasters, we give you a pass because world peace is on the line. you're starting to see every guardrail of sanity be taken down. and you're seeing it at a time when he is now going to see what it's like to be president in divided government and can't get everything done. and you're going do see it at a time when it looks like he is going to be facing legal challenges from all corners. you know? that's a pretty -- to me alarming recipe. i'm not hoping that things go as bad and erratic as we have seen the last couple of days but i don't see how many cannot worry about it and i cannot see how this may not have a negative impact on economic confidence and just confidence in our country from our allies beyond the debacle that we are seeing
today with the president on this shutdown. >> gene, thank you very much. we wait for the playback which will come now in the next hour of the president's remarks which apparently are still ongoing. they're signing a significant achievement. could have been a good day except the continuing resolution your vice president and your senate republicans went along with. call it a day. sign that bill. praise your son-in-law. get out of town. that's a rational thing to do. >> that would be a rational thing to do. we have both an illustration of how government should work which is bipartisan agreement on something that's very important and improvement in our situation even as we have this completely irrational balking at basic math. too bad it didn't work out so he could just do the one. >> well, and as we go, want to just wish everyone a happy holidays from us and wish the very best to the spunky and
indominable. rbg. stay with msnbc all day. here's ali velshi for "velshi & ruhle." >> have a good afternoon. good afternoon to all of you. i'm ali velshi. stephanie ruhle is off. this is "velshi & ruhle." >> any measure that funds the government must include border security. has to. >> something's got to give over the next little fwoitbit to avo partial government shutdown. $5 billion for his border wall. >> we were being asked and i voted for it, a $5 billion plus up for the wall and disaster relief funded to get a bill out of the house. no one really knows what the next step is. >> there are not the votes in the senate for an expensive taxpayer
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