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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  December 22, 2018 9:00am-10:00am PST

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and the army taught me a lot about commitment. which i apply to my life and my work. at comcast we're commited to delivering the best experience possible, by being on time everytime. and if we are ever late, we'll give you a automatic twenty dollar credit. my name is antonio and i'm a technician at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome. that is our show for today. we will be back tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. eastern. al eggs wit is up next. from washington, d.c. >> you ditched me again. >> there is a lot of stuff to talk about, what do you think?
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>> something going on. >> there is action. we will get right to it. bye to my friend joy. it is high noon in the east. 9:a.m. out west. the shutdown is here. with the clock striking 12:00, rare saturday sessions are beginning right now on capitol hill. >> president trump said he would be proud to own a shutdown over the border wall. now he's got one. >> the reason for the shutdown is because this wul wall. >> it shouldn't be i have to worry about when i am going to get paid. >> it is almost an impossible jam. >> how does this end. >> how long until they figure they have talked themselves out? >> also, the end is near. or is it? a new report suggests when robert mueller may be, iffed. new reaction to what that means for the president and the legal peril he may face. plus, what happened? new details today on phone call that might have set the president's syria decision in motion. breaking news right now. both houses of congress back in
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session this hour as the partial government shutdown enters its 13th hour. the president tweeted just moments ago saying he is quote working hard and negotiating with democrats on border security. the stalemate hinging on a $5 billion demand for his signature campaign promise of building a border wall. many members of congress have left for the holidays, but they are now on call and will be give at best a 24-hour notice to return if they are needed for a vote. but right now, roughly 25% of the federal government has shut down. at least 400,000 government workers deemed essential are expected to work without pay. and more than 350,000 federal employees will be furloughed or sent home. roughly 53,000 tsa agents now working without pay during this one of the nation's busiest travel weekend, the holidays. it is the third shutdown this year. one lasted nine hours. the other 69. how long will have last?
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let's go to the senate floor. right now, mike pence and mitch mcconnell. let's lip in. >> reached a procedural agreement to create space for ongoing negotiations over government funding. to provide flexibility as the white house and senate democrats continue their discussions, the senate will officially proceed to the house passed it, officially proceeded to the house-passed funding legislation. so that's pending. but we did so with an understanding that no further votes will occur until the president and senate democrats have reached an agreement to resolve this. let me say that again. we pushed the pause button until the president from whom we will need a signature and senate democrats, from whom we will need votes, reach an agreement.
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no procedural votes, no test votes, just a meaningful vote on a diplomat agreement whenever that is reached. and, et cetera my hope that it is reached sooner rather than later. it is no mystery why securing our nation's borders is such a major priority for republicans here in the senate. and republicans over in the house. and for president trump. any look at the plain facts leads to one simple conclusion. the crisis of security at our southern border is real. is real. over the past year, customs and border protections records of apprehensions and interdictions at our southern border are literally, mr. president, staggering.
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staggering. 800 known gang members, a 50% n increase over last year. nearly 7,000 individuals with criminal histories, including weapons trafficking and violent offenses. more than double, more than double the levels of fentanyl, along with other illicit substances. so the report card is quite clear. america's borders are in crisis. these facts i have stated are not partisan facts. they aren't etiological. they are just facts. just facts. they don't describe the republican party's version of events or the president's version of events. they describe reality.
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so one would think that securing our homeland, controlling our borders, and protecting the american people would be bipartisan priorities. uncontroversial. common sense bipartisan priorities. a core duty of any nation's government. and here's the interesting thing. until very, very recently, mr. president, that seemed to be the case. back in 2006, democrats were perfectly happy to support hundreds, hundreds of miles of physical barriers along the border. 26 democrats voted for the bill, including then senator obama, then senator clinton, and my good friend, the current democratic leader from new york. but what aboutier this very yea
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year, mr. president, the democratics offered $25 billion for physical barriers in his negotiations to the president. five times, five times what the white house is reasonably requesting right now. and that was just earlier this year. republicans in the house and in the senate believe the house's provision for $5 billion and border funding, plus additional disaster funding was completely reasonable. i was glad to vote to advance to legislation yesterday. my colleagues and i are proud to stand with the american people on this subject for the safety of american families and the health and security of our communities. but this time, this time democrats have rejected that reasonable request. they have refused to meet president trump halfway and provide even one fifth, one
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fifth of the resources for the border they were willing to provide just a few months ago. just a few months ago. there is no bright line of prince pell that separates holdups of miles of physical barriers in 2006 from new physical barriers in 2018. there is no major philosophical shift that made $25 billion for border security worthwhile just a few months ago but makes a more modest investment of $5 billion immoral. immoral? and unacceptable today. no, democrats haven't rejected the president's request and invited this partial government shutdown because of some principled objection that they just discovered in the last few
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weeks. this is not some principled discovery they have just made in the last few weeks. they brought this about because they are under a lot of pressure. we all know this, from their far left and feel compelled toll disagree with the president on almost anything, and certainly this. so that's where we are. but we don't need to be here for long. in order to get us out of this mess, a negotiated solution will need to check these boxes. it is really simple, mr. president. really simple. it will need the support of 60 senators. which will obviously include a number of democrats. it will need to pass the house. and it will need a presidential signature. that's how we make a law in this
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situation. 60 votes in the senate. majority in the house. and president trump's signature. that's what's needed. that's what will end this regrettable episode. reopen the lapsed portions of the federal government. and produce the investment in border security that our nation really needs. so i'm glad that productive discussions are continuing at this hour, between my friend, the democratic leader, the democratic leader in the house, and the white house. when those negotiations produce a solution that is acceptable to all of those parties, it will receive a vote here on the senate floor. >> all right, every, there we heard senator mitch mcconnell there on the senate floor making the opening statements for this
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rare saturday session stating that it is pretty simple here. he said there are three things that need to be done. they need to get a vote of 60 to pass the bill. they need to pass it on to the house. it needs to pass the house and needs to go to the president's desk and it needs to be signed. yeah,ic moo, it is simple if you look at it simplistically, a to b to c, but that seems to be incredibly difficult with this congress. tell me what he said, where things stand. >> basically he took over a few minutes of our time and pundited over to chuck schumer who we expect the hear from in a few moments ago. mitch mcconnell, walking into the chamber said a few moments ago it is up to the president, chuck schumer and nancy pelosi to work out. we are out. then he went over his talking
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points, why border security is necessary. we heard that over the last weeks, months, maybe even years. but the one flaw in that argument is that mitch mcconnell is the leader of the senate that unanimously passed a spending bill that would essentially give the president $1.6 billion not for a wall or a slat wall or any other kind of wall but for enhancing existing border security. that already passed the senate. they didn't bother to have a roll call vote. it does fend on president trump. as he stated in the infamous photoon where he argued openly with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi in the oval office last week. notwithstanding the video that he posted on twitter this week, saying it is all up to the democrats they owe us the votes. >> jeff bennett joins us from the white house. jeff, it could seem all of this is going to be done, the negotiating not so much on the
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senate floor, but behind closed doors potentially with the president. i just saw a tweet that the president put out saying he is going to have a lunch with a lot of people in the dining room there at the white house the discuss this. >> yeah, he didn't say who those people are. we are trying to find out whether he is meeting for senators, republicans or democrats in the white house. he used a word that might be a signal. he says we are going to talk about border security. the president there did not say his border wall. >> yeah. >> democrats said they are fine with funding border security but on the issue of a wall, a medieval concrete structure they don't want to fund that. they are not looking to give donald trump a political victory on that issue. we have seen today the president, white house aides tried to pin the blame on democrats for the shutdown even though the president explicitly in that meeting with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi said he
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wouldn't do that and at the same time said he would be proud to open a shutdown. i talked to a lot of republicans who made clear that a shutdown at this point doesn't get you up in. all it gets you is 800,000 federal workers furloughed or having to work at the moment for free. it doesn't change his negotiating position at all. in fact, it makes it worse because if the shuddown rides all way through the new year what you have then are democrats reopening the government. and by the way, the house-passed bill, the $5 billion for border spending that the president wants, that bill will enthis be voided. so you are starting off at square one. we have to see what if anything shakes out from the conversations the president says he is having today with stakeholders on the hill. >> mike, back to you. as you have taken polls of coming members who have talked about this to you, is your sense that democrats are feeling more confident or republicans are feeling more confident? >> probably democrats, if you are going to put me on the spot
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and make sme choose. in the wake of the oval office photoon that jeff was talking about i spoke with staff literally cringing thinking that the president undercut any negotiating position they had. one of them told me that the president doesn't really have a negotiating position at all because of course nancy pelosi will need the house democrats into the minuterity in exactly two weeks on january 3rd. there is all the leverage. democrats are seen as having all the leverage here. what we have seen over the course of the last 48 hours -- after the president -- let's be frank -- he reversed field whether or not he told the leaders republican leaders that he would sign on to what had passed the senate, again unanimously, by voice vote, with that $1.6 billion on border security as opposed to the slat wall that the president is now talking about that he would sign on to that. of course he was excoriated by pundits on the right and
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culture, rush limbaugh, everybody going after him. a sudden change of heart, where he called the speaker of the house paul ryan the outgoing republican leader, keechb mccarthy into the oval office and tellingly, in that meeting, a very rare occurrence. not just leaders, those would leaders but leaders of the house conservative caucus as well, mark meadows and jordan was there. they wanted to stand and fight. they made that stapp on the floor. after nancy pelosi said the $5 billion funding would not pass the house of representatives after she plainly told the president that was a fact. and everybody gives nancy pelosi credit for being a vote counter, the house did in fact pass that $5 billion. we are at a standstill here after the marathon five hour vote in the senate yesterday, the longest in senate history as we have heard over the last 24 hours and those negotiations were going on behind the vice
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president and jared kushner the president's adviser and son-in-law. it was clear the president doesn't have 50 votes let alone 60. >> i hope you are not really mad at me for putting you on the spot my friend. >> any time, alex. >> thank you so much. back to you jeff bennett at the white house, one more question. can you confirm that the president will be staying in washington not joining his family who already has gone down to florida, they are at mar-a-lago. >> yeah. >> we have a holiday coming up. he would like to be with his family and friends down there. will he be staying? to what extent may that help influence getting something done? >> it adds a pressure point. you have the president here holed up in the residence while his family is in south florida at their private mar-a-lago estate. you would expect him to want to be down there to celebrate the holidays with his family. it would present terrible optics for the president to leave the white house while lawmakers are
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trying to hash out a deal. not only that, secret service agents would not be being paid. at the moment, with the government shut down, they are deemed essential employees, they are essentially working for free. although they will be paid whenever the government reopens. the president is staying here as of now. >> as are you. >> i am not going anywhere. joining us a emhad of the house ways and means committee from texas. sir. thank you for being here. i understand that your -- the house, you gavelled in, you then were immediately dismissed? is that what happened? we were keeping our eye on the senate as mitch mcconnell was talking. >> that's right alex. it is good to be with you again. it is clearly from this government shutdown, from all of the events, incredible events in the last week that we have a president who is unhinged, untrustworthy, and that his
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continual vacilation, impulsive action, really threatens the security of american families economically and their first call, our national security. >> tell me, sir, the fact that the house passed the resolution that allowed for the $5 billion spending on border security, slash, the wall for the president, now it has to be brought back and we had $1.6 billion to $5 billion, where do you see this ending ultimately? >> i think it is very unclear. i think what we can be sure of is it will not end at the earliest until near the end of this next week, which is so unfortunate for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees and their families who are directly affected. and by others who might want to take advantage of those federal services. how our country is more secure when we deny a paycheck to a border patrolman or woman is
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really difficult to see. and of course i don't believe mitch mcconnell would have ever sent that resolution over to the house to consider without president trump's blessings. and yet the president changed his mind. and so it is unclear what agreement can be reached that the president will stick with and assure some certainty. i think all we can be certain of is that as long as his enablers in the house and in the senate continue to apologize for him and enable him, we will lurch from one crisis to another not only next week but flew the course of the next two years. >> congressman, look, the president's approval of a certain number notwithstanding, is there a number that democrats feel they can comcompromise on? >> no. i think the original resolution the president agreed to is about where it needs to end up.
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democrats support security. certainly we are as concerned about keeping american families safe as anyone you about we don't support wasting money on a wall through the desert. i don't see significant change in that. i think there will be opposition from people in the house to any major change in that. >> congressman, you heard jeff bennett talking about the tweet the president just put out. he speaks about the lunch that will be happening with a number of people, he says a very large group. he says concerning border security. he neglected to say the word "wall". that something that democrats could come on board with, with saying we are going to provide this kind of money for border curt but not necessarily to a monolithic looking concrete structure or to the slabs or however the president is envisioning at this point. could that be something that would support a compromise? >> i don't think the language
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matters. he moved from wall to fence to spleeked slatted fence. we are already putting more resores to border than federal law enforcement together. we c i don't think we are for wasting unin, whatever the name is applied. >> congressman doingette, do you have a prediction how soon this shutdown will end? is there a scenario where both sides win politically, where the american people win by having border security along the southern border and elsewhere this this country. >> i think we have a significant level of border security now, as indicated by the very comments that we just heard mitch mcconnell make about how much has been stopped at the border already. additional monies can be expended there. we can find problems and try to correct them. i hope that we'll see this come to a conclusion this next week.
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but if not, on january 3rd, after we put in a new and much improved congress and some of these republican enablers have been sent home thanks to voters across america we need to send back to the president the same resolution that the senate has already approved. >> do you think it would be in the president's best interests in terms of getting what he specifically campaigned on, what he specifically wants here if he were to make a deal between now and january 3rd? because come january 3rd it is going to be even more difficult to get something done? >> i think that's true. he has more republican enablers now than he will have on january the 3rd. there will still be a number there, particularly in the senate. at some point they have to put country first and say the security of our families and our future and the operations of our government are more important than their party. and i believe we will see a time in coming months, perhaps after the mueller report, when some republicans will put country
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first and stand up to this president, who is doing our families so much harm. not just the 800,000 or so federal employees and their families who are directly affected now, but all of us who are threatened by the constant chaotic nature of his administration. >> democratic congressman lloyd doingette of texas. thank you sir for sticking around on this extraordinary weekend. safe travels to you. happy holidays. >> merry christmas, we will have a happier new year with a new democratic congress. two words for you, ted lieu. three more words, shutdown, syria, mueller. that is all coming up at the bottom of the hour. alright, i brought in ensure max protein...
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all these numbers that are floating around, i think we are going to end up somewhere in that range and try to figure out how to split the difference between zero and $5 billion. the key is, everyone wants resolution about exactly what it means, what is border security, what is fencing, what is land force security. what is staffing. i think there is a general agreement we need to do border security. now we have to figure out how much for each event. >> i will be speaking with him in the 2:00 p.m. eastern hour.
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langford of oklahoma sounding optimistic on reaching a compromise for money for a border wall. joining us now, a panel. welcome to all three of you. bob, you first here. is this hang-up with money or is it the wording? >> alex it is definitely about therd woulding. i mean because the -- the wording. the math as the senator was saying it is easy. they could come in somewhere between $1.3 billion and $5 billion roughly and split the difference. but it is the wall. this is the last chance i think that trump has to get his wall. that was his number one campaign promise. it is amazing alex the lack of urgency on capitol hill. usually with shutdowns they are there all night. they left at around 9:00 last night. >> is this because this has happened twice before already? >> it is amazing this is the third shutdown. it is a variety of reasons. number one, there is not an
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election that's upcoming. number two, nancy pelosi has her speaking vote coming up in january. she is under pressure from the left not to accept certainly any wall. i don't see any compromise coming any time soon. i think this actually goes into the new year. >> okay. so here's a good question for you, abigail, if congress comes up with a magic number how can republicans actually count on the president's wouldrd? look what he did this week, a complete about-face. >> i think you hit the nail on the head in terms of what the problem is. i think one of the issues why you are seeing so much frustration on capitol hill is the fact that the president hasn't been clear as to what he would specifically would or would not sign. he shifted his own goal posts around, is it a wall, is it steel slats, is it x, y, z, is it border security. as you mentioned earlier his tweet language was border security, it wasn't a you will with a. i think one of the sticking
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points is what does the president want? i think that is determined you know, these negotiations will kind of be flawed and frustrating. >> do you think abigail it is because he is trying to thread the needle? this president is getting a lot of heat from all sorts of very vocal voices. you have rush limbaugh, ann coulter calling him names actually. ann coulter said he was a wimp if he doesn't get this wall and backs down on it? is that the point? he realizes the reality of what's going on here in congress and he is not going to make good on his campaign promise. >> i think what we have seen is the president has drawn a lot of criticism. one of my sources described his behavior and his insistentsy in terms of these negotiations over the wall, also the syria move, afghanistan. these kind of, you know, impulsive decisions that we have seen that have drawn a lot of controversy, folks that i have spoken with have said it just appears he is really retreating more to his base and kind of
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trying to please the base at a time when he is drawing a lot of criticism. sort of almost seeing that as a sort of safe way out of some of these difficult situations and a way to garner praise at a time when he is being criticized pretty hashly. >> he want to pick up up on that with you, jay. look at the promotion of what he is calling a steel slat barrier. what are your thoughts? this is a way of finessing his way out of the border wall language? it is 20 feet high, a concrete barrier that you wouldn't be able to seethrough and you couldn't climb over -- this looks different. >> alex absolutely. i think the idea of this wall has been so evolving. honestly, it is such a face call representation what have trump wants. it makes no sense. every expert will tell you a wall is not a smart move on the southern border. it is more effective to use drones, to use beefed up
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patrols, other security measures, cameras, surveillance, satellites, than it would be to actually build a physical wall. but trump is hung up on the wall because it is his gut instinct, it is tappingible, something you can visit, something you can see. he really wants to promise that delivery right to his base. i think what is striking here is how he's such an outsider, this is the way his running for re-election, i think his theme for re-election is i am an outsider, i am not part of washington. i am here to blow things up, to shut down the government if needs be to fight for what is going to help you guys even if the reality is that's not really actually helping his base. the wall is not smart. but again it is about 79 toic, showmanship, and that's what this president is best at. >> jay, this president talking about the wall left and right and specifically citing a wall now in this tweet talking about a lunch come up with a large group concerning border
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security. doesn't specify a wall. do you think security will play the same with this base? >> if ann coulter and rush limbaugh are any indication no. they are saying you need to build this wall. it is what you promised, what you have said all along. even though experts always said it would make no sense to build a wall, it was much better enforced through a variety of different measures. that's the compromise democrats and republicans are talking about, redirecting the money to go into other border security efforts that make much more common cents. but is that something the base is going to accept and still say this is a victory for the president. >> jay, and bob, and abigail, thank you very much for this conversation. i appreciate it. right now on deck we have democratic congressman ted lieu of california. he of course a emin of both the
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foreign affairs and judiciary committees. with a welcome to you, give me a sense of where things stand right now, the conversation among your colleagues today. are democrats ready to compromise on a wall, the wall? >> thank you alex for your question. let me remind american people what donald trump said last week, quote, i am proud to shut down the government, end quote. we are now in day one of the trump shutdown. it is not a proud day for, he ma. it is a failure of the republican leadership. they control the house, the senate, and the white house. democrats are certainly happy to talk about border security. but we are not going to build this stupid vanity wall of donald trump with u.s. taxpayer dollars. >> looking at what's been said by democratic leaders nancy pelosi and schumer, they put out a joint statement. it said that the president threw a techer tantrum that led to the shutdown. how do you interpret the shutdown with respect to the president's behavior? >> a shutdown is something that donald trump has said 25 times he wanted to do. he completely owns it.
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that's why you saw senator mcconnell essentially raise a right flag this morning and exit these negotiations. he is saying i am going to leave it up to the president to make up a deal. that's because the president threw republicans under the bus when he said he was going to support a stopgap funding until february 8th and then completely pulled the rug out from under them. if i were mcconnell i wouldn't trust president trump either. >> can you envision when this shutdown will end? how is that going to, loo? >> democrats and republicans both support border security. donald trump's number one campaign promise was not the wall, it was that mexico would fund the wall. the only way he is going to get his wall is if mexico funds it. u.s. taxpayers are not going the fund this wall. but we will fund border security. i am happy to work with democrats and republicans on language for increasing border security. i also want the remind the american people that there is no
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massive crisis down at the border. crime rates are down violent crime rates are down from last year, property crime rates are down. and everything study shows that immigrants, documented and unumt doed commit less crimes than native born americans. >> if what you are saying is true is what is happening in washington right now all about politics and personality. >> it is about donald trump's ego mostly. he wants his vanity wall. u.s. taxpayers should not be spending money on any official wasteful technology. make america great again doesn't mean using 19th century technology. this is like building a big moat around america. we don't do things like that anymore. we have technology that's much more efficient. i am not the only one saying this. republicans like will heard, boarder in texas said a wall is wasteful. we want to do smart things with taxpayer money not wasteful
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things. >> if this president were a democratic making this move to remove troops from syria, would democrats have looked at it more favorably, should american troops stay in syria? should it be an indefinite position there? is it ever a good time to leave? when might that time be? lots of questions i know. >> this should not be a partisan issue. it is a question of the constitution. i support donald trump withdrawing troops from that area because congress never authorized troops into this war zone. the only thing that was authorized was to go after terrorists and to have troops there with no streaming is not a good idea. if democrats had done this, i would have said the same thing. i support troop withdrawal from syria. i don't support endless wars. >> do your democratic colleagues agree with you on that point? do military minds agree with
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you? it would seem sir by everything i am reading they do not. >> some do. loo, i believe it is a fair point to criticize the president for saying you shouldn't do this by tweet. you shouldn't bypass your secretary of defense and not have an interagency process. but on the substance, should we be withdrawing our troops from the war zone where there is no strategy and no well defined mission, that answer would be yes. >> congressman ted lieu, thank you very much on this busy weekend. i appreciate your time as always, sir. the end is year? or is it? new reports suggest when robert mueller may be, iffed. reaction to what that means for the president and the legal peril he may face.
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president trump, you will not get your wall. >> i think democrats hate trump so much they want him to lose. >> abandon our shutdown strategy. >> he's not going to take his 1.6. >> you are not getting the wall today, next week, or on january 3rd. >> mr. president, dig in. >> the government shutdown over border funding now in its 13th hour, with both sides standing their ground. the house and senate gavelled in just about 45 minutes ago.
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most house members went home for the holidays. they were dismissed. they were told they would have at least a day's notice before any vote gets underway. joining me know, jolene. joe watkins, and rick tyler. big welcome to the will he of you. good to see you,as as always. >> good morning, alec. >> thanks, alex. >> rick, the president said last week he would accept responsibility for a shutdown. in case anybodied missed that, we will play it. >> i am proud to shut down the government for border security. i would take the man tell. i will be the one to take at that blame for it. i am not going the blame you for it. >> do you have any comments. >> i don't know why democrats will take responsibility for the government shutdown. i don't understand it. >> zerlina, what will it take
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for a democratic house to pass a budget? >> i think we have to talk about this in honest terms. donald trump said mexico is going to pay for the wall. we should not be having a debate about how much american taxpayers are going to pay for a wall that donald trump promised mexico with a payer to. that's first. second, i think that border security and building a stupid wall are two different things. democrats have long been supporters of increased border security. that was a big part the 2013 immigration bill that did not become the law. so it would be a nice thing to go back to that piece of legislation and maybe pick some things that would enhance border security. i think democrats absolutely would get behind that. but they are not going to support billions of dollars of funding for a stupid wall. >> were you encouraged by the president's tweet where he said he has the large group coming to the white house for lunch to discuss border security. there was no mention of a wall. >> maybe.
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but the president's word is something i wouldn't put all my chips -- >> really? why not? >> i wouldn't put all my stock into president's words. because he lies a lot. i can't believe him. >> joe, who do you think comes out ahead here? which party has the most to lose from this shutdown. >> i think republicans do. i mean obviously the president is the one that is really behind the shutdown because of the border wall. i think to the degree that they bring the conversation around to border security, there is better chance of coming to agreement. and i think they will come to agreement at some point soon. the thing that hurts me is the fact that at the end of the day you have 420,000 government workers who are going to have to work without pay, and then another 380,000 government workers who will be furloughed. that's not fair to them. >> no, it is absolutely not. i want to you can talk about the influence from the right. the conservative media outlets on this shut down. the president really switched gears this week. you had rush limbaugh and ann
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coulter both calling him out for not getting his way on the border wall funding. how much of a role do you think they played in his change of heart? >> i think a lot. risch limbaugh historically has been very influential with politicians on the right. when rush engages someone he gets reaction from his audience. but look, i am sure that congress was debating what kind of horse shoe has the horses would have during -- for stage coaches when the railroads were being invented. zerlina is right. the wall -- it really is stupid. it would be like shipping your christmas packages by pony express. it utterly pointless. there is no reason to build a wall. walls make sense in certain urban areas. we have them already. we don't need walls going through deserts. we have plenty of technology that can do those things. and by the way, drug dealers will have no problem drying their drugs into the united states with drones. we need to update the i with a
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we combat that. the wall is not going to help with any of that. >> let's go to the senate floor and listen to senator chuck schumer. >> taxpayer to pony up for an expensive and ineffective border wall in a the president promised mexico would pay for it make no mistake, the trump shutdown is not about bore kerr security. all of the proposals we have made continue over $1 billion in new border security money, the same amount allocated last year by both parties and even the president agreed to. and the trump administration has barely even spent any of the border security money from last year. so the trump shutdown isn't over border security. it's because president trump is demanding billions of dollars for an expensive, ineffective wall that the majority of americans don't support. let me remind you, the president calls for a shutdown no less
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than 25 times. he has wanted one for months. in our meeting in the oval office, president trump said he would be proud to shut the government down. imagine. saying he would be proud to shut the government down. even rush limbaugh, one of the biggest supporters of the president, said it was a trump shutdown, that he caused it. he said, quote, this is limbaugh speaking, the president wants you to know, it's money for the wall or nothing. and if it's nothing, he shuts it down. just two days ago, the senate unanimously agreed to a proposal by leader mcconnell to keep the government open through february. it wasn't exactly what democrats wanted. we thought it should be longer. but we agreed because we wanted to keep the government open. and all indications were that the president would sign the
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bill. but president trump, beholden to the far, far right, unwilling to shoulder even the slightest critique from rush limbaugh or laura ingraham didn't sign on to the bill signed napoli by all parties in this chamber and he sent his allies off to tilt at wind mills. everyone knew yesterday long before the house vote that the president's wall lacked 60 votes in the senate. it has proven to, la even 50 votes. it will never pass the senate. not today. not next week. not next year. so, mr. president, president trump, if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall. plain and simple. the senate is not interesting in swindling american taxpayers for
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an unnecessary, ineffective and wasteful policy. what we do support, democrats and republicans, is real effective border security. but not a wall. the wall is president trump's boone to the hard right people. it's no way to speak up $5 billion, for political boone i heard the president and hess allies in the media say democrats don't support border security. nothing could be further from the truth. democrats have always been for smart and effective ways to secure or border. we are pushing for technology like drones and sensors and inspection equipment. every single proposal we made to the president includes $1.3 billion for border security. the trump shutdown provides zero dollars for border security. i have never supported a border wall. and i challenge anyone on the hard right to find a time when i
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or any expert has supported a wall like what the president has proposed. so, where do we go from here? well, three proposals are on the table. two by democrats. leader nancy pelosi and i. one by leader mcconnell. each of which would reopen the government and provide $1.3 billion in border security. we are also open to discussing any proposals with the president as long as they don't include funding for the wall. but in order for an agreement to be reached, all four congressional leaders must sign off, and the president must endorse it and say that he will sign it. leader mcconnell must agree. speaker ryan must agree. they cannot duck responsibility. leader mcconnell still controls this chamber. speaker ryan controls what reaches the floor of the house.
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they are essential to this process. leader mccome can't duck out of it. he knows that. of course -- leader mcconnell can't duck out of it. he knows that. of course nancy pelosi and i must agree. and most importantly, the president must publicly say he will support and sign such an agreement before it goes to a vote in any imcha. we don't want to go through what we went through a couple of days ago. leader mcconnell and i agreed to that qualification for a specific reason. repeatedly, the president has agreed to a private deal only to reverse himself when criticized by the far right. we can't have another situation when the president signaled support at first but then reverses himself, which is precisely what caused this shutdown in the first place. if leader mcconnell, speaker ryan, leader pelosi and i agree on a solution and the president says he will sign it, we can end
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the trump shutdown immediately. discussions continue among the members of our staffs. the republican leader and i will update the senate on the status of those talks once progress has been made. i yield the floor. and note the absence of a quorum. >> the clerk will call the role. >> okay. as we think about what chuck schumer has just said i want to go rick officers, lets recap. he said there are three proposals there. all of which could go to the president's desk if congress were to pass them with $1.3 billion in funding. here's my question, is this something that the president now needs to be convinced -- to the point that you were making look we have to increase drone security. look at what was happening at gatt wick airport, shutdown and it was absolute chaos of sort of a catapulting effect. one thing after the next. >> yeah. >> does the president need to be
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convinced not so much a wall, sir, let's go for a different kind of electionan troic surveillance, different kinds of security, border security overall. is it the president? or is it his base that needs to be convinced that this would be a good thing? or is it the president's job to convince his base? >> it is the president's job to lead. leadership choirs clear communication which requires you to have a vision of where you want to go and to bring the country. he had a message during the campaign. that was he was talking about immigration as it related to jobs and the wall sort of symbolized all of that. but then he went into this mexico is going the pay for it. then he got stuck on building an actual wall. again, it just doesn't technologically doesn't make sense. it is a big waste of money. it is not really going to solve immigration. by the i with a, visa overstays account for far farer mo of the majority of the illegal immigration. and frankly most of those are actually from canada, not mexico.
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so if you want to solve illegal immigration, you have all of those things. look, remember, where we started. donald trump wanted 25 -- first mexico was going the pay for the wall. zerlina is right. what schumer could actually say is look we won't support any bill that doesn't support mexican funding for the wall. that legitimately is the president's position is mexico will pay for the wall. then he wanted $25 billion. in other words, mexico wasn't going to pay for it, taxpayers were. then schumer was going to give him $25 billion for a wall in he can change for daca. he should have taken that deal but didn't. now we are down to $5 billion now -- [ no audio ] -- shutdown going, that's going to be up to him. >> last word to you zerlina. how does this shutdown end? >> i really don't know. because the president,
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particularly in the past few weeks has been completely unpredictable given all the issues that he is dealing with on the domestic front, the foreign policy front, and the legal front. so he is very erratic in this moment. so i don't know. even if republicans and democrats come to a compromise as rick said they have in the past, the president could just tweak something and completely blow that up. i am hopeful that there are adults in the room with the president who can rein him in a bit because we cannot have just a complete -- a president having a complete meltdown every single morning on twitter. it is not sustainable. and it is something that i think our allies and also our adversaries abroad are paying close attention to. and that's really alarming to me. >> zerlina, rick, jay, thank you all for these developing stories here and all of your input. of course, rare saturday sessions, we are showing them to you her on capitol hill. are there any promising signs.
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>> we have live reports at the top of the hour. he top of the hour.
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