tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC December 26, 2018 6:00am-7:00am PST
salby, thank you all, and thank you for being a part of know your value. the movement continues. for more on these important issues, go to knowyourvalue.com. hallie jackson picks up the coverage. we start this morning with a devastating loss, for the second time in less than a month an immigrant child dies in the custody of u.s. customs and border protection, prompting changes in the way children in custody are cared for. >> with so many children, with flu season, with many people coming ill, our job is to try to identify any children that need medical care and get them to a hospital as quickly as we can. plus, walled off, president trump makes his stand, digging in on his demand for billions of dollars of money for his border wall and ensuring the government shutdown will drag into the new year. >> the people of this country want border security, you know, it's not a question of me. i'd rather not be doing
shutdowns. and a long december, as the president feuds at the fed chair, the stock market has its worst december since the great depression. >> investors reeling from the worst christmas selloff in history. >> if you were hoping for a mellow holiday week, you are getting anything but that. good wednesday morning to you. we are starting with the clock still ticking in washington, the shutdown clock. the government has been partially closed for just about four days, nine hours. when will this end? when the senate gets back to town? not necessarily, according to president trump. >> i can't tell you when the government's going to be open. i can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they'd like to call it. >> here's the thing. this fight over border security and immigration, it does have real world implications, right, with real lives at stake, all of that's coming into sharp relief as we learn that yet another
young migrant child has died in u.s. custody, happened minutes before midnight on christmas eve. garrett haake is at the white house. let's catch things up. senate gets back into town later this week. what is the expectation for any discussion or movement when it comes to ending the shutdown? >> if you haven't checked in on the shutdown since saturday afternoon you have missed nothing, that's when the vice president was up here on the hill. he made an offer to chuck schumer for some number we know is between the $5 billion donald trump said he wanted for his wall and the $1.3 billion that would have been locked in if congress had essentially done nothing but punt on border security. and chuck schumer rejected it. lawmakers have been told they'll get 24 hours notice to come back here for a deal. at any given time until you hear the word go we're at least a day away from ending the shutdown. it doesn't sound like we're close right now. democrats feel like their advantage here only grows.
you might have seen nancy pelosi gave an interview over the weekend, she said the president's coming down from wall, he's talking about steel slats and fence. the next thing would be a beaded curtain along the border. democrats are hold fast and see what kind of offer the white house chooses to make them. the president was digging in over the weekend too. the bottom line here is we are stuck for at least a little while longer. >> and hans, the had a q&a with reporters, airing the grievances, he went off on the wall, this fight. what's word from the white house? >> reporter: the president's hinting he might have the unilateral authority, hallie, to build part of the wall himself. it's unclear what the president's talking about. aides haven't tried to clarify the matter. listen to how president trump says he started to build the wall without congressional authority. >> it's all being built, the new piece, the new section is very,
very exciting what's going on there and you'll see it because in january i'm going there, we're almost having a ground breaking it's such a big section. it's my hope to have this done completed all 500 to 550 miles, to have it either renovated or brand new by election time. >> reporter: hallie, let's be clear, we don't know where this section of the wall the president is talking about is potentially going to be built. we don't know which state and all the people that you and garrett spend so much time talking to on capitol hill they haven't appropriated any money. this could face legal challenges if he does decide to build parts of the wall without congressional authorization. hallie? >> hans, let me ask you about something else. separate, of course, and let's be clear, from the shutdown, the death of this young boy, this 8-year-old boy from guatemala, just minutes before christmas eve, overnight, customs and border protection came out with this kind of revised timeline, what they described as a more
accurate timeline for what happened. can you walk folks through it? >> it's heartbreaking to read. you have the cpb's approach and their timeline of how this death, how this tragedy happened. well, you also have this morning is the commissioner talking about the need for updating their facilities along the border because they frankly are not prepared for what they are seeing. listen to how he had to say it. >> our stations are not built for that group that's crossing today. they were built 30, 40 years ago for single adult males, and we need a different approach. we need help from congress. >> reporter: hallie, in that same interview the head of the cpb there did say that they need the funding for the wall. he seemed to be with the president on the shutdown, hallie? >> thank you to both of you. stay close to keep us updated, but i don't think you'll see that many people on the hill today. >> shocking if we did.
i'll bring in julia ainsley, donna edwards, and curt bardella. julia, let me start with you. you've been reporting extensively on what's happening at the border. cpb said they are doing some things differently, they're reviewing, for example, the care, the way that these kids under the age of 10 get provided medical care while they are in government custody. they are looking at a more medical care for kids under the age of 10 as well. as we learn now, as hans talked about, more about the timeline. >> that's right, hallie, what's interesting to me, the top of the list, they want to be able to provide a secondary screening especially to those children under 10 years old. we saw how that could have been helpful, particularly with the 7-year-old girl from honduras -- if guatemala who died earlier this month and it could have been helpful in this case. a lot of times when young children get sick they can go very quickly. the other things that are more interesting at the bottom of that list are things that they
are considering and things that would actually perhaps be met with political backlash. one is to work the i.c.e. to see if they can surge their operations. right now children like this boy who passed away are being kept in border patrol stations, far past the 72 hour legal window when they're allowed. he was kept in one for two days and transferred to another for two days. the facilities are not supposed to care for adults for over 72 hours, let alone children. but if you asked i.c.e. to surge their operations and make room, the thing they would have to cut back on, at least in the near term, is the number of beds immigrants taking from inside the country, people picked up and held before they're deported. that is something the president has committed to, increasing more internal raids. but to balance the human tairn issue, we'll have to have the debate.
for all of these deaths we hear about, there are more children that are being held on the mexico side. we know there are thousands who cannot get in, claim asylum and get this kind of care and we simply don't hear about those deaths. >> and julia, when we look at the timeline here, and we've been reporting and you've been working with our teams, and reporting this all out and initially it was thought the boy died just after midnight, but it was just before. you can see what happened. they were apprehended, taken into custody on december 18th along the border. over the course of the next several days, this young boy was in and out of the hospital, had a fever, was kept for observation, released with prescriptions. cpb says they gave the boy doses of what they were supposed to give him. his father declined more medical care because his son was feeling better and they were brought back to the hospital, the child was throwing up, nauseous, and passed away at 11:48 on christmas eve.
the cpb commissioner said it was the decision of the emergency room doctors to release the boy the first time. he talked about the need for really more resources here, julia. given the amount of time you spent reporting on this agency, what doe you make of that response? >> well, i think what i'm hearing, not just from the commissioner at the top, but from people all through customs and border protection is they feel like they have a huge humanitarian crisis on their hands that they're not able to deal with. the fact that they had to put this young girl earlier this month on a bus for an hour and a half before she could get medical care, the fact they don't have a lot to do after someone is discharged from a hospital, there's very little they can do in the emergency situations, when you look at the 17 welfare checks, a welfare check is essentially just checking in and saying, hallie, are you okay? there's not a whole lot more. they're not going through and taking your temperature or your blood pressure or checking for vital signs if a parent isn't reporting it. things can happen. there can be tons of times where a child seems okay and they're not able to articulate their
symptoms in a way an adult would. it's very hard with these vulnerable populations. that's why the rules are in place that you're not supposed to be holding them for this amount of time. we do have facilities run by i.c.e. for families. those are in texas. right now they are full. and a large reason is because of not only the number of families crossing the border, but also those who are being held internally again before they're deported. >> julia ainsley in our washington bureau, thank you. here with me donna edwards, curt bardella, and we've heard what about to this young boy. kirstjen nielsen faced questions already on capitol hill. she will likely face more. >> and when secretary nielsen was in front of the house oversight committee a couple weeks ago, she couldn't tell the number who had died under border protection control. >> we have that sound, here it is. >> did i understand you
correctly to say that as you sit here today you do not know how many human beings have died while in the custody of the department that you lead? and you in preparation for today's hearing you didn't ascertain that number, but you don't know it today? >> i don't have an exact figure for you. >> do you have a rough idea? >> sir, what i can tell you is -- >> people who have died in your custody, you don't have the number? >> i will get back to you with the number. >> okay. >> look, we should just remember their names, filipe and jakelin, 8 and 7 years old died in the custody of the u.s. government. we're doing nothing about it. president trump needs more resources for asylum protection and other services on the border. >> dhs or cpb has not confirmed the name of the 8-year-old boy. members of congress have said
what it is. donna, you make the point, president trump has been talking about the wall, he sure has, on christmas eve, on christmas day, the government is still shut down. how does this get resolved? nan nancy pelosi said he's backed off cement, and now he's down to a beaded curtain. >> this has been a broken record from donald trump. all he's talked about the last two years is the border wall. every day that goes by there's not a deal made trump's leverage completely evaporates. when congress flips and nancy pelosi becomes the speaker of house, they have all the control. >> she said the first week of january we will be passing legislation to open up government. now it's going to be a democrat ended shutdown when nancy pelosi reopens the government after the beginning of the year. so donald trump may end up losing all of his political leverage. >> trump's got two choices and none are good. he will have to capitulate, or
he will have to double down on shutting it down and he will completely own this shutdown for a second time. >> right. >> neither option is good. you're either going to alienate his base, or he'll look weak. >> i want to go over bonnie schneider. there's stuff about forecast for the rest of the holiday week, right bonnie? >> after a very quiet christmas eve and christmas day weatherwise, things are ramping up. we have 19 million people at risk for severe weather, mainly in central and east texas. we even run the risk of tornados there today, that includes the city of austin. heavy rain will engulf much of the region, mississippi, louisiana and texas for the next couple of days, not good news for travelers. that's not the only type of precipitation we're talking about, snow, and snow that will be so intense we'll see snow blowing and drifting, we'll have classic blizzard conditions as early as tonight in some parts of the northern plains. let's take a look. 6 million people at risk under some sort of winter weather
advisory all the way from da duluth to nebraska. dangerous traveling for anywhere you see highlighted in pink or purple. we're expecting the heaviest amounts of snow, a foot or more, wind gusts as strong as 50 miles per hour. we'll see blowing and drifting snow thursday into friday. even when the snow stops it will still be dangerous out there with that heavy snow. breaking down the timing for you, if you're just maybe heading back from your destination for christmas, heavy snow and wind in the plains for today, downpours and storms in texas. by the time we get to thursday we'll be looking for heavy rain in the mississippi valley and the gulf storms will be pushing eastward. while it's all happening in advance of the system, temperatures are above average. it's kind of confusing when you have a blizzard to the north and temperatures in the 60s to the south. that's exactly what's happening. this milder air is on the move. warmer temperatures, 10, 20 degrees above normal sliding
eastward. it doesn't stick around for the east coast. towards the weekend, a blast of colder air is headed our way in new york and into boston. it will turn colder, not cold enough for snow here yet but hallie, just a preview as we wrap up this year and head into next year the pattern for january looks more stormy and snowy for areas in the northeast and mid-atlantic. mild december, but it's about to change soon. >> sounds like it. bonnie schneider, thank you. we want to share information just in to your newsroom. nbc news as confirmed that supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg has been released from the hospital. she was discharged yesterday so let out on christmas. she is now resting comfortably and recuperating at home. we are told. remember, she had those two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung on friday so lots of folks thinking of justice ginsburg who is back home, resting for the rest of the holiday week. coming up, hold the line, parting shots from defense secretary james mattis as he
gets pushed out early and as he puts it, storm clouds loom. we're talking about that coming up. this is msnbc. (honking) when your craving strikes, you need your wing nut. ( ♪ ) no one can totally satisfy a craving, quite like your wing nut. no one can totally satisfy a craving, you'll make my morning, buty the price ruin my day.ou? complicated relationship with milk? pour on the lactaid, 100% real milk, just without that annoying lactose.
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we have won against isis. >> that's president trump over the last few months claiming isis has been defeated in syria, something that ultimately led to his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from that country. this morning we're learning the u.s.-led coalition in syria has launched new air strikes, targeting financial centers and other facilities in eastern syria last week. the deputy commander saying in a statement that isis still presents a "very real threat to the long-term stability in the region." adding "our mission remain it is same, the enduring defeat of isis." joining me is mark kemet and abby livingston and mark caputo. there seems to be a disconnect from what president trump is saying is what we're hearing from the commander on the ground working to defeat isis. why? >> first of all, i don't want to parse words, but chris kika who i know when he will who made that announcement was correct, he said the enduring defeat of
isis. we have the defeat of isis according to the president, but what we need to do is focus on the fact that isis cannot return. those strikes that were done last week are keeping them on their back feet. and i think what we're going to need to do is continue those strikes even after we pull the ground troops out. >> and do you think the ground work has been laid for the coalition troops to be able to do that, general? >> well, i think if you take a look at what we've done in iraq, that's the model that we'll probably follow in syria. we use a buy with and through strategy in iraq. we haven't doing the fighting. the iraqis have been doing the fighting. we've provided the air support, the logistics, the training. now that we're pulling out the ground troops i hope we adopt and embrace the strategy that's been so successful in iraq over to syria. >> mark, the president had sort of another twitter announcement over this holiday weekend where he said thanks to saudi a, as he
put it, that country, saudi arabia has agreed to spend the necessary money needed to help rebuild syria, instead of the united states. saying isn't that nice? but al jazeera was baffled. at no ti the president was on the phone with -- does this announcement come out of nowhere? >> you never want to guess what donald trump is talking about unless the president says it himself. one thing i think is really important to point out is syria's government assad is shiite, essentially, a sect of islam. and the saudis are sunni. the two don't get along. syria's government is more closely aligned with iran than saudi arabia. the idea that saudi arabia would say we're going to give a whole bunch of billions of dollars to assad and shiite, sometime
opponents, kind of strikes me as odd. and i guess it strikes the saudis as odd. then again the president's had a history saying other countries is going to pay for other things the united states wants, mexico is going to pay for the border wall. they're not doing that and now apparently saudi is going to pay for syria to be rebuilt and to be happy. we're going to have to wait and see. >> general kimmett, what is it for saudi? why would they pay? >> i don't see that distinction between shiia and sunni has been as significant as mark is saying. they're arabs, there's a long-term relationship between saudi arabia that goes back years and years. as you remember syria was part of the united arab republic between egypt, syria and baghdad at that time years ago under nassar. yes, he is aloite, yes it's a sect of shiia and one of the
reasons they have this close relationship with iran. but there has been long-term historical relationship between syria and saudi arabia that quite frankly goes well beyond and well further back than the relationship between the persians and the arabs. >> all of this, the discussion about placement of troops, about the u.s. military presence around the world comes at a pretty sensitive time. jim mattis is leaving the pentagon, which we knew before this weekend. what we didn't know is that he'd be leaving in less than a week. the expectation based on his resignation letter was he'd be out at the end of february, abby, the president said, nope, it's january 1st. and based on our reporting defense and administration officials said president trump did not tell mattis himself. secretary pompeo is the one who made the call. yet, abby, the secretary still delivered that holiday message to troops. "storm clouds loom but because of you your fellow citizens live safe at home." >> i know, it's been absolutely incredible to announce this major military pullout.
and then disrupt your pentagon. it is just absolutely amazing. there's going to be very little time for transition. and, i mean, mattis is very subtle, both in the letter to the troops and the letter to the president, undermining the president's branding on the syria operation that everything's going well. and it's quite extraordinary. i mean, i keep thinking back to president bush and mission accomplished. and presidents have got to be very careful about how they brand. i don't know if that's the right word, military operations. >> general kimmett, only a couple seconds left. quickly to you, patrick shanahan will become the person who will lead the department of defense on an interim basis. are you confident in his ability to bring the troops together over the next however many months? >> i certainly am. more importantly, general votell, they're not going anywhere, they're going to make modifications to their plans. what's happening back in washington is far less significant than what's actually
happening on the ground. >> general mark kimmett, i appreciate your perspective. abby and mark, stick around a little longer, please. up next, we're talking about the end game. the markets are about to reopen after a holiday close that was anything but ideal. the only question today could be how bad could it be? we've got more as the markets are set to open just minutes away on msnbc. kayla: our dad was in the hospital. josh: because of smoking. but we still had to have a cigarette. had to. kayla: do you know how hard it is to smoke in a hospital? by the time we could, we were like... what are we doing? kayla: it was time for nicodermcq. the nicodermcq patch with unique extended release technology helps prevent your urge to smoke all day. and doubles your chances of quitting.
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let's get a check on wall street. there you see it live, the markets just now opening up to the worst christmas eve trading day in history. the douw closing down 650 point. lesley picker is joining us to break it down. here we go, trading day kicks off, what do we expect to see? >> less liquidity today the day after the holiday season. we could see some big swings today. it looks like at least the s&p and dow are getting some relief this morning, opening higher in early trading. but futures have been volatile all morning today after the massive plunge on christmas eve. the s&p fell nearly 3%, landing it near bear market territory. the markets, of course, were closed for christmas yesterday. it's important to note that much
of this pessimism, at least in recent days as stemmed from the president's recent rhetoric about the fed. secretary mnuchin has denied that trump discuss it had possibility of firing chairman jay powell which had the markets, of course, in a bit of a tizzy earlier this week, hallie. >> tizzy to say the lest. let me continue the conversation with john harwood, and rick newman. rick, you are telling trump to get his act together basically, can you explain what you mean by that? >> i think that's the message, markets are sending to trump right now, we don't really -- we don't like the government shutdown. we don't like you bashing the chairman of the federal reserve. we want you to stay out of the fed's business and allow the fed to remain independent. and what the heck was up with what your treasury secretary
came out and said the other day that he talked with the bank chiefs, basically asking them do you have enough money? that's very odd behavior. i think what markets would love would be if trump would just shut up. but of course he's not going to do that. >> john? >> well, rick is right. the administration's not capable of inspiring confidence right now. steve mnuchin is an inexperienced treasury secretary. he erred with those cleanup efforts over the weekend. and president trump, unlike any president that we've had recently, doesn't know much about policy or the economy. and is erratic in his behavior. markets are taking notice of that. you know, the president, throughout his term, has made plain he doesn't really respect the independence of the fed. he's seeing consequences of that. even if markets agree with the president that they wish jerome powell had not raised interest rates in the recent meeting the fed had they don't like the idea of politicians messing with the
fed. so this talk of firing j. powell is deeply destabilizing. >> elaborate on that for a second, john, but first let's set up the back and forth from the president's own mouth essentially. on monday he blamed the fed, of course, for all the crazy market turmoil saying they don't have a feel for the market. yesterday he was asked specifically about the fed, specifically about the chairman, and here's what he said. >> they're raising interest rates too fast. that's my opinion. but i shouldn't have confidence. i think it will straighten. they're raising interest rates so fast because they think the economy is so good. but i think that they will get it pretty soon. >> and just to be clear you heard him say there i still have confidence, he's talking about powell. he was asked do you have confidence in the fed chair there? john, explain this. the president, even in the eyes of some experts, may be right, right, when he says that they're raising rates too fast for the
economy? >> there are significant numbers of economists, including larry summers who was a top economic adviser to both president clinton and president obama who wished the fed had not raised rates who considered that a mistake. but the one thing that you know better than anyone since you've covered president trump throughout his administration, hallie, is that his words can't be taken seriously on the merits. the president throughout the obama administration criticized the fed for keeping rates too low, to help president obama, and now that they're raising rates, which is what he called for before, he's criticizing them. he reacts in the moment based on his perception of his own immediate short-term interests. that's not the signal that the american economy or american investors want to hear. >> rick, what do you think the signal is now from the treasury secretary? because yesterday the president called steven mnuchin, a very talented and smart guy. despite rumors that perhaps he's unhappy with secretary mnuchin.
you write about that phone call, the series of calls to big bank ceos over the weekend that that freaked people out because if the nation's top policy -- then something must be wrong. this seemed to have backfired. are markets reacting to that? >> they reacted on monday. the crazy thing about this is banks have plenty of liquidity. there's no problem, no reason to think there's any problem at all here. i have no idea why the treasure eye secretary did that. he is smart enough to realize i made a mistake there. maybe we should all just pipe down and let the markets do their thing. for now mnuchin is one cabinet secretary whose job is not in jeopardy. he'll be there hopefully for a couple months. >> hallie, the one thing you can be confident of is that generals know more about military strategy than the president and the central bankers know more
about the u.s. economy than the president. he doesn't recognize that. he has kept kwquiet the last 15 hours, so maybe he's gotten the message. >> rick, thank you, sir, appreciate it guys. coming up, we will move from the stock markets to ticking stock, an acting chief of staff, an acting defense secretary, an acting attorney general. how thin is the bench in the trump administration right now? talking about that after the break. my mom's pain from moderate
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if you had the desire to call the switchboard, you would not get anything. the phones are ringing and ringing. in other words as the "washington post" puts it the message might as well be you've reached the white house, we are not functioning, please try again later. inside the white house the president is home alone. controversial and confusion swirls. the defense secretary's resignation over that decision, a partial government shutdown, and a stock market that plunged, all of it in the last week or so. joining me now, dana millbank and abby livingston and mark caputo back with us. take us inside donald trump's white house this morning. >> i have this sort of dekenzian picture of him in a bathrobe and
a candlestick, wailing about being all alone. >> the ebenezer trump factor. >> his wife is only here under duress. he's got very few advisers left. >> you they tongue in cheek. there is a lot of confusion surrounding him. >> he's missing all his advisers in key positions and it's basically one man running the show. >> you put it this way in your dana millbanksian way, not a creature was stirring. acting defense secretary, acting attorney general, acting epa administrator, acting white house chief of staff as of the 1st of the year. no interior secretary and the u.n. ambassador not in there yet. >> and the guy who's acting as attorney general was in a job recently where he was selling hot tubs. so, you know, it doesn't give a sense that everything's really under great control as the president said what's going on in this country is a disgrace, but merry christmas.
>> we have that sound. let's play it for abby and mark. that was a comment the president made before the airing of grievances with reporters. almost ten minutes, taking questions from reporters asking about everything from the wall to the shutdown to the fed. watch. >> take comey, everybody hated comey, they thought he did a horrible job. literally the day before i fired him they were saying he should be fired. as soon as i fired him they said, oh, what did you fire him for? that was a terrible thing to do. it's a disgrace what's happening in our country. but other than that, i wish everybody a merry christmas. >> merry christmas, mark, that's the message from the president, i guess? >> it's a tough act to follow both on what the president just said and what dana millbank just sa said. this is the trump presidency. i'm going to be dumb and make a prediction. if you look at president obama
getting she lacked at his first and second midterm and then going ton to win reelection. you wonder if president trump will be able to mimic that, and also ride this wave, his trumpian wave in his trumpian style to his own reelection. one thing that's surprising about president trump is that every opportunity to kind of go along to get along he is not taking it. and we're seeing that in spades here. and i -- i was among those surprised that the polls were wrong and that he won his election in 2016. i'm not going to count him out in 2020 because he has his own style and it really excites his base. and his base is among the most rabid i've ever seen in politics. >> dana, play off you on that. far be it from me, might this strategy, refusing to go alone as he put it, might that actually help the president politically with his supporters down the road?
frankly they do like he is holding firm on this wall and saying why not -- i've heard from people who say shut the government down, screw washington. >> they like what's going on with the wall. they're not going to like what's going on with the market, fluctuating day-to-day, it's taking a real hit. they're going to notice if heaven forbid a recession comes or slow growth. that's going to have an impact. we've not seen previous presidents at similar points, clinton, george w. bush, obama have all made pivots and we see no pivoting, he keeps turning towards the base over and over. >> abby how does that position him coming into the new year? "the new york times" has reporting, the president has grown more sure of his own judgment, critical, and more cut off from anyone else's than at any point since taking office, retreating to his residence being concerned he's watching too closely. can you believe this? i'm doing great, but it's a war every day. how does that translate to
2019's version of donald trump? >> well, i'll just remind everyone, nancy pelosi is going to take the speaker's gavel in about a week and each -- so on top of that you have subpoenas on the house side. but these vacancies, the cabinet official left on their own merit or trump fired them or they're leaving because of alleged malfeasance, the would be successors will have to testify in front of the senate. we're going to have grievances from the other direction in both chambers and trump does not seem to realize what is coming. it is going to be very dramatic, i believe. >> dana, quick final thoughts to you? >> well, i think he does have a sense of what's coming. i think that's why we're seeing some of this hysteria. >> this frustration. >> when there's all these outbursts, something bad's about to happen. >> and that bad thing in the eyes of the president is nancy pelosi coming in, along with the democrats. as abby points out, january 3rd. >> the whole world is about to
what i think for him and he's all alone. >> dana millbank, thank you for coming on. abby and mark, hang on, please. up next, a viral video of a wrestler's last-minute haircut has sparked outrage across the country. we've got that coming up after the break. your job. your dreams. your problems. (indistinct shouting) but at the y, we create opportunities for everyone, no matter who you are or where you're from. for a better us, donate to your local y today.
we've got new details this morning in the case of a high school wrestler who was forced to cut his high school wrestler forced to cut his dread locks before competing, the referee giving the teen an ultimatum, lose the hair or forfeit the match. nbc's matt bradley has the latest on this story, joining us from 30 rock. what can you tell us? >> reporter: good morning, hallie. this incident has gotten so much attention over the past couple of days, but nothing has been heard from the wrestler himself or his family or the community, and that looks like it is all about to change just this week. today an emergency meeting to discuss personnel matters in the new jersey town where a teenage wrestler was forced to cut his dread locks before a match. video of the referee demanding andrew johnson cut his dreads or forfeit the match went viral last week, sparking accusations of racism.
johnson won the match but lost his hair because the ref said it violated rules. in a statement early this week, the family expressed gratitude for the overwhelming show of support for their son, saying he was under duress and visibly shaken after a referee gave him 90 minutes to forfeit or cut his hair. the ref, alan maloney, showed up late for the match and missed weigh-ins where the wrestlers are inspected. the family says the referee rejected the head covering andrew was wearing and issued the ultimatum. new jersey sports officials say they've opened a civil rights investigation, sidelining maloney. a new jersey paper reported in 2016 he called a fellow ref a racial slur. maloney later apologized. he hasn't responded to nbc news' request for comment and now a school community is wrestling
with the wrestler's fate. tomorrow night the school board will see the first wrestling match, so everyone will be watching to see if johnson wrestles tomorrow under the glaring media spotlight. >> matt, is there any expectation, because again you make the point we haven't heard from the young man or his family, and that's their prerogative, but is there an expectation something else will be coming down the pike? >> reporter: ye can probably expect a little more after the meeting tonight, maybe after the match tomorrow, some kind of response. it looks like now the family has kind of gotten it together and are prepared to face the media for what is really for them such a startling amount of social media and national news attention. >> that is for shore. inco nbc's matt bradley. thank you. since stephanie ruhle is the typical anchor for this hour and you know how she likes to end
the news. for today, pitcher brady singer decided to give his parents something incredible this christmas. we saw their heart-warming reaction after singer's tweet went viral on tuesday night. watch. >> i am paying off the loan from the bank. also, i paid off all of your debt as well. what! now instead of trying to save money every week to replace the savings account you drained -- you can spend it on yourselves. your giving hearts helped to shape my tiny dream into reality. i love you both more than you could ever imagine and will never forget what you -- >> amazing. amazing for that family. incredibly emotional as he paid off all of their debt, their mortgage, everything they owed on their credit cards. the true meaning of christmas, giving back to the ones you love the most. it is not over for me. i have one more hour to go.
coming up, we will talk about how the government is closed for the holidays. the shutdown shows no sign of stopping, what that means for you, and the federal employees who should be back on the job today. we're talking about it next. b today. we're talking about it next. and... adjourned. business loans for eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars, decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. you're in the business of helping people. we're in the business of helping you.
this is moving day with the best in-home wifi experience and millions of wifi hotspots to help you stay connected. and this is moving day with reliable service appointments in a two-hour window so you're up and running in no time. show me decorating shows. this is staying connected with xfinity to make moving... simple. easy. awesome. stay connected while you move with the best wifi experience and two-hour appointment windows. click, call or visit a store today. good morning. i'm hallie jackson back with you from washington where it is the first full business day of the government shutdown. president trump digging in his heels, insisting this thing will not end until he gets more money
for his border barrier. in fact, he says the workers affected by the shutdown support it. we'll reality check that claim. with the senate back tomorrow, there's still no compromise in sight, so what breaks the stalemate? plus, another migrant child has died in u.s. custody. now border officials are ordering medical checks on all children in their care. wo we've got the latest developments on that story as we learn more about a mysterious case here in washington, presumably tied to the investigation. it is making its way at break neck speed under an incredible level of secrecy. we lift the veil and tell you what it could be about. president trump's top ten falsehoods of the year explained. holiday parties over the fedex few days, we have a team of guests here ready to break it all down on what is turning out to be a surprising busy wednesday. day five of the partial
government shutdown, president trump waiting for congress to negotiate with him, not budging on his request for billions of dollars for a wall or, as he says, a fence or something at the southern border, something he now claims providing new evidence that federal workers want, too. >> many of those workers have said to me and communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. these federal workers want the wall. >> let me get to msnbc's garrett haake on the hill for us. we know there may not be a lot of action until members of the congress get back into town, but nancy pelosi is talking freely about this, telling "usa today", it looks like president trump wants a beaded curtain eventually rather than a cement wall. it doesn't look like the kind of language you would use if you are looking to get a deal. >> reporter: well, it speaks to the lack of pressure democrats feel at the moment because they see a president essentially negotiating with himself at this point. remember, it wasn't that long ago we were talking about $25 billion for a wall, part of
a bigger immigration package kicked around back in the spring. now the president is talking about $5 billion for a wall. a couple of days ago he started talking about steel slats. then there were comments yesterday, a wall or a fence or whatever. democrats essentially feel like the less they say, the president is already starting to come down on his demand here, although there are x factors here including this 115 miles of border wall the president announced in a tweet on christmas eve he was ordering to be built somewhere in texas. nobody i could talk to at the white house over the last two days could point me to where it was going, who was going to pay for it, who was going to build it, any information. so democrats, as you could see in a largely empty building here behind me, feel that the president needs to come to them with an offer that will get the government back open, and they do not feel appreciate jury to bend here. the pressure the democrats have been seeing, if any, has come from the left, from progressives, from liberals