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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  December 26, 2018 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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parts of the government closed the doors with nearly 800,000 workers are not getting paid even though half are working anyway. we got word from congressman mark meadows. he sees no sign of the president backing down from his demand from funding for a border wall. they are misreading him and the president backing that up a short time ago telling reporters traveling with him to iraq that he is prepared to wait whatever it takes in order to get border security. let's start with the white house with noobc news. we have seen reports coming in from a small group of reporters who are traveling with the president. what are the headlines so far? >> the president appears to be up and away. he spent three hours on the ground in western iraq.
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he did address the troops for about 20 minutes. i think what we need to find out next here -- we have a little bit coming out from reports from reuters, as well. number one, the president is not going to withdraw from iraq. that's something he said they are going to stay there. he thinks the world will come around and the rest of the international community to his decision to withdraw the 2,000 troops from syria. he said that the current or soon to be acting secretary of defense will be there for some time. the president's next stop is going to be the air base in germany about five hours away on the plane. so far the head lines, president making an unannounced trip to iraq. >> stay with us if you will. i want to bring in hally jackson. what can you tell us about the
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trip? >> significant moment for president trump given he had come under fire for not having visited troops. at this point in his presidency barack obama had been to afghanistan. a couple of things to note here. the president is going to make another stop. he is going to stop at an air base in germany on his way back home. we are told we have learned from our cleegz, the small pool of reporters traveling with the president, a little more color about this trip. the president was greeted by a standing ovation as he walked in. he and the first lady went around taking selfies, posing, signing autographs for troops there. as far as the content of the 20-minute speech to troops and the question and answer session from the press really focus on
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the president defending his decision to withdraw troops from syria, adition th decision that the resignation of jim mattis. that was one of the straws that broke the camel's back along with the president asking for a plan on withdrawing troops from afghanistan. he is saying that he has no plans at all to withdraw troops from iraq. there are a couple of other notable pieces. the president was asked if he had concerns about visiting the country. he said he did have concerns about the institution of the president according to the pool and concerns about the first lady, as well. we know that the president visited with the u.s. ambassador to iraq and spent time with troops in the dining hall. it is a moment for the president on this holiday break, something he had come under fire for for not having done. the president has visited troops generally. we were on the trip when he was overseas in asia.
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the president, of course, visiting walter reed here in washington, visiting troops at different bases around this country, as well. this is the first time he is at a war zone. what you hear from folks and experts in the field is how important it is for troops like you see in these pictures to see the president, their commander in chief come and give them that backup. so we do expect to get some of the video from this. there are people with video cameras traveling with the president. that probably won't come out for a little bit. as you know from your travelers it is tricky. why didn't anybody know about this until the president landed? that is not unusual. you know this from your time covering this building. it is operational for security reasons and for safety reasons. they do want to keep this secret just to protect the commander in chief and the first lady when they are overseas. >> nobody is trying to keep anything from the america public. some people were saying they
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didn't have internet access so couldn't put this out. there were times when i was reporting from the white house and couldn't get internet connectivity. thanks to both of you. i know you will update us when you get more information. it will continue to come out. the visit does come as we have been talking about after that widespread criticism that trump had not yet visited troops in a combat zone. i want to talk more about this with retired four star general. white house correspondent from pbs news hour and some of the folks that you know are on that trip with the president. i want tostart with you, general. this is president trump's first visit to an active theater. it's interesting that he is going to a place where he has been very vocal and critical about the reasons that the united states got into iraq in the first place. i covered jeb bush on the
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campaign trail. he went after jeb bush because of his brother's decisions on iraq. as you look at this trip, both from the perspective of the troops on the ground, but also the military commanders that he had a chance to talk to, let me get your take from your military background about what you think about this first-ever trip to an active theater. >> i think it is good news, not just to show the flag. it has become an embarrassment the fact that the president had not visited the active war zones. putting that behind him is terrific. afghanistan is too dangerous for a president to go into in my judgment. so iraq is a perfect outcome. while he is there he will get an unvarnished opportunity to listen to the people commanding our forces not just in iraq but also in syria and elsewhere in the region. i think he will come back with a better on the ground grasp of the import of his unilateral
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decisions to exit syria with all of our forces immediately and potentially to cut the foot print in afghanistan. i think it deserves to be said, you can form a rational argument to pull troops out of syria and use just air power and covert action. you can form a rational argument to cut the footprint in afghanistan. you can't form a rational argument in impulsive, unilateral publically announced withdrawals without coordinating with our allies. >> military decision by tweet which obviously has rattled even some people within the military. so if you're there and i'm sure that you have had these kiends f conversations. if you are there and the president is insuring you i am not taking troops out of iraq, is there an ongoing nervousness not just because the president has been known to change miz
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mind about things that he says, but also because you just had the defense secretary decide that he was going to leave at the end of february because he disagreed with the syria decision and had general disagreement about the way the president has handled many of the decisions, but also when the president says don't bother staying until the end of february, you are done at the end of the year. >> well, look, the president of the united states regardless of who he or she might be is an enormously popular figure with the enlisted force of the armed forces. i'm sure their moral is raised by having the president and melannia there. i think the abrupt firing in which secretary mattis was handled with his brilliant public service letter of resignation, the senior leadership i think doesn't know
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what to make of all of this. they will remained disciplined and loyal to the commander in chief as they should be under the constitution. i think they are worried. they see our allies in disarray. by the way, pulling out of syria on short notice, you are telling the kurdish forces we are foi h fighting with that we are gone puts these forces at risk. this is a dangerous operation retrograde. i don't think anybody knows what to make out of all of this. they will try to puzzle through it. shanahan is a bright, capable, technically competent guy. he is certainly an honest man. we don't have a crisis going on, but there are some nervous folks, our allies and the national leadership and national security. >> and shanahan may be around for a while. do we know anything at this point -- this is all very new incoming information that the president made this trip and
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left late last night. do we know what led to it? obviously, there has been criticism as we have all pointed out at the president for not going in theater two years in. he skipped that cemetery service marking world war i when he was in france last month and took a lot of heat for that. he didn't go to arlington national cemetery a couple of days later on veterans day. this isn't the first time the president has found himself under pressure. why this? why now? do we know? >> what we know is that the president, this trip comes at a critical time in his presidency, the idea that the government is partially shut down and that people were openly questioning his decision to pull out of syria makes this a good time for him to go to iraq. there is this idea that president trump not having gone to visit troops in a war zone was becoming to be a political embarrassment for him. there are generals and ex-military people who are wondering for a president who talked about military service
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and about the idea of supporting the troops why he had not gone to visit them. i think this comes at a time when the president is dealing with people questioning the most important part of being president which is being commander in chief, the idea of keeping america safe and protecting america. the fact that he delivered the 20-minute speech to troops in part saying he was not pulling them out and that he was going to be fighting isis in any way that he can and that they were going to be possibly the basis for fighting this in that region, he was really i think sending the message that while i'm pulling out of syria i'm not pulling out of the idea that we need to protect america and if that means being involved in wars and in combat zones abroad. the president has talked a lot about america first and this idea that we don't need to be supplementing and being the police of the world. he is also telling the troops now i see you, i understand what you're going through. i want to hear from you directly. this is a critical point because in 2019 he will deal with a
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house that is controlled by democrats. he is dealing with robert mueller's possible report coming out. he will be deal wg moing with m his friends being indicted. the president needs a win here and political optics to be on the side in this case. >> optics aside, as you look ahead and you see someone you know who is going to be at least for a while taking the place of general mattis as the defense secretary, you do have -- i think when you look at the ways in which presidents fulfill their duties and symbolically how important these kinds of things can be, you have the president of the united states there -- we see a picture of him standing in front of the troops. we are waiting to hear what he said in the 20 minutes. in a very real sense, do you think he takes away anything from this that makes any difference or is this largely
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about the troops and the messaging to them? >> well, certainly most importantly from a political standpoint both to domestic audience and the giant military force, 2.1 million men and women in active guard and reserves, this is good messaging. there is no question about it. to visit the war zone puts behind them a political liability he has been trying to deal with. i also think, though, if he had an opportunity -- we'll find out more, to spend an hour or so with senior commanders in a closed environment listening to them directly, it will come away better informed. some of the decisions that we have been seeing soming out of the white house on national security had been based on an ignorant understanding of what is going on and the notion of abandoning our kurdish and arab allies in syria suddenly to the mercies of turk offensive operations, i'm not sure he got
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all that. so i think the trip is good news. i'm glad he went. i'm sure the troops appreciate it. i'm glad melania went. i think that added a different tone to the visit. hopefully some good will come out of it. >> i want to bring in courtney cuby. she joins me by phone. what can you tell us about the trip? >> i have to agree about the optics of bringing the first lady on this trip. i think it is fascinating. there is a lot of things about this that are very telling. they flew in to western, west of baghdad. it was historically during operation iraqy freedom it was the home of the marines. i can see from still photos coming out from the wire services that he definitely met with some marines and looked like they were marine senior officers although it is hard to
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tell who anyone was. that is the place where the birth place of the awakening nearly ten years ago in iraq, the beginning of the time where the war operation iraqy freedom turned around. it is interesting they did not go to baghdad. we don't know if they were flying on air force one. i expect it would not be allowed. assad is a little less dangerous especially in flying in a blue and white airplane. i think it's fascinating that he took first lady melania trump with him for the optics of it. it is also very interesting not going into baghdad. the notes say he did meet with the u.s. ambassador to iraq. going into western iraq would
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mean he most likely wouldn't have the opportunity to meet with any of the iraqi leaders. so it's a very interesting decision that they made to fly into there. the air base has a very interesting history for the u.s. military there in iraq. it was one of the largest for a long time. it was the second largest during operation iraqi freedom. it was home to the marines. going in the day after christmas and seeing these troops as soldiers and marineses there now who are away from their families for the holidays. >> the pictures are very striking. the christmas decorations and the standing ovation that the president got when he arrived. courtney kube. thank you. your knowledge and expertise is always invaluable. thanks to you. we appreciate it. coming up, the secretary of
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homeland security has just commented about that second child who died while in the custody of customs and border patrol protection. we have breaking details coming up next. big news on the supreme court. justice ruth bader ginsburg after her cancer surgery. how she is doing, an update on msnbc. doing, an update on msnbc. i'm ken jacobus and i switched to the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy. and last year, i earned $36,000 in cash back. which i used to offer health insurance to my employees. what's in your wallet?
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developing news on the two young migrant children who just this month died in the hands of u.s. customs homeland security officials. homeland security secretary just released this statement. it says that she is sending the coast guard's medical team. she is asking for help from the pentagon. she is asking for help from the centers for disease control and adds that kids in their custody will get a thorough medical screening as early as possible, something that has not been happening. her statement also included this line. ouri issystem has been pushed t the breaking point by those who seek open borders. here is what cbp says happened to the 8-year-old child kpoo
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whoo dkpoo -- who died. a border patrol agent noticed the boy and sent him and his father to the hospital. the boy was diagnosed with a cold and a fever of 103. he was released although it is not clear whether he had the fever. about four hours later he was sent back to the same hospital. his death is under investigation. jul julia, i want to start with this new statement that came from neilsen, growing pressure following the deaths of two young children being held in custody. she is right and you and i have talked about how the breaking point has been breached. what do you make of the fact that she is calling for help
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from the pentagon? calling for help from the cdc and calling in the coast guard? >> a lot of these details were laid out to reporters this morning on a conference call. she is putting it in a different context especially as she is blaming some decisions by courts over how to protect immigrant children. that's why the rules were put there. that is the thing she is calling for now. we need to start getting used to dhs calling for the department of defense to help enforce their policies. we have seen this sending troops to the border. we have heard that defense department funding could be used to pay for the wall. now she is asking the department of defense to help in these migrant deaths particularly of the children. she now seems very aware of the answer to the question that she failed to answer last week before congress that there were six deaths of immigrants during fiscal year 2018 and that prior to this month there have been no deaths of children in the custody of customs and border
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protection. it is unclear whether or not she will get that help. right now all of this is a request. a big thing that will have to happen internally within the department of home lland securi is how much space they make for the children. right now a big problem that we're seeing and we are seeing it play out fatally unfortunately in some circumstances is that they can't get them to i.c.e. centers in time, said they are holding them way longer than they are supposed to in these facilities that are not made for adults to stay that long let alone children. >> i know you will keep us posted on the new developments. in the meantime, despite the president's demands, lawmakers are not expected to rueturn to the capitol tomorrow unless a deal is announced. the president is holding talks with lawmakers. since saturday there has been no movement on the hill to find a
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solution to the standoff. house members have been told they do not expect members to return for votes. more with that with msnbc's garret. i just got a big note that you and frank thorp put out. >> we expect no major action on this shutdown tomorrow. we are already staring into the sixth day on the shutdown. unless there is a break through we will at least get to a seventh with the president out of town and lawmakers not expected to come back tomorrow. the senate will be in session but there aren't votes scheduled the message we got was that house members were being told we will bring you back if we need you. the bottom line here is that the negotiations are still very far apart. neither side feels particularly pressured to move towards the other. i think especially while the president is out of the country, we will sit and wait for another
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break through on this. >> i don't know exactly when the president is coming back. we are getting more details. we know he is stopping at ramstein on the way back. how are these negotiations working? is there really any conversation that is going on? >> reporter: there have been conversations of the staff level since friday. there are a couple parties here -- the most complicated will be the president -- who are going to have to buy in on a deal. all of the smaller pieces are a little bit easier. once you say we will spend x number of dollars on border security talking about money that might go for fences or drones or surveillance or beds, that sort of thing is easy. what will you do about a wall or call a structure that gets built or the physical protections along the border? these are big picture things. members in both chambers feel a little bit burned by the way the white house handled this. remember, the senate passed a clean funding bill by voice vote
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almost unanimous out of here late last week thinking the president would turn around and sign it. neither one of those things happened. the house passed a 5 billion dollar spending bill with money for the wall that the senate essentially tabled. there is not a lot of trust here. until the principle players, the president and chuck schumer and nancy pelosi are ready to sign off on something the staff level discussions will not get us back to a fully open government and not going to get the 800,000 or sore workers on furlough. >> the members of congress are mostly at home doing what most people do presumably for the christmas holiday. 800,000 workers, their paychecks are not coming through. and garret has been sleeping about three hours a night. >> sounds about right. >> thank you very much. we appreciate it. we know you will get back to us
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if you hear anything. here we are first full day, business day that is of this shutdown. a lot of the focus has been on politics. we should not forget the thousands of people facing serious financial anxiety over this border wall stalemate. who are the victims of this political football? roughly 420,000 people considered essential employees are working without pay. some have already worked through the holidays including air traffic controllers, tsa agents, border patrol agents, customs and border protection agents and food inspectors. 380,000 people are on unpaid leave. there is no guarantee those people will get back pay when the government reopens. you combine the numbers, we are talking a minimum of 800,000 government workers who are clearly hurt by this political grid lock. president trump claims that many federal workers personally have told him they wanted the government to stay closed until
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funding is provided for the border wall. listen. >> many of the workers have said to me and communicated stay out until you get the funding for the wall. the federal workers want the wall. the only one that doesn't want the wall are the democrats. >> that claim is being contradicted by federal union leaders. the president of the national treasury employees union which represents 150,000 members told the washington post that federal employees should not have to pay the personal price for all of this dysfunction. he said one person told him i have recently lost my wife and now i have put off by her head stone. it breaks my heart. another said i can't by christmas presents and am considering returning those i already have. mortgage companies and utility companies won't wait to get paid. a survey showed that nearly 80% of the unions members say they are very concerned about paying housing and other basic living
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expenses this month. beyond those 800,000, there are thousands of other jobs impacted. people who claim the offices that are closed to the cafeteria workers, local businesses that have lost their customer base because people aren't going into those federal offices. so very real impact while no serious discussions apparently are being had. so why is the president digging his heels in on the border wall? joining me senior affairs writing for politico. i follow you on twitter. you have been fact checking the president pointing out that he's moving his goals over his demands for a wall. you wrote president trump wanted 2000 miles of wall. today he said it is my hope to have this done and kmeeted, all 500 to 550 miles to have it renovated or brand new by election time.
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you also sent this reminder on christmas. sources at dhs have said that people either build ramps to drive over the fence or tunnels to go under but the majority of undocumented people overstay visas and come through legal ports of entry i'm told. so i read that i'm wondering if i am able to pay my mortgage, what's going on? >> the president wants a physical symbol to show to his supporters in 2020 that he accomplished what he promised and that is a big beautiful wall. he wants to have something to physically show and maybe have a rally at the wall if he can build one. he wants to tell people i followed through on this. the problem is that his negotiating stance gets harder and harder the closer we get to 2019. in 2019, nancy pelosi will likely be the speaker of the house. democrats will be controlling the house and the president will
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be dealing with that and lose the idea that republicans are in control of the senate and the house and he will have to give something. incoming chief of staff has been very clear. we have come down from the $5 billion ask. he hasn't been specific about what number the white house is willing to accept. what we will see likely in 2019 is an end to the shutdown but we will see president trump trying to spend whatever he can get out of his deal to please his supporters in that conservative base including rush limbaugh who pushed him into going into the shutdown to begin with. at one point he was saying he would get the $5 billion from somewhere else. he said i'm going to dig in and let's shutdown the government skblm. >> is the political passumption is there is more hell to pay from members of his base who want to see the physical wall?
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as opposed to if the government stays shut down for several weeks, by the time 2020 comes around people will have forgotten about it and he feels like he didn't pay a price for the previous shutdowns anyway? >> i think that's the calculation. the blame gets spread around for the shutdown. maybe what is more surprising is that the president a week or so ago looked like he was ready to sign the clean funding bill that wouldn't include the wall funding before the conservative pundits intervened and started putting pressure on him and saying they would accuse you of abandoning his wall promise. i think there is a calculation on the president's part that the wall is part of his brand. if you remember just a few days into his presidency he was speaking to the president of mexico, a transcript of that was leaked and shows that the president understood that the wall was an essentially part of
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what got him elected in 2016 and that he had to deliver on that promise. at that time he was saying mexico would have to pay for it but they would fudge the numbers to make the money up to mexico. he understood at that early stage that this was an essential part of his message. >> thanks to both of you. ha i have to cut you short. we have more details on the breaking news. what are we learning? >> reporter: we are getting more information from our colleagues who are traveling now on the plane on air force one heading back to the u.s. we expect the president to make another stop. reuters reported he would be stopping at an air base in germany. i want to pull up some of this stuff. the president telling troops about why he is deciding to withdraw troops from syria at this point saying that we are no longer the suckers. that was his message defending
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his decision. he said as you can see here, we are respected again as a nation according to the a.p. there is a lot of news that is coming out of this trip now including on the topic you were just discussing related to border security and related to the government shutdown that is now continuing. it looks like it will be continuing for several more days. the president feeling like clearly he has the leverage and negotiating power here, telling reporters on this trip that he will keep the government shutdown as long as need be. he wants the border security money. i just got off the phone with a white house official who advises they don't expect a ton of movement over the next day or so, thursday into friday is when you may see negotiations happening. worth noting that jared kushner has been spotted down in florida. mick mullvaney was not on this trip with president trump, neither was john kelly. the president was traveling with
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no current chief of staff or acting chief of staff with him. he does have press secretary sarah sanders. we are waiting to try to see some of the video. you have been looking at these pictures coming out from some of the agencies, reuters, the associated press, others. there will be video. we just don't know when we will get a chance to see it. the president did make pretty extensive remarks talking about not just the future of the government shutdown, but people in his administration like the incoming acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan who will take over after jim mattis leaves. >> and the president says he wants to visit the border wall before the state of the union. remind me what is the date of the state of the union this year? >> reporter: no official invite has been sent.
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typically it is the end of january. not only is he going to try to make this border wall visit, he has announced he is traveling to switzerland at the end of january in addition to the new congress coming in at the beginning of the month and the president having to confront divided government. i guess i just hope folks get rest over this holiday week because it will be a busy one. >> i was just thinking as someone who anchors on msnbc, i sometimes get more breaking news in an hour than i used to get in a month. that's just the world we are in right now. hallie jackson who follows it all, thank you my friend. i know you will get back to us if we get more stuff. coming up, nbc news reporting we may be nearing the end of special counsel robert mueller's investigation. now a case involving mueller and an unidentified company from an unidentified country has gone all the way to the supreme
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court. speculation is rampant. what we know about this mystery case and what we want to know, next. plus, take a look at the markets. the dow up 856 points after that huge loss that we had last week. the worst christmas eve ever. we're keeping our eye on it and bring you a report before the closing bell. you're watching msnbc. e closing bell. you're watching msnbc.
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so breaking news from wall
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street, the dow now up four percent almost. it's been a huge final hour of trading. retail and energy shares helping wall street regain some of the steep losses suffered in previous trading sessions. we'll have a live report later in the hour with the dow now at 22,670. supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg continues to prove how unstoppable she is, released from a new york hospital on christmas just days after having surgery to remove cancer on her lungs, doctors believe they got it all out and that no further treatment is needed. no word on whether she'll and when she'll resume her daily workouts. at 85, she is more famous than ever, the subject of both a hit documentary, notorious rbg and the upcoming movie "on the basis of sex" which i think came out
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on christmas. this is her third bout with cancer and has never missed a day of work on the bench. i'll have what she's having. the mueller investigation has reached the supreme court. chief justice john roberts issued a week long pause in a dispute with a grand jury subpoena involving mueller and a company that is owned by a foreign government. that will give the supreme court seven days to decide if the justices want to intervene. we know little about the subpoena fight including what the company does and which government is backing it. a lower court ruled that this foreign backed company was in contempt of court and issued fines every day it didn't comply. this comes amid an nbc news report that mueller will issue a report to the attorney general as early as february. for more on where the investigation goes in the new year, i'm joined by charlie savage, a national security and legal reporter for the "new york times" and a former assistant
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water gate prosecutor. so charlie, you wrote about the potential threats to the mueller investigation based on the two men trump picked to look after it. what does it tell you when trump tweets that he didn't lash out at whittaker as reported by cnn? >> so that report was not about the mueller investigation itself, but about the michael cohen matter in new york which the southern district of new york prosecutors have taken over from mueller. this is the stuff related to money laundering, bank crimes plus the financial campaign finance kriemcrimes of paying oe two women who say they have slept with the president extra mar tale. supposedly, this was -- trump was beraiding matt whit taker and acting attorney general for not giving him a heads up on
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what was happening on reining in the prosecutors in new york. one of the things that trump is dealing with here is that his original legal troubles were centered on mueller alone has metastasized. he has the state attorney general in new york looking at the trump foundation and the trump organization and has prosecutors elsewhere in the justice department boring in on different aspects of his dealings before and during his presidency. so he is sort of surrounded and it is well within character for him. we saw him publically berate jeff sessions for a year and a half before driving him out of office. it's not necessarily the best place to be to be in charge of the law enforcement system at the time when it is investigating your boss. >> let me go back to this story that has a lot of people speculating. you have an unnamed country, an unnamed company and then you have the supreme court chief justice of the united states
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getting involved. so what could this be? are there likely possibilities here? in other words, what do we know and what don't we? >> we really know nothing which is completely appropriate because the grand jury secrecy requires that mueller keep it quiet. but the courts have gone to extraordinary lengths closing down the entire floor of the courthouse during the argument. all is something major happening, but it could be russia. it could be saudi arabia. it could be any country that has companies that it owns. we don't know what it is. we know that it is related to mueller. and so it's of interest to all of us to try to find out. but there really is no way that we will ever know until the supreme court rules and the company either comes clean and turns over the documents -- i think there is a precedent that we can look at which is the nixon case in which the court
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ordered nixon to turn over documents that he claimed privilege for. this could be a different kind of privilege instead of executive privilege for the president, maybe this is immunity for a country. we don't know enough to really be able to predict. i feel like i would have to be a fortune teller to guess what it is. >> which doesn't stop people from trying to read the tea leaves. does it tell us anything by the fact that it is supreme court level? >> i'm sorry, charlie. >> it means that this foreign government-owned company that is probably fighting with mueller over the subpoena, we don't even know that. it is based on circumstantial evidence that people think it is probably mueller. it is fighting hard to avoid complying. how important this is and why? could this be a foreign-owned bank and has banking secrecy
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laws in its own country or it could be something else entirely. at this point, it's not enough tea leaves to come up with a coherent theory to stand by months and weeks from now when we find out what has been going on. >> thank you both on a day of very busy breaking news. i want to go back to wall street. the dow soaring rebounding from the worst christmas eve in wall street history. s&p and nasdaq are up, as well. let me go to leslie picker. what is fuelling this surge? what do we know? >> that's a great question because there is not that much volume today the day after christmas. so we are seeing a lot of buy orders that are helping to push the markets higher. it is really changing by the minute here. the s&p now up more than 4.2%. the dow up 4.2% and the nasdaq up nearly 5% which is the biggest and best day for the dow in about a decade according to our data analysis team here.
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interestingly, what really helped propel the markets higher to the upside today was after white house adviser said that fed chairman powell's job was 100% safe. that has been a big concern for the market as to what his relationship is with president trump and whether his job is secure in that position as the fed continues to raise rates. also worth noting today, oil making big moves today both wti and brent up by the most since november 2016. so a lot of green on the screen on wall street today. >> thank you so much for that update. coming up, the latest from the viral video of the new jersey wrestler forced to cut his hair before a match. now the school is calling for an emergency meeting. an investigation is underway. we'll be right back. meeting. an investigation is underway. we'll be right back.
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the best deal it's as easy dates, deals, you know the rest. (owl hoots) read reviews, check hotel prices, book things to do, tripadvisor. and then, more jobs robegan to appear.. what started with one job spread all around. because each job in energy creates many more in this town. there's now a civil rights investigation into a controversial incident at a high school wrestling match in southern new jersey that sparked national outrage. it's a video that went viral after a black athlete was forced
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to cut off his dreadlocks just as he was set to start his match. nbc correspondent matt bradley has more. >> reporter: today an emergency meeting too discuss personnel matters in the new jersey town where a teenage wrestler was forced to cut his dreadlocks before a match. video of the referee demanding andrew johnson cut his dreads or forfeit the match went viral last week sparking allegations 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 seconds to forfeit his match or cut his hair. the johnson family attorney now saying the ref showed up late to the match and missed weigh-ins where the wrestlers are inspected. the family attorney says the referee said andrew would need to wear a head covering or face disqualification.
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the referee rejected the headcovering he was wearing and issued the ultimatum. new jersey sports officials have opened a civil rights investigation sidelining maloney who has had previous brushes with controversy. in 2016, he called a fellow ref a racial slur. maloney later apologized. he hasn't responded to nbc news' request for comment. now a school community is wrestling with the ref's fate. not only is the school board set to meet tonight, but tomorrow is that first match since the actual incident. everybody is going to be waiting to see whether this very young man is going to be actually wrestling. >> his family issued a statement or we heard through other people? >> we've only heard from the family. not from him. everybody is waiting to hear what he has to say. how he's taking all of this. he's only 16 years old. >> matt bradley, thank you for that. >> and we'll be right back. eligible card members up to fifty thousand dollars,
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decided in as little as 60 seconds. the powerful backing of american express. don't do business without it. more on the breaking news. the president and first lady visiting the troops in iraq. hans nichols is at the white house. i understand, are we getting some video finally? >> we are waiting for that video to play out. remember, the president is up and away. air force one has left iraq. the president was on the ground for about three hours.
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so what we -- we will hear the president's first comments when he's addressing those troops for about 20 minutes. that's what we expect to get played out, if all the technical challenges can be surmounted. as you well know, whenever you do a trip like this, logistical challenges, technical challenges. it's great difficulty for the pool to actually get the material, that's the group of reporters that travels with the president, back into position and get that -- get those images and the sound out to the world. just to recap the headlines, though. we have the president of the united states has finally made a visit to a war zone, visiting the troops in iraq. declaring, telling reporters that he'll not be withdrawing from iraq. that's significant because he has said he's going to pull the 2,000 troops out of syria. they've been part of a coalition fighting isis. all officials say, at least in the international community, that that isis threat has not been dealt with. president trump giving that video saying that isis has been defeated. there are still according to the
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pentagon some 15,000 isis fighters throughout the region. but the president saying that they have been dealt with and he's going to pull out of syria. today he's saying he's going to do counterterrorism strikes inside syria making that first visit over the christmas holiday with first lady melania trump. >> we'll have that video when it comes to us. thank you so much. as you've been reporting on this throughout, hans nichols. the other big story and you're watching it on the lower part of the screen. the closing bell less than two minutes away from ringing after a huge day on wall street. cnbc's leslie picker joins me. we were talking about earlier some of the things that have gone into this on what is very slow volume day on the dow but a lot of people are going to be looking at their 401(k)s and saying, can i read anything into this? is the worst over? >> they'll be happy today. like you said about a minute and a half until the close today but the biggest news on wall street is that the dow surging by more than 1,000 points. whether it will close at that
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level remains to be seen. a lot can happen in a minute on wall street, but all three indexes, dow, s&p, nasdaq, on track for their best day in seven years. >> are there particular sectors that were leading this charge? >> absolutely. we saw some really nice moves in energy. those were helped -- propelled higher by oil prices today which saw their best days in two years. wti and brent up by more than 8% each today. also early retail numbers showing some really strong shopping habits from the holiday season, helping push up a lot of names, including amazon and more traditional retailers like kohl's as well. even the financials, which has been a pretty risky trade as of late has seen a really nice move today. the best since about march this year. >> cnbc's leslie picker on wall street for us. thank you very much. just moments from the close today. thank you for watching. i'm chris jansing.
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"deadline white house" starts right now. hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. i'm elise jordan in for nick coal. donald trump visited troops in a combat zone. facing criticism at home and increasingly isolated trump along with the first lady made an unannounced three-hour trip to iraq. he delivered remarks to troops stationed there. reuters quoted him as saying the u.s. has no plans to pull troops out of iraq and that the military could use that country as a base if, quote, we wanted to do something in syria. and that's the backdrop to the trip. all this is happening just six days after secretary of defense james mattis quit evidently over differences of opinion regarding troop withdrawal in syria. and on that topic, trump told reporters he believes a lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking. all of this is happening at the


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