tv MSNBC Live With Richard Lui MSNBC January 5, 2019 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
working as hard as we can-doing all that we can- for everyone who walks through our doors. this is cancer treatment centers of america comprehensive cancer care network. and these are the specialists we're proud to call our own. treating cancer is more than our mission. it's our passion. expert medicine works here. learn more at cancercenter.com. cancer treatment centers of america. appointments available now. very good saturday i'm richard lie richard lui at msnbc. today is day fifteen of the partial government shut down. mike pence meeting with congressional senior staffers. it ended a couple of hours ago.
they were trying to hammer out border negotiations and the shut out. the vice president sent out this tweet, it read, progressive discussion with congressional leadership staff at white house. secretary nielsen gave me full presentation on crisis along southern border. we reaffirmed potus's commitment to build a wall. discussions continue tomorrow. meanwhile the effects of the government shut down is having an impact on the day-to-day lives of many many americans. >> if you're putting a new beer into the market, you need to get that label approved by the tax and trade bureau. they're not processing any of those labels. >> if you lose your income, if you lose your employment, you still have those life obligations that you have to meet and you still have to come up with a plan to meet those. >> a majority of our clients want to have their day in court and so this does nothing more than just delay what could be an important hearing for them. >> get rid of politics and think about the people that voted you
in. so think of them before you think of yourself. >> and those are americans from all across the country that we went out to hear what they were thinking. let's monitor the latest developments on what happened on capitol hill. we have mike vicara, first hans nichols at the white house. we have had several readouts of all of the senior staff meeting with those who are very key in the white house. >> reporter: what we're hearing from a democratic source dollar with the conversation is the vice president did not come off that $5.7 billion top line offer. it appears to be departure for mike pence who earlier last week offered 2.5, and the idea that the white house is digging in on this 5.7 billion number should make people less than optimistic about the prospects for a deal. now, at the same time, democrats are asking for the budgetary justifications. they want to know whether the number just came out of thin air or whether or not it actually has any sort of budgetary justifications, and i think
that's going to be a crucial point moving forward. if you want to see some way out of this, maybe they can back fill and try to figure out just what they want to build and how much that could cost instead of focussing on the actual number. but democrats are also saying that as long as the government remains shuttered, as long as this partial shut down continues, having formal negotiations will be increasingly difficult. richard? >> based on what hans is saying, based on what your reporting staff there on the hill, that's with both of you are saying, are we going backwards? >> reporter: well, i mean if there's a bright side, it's that the two sides have agreed to meet again tomorrow and what hans reported as we understand from the readouts behind the scenes, the democrats have asked for a more detailed proposal of exactly what the administration, what the president wanted to do, what do they want to spend money on when it comes to this contentious issue of border security, border fence, border
wall, whatever you want to call it. what we have here is not encouraging in terms of the competing and dreadouts from th prospeck prospective sides in this. the vice president made it clear that the president is not coming off his $5.7 billion figure. they call it position untenable. they say it obviously cannot pass congress and that they have to move off of that. for their parts, republicans behind the scenes in their background readouts say that this was a good productive meeting as they put it. secretary nielsen had the opportunity to lay out once again the crisis at the border, why this is so urgent and they interestingly asked for a counter offer from democrats even though the democrats contend that 5.7 was firm and that the white house is not moving off of that figure. >> the very latest, this as we're getting some information of that discussion that happened inside that meeting. thank you so much, hans nichols,
mike viqiera the white house. susan del percio, nbc political strategist. and director danny cevallos, msnbc legal analyst. susan, i was asking vic here because you know, 5.7 is what we seem to be hearing is the hard and fast number right now, but you can probably remember our conversation about a week ago where the number that also the vice president, who is sitting on the meeting, it was 2.5. i was thinking, 5.7 is going backwards to 2.5. yeah. >> yeah, it's also going backwards because let's not forget everyone had a deal until two weeks ago when the president decided, nope. i changed my mind. so no one can go to that table believing that the president's representatives are actually going to be able to deliver whatever they negotiate.
so that's a difficulty, one. >> you mean they're waiting for the president to be sitting in front of them. >> right. and then maybe, you just don't know what's going to happen. this president has shown over and over and over again that he is willing to go back on his word and change his mind whenever he wants to, within the process. now, what i think is interesting is the discussion about how this money should be spent. it seems it's 5.7 for a border wall. that's not to say that the democrats can't counter with we'll spend 5.7 on border security. we'll increase the parts of the fencing, we'll increase border control. they will increase other technology. if they lay that out, i think that puts the president in a pretty difficult position because we all know $5.7 billion doesn't build a wall. it builds a maybe part. >> multiply times 5. >> that's the problem. >> basil, we were hearing from our reporters there on the
beltway at the white house and at the hill, a budget sheet justification reoutlining what the administration needs to secure the border will be the basis of tomorrow's conversation. again, what was being reported, the democrats need to come back with an idea if they don't want 5.7 and justification based on budget is going to be what it's about. >> well, the truth is that this wall and the estimates have shown that this wall could cost anywhere from 7 to $70 billion. i think the democrats are right to say if we're talking about 5, we're talking about 2.6 billion, what is it actually going to get spent on and are you going to come back and ask us for more money later on and we're back in this same position because that happens quite often as well. but what encourages me is that when you talked about that meeting that there was only staff there. that may discourage some, but it actually encourages me, what that says to me is there was no democratic leadership willing to sit in the room and get a lot of
ideas and a lot of numbers. >> how is that positive, basil? >> it's positive because what that says to me is they are standing firm, from a democratic perspective, they are standing firm, and they are smart to separate the wall from the reopening of the government. >> there's a lot of furloughed employees not getting paid. that's no positive to me. >> but i will tell you why it's positive. it's positive because the truth is that the reopening of the government is firmly in the hands of the republican and the president right now. the democrats have passed a bill said let's reopen government, but we're spending a lot of time talking about a wall or border security. >> and to reopen it for one month to discuss this negotiation. it's not like there's a deal to be made forever. >> we don't know if it's a month or six months, september or february. another way around this that the president bought up yesterday which is bringing up a lot of conversation is that a state of emergency. >> right. >> and that by calling a state of emergency that the president of the united states can
therefore employ or deploy, i should say, members of the military and other resources, using other laws to change the ability to make this happen without congress potentially being involved, and danny, what does that mean in terms of what the constitution allows versus what congress has allowed in giving powers of emergency to the president? >> the constitution itself contains no explicit grant of emergency powers to the president other than the suspension of habeous corpus. beyond that, he has to look for sources of presidential power. once the president decides to invoke that national emergency, when he declares one, all of those statutes come to life and give him unilateral powers. those powers can be checked by both congress and the judicial branch. however, those things take time. after all, emergency powers were designed to be immediate, to be
unilateral, to be quick in the sense that congressional acts take too much time, when there's an emergency, things move quickly. our country has acted under a state of emergency for decades now. this is nothing new. >> aren't we under like 20 or 30 laws that are basically enacted because we're in a state of emergency for those very statutes. >> a state of emergency from decades ago, which was just renewed by president trump, is what gives us the basis for sanctions over iran, just to give you an example, but that originated way back in the 70s and it's just been renewed by president after president. >> this is what might scare some folks and i'll go through, this is from the atlantic in terms of the spaces that a president who declares a state of emergency sees control of internet access, alter economic powers, big one, limit economic and legal services to undocumented migrants, deploy troops inside the country which we have seen, and number five here, fabricate
an emergency because of the powers that you therefore have. for those who would be glass half full, this is fairly scary. >> it's a major cause for concern. some of these powers, these emergency powers require some congressional oversight. others have almost no lim limitations on the president's power once he declares that state of national emergency. h historically the courts have stepped in sometimes, when, for example, the president tried to take over the steel industry, something like that, but as it stands, it's designed to be quick. it's designed to be immediate, and it's designed to be challenged but only after a period of time. >> and it is designed to unite, do the one impossible thing i never thought i would say is have mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi joining together to fight that, because that is something that challenges. >> and they can do that. >> it does, and it really does challenge the legislative branch and that is something they cannot advocate. >> and left and right have been
very critical of the very idea of it, and they have seen in the recent two administrations there have been examples made about how this is potentially not used the right away. >> this is far beyond a wall at this point, it goes exactly to what you're saying about the limitations of presidential power, and it unites the left and right. some of the reporting on this, and i think it was the atlantic that talked about similar scenarios, andrew johnson's hasty end to reconstruction. the internment of the japanese under fdr. when you start thinking about those examples and the way the president has acted in the first two years of office, it should scare everyone. >> and are there checks and balances, we have seen certain individuals that have recently left the administration that might concern some folks. what are the guardrails, congress, is what we have been discussing so far. that could change these 130 plus statutes, the constitution is the constitution. >> andrew johnson was a fantastic example. here you have a president unelected, essentially inherited the presidency, and tried to put
a stop to the reconstruction in the south, to change things around and that policy was not what the american people wanted and you remember the result of that was that he came within one vote of being removed from the house after being impeached. >> you brought up a really good point just when we were off camera, and that was that we'll probably see a lawsuit filed somewhere along the border as a kickoff point for this. >> that is the quickest way to challenge judicially, the quickest way to challenge the president's exercise of these unilateral powers. >> we will have that conversation a little bit later in the show but this has been a spirited back and forth, and trying to understand this very complex, for most of us every day folks. thank you so much basil, susan, danny as well. i'll talk with a border agent about whether a wall is needed to secure the agent and if we are headed toward a
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welcome back. president trump is threatening to keep the government shut down going for quote months or even years if congress does not pass funding for the border wall. and as the partial shut down reaches day number 15 today, with no end in sight it appears, president trump now says he has another option on the table. you don't need congressional approval to build the wall.
>> absolutely. we can call a national emergency because of the security of our country, absolutely. no, we can do it. i haven't done it. i may do it. i may do it. but we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly and it's another way of doing it, but if we can do it through a negotiated process, we're giving that a shot. >> so is that a threat hanging over the democrats? >> i never threaten anybody. but i am allowed to do that, yeah. >> joining us now, acosta, a former border patrol agent and a former senior executive with the department of homeland security and the author of deep in the shadows, undercover in the ruthless world of human smuggling. nipolito, always good to have you on the show with your expertise and understanding on this topic, and very brass tacks, my friend, from what you know that's happening on the border, are we close to the idea of a state of emergency? >> well, i think i'm not so sure
that i'm the appropriate one to say that, to discuss a national emergency but i will say one thing, i think that we need to come up with the solutions that we're looking for, and coming back to the issue of the border wall, you know, i want to remind you one thing, richard, we have barriers or walls that were created before this administration came into play, so it's nothing new. we had over 700 miles that were done during the time that i worked for the u.s. immigration service, so i think that's the issue that we need to address, is the wall effective, do we need more. and i think that's the important thing. >> let me ask you that, then, because we have heard the different concepts and let's forget the words for a moment and what they are physically, concrete wall versus steel beams or slats, if you will, that you can see through. barbed wire, there's many other versions, what do you believe is the most effective and is needed or not? >> well, i think it's very effective but let's take the border wall, the concept.
number one, it's just one of the concepts in enforcing immigration law and our national security. we have 700 miles. there's certainly remote areas that are used by smugglers, used by people coming into the country and if you were to ask field agents out along the border, they would all concur that more is needed. we don't need a wall from san diego to brownsville, texas, but there are areas that are wide open, effective. that's one of the components that's needed. the second component is technology, and border patrol agents out in the field, it's a combination of things that are needed for border security because i think we all agree that the way we had it before was not successful. we have 10 to 15 million illegal aliens in the country. so we need to step up on our enforcement not only at the border but interior enforcement, and that's one of the things that is lacking in this process. everybody has forgotten about interior enforcement. we also have several million people that came into the
country with visas that overstayed and there's nothing being done about it, and it's become such a political issue, that i don't think they're addressing it, what's in the best interest of the country rather than just making it a political fight. >> i think the former chief of staff john kelly would agree with your characterization of the complexity of the very idea and the word of immigration. he was saying, to be honest, this is not a wall. the president still says a wall. often times frankly he says barrier or fencing. now he's tended toward steel slats. he also went to say in the l.a. times, the u.s. customs and border protection agents said well, we need a physical barrier in certain places, we need technology across the board, and we need more people. the technology and people across the board, it sounds like you would agree with that, too? >> well, i do agree with it, and you know, we have drone sensors, air surveillance is important to protect our borders, but let's go back to the barriers. i do want to say that they are
very effective in the way this they are used regardless of what the terms that are used, i think the important thing is the agents out on the field would concur that more barriers are needed. i think one of the things that would help the administration to say where they specifically intend to create these barriers because i know our agents out on the field know where they're needed. when they have barriers they can respond quick e the infrastructure is important so they can build roads so we have agents responding out there, and the safety of the people coming into the country because smugglers are known to take people to remote locations where there's no barriers that would prevent them from getting out there or that we could respond quickly to it. >> you have seen the waves of interest in this very topic from left and right, now hipolito, we are talking about it because of a government shut down. there has been many shut downs where immigration has been part of the conversation. how would you put in context this latest debate about border
security? >> well, i think, you know, the border security, i think has been given the appropriate attention. i think we also need to realize that the reason we're in this situation, because for decades, we haven't had interior enforcement. millions of people have come into the country illegally, and now bringing in those they left behind. the catch and release policy for decades that we had was, you know, give a very negative outcome for our country because we release people by the thousands at the mexico/u.s. border. they never appeared for hearings and ultimately what we have in the country is 10 to 15 million people inside the united states living in the shadows. i think, you know, we're making the immigration issue the border wall, but it's a lot more complex. there's different components and i think that's what our leaders need to address. >> hipolito acosta, thank you so much. >> thank you. still ahead, was the arrest of an american detained in russia, a tit for tat play for russian spy maria butina? n spy a
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three other countries. he previously served as a u.s. marine, was court martialed and found guilty of attempting to steal $10,000 worth of u.s. currency from the u.s. government while deployed in iraq in 2006. he also bounced nearly $6,000 worth of checks around the same time according to military documents. the marines dishonorably discharged whelan in 2008, and since his detention, questions have been raised whether the russians will use whelan in a prisoner swap with maria butina. russia's foreign ministry says it's too early to discuss such an arrangement, claiming that whelan has not been formally charged. joining my michael mcfall, nbc international analyst, and jill wineback, and msnbc contributor. when you look at the characterization of whelan here, there were those who would say
he doesn't necessarily not fit that which he has been accused of. then again, we have an american who's being held abroad right now in russia. >> well, he's not only an american, he holds four passports. all of them are allies, canada, ireland and england, he's citizens of all four countries and so that makes it unique in that russia has now taken on four strong countries who will defend their citizen, and that makes it unique. his bad conduct charge also makes it more unlikely that he is actually an official representative in any way of the american government. they would be very unlikely to choose a bad conduct discharged marine as a spy. that just doesn't seem right, so it's a very unique situation, and it also doesn't make that much sense that he would want to be exchanged or that russia
would want to exchange him for maria butina because she's going to be out of jail in a short time anyway, so it's not like she's in a long-term imprisonment that they would risk doing this for. so the whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense. i'm hoping the ambassador maybe can fill us in on that. >> ambassador mcfall, former u.s. ambassador to russia under the last administration. what do you think is happening right now? >> i'm not sure i can help. it's a very strange, bizarre situation. i just underscore, he does not fit the profile of an intelligence officer of the united states government. when you're dealing in russia, it's a very difficult place to do intelligence work and so most people have diplomatic passports so that if something does happen, they can claim diplomatic immunity. he obviously didn't have that. he goes to russia a lot. he's got an account which i'm
sure most americans have never heard of, the equivalent of russian facebook and it seems bizarre to me that he, with that profile would be doing intelligence work. but the other twist, it also seems strange, why would the russians want to trade him for butina except for his own appointed lawyer, the russian appointed lawyer has said explicitly that and that is very bizarre, too. by the way, this is a lawyer that's very close to the russian government, close to the russian state security service, the fsb, the former kgb, and he basically said that in a press conference about this arrest. so there's a lot of strange things going on here, and i confess, i don't understand it. >> we seldom here that from you ambassador. >> i'm telling the truth. >> as the way it stands, and i know that jill is also thinking the same thing, related to the complicated relationship with russia, talking about trying to get back a u.s. citizen who's
being detained right now, there's the statement related to russia that the president had brought up just within the last 24 hours. now, i want to play that, and this was related to russia, excuse me, wednesday, related to russia as well as afghanistan. take a listen. >> the reason russia was in afghanistan was because terrorists were going into russia. they were right to be there. the problem is it was a tough fight, and literally they went bankrupt. they went into being called russia again as opposed to the soviet union, you know, a lot of these places you're reading about now are no longer a part of russia because of afghanistan. but why isn't russia there, why isn't india there, why isn't pakistan there, why are we there, and we're 6,000 miles away. >> i doubt you're going to say you don't know a lot about what was happening in this particular comment because there are many
things that were said in just that statement that were not correct and not true. first of all, why at the time the soviet union was there, and that was a prop up another communist regime, amongst other details here. what did you take away from what the president seemed to be saying that was synthetic to the russian point of view? >> well, first to underscore, yes, this is a lot clearer to me. the soviet union did not invade investigation because terrorists were coming into the soviet union. it was the exact opposite. the soviets invaded afghanistan and attracted terrorists, including al qaeda to afghanistan as a result of that. second, the soviet union was not bankrupt because of afghanistan. it was one of many factors, and third, by the way, this idea that because they're far away they can't attack us, remember, we were attacked on september 11th, by al qaeda based in afghanistan, so there's so many things wrong with his quote unquote analysis here, and there's no soviet or russian historian in moscow or here at
stanford or anywhere that i know that accepts this theory except for putin's party. united russia has recently introduced a resolution to rewrite the history and to say that this was a legitimate intervention. and that's what's so bizarre about this. it appears that president trump is getting his knowledge about soviet history directly from somebody, either mr. putin himself or putin's party. >> well, jill, bring us home on that because this then brings us back to the investigation that's happening right now, and the way this may be construed, jacksonville. >> well, we have an investigation going that over and over again, we see connections to russia, and this is just another example of the president not reading history, not understanding history, and parroting the russian reinterpretation of history. so it's another connection. it's why the mueller investigation is not over. and why it cannot be over.
it's why the grand jury probably was extended another six months because they need more time to get to the bottom of this whole investigation. this is, as the ambassador said, this is not real history. it is only the russian view of history, and i hope that someone will correct the president so he conforms to what is actual fact. >> best thinkers on the time, jill wine-banks, thank you so much, ambassador michael mcfaul, appreciate it. >> thank you. while americans are feeling the pain of the government shut down, some are taking action, we'll talk to an attorney representing two corrections officers who are suing the government over the shut down. officers who are suing the government over the shut down.
we are in the fourth longest government shut down in history, and in just one more months, the 800,000 furloughed federal workers could be feeling the strain if not now. funding for supplemental nutrition program or snap, the food snap program could run out of funds, providing 38 million low income americans with nutrition assistance. another agency that's feeling the squeeze, the irs, over 48 million people file their tax returns in the early months of 2017, those americans received over $147 billion averaging over $3,000 per person. now if the shut down lasts for months or even a year like the
president claims, this could ultimately affect most americans who file their taxes and potentially get or not get their returns. and how are the current federal employees faring on this day? well, on average, federal workers make just under $90,000 a year. and as the shut down continues, the average federal employee has not received about $3,200 in pay so far and that totals $2.6 billion in just two weeks. as of today for all combined 800,000 workers, and of those workers, 420,000 are considered essential and they must work and they must do it without pay. some of those essential employees with the american federation of government employees are suing the federal government over the partial shut down. joining me now, heidi barakowitz, representing two corrections officers who are suing the government.
you must work, but you must work without pay. i understand your two cases in this situation are saying you can't do that. >> thank you. yes, that's absolutely correct. in 2013, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of federal employees who were deemed essentially and had to work during the shut down, and we're doing it again this year. it's unacceptable to have employees who are often working very dangerous jobs. they have to go to work on top of it, the stress, they don't know how long the shut down is going to last and when they're going to get their next paycheck. >> the case from 2013, help me out. was that settled and if it was settled, does it serve as precedent, and if it has not been settled, when will it be settled. >> we prevailed in the case in 2013. the government filed a motion to dismiss. in denying that motion, the court ruled in our favor that the government was denying the fair labor acts, a depression era law that sets the floor for worker protection in the
country. the only issue was whether or not the government was liable for liquidated damages. the court subsequently ruled in our favor on that issue as well, determining that the government did not act in good faith when it failed to pay these essential employees for going to work on time during the shut down. >> so the rulings did come down, but what you're saying is you have to start all over again this time? >> not necessarily. >> okay. >> from my perspective. >> explain for me. i apologize. >> that's okay. from our perspective, the legal issues are identical. we had to litigate the issue in 2013, but the legal issues from our perspective have already been resolved. we have to file a new case. however, we're hopeful that it will move much faster this time because the precedent is set. >> how many employees do you represent now for this year? do you expect it to be a greater energy this time around? we're seeing 800,000, half of
which are having to work while not getting paid? >> absolutely. we filed the complaint with just two names. however, we have been contacted where a tremendous outpouring from federal workers who want to join the case, who are outraged about the shut down, who want to go back to work and the essential employees want to get paid. >> what about contractors, they don't get paid. is there any sort of legal recourse they can take during the shut down periods? >> unfortunately, i'm not aware of any. i'm not under the fair labor standards act at least. it's heartbreaking, a lot of contractors are just essentially laid off as long as the shut down lasts so they're not working and they won't get paid. >> finally, how are they doing? how are these two clients of yours doing personally in terms of groceries, in terms of day-to-day things? >> it's very difficult. both of the named plaintiffs
work in federal prisons, high security prisons. it's a very violent place. just yesterday there was an inmate murder at a low security federal prison. numerous staff members were injured in multiple prisons around the country and they're going to work and they're doing it for free. they are working excessive amounts of overtime. the bureau of prisons is critically understaffed the last two years. they've lost a huge number of staff, so they're working dangerous jobs around the clock. i've talked to so many people around the country. a single mom of two who doesn't know how she's going to afford child care so that she can go to work at a job that she's not getting paid for. a woman who's went through two major medical problems earlier in 2018, required multiple surgeries, she depleted her savings dealing with those medical issues, and now she doesn't know whether she's going to lose her house, and how she's going to afford the hour commute that she has to get to and from
her federal job. >> all right. heidi, attorney general representing two federal furloughed workers, thank you for sharing the information that you have as we try to understand those affected by the current shut down now on day number 15. >> thank you. >> you bet. >> still ahead, at least four government agencies are being led by former ceos or lobbyists, is the president draining the swamp or some say flooding it.
drain the swamp. it was one of president trump's most memorable campaign slogans when he was candidate trump, reflecting his promise to rid washington of its stagnant political establishment. "the new york times" reported the makeup of the president's cabinet is a different picture. we have a defense department headed by a former aerospace defense company boeing, he was an executive there. the environmental protection agency run by a former coal lobbyist, a former big lobbyist running the department of health and human services and the department of -- where david -- took over for ryan zinke.
let's go to jeff mason, curt mardella, and an nbc news think contributor, josh ger steen, politico's senior legal affairs writer and msnbc contributor. josh, i just went through some of them contributor. josh, i just went through some of them here. by themselves, one would necessarily say that does not look so good but there's more than one here. again, i'm just listing partially some of those and the titles there and where this might go. have we in essence made the idea of draining the swamp worse? >> yes, i think so. and i think the problem is actually getting worse in the trump administration, maybe not intentionally. my sense is the president originally wanted titans of industry to fill all of these cabinet positions and he still has folks who are kind of like that in wilbur ross or steve mnuchin but as we have people
flame out here, fall out for various reasons, including other type of ethical standards, you're having the second tier or third tier of people elevated and it turns out a lot of the trump administration is staffed at the second or third tier by former industry lobbyists, former industry executive u.s. that suddenly find themselves in the driver's seat two years into this administration. >> so house oversight had incur -- might we expect some conflicts of interests? >> you want to talk about a target-rich environment for investigators to go after, it's this revolving door between the trump administration and private sector. the question about when policies start coming forward and changes start being made, where do those changes come from? are they getting outside help from the previous stomping ground in the private ept prides world and if so, are they being transparent about that? are they disclosing that? there are a lot of traps here
for the new trump cabinet 2.0, congress with democrats in charge with the oversight and hearings are really able to delve into. and if they're not careful and being diligent in complying with ethics rules, they will be in trouble. and to this point we have seen the trump administration has been flagrantly ignorant and can care less what the rules are so there's no expectation it will get any better now. >> jeff, is it not going to get any better now? and is it because when we're talking about the second or third string, is it because that what the president likes or is it because that's all that's left? >> i don't have the answer to that. certainly i know he will be looking for some people to replace some of the acting cabinet secretaries. it was pretty remarkable. i was in the cabinet room earlier this week when he had an epic-long meeting, almost an hour and 45 minutes with the press in there. just looking around the table with the number of acting secretaries, not to mention as you have been saying coming from industry and perhaps not sitting
with that slogan of drain the swamp t. also makes me think this discussion back on the campaign in 2018, the midterm campaign, i do remember there being at least a few signs that some of the rallies he went to that said drain the swamp but i don't remember it being as big of a slogan this time around. >> josh, as i was thinking about this, the markets, right, because they have been up and down towards the end of the year, for the most part solid and strong. industry, our thinking, soberly, but feeling that they're healthy as well. so if you're for this current cabinet, you would say, this is good. i mean, look at how the economy is doing. and for the most part, i'm okay economically right now. >> yeah, i think the problem comes as kurt was suggesting earlier when you have specific policies that are being implemented that may solely fall in line with not only the interest of specific industries but sometimes specific companies. that's what you really have to
worry about when folks are coming out of specific companies, are they being walled off as the ethics rules requir ? it does seem strange to not be concerned about this situation, i remember covering the obama administration when they brought in a secretary of defense by the nail of bill lynn who had been i think a rage ian executive. the howls of outrage the president abandoned his promises and republicans, senator chuck grassley and others, saying he was a completely unacceptable pick. and now either by choice or attrition, we see the number of lobbyists creeping up and up in the trump administration, or ex-lobbyists, i have not sewn that level of outrage on the gop side on capitol hill anyway. >> right, critics will say it's look like you're hiring the foxes to guard the henhouse. on the flip side those who support this will say, these are the perfect brains to be putting in charge of this because they're from that industry? >> well, i go back to when
barack obama was president and i was at the oversight committee, these types of conflict of interests are things we would have looked at and been critical of and tried to shine a light on. the decision-making progress, what happens going forward will be hyper scrutinized by the people like elijah cummings at oversight or jerry nadler at judiciary. any type of decision that's made, it will be the question where did that idea come from? if there's a paper trail or document or e-mail where with that suggestion may have come from on the outside, there's going to be a big ethical problem there. >> jeff, does the new congress, the beltway today, they have the political capital and gumption to address this wholeheartedly? >> that's a good question. there are so many things on their plate right now. clearly speaker pelosi and her colleagues want to help get the government reopened again. she's been having to deal with pressure from the left about the potential of an impeachment effort. so -- but oversight is clearly something that they want to work
about, that they want to work on. as kurt said, i think there's plenty of appetite for it. it's just a matter of whether or not it could all be fit in with the massive number of priorities that they would like to get done in the next two years. >> richard, let me just add one thing, this is why the oversight committee has one of the largest staff on capitol hill, they have 80 investigators working at the committee. they will get to it. >> i see the sunsetting. you gentlemen have a great saturday. we will be right back. we will be right back. (boy) nooooooo... (grandma) nooooooo... (dad) nooooooo... (dog) yessssss.... (vo) quick, the quicker picker upper! bounty picks up messes quicker and is two times more absorbent than the leading ordinary brand. (boy) hey look, i got it. bounty, the quicker picker upper.
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us. that wraps it up for me on msnbc, i'm richard liu. i turn it over now to reverend al sharpton and "politicsnation." good evening, and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lead, federal workers are filing for unemployment, courts are going broke, and food stamps are threatened because the government is now in the third week of its postural shutdown, which is president trump said friday, it may go on for, quote, months or even years. despite back-to-back meetings over the last two days, the white house and congressional democrats ended the week still in stalemate over funding for president trump's border wall.