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tv   MSNBC Live With Ali Velshi  MSNBC  December 26, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm PST

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things are different. well, they're not different. the economy goes in waves. it is quite likely it'll slow down at some point. but we were worried about a recession. we were worried about a trade war. we were worried about global income inequality. we're a little less worried at the end of the year. but fundamentally, those things are still going to be with us in 2020. >> you went into the next hour but it's okay because you're anchoring next. who's going to blame you? >> nice to see you but you're not done o donow either. >> are you done after this? >> no, i'm doing 9. so you and me are going to be on tv a lot today. nice to see you, friend. >> you too. >> all right. this is thursday, december 26th. senate republicans may not be as united as president trump thinks they are when it comes to his upcoming impeachment trial. alaska senator lisa murkowski, a republican told a station in her home state she was quote disturbed when she heard senate majority leader mitch mcconnell say there would be total coordination with the white house over the senate proceedings. >> when i thaeheard that, i was
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disturbed. if we were tasked as the full senate to -- to do impartial justice, under the constitution and the law, that's the oath that we will swear to uphold at the commencement of this proceeding. then, to me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense. and so i -- i -- i heard what leader mcconnell had said. i happen to think that that has further confused the process. >> all right. so she said i heard what leader mcconnell said. here's another look at what mcconnell told fox news earlier this month. comments that have wrinkled democrats and now senator murkowski. >> everything i do during this, i'm coordinating with white house counsel. there will be no difference
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between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this. to the extent that we can. >> okay. murkowski's comments are significant because she could vote with democrats to call witnesses for trump's trial. if all 47 senate democrats are united, they would need four republicans to join them in order for the motion to be approved. now, besides murkowski, other republican senators who could, potentially, vote for witnesses include susan collins of maine. cory gardner of colorado, who both face tough re-election battles next year. and another potential vote is utah's mitt romney, who's been critical of trump on multiple issues. hans nichols, who is traveling with the president in florida. and lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for the chicago sun times. hans, let me start with you. has there been any response from the white house yet about a republican senator saying that maybe mitch mcconnell's strategy isn't the best thing?
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>> no. conspicuous silence from the white house on that front. now, in the past, the president hasn't been shy about criticizing members of his own party. whether they're sitting senators, congressmen, or even members of his own administration. but throughout this process, even when there is a lot of speculation on what direction mitt romney might go, the president has held his fire. and you contrast that with the way he's unleashed on house speaker nancy pelosi and it's really stark. now, today, we got an indication that some of pelosi's actions, activity has gotten a little bit under the president's skin. the president saying that it's impeding his job as commander in chief. it's an indication that he isn't always on the same page because a lot of times he says impeachment's great for him politically. but today, he's suggesting that it's hurting him and hurting him in his ability as commander in chief. >> lynn, for people who aren't really getting the logic on this, let's just go through it with them. two-thirds of the senate is required to remove the president in a trial. that's not overwhelmingly likely
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unless we learn all sorts of different things. but they just need 50% or more to set the rules for the trial. so that's why we're talking about four republicans, possibly, maybe, potentially, siding with the democrats on setting of the rules. fundamentally, it's not likely to change the outcome of this. so what's the distinction? why does it matter that they have witnesses? and -- and get evidence versus what mitch mcconnell had initially told fox he wasn't going to do? >> i'm so glad you brought this up. for the public to understand, this is a process in steps. and actually, it could be the most important to the -- these swing states. these potential swing vote senators. they get in a sense two bites at the apples. they could vote to not remove trump from office. but they could look like they're considering having at least witnesses by -- at the trial by having -- by putting their vote there. let's quickly remember in cavanaugh, susan collins was
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critical in buying a little extra time for an extra fbi investigation. didn't change the outcome. but it could give some political cover. now, that i think is what we should be focusing now as we look at this as a step by step. it -- even though murkowski also said in her interview, by the way, that she thought that pelosi should've waited for a court order to decide on whether or not the white house had to bring witnesses. you could also argue that it was a flawed process. it doesn't mean that when you get to the senate, you repeat the same error if that was the error. so you have subpoenas and let the senate wait for the court order. whether or not these witnesses can be forced to testify. >> hans, earlier today, you and i talked about this. and you -- you talked about the distinction between donald trump getting an acquittal in the senate versus claiming that he's been totally exonerated. tell me more about this. >> yeah. well, acquittal is just simply there isn't the two-thirds
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majority. the supermajority to convict him. we don't know what white house officials mean, what the president means when he talks about total exoneration. we do know or we know that might indicate a longer trial. and a trial that involves a lot of witnesses that the president has long wanted to hear from or claims he wants to hear from. hunter biden, joe biden. we don't know how far back he's going to go. so, you know, think of a total exoneration type trial as something that would be the defense attorney would be rudy giuliani. it's that would be the scope of it. the challenge and really the decision that the white house will have to make is if they go in that direction, that means it's much longer. and the white house saw the perils of waiting longer when those omb documents released giving new life to the -- to questions, really, about when and how the decision was made to withhold military funding from ukraine. so -- but total exoneration, just to be clear, there isn't an actual constitutional clause for that. that's something the president has conjured up. but it would mean something
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more, apparently, than just an acquittal. ali. >> so if that's the case, lynn sweet, why wouldn't the president be in favor of saying call some witnesses? get some testimony. wouldn't -- something that felt like a fairer trial or more robust trial that does result in his acquittal go further toward donald trump being able to say, see, we had a trial and i was exonerated? >> well, the thing about being donald trump is since you don't worry about the facts, you could say it anyway. and if he wants a bird in hand, you have -- you maybe make a deal to have a limited number of witnesses. you'll never get joe and hunter biden because the subject matter at hand in the articles of impeachment could be -- i mean, you would have to just negotiate that. he's not going to go that far back. since trump will say whatever he wants anyway, somebody may convince him, take your victory. anyone who's ever covered or been involved in a criminal court case knows that when the defendant comes out and said, see, i'm innocent. you can never write it that way,
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right? you always just report the jury found no evidence to convict. so but trump will say if he is not convicted, that he -- he was exonerated. so why go through the risk of having this trial to put more facts on the table? because if there were exculpatory facts, don't you think we might've known about them by now? >> thank you to both of you. lynn, good to see you as always. lynn sweet is washington bureau chief for "chicago sun times." nbc hans nichols is our white house reporter. another person in trump's orbit who is feeling the heat from the impeachment saga is attorney general william barr. barr's defense of president trump has raised questions about potential conflicts of interest. last wednesday, as the house was moving to impeach trump, barr told fox news that democrats were trivializing the impeachment process. he said the articles of impeachment here do not allege a violation of the law. i'm concerned about it being trivialized and used as a political tool. legal experts slammed those
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comments. accusing barr of ignoring his responsibilities as the nation's top prosecutor. one of them was the former federal prosecutor michael j. stern, who told "newsweek" that barr's loyalty to the white house is a perversion of his job. he also told "newsweek" there is inherent conflict in barr's designated role as chief law enforcement officer of this country and his efforts to protect the man who gave him his job. it is unfortunate that bill barr never misses an opportunity to place his thumb on the scales of justice in favor of donald trump. that's not how it's supposed to be. michael j. stern joins us now. michael, thank you for joining us. look. bill barr was named in those phone calls. the very phone calls at the center of this whole thing. and there were people at the time who thought maybe he should recuse himself or maybe he can't oversee this since there are questions about whether barr was in on this with donald trump. but when you go all the way back to the unsolicited memo that he wrote about the russia
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investigation, the way he was misleading to the public about the conclusions of the mueller investigation, and this. does any of this come as a surprise to you? >> no. it's unfortunatel but it doesn' come as a surprise. in fact, bill barr has single-handedly changed the fundamental nature of the department of justice for decades. the department of justice has always prided itself on being independent from the white house and from other agencies within the white house administration. and bill barr has now turned the department of justice, and himself, into essentially a tool of president trump. and that's a dangerous situation not only for the way the events are unfolding now but for the -- the -- you know, the sanctity of the department of justice as time moves on. >> let's discuss the sanctity of the department of justice because we know it's an executive department. the attorney general is appointed by the executive, by the president. they're part of the executive. and we generally think that cabinet secretaries are friendly
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to the president. what's the distinction here? what's the thing that so troubles you when you call it putting your thumb on the scale? when generally, we assume an attorney general is friendly to the president who hired him. >> so it's one thing to be friendly to the president and to discuss with the president issues that the president wants to be the focus of doj. for instance, when i was with the department of justice, there was a period of time when some attorney generals had particular areas that were of concern to the white house. like, firearm prosecutions. and so the department of justice would get broad directives from the white house as to the types of cases they should be expending their resources on. but that's vastly different than the department of justice as it stands now becoming essentially a defense attorney on behalf of the president. and as you mentioned earlier, bill barr did that when it came to the mueller report. he essentially preempted the mueller report by coming out with a four-page memo that -- >> no one asked him to write. >> absolutely.
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no one asked him to write it. and more importantly, it wasn't accurate. if he was going to come out with a summary, it should actually have been a summary. when the mueller report itself actually came out, it became clear that it wasn't a summary of the report. so much as a defense of the president. and taking small pieces of information from the mueller report and mutating them and morphing them into something that helped the president. but was not consistent with the report itself. >> but, michael, it worked because in the amount of time when none of us had access to the mueller report. and all that the country and the world has was -- was attorney general william barr's interpretation of what he said the report contained. we subsequently found out that it was misleading. and i'm being remarkably polite by calling it misleading. but it was misleading, at best. but there are probably millions of americans who talk -- took the no collusion line and went with it. so bill barr has learned he might not be doing the right thing but he's effective.
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>> you -- you're absolutely right about that. in fact, i think that more people understand or perceive that they understand the mueller report from barr's inaccurate summary than from the release of the report itself. >> yep. >> and the press did a great job when the report was ultimately released in going through it. line by line. and pointing out the inaccuracies of barr's summary. but it's the first thing that came out. there was enough time between the release of that report and the actual mueller report. and it sort of soaked into the american consciousness. and that's what people believe even though it is not the truth and it's simply not accurate. >> michael, thank you for joining me. michael j. stern is a former federal prosecutor. coming up, the nypd all hands on deck manhunt for a teenage suspect at the center of a stabbing murder of a barnard college student, tessa majors, comes to an end. we'll bring you the developing news next. plus, the two 2020 candidates flooding the air waves so much you may be seeing more of them than your own family this holiday season. but will it have an effect on
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the nypd says it's located a third teenage wanted for questioning in the murder of 18-year-old tessa majors. majors was stabbed and killed in what police believe was a robbery earlier this month. nbc news correspondent kathy park joins me now. kathy, many of our viewers, not in new york, may not have been following the story but everybody in new york has been. a student at barnard college, a
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sister college to columbia, up on the upper west side where -- where columbia is in that neighborhood. goes out and is brutally stabbed and ultimately died. and the biggest shock was when they apprehended the first suspect and he was 13 or something like that? >> 13 years old. and i think the age is kind of what has really stood out in the ongoing investigation. and just to kind of bring you up to speed, in just a couple of hours, the chief detective of nypd released a tweet saying that they have located a 14-year-old boy. and just a few minutes ago, also updated his tweet saying that he is with his attorneys right now. and they have been cooperating with the investigation process. but they didn't elaborate and say exactly whether charges will be filed. or say if he had -- what role he played in the attack. but we know detectives, early on, said there were three individuals that they were looking for. you mentioned that 13-year-old suspect. currently, in custody and facing several charges, including
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second-degree murder. and earlier this month, there was another teenager, a 14-year-old, who was questioned and then later released. but, yeah, this has been just a really troubling all around. you mentioned barnard college has really been shaken because of this brutal attack. but the entire city because here you have this 18-year-old freshman who was out at morningside park. 7:00 at night. it's still unclear kind of what she was doing out there. and, you know, during the -- the court hearing, there was a detective who testified and kind of detailed some of the troubling moments, her final moments. and said the group of three was out there looking to commit some sort of robbery. originally, they spotted a man. they were going to rob him. they did not. but then spotted tessa majors and according to the testimony of this 13-year-old suspect, his -- his friends put her in a choke hold and stabbed her repeatedly. so it's just really troubling. and then you have this -- this
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18-year-old, charlottesville native, who was in a band. you know, just really kind of getting her young life started in college. and was so enthusiastic about starting her life at barnard and then here we have it. >> have -- have the police said that they've got everybody they're looking for? are they still looking for suspects? >> you know what? right now, originally they say they were looking for three. and i think it's still kind of a gray area because you have that 14-year-old who is questioned. then released. so we don't know where that stands right now. and right now, we have this other 14-year-old, who is being questioned along with his attorneys. so still a lot that we need to kind of piece together. they just mention this is still very much an active investigation. >> thank you, kathy. all right. they have now doubled the combined ad spending of every single non-billionaire 2020 can date in the presidential field this year and looks like they're just getting started. coming up next, the mind boggling amount of money michael bloomberg and tom steyer are spending in their presidential
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bids and the strategy to turn those dollars into votes. and t those dollars into votes
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we're just six weeks away from the iowa caucus and two democratic presidential candidates are spending enormous amounts of money on their campaigns. a new article from "politico" reports both michael bloomberg
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and tom steyer have spent a combined $200 million since entering the presidential race. those funds are going specifically toward television and digital ads. "politico" says bloomberg is spending an unprecedented $120 million in the roughly three weeks since he joined the presidential race. that's more than double than the spending this entire year. joining me now to break this down, who we just gave you a small preview of. because you're a big deal. gave you a preview you were about to be on. this is interesting because we -- we -- we always think about this kind of money being spent during the actual campaign. post the choosing of the candidate. we're not even at the first primary and we're seeing this kind of money. but it has had an effect. it got -- it got steyer into some of the debates. it got his poll numbers up there. bloomberg comes in and within a few weeks, he's got poll numbers that are higher than some of the
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capp candidates who have been in this thing -- yeah, nearly half the field. so clearly, the money's doing something. >> that's exactly right. i think it is an unusual strategy where you have billionaires just able to come in and spend this kind of money and have that kind of impact. and have an impact greater than sitting senators, governors, people who would under any other cycle be pretty impressive candidates you would think. i think what you're seeing with bloomberg and steyer are two billionaires but doing different strategies. taking different strategies. mayor bloomberg, he's taking a super tuesday strategy. he is skipping the first four states pretty much. not even on the ballot in some of them. and he's investing in states like california, which has a lot of delegates in the primary. live in chicago. he's investing in illinois. i see he is the only candidate that i see to presidential campaign ads for in illinois. you look at tom steyer, however, he is focused on the small states. he's focused on those first four. iowa, south carolina, new hampshire, nevada. two very different strategies. and it's reflected in the polling. bloomberg is able to get that 5%
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that you see there because he has that national strategy. tom steyer's not doing as well nationally. but if you look at the state polling, he's, for example, in the top five when you look at south carolina. >> so when you look at skipping the primaries, the first few are small states. they -- they -- they aren't important to the delegate count. but they used to signal that if you could do well in iowa, that you can do well elsewhere. if you can do well in new hampshire, you can do well elsewhere. if you don't need to do well in order to raise the money, bloomberg's strategy might make sense. >> right. but then you also have the factor that you're not going to be talked about for the whole month of february. i mean, the iowa caucus is february the 3rd. super-tuesday is not until march 3rd. that's a whole month where you're going to have other candidates who are winning contests. other candidates who are starting to drop out. the field is going to shrink at that point. it's really a theory or -- or strategy that's not fully tested. especially, on this level where you have a candidate able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a primary election. >> so a lot of these candidates
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have no big money, no big donors because i don't want to be beholden to anyone. bloomberg and steyer are making a similar case. we're not beholden to anyone. >> right. and bloomberg a little bit different from steyer is not even taking -- he's not taking any donations at all. >> steyer took the donation so he could get on the debate stage. >> exactly. bloomberg doesn't care about being on the debate stage. he's okay being off the debate stage right now and he's not taking any contributions at all. so that allows him to focus on campaigning. the difference also with bloomberg that we've seen so far and it's only been a couple of weeks. we've had holidays in between so it's not a completely fair comparison to make just yet. but you're not seeing him do the town halls and rallies with regular members of the public being able to press him and interact with him as you're seeing the other candidates. like i said, it's early. we had thanksgiving, christmas since he's entered the race. but it will be interesting to see if he starts to embrace that retail politics going beyond the tv ads, going beyond the interviews. >> he didn't do that much as mayor. he's not that big on getting on cable tv and having a lot of interviews.
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>> it matters less in states like california than it does in iowa. that's something that's premium in iowa because caucus voters want to meet their candidate. >> all right. very good. nice to see you, shaquille. >> likewise. >> we may not see each other for months in person the way you have to work in this campaign but we appreciate the way you do. shaquil shaquille. russia interfered in 2016 and the intelligence community says it's going to try to do it again. but does the united states have anything at its disposal to stop them? up next, the new tactics military cyberofficials are developing to take russia on heading into 2020. and how they're looking to fight fire with fire. it's time for the lowest prices of the season on
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for his next secretary of state according to the reporting of "the washington post." paper also reports there is now a competition breaking out within the administration over who is going to become the nation's top diplomat. hans nichols joins us from west palm beach, florida. hans, what's the issue? is there some issue with pompeo? i thought trump really liked him. >> well, pompeo may run for the senate. and that's always been the issue with pompeo. and the president has even hinted that if to keep that seat in republicans' hands in kansas, if what's required is to have pompeo run, then he would go ahead and release him from his only gagzs and happily endorse him as secretary of state. that hasn't happened. but what's interesting about this piece, "the washington post," a very well-sourced reporter is it gives you a sense the president is preparing for
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the possibility that pompeo could leave as secretary of state and go be the junior senator from kansas. which is a slightly different career track. most the time, members of the cabinet spend time in the senate before the cabinet. you saw that with john kerry. you saw that with secretary of state hilary clinton. then were secretary of state. pompeo would be doing it in reverse. tick through a couple names for you. number one, his new national security advisor, mr. o'brien. that gives you an indication that this could be an inside job. secretary mnuchin is also being talked about. there are a couple senators. tom cotton and lindsey graham. tom cotton seems more in line with the president. also, been rumored with the defense department than -- excuse me, it was marco rubio, not lindsey graham. so when rubio has had some pretty high-profile clashes with the president. both those senators probably have presidential ambitions. so a little palace intrigue and some parlor games for us to talk about down here at mar-a-lago
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but nothing official just yet. ali. >> but largely, given the -- the experience donald trump had with his first secretary of state, this has been a good relationship for the two of them. >> they seem -- they seem to work very well together. and, you know, mike pompeo came in as the cia director. and managed the president very well. and he has sidelined his other critics and/or adversaries within the administration, right? if it was bolton versus pompeo, pompeo at least won that round when they were in the administration. we'll see if there's any score settling when bolton puts out his book in june. but pompeo's been a remarkably effective secretary of state and done things outside of the traditional purview of secretary of state and has played a big role in this white house. ali. >> hans, good to see you again in this show. hans nichols from west palm beach, florida. 2019's been a busy year at the white house. it began with a standoff to reopen the federal government and brought us the third impeachment of a sitting president in this country's history. and those are just the book ends. nbc chief white house correspond
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pt hallie jackson takes us through the year's highlights at the white house. >> 2019 started with fireworks over the longest government shutdown in history. are you still proud to own this shutdown? >> i'm very proud of doing what i'm doing. i don't call it a shutdown. >> after 35 # days of fighting over funding for the border wall, a presidential retreat that reopened the federal government and a state of the union delayed but delivered. >> it's called a state of the union. it's in the constitution. >> a week later? >> i just want to get it done faster. that's all. >> a declaration of a national emergency at the border. infuriating democrats and instantly setting off a court fight that continues even today. overseas, a spring summit suddenly scrapped early with president trump leaving vietnam and his meeting with north korea's kim jong-un without a deal on denuclearization. that relationship repaired enough by the summer for a surprise visit to the dmz with donald trump stepping where no
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president has before. >> great honor to be here. >> back home, the investigation that loomed over the white house for two years coming to a close. robert mueller concluding russia did interfere with the 2016 election. but the special counsel did not find sufficient evidence the trump campaign coordinated or conspired with the kremlin. in his 448-page report, mueller describes instances in which the president could've obstructed justice without explicitly exonerating him. >> it is not a witch hunt. >> the president insisted. >> we went through the greatest witch hunt in political history. >> airing his grievances as he kicked off his 2020 re-election campaign. but it was a different rally where this chant erupted. send her back. after the president's racist tweets slamming the so-called squad. four freshmen lawmakers, all women of color and u.s. citizens. >> again, i'm not going to negotiate up here. >> the summer saw the west wing's revolving door swing again with press secretary sarah sanders stepping down and
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stephanie grisham stepping in. in august. >> they've got a mass casualty. >> looks like nine or ten shot. >> two devastating shootings stunned the country. >> we are waking up again this morning to a pair of tragedies in america. brought on by men with guns. >> and sparked calls for changes to gun control laws. but despite the talk. >> we have to have meaningful background checks. >> little action. >> if you look at background checks, it wouldn't have stopped any of the last few years worth of these mass shootings. >> in the fall, foreign policy focus as president trump announced he was pulling u.s. troops from syria. >> i'm not going to get involved in a war between turkey and syria. >> that same month, another announcement. one of the most significant in the trump era. the president, in extraordinary detail, describing the death of the world's most wanted terrorist. abu bakr al-baghdadi. >> we understand from multiple sources familiar with the matter that the president himself personally approved this operation. >> he died like a dog. he died like a coward.
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>> later, on the south lawn, a photo op with the hero canine who helped commandos in the raid. but by then, a shadow was hanging over the white house. impeachment as democrats accuse the president of abusing his power by asking ukraine for investigations that could help him politically into the bidens and the 2016 election. >> there was no crime. >> the danger persists. the risk is real. >> the white house choosing not to cooperate with the house proceedings. and on december 18th, donald trump became only the third-ever impeached president of the united states. >> with today's illegal, unconstitutional, and partisan impeachment. >> his white house choosing to focus on several political wins, like an agreement on the first phase of a trade deal with china to ramp down the trade war that broiled markets this year. and the yearend passage of a funding bill that includes the space force the president wants and approval of the usmca, a revised version of nafta. still, impeachment looms over 2020. with a trial on the way and
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donald trump hoping to make history again by becoming the first impeached president ever re-elected. >> that was hallie jackson. nbc's chief white house correspondent. still ahead, a scary scene at a ski resort. we're going to have the latest on the rescue operation. but first, how do you stop russia from another election interference? the new report highlighting how military officials are looking to do just that is next. you are watching msnbc. [ applause ] thank you.
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u.s. military officials are developing warfare tactics in the event that russia tries to interfere in the upcoming 2020 election. according to the reporting of "the washington post," quote, the messaging would be accompanied by a limited cyberoperation that demonstrates the american's access to a particular system or account and the capability to inflict a cost. the message would implicitly warn the target that if the election interference did not cease, there would be consequences. terrorism analyst malcol malcol joins me now. malcolm, you've been -- you've been reporting on this forever. like, one of the first people to
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talk about this. i guess what -- what america needs to understand is do we have the capability when somebody interferes in our election or commits any other kind of mass cybercrime, for us to be able to identify and tell, find out who's behind it and warn them? that there will be a cost. >> well, i can assure you, as a former cryptologist, who served at the national security agency, we have capacity. we have a lot of capacity. and what we are not lacking now are the defenses. what we are lacking is leadership allowing those defenses to actually go into effect so that we have maximum effort to defend the elections, to defend the electoral process. "the washington post" article indicated how u.s. cybercommand, which for a long time was part of nsa and has co-operated at nsa, how they will go out and warn actors who are out there that we are aware of their
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operations and activities. just like the cia director did in the run-up to the 2016 election. only he called the director of the fsb personally. this time, we're going to do it through cybermeans. >> cyber com in the 2018 midterm elections, they used e-mails, pop-up, text messages to target trolls who were doing things and interfering in the election. how do you think about that? one of the issues with cybercrime is unlike nuclear weaponry, we have ways of knowing that's a nuclear weapon. that's a government of north korea or the government of iran. with -- with troll factories and third parties, how do you figure that out? you could figure out where it's coming from. do we have the ability to say, and the research center in st. petersburg is run by the russian government? >> well, we have the capacity to do that. we certainly working with our nato allies, identified the actual individuals as they were coming to work and logging in on their -- their computers. including their real names, their social security numbers,
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and of course photographs of them as they were logging into work. what we are doing here with subcontractors, vigilantes, is we are essentially going to disrupt them at their point of entry into the internet where they're going to carry out mischief or they're going to do this contract work where they will release thousands and thousands of these bots. the first thing it does when you identify them as knowing that we know what you're up to, it disturbs them. it's a form of psychological war fire. and they have to drop what they're doing, shift to new servers, shift to new pathways of attack. and that is a very good disruptive process. >> malcolm, i have a question and it's a one-word question. trump. >> sure. >> what -- i mean, he's still -- he's not at the front of this train. >> no. and like i said, we have defenses. we're lacking leadership. and let me tell you. in the 20 -- in the run up to the french 2017 election, the national security agency worked with the french bureau, the
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dgse, in order to disrupt a cyberoperation, which may have been russian oriented, using american citizens to release fake e-mails from the macron campaign. and it turns out all of those e-mails were actually placed in their way by french intelligence and our national security agency to -- to disrupt their activity in these macron leaks. that's the sort of operation we have a lot of capacity with. but warning some of these actors, especially the ones who have a lot of money that we could go after them personally and, you know, i've been a big advocate of going after and freezing their bank accounts or stealing their illegally-posted money around the world. we have this defenses. >> do you need -- is this far enough along? do we need donald trump to come out there and be part of the warning? because i'm just not holding my breath that he's going to really put his back into this one. >> this is the beautiful part about the armed forces of the united states and the intelligence agencies of the
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united states. their oath is sworn to the constitution of the united states. to protect and defend the nation from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. in this circumstance, they do not need instruction in order to defend the nation from threats as they see them, operationally. let me tell you. all of the places donald trump will have the least impact, it's within u.s. cybercommand and the national security agency. you know, i worked there. those places are cryptic themselves. the people there are going to do the nation's defense. and to tell you the truth, it is so sophisticated, that it is -- it takes years to understand precisely what they're doing. it's not like the cia running human intelligence officers. they have the ability to disrupt things as part of their day-to-day mandate. i think we're relatively safe with them. >> that makes me feel good if you say so, mall mocolm. thank you, my friend. rescue crews spent part of the day searching for skiers after an avalanche. it happened near the town of andermatt in central
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switzerland. molly, what's the latest? >> hey, ali. that's right. so the avalanche didn't happen in the back country. it didn't even really happen off pace. it happened kind of on a groomed run. lots of in the video we've seen already shows the avalanche breaking just over a groomed run coming down. again, lots of families, it's christmas holiday, we spoke with one eyewitness who said his son was on the slope right next door. everyone survived. six people were rescued. four people didn't have to go to the hospital. two people were taken to the hospital. but there was another avalanche, ali, that we've also been following today in austria. and this is what rescuers are calling a christmas miracle. a 26-year-old skier was trapped in an air pocket for five hours. >> wow. >> he's alive, ali. hyperthermic. but he was found because he was wearing an avalanche tranceiver, a beacon we call. and we asked them if they were
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skiing with any avalanche equipment, of course no one was. so it's really something to think about as so many families are going out for their ski vacations. >> it's a big deal because the biggest effort in an avalanche is how you find where people are. if you knew where everybody was, there's some hope that you can actually get them out. thanks for your reporting on this. >> and how fast you can find them too. >> it's incredible. firefighters in australia are bracing for an extreme heat wave this weekend as they baltimore than 70 bush fires throughout new south wales and south australia. some rain did help alleviate the situation. about 12 million acres of land have been burned nationwide since the fire started a few months ago. that's more than three times as much land as the amazon fires which have been burning all year. at least nine people have been killed and more than a thousand homes have been destroyed. new south wales commissioner says this bush fire season has been unprecedented. scientists cite the near
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absolute lack of moisture in the air as a key reason the fires have been so severe. and stocks have reached an all-time high. we will explain the history-making record after the break. you are watching msnbc. u e watcc ♪ ♪ ♪ everything your trip needs for everyone you love. expedia. hi, it's real milk, just00% farmwithout the lactose, id.
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stocks climbed to record highs today with the nasdaq hitting 9,000 for the first time ever. let's take a look at how things are going just before the close. the dow is at 28,595. it's up 80 points. it's almost a third of a
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percent. the s&p is up as well. it too is at a record. more than the records, because when you're at the top of the market, you hit records all the time. the issue here is the amount that this market is up on a percentage basis over the last year. let's take a little bit more of a look at this with -- i want to talk to cnbc's bill griffeth. give us some context on this, bill. you kind of have to be like one of us guys who have been covering this for a long time to realize that the games at the end of this year if nothing unusual happens, these are the best gains we've seen in over 20 years. >> going back to 1997, which we all remember was the height of the dot com boom at that time. but this is a very different time right now. interest rates are much lower than they were back then. inflation is way down. the economy is just kind of moving along very comfortably. some of the head winds that we have been citing earlier this year for the stock market are
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falling by the wayside. the trade war with china, we have an at least partial deal right now. the fed have not been raising interest rates. they've been cutting rates. the international economy, they were worrying about how slow it was going. that's starting to pick up. so things are sort of starting to fall into place in the market. while we haven't had these major rallies that pushed us into record territory, we haven't had any home-runs. it's just been a bunch of singles that have been scoring runs. >> so what do you make of the fact that we entered this decade without a recession, and we leave this decade without a recession? ten years without a recession is almost double the average anyway. does that mean we are out of recession fear territory? >> oh, i wouldn't go that far. the phrase you never want to hear from anybody is it's different this time, certainly the business cycle has not been reformed. there will come a day when we
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will see a recession, but that's not the case, at least right now. what would bring us into a recession would be some sort of a disruption of some kind. the jobs market would have to slow down. you'd have to see hiring go down. we're at a 50-year low right now for the unemployment rate. geopolitical concern. watch north korea. watch what's going on in iran. those are the kinds of things that could take us into a recession. but right now that's not the case. >> so how much of this remarkable gain has to do with the fact that a year ago we were suffering big losses, we were at the front end of a trade war? >> turned out to be a huge buying opportunity. last year at this time those two things i mentioned earlier were very much front and center for wall street, the trade war with china, and the fed raised rates this month last year for the last time, and there are those two feel like they didn't need to do it at that time. we had a terrible month of december last year. but, again, come january when we saw clearer skies, they thought
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differently about it, and it turned out to be a huge buying opportunity. but we are entering the new year in a very different mindset, and i just -- i get sweaty palms when i think we've figured everything out. >> you and me both. >> and there's no other direction for the market to go but up. so we will wait and see what happens. >> as i remind our viewers know where your 401(k) is housed, and just keep on top of things. we'll let you know. you and your team there will help us give our viewers, as you always have, the clues that they need to make the best decisions they can make. >> that's what we're here for. >> always appreciate that, bill. that wraps up the hour for me. but not for the day. i am going to be back here at 9:00 p.m. eastern for the "rachel maddow show." and you can listen to this on sirius xm radio, and apple tv. and always you can find me on social media, twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat and linkedin. thank you for watching.
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"deadline: white house" with my colleague alicia menendez in for nicolle wallace begins right now. ♪ hi, everyone. it's 4:00 in new york. i'm alicia menendez in again for nicolle wallace. as we monitor new indications that mitch mcconnell's partisan impeachment blockade might not be as insurmountable as once thought. republican senator lisa murkowski opening up a hairline fracture in mcconnell's firewall to be in total coordination with the white house on impeachment. >> in fairness, when i heard that, i was disturbed. if we are tasked as the full senate to do impartial justice under the constitution and the law, that's the oath that we will swear to uphold at the commencement of this proceeding. then, to me, it means that we have to take that


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